FRANKLIN, Tennessee — Williamson County School Superintendent Jason Golden, as reported, cancelled his planned question and answer session with the Williamson County Republican Party, but frustrated members nevertheless met and made him and his policies the topic of conversation.
About 100 to 150 Williamson County residents met Wednesday night at a hotel conference room where, among other things, they asked whether the Williamson County School System has embraced Critical Race Theory (CRT). Williamson County School Board member Dan Cash attended Wednesday’s meeting. He said no, the school system is not teaching CRT. But some parents said it had already seeped its way in.
One woman, who did not identify herself, said her seven-year-old daughter attends Liberty Elementary School in Franklin. The woman said her daughter came home from school one day and said the following:
“I’m ashamed that I’m White.”
The daughter then asked “Is there something wrong with me? Why am I hated so much?”
“The seven-year-old is now in therapy. She is depressed. She doesn’t want to go to school,” the woman said.
“She is scared to death and has even had thoughts of killing herself. Again, we are talking about a seven-year-old child.”
Another person, Brian Dixon, said he is pulling his son out of the school system, although he did not say which school the child attended. Dixon told audience members that his wife is Asian. Dixon spoke of one school lesson, from what he said was titled The Wit and Wisdom curriculum.
“We are doing the online school because my wife was concerned about the pandemic. She sat with him through the entire course online. She was watching and reading with him what the teacher was teaching. It started out very beautifully talking about Dr. King and his speech and children from different backgrounds all coming together,” Dixon said.
“But then it started talking about the deep and dark portions of what happened during the 1960s. It’s good for him to learn that but not as a 7-and-8-year-old child in second grade.”
The lesson, Dixon went on to say, distressed his son greatly.
“He was very emotionally affected by this. My wife told him he was American. He looked at my wife and said ‘No, no, no. I’m not American. I’m Thai.’ That’s my wife’s background,” Dixon said.
“He was ashamed to be an American after reading this lesson. He didn’t want to be American. He saw all of the evil that had been attributed [to Americans] over the years. That was the last straw.”
Cash told Dixon and others in the audience to notify school board members — and also Golden — when they hear their children say such things.
“Email the whole board and let them know what is going on,” Cash said.
“That’s the only way you’ll get anything done about this.”
As reported two years ago, WCS officials required teachers to watch a series of videos showing county school employees advocating for social change and social justice. The “White privilege” training videos, as part of a Cultural Competency video series, showcased local teachers buying into the idea of “White privilege.”
School board members said at the time that news of this curriculum caught them off-guard. The Tennessee Star talked to various parents that year who said they feared speaking out against the “White privilege” training, due to a possible backlash against them either personally or professionally.
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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Biden administration wants to spend taxpayer money on so-called Critical Race Theory lessons for the nation’s students — in a move that critics say is meant to appease far-left Democrats by teaching kids “nonsense.”
A new rule proposed by the US Education Department says financial grants could encourage schools to “incorporate teaching and learning practices that reflect the diversity, identities, histories, contributions, and experiences of all students.”
It also says that “racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically responsive teaching and learning practices contribute to what has been called an ‘identity-safe’ learning environment” where “teachers strive to assure students that their social identities are an asset rather than a barrier to success.”
Former President Donald Trump in September banned the use of federal funds on training sessions for US agency workers that focused on Critical Race Theory or lessons about “white privilege.”
Trump’s White House budget director Russ Vought, who was influential in establishing and enforcing that policy, told The Post that the Biden administration should immediately change course.
“The Biden administration’s insistence in perpetuating Critical Race Theory at every level of our society is incredibly divisive and dangerous,” said Vought, who is now president of the Center for Renewing America.
“At the classroom level, it will only ensure that the next generation is filled with corrosive and demeaning ideas that they should be judged by the color of their skin, instead of the content of their character,” Vought said.
A second plan from the Biden Education Department calls for “promoting information literacy skills” and appears to have been prompted by Trump’s claims of widespread fraud during last year’s election.
It calls “effective” civics lessons “vital to protecting the Nation’s democracy — especially at a time when its core institutions and values are threatened by misinformation.”
“The proposed priorities would help ensure that the American History and Civics Education programs support the development of culturally responsive teaching and learning practices and promote students’ acquisition of critical information literacy skills,” according to the Education Department’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.
“We believe these benefits would outweigh any associated costs.”
It’s unclear how much money could be made available to schools to pursue the Biden administration critical race priorities.
Republican strategist John Feehery blasted the Education Department for promoting what he called “Critical Race Theory nonsense.”
“Kids have to make up for lost time because of the union-imposed COVID disaster, but instead of focusing on opening schools, the Biden administration is focused on creating an ideological curriculum to please their far-left progressive wing of the party,” he told the Washington Examiner.
Feehery, who was the press secretary for then-Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert, also said that parents “don’t want this political balderdash” and predicted it would hurt Democrats “in swing-state districts.”
Tim Huelskamp, a former Republican congressman from Kansas, told the Examiner that the Education Department proposal was “nothing more than an attempt to misuse hard-earned taxpayer dollars to indoctrinate America’s children with even more anti-American nonsense.”
“The end result is not likely to be a Marxist revolution, but rather, solid Republican gains across America in 2021 and 2022,” said Huelskamp, who was formerly a member of the House Education Committee and a chairman of the Tea Party Caucus
Chattanooga pastor confirms dorms housing unaccompanied migrant children
by WTVC Staff, Sabrina Maggiore
Friday, April 9th 2021
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — UPDATE (Monday, April 12th):
Hamilton County Schools is preparing to welcome migrant children housed in Chattanooga to the classroom.
We first told you about this story on Friday, when we went to the old Tennessee Temple dorms in Highland Park. We saw black tarps draped around the fence.
Now, the church that owns the property confirms this is the temporary home of several unaccompanied minors from the U.S. Mexico border.
Redemption of the Nations Church owns the property. Pastor Kevin Wallace spoke to our reporter today and confirmed unaccompanied minors from the border are being housed at the dorms.
Wallace says as a pastor his concern is for the children, and that he wants to make sure this doesn't turn into a "political statement."
Wallace told us the church leased the vacant dorms to a non-profit organization back in 2019 in order to help provide compassionate care to the children.
The pastor said It was part of his vision for the church that stems at least a few years back.
In 2018, he posted this tweet offering up the dorms to the federal government to house children separated from their parents.
Immigration attorney Terry Olsen tells us the children housed in this facility are likely asylum seekers.
"Most likely, these children are in Chattanooga awaiting for the actual processing of their applications," said Olsen.
According to Amnesty International, "an asylum-seeker is a person who has left their country and is seeking protection from persecution and serious human rights violations in another country, but who hasn’t yet been legally recognized as a refugee and is waiting to receive a decision on their asylum claim."
With the immigration court for our area in Memphis closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and immigration policy changing federally, Olsen says there's no way of knowing how long it will take these children to get a court hearing for their asylum status.
In the meantime, The Baptiste Group is contracted by the federal government to provide services to the migrant children housed at the Tennessee Temple Dorms.
A letter obtained by Chalkbeat outlines the group's proposal to offer similar services to unattended children in Shelby County. According to the letter, children housed at the proposed Shelby County facility would receive six hours of schooling and have access to books, board games, computers, recreation, and crafts. The children would also be protected by 24 hour security.
"Historically, as a country, we've always embraced and taken in anyone that has sought asylum since the Immigration Act, I think of 1965. That's been a part of our law ... You have to give them education, you have to give them food, you also have to give them caring. So I think that this is just that process. It's not strange at all. It's actually what I think should be done," said Olsen.
An email from Hamilton County Schools' Homeless Liason Laura Grier tells principals to prepare for a possible influx of unattended minors. The district says under federal law, they must provide educational services to all Hamilton County students, regardless of immigration status.
The body of the email reads as follows:
The Chattanooga area may experience an increase of unattended migrant youth. Please see article included for more information. If any of the students show up to register at your school, please register them immediately. They do not need 2 proofs of residency (or be "in zone"), a birth certificate, immunization record, or proof of guardianship as they will be covered under the McKenney-Vento Homeless Act.
The district released the following statement on the prospect of enrolling migrant children:
"Hamilton County Schools believes that every child should have the opportunity to receive an excellent public education. We wanted to clarify some information regarding stories that have been published regarding migrant children in our community. The first information we had on the potential whereabouts of migrant children came from a local news story. Regardless of where migrant children may come from, The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Plyler v. Doe (1982) that the State cannot deny access to public education to a child on the basis of their citizenship status. The McKinney-Vento Act of 1987 is federal law that also speaks to the role of a public school system in educating unaccompanied youth, which includes migrant children. We will continue to uphold our duty to follow the law in providing a safe, welcoming environment for all children in Hamilton County."
Later Monday afternoon, Hamilton County school board members got into a heated discussion on the topic. See our report here.
The Biden Administration is wasting no time in working to promote highly controversial critical race theory and anti-racism concepts into curriculums nationwide.
A proposed rule from the U.S. Education Department seeks to prioritize funding grant proposals that support diversity and inclusion narratives within American History and Civics Education programs.
The department states on the Federal Register that such a move would “support the development of culturally responsive teaching.”
The department also justifies the proposed priority by citing COVID-19’s “disproportionate impact on communities of color” and “the ongoing national reckoning with systemic racism.”
The proposed priority would benefit “projects that incorporate racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse perspectives into teaching and learning.”
The proposed rule cites anti-racism Professor Ibram Kendi and the New York Times’ 1619 Project as positive examples of civics education:
… there is growing acknowledgement of the importance of including, in the teaching and learning of our country’s history, both the consequences of slavery, and the significant contributions of Black Americans to our society. This acknowledgement is reflected, for example, in the New York Times’ landmark “1619 Project” and in the resources of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History.
Accordingly, schools across the country are working to incorporate anti-racist practices into teaching and learning. As the scholar Ibram X. Kendi has expressed, “[a]n antiracist idea is any idea that suggests the racial groups are equals in all their apparent differences—that there is nothing right or wrong with any racial group. Antiracist ideas argue that racist policies are the cause of racial inequities.”
It is critical that the teaching of American history and civics creates learning experiences that validate and reflect the diversity, identities, histories, contributions, and experiences of all students.
Those seeking grants under this priority “must describe how its proposed project incorporates teaching and learning practices that take into account systemic marginalization, biases, inequities, and discriminatory policy and practice in American history,” the department states.
Those who wish to comment on this proposal may do so through May 19.
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Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix. She previously worked as a daily newspaper reporter and columnist for a decade in Southern California, and prior to that held editorial positions at The Weekly Standard, Washington Times and FrontPageMagazine. She is also a Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship recipient and has contributed to National Review.
Biden Set to Push Critical Race Theory on U.S. Schools
By STANLEY KURTZ
April 19, 2021 8:07 AM
The woke revolution in the classroom is about to go federal. In an early but revelatory move, President Biden’s Department of Education has signaled its intent to impose the most radical forms of Critical Race Theory on America’s schools, very much including the 1619 Project and the so-called anti-racism of Ibram X. Kendi. (Kendi’s “anti-racism” — which advocates a massive and indefinite expansion of reverse discrimination — is more like neo-racism.) Biden is obviously co-opting conservatives’ interest in reviving traditional U.S. history and civics to deliver its perfect opposite — federal imposition of the very ideas conservatives aim to combat.
Biden’s Department of Education has just released the text of a proposed new rule establishing priorities for grants in American History and Civics Education programs. That rule gives priority to grant “projects that incorporate racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse perspectives.” The rule goes on to cite and praise the New York Times’ “landmark” 1619 Project, as well as the work of Critical Race Theorist Kendi, as leading examples of the sort of ideas the Biden administration wants to spread.
The programs immediately targeted by Biden’s new priority criteria for American history and civics grants are small. Once in place, however, those criteria will undoubtedly influence the much larger and vastly more dangerous “Civics Secures Democracy Act.” That bill would appropriate $1 billion a year, for six years, for history and civic education. Support for leftist “action civics” is already written into the priority criteria of the bill itself. I have argued that additional anodyne-sounding priority criteria in the Civics Secures Democracy Act — criteria favoring grants targeted to “underserved” populations and the mitigation of various racial, ethnic, and linguistic achievement gaps — would be interpreted by the Biden administration as a green light to fund Critical Race Theory in the schools. The new draft federal rule for grant priority in American history and civics education makes it clear that this is indeed the Biden administration’s intent.
The Biden administration’s interest in pushing Critical Race Theory on America’s schools could already be gleaned from the president’s repeated endorsement of the notion that America is “systemically racist.” Biden’s statements to that effect are actually cited in the new federal rule. It’s of interest as well that the new rule explicitly endorses the wave of woke Critical Race Theory currently sweeping through America’s schools. Biden’s new American history and civics rule also expresses support for “Culturally Responsive Teaching,” the ultra-woke and utterly politicized pedagogy derived from Critical Race Theory that was recently imposed on teachers in Illinois.
At this point, the sprinkling of congressional Republicans and conservative education establishment figures who have foolishly bought into bogus “bipartisan” efforts to revive the teaching of American history and civics need to repudiate their misbegotten alliances. We needn’t wait to see how the Biden administration will implement federal efforts to support American history and civics. This new rule tells us all we need to know. We are set for a huge showdown over federal efforts to press leftist action civics and Critical Race Theory on the states. Here is what needs to be done.
Above all, the federal “Civics Secures Democracy Act” must be stopped. Just as a combination of Obama’s Race to the Top grant program and federal regulations managed to impose the abysmal Common Core standards in math and English on nearly every state, the Civics Secures Democracy Act is designed to impose leftist action civics and Critical Race Theory on even red states. The state-level grant money is large enough that the leftist education bureaucrats who dominate even in red states will have a clear field to apply for federal funding. If conservative governors push back against grants that commit an entire state’s education system to action civics and Critical Race Theory, they will be slammed by Democrats, the education establishment, and the media for refusing badly needed federal dollars. Former Texas governor Rick Perry managed to hold off Common Core by refusing to apply for Race to the Top grants, but he was mercilessly pummeled by critics for turning down that money. Few red-state politicians will have the guts to stand up to such pounding.
That is why it is urgently necessary for states to pass laws barring action civics and Critical Race Theory from the K-12 curriculum and teacher training. Without such laws in place, it will be almost impossible to resist the carrots and sticks soon to be deployed by the Biden Education Department with the aim of forcing action civics and Critical Race Theory onto America’s schools.
I have offered model state-level legislation published with the National Association of Scholars that would bar action civics and Critical Race Theory training for K-12 teachers. Some legislators in Texas have taken up that proposal and added a bar on Critical Race Theory in the K-12 curriculum.
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There are some legitimate concerns about barring the core ideas of Critical Race Theory from the K-12 curriculum. It is a mistake, however, to see such proposals as interfering with free speech or academic freedom. Barring advocacy of Critical Race Theory from courses in public universities would indeed violate academic freedom and freedom of speech. I oppose such state-level moves, although I do think it’s possible to bar Critical Race Theory-based training outside of the classroom for faculty, staff, and students at public universities. At the K-12 level, however, states and school districts enjoy considerable authority over curriculum. K-12 teachers have very limited free-speech rights when carrying out their classroom responsibilities, at which time they are rightly charged with teaching from the approved curriculum.
That is not to say that barring the advocacy of certain theories or ideas from the K-12 curriculum by state law is free of danger. For one thing, it’s important to give due deference to local control over curriculum. The best way to live with our differences is to keep curricular decisions at the local level to the greatest extent possible.
One of the problems with the new, ultra-woke Illinois teaching standards mentioned earlier is that they impose Chicago’s radicalism on conservative districts downstate. That speaks for local control. Yet the Illinois example cuts both ways. Given that state education bureaucrats have gone far beyond what state law actually authorizes and have cooked up an overreaching rule imposing Critical Race Theory on an entire state, it’s clear that legislatures across the country must now consider defensive measures lest state education bureaucrats (almost invariably far more left-leaning than voters) impose Critical Race Theory via statewide standards or regulations.
Another risk of barring certain concepts from the curriculum is that the prohibition could create martyrs; messy enforcement situations with he said/she said accusations between students, parents, and teachers; and a “banned in Boston” glow for ideas that are barred.
Against these risks, however, is the fact that we are talking about teaching young children to feel guilt and anguish simply because of the color of their skin. While I worry about the expansion and abuse of “hostile environment” law, forcing confessions of guilt based on skin color onto a captive audience of public school children really does seem to represent a hostile educational environment in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
And now, between the massive grant-giving machine authorized by the Civics Secures Democracy Act and the new federal rule boosting American history and civics grants that promote the most radical forms of Critical Race Theory, states would be foolish not to protect their schools from the coming onslaught. States must now adopt laws barring both action civics and Critical Race Theory from K-12 education. With the federal juggernaut bearing down, what choice do states have but to defend themselves?
U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters made a brief appearance Saturday night outside a police station in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, where crowds have gathered for seven consecutive nights to protest the shooting of Daunte Wright.
Wright was killed last Sunday by former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter, who has since been charged with manslaughter. Meanwhile, the murder trial of former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd is scheduled to hold closing arguments Monday.
If Chauvin isn’t convicted, then “we know we’ve got to not only stay in the street, but we’ve got to fight for justice,” Waters said.
“We’ve got to get more active. We’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business,” she added.
Waters was also asked for her thoughts on Brooklyn Center’s use of curfews amid the unrest.
“I don’t know what curfew means. Curfew means that I want y’all to stop talking. I want y’all to stop leading. I want y’all to stop gathering. I don’t agree with that,” she responded.
The California congresswoman said she has doubts about whether Congress will be able to pass police reform legislation because “the right wing, the racists are opposed to it.”
“But I know this: we’ve got to stay in the street and we’ve got to demand justice,” she continued.
Waters faced backlash in 2018 for making similar comments when she called for harassing Trump officials in public spaces.
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Anthony Gockowski is Editor-in-Chief of Alpha News. He previously worked as an editor for The Minnesota Sun and Campus Reform, and reported for The Daily Caller.
Photo “Maxine Waters” by Gage Skidmore CC 2.0.
Congressional Democrats have blocked a vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act more than 75 times in the past few years. Now, three Republican House members are seeking to force a vote on the bill.
The bill does not restrict abortion, but only requires medical professionals to provide a baby who survives an abortion with the same level of medical care as any other newborn child.
“The right to life is the most sacred, inalienable human right afforded to us in the United States,” Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla., said in a statement announcing a discharge petition for the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.
Cammack is expected to file the petition Wednesday afternoon with House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo.
A discharge petition is a procedural tactic that requires a minimum of 218 signatures from House members, a majority of the 435-member body, to force a vote on legislation.
The Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life nonprofit group based in Washington, applauded Cammack, Scalise, and Wagner’s effort to protect the lives of all newborn babies after Cammack announced the discharge petition effort.
“You would think *no one* would have a problem requiring health workers to provide medical care to a living, breathing infant born alive during an abortion attempt. You would be wrong,” the pro-life organization wrote on Twitter.
We must take a stand and tell her the American people want the Born-Alive Act passed and signed into law.
This should not be a matter up for debate, and I hope every member of Congress signs this petition so these basic rights are enshrined into law.
More than 70% of Americans support the Born-Alive Act, according to Wagner and Scalise, who have repeatedly called on their Democratic colleagues to take action on the bill.
Wagner and Scalise filed a discharge petition for the measure during the previous Congress. The filing received more signatures within 24 hours than any other discharge petition to date.
Every House Republican, along with three Democrats, signed the petition. However, none of the Democrats who signed the petition in 2019—Reps. Daniel Lipinski of Illinois, Ben McAdams of Utah, and Collin Peterson of Minnesota—is still in office.
The discharge petition won’t expire during the 117th Congress. If the petition receives the required 218 signatures, whether this year or next, the Born-Alive Act would move to the floor for a vote. The petition will need all 211 Republicans to sign it, plus the signatures of seven Democrats, to reach the House floor.
“Last Congress, Speaker Pelosi directed her radical caucus to block the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act more than 75 times,” Scalise said in a statement.
“Why are House Democrats refusing to allow a vote on this commonsense legislation that will save lives?” Scalise asked, adding that the “American people deserve to know where their representatives stand on taking steps to end infanticide.”
In addition to requiring babies born during a botched abortion to receive the same level of care as any other newborn, the Born-Alive Act also requires health care professionals to report any violations of the bill to law enforcement and penalizes the killing of a baby born alive with penalties of up to five years in prison.
The bill also protects the mother of the child by giving her a civil cause of action and shielding her from prosecution for the death of a baby born alive after an abortion.
“Providing a living newborn baby with proper medical care—regardless of the circumstances of his or her birth—should not be remotely controversial,” Melanie Israel, a research associate at The Heritage Foundation’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, told The Daily Signal. The Daily Signal is the multimedia news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.
“The vast majority of Americans support the goal of the Born-Alive bill. The abortion lobby is the radical outlier, and policymakers should listen to the American people they represent,” Israel said. “Protecting born-alive babies is a matter of fundamental human decency.”
Biden's American Jobs Plan could cost taxpayers about $666,000 per job created
The Washington Post gave Biden "two Pinocchios" for claiming the American Jobs Plan, his infrastructure and jobs proposal, will create 19 million jobs.
President Joe Biden's proposed $2 trillion American Jobs Plan could end up costing taxpayers more than $666,666 per job created.
The Washington Post gave Biden "two Pinocchios" for saying the American Jobs Plan, his infrastructure and jobs proposal, will create 19 million jobs. Both Biden and his Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg have made the 19 million jobs claim. The source of the statement is a Moody's analysis, which CNN pointed out had estimated the U.S. economy would add about "16.3 million jobs over the same period if the infrastructure proposal does not get passed."
Subtracting Moody's 16.3 million figure from Biden's 19 million projection would equal 2.7 million net jobs created by the infrastructure plan. Rounding up to 3 million jobs and dividing by $2 trillion equals $666,000 per job. If the jobs plan leads to 2.7 million jobs created, the cost to taxpayers would be $740,740.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that House Democrats hope to draft the formal legislation for the American Jobs Plan by May and finalize it by July 4. The White House fact sheet about the plan includes a description of key parts of the proposal but does not list the specific infrastructure projects the bill would fund.
Democrats are considering using budget reconciliation to move the bill through Congress to avoid the filibuster in the Senate. Democrats used that strategy for the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that Biden signed last month.
"We have this bill that we hope we can do, especially, the infrastructure bill," Pelosi said on Thursday. "It has always been bipartisan. We will do so in a bipartisan way. If we have to go to reconciliation, that is a lever, but I hope it is not something we need to do."
Biden oversaw the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009. The Obama administration estimated that the bill would "create or save" 3.5 million jobs by the end of 2009. Politifact rated former President Obama's claim in May 2009 that the bill "saved or created" 150,000 jobs as "mostly false."
At the time, Republicans as well as some political and economic analysts argued that it was difficult to measure how many jobs a piece of legislation could "save." In the end, the Congressional Budget Office estimated in November 2010 that the number of saved or created jobs fell somewhere between 1.4 million and 3.6 million.
When you're in a war, it really helps to know who the enemy is. You want the enemy to expend his ammunition and soldiers to reduce your opposition. You don't want to do his job for him, now do you?
Too many of us seem to be acting as unpaid mercenaries of big media, big government and big tech. They throw a small piece of rotten meat off the table and onto the dirt, and we all begin attacking the people on the other side of it. The opposition, who tossed the morsel out there, go unnoticed.
That's not a victory strategy, folks.
The real war – whether we know it or not – is between God's truth and Satan's lies. Satan's lies have brought America to the brink of self-inflicted extinction. Almost nothing that is being argued about in the news stream is a federal government function! Government, education, church, business, technology, entertainment … all have embraced Satan's lies about humanity and the rest of God's Creation. That's what they are fighting about.
If you're identifying enemy combatants directed by someone Jesus called "the Father of lies," you just may be part of the problem. Having embraced the enemy's truths, the secular world (godless world) has spent generations banishing God's truth from the public square. Perhaps that is why Satan's lies are so popular: They have no competition in the public arena.
Sure, you can worship inside your church building. Until you can't.
Real Christianity ran afoul of the fact checkers in the church long before it ran afoul of the social media thought police, the deplatforming demons and big tech overlords. For these people, the power of the Cross isn't simply a cultural sensitivity or insensitivity issue they would like to avoid.
The power of the Cross is an abject terror they must do away with, once and for all. Why? Because the Cross continues to salvage humanity, one broken soul at a time, when nothing else works. Those salvaged by Christ on the Cross are the "woke" humanity the politically corrupt, billionaire backroom business puppets and interfaith impostures fear more than anything else in heaven or on earth. Funny, though; it's only the "Christianity" part of the interfaith movement that seems to rile them.
We must realize that much of the church also fears the Cross. The Cross rises up against many churches' watered down theologies, their powerless, feel-good sermons, and their collection plate mentality. "Give us your money. We'll do good in your name. Then you will have treasure in heaven."
Thanks, but I already have treasure in heaven. That's not because of what I've given, but who I am. And who I am is entirely because of the Cross. Jesus' birth, life, death on the Cross and his Resurrection didn't just give me a reserved parking spot in the good place, or save me from a car fire in the bad place. It gave me what humanity had at the very beginning: an intimate relationship with the Creator God.
We celebrate the Resurrection as Easter, and rightfully so. But what Jesus did on the Cross went further. It went all the way back to the beginning. Christ on the Cross restored my relationship with God as His Child, as it was in the beginning, when God walked and talked with the man and the woman in the Garden. It takes us back before the Fall of man, during which we handed over the world to Satan. That's why God asked Eve, "What is this that thou hast done?" (Genesis 3:13) He was looking at what was to come.
We went from being children to living as outcasts from heaven. Perhaps the easiest way to look at the whole of it is that Jesus' death and resurrection went all the way back to the beginning: It restored our broken childhood with God.
Many Christians are waiting for God's judgment and rage to be poured out on an evil and disobedient world. I get that. Some, however, are waiting for the greatest outpouring of God's grace in the history of the world, the time that He welcomes many prodigal sons and daughters home. You're welcome to believe either ending, or something different still.
I just find myself wondering if maybe it's not all about America, but that perhaps America is all about the rest of the world. Maybe that's why Satan's soldiers are fighting so hard right now. Maybe in God's mind, "destiny" applies not only to individuals, but to nations as well. "Go therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19). I don't think the "great reset" and the new world order it is to usher in are the discipleship and baptism that God has in mind for the world.
Conservatives often speak of Judeo-Christian values and how the current civil war in the United States and the rest of the West is essentially a battle between those values and the left, which rejects Judeo-Christian values.
They are right.
But they rarely explain what Judeo-Christian values are. Yet, without an explanation, mentioning Judeo-Christian values is useless.
So, let me do that now.
First, a word about the term. Some Jews and Christians find the term confusing, if not objectionable, since Judaism and Christianity have different theologies. But no one speaks of Judeo-Christian theology, only of Judeo-Christian values.
Judeo-Christian values are essentially another term for biblical values. Judaism and Christianity are both based on the Old Testament – its God, its Ten Commandments, its admonition to love one's neighbor as oneself, to love God, to lead a holy life, etc. Christians also believe in the New Testament, but only an opponent of Christianity would argue that the New Testament negates the values of the Old.
Here they are:
1. Objective moral standards come from God. As I have written and spoken about in a PragerU video and elsewhere, if there is no God who declares murder wrong, murder can be subjectively wrong but not objectively wrong. So, while there can certainly be nonbelievers who hold murder, stealing and other actions wrong, without God, those are opinions, not moral facts. Without the God of the Bible, there are no moral facts.
2. God judges our behavior, and we are therefore accountable to God for our behavior. Outside of a religious worldview, there is no higher being to whom we are morally accountable.
3. Just as morality derives from God, so do rights. All men "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights," declares the Declaration of Independence.
4. The human being is uniquely precious. While the Bible repeatedly forbids cruel behavior to animals (cutting or tearing off the limb of a living animal to eat it as a means of preserving the rest of the animal, not allowing an animal a day of rest, not allowing an animal to eat while working in the field), only human beings are created in God's image.
5. The world is based on a divine order, meaning divinely ordained distinctions. Among these divine distinctions are: God and man, man and woman, human and animal, good and evil, and nature and God.
6. Human beings are not basically good. Therefore, the most important moral endeavor is making good people. Religious Jews and Christians understand that the greatest battle in life is with one's nature. For the opponents of Judeo-Christian values, the greatest moral battle is not with one's nature; it is with society (specifically, American society).
7. Precisely because we are not basically good, we must not trust our hearts to lead us to proper behavior. The road to hell is paved with good hearts. Feelings make us human, but they cannot direct our lives. This alone divides the Bible-based from those on the left.
8. All human beings are created in God's image. Therefore, race is of no significance. We all emanate from Adam and Eve, whose race is never mentioned. That many religious people held racist views only testifies to the almost infinite ability of people to distort what is good.
9. Fear God, not man. Fear of God is a foundation of morality. In the book of Exodus, Egyptian midwives were ordered by the Pharaoh to kill all newborn Hebrew boys. They disobeyed the divine king of Egypt. Why? Because "the midwives feared God." In America today, more people fear the print, electronic and social media than fear God.
10. Human beings have free will. In the secular world, there is no free will because all human behavior is attributed to genes and environment. Only a religious worldview, which posits the existence of a divine soul – something independent of genes and environment – allows for free will.
11. Liberty. America was founded on the belief that God wants us to be free. On the Liberty Bell is inscribed just one thing (aside from the name of the company that manufactured the bell). It is a verse from the Bible: "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof." The current assaults on personal liberty – unprecedented in American history – emanate from those who reject the Bible as their moral guide (including more than a few Jews and Christians who have joined the assault, having been indoctrinated with anti-religious views in high school and college).
When Judeo-Christian principles are abandoned, evil eventually ensues. One doesn't have to be a believer to acknowledge this. Many secular conservatives recognize that the end of religion in the West leads to moral chaos – which is exactly what we are witnessing today and exactly what we witnessed in Europe last century. When Christianity died in Europe, we got communism, fascism and Nazism. What will we get in America if Christianity and Judeo-Christian values die?
My daughter had a friend over this week whose parents just took her out of public school for homeschooling, and my neighbor recently unenrolled her child from public school to homeschool for the rest of the academic year. These families are much more than local anecdotes—they are representative of a national trend.
New Census Bureau data show that 11.1 percent of K-12 students are now being independently homeschooled. This is a large uptick from 5.4 percent at the start of the school shutdowns last spring, and 3.3 percent in the years preceding the pandemic.
These new homeschooling families are also reflective of surging homeschooling numbers in certain parts of the country. Here in the Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH area designated by the Census, homeschooling increased from 0.9 percent last April-May to 8.9 percent in September-October. In Massachusetts more generally, the homeschooling rate soared from 1.5 percent in the spring of 2020 to 12.1 percent last fall.
In its Household Pulse Survey, the Census Bureau counted homeschoolers as students whose parents had officially removed them from a school or never enrolled them to begin with. This distinguishes independent homeschoolers from the millions of students doing home-based remote schooling during the pandemic response.
In addition to massive overall growth in homeschooling, the survey results also revealed increasing homeschooling rates across all races and ethnicities.
While the homeschooling population has become more demographically diverse over the past decade, the Census Bureau found that the number of black homeschoolers increased nearly fivefold between spring and fall of 2020, from 3.3 percent to 16.1 percent. This black homeschooling rate is slightly higher than the approximately 15 percent of black students in the overall K-12 public school population.
The new Census data confirm what previous surveys have shown while also suggesting a tripling of the homeschooling population from its pre-pandemic levels.
In August, Gallup reported that 10 percent of families expected to homeschool their children this academic year. And in November, Education Weekestimated the number of current homeschoolers at nine percent. Prior to the pandemic, approximately 1.7 million students were homeschooled, according to the most recent federal data from 2016. The Census data now puts that number at over 5 million homeschooled students, which is comparable to the number of K-12 students typically enrolled in private schools.
This year’s new homeschoolers are also more likely to come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. The Education Week survey last fall found that more lower-income families were choosing homeschooling during the pandemic response than higher-income families, challenging the myth that homeschooling families are more affluent than others. The New York Times pointed out this myth in July, explaining that “the population of home-schoolers — before the pandemic — was less affluent than average.”
Despite this evidence to the contrary, critics continue to assert that it’s affluent parents who are pulling their children from school for homeschooling, or gathering together with other families to create “learning pods.” These pods emerged last summer, as parents sought creative ways to provide safe social interaction for their children. Pods created an engaging learning environment that included parents rotating homes and taking turns teaching, or collaborating to hire an educator to facilitate a curriculum.
A modern twist on time-honored homeschool co-ops, learning pods can be a low-cost schooling alternative for many families.
For Allison Fried in Fairfax, Virginia the private homeschooling learning pod she organized in her home’s basement with five other families has been “amazing”—and much less expensive than her child’s previous preschool.
“The cost per family and what we would be paying out of pocket was literally 50% of what we were paying the year before for private preschool,” she recently told Marketplace. Her pod costs $1,000 a month per family for the teacher, learning supplies, and cleaning.
These homeschooling learning pods are an innovative, parent-driven response to pandemic policies and school closures. They are an ideal example of spontaneous, decentralized, free-market education solutions that meet current demand. They involve free people coming together in a process of voluntary association and exchange to provide value that benefits everyone involved in the arrangement.
Exasperatingly, many states were quick to slap on regulations that curtailed or prevented these small enterprises. Some states required the pods to be registered with government officials and limited their size and scope. Some required pods to be fully licensed as daycare providers. Others forbade pods from collecting fees.
Policymakers are starting to push back against these regulations. In Pennsylvania, a comprehensive school choice bill is making its way to the legislature that, among other things, protects learning pods throughout the state. Specifically, the bill would “exempt Learning Pods from state, local, and district regulatory activity,” and make certain that parents and children who participate in learning pods “are not subject to undue surveillance, reporting, regulatory demands or harassment.”
“Parents will go to great lengths to get their children the best education possible,” says Colleen Hroncich, a senior policy analyst at the Commonwealth Foundation in Pennsylvania. “With around 86% of Pennsylvania districts still hybrid or fully remote, learning pods have been a life saver for many families. Parents should not need permission from the state to get together to improve their children’s academic or social experiences.”
Learning pods and other examples of education entrepreneurship should be cheered and championed. We should encourage more visionary parents and educators to design new learning models that provide alternatives to our entrenched and outdated government-controlled education system. When free from the fetters of government oversight and regulation and guided by the free market, these innovators will build educational solutions that are better, cheaper, more creative, more personalized, and more successful than coercive government schooling.
FEE’s founder, Leonard Read, predicted what would happen in a free market in education, with parents empowered to guide their children’s education and innovative entrepreneurs free to serve both parents and children. Writing in 1964, before the rise of the modern homeschooling movement, Read said:
“While one cannot know of the brilliant steps that would be taken by millions of education-conscious parents were they and not the government to have the educational responsibility, one can imagine the great variety of cooperative and private enterprises that would emerge. There would be thousands of private schools, large and small, not necessarily unlike some of the ones we now have. There would be tutoring arrangements of a variety and ingenuity impossible to foresee. No doubt there would be corporate and charitably financed institutions of chain store dimensions, dispensing reading, writing, and arithmetic at bargain prices. There would be competition, which is cooperation’s most useful tool! There would be a parental alertness as to what the market would have to offer. There would be a keen, active, parental responsibility for their children’s and their own educational growth.”
Today’s learning pods and diverse homeschooling approaches show how such an uplifting vision could come true, especially if the government would get out of the way.
Rising homeschooling rates and innovative learning models have been bright spots in an otherwise bleak year.
Parents and educators responded to school shutdowns and related pandemic policies with individual effort and ingenuity. With many schools still closed this spring, and the strong probability that remote schooling will continue into next fall in many districts, homeschooling rates are likely to remain high. Once they experience the full freedom and flexibility of homeschooling, many parents and children won’t ever want to return to a coercive classroom.