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Christian group plans ‘revival’ to protest ‘toxic evangelicalism’

An old-fashioned revival-style tent. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

(RNS) — A group of progressive evangelicals and other Christians are planning a “revival” this spring to protest “toxic evangelicalism” and evangelical leaders such as Jerry Falwell Jr. who support President Trump.

Christian author and activist Shane Claiborne announced the event on Twitter Wednesday (Feb. 7), saying he and others plan to host a “Red Letter Revival” on April 6-7 in Lynchburg, Va. — the same city where Liberty University, a conservative Christian school led by Falwell, is located.

Claiborne, co-director of the progressive Christian group Red Letter Christians, told Religion News Service he’s heard Liberty students say they want their school “to be known for its love for Jesus (rather) than its love for Trump.”

Specifics for the event remain tentative, but he said the program would begin that Friday with a “three-hour hype-filled, fiery, beautiful worship (service with) preaching.” The next day would include “a whole bunch of different breakout sessions and music” and conclude with “another big service” Saturday evening — including a “call to action.”

“Gonna be epic,” tweeted Claiborne.

A separate statement emailed to RNS by a Red Letter Christians official did not mention Falwell or Trump by name but highlighted the target audience for the event.

“In word, worship and witness, this ‘revival of Jesus and Justice’ will stand in stark contrast to the distorted Christian nationalism that many white evangelical leaders have become known for,” the statement reads in part. “It is a gathering for people of faith or no faith who are curious about Jesus and troubled by the state of evangelicalism in America.”

President Trump, left, sits before delivering the keynote address at Liberty University’s commencement in Lynchburg, Va., on May 13, 2017. Seated on the right is Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. Photo by Yuri Gripas/Reuters

It was not immediately clear what the “call to action” Claiborne mentioned would be, but the announcement comes as tensions continue to escalate between Falwell and more progressive Christians deeply critical of his steadfast support for Trump.

In an action Liberty officials defended as an attempt to maintain “safety and security,” evangelical speaker Jonathan Martin was removed from the campus when he visited to attend a concert in October shortly after calling for a peaceful protest of the school. Days later, Claiborne and others published an open letter in November challenging Falwell to a religious debate and accusing him of contributing to a conflation of the “Lord’s gospel” and “the religion of white supremacy.”


READ: Why we banned Jonathan Martin from Liberty University


Falwell, for his part, has ardently defended Trump since 2016, calling him a “dream president” for evangelicals. More than 80 percent of white evangelicals voted for Trump, and many consider him a champion of their values, including their opposition to abortion. In 2017, when the president was embroiled in controversy for saying that blame for the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va., fell on “both sides” — meaning white supremacists and counterprotesters — Falwell declared that “President Donald Trump does not have a racist bone in his body.” In January, when allegations surfaced that Trump had an extramarital affair in 2006 with a porn star and paid her to keep quiet, Falwell told CNN “we are all equally bad, we are all sinners.”

He has also drawn a distinction between what he believes is a Christian’s personal responsibility and the responsibility of government, tweeting last month that “Jesus said love our neighbors as ourselves but never told Caesar how to run Rome.”

Claiborne did not offer any official statement about whether attendees will directly confront Liberty officials during the revival, but the outspoken author is no stranger to dramatic demonstrations. For instance, he was arrested in December for participating in a prayer-based protest in Washington, D.C., to express support for legislation that would protect immigrants who were brought to the United States by their parents when they were children.

Other faith leaders critical of Falwell are also scheduled to be part of the revival. Claiborne said the festivities will include an address by the Rev. William Barber II, a leading figure in the religious left and organizer of the Moral Mondays movement in North Carolina. Barber co-signed the letter calling for a debate with Falwell, and has repeatedly criticized prominent evangelicals who support Trump.

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. speaks during the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 21, 2016. Photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

Although the event is being held near Liberty University, Claiborne said: “We’re not there to vilify Jerry Falwell (Jr.), we’re there to lift up Jesus — and that itself is the critique of toxic evangelicalism.” Still, Claiborne acknowledged the impetus for the event is partly rooted in criticism of Liberty — including by Liberty students and alumni frustrated by the perception that the school inherently supports the president, its commencement speaker last May.

Claiborne was quick to note that the event is being organized in cooperation with local Lynchburg clergy, two of whom are mentioned in the news release. He also hinted at possible participation by unnamed students and faculty at Liberty.

“(We are) building on some of the movement locally and different leaders there,” he said. “We really don’t want it to be just outside people coming in.”

The Red Letter Christians statement names other leaders expected to attend, including author and pastor Tony Campolo, also of Red Letter Christians; author Lisa Sharon Harper, founder of Freedom Road; the Rev. Brenda Brown-Grooms, pastor of New Beginnings Christian Community and minister with the Charlottesville Clergy Collective; and the Rev. S. Todd Yeary, pastor of Douglas Memorial Community Church in Baltimore and political action chair of the Maryland State Conference NAACP.

Shane Claiborne of Red Letter Christians. Image courtesy of Shane Claiborne

Claiborne said organizers are also reaching out to several musicians to ask about their participation, such as Jon Foreman of the band Switchfoot and Christian hip-hop artists Lecrae and Micah Bournes.

He said he hopes the result will lift up a different evangelical voice than that of Falwell and others.

“When evangelicals have lost our focus on Jesus, we end up talking a lot about things Jesus didn’t talk about and a lot of things … and supporting things that are a direct contradiction to Matthew 25,” he said, referencing Jesus’ call to help the vulnerable in the Bible.

Liberty University did not immediately return a request for comment on this story.

About the author

Jack Jenkins

Jack Jenkins is a national reporter for RNS based in Washington, covering U.S. Catholics and the intersection of religion and politics.

62 Comments

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  • Any time religious leaders seek to curry the favor of the political rulers, the religion quickly becomes corrupted looses its moral authority. This was true throughout Europe since the fourth century, Latin America, and beyond.

  • Within the Christian community are a wide range of views. Unfortunately, progressive Christians seem to get little traction in the media and certainly none on Capitol Hill. Perhaps this meeting will be the start of a new awareness.

  • God is just a concept and the definitions of God can be traced from different ages, when religions were being scripted, in different time zones, by different writers, with different mindsets, using different languages, under different geographical locations, and different ideological influences, and different cultures, creating a variety of beliefs in the understanding and stories about the concept of God, and imaginative writers of a biography of a being, with super natural and magical qualities.

  • Jerry Falwell, Jr.: “Jesus said love our neighbors as ourselves but never told Caesar how to run Rome.”

    Well then. Stop trying to get the government to ban abortions. It you don’t want to be involved in abortions, don’t get a woman pregnant unless you have agreed with that woman that you will support any child that results until he/she is through college and will support the mother during pregnancy and until she can get a job that pays a living wage. Well, actually, it doesn’t even have to be an agreement. It just has to be a rule – any man who gets a woman pregnant is responsible for providing for that child until adulthood is reached.

    Don’t like that? Keep your mouth shut about what government does. All I want to do is level the playing field. If you insist on no abortions, then insist on men being responsible for every pregnancy that results from their seed. Easy.

    Or, rather than that ridiculous quote, do you really mean that government should reflect the values of the people governed? If so, please recognize that there is still a majority who want abortion to remain legal, at least in the first trimester of a pregnancy. Support that and then lets have a real discussion about how to draw lines around later abortions.

  • ““Jesus said love our neighbors as ourselves but never told Caesar how to run Rome.”
    And yet, that is exactly what you and your ilk have been doing ever since anita Bryant raised her well-coiffed reptilian snout above the stink of a florida swamp 40 years ago.
    Never move your lips, Jer. People might think you’re lying.

  • ““three-hour hype-filled, fiery, beautiful worship (service with) preaching.””

    Yikes.

  • The media prefers to cover the hateful groups like Falwell. Not much footage of people just being..nice.

    #SadButTrue

  • Excellent! It should be increasingly obvious that the Falwell/Robertson sort of evangelicalism is a disgrace to Christianity and a danger to our country, especially as it is being exploited by Trump and his minions. — Edd Doerr

  • Also, we need to see an end to the Trump/DeVos/Pence campaign to wreck public education and divert public funds to sectarian private schools through vouchers and other gimmicks. — Edd Doerr

  • Absolutely right. Public schools need to be supported as the assurance to all parents that their children can get a good basic education. I do not want my tax dollars supporting a religious school. When we do that, we undermine public support.

    The Republican congress is considering changes to the Education Act which would allow religious schools to discriminate against individuals for just about any reason, as long as they could claim it was based on their religion. They would require public universities to recognize any religious based “club” that sought recognition – even if they discriminated in their bylaws. This is a huge unraveling of so much work that has gone on to be sure our public institutions, or those that are supported with public funds, do not discriminate.

    What next – The Evangelical Christian Nazi Association primary school to be funded with tax payers vouchers?????

  • Focusing on people saying crazy or controversial things is what the media is good at. Christians doing kind, normal, and good things (and it’s not just progressive Christians who do kind, normal and good things) aren’t featured in news stories, understandably. So unfortunately, the face of Christianity that people see is people like Falwell.

  • So start your own liberal / skeptic religious university, and succeed as well as the Bible-believing Liberty University has done. Hmm?

  • Jesus never said that government should extort money from the people to pay for programs the taxpayers are opposed to. That just isn’t right.

  • What? You secular humanists are so boring and bland, your platitudes and speeches so lifeless and vanilla, it’s no wonder that the masses would rather sit down to three straight hours of “fiery worship and preaching” from us Christians.

    Humanists just **wish** they had some absolute incendiary fire in their worldview-deprived bellies. So attend Liberty University and see how to get some combustibles in you, for a change.

  • No, brother Shane Claiborne and all you “Red Letter [Christian] Revival”-ists out there. “Matthew 25” isn’t “Jesus’ call to help the vulnerable”; are you kidding me? It’s about heaven & hell, ‘yo! Now that’s “gonna be epic”, indeed!

  • If the goal is to provide a good basic education, the proper role of the state is to license schools, set standards, and perhaps outline a basic curriculum.

    ” I do not want my tax dollars supporting a religious school.” would indicate that the goal is to ensure that a good basic education excludes religion, probably a religion that you do not care for and don’t want to drop the charade by naming it.

    What is unraveling support for public schools is that they too often suck big time, are highly politicized, do a crummy job of protecting children, often advance a political agenda, have created a vast bureaucracy whose primary job seems to be to perpetuate itself, and have provided teacher unions a vast supply of political clout.

    In short providing a good basic education got lost in the shuffle.

    Power to the people – vouchers are the solution.

  • If you want a level playing field, you’ll drop “(s)top trying to get the government to ban abortions”.

  • “You secular humanists are so boring and bland,”

    Don’t guess..let’s party. I guarantee we’d have a good time!

    “Your platitudes and speeches so lifeless and vanilla..”

    You obviously have never heard me speak. I’d have you applauding in 15 minutes… I’d have you out of there and partying in 1 hour.

    ” it’s no wonder that the masses would rather sit down to three straight hours of “fiery worship and preaching” from us Christians.”

    Yeah. That must be why regular weekly church attendance is at al all time LOW. Right?

    “Humanists just **wish** they had some absolute incendiary fire in their worldview-deprived bellies.”

    Given the great need to make the world a more humane, less hate-filled place..I have plenty of fire, junior! 🙂

    “So attend Liberty University and see how to get some combustibles in you, for a change.”

    Ahhh welcome to the forum, Dr. Falwell! I like your attempt at viral marketing!

  • Private education has no place in a democracy, in fact it is a clear & present danger to freedom & democracy.

  • To the contrary, ONLY private education should have a place in a democracy, and compulsory public education belongs to totalitarian regimes like North Korea.

  • That’s probably superior to being held hostage to something below your belt.

    What’s Ojibwe for “bitter old man”?

  • One of the first things pioneer families did once they had several families fairly close by was to create a school for their children.

    Community provided schools are how education spread throughout this country. I don’t think privatizing schools is going to do anything but leave the poorest with the worst schools. I think it is fine to have private schools, but I think every family in a community should support public education through taxes. If they send their kids to a private school, it just costs them extra and they have to pay that.

    No, a good basic education does not exclude religion, but it treats it as an element of society and teaches kids about all major religions around the world. Where they started, who the major figures in that religion are, where they are prominent, and even basic principles of the faith as those principles compare and contrast with other belief systems.

  • Hey! It was Falwell who said “Jesus said love our neighbors as ourselves but never told Caesar how to run Rome.”

    Maybe Falwell should follow his own advice.

  • No, people who don’t believe that minorities also have rights, that would be your ilk.

    People who don’t believe that people deserve respect and participation in society, not exclusion based upon arbitrary prejudices and false beliefs. That would be your ilk.

    People who do believethe might makes right. That would be your ilk.

  • People who believe in government of the people, by the people, for the people you mean.

    What rights do kleptomaniacs have?

    Why?

    Is 2,500 years of constant belief “arbitrary prejudices and false beliefs”?

    Are five elitists led by Justice Anthony “sweet mystery of life” Kennedy an example of might makes right?

    You got yours, the rest is straw.

  • We can see how well that worked in Germany 1933-45, and in North Korea.

    Jesus did not vote. Americans do. We ARE Caesar.

  • The earliest schools were all religious, even if paid for by the community. The push-back began when Catholics started schools, which lead to the No Nothings and the Blaine Amendments.

    The schools reported to the parents, not to a school board, who hired and fired teachers, not negotiated with teachers unions. The public schools included Bible study.

    If you want public education, the solution is decide how much should be put into education per student, and let the parents choose where they spend it. The children are theirs, not the state’s.

    The current system has become a catastrophe, a political football, and is anything but public. It is a multi-layered bureaucracy over which the only power parents have is veto power by pulling their children out and sending them to private schools. It is a social engineering experiment gone awry.

    The current system is opposed to every decent American value, including parental rights, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, diversity, independence, and responsibility.

  • For a man that is constantly reminding everyone that he is really the smartest person in the room, you certainly have some odd ideas. Well, wrong ideas.

    The constitution is the law of the land. It achieves its authority through the consent of the governed. But it is the law, not the people. Or, as you would say, not the WRONG people.

    What rights for kleptomaniacs? The right a fair trial, done according to due process, with usually a jury of their peers. And a few others.

    Why? Because it’s in the constitution, Silly. What you really want to say is that gay people ought not to have any rights, thus denying us what you would give to a kleptomaniac. But really, that isn’t working any more, as people see you and your ilk for who you are.

    Yes. Just as was 3000 years of chattel law for women, 1900 years of officially church sanctioned antisemitism, and centuries of anti Muslim and anti black prejudice. Smart people don’t appeal to tradition for their authority.

    The best one is the five elitists. Translation: you lost, and you are ever so pissed. Who would have thought that the people you despise, if not outright hate so much, would ever be considered your Equals?

    Yes, I do have mine. And society is better for it, as are the lives of millions of gay people. I sincerely rejoice in your weeping, your wailing, and your gnashing of teeth that you no longer have the legal imprimatur to make the lives of gay people as difficult, dangerous, expensive, and unpleasant as possible.

    Tough scheiss.

  • The parents were the school board. As more people moved into an area the relationship between the teachers and the “community” became more formalized under elected officials or those appointed by elected officials. It is called oversight – something I firmly believe in.

  • You calling Falwell a Nazi?

    Yes. We are Caesar. As such, we try to organize community services that support the goals of the community – like schools, clean water, sewer systems, protective services like police, we have laws to protect orphaned children, laws to assure all citizens are treated fairly and equally. As primarily a Christian nation – or people of a faith who do believe we are all brothers and sisters since we are all children of God – we have also incorporated concern for the poor, the old, the ill, etc. into the actions of our various levels of government.

    I see the development of these kinds of services in many European countries as a sign of the incorporation of Christian belief deeply into the way the societies function. It doesn’t take private charity to build hospitals if the community joins together to do it, make it one of the services the community creates for the good of all in the community – like public schools.

  • I am actually a man that for some reason you’re constantly saying is constantly reminding everyone that he is really the smartest person in the room. I assume this is related to your own impression that you’re not the smartest man in the room.

    Here is the opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. (2015):

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-556_3204.pdf

    Find the citation to the Constitution which supports the opinion. We can wait.

    No matter. Whether it cites the Constitution, or the ingredients on a box of Cheerios, the opinion is adhered to by those who believe we’re a country of laws, not men, not five men and women, because the alternative is worse.

    Solution? Fortunately there is an amendment process, and when the Court begins issuing edicts rather than opinions and the governed don’t consent, they can fix it.

    Kleptomaniacs have every right the rest of us have. Their ability to act on their natural impulses, however, is restricted. That is the very nature of law.

    Were what is natural the same as what is moral and thus legal, hardware stores would be selling security devices for everything portable and beautiful females would be in hiding. But kleptomaniacs don’t have a well-funded lobby or the ACLU on their side.

    Wrapping your particular inclination in women’s rights, the civil rights movement, and so on pretends that it is alike in kind. But it is not. That is the propaganda campaign. It has been less than totally successful, and black America among others has rejected it.

    Like the Dred Scott decision Obergefell v. Hodges appears to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Kennedy’s reasoning, as Scalia wrote, had the Court “descend from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.”

    Kennedy, who like his predecessor Harry Blackmun does believe himself to be the smartest man in the room, used the 14th amendment in a way – like Blackmun – that not only allowed him to coin a new “right” out of thin air, successors will be able to use it coin “rights” at will overriding local, state, and federal laws to suit whatever they believe is best.

    Since the Court can’t seem to keep its hands to itself and restrict itself to matters that are actually in the Constitution, the solution is to tie its hands, not just for this purpose, but for every purpose that belongs in the hands of the states and/or the people.

    Your song about “the people you despise, if not outright hate so much” is just that. Opposing your position does not, as you, Lindsey, zaagitoon and so on like to pose and portray constitute hate. Yes, saying that ties getting what you want with the civil rights movement. It’s a baseless propaganda tool.

    Every parent is used to it: “If you really loved me you’d give me X”; “If you don’t give me Y, you hate me”.

    For real hate I always recommend folks stop over at JoeMyGod and watch the dance of the pagans over Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, particularly the part about making those hated “Christianists” genuflect at the altar of “do what I say” sans pretensions about “rights”.

    Btw, your beloved American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) urged the Supreme Court to reject hearing that appeal, since it has made it clear it is only concerned about some people’s rights, not the Bill of Rights per se. It does know who pays the bills.

    If, as you like to suggest, nobody cares, if the majority of the American people are okay with turning things over to five elitists, you have nothing to worry about.

    If, however, the last presidential election is a harbinger of what is to come as a people who’ve had enough take their government back, tough scheiss und Dann viel Glück dabei.

    Have a nice day.

  • I am suggesting you’re unaware of the lessons of history and as a result are inadvertently advocating totalitarianism.

    Wrapping your spiel about public schools in some feel good blather about “concern for the poor, the old, the ill, etc. into the actions of our various levels of government” does not advance your position.

    It’s odd that you see the development of these kinds of services in many European countries as a sign of the incorporation of Christian belief deeply into the way the societies function when these same countries have relatively few religious adherents, favor abortion, and otherwise make it clear that it is all about this world and getting what you want in this life.

  • And then the courts moved in, and the unions, and the ideologues, and the professional educators, and the community got pushed out of the way. It is called a bureaucracy and like all bureaucracies its primary goal is to self-perpetuate and disregard public input.

    Public schools have become the problem, not the solution.

  • I must have touched a Nerve. Good.

    I don’t claim to be the smartest person in thE room. Thanks all you and your fellow wingers. I also don’t assume “you’re an idiot” is a refutation. Again that’s all you.

    All I need to find in the constitution is that the Supreme Court defines what’s constitutional. Sorry you have a problem with that.

    Your whole position regarding gay people— that we are a harm and a threat and dangerous— is simply an opinion that is informed not by fact or anything else, but by fear, ignorance, and bigotry— a bigotry that goes back a few thousand years. My natural impulses harm no one, affect no one. I am a tax paying, law abiding, contributing member of society. I’m not sorry that it gets your theocratic panties into a thoroughly uncomfortable twist,

    Bigotry against gay people. However, does harm society, individuals, families, and is now harming the churches as well. And as I said, which you, smarty pants, ignored, is NOT ALL BIGOTRY IS HATE. despite is a good word. Your imaginary superiority is another good word. What I don’t understand is why you just refuse to own what so clearly applies to you. That you can’t see that it is very much a matter of civi rights is not my problem.

    But then, you are not really a conservative, but a hyper religious hyper reactionary. You really hate it that the world no longer conforms to your beliefs.

  • And just how much time have you spent as an educator? By your response it appears to be none. Private schools are by their nature exclusionary and focus on their agenda of indoctrinating the students rather than teaching them how to think. Perfect example of private schools is found in Pakistan where the Saudi’s fund the Madrassas where boys (only boys) are “taught” to memorize the Koran. Another excellent example is in the South where private indoctrination was established after Brown V Board of Education. Students were taught “guverment” is evil and Blacks are inferior.

  • A few years.

    The education of a child is, by its nature, the role of the child’s parents who are typically exclusionary and shield their children from certain beliefs and reinforce others. The children are not property of the state except in totalitarian regimes.

    There is no evidence that public schools are “teaching them how to think” better than private schools.

    Your last three sentences are attempts to change the subject and reflect some animosity towards southerners in general which is not merited.

  • You appear to have touched your own nerve, which explains “Again that’s all you.”

    “All I need to find in the constitution is that the Supreme Court defines what’s constitutional.” And I have pointed that out repeatedly. You’re only interested in getting yours. *How* you get there is completely unimportant, as are the long-range consequences of bad legal thinking.

    If it undermines society five to fifty years down the road, “tough scheiss”.

    And you’ve actually acknowledged that in writing more than once.

    As to “we are a harm and a threat and dangerous” – since I have never written such a thing, this again stems from something from your interior.

    I have acknowledged readily that privacy is a public good, and what you do in the privacy of your life is not a matter of public concern unless it involves making weapons of mass destruction or something along those lines. I raised zero objections to Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003) which, as I pointed out, achieved what you wanted and what was reasonable.

    My issue is with “same sex marriage” – Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S.(2015) – which, as I have pointed out, involves society as a whole. To this point if you have a clue about the constitutional issues, or have even ever read a SCOTUS opinion, you’ve hidden it remarkably well.

    With again “Your imaginary superiority is another good word” you make it clear that your self-image is being conflated with what other people say, and your excuse is that everyone who disagrees with you is “a hyper religious hyper reactionary”.

    It matters little. You live in a state which has reached such a level of LaLa Land that everyone outside the coast itself want to exit and live normal lives. How one could live and gain any sense of normal is something of a mystery.

    I certainly have no intention of changing my thinking or actions because someone is remarkably whiney and self-centered.

  • I don’t think the community got “pushed out of the way.” I think the community came together to form an oversight group. Don’t know about where you live but around here we have an elected school board. Admittedly, they also sway with the politics – and around here, that is decidedly “conservative Republican.” We were featured in one of those stories about the evil foreign and unChristian/antiChristian yoga being used in schools – just terrible, isn’t it?

    I don’t want the community to give up on the community having oversight of education, being involved, being responsible for assuring that all in the community have a good chance for a good education.

    Public schools have always been the solution to assuring an educated populace.

  • It is a puzzle that in so many countries with a strong sense of responsibility of caring for each other that they have begun to pull away from formal religious services. That might say something about the services themselves and, to some extent, the fundamentalism of so much religious belief in the face of new knowledge, the emancipation of women, the ideals of people being responsible for the governance of their societies but the religious institutions being so patriarchal.

    I see the issues around abortion as part of the realignment in thinking that needs to take place since women now have a voice in the world, power at the ballot boxes. By the way, I don’t think most people “favor abortion.” Rather they want it legal because men get really stupid about protecting women’s wombs without considering they also have lives, hopes, dreams, and not bank their whole identity on their wombs.

    I don’t think people think “it is all about this world.” They may really care about others. Why do you think they don’t? We started out forming tribes for mutual care and protection. Today’s towns, cities, nations are simply an amalgamation of smaller units that joined together for the good of all.

  • A guy that says that theoCrazy is a good idea and might makes right and minority rights mean nothing is hardly a person to criticize totalitarianism.

  • A great number of Americans disagree with you.

    For good reasons:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/inside-a-public-school-social-justice-factory/article/2011402

    Public schools have not always been the solution to assuring an educated populace.

    The totalitarian roots begin with the secretary of education of Massachusetts in 1837, Horace Mann. He based his views on the Prussian”common schools”, a system intended to indoctrinate all students with a single government-mandated content in their state-run classes.

    To accomplish that he focused on starting young, elementary education, and on indoctrinating teachers. That became the norm in the Northeast. It was aimed at “social efficiency, civic virtue, and character”, eradicating parental preferences, particularly those of parents of southern European and Irish ethnicity.

    It was not called “the factory model school” for nothing – it was a production line of indoctrination.

    To ensure the effect of these new factory schools, most states passed Blaine Amendments forbidding tax money be used to fund parochial schools. No point in those mackerel snappers passing on anything contrary to the civic religion.

  • A guy living in a state whose Supreme Court said amending the state constitution according to the process laid out in its constitution was unconstitutional develops some strange ideas about rights.

    Where might these “minority rights” come from given no natural law? Neverland?

  • And Catholic schools are not “a production line of indoctrination.?”

    There has to be some point of view to create a system at all. Maybe you don’t like what Massachusetts did, but they did something rather than simply not organize an effort to provide education.

    I think this is silly. If you set up independent schools run by any organization, or a whole system of schools run by an organization – non-profit or for profit – it is going to have to have a point of view, some basics it is going to teach, some codes of behavior that will be expected. And, you will send your children there is you agree with the particular indoctrination they will get – or you are told they will get. But, how much say-so, how much control does the average parent have??? No more than they have now and perhaps less.

  • Catholics schools should be a production line of indoctrination.

    Home schooling is a production line of indoctrination.

    Only parents should choose indoctrination for their children, and then they get to choose the type.

    This is not Prussia.

  • Your reply reveals your belief that children are the property of the parents, particularly the father/husband. In addition you have grossly misrepresented my statements a characteristic of those who prefer to further their propaganda.

  • Parental rights are, with minor exceptions, defined under state laws. None of them treat children as property, which would include rights injurious to children, but parental rights include:

    – the right to physical custody

    – the right to legal custody, meaning the ability to make major decisions about the child’s health, education, and religious upbringing

    – the right to pass property to a child via gift or inheritance, and

    – the right to a child’s earnings and to inherit from child in the event of death.

    Those rights can only be infringed after due process, and can only be extinguished in the most extreme cases of abuse or neglect.

    “(P)articularly the father/husband” appears out of thin air.

    Children are not property or wards of the state on loan to the parents.

  • Typical RW extremist tactic. Change the topic. I did NOT cite what states consider parental rights, I said and maintain your statements clearly show YOU consider children the property of the parents.

  • No, you said that I maintained that parents, particularly the father, owned the children.

    Not only did I deny saying or holding that, I provided a quick synopsis of the legal framework of parental rights.

    Thank you for making two things clear:

    – you are not following the conversation

    – you think the government owns the children

    Typical left wing extremist beliefs.

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