In June 2023, we were going to our youngest granddaughter’s high school graduation here in Orange County, California. As we walked in, a group of women were handing out a flyer that read “Protect Public Education” in an attempt to recall four of their newly elected school district board members. These people who are being recalled are probably members of a QAnon group Save the Children, which advocates that school boards are cabals of child-eating satanic pedophiles.
When I started reading the literature about those being recalled, my mind flashed back to the 1990s when a similar group in another school district, all underwritten by the Religious Right, did almost the exact same thing: they overtake boards of education with their people. My research revealed that before they run to be members of such boards, they attend sessions teaching them how to run for such positions while never giving away their real agenda.
Their real agenda most likely focuses on a wide range of topics: allowing prayer in public schools; making Bible study (their kind) mandatory; getting rid of top administrative educators and replacing them with incompetent tools of their agenda; banning and censoring books, especially ones dealing with the LGBTQIA+ community; teaching intelligent design (their codename for creationism, a fundamentalist belief that the world was created some seven thousand years ago); eliminating science courses; and ending funding for educational projects and funding their pet projects, which can range from building an Olympic-size swimming pool to providing Bibles for all students—plus more of their disruptive tactics.
They move quickly, giving no time for the opposition to plan countermoves. They quickly isolate other elected board members, who become nonpersons. Democracy is not part of their agenda. These groups exist all over the country. In red states they are highly successful, but the bottom line is they destroy public education, flaunt democracy, and make a mockery of Christianity.
In blue states, they face lots of opposition, but it takes time for opponents to organize and find funding, whereas groups like Save the Children have unlimited resources.
Another negative outcome from this organized effort is that teachers know it is extremely difficult to teach in such an environment, so they leave by the droves, leaving positions open for teachers who subscribe to the Religious Right ideology.
These folks are dangerous in every way, especially to our Constitution’s guarantee of the separation of church and state. The Religious Right refuses to accept that this nation respects all forms of religion with none dominating. These people want to make this country fit their idea of a Christian nation, run by their narrow-minded judgmental bigoted god, along with their hijacked Jesus, who is portrayed as a rich white guy who has a long list of people who are not acceptable to be treated as human.
The worst problem is that the mainstream institutional Christian churches are silent about the issue. I guess they are too busy trying to survive to take the time to defend the real Jesus and promote the God of unconditional love.
What is your church, if you even bother going anymore, doing about this issue?
Peace Love Joy Hope