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No doubt you are quite aware of the culture war battles that are going on in society related to education. Actually, in some places, this has been going on for quite some time. It is no secret that Christian moral values and conservative political values have both been under heavy attack in our institutions of higher learning for quite a number of years. Many colleges and universities refuse to hire professors who are of that persuasion, Christian and politically conservative students are suppressed in various ways on the campuses, and outside speakers are badgered, shouted down, and even uninvited from speaking. This has been going on for so long that it is not a shock when we hear about situations where it has happened again.
Sadly, this phenomenon is not limited to higher education – it is going on in our K-12 public schools, as well. This was somewhat under the radar until COVID hit and parents were forced to host their children’s education at home and were able to actually see what was being taught. Since it has come to light, there has been quite a bit of shock and push-back.
What has been discovered is that teachers have not merely been teaching our children the basics of “reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmatic,” but have also been teaching critical race theory, relativistic moral values, a false narrative concerning America’s founding, and pushing a radical homosexual agenda (gay marriage, transexualism, etc.). In the process of all of these, they have also been overtly critical of biblical values.
When it was discovered how widespread the teaching of these “progressive” beliefs and values had become, quite predictably, parents started pushing back. They didn’t want these kinds of things – things that contradicted their own beliefs and values – being taught to their kids. They especially did not appreciate the way it was being done under cover of darkness.
When the push-back started, the “progressive” teachers and school administrators started striking back. It became common to see social media posts by teachers and school administrators attacking parents and telling them they had no right to tell the schools what they could teach the kids. It even got to the point that the U.S. Department of Justice started investigating parents who showed up at local school board meetings to protest.
Enter Tamillia Valenzuela, a school board member in Arizona. Valenzuela describes herself as “a bilingual, disabled, nerordivergent (a person whose brain develops or works differently – those with neurological or developmental conditions), Queer, black, Latina ... who loves a good hot wing (but only with the right ranch) and things that sparkle.” Additionally, she also identifies as a “furry.” In case you don’t know, a “furry is a person who self-identifies as an anthropomorphic (humanlike) animal character (in her case a cat).” She also claims to be a witch.
At a recent school board meeting, she appeared wearing cat ears and put forth a motion to terminate an agreement with Arizona Christian University that allowed university students to be placed as student teachers within the school system. In her argument, she said, “While I full-heartedly believe in religious freedom and people being able to practice whatever faith that they have, I had some concerns regarding looking at this particular institution. And I think it’s a really good time for us to take a moment and really pause about where our values lie.”
She went on to say, “My concerns, when I go to Arizona Christian University’s website, [is that they are] committed to Jesus Christ, accomplishing His will and advancement on earth as in Heaven. ... Because that makes me feel like I could not be safe in this school district.”
Based on her motion, the board voted unanimously to terminate the partnership. The board members said that having student teachers with biblical values in the state’s largest elementary school district is “too dangerous.”
The bottom line: Christians who actually believe Christian teachings are not welcome.
So how could this happen? How in the world can people believe that Christian beliefs are not safe? Well, here’s how it happens; People who hold anti-Christian beliefs find themselves in charge of institutions and pull out all the stops to eliminate beliefs that don’t agree with theirs.
Ms. Valenzuela’s religious beliefs are guided by her moral choices (she is a homosexual), her religious choices (she claims to be a witch), and her identification choices (she claims to be a cat). All of these choices reflect beliefs that are, at their core, anti-Christian (not to mention contrary to reality). By getting herself into a position of power, she is now able to eliminate competition to her religious beliefs in the public square.
Beyond her vengeful religious beliefs, she also lives in a fantasy world. Homosexual behavior does not reflect the natural order of reality, witchcraft does not reflect the way reality actually works, and she is not a cat. But she has managed to convince herself that all of these things represent reality and normalcy.
The only remedy for falsehood is the truth. As Christians, it is not a fruitful exercise to merely push back against these various false beliefs. We must, of course, do that, but along with the push back, it is essential to speak truth to falsehood AND share why the Christian faith and Christian values are true.
I fear most Christians have not done their due diligence to complete the circle. Many are pushing back, but we must also get up to speed on our understanding about why the Christian faith and Christian values are true. If we don’t, or our efforts at push-back will be futile. Christians must learn not only how to effectively share their faith, but also share “why” our beliefs are true and other beliefs are false. Without that, Christian beliefs will continue to be considered “dangerous.”
Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books entitled The Truth Mirage, Rules for Christians Radicals, Liberalism vs. Conservatism, and his latest book Shattering the Truth Mirage and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.
You may also contact Freddy at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.
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