Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Southern Baptists May Leave Public Schools

Anyone familiar with the tampering that goes on in the public schools regarding issues of morality may think that there is no consequence to these actions. At the last Southern Baptist Convention, a move by the denomination to leave the public school system was considered and defeated. The driving force behind the defeat was the fact that many Southern Baptists were also public school teachers, entrenched in the state pension plans. Well, its back.

Southern Baptists in ‘doldrums,’ leader says ahead of meeting

…a resolution decrying immorality in American public schools was likely to be debated at next week’s annual gathering in Nashville, Tenn., but that it would be wrong for Southern Baptists to withdraw their children from public classrooms.

A resolution that specifically called for a mass withdrawal from public school classrooms failed last year when it was not accepted by the convention’s resolutions committee. Welch said that the committee was considering two similar resolutions Thursday and that at least one was likely to make it to the floor next week, although it probably would not explicitly call for an organized withdrawal.

Counting more than 16.3 million members, the Southern Baptist Convention could have a significant impact on school enrollment were it to organize an effective boycott, especially in already struggling rural schools in the South and the Midwest, where its congregations are concentrated.

I would like to state for the record that I am not a Southern Baptist, or even a Baptist for that matter. Since my move north to the Washington DC area, I have been amazed at the social meddling in public schools in this area, especially in Montgomery County, MD. I can only imagine that similar moves are happening across the country in areas with a more liberal bent. As the federal government continues to insert itself into the curriculum of many schools, while at the same time banning all reference to the God of Abraham, it is only a matter of time before a move like the one above passes.

A move such as above may seem like no big deal to my many Jewish and Catholic friends from the northeastern part of the country, but I can assure you there will be a trickle down effect. One may be tempted to think that if the Baptists can’t play nice, then just let them take their toys and go. That is a mistake.

There are many counties across the southeast which have only one high school and are entrenched in a Bible Belt society. I do not say that in a derogatory way, as that is how it has been in these places for more than 200 years. Imagine school populations in some areas dropping by half while the money and the power move to religious schools. The remaining public schools become a bastion of poverty. Certainly there are areas, especially in the larger cities of the South, that would not be affected. But in entire swaths of the southern states, the public schools could be left to rot, catering only to immigrant populations or other working poor. In addition, thousands, maybe millions of children that currently experience some level of 'diversity' would be immersed in a much more theologically oriented education. Think Jerry Falwell annoys you now? Wait until he has millions more under his educational system.

And how long before other protestant denominations follow? The Pentecostals, Mormons, ARP and many others would not be far behind. What wealthy secular, Catholic or Jewish family is going to leave their children in such a place? Perhaps the day is coming when our children have two options, attend a private/religious school or fester in a failing public school that endures no public support. No amount of federal dollars is going to work for a school that does not enjoy some level of community support.

I can hear the rebuttal already. 'Integration was forced on these people and they got over it.' Well segregation was an immoral practice and many in the Christian South knew it was wrong. They did not appreciate the federal government forcing it on them, but I believe many recognized the innate rightness of integration, as well as the fact that its morality was supported by the teachings of their own religion. They will not feel the same way about forced teachings on homosexual sex (see Montgomery County), outcome based education or evolution, not to mention more trivial issues such as a ban on Santa Claus.

The forces which push their experimental social programs and anti-Christian attitudes on the public schools should take a step back and see the potential of what their actions may bring. As I have stated in the past, Separation of Church and State was implemented by the founders to bar a theocracy from taking hold in our government. It was not meant to run every vestige of Christian influence off of every municipally held piece of property. Cooler heads will probably prevail at this year’s Southern Baptist Convention, but if forced liberal morality and secularism continue to grow as they are now, I envision a day when John Edward’s two Americas truly becomes a reality, at least in the American Education System.

In Sports:

Nats 5, Pirates 4