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View Diary: The Religious Right vs. the Public Schools (96 comments)

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  •  The SBC doesn't have enough power to subvert the (0+ / 0-)

    public schools, though they have been trying since at least the mid-70s.  People in the US, in general, like their public schools system and have no interest in "government" schools going away.  The real threat is in a few, select, urban systems which are so bad that parents are desperate for any solution, no matter how crazy.

    •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RobotsRUs

      I don't see a mass exodus to a new type of super Christian orthodoxy schools. I will defend the right of parents though to raise their kids according to their own values, even if that means to believe in a great flying dragon named giggles.

      Conservative. noun. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from a Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. -Ambrose Bierce

      by IndepedentMachavellian on Thu May 10, 2007 at 12:13:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  underestimating powerful adversaries (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bernie68

      is a serious mistake.

      The SBC has not yet throw instutional support behind a major assault on the public schools.

      Also, no one insitution alone will never be decisive, but the SBC would not be alone, and if they led, others would likely follow. It is the nature of movements, friends.

      Looking at the SBC in total isolation, is a mistaken kind of reductionism.

      Movements take time, but their goals are not inevitable.

      People who think that the public schools are valuable, maybe essential institutions in a democratic society, need to sit up and take notice.

      •  Hmm.. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pletzs, Elvis meets Nixon

        People who think that the public schools are valuable, maybe essential institutions in a democratic society, need to sit up and take notice

        Indeed I agree, those value Democracy must also stand up and defend people's rights in it. Namely the right to raise their child according to their own beliefs.

        Conservative. noun. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from a Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. -Ambrose Bierce

        by IndepedentMachavellian on Thu May 10, 2007 at 12:26:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Let's take a look at our "powerful" adversaries. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Elvis meets Nixon

        There has been a right-wing movement towards "Christian" schooling for at least 30 years.  Maybe not a full-court press, but it's debatable as to whether that is even possible.  What has that movement netting?  Several poorly-preforming Christian schools, with a few hundred students each.  Even in my SBC-dominated area, the Christian schools are tiny, which is amazing, considering what a trainwreck the urban system is.  Our most famous Super Mega Church is currently in hot water because, despite six years and possible millions of dollars, the Super Christian School still is non-existent.  The local college, who had been affiliated with the SBC through much of it's 100+ year history, just told the SBC they would no longer be affiliated with them (and the funding they provide) because of the constant nonsensical interference with education.  Maybe the SBC (and friends) talk a good game, but I have seen very little evidence of actual capabilities.

        •  well, gosh (0+ / 0-)

          I had no idea that what is true in your area is true everywhere.

          •  Considering the SBC is the primary denomination (0+ / 0-)

            here, there are several SBC seminaries locally, the SBC often holds conventions/THE convention here, and there are several (minus one) SBC affiliated colleges locally, forgive my incredulity that this area is not representative of their power.

            •  I see (0+ / 0-)

              the SBC is monolithic and your town defines reality everywhere. Who knew?

              •  The SBC is a top-down organization, and (0+ / 0-)

                tends to do best where it is the dominant religion.  This is an incorrect assumption?

                •  it seeks to be top down (0+ / 0-)

                  but that is not its history, and so the denominaiton is not really structured for maximum top down leverage, limiting its capacity to act. All congregations are independent and affiiate by choice. The SBC president has some authority to appoint members of boards, such as seminaries, but not all boards.

                  The religious right has mostly outorganized everyone else in sending voting reps to the annual meeting where national offices are elected and resolutions passed. Even so, the anti-public ed resolutions have yet to pass. The question is whether that is about to change. And it is a question, not a prediction I am making here. But the movement seems to have enough juice that something interesting may come of it.  

                  The last election of national officers was a populist effort to edge out the fundamentalits mega church pastors that had dominated for a long time. But the reform faction was not really less conservative. Just different in tone and emphasis.

                  Part of the way the school idea is developing seems to be to package it as a tool of evangelization, and to keep the kids from leaving the church.  So if some kind of resolution to this effect finally passes, it would mean using national resources to promote the program. This might mean incentives, model programs, a lot of persuasion and the power of the bully pulpit. Such a move,and the massive changed that would go with it, would take a lot of time. But the national body would have no way of actually compelling individual churches to go along.

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