Conservatives often get upset over the idea that their tax dollars will be used to fund things they don’t like. Instead of quoting Oliver Wendell Holmes, we should just return the favor and target something they hold dear–using public tax dollars to support private schools (here’s one example). And by private schools, I mean wackaloon theocratic indoctrination centers. For instance, here is some of what’s on order at your typical conservative Christian school:
1. Inflammatory anti-choice rhetoric. This includes comparisons of abortion to the Holocaust.
2. Hands-on anti-legal and safe abortion activism:
Sometimes Christian schools go beyond teaching anti-choice propaganda by encouraging students to get involved in anti-choice activism. Oklahoma’s Augustine Christian Academy helped mobilize students to participate in Tulsa’s annual March for Life this year. The school’s Web site still features information about the January protest that instructed students how to get involved. Some Christian schools even transported students to the much bigger March for Life in Washington, DC. A Catholic school in Lafayette brought busloads of students to the Capitol for the event. Not only this, but the school made a weeklong field trip of the march that also included a pro-life mass at the National Basilica and a tour of the Mount Saint Mary’s and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Shrine, where students would honor saints revered by the Catholic anti-choice movement.
Christian schools also arrange opportunities for students to assist crisis pregnancy centers – that is, anti-choice organizations set up to look like abortion clinics when their real goal is to convince young women to carry their pregnancy to term. Some schools, like Maryland’s Connelly School of the Holy Child, feature school clubs that organize fund drives to benefit the centers. Others, like Tri-Cities Christian Schools of Tennessee, encourage students to become directly involved in volunteer work at crisis pregnancy centers in the state, where they may assist with anything from filing to conducting intake interviews.
Some Christian schools even schedule field trips in which students are transported to an abortion clinic for a protest.
3. Christian sex-ed. That is abstinence-only sex ed. Which doesn’t work.
4. Revisionist evangelical history classes. You’re paying to teach kids this:
In conservative Christian schools, historical events are filtered through the literal Biblical creation story, and can be understood in the context of sin, redemption and “God’s plan” for the United States. On its own Web site, Bob Jones boasts that its US history curriculum includes “special attention…to God’s providence and America’s Christian heritage.” A Beka curriculum opens with a full-on endorsement of theocracy, stating, “All governments are ordained by God, but none compare to government by God, theocracy.”From there, the curriculum pushes the false belief that the United States was founded as a Christian nation.
The racist history of the United States is usually whitewashed or romanticized in Christian school curriculum. Writing for AlterNet Rachel Tabachnik highlighted the following in a Bob Jones text: “To help them endure the difficulties of slavery, God gave Christian slaves the ability to combine the African heritage of song with the dignity of Christian praise. Through the Negro spiritual, the slaves developed the patience to wait on the Lord and discovered that the truest freedom is from the bondage of sin.”
5. Creationism. Need I say more?
That’s just the short list. I’m very sincere when I say the government should not be paying for this: it’s not hyperbole. I find it disgusting. And we also need to really highlight some of the bizarre stuff like the dress codes, proms without dancing, and the really over-the-top patriarchal stuff. It’s time we hit them with the weirdo stick.
So let’s turn this back around on them–and do right by children too.