California takes a lot of heat for being the center of what some call the "Left Coast." I want to be clear at the outset that there are good people in California who are very frustrated with the inexorable leftward march of the state's politicians. California is often referred to be by conservatives as the "land of fruits and nuts" and there are certainly plenty of both to go around in the golden state but again, most Californians defy the Leftist label by living out lives that exhibit a love for God, family, and country.
Unfortunately that is not so for the political types who populate Sacramento. The days of Ronald Reagan are long gone and California is firmly in the hands of the Left wing of the Democrat party. Taxes are soaring, illegal immigrants, who are pouring over the border are being welcomed with open arms even as their collective weight on the welfare system threatens to further bankrupt the state. Individuals and businesses are making a beeline out of the state hoping to escape the coming moral and financial implosion.
Another name for California is "bellwether." What happens in California is a preview of coming attractions to the heartland of America. If it is true that California is some sort of crystal ball for America as we look to the west, we should feel the way Frodo did the first time he saw the great evil eye of Mordor staring at him from Saruman's crystal. If you have ever wondered what America would look like if the Left had all obstacles pushed aside you need look no further than California.
Here are just a few legislative examples for you to consider. Senator Alan Lowenthal from California's 27th District has introduced a bill (SB 1322) that, if passed, would actually allow the promotion of communism in public schools. Just when we thought Karl Marx's legacy had finally been relegated to the dustbin of history a California Senator wants to resurrect that history for the benefit of California's school system. The bill would delete the requirement that state property may not be used by anyone intent on overthrowing the government. It would strike the law that a public school or community college employee may be fired if he or she is a member of the Communist Party. And just for kicks the bill would strike down a law that prohibits a teacher from giving instruction in a school or on public school property teaching communism with the intent to indoctrinate or to inculcate in the mind of any pupil a preference for communism. Maybe since Fidel Castro is out of a job in Cuba he might want to consider relocating to California and apply for a teaching position in the public school system. Granted, this bill hasn't passed…yet. But can you imagine it seeing the light of day if it was brought up anywhere else in the country?
The state Supreme Court of California is hearing arguments that could lead them to overturn a law passed in 2000 that defined marriage as the exclusive union of one man and one woman. The law was passed by an overwhelming majority of voters. But of course it's no big deal when liberals lose at the ballet box because they simply turn to their allies in activist's liberal courts where they can count on the will of the people to be trampled by the moral superiority of liberal judges. This is a pattern we would see repeated nationwide if the Left takes the White House. Barack Obama has already promised homosexual activists groups that if elected not only will he oppose a federal marriage amendment, he will work to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act.
And the hits just keep on coming for anyone with a traditional view of America who is trying to raise a family in California. Just recently, a California appeals court ruled that parents do not have a constitutional right to homeschool their children. The court ruled that minor children must attend a public school unless the child attends a private school or is taught by a teacher with a valid state teaching license. This puts 166,000 homeschool students and their parents in danger of criminal penalties by the state. Apparently the "educrates" in California are tired of being embarrassed by the superior test scores of homeschooled students and they are frustrated that their well-designed and newly implemented social engineering plans are being bypassed by parents who teach their children at home.
I could go on to include Berkeley's recent decision to roll up the welcome mat for the Marines and the banning of the terms "Mom and Dad" and husband and wife" (bill SB777 which was signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger) but I am sure you get the general idea. Fiscally, morally, and spiritually, California presents us with a future snapshot of what America will look like if the Left has its way. Let's hope there is still time for the right to right itself and make a stand. Otherwise it's "California here we come."
Dr. Tony Beam is Vice-President for Student Services and Director of the Christian Worldview Center at North Greenville University in Tigerville, South Carolina.