A prominent Christian media ministry has launched a massive campaign to bring back moral and academic excellence to education.
Coral Ridge Ministries, headed by Dr. D. James Kennedy, will begin airing a TV series this Sunday that will explore problems plaguing the nation's public schools such as the advancement of the homosexual agenda in schools.
"A major story the media are missing is the transformation of most public schools into indoctrination centers for a number of things," said Bob Knight, director of the Culture and Family Institute, in a statement. Children are being flooded with "anti-American content and promiscuous sexuality, including homosexuality, and this is a concerted effort . . . orchestrated by the National Education Association (the nation's largest teachers' union)."
The television programs will also shed light on "how America's courts are stripping parents of their rights to oversee what their children learn in classrooms, the rigid secularism of public schools, and solutions to the public education morass (including home schooling and private school options)," according to the ministry.
"One of the great glories of American education is that it has historically been under the control of parents and concerned citizens in the local community," Kennedy commented previously.
The Coral Ridge campaign also includes a national petition drive - "Freedom for Students" - that urges the nation's governors to take measures to push for vouchers that parents can use to send their children to the school of their choice.
"The future of our nation lies in the next generation, our children, so it is extremely important that we provide them with a sound, biblical foundation," said Brian E. Fisher, Executive Vice President of Coral Ridge Ministries. "Nothing else would be satisfactory."
Some conservative Christians view America's public schools as godless and have gone as far as proposing parents to pull their children out of the schools, as some members of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) have done. One of the authors of the SBC proposal, T.C. Pinckney of Alexandria, Va., explained to Baptist Press that "God assigns the responsibility for the education of children to the parents, not to the government." The resolution found little support at SBC's 2004 annual meeting, however.
Still, Christian parents are increasingly concerned about their kids in public schools. Bible and the Blackboard: Biblical Solutions for Failing Schools, a newly-published booklet also anchoring the campaign, details the biblical character of early American education and shows why America's schools are failing the grade as it retraces the moral and educational decline from the schools' Christian foundation.
But the public sphere is also seeing more support toward teaching the Bible in schools. Bible teaching advocates including author Stephen Prothero of the New York Times best-seller Religious Literacy say the Bible should be taught in schools and that it plays a major part in the nation's culture and politics. The challenge, however, is to teach the Bible without preaching it, Prothero says.
Georgia's public schools recently approved curriculum for teaching Scripture. Currently, a handful of the state's school district have agreed to offer the electives classes.
America was recently named one of the most religiously illiterate places in the world, according Prothero. Although 90 percent of the U.S. population claims to be Christian, only a few know anything about religion, including the four gospels or the first book in the Bible.
Coral Ridge's three TV programs, pivotal to the campaign, will air on Sundays, beginning May 6 on "The Coral Ridge Hour."