A true culture war commences: Who runs the public’s schools?

On the 245th anniversary of American independence, the American people received some really good news and some really disturbing news.                                                              

(Photo: The Christian Post/Katherine T. Phan)
(Photo: The Christian Post/Katherine T. Phan)

First, the good news! Polling reveals that 68% of Americans said they were “very or extremely proud.” Another 15% said they were “moderately proud.” Another 8% said they were at least “slightly proud.” So, 91% of Americans were positive in their attitude toward their native land.

By age group, senior citizens led the parade with 86% of those over 65 saying they were “very or extremely proud,” compared with 75% of the middle aged (45-64) and 59% of median adults (25-44).

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While these numbers do reflect a generational decline in patriotism from senior adults (86%) to middle adults (75%) to median (59%), the really disturbing news is the dramatic drop off among young adults (24%).

Among America’s youngest adults, only 36% said they were “proud or extremely proud” and 35% claim to be “only slightly or not at all proud” of being American. Shockingly, America’s young people, 18-24, were three times less likely to be proud of being American and were more than twice as likely to say they were “not at all” or “only slightly proud” of their country than their countrymen. These findings pose a real and present danger to America’s future.  How do we explain this? What changed? What can we, as Americans, do about it?

One major reason for this precipitous decline in patriotism is undoubtedly the rise and spread of the lethal and corrosive critical race theory (CRT), which has been simmering and percolating just under the surface for at least a decade in the nation’s universities, especially in the education departments. CRT has been filtering down into the K-12 curricula of this nation’s public schools.

CRT, a variant of Marxism based on race rather than class, is the source of the cultural phenomenon popularly called “wokeness,” the term for being sensitized or “waking up” to the “reality” of “systemic and structural” racism and the resulting inequity in our society from its inception. CRT defines “inequity” as inequality of outcome, rather than inequality of opportunity.

CRT will inevitably lead people to reject America as a racist society, which must undergo the revolutionary overhaul of its oppressive institutions such as the traditional family, the church, and the nation-state itself.                                      

As the public has become more and more aware in recent months of the extent to which CRT has wrought havoc among our young people, a fierce grassroots backlash has been generated across the nation.

Initially, the progressive educational establishment and its media lackeys tried to reframe the issue to say CRT was not being taught and that all that was going on was telling the truth about America’s racist past.

Now progressives are coming out of the closet and their masquerade is over. At their annual convention a few days ago, the National Education Association, representing 3 million public school employees, enthusiastically approved funding for “increasing the implementation of Critical Race Theory” in K-12 curriculum across the nation’s public schools.

Furthermore, the NEA pledged funding for doing opposition research on those who are opposing CRT (including local associations of parents) and providing funds for attacking these groups.

At least the battle lines are now clear. The gloves are off. America is now engaged in a true culture war over the minds and hearts of the nation’s children. The issues are clear. We are now going to see who decides what happens in our nation’s public schools and classrooms. Will it be the parents, and their elected representatives, or will it be national teachers unions and their minions in the educational bureaucracy that former Secretary of Education William Bennett called, “the blob.”

Make no mistake about it. Every freedom-loving American has a great stake in this struggle, whether you have children or grandchildren in public schools or not.

We must all get involved at the local, state and national level. The good news is that 58% of Americans already oppose CRT. I am confident that many more will do so when they understand what it is and how it would fatally fracture American society if it were fully implemented.

This struggle is crucial to America’s future survival as the world’s best example of freedom and liberty for all. Let us all pray that God will grant us the wisdom to prevail in this crusade to protect our children from being brainwashed against their priceless heritage as Americans. May we all continue to struggle for a society in which everyone is judged not by the color of his/her skin, but by the content of his/her character.    

Dr. Richard Land, BA (Princeton, magna cum laude); D.Phil. (Oxford); Th.M (New Orleans Seminary). Dr. Land served as President of Southern Evangelical Seminary from July 2013 until July 2021. Upon his retirement, he was honored as President Emeritus and he continues to serve as an Adjunct Professor of Theology & Ethics. Dr. Land previously served as President of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (1988-2013) where he was also honored as President Emeritus upon his retirement. Dr. Land has also served as an Executive Editor and columnist for The Christian Post since 2011.

Dr. Land explores many timely and critical topics in his daily radio feature, “Bringing Every Thought Captive,” and in his weekly column for CP.

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