Should Christians surrender American public schools?
Californians were unsuccessful in the recall effort against Governor Gavin Newsom despite an impressive grassroots campaign that garnered widespread support. Since that special election in September, Newsom appears to be exacting revenge on his opponents through several mandates targeting our most vulnerable population – children.
In late September, Newsom signed into law AB 1184, which allows minors to keep “sensitive services” confidential from the insurance policyholder, generally their parents. Those services may include abortion, contraception, and even gender reassignment therapy. This law not only affects parental rights over their minor children, but it also can have financial burdens placed on parents who are obligated to pay for the services received at a facility without their knowledge.
Soon after, AB101 was signed into law that requires all high school graduates to have at least one semester of ethnic studies to graduate. On its face, an ethnic studies curriculum that provides a well-rounded perspective on people from different cultures would be a good thing. Unfortunately, it is often a smokescreen for teaching critical race theory, which is dangerously anti-American and anti-semitic.
Lastly, in what many consider the breaking point, Governor Newsom announced that COVID-19 vaccines will be mandatory for in-person learning once full FDA approval is granted in July 2022. Though most COVID infections in minors are usually mild and the rate of infections is declining, Newsom plans to add the COVID vaccine to the list of other vaccines required by law to attend any school in the state. California has one of the most stringent vaccination laws because it does not allow exemptions based on personal or religious beliefs, and prohibits most medical exceptions.
In my district, Placenta Yorba Linda Unified, hundreds of concerned parents turned out to a recent school board meeting, hoping to sway the school board into taking a stand against these measures. The overwhelming opinion of parents who spoke at the meeting, which lasted until midnight, is these actions are antithetical to our values as a community. Our district was not alone in its disapproval, as many parents and students staged walkouts across California to protest the vaccine mandates. Across the US, parents are standing up against states that target their children. Many feel the best solution is to pull the kids out of public education and home school instead.
For Christians, all these regulations go to the core of our beliefs on pre-marital sex, gender, racial equality, and the rights we have to make medical decisions for our family. However, we need to ask ourselves, is turning thousands of parents into stay-at-home teachers and isolating our kids from the rest of society, the best solution as Christ-followers? When we turn our schools over to those who seek to permanently remove God from the public square and teach a neo-Marxist philosophy to whoever is left behind, it sends the message that we are not willing to fight for what we believe is right. The Apostles risked every personal comfort and physical well-being to preach the Gospel amongst the non-believers. They were imprisoned, beaten, and crucified to spread the message of redemption and salvation. Thousands of Christians in China, Iran, and Africa still pay the ultimate price to preach the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. How then can we justify a total surrender of American public schools?
We are called to be salt and light in our communities. We are told to pick up our cross and follow Christ, regardless of the personal sacrifice. Therefore, the best solution for American Christians is realizing that our mission field right now may not be the jungles of South Asia but the streets of California, New York, and Virginia. We need to expand programs like “Bring your Bible to School Day,” Christian student clubs on campus, and supporting believing Christians who run for public office on the school boards and city councils across America. The only way we stem the tide of demonic influences flooding our cities and the nation is to follow Christ and the examples God has given us throughout humanity. Remember the Prophet Daniel who refused the King’s decree to stop worshipping God or the Apostle Paul who boldly stood up to the Romans, threatening to kill him for preaching. God teaches us to defend the Truth of His Word, despite the consequences.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way, they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Mathew 5: 11-12
Many of us were horrified to watch the total surrender of our values and standing on the world stage when the US unilaterally withdrew from Afghanistan. If most Bible-believing Christians pull their kids out of public school, isn’t that sending a similar message?
We live in perilous times, and there is a lot at stake. No parent takes the well-being of their children lightly, and so emotions are running high. Yet, if we equip our children to withstand the difficulty of being believers when it is increasingly unpopular, then we are preparing them for real life in the years to come. Hopefully, they will take that strength and courage into adulthood so they can be a witness to others of what it means to follow Christ.
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Mathew 10:28
Hedieh Mirahmadi was a devout Muslim for two decades working in the field of national security before she experienced the redemptive power of Jesus Christ and has a new passion for sharing the Gospel. She dedicates herself full-time to Resurrect Ministry, an online resource that harnesses the power of the Internet to make salvation through Christ available to people of all nations, and her daily podcast LivingFearlessDevotional.com.