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Monday, August 22, 2022

Posted by Tamila Deniece Harris 7:55 AM No comments
Byron James Henry: Slate of Christian Nationalists Win Seats on District Board in Texas

Byron James Henry is an educator in Texas. He writes here about a bitter school board election in the Cy-Fair District in Texas, the third largest in the state, where three Christian Nationalists ran a campaign based on fear, lies, and exaggeration and won.

He writes:

What began as a relatively predictable conservative opposition to mask mandates and vaccines morphed into an often-incomprehensible obsession with the “threat” of Critical Race Theory. The parents who initially disrupted school board meetings to question the recommendations of public health experts became consumed by the prospect, always ridiculous and unfounded, that their children were being indoctrinated by progressive and “woke” ideas that all White people are “oppressors” and that they should feel shame and guilt for being White. This notion, that children were being made to feel bad about the color of their skin, became the genesis of a groundswell of opposition to “CRT,” which became the term for anything that discussed concepts of white privilege, systemic racism, or the legacy of white supremacy.

In truth, the analytical framework known as “Critical Race Theory” is not being taught in any K-12 schools, but discussions about privilege and systemic racism had begun to show up, appropriately, in some high school settings within the context of the nation’s collective reckoning with racial injustice after George Floyd’s murder. The propagandists of the GOP saw an opportunity to stoke White insecurity and inflame White resentment toward society’s attempt to wrestle with deep questions about race. They funneled money into a faux grassroots or “AstroTurf” movement against CRT in the hopes that it would inspire higher turnout of conservative voters at the polls. Their campaign of lies, as with previous warnings about the threat of “socialism” or “illegal immigrants” or “Ebola” or “health care death panels,” succeeded. What is somewhat different, and more troubling, about the anti-CRT movement’s success is that it is laced with Christian Nationalism and poses a direct threat to our local schools as the site where the principles and practices of pluralistic, democratic self-government are taught….

Christian Nationalists are opposed to the idea of a pluralistic, multicultural republic if it means a conservative Christian worldview is on par with other world-views in the public sphere. Christian Nationalists want their worldview to be dominant. Christian Nationalists want their religious beliefs to override secular laws. They believe their religious liberty should permit them to discriminate against people and receive exemptions from mandates others are expected to follow. They claim to believe deeply in “choice” when they don’t want to do something, but they believe just as firmly in forced compliance to promote their beliefs. For example, they believe that schools should be forced to teach a mythical version of American history that presents conservative Christians as the nation’s founders, sustainers, and heirs. They believe that a woman should be forced to carry a pregnancy to term against her will.

Not satisfied, as in the past, to retreat from the public schools to private Christian schools, they are now engaged in a total war with the public-school system. The Texas legislature has passed legislation, HB 3979, preventing teachers from discussing the truth about the role of white supremacy, and how Christians used the Bible to justify it, in the nation’s founding and early history….

Their campaign literature, sent to me by the “Conservative Republicans of Harris County,” declares that, “We must take back the school boards that are controlled by the radical pro-Communist, anti-American leftists who are indoctrinating our children in Critical Race Theory and sexual perversion.” The piece then says, “We can change the direction of public education by electing conservative American Patriots to the school boards.”

The campaign literature then encourages the reader to “sign the Christian Patriot Declaration” at, which states, “Stouthearted Christian Patriots must rise up to boldly oppose and defeat the domestic enemy forces of evil, the atheistic pro-Communist Democrats, the despicable baby killers, pornographers, pedophiles, sodomites, transgenders, Antifa, and the BLM that have infiltrated our civil government and threaten to destroy all vestiges of Biblical morality and U.S. Constitutional principles. These domestic enemies are traitors to God and country.” The statement concludes: “Patriots, let’s press this battle to restore our nation to its Christian heritage to its successful conclusion!”

Can American public schools teach honest and truthful history when faced with this onslaught?

* This article was originally published here

* This article was originally published here


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