OP-ED submitted by
John A. Clauer
As a freshman in college in the 60s, there were two books that were indispensable; a modern Dictionary and Roget’s College Thesaurus (required at my university). These two books provided the essential definitions/word usage necessary for the beginning of a college education. So, what happens in a world where words lose their original meaning, definitions are radically changed and we have no anchor for truth? In many cases it may result in a radical altering of what we know to be true and just.
I have spent much of this school year tutoring several online courses to a Meade County HS student. Of particular concern to me has been the content of the Human Geography course. It is not the geography that you and I took in the 20th century…it is sociology, geography, government and history all rolled into one. What is deeply disturbing is the way the course curriculum redefines commonly understood truths and concepts. Just a couple of important examples:
Abortion: Always described as destruction of a fetus or developing baby, was redefined in the curriculum as “destruction of an embryo.”
Gender Equality/Gender Equity: Always used to defend equal protection and opportunity for the two sexes (men and women), was redefined as “not just for female or males but for all genders” while driving home in the content that it was not just legal equality but also for social/moral equivalency. If you check online health sources, you will find there over 60+ identified genders that are now “morally equivalent!”
Religion: Traditionally presented as worldviews based upon a set of beliefs and nearly always presented in US history as a leveling influence for good, was now portrayed as a cause of descension, oppression of minorities and women, and was used interchangeably with the term’s colonialism and oppression.
War/Accurate History: In a lengthy discussion of the war in Nigeria, the curriculum declared that the war was caused by poverty and injustice while completely ignoring the role of the terrorist organization Boko Haram. The Jihad and ethnic cleansing of this organization against the Nigerian Christian community has resulted in the killing or enslaving of 10s of thousands of men, women and children.
The redefining of “accepted terminology or historical truth” that I observed on a micro scale in this one HS course is similar with what we have observed in our entertainment, media, universities, culture and politics over the past several decades. As troubling as these changes are, nothing prepared me for the radical altering the new Progressive administration achieved in its first two weeks in power.
• Equality Act. President Biden, in addition to ordering the immediate acceptance of transgenders into all federal agencies and the US military on day one, also signed an Executive Order to “enforce Title VII and other laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation” (which will include opening school bathroom and locker-room facilities to student choice of gender or orientation). While he does NOT have the authority to add these terms to existing civil rights laws or destroy Constitutional protections for religious liberty, he has declared the passage of the Equality Act one of his first priorities. This new law does add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to protected classes of existing nondiscrimination laws. The Equality Act has been called “a dangerous game changer” to religious liberty by numerous Christian leaders. It will destroy religious liberty and subject Christians to censorship and punishment for expressing their biblically held convictions about moral behavior. It will also remove all lines of sexual privacy for our children, will destroy protections women athletes have achieved under Title IX, and will remove protection of Christian organizations for determining their membership & employees. The Equality Act passed the House 4 successive years in a row and has died in the Senate since then. With a new Progressive majority in the Senate, this bill will pass and be signed into law very quickly. Since our children are already desensitized to the new meaning of the term “Gender Equity”, acceptance of this law will be quick.
• Purge: The new Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has ordered a 60 day stand down for the US military in an effort to weed out “extremist or dissident ideologies” in order to create an “environment free of discrimination, hate and harassment.” This appears to be a purge of the military of those who dissent from the new social order being put in place by the current administration. Chaplains will most certainly find this purge threatening.
• Senate Votes: On 4 February, Senate Progressive Democrats voted 51 to 50 (all 51 voting NO) to defeat an Amendment to a bill that would have guaranteed protection of the free exercise of religion.
In another looming threat to Christian liberty, Dr. Albert Mohler, Christian educator and writer, noted that the LGBTQ Blueprint for Positive Change, adopted by the Biden Administration, advocates that “Accreditation should be revoked for those who do not meet non-discrimination standards or science-based curricula standards” advocated by the LGBTQ community. As Mohler notes, “This is an undisguised attempt to shut down any semblance of a Christian college or university that would possess the audacity to operate from a Christian worldview.”
Clearly, the religious/Christian Worldview and freedom of Religion is on a collision course with the new Progressive agenda for America. The silencing of the Church and the driving of Christian thought behind the closed doors of our churches is occurring with breathtaking speed. This will equally apply to Jewish and other religious faiths also.
So why should this matter to Meade County residents and Christian churches? To put it simply, the evolving curriculum for our educational system and the Progressive administrations new social order are morally destructive to the traditionally held Christian Ethic and the true history of our country.
It is imperative that readers of this article understand that opposition to the new Progressive ideology is NOT about hate or discrimination. It is not an attack on our public-school educators. It is not about political opposition. Nor is it about human rights or legal rights. Those protections already exist in the Constitution. This article is about the right of the Christian minority in this country to practice and hold a Christian worldview. To believe that their God is the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists and that obedience to his directions for life is an act of love and worship…a Constitutionally protected right.
So, since I have raised the alarm, what can be done? Opposition to these policies will have to be left in the hands of “wise counselors” who can raise the case in our federal courts. However, Christians, parents and churches still have choices: private Christian schools, home school, exposing children and congregants to a Christian worldview at church, and most of all, being aware of the conflict of the Progressive ideology with a Christian worldview. If we want to heal our society, stop the cycle of racism, heal the injustice and stop the hate/violence we must recognize the cause…a failure to follow the leadership of our Creator. The Progressive ideology and new social order being forced on Christians will only make these problem worse.
John A. Clauer lives in Brandenburg. After 36 years in the Marine Corps he retired. During that time he taught at Vanderbilt University for 2 yrs in the early 80s, was the Professor of Naval Science and Commanding Officer of the Naval ROTC at UPENN and was teaching at Villanova University for his last assignment. He has also taught US History and Govt & Econ at a private high school after his retirement from the military.