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COMMENTARY: A new America, a madrassa education

Over 2 million American children are currently homeschooled, the majority of them for religious reasons. Hundreds of Christian colleges and universities prepare tomorrow’s Bible-based policy-makers to serve in the name of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

With Christian Dominionists doing their best to increase the birth rate and thus the population of the “Kingdom,” an army of extremist Christian believers has evolved. Faux science and revised-beyond-recognition history rush in to fill the educational places where fact once ruled.

Socialization fares no better: Virginity-pledged girls and boys marry at a young age and not always wisely, same-sex impulses are stifled, and male dominance reigns supreme.

There is something of a silent revolution going on in American education. Billionaires such as Amway’s Richard DeVos and Eric Prince of Blackwater infamy quietly woo lawmakers to bolster Christian education through vouchers. At the same time, they fight to undermine the support and finances of public schools. As moderate Republicans are primaried out of existence, Bible-believing fundamentalists step in, a smile on their good Christian faces and Dominion in their wildly outraged hearts.

According to Leah Burton, perhaps the foremost researcher on the 30-year infestation of the Republican Party by religious ideologues, “There are thousands [of Dominionist leaders] in our school boards, city governments, state legislatures and national offices. To mention a few: Rick Santorum, Jim DeMint, Bob McDonnell, John Thune, Sharon Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Mike Pence, Scott Walker, Michelle Bachmann — again— this list is voluminous!”

The dangers of Dominionism

Christian Nationalists are every bit as ominous as extremist Muslims and today’s brand of extreme-minded Jews, be they American or Israeli. What, in essence, is the difference between a Dominionist Christian home-school, an ideologically driven madrassa, and an extremist Jewish day school? Each one deliberately twists the young minds in their charge by limiting the scope of the curriculum and discouraging — even punishing — critical thinking.

Visit the $25 million Creation Museum, only seven miles from the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, and observe throngs of school-aged children being taught to accept as fact the biblical story of creation. It is easy to see, in this context, just how completely insular the Bible-based education eco-system is. So when a child goes from a homeschooled youth to a Christian college devoted to developing “biblical leaders,” it is no small wonder that these youth enter public life ready to serve, not the U.S. Constitution, but Jesus Christ.

As we are in the closing dance of the 2012 presidential campaign, consider this: We can cede education to the Dominionists or we can fight with as much purpose as they do to sustain and improve public education. We can look on and chuckle while mega-church pastors engage in Forty Days of Prayer to pray away President Barack Obama, or we can fully face up to the challenges of our own homegrown extremist religious bloc. It won’t be easy but the future depends on our choices.

About K.C. Boyd

K.C. Boyd wrote "Being Christian, A Novel" after studying the impact the “Religious Right” has made on American politics and policy in the last decade. She devoured dozens of books, viewed countless television sermons and traveled to various “Values” or “Christian” conferences across the country where she has seen and heard influential politicians and their religious counterparts promulgating hatred towards Muslims and liberals. Through "Being Christian," Boyd invites readers to experience the seriousness of this extremist minority. Her message is for people of all faiths and parties: mainstream Christians, Jews, Atheists, Democrats and Republicans.

Being Christian, A Novel is available at beingchristian.net, Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and other online booksellers.