Woke Evangelists Spread the Gospel

America’s newest religion is secular, and its zealous missionaries are focusing their efforts on the country’s youth. John Murawski does an excellent job of detailing the nuts and bolts of the new evangelism in “Woke History Is Making Big Inroads in America’s High Schools.” He begins by delving into California, where a hideous ethnic studies requirement was shelved temporarily in August as many groups protested its anti-capitalist, anti-Semitic bias. In addition to Jews, Armenians, Greeks, Hindus, Koreans and other groups also called for changes. 

But while it is not a requirement yet, the new religion is most definitely thriving. As Murawski reports, many students currently are being taught about “colonialism, state violence, racism, intergenerational trauma, heteropatriarchy and the common thread that links them: ‘whiteness.’” At one high school in southern California, students are assigned to write a “breakup letter with a form of oppression,” such as toxic masculinity, heteronormativity, and Eurocentrism.

And “wokeness” is hardly limited to California, nor is it being pushed only to high schoolers. In North Carolina, a mother complained to school officials when her 8-year-old son came home a handout explaining “white privilege.”

In Seattle, there is a “Math Ethnic Studies Framework” for grades K-12, in which power and oppression are the ways in which “individuals and groups define mathematical knowledge so as to see ‘Western’ mathematics as the only legitimate expression of mathematical identity and intelligence. This definition of legitimacy is then used to disenfranchise people and communities of color.” (As a former math teacher, I always appreciated the simplicity of the subject. It was about getting to the truth: 2 + 2 = 4. If you think otherwise, you are wrong. Little did I know I was an oppressor!)

The Family Redefined

The LGBTQQIAA+ers, who are at the forefront of the woke brigade, have done a masterful job of getting inappropriate sexual information to children as young as 3-years-old in the name of “tolerance.” As reported by The Federalist’s Joy Pullman, preschoolers in Illinois are being taught to celebrate transgenderism. “My Princess Boy” is geared to 5-year-olds. Traditional monogamy takes a hit in a video called “That’s a Family!,” in which a young boy explains, “My two moms are Marilyn and Adrian and my two dads are Michael and Barry.” The relationship of the four adults is not explained, but one, nevertheless, can’t avoid thoughts of polyamory.

While the radical shifts are typically explained in terms of tolerance, one woman in England is more candid about the movement’s true ambitions. Elly Barnes, founder of Educate and Celebrate, an organization that “transforms schools into LGBTQ-friendly places,” says that the goal of her group is to train teachers to “completely smash heteronormativity.” Along the same lines, Sarah Hopson, a primary school teacher from Warrington, told the BBC that she “conditions school children as young as six to accept LGBTQ ideology while they’re young and impressionable, so they’ll be less likely to accept a Christian view of sexuality later on in life.”

The nation’s teachers’ unions are certainly not lacking in woke zealotry. At their convention in July, the National Education Association’s new business items—proposed directives and projects for action during the coming year—included incorporating “the concept of ‘White Fragility’ into NEA trainings/staff development, literature, and other existing communications . . . .” One adopted item pushes for “reparations for descendants of enslaved Africans in the United States,” and another publicizes the union’s “vigorous defense of immigrants’ rights: defending the right to asylum, ending the criminalization of border crossings, opposing child separation, the construction of a border wall, and immediately shutting down immigrant concentration camps.”

At the same time, the union rejected what parents want most for their kids: a basic education. Members voted down an item stating the NEA “will re-dedicate itself to the pursuit of increased student learning in every public school in America by putting a renewed emphasis on quality education.”

Free Speech Under Assault

As K-12 schools proselytize the woke religion, it surely follows that many students are possessed by the time they hit the university. 

Venerable academic and commentator Walter Williams writes about Williams College (no relation) in Massachusetts, where professor Steven Gerrard was declared “an enemy of the people.” The offending prof wanted the college to join other schools in signing onto the “Chicago Principles,” which call for free speech to be central to college and university culture. But many students were appalled, insisting that free speech is a part of a right-wing agenda as a “cover for racism, xenophobia, sexism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism and classism.” Not surprisingly just a handful of America’s 4,000 colleges and universities have endorsed or adopted the Chicago Principles.

A recent Real Clear Opinion Research poll revealed that “a majority of registered voters are dissatisfied with the performance of the elementary and secondary education system” in the United States, and “have little confidence that public schools will improve any time soon.” Those polled said the two most important things a public education system should prepare students to do is “read and write” and “be good citizens.” Promotion of a new secular religion was not on anyone’s radar.

While certainly not all schools and teachers are part of the woke movement, far too many are. Parents, you must step up here—please visit your child’s school, talk to the teachers, ask questions, and very importantly, check in with your kids daily, and deprogram them if necessary. Better, find a school that reflects your values and enroll your children there. If you are not vigilant, you very well may end up with an unrecognizable woke religious zealot.

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About Larry Sand

Larry Sand, a former classroom teacher, is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network—a nonpartisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers and the general public with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues. The views presented here are strictly his own.

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