We first witnessed this dynamic in homeschooling back in the 80’s. Now we see a self identified ‘Christian conservationist’, Liza Field, write about the politics of coalition building. Field shows how homeschooling families were used:
“Issues in Education,” a Christian radio homeschooling broadcast I sometimes hear, warns parents that climate change — a “heresy” — is being taught in schools. It also urges listeners to lobby for oil-drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and home-school kids with textbooks that praise deregulation and depict climate change as a hoax.
Who underwrites these messages? Various industries with little interest in Christianity. It’s called “coalition-building.”
Digging deeper by tracking Ralph Reed’s move from the Christian Coalition to Century Strategies:
That list [Christian Coalition] allowed him to mobilize Christian groups not only for political clients (like Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell), but corporate giants Enron, Koch, Microsoft, and various oil, coal, energy, big auto and timber interests.
These clients hire Reed to turn public opinion against regulatory policy, including climate action, EPA standards and the Endangered Species Act. Hence, disdain for environmental protection becomes a new Christian Value.
It’s preached not only through certain Christian Broadcasters and ministries, but Reed’s longtime friends Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity — whose persistent, widely-aired efforts to wed Jesus to materialism have ironically made them the loudest representatives of “Christianity” on the planet.
It’s an effective, values-added product to offer special interests — media coverage, a ready-to-go lobby, a real “pulpit.” But does it have hidden costs?
However you worship or feel about conservation, the dynamics is the same. Political power is bled from local and state networks and individuals to be wielded as a “values-added product to offer special interests.” This threatens our religious freedom as surely as it threatens our freedom to homeschool.
I strongly suggest you read and consider the political dynamics outlined in
A ‘Christian conservationist’s’ view at Easter.
For a homeschool specific take see: Homeschooling Freedoms At Risk.