Every month I get a letter from Focus on the Family. I rarely open it. The alarmist statement on the outer envelope usually prompts me to aim it straight for the garbage. How I got on their list I am not sure. Each month there is some hype about Christianity being under attack by gays / liberals / public schools ... etc. Each month there is a new boogie man.
I got an email from a friend once. She had been informed about how the "Public Schools" were up to something evil, and she wanted to know if she should be concerned. I don't remember the issue, but here is my reply:
Heh, don't worry; everything is going to be OK. I remember when I started teaching 15 years ago, the big panic in the Christian world was the book - "Heather has two mommies" ( a book about a child living in a lesbian family). Supposedly every classroom was going to be given copies of this book, there would be classes about it, your kid's teacher would make them read it, and soon all children everywhere would be gay and the world would blow up. 15 years and 3 schools later and I have yet to even see a copy.
The reality is that these "ministries" rake in big cash every time they run a report saying "Homosexuals and Atheists are beating children while the public schools cheer them on!" A friend of mine who used to work for the 700 Club told me about their "7 Days Ablaze" fund raising drive. He said they did more gay and atheist tie-ins to the public schools that week than any other time because it generated tons of phone calls. Around the office he said they called the drive, "Seven Gays Ablaze".
School systems are primarily community driven. Rochester Schools were pretty much what they were because the community wanted them that way. The same is true out here in Salt Lake. I think the question should always be, "Am I happy with what is happening at my child's school?" If one scourers the schools of the country, it would be easy to find oddball things to report about.
I want accurate information about schools as much as anyone, but I am suspicious of groups who intake a greater income of money on bad news rather than good. Plus, I think the time has come for our Christian communities to start loving goodness more than they hate evil.
Plunk, Plunk. My two cents.
It has always been in the back of my mind to write a blog about the use of exaggeration and overstatement in the Evangelical community. So many ministries preying on fear. However, this author beat me to it and wrote about it much better than I ever could. Click HERE for a great read.