Stop the Country, I Want To Get Off!
In more news that sounds fake but isn't, Betsy DeVos-- the billionaire freelance Christian educational reformer who Trump has chosen for Secretary of Education-- has revealed that she would like to "help advance God's Kingdom" in the pedagogical realm . . . she's not content just donating money to Christian schools, instead she wants to "be in that Shephelah, and to confront the culture," which basically means she wants to fight the good fight against the Philistines-- of which I am one-- and she acknowledges that "the church-- which ought to be in our view more central to the life of the community-- has been displaced by the public school as the center for activity, the center for what goes on in the community" but she hopes with charter schools and tax credits and vouchers that the church can get more and more central and involved in the education of the youth . . . and I know she's not speaking to me, or my area of the country-- but still . . . HOLY SHIT . . . this is a wonderful, wild, weird admission of actual political/religious purpose-- in a way it's lovely because it's so clear and so crazy, an incredibly brazen violation of the separation of church and state, the admission of a deep-held desire for the government to fund religious affiliation-- Christian religious affiliation-- and a bizarre plan to unravel the most accessible democratic institution in American life-- the public school-- which is now a place where parents of any class, status, religion, and/or belief can have an immediate effect . . . a place where local people can run for school board or serve on the PTA or volunteer or coach or simply attend functions and have influence-- and so I love to see her ardent longing laid bare, her yen to turn this special place into a segregated religious institution . . . to place the secular setting where arts and music and sports and various clubs of all stripes and denominations happen under a religious purview, and more importantly, to taint the place where our critical thinking is taught with the tincture of Christian ideology-- hello Creationism!-- and I just love that she says it out loud, for everyone to hear . . . it's a great reminder of how ideologically different people are in this great country of ours; for a loosely connected reason why this is a weird and wild turn of events, listen to Sam Harris talk to Shady Hamid about his new book: Islamic Exceptionalism . . . Hamid explains that one of the major differences between the Islamic nations that often export terror and Western nations that do not, is that Islam is completely intertwined with politics, and there is no separation of church and state, nor is there even the idea that it's possible to separate religion and politics in places like Iran and Saudi Arabia . . . but there's no way that the Senate in the United States of America will approve her, right?