America’s children will get a fundamentalist Christian education whether their parents desire it or not! Betsy DeVos, graduate of evangelical Calvin College, homeschool advocate, and avowed enemy of the public school who has said that her goal regarding education is “to confront the culture in which we all live today in ways that will continue to help advance God’s Kingdom.” will now be in charge of our nation’s public schools.
She has been criticized for buying influence and, in 1997, decided not to hide from the accusations. “I have decided to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we are buying influence. Now I simply concede the point. They are right. We expect to foster a conservative governing philosophy consisting of limited government and respect for traditional American virtues.”
The Senate was split down the middle, but Mike Spence, our vice president, broke the tie by casting his vote in favor of Ms. DeVos.
What can we look forward to? Probably more benefits for Christian homeschoolers, cuts in science programs, an emphasis on creationism disguised as ‘intelligent design’, forced prayers in school, and, with an even blurier boundary between church and state, religious based abstinence programs and, quite possibly, a rise in fundamentalist children’s homes for public school delinquents.
This is all relative to the pushback we hope Devos will get from teacher’s unions, assuming those still survive the next four years.
The best we can do is make rebellion cool amongst teenagers. Encourage a culture of student rebellion. If you meet a public school student, encourage them to read Carl Sagan, the works of Neil Degrasse Tyson, and loan them movies that encourage critical thinking: like Contact or even the classics like Elmer Gantry and Inherit the Wind.
And, of course, music. The more rebellious and ear shattering the better. Dump the baby boomers and introduce them to Pussy Riot, Bad Religion, the Sex Pistols, DMX, and even the smooth sultry sounds of Fiona Apple and Tori Amos. There are more artists but, ultimately, we want them to create their own art and rebellion.
If it lands them in the Christian slammers (Straight programs, fundamentalist homes like New Bethany and those once operated by the late Lester Roloff), prepare them. Show them the silent classics like The Godless Girl. Cecil B. Demille’s last silent film about a teenage atheist who stuffs freethought literature in her schoolmate’s locker and holds awareness meetings where she discusses evolution. Christian teens start a riot at her meeting and she is sentenced to a youth reformatory where, by the end of the movie, she leads a rebellion and they burn down the institution.
Unfortunately, Demille gave in to Christian pandering and had her convert at the end of the movie. Feel free to stop the projector at the riot, just like they did during a screening in the Soviet Union. The movie is currently available on YouTube, so while it exists, download, save it, and show it at your favorite punk club with your own soundtrack.
This could be a golden age of rebellion if we play this right. If we resist and show no mercy toward the illogical and weak status quo, perhaps we can finally defeat, in a spectacular fashion, the political influence of the last fundamentalist.
Music to play while watching The Godless Girl: 27 songs that fueled your teenage rebellion.