If you believe God created the universe in six days and rested on the seventh, if you believe the earth is less than ten million years old, and if you believe evolution is a lie from the pit of hell, then you’ll be thrilled that U.S. taxpayers are doling out $1 billion a year to fund private Christian grade school educations that teach all those beliefs as “facts.” And you’ll be thrilled to learn that $1 billion is increasing dramatically every year.
Welcome to the neat trick of publicly-funded private school voucher programs.
The Politico article does not mention same-sex marriage, homosexuality, or abortion, but you can assume how religious schools might be teaching those subjects to students — intentionally or not.
Noting that “about 250,000 students take advantage of vouchers and tax-credit scholarships, Politico today released a report that examined the voucher programs in all states that offer them. The result is what anyone who accepts science might expect: religious schools are teaching from the Bible first and from text books, maybe second — and you’re footing the bill for America’s continued decline into the 18th century.
A POLITICO review of hundreds of pages of course outlines, textbooks and school websites found that many of these faith-based schools go beyond teaching the biblical story of the six days of creation as literal fact. Their course materials nurture disdain of the secular world, distrust of momentous discoveries and hostility toward mainstream scientists. They often distort basic facts about the scientific method â€” teaching, for instance, that theories such as evolution are by definition highly speculative because they havenâ€™t been elevated to the status of â€œscientific law.â€
And this approach isnâ€™t confined to high school biology class; it is typically threaded through all grades and all subjects.
One set of books popular in Christian schools calls evolution â€œa wicked and vain philosophy.â€ Another derides â€œmodern math theoristsâ€ who fail to view mathematics as absolute laws ordained by God. The publisher notes that its textbooks shun â€œmodernâ€ breakthroughs â€” even those, like set theory, developed back in the 19th century. Math teachers often set aside time each week â€” even in geometry and algebra â€” to explore numbers in the Bible. Students learn vocabulary with sentences like, â€œMany scientists today are Creationists.â€
One publicly subsidized school in Pennsylvania put it this way: â€œAlthough academic quality is a high priority at West Chester Christian School, our primary goal is to maintain our distinctiveness as a Christian school as expressed in our motto: â€˜Education with a Bible Foundation.â€™â€ Another touts as a key measure of success that its students are more likely than peers to attend religious services and believe in the Bible â€œas an infallible guide for personal life and behavior.â€
This, of course, is only the beginning.
“In Florida, for instance, public subsidies are set to rise from $286 million this year to about $700 million in 2018 even without further legislative action, as long as demand remains high,” Politico reports.
And, of course, the Koch Brothers’ group, Americans for Prosperity is “a major player” in the school voucher push across the nation, Politico notes.
Some of these publicly-funded Bible schools hide in the shadows, not disclosing their curriculums, while other, and advocates of a publicly-funded Bible-based education think the state should just butt-out.
“Doug Tuthill, who runs one of the largest private school choice programs in the nation, says states have no right to determine what kids should learn, beyond basic math, reading and writing,” the Politico report states. “Other topics, from the age of Earth to the reasons for the Civil War, are just too controversial for a government mandate, he said, even when taxpayer money is at stake.”
â€œOnce a child has strong literacy skills, they can educate themselves,â€ said Tuthill, who runs Floridaâ€™sÂ Step Up for StudentsÂ program. â€œWe donâ€™t have to rely on schools, necessarily.â€
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican, has also made a forceful case that when it comes to education, parents â€” not government bureaucrats â€” should call the shots. Jindal has accused Obama of violating that principle by firstÂ seeking to blockÂ and now seeking to monitor aÂ voucher programÂ for Louisiana students with household income of up to $60,000 a year for a family of four.
If this is the path to American exceptionalism, we’re doomed.
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Alex Jones declares that he’s Hitler and a child murderer in unhinged interview
Alex Jones, the host of the conspiracy theory show InfoWars declared that he himself is Hitler and that he shot kids to death in an interview on Channel 5 with Andrew Callaghan.
When Callaghan asked Jones if he felt responsible for what happened to the Sandy Hook parents, meaning the harassment and death threats they faced after Jones told his millions of viewers that they were “crisis actors” who helped fake a 2012 school shooting in order to help the government confiscate people’s guns.
Jones responded, “I went to that school. I pulled the gun out. I shot every one of myself. I mean, I’m guilty.” Later on, he repeats over and over again, “I killed them. I’ll admit it. I did it. I’m the bad guy…. I murdered those children. I did. I did it myself.”
The December 14, 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting left 26 people dead, including 20 children ages 6 and 7. Jones was not the shooter.
“We should bow five times a day to New Haven, Connecticut for the kids that died,” Jones said, before saying that people have been hypnotized into believing that they should give their guns to George Soros, a Jewish billionaire that anti-Semites think controls left-wing politics.
“I was actually Hitler. It wasn’t actually Hitler,” Jones said. “I did it. I was in a time machine in Germany. I did all that.”
Later in the interview, Jones said, “I was being sarcastic earlier. I didn’t kill the children. I’m not Jeffrey Dahmer. I didn’t invent hemorrhoids. I simply questioned things and they’re trying to demonize me to say questioning things is a bad deal.”
That’s a lie though. Jones himself said the shooting was fake, and he has said in court that he believed it was, though he now believes otherwise. He has also claimed that his company is broke, despite raking in millions in online sales.
“Nobody thinks you killed the kids,” Callaghan told Jones during their interview. “Nobody thinks that oh, it’s what you did. What you killed is [the parents’] ability to get over the death of children.”
Jones responded, “Everyone’s like yeah, ‘We’re gonna get him immediately.’ Like, they’ve built me up and like I’m this giant creature like all-powerful, like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, and none of it’s real. So it’s like it’s funny, actually. It’s actually comical. I mean, it’s, it’s actually hilarious.”
Jones is being sued for defamation by several parents of Sandy Hook victims who said they experienced hardship stemming from his claims. In court, Jones said he was tired of apologizing for his statements about the shooting being a hoax.
In August 2018, Jones and InfoWars were both banned from YouTube, Apple, Facebook and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) for repeatedly violating their policies forbidding hate speech and glorifying violence. Twitter banned him a month later for “abusive behavior.”
Jones said his banning was political censorship because the mainstream is afraid of “the truth.”
Jones has claimed on InfoWars that the government is controlling the weather; Democratic politician Hillary Clinton runs a child sex ring out of a gay-owned D.C.-area pizza restaurant (something known as Pizzagate); that the transgender rights movement is a plot to allow people to have sex with their cars; and that millions of undocumented immigrants illegally voted in the 2016 presidential election (echoing a baseless claim repeated by then-President Donald Trump).
In a child custody case, Jones’ lawyer said that he is an actor whose words shouldn’t be taken seriously.
Extremist expert predicts political violence during the 2022 midterm elections
Andy Campbell, a senior editor at The Huffington Post who is the author of the book We Are Proud Boys: How a Right-Wing Street Gang Ushered in a New Era of American Extremism has said that The Proud Boys and other far-right vigilante groups will likely commit violence during the next two upcoming elections.
In a recent interview, Campell noted the Proud Boys were founded by right-wing commentator Gavin McInnes to fight in ways that other straight-laced Republicans wouldn’t.
Campbell also noted former President Donald Trump’s ominous command for the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” during his final September 2020 debate against now-President Joe Biden.
Several Proud Boys members are currently on trial for sedition for their involvement in the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
“I think we might learn some bombshells about their connection to Trump’s inner circle,” Campbell said. “And the fact that several top-level Proud Boys have already agreed to testify against their own means we may learn a lot.”
Trump also recently said that the nation would face “problems … the likes of which perhaps we’ve never seen” if he is indicted for taking classified documents after leaving office. His comment was widely seen as a call for his followers to commit violence if he’s ever criminally charged.
“I think Trump knows that everybody is going to react violently to this,” Campbell said. “The pipeline between the rhetoric and the violence in the street is so short now. How many hours was it between the time he was complaining about the FBI going through Mar-a-Lago and somebody showing up with a gun to an FBI field office? He knows he has people waiting to mobilize.”
Campbell added, “There will absolutely be Proud Boys violence in 2024 and I think in the 2022 election, too,” noting that Arizona Republicans have called for vigilante justice around ballot boxes.
“I think they are absolutely going to show up in force for Trump’s election regardless of what happens. I think we have to realize that the violence has trickled out to everyday Americans. It’s not just extremist groups anymore. Trump pointing to the back and calling the press the enemy, Trump glorifying Jan. 6 rioters,… that has come full circle.”
He concluded, “I think the spirit of January 6 is still here. All of the groups involved are still here, and everyday Americans have joined them… It’s going to be scary.”
Mike Lindell discourages Republicans from early voting so they can “overrun the algorithms”
Mike Lindell, the far-right extremist and conspiracy theorist who is also CEO of My Pillow, is continuing his inexplicable battle against Democracy and voting machines by telling fellow Republicans not to vote early in the upcoming midterm elections.
Lindell made his comments while speaking to Steve Bannon, former advisor to ex-President Donald Trump, on Bannon’s broadcast on the right-wing media outlet Real America’s Voice. Bannon asked Lindell what Republicans could do to ensure that they win the midterm elections and that the elections aren’t “stolen” from them. Both Bannon and Lindell have repeatedly pushed Trump’s baseless claims that the 2020 election was “stolen” through an unprecedented, nationwide voter fraud conspiracy that hasn’t been proved in any courts or publicly exposed in the media.
“Well, the number one thing that everyone should do is vote day of,” Lindell said, adding that voters can defy “lying” pollsters by voting only on Election Day. “We can overrun the algorithms. Everybody has to get out and vote — everybody you know — and same day. Don’t vote two days early, don’t vote one day early, vote same day.”
“It’s a lot harder for them when they don’t have days to pull names from the voter rolls with these machines and computers that are done the same day,” he continued. “And know, if we all get out and vote and overrun the algorithms, and even the ones we don’t, we are watching this time. We are watching everything.”
It’s not entirely clear what Lindell is talking about, though it seems he believes that computer algorithms use early voting counts to help decide which votes to throw out, even though voting machines don’t actually make such determinations.
Since the 2020 presidential elections, Lindell, a longtime supporter of Trump, has used his public platform to accuse various election officials of wrongdoing. He now faces a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems for his repeated claims that their machinery played a role in “stealing” the 2020 election from Trump. He also held a televised 3-day-long cyber symposium last year that he said would prove fraud occurred in the 2020 presidential elections — it didn’t.
Steve Bannon, Bannon co-founded the right-wing news site Breitbart and was chief executive officer of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. He also served as White House chief strategist and senior counselor to the president from January 2017 until August 18, 2017, when Trump fired him.
In August 2020, Bannon was indicted by a federal grand jury, accused of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering connected to the “We Build the Wall” campaign, a $25 million GoFundMe crowdfunding, which claimed to be raising money to help Trump construct a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
Mike Lindell, who has continually called for abolishing voting machines, is now telling people to only vote on election day and claimed it’s possible to “overrun the algorithms.” pic.twitter.com/Mb55xf5X8b
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) September 29, 2022
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