Robin Steeman of Moms for Liberty-Williamson County Chapter Outlines ‘Wit and Wisdom’ Indoctrination

Robin Steeman of Moms for Liberty-Williamson County Chapter Outlines ‘Wit and Wisdom’ Indoctrination

 

Live from Music Row, Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – guest host Cunningham welcomed Robin Steeman of Moms for Liberty-Williamson County to the newsmaker line to outline the indoctrinating curriculum of Wit and Wisdom and its efforts to push back against the school board and superintendent.

Cunningham: Robin Steeman is with Moms for Liberty in Williamson County. Robin, good morning.

Steeman: Good morning, Ben.

Cunningham: Thank you so much for taking the time to join us this morning. We just wanted to get an update on what’s going on. The last I heard, you guys were attending school board meetings.

Your thrust has been to highlight and expose Critical Race Theory in schools and other issues that are going on. Give us an update on what is going on right now with you guys.

Steeman: Sure thing, Ben. As you know, we started our journey taking on Critical Race Theory in Williamson County. And it really started with the hiring of the diversity equity inclusion consultancy in which – that we anticipate they’ll identify systemic racism in the county.

And then we’re off to the races with CRT-type policy. In that journey, we became aware of students ashamed of their skin color and students feeling like a victim because of their skin color.

So we really turned to look at where CRT already existed in the system. And, of course, our first suspicion was the curriculum. So we’ve done a deep dive into the Wit and Wisdom curriculum, and there are pockets of CRT.

But the problem with Wit and Wisdom is it’s really social-emotional learning from K through fifth grade. It’s extremely dark, extremely graphic. Emotions run high, but they’re all negative emotions and just a lot of age-inappropriate material.

And that’s where our battle is right now is Wit and Wisdom. And as the school year starts, literally next week, parents’ emotions are running high. For some parents, there are some stress levels out there.

Cunningham: And it just sounds so Orwellian. All of these terms just sound really, really strange and Orwellian as if we all need to be forced into equity and inclusion. And as if there’s some great moral rule out there that we’re not attuned to that – parents must be educated about the great moral issues of the day.

This is just ridiculous. Parents should be in charge of what goes on in schools and schools should prioritize teaching reading, and writing, and arithmetic first before they get into the social-emotional and all these other issues. How did we drift so far away from the basics of education?

Steeman: I wish I knew that. (Chuckles) I’m new on the scene. I think it’s a slide and we’ve been going down a slope for a while and parents have been busy, and we’ve been living our lives.

And we’ve put a lot of faith and a lot of trust in the school district and in those that run the school district and assume that they’re on the same page with us and at least the same side with us. And then COVID happens, and parents get to sit in on what their kids are being taught and low and behold what’s going on.

Cunningham: It’s been a huge revelation, I think, to parents and grandparents and everybody. And thankfully, I don’t know, it may be a mixed blessing of COVID that we are getting some insights into exactly what is going on and beginning to hold them accountable. What do you see for Moms for Liberty as your role over the school year that is about to start?

Steeman: We’ve put in well over 1,200 hours by now of research into Wit and Wisdom by over 20 parents to really get to the bottom of it because each module, each lesson also has a teacher’s manual and that teacher’s manual must be looked at thoroughly.

And I’ll give you an example real quick because we just found something new. There’s a book in the kindergarten grade, module one, and it’s called Bojangles. And I bought the book and read it, and I have no problems with it. I would let my daughter read it.

She’s about to go into first grade. But it talks about Bojangles and how he danced and how that was a positive thing in the world. And there’s this one page where he’s dancing past open and closed doors. And two of the doors are closed.

And then a couple of the doors are open and the people are waving. But there’s this one door that’s closed. It looks like a man is turned the other way. It was kind of an angry expression. And what is his skin color? Well, it’s white.

I mean, is that historically accurate? I’m sure. But I have no problem with that for a child. My child would see that and would probably focus on the waving happy people and would focus on the pictures of Bojangles dancing.

But then you look at the teacher’s manual and it’s striking because it says, okay, kids, let’s focus on the angry white man. Look at his expression.

Cunningham: You are kidding me? Does it literally say that?

Steeman: Well, it doesn’t say the white man, but it’s the angry man. It wants them to focus on that. And, of course, the skin color is very evident. But then it goes on to say that Bojangles, that these doors were closed to him because of his skin color.

And it says it multiple times. I mean, a child would have never picked up on that in just the reading of the book. But the teacher’s manual will not allow them an innocent reading of the book. It will not permit their children’s innocence.

It has to force a kindergartener, a five or six-year-old, to look at this story through a racial lens, to say, oh, Bojangles is racially oppressed. And this man behind the door and the angered expression has something to do with that.

And then further, it goes into the Harlem Renaissance for kindergarteners. I would submit that the kindergartener has no idea what the regular old Renaissance is. So it’s just not age-appropriate. The book itself is fine.

But the teacher’s manual is where it just goes off the rails. And the teacher’s manual even puts a note in there for the teachers like this word is too advanced. The word is closed for module one and the kindergarteners because of the blended sounds. But due to the narrative of the story, because that’s more important, then we’re going to use it anyway.

So put it up on the word wall, but the students don’t need to read it. Those are just out of whack priorities. This is English language arts. You’re teaching a child to read and write for the first time and you’re choosing words that are too advanced because they hit the narrative that’s being presented.

So once you read that teacher’s note, it’s really all you need to know about the priorities of this particular lesson. The teacher’s manuals are really crucial. There are many examples of a book that may be okay or maybe not that bad.

And then you match it up with the teacher’s manual and it’s incredibly stilted in ideology, especially in the third grade. We’re digging up more stuff about Story Messenger, which is a book about Galileo, which normally would be a great thing.

But the teacher’s manual, instead of focusing on his scientific advancements, this new way of thinking, and how he changed the world, it absolutely focuses on how he was persecuted by the Church. The Church and its traditions are bad.

Cunningham: It’s indoctrinating kids into a particular worldview. I don’t think there’s any question about that.

Steeman: No, there’s not. So what we’ve done is we’ve raised our objections with our school board and with our superintendent. We submitted letters requesting a forum back in June that we could present our findings, but our superintendent would really have nothing to do with that.

We had a forum anyway, and three school board members and a handful of our local elected officials attended. But instead, now we’re wrapped up in this 4.403 process, which is a board policy title request for reconsideration of instructional materials.

Which really was geared for a parent filing a complaint about a single book, whereas we’re following it complaining about the whole curriculum. But now we’re in a 4.403 process. It’s a pretty loose timeline.

They’re not giving us a lot of specifics. There are five members on the committee that we don’t necessarily agree with. We weren’t given a seat at the table even though we’re a legitimate parent organization.

And the policy allows for the parent organization to be at the table. So school starts imminently and parents are getting nervous. Some have pulled out altogether. And then for those that are keeping their child in because not every parent can withdraw their child …

Cunningham: We are coming up on a break. Can you stay over the break for us? I apologize for interrupting you there. I’d love to ask you some more questions.

Steeman: I sure can.

Listen to the second hour here:

– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Host Cunningham, Ogles, and Grant Discuss Indoctrination of Children, Purpose, and Salvaging a Generation

Host Cunningham, Ogles, and Grant Discuss Indoctrination of Children, Purpose, and Salvaging a Generation

 

Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  guest host Ben Cunningham welcomed Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles and Grant Henry of Americans for Prosperity in the studio to discuss the increasing indoctrination of young children, the desperation of generations to have a purpose, and the waking of the silent majority.

Cunnigham: It’s great to rant and rave in front of the big Michael Patrick Leahy microphone for a day. And I appreciate Michael letting me come in and sit in for him. He’s out expanding his huge media empire, going to state after state. I’m telling you, the guy is just unstoppable.

And thank goodness, because the media has been taken over by the liberals, just like most of our other institutes. And we’ve got to fight back. Andy Ogles, Maury County mayor, is with us in-studio this morning, and Grant Henry with Americans of Prosperity, also sitting in.

A triumvirate of hosts this morning to fill in the big shoes of Michael Patrick Leahy. All right, guys, I got a culture update for you this morning. It turns out that in the Baby Muppets TV series, and frankly, I don’t even know where the Baby Muppets are shown. But this last episode, apparently, Baby Gonzo decides he wants to go to a ball, a dance, a royal ball as a Princess and as a female.

And so the transgendered agenda is being pushed even to our children. This show is aimed at kids four to seven years old. And this is from a Fox News article. It says a fairy rat father grants Gonzo his wish to become a princess. And later in the show, the piggy character tells Gonzo we met the most amazing princess.

And this gushing kind of affirmation of transgender to our kids. If there’s any tendency of some poor kid out there to be confused, who has gone through some kind of emotional wounds, this will give them an avenue to go into the transgender role just as easily.

And we see this so much with young kids these days. You guys have probably seen this Libs of TikTok. There’s a Twitter account called Libs of TikTok, and the guy goes on TikTok and takes the most outrageous videos on TikTok.

And it is just amazing how far into this delusional world the young kids have gotten. And the left is pushing this transgender and basically saying to anybody who comes out against it and who doubts it that you are a bigot. You’re a hater. And that really is where we’re going.

Ogles: Well, I’ll come out against it. It’s a bunch of crap. I’ve got a six-year-old son.

Cunningham: I like that.

Ogles: And I’m offended by this. This transgender, which is a mental disorder. We’re pandering to less than one percent of the population. When you have a six-year-old boy or six-year-old girl, but they don’t understand the world, they don’t understand their boundaries.

And so they’re gonna ask questions like, you might have a boy say, hey Dad, can I have my nails painted? And the answer is no, because that’s what girls do, right? Or a girl may want to do something that is overtly masculine. And there’s nothing wrong with boys being boys and girls being girls.

And we’ve got to stop pandering to these lunatics on the left. There was a time and day that a kid could turn on Saturday morning cartoons and the parents didn’t have to be worried about what’s going to be forced down your children’s throat.

And now you’ve got a screen, everything, even the content for your four or four, five, six-year-old child. And I’m offended by that. And it’s time that we take this country back, which is why we’re doing this freedom tour. We are a conservative state and it’s time we start acting like it.

Henry: So speaking purely as myself here, not on behalf of AFP or any other organization, just Grant Henry. You said it before, Ben. This is a program that’s targeted primarily towards the ages of three to eight. Pregnant pause for effect.

I think that’s kind of the answer. Can kids just not be kids today? Is there not an availability anywhere in the nation anymore to just allow the innocence of a child to remain? And part of it speaks to me in this, Ben. I’m reading through Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning right now.

Cunningham: Great book.

Henry: Here’s a quote: Man searches for meaning is the primary motivation of his life and not a secondary rationalization of instinctual drives. This meaning is unique and specific, and that it must and can be fulfilled by him alone. Only then does it achieve a significance, which will satisfy his own will to meaning.

That to me, screams that humanity itself is yearning for purpose. Meaning. There is motivation behind that like there is nothing else in our lives. A little bit of what this is right now is this desperate search to find meaning in something.

And I’m telling you, all right, now it is incumbent upon conservatives and primarily Christians, to start presenting a better alternative to some of the stuff that we’re seeing out there.

Cunningham: Absolutely. And we’ve seen this in other totalitarian states. The children are the first thing they go after. And it happened in the Soviet Union. It certainly happened in China. It happened in Cambodia, with Pol Pot.

In Cuba. The first thing they will do is to change the education system and the culture so that these kids are targeted with big government and authoritarian orthodoxy.

And that’s exactly what this is part of. And they’re basically saying to us, if you disagree with this, you’re a bigot and you not only will be silenced, you should be silenced. That’s the scary part. This is a quote from Victor Davis Hanson, who I love, and his analysis. He was writing an article about this process, and he says now, with the money and institutions in its hip pocket and cool popular culture on its side, the left would not just damn American institutions but infect them.

Alter their DNA and reengineer them into revolutionary agencies. And that is precisely what has happened. They’ve infected them with their far-left DNA and they’ve re-engineered them. Another guy that I love, Leonidas Johnson, who is one of the great black conservatives on Twitter.

He says, we’re now faced with a situation where cowardice is called courage. Failure is called success. Men are called women, abortion is called health care. Racism is called antiracism. Fascism is called antifascism. Opinions are called facts. Facts are called hate, and regressive is called progressive. And we have these poor kids that you see on TikTok that are just so deep into this delusion.

I don’t know if in our lifetime, certainly not in my lifetime, whether or not they’re salvageable and whether the culture is salvageable. We just got to take our own little Baileywick, our own little sphere of influence, and try to do what we can.

Henry: I do find hope, though, in some of these statistics that I look at with Generation Z, which I believe is the most recent generation, is the most conservative portions of it. Portions of Generation Z are the most conservative generation to have existed in American history. At least in the last 800 to 150 years. Now someone’s going to have to fact-check me in that. But the point I’m making here, Ben, is that I think that pendulum swings in both directions.

As widely as it swings left, it’s swinging that far to the right as well. There will be a point where it settles back down. We’re in this time of over 10 windows shift this time where what settles back down to a state of normalcy and what we accept as commonly accepted principles. That’s the real fight. That’s what’s so fun about being alive right now. Now is the time to actually have principles, stand on principles, and make your virtue known.

They matter now more than ever in American life. And I’m telling you one more time, free-market being what it is, let’s start responding with choice here. Let’s start responding with, hey, if you don’t like this show, turn to a different show, man.

Ogles: That’s right. If you don’t like it, move along as people get upset about some of my posts on social media. And it’s like, then why are you reading it? But to your point, Grant, it’s like again, anecdotally – Kingsport 400 people. Tellico Village, which is just outside of Knoxville, 400 people showed up.

Tonight I’m expecting, say, 500 people. And it’s this undercurrent of frustration. And people want their voices heard. This ‘silent majority.’ And I looked at this story on Breitbart we’re just talking about. The Internet Celebrates the Collapse of a Left Woke Olympic Icon. So you have people who love America. I love the Olympics.

Henry: Me too.

Ogles: You anticipate watching these. We’ve got three children, and you’re going to watch these things with your kids, and you’re going to pass along these traditions. And there’s more leftism and transgender in it. The dude weightlifter pretending to be a woman who competes in the weight lifting, and then he totally chokes. But I’m glad. Because that’s not what the Olympics is about.

Cunningham: Absolutely. There is one thing we’ve learned and that’s culture is just as important as politics. And exerting a cultural agenda. Like you say, Grant, is that is: a counter to this leftist orthodoxy is just as important as asserting an alternate political agenda.

Listen to the full second hour here:

– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All-Star Panelist Roger Simon: ‘I Don’t Think Money Has Much to Do with Education at All’

All-Star Panelist Roger Simon: ‘I Don’t Think Money Has Much to Do with Education at All’

 

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Senior Editor-At-Large at The Epoch Times Roger Simon in studio weighed in on the indoctrination of children through Critical Race Theory implemented in Williamson County public schools and the need to cut federal funding.

Leahy: I am in studio with the newest all-star panelist and good friend Roger Simon. My former boss at PJTV, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, a refugee from Los Angeles, California, and Editor-At-Large for The Epoch Times.

Roger, you’ve been following Williamson County and the Critical Race Theory curriculum that’s been apparently involved and taught in the schools. Mom’s For Liberty, a Williamson County group that, you know well, has documented that.

A big meeting last week. They invited school board members, and they invited Jason Golden, the director of schools. He didn’t attend that meeting.

Simon: Well, you know what I call Jason Goldman? The Fauci of Williamson County.

Leahy: Jason Goldman, the pouchy of Williamson County. Oh, that is so cruel to Fauci. (Laughter) That’s pretty good. Now, why do you call Jason Golden the director of Williamson County schools the Fauci of Williamson County?

Simon: Because he’s interested only in himself and not in the children.

Leahy: He’s interested only in himself and not the children.

Simon: Also, he gets a prohibitive salary, very similar to Anthony Fauci, who is the highest-paid member of our federal government.

Leahy: The highest-paid member of our federal government. The only other thing is that if you listen to Jason Golden, you get the impression that they’re not teaching Critical Race Theory at all. You get the impression they’re not teaching Critical Race Theory, Roger Simon.

Simon: Well, and when you’re teaching four-year-olds the essence of Critical Race Theory, which is that the color of your skin is the most important thing about you, you’re just doing a bad thing. Critical Race Theory is a fancy word for that. Who cares?

Leahy: Yeah, exactly.

Simon: The whole system is racialized to such a degree that all these children don’t even know who they really are or what’s going on. It’s terrible. Basically, there’s a simpler word for the whole thing, and it’s called child abuse.

Leahy: That’s what we got going on. Jason Golden, we had this guy before him named Mike Looney. Looney was aptly named. He’s gone. He introduced the training back in 2019. We did a big story of White privilege that was being taught to teachers there. We exposed that. Look at how fast this has moved.

Simon: The reason we talk about Williamson County, of course, it’s local here. And I’m sure Williamson County can hear what we’re saying now. But it’s a national problem. And Williamson County is an interesting example of what’s happening because it’s a Republican County where theoretically, this kind of thing should not happen at all.

Secondly, it’s a county famous for its educational system which has been growing by leaps and bounds because of the educational system. And people who can afford it are moving there.

Leahy: (Laughs) Exactly.

Simon: And little do they know, they’re moving there to get their kids indoctrinated. It’s an incredibly crazy situation, but it’s national, too.

Leahy: You said something very important there. People are moving to Williamson County to get their kids indoctrinated to hate America in the public schools.

Simon: They don’t realize it.

Leahy: The key point, isn’t it?

Simon: They think they’re moving to Mayberry.

Leahy: They’re not.

Simon: Obviously not. They’re not. Look, I was in Franklin the other day having dinner, and I live in Green Hills, but I’m up in Franklin all the time. I was up there having dinner and you drive around Franklin, it is Mayberry. It’s like one of the most attractive towns in the United States.

Leahy: Franklin, Tennessee, is a spectacular city. I mean, it’s just a great place. Downtown Main Street, love it!

Simon: It’s right out of some Norman Rockwell meets modern times.

Leahy: A Norman Rockwell meets Modern Times movie. By the way, I’m delighted you mentioned Norman Rockwell. I love his paintings. In fact, I got for a Father’s Day a couple of years ago the Four Freedoms.

Of course one of them, freedom from want, is eh, that was an FDR thing. You may know this. I interviewed his son once and said Norman Rockwell, he thought was probably not that political, but was a sort of a John F. Kennedy type liberal way back when.

Simon: Makes sense.

Leahy: Makes sense doesn’t it?

Simon: Yes, totally. But he was an absolutely great artist.

Leahy: Oh, spectacular.

Simon: When I was younger, I used to think he was corny, but actually, he’s not.

Leahy: This is because you were a sophisticated guy from Manhattan. I was a chump from upstate New York. I was a yahoo from Upstate New York, so I always liked him. (Laughs)

Simon: Listen, give me credit. I got there. But back to Franklin itself. Franklin is a great town, and people really want to live there and it’s coveted because of this educational system. It’s the worst kind of bait and switch.

You’re being sold a junker and something’s got to be done and something needs to be done across the country. But the great thing is something is being done because this Mom’s for Liberty, which is a national group is not just local.

Leahy: Mom’s for Liberty is a national group and it’s a Williamson County chapter.

Simon: Exactly. It is a great movement because it wakes people up. It’s easy to go about your job and your kids going to a good school and you don’t know what is happening. It’s been happening for 50 years.

Leahy: Or even longer. John Dewey. It all started with John Dewey and Columbia University. He basically wanted to turn American kids into robotic lovers of the great state.

Simon: Yes. Trotski-ites.

Leahy: Unfortunately, now that’s kind of the system that K-12 public education is today.

Simon: Yes. Unraveling it is not going to be simple. One of the reasons it’s not going to be simple is there’s no curriculum left that’s any good. My wife has been involved with this.

You can protest these curriculums that they foist on six-year-olds but then you’ve got to have something to give the teachers instead.

But they don’t have anything left anymore. We’re in bad shape, and we got to wake up because we’re making it really easy for Xi Jin Ping.

Leahy: Oh, yeah, absolutely. I’d like to get your reaction to my idea. And I’ve talked to members of the Tennessee General Assembly about this and surprisingly they have become increasingly open to it.

Simon: Great.

Leahy: Part of the problem, Roger, in my view, is that 10 percent of K-12 public education is funded by the federal government.

Simon: That’s a big problem.

Leahy: 40 percent local, 40 percent state. Well, what the feds do is say, we’ll give you this money, but you got to do X, Y and Z. And you see what X, Y, and Z is. What they’re now trying to dis through the Biden administration is promote the teaching of Critical Race Theory. That’s what they’re trying to do. Here’s my idea. Are you ready?

Simon: Cut federal funds.

Leahy: The Tennessee General Assembly should send a very polite note to Joe Biden. Dear Mr. President, you can take that 10 percent and put it somewhere else. I’ve got another way to describe it, but put it somewhere else is a polite way to start.

Simon: I agree. You’re going back to Joy Behar. (Laughter)

Leahy: That is very funny Roger. Here is the thing about all of this. We are going to have to really work with the Tennessee General Assembly. I think the majority of them agree with us intellectually.

There’s pressure from the school districts and the teachers’ unions to keep taking that federal money because nobody turns down money. This is money with such bad strings that it’s leading to the propagandizing of our kids and it’s utterly destructive.

Simon: I couldn’t agree more.

Leahy: Are you with me on that?

Simon: 100 percent. And I’ll add to it. The add to it is, I don’t think money has much to do with education at all.

Leahy: You are exactly right.

Listen to the full third hour here:

– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author of Awake, Not Woke Noelle Mering Highlights the Three Fundamental Distortions of Woke Culture

Author of Awake, Not Woke Noelle Mering Highlights the Three Fundamental Distortions of Woke Culture

 

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  guest host Christina Botteri welcomed co-creator of the Theology of Home and author of the book Awake, Not Woke, Noelle Mering to the newsmakers line to outline the three elements of her book that define the woke culture and its infiltration into the church.

Botteri: Right now on the newsmakers line, I am so excited to introduce our next guest, Noelle Mering is a fellow at the Ethics and Policy Center. She’s the author of the book Awake, Not Woke: A Christian Response to the Cult of Progressive Ideology. Noel, thank you so much for joining us this morning on The Tennessee Star Report.

Mering: Nice to be here. Thank you for having me.

Botteri: Thank you. Tell us about your new book.

Mering: Yeah. So it’s published by TAN Books. It just came out a couple of weeks ago, and it’s really my research and interest in what’s happening with woke culture. And I treat it more or less like a religion.

So I go through its origins, its dogmas, and its methods of indoctrination, but then also the restoration, the way to restore the culture out of this situation. Yes, I’m really excited about it and eager to be talking more about it. It’s one of my favorite subjects. (Chuckles)

Botteri: (Laughs) Well, let’s get started. So what was the genesis of the idea to address this? Where did the idea for Awake, Not Woke come from?

Mering: I’ve always thought of been interested in the intersection of Christianity and politics and how that plays itself out. And obviously it’s a hot topic, and there are lots of differences.

The big topic I think I got really interested in the woke stuff in particular because I started writing articles about things that were happening in the culture and noticed a certain pattern that this movement that’s about social justice tends to be quite merciless and actually unjust ultimately.

But it really operates on confusion and sort of plays on a pre-Christian precept to walk alongside the marginalized and suffering, which is a true and good precept. But what I kept noticing is that it takes that and sort of manipulates that instinct and then brings something that not really just out of it.

And so that seems important and interesting to note and to try to figure out why the movement was acting this way.

Botteri: Wow. What did you find and what are the things that you discuss?

Mering: I go through the historical genealogy, which is a big topic, too, but rooted in Marxism and then neo-Freudism, and post-modernism. The central dogmas that I found to be driving this movement and uniting it are three fundamental distortions.

One places the group over the person to the point where the person is reduced for the sake of the group. And really there’s a lot of tribalism there. Secondly, it emphasizes the human will over our reason or nature.

So what we desire becomes the definition of who we are, even above and beyond what is rational or natural. Meaning, like natural law, an intelligible human nature is a bodily meaning.

We see this really acutely in the transgender movement, for example. And thirdly, it emphasizes human power over authority. It really defines any hierarchical structure to be oppressive, even the structure of a supernatural hierarchy.

And God himself ultimately finds to be the target of this movement, because there are three things that are reduced. And those three distortions are the person’s reason and authority.

And the woke which is ultimately three characters, just the logos meaning the mind, the reason of God manifests in the person of Jesus Christ, who is the author and authority of all. And I do think that he is the ultimate target of this movement.

Botteri: Something that I’ve seen over the course of several years now, but it seems to be sort of snowballing is a social justice movement in the church. And as a Methodist, I’ve had a tough time for a long time reconciling their pacifist stance – and that’s a discussion for another day.

But we see a lot of progressive tenants being expressed in the church right now, especially in Catholicism. If you follow the Pope at all, he’s basically a South American-Marxist.

Are we allowed to say that? It’s something that seems to be snowballing and gaining a lot of traction in the Protestant religion as well – the Protestant doctrines. Where is that coming from? If the goal of racism is to destroy God, why is it getting so much traction in the churches?

Mering: That’s a great question. The two primary targets of Karl Marx were the church and the family. Christianity and the family. And I think that there’s been a lot of inroads because Christians are swimming in the same waters as the regular culture.

So one of the main goals was to really break down the sexual morals of the culture. First and foremost, you’re attacking the father by making him unfaithful and by encouraging him to be licentious and follow sexual passions.

And then this turns women in, makes women distrustful because obviously family stability and cultural stability rely on the family unit. And it also makes children rebellious because a father is really kind of an icon of authority.

We see it in his deeper voice and his broader shoulders and his commanding stature. There really is an authority just imbued in men, and it sort of calls them to inspire something higher.

And if they don’t, then it really becomes abusive and just about human power when it’s not grounded in moral law. Once these things happen, social pathologies become rampant, and they’re in the church as well.

And I think we see that. Once our socials were wounded and hurt by all these social pathologies and the breakdown of the family, we become very susceptible to a replacement version of the Christian life and what virtue means.

And so all of a sudden we’ve gradually stripped at this narrative meaning of the family life, and the faith has become watered down. And then here comes the work movement, introducing this new narrative where all you have to do to become good is to agree with the ideology to fight.

There’s this boogeyman out there of oppression. They see oppression in everything. Every interaction is built on oppression and power. That’s what the ideology is saying. So if you can just fight this boogeyman.

And the boogeyman is not always the boogeyman. That’s why it’s powerful. It’s real sometimes. There’s real racism. There can be real misogyny. There are real instances of these things.

But rather than taking them to be incidences that you can point out and identify and try again, it becomes this invisible, pervasive, controlling dynamic in society. And so I think Christians have really been duped in a lot of ways into thinking that this is what the new way to become virtuous is.

It’s just to become woke. And all of the other normal traditional channels of virtue have been seen as being oppressive or judgmental or these sorts of things like old-fashioned. I think it really starts with a loss of human virtue and then becomes prey to tyrannical ideology in that way.

Botteri: Well, that’s disturbing. Os Guinness, the philosopher from Hong Kong, of the Ale Guinness family – he coined the phrase the Golden Triangle of Freedom and said that liberty is only possible without these three elements being the Golden Triangle of Freedom.

And you can read about this at the Tennessee Star with our Constitution series. And the three elements are faith, virtue, and freedom. Liberty cannot exist without those three elements there.

And so the question is, can we have liberty without faith or virtue? What do you say, Noelle?

Mering: No, it’s extraordinarily difficult. And this is one of the ways that you lose your liberty is by losing your virtue. Alexis de Tocqueville said that America is great only so long as she is good. And once we lose our moral goodness moral compass, then we can’t control ourselves from interiorly, we have to be controlled externally.

Botteri: That’s a lot to think about.

Listen to the full third hour here:

– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Noelle Mering” by Noelle Mering.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All-Star Panelist Roger Simon: ‘I Don’t Think Money Has Much to Do with Education at All’

The Federalist Author Jenni White Discusses the Five Ways Parents Are Responsible for Public Education Failures

 

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed author Jenni White at The Federalist to discuss her recent piece which holds parents partially responsible for failing public education.

Leahy: We are joined by Jenni White, who has a terrific article at The Federalist. Five Ways Parents Are Responsible for Public Education Failures. Good morning, Jenni. Thanks for joining us.

White: Good morning, Michael. Thanks for having me.

Leahy: So you’re from Oklahoma, is that right?

White: Yes, sir, I am.

Leahy: And you own it. You have five kids that you home school.

White: (Chuckles) Fortunately, not anymore. I’m down to one homeschooler. I’ve finally gotten a bunch of them out of the house.

Leahy: And you own and operate a micro-farm, is that right?

White: Yes, that’s right. I get up early anyway. So that’s what you do on the farm.

Leahy: Is a micro-farm five acres or less?

White: Well, we have 10 acres, but, yes, I still designate it as that because we don’t have 200 acres.

Leahy: What do you grow? What do you have? Any animals?

White: Oh, yes, we have sheep. We have lots of birds. We have ducks and turkeys and chickens and lots of cats and dogs. People tend to leave dogs in the country someplace, and we tend to raise them up and cat.

Leahy: Do you have crops?

White: Well, we have a large garden. We don’t actually plant anything on a large-scale basis, but we just have a really big garden.

Leahy: So that keeps you pretty busy.

White: Pretty much yes. Especially right now. Although what’s going on with the weather? (Chuckles)

Leahy: Yeah, exactly. We like Oklahoma. Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas, and Florida. These are states where liberty is still a possibility.

White: Absolutely.

Leahy: And I was very interested and intrigued by your article because it does say something about the duty parents have and the duties that they really have stopped exercising a little bit. The first of these five things that you say why parents are responsible for public education failures. The first one, parents believe it someone else’s job to educate their kids.

White: Yes. I mean, think about it. And I was that way, too. Even though I was a public school teacher. When my husband and I married we moved to a neighborhood because it had a ‘blue ribbon school’ which I found out later was kind of an erroneous designation. It’s kind of political. And we put our kids in it. And it wasn’t until then that I started noticing, even in elementary school, some of the stuff that was coming back about how Americans harmed Native Americans and about global warming. And I thought, oh, my gosh, what’s going on?

Leahy: This was back when? how long ago were you hearing about global warming from the school?

White: Oh, my gosh. That was all the way back in 2008 in my kids Elementary school.

Leahy: This is like their propaganda machines, aren’t they?

White: But it is. And I think it’s sad because parents don’t really understand. They think, just like I did when we first got started. These are great. It’s a neighborhood school. You can affect the neighborhood school. Well, I did try to affect the neighborhood school. I got on the PTA. I was on the PTA for four years, and in four years, all we managed to do the entire time was raise money selling whatever it was so we could get a computer lab.

And then after we got the computer lab, we had to get a gym. And I’m like, why don’t we get some good books? We need to get some good math books in here. What about Saxson math books? Well, they didn’t want to do that because it was all about competing with other schools and having this computer lab or a gym. And I’m thinking, guys, this isn’t what this isn’t the important thing here.

Kids need the math. I think parents are led down kind of a primrose path by educators and by school districts and by that whole kind of phenomena, I guess you could say of we’ll have a neighborhood school and our kids will walk and it’ll be great. And then they don’t really stop to think about what’s actually going on in the school.

Leahy: You said something very important at the beginning of this. You say parents have long begun to accept the brainwashing of Horace Mann that public schools were the repositories of all knowledge. Later, socialist John Dewey convinced administrators that public schools were to promote democracy by instituting social change, something parents couldn’t possibly do. Little by little, educrats began to convince parents public schools could parent and educate their children better than parents could.

White: Well, have you not heard people say, and I’ve heard this for years because I’ve been doing education research for well over a decade, and I go to talk places and parents will come up and they’ll just say, but I can’t educate my own kids. And I think, well, who tells you that you can’t educate your own kids? Well, the school and society tell you you can’t educate your own kids.

So we pay tax dollars into this institution that turns around and says, here, give me your kids. And then I’m not going to listen to anything you have to say, because I know better and you know nothing. And this is where we’ve got to put our feet down and just say, no, that’s not right. I’m the child’s parent.

If I don’t know this child better than anybody else, why am I turning that child over to somebody who doesn’t know them that well and expecting them to do as good of a job as I would in educating my child? Parents just really need to understand that just by the benefit of being that child’s parent, you’re the one that’s able to educate that child better than anybody else, whether you think so or not it’s just the truth.

Leahy: I think a lot of this has to do with time and money in this regard. When I was growing up in the 50s and the 60s, my parents I grew up in a little town in upstate New York, and the schools there weren’t trying to do social engineering. They were actually just trying to teach us how to read and write and do arithmetic.

And my parents had no worries about any indoctrination happening in those schools back in the 50s and 60s. But fast forward to today. Let’s say you have parents who are both working. What it seems to me now, the pressure, the economic pressures are if you take your kids out of public schools where now they’re being indoctrinated, one parent is going to have to stay home and there’s going to be less income in the family and they’re going to have to learn how to teach properly. I think that’s a big impediment. What are your thoughts on that?

White: In a way, I kind of disagree with you because there are ways around everything. In America, we’ve been conditioned to want and we don’t ever stop to think about need because we’re conditioned to think about want. I want the extra car. I want a bigger house. We never stop to think well, what do I actually need?

Well, there are many, many families and I’d even go so far as to say hundreds of thousands, if not millions of families that could easily downsize where they are right now and be in a smaller house. They’d still have two cars, but maybe do used cars or something so that one parent can stay home. It’s just that we choose not to do that because we don’t really want to.

It cramps our style. And then we make excuses for that. And that’s just the hard truth of it, frankly. But then even parents who, even if you downsize, can’t do that because for whatever reason, there are economic troubles and they just can’t do that. One of the great things about the pandemic and there was mainly one and it was this.

So many parents realized they actually could educate their own kids. And even those parents that were working did something called educational pods where they get together with other working parents and one day one parent would educate the kids and watch the kids. And then the next day, the next parent would do it the next day.

And so that way it was kind of a Round Robin where people got to work. But they also had made sure that their kids were at-home learning. And to tell you the truth, online right now, you can find all kinds of great classical home educational literature that is just literally an Internet search away. It’s simply not hard to do anymore. Back in the 60s when people who are starting out doing this it was impossible almost. But now it’s super easy to do.

Leahy: So you talk about pods, and now you’ve probably started the history on this more than I have. I think my recollection is that public education really began in the 1850s or so with Horace Mann. Before that time in America, little communities would kind of do the pod thing like you’re talking about.

They would ban together. They’d pull a little bit of their money, they’d hire somebody to come in and teach the kids for a period of time, and the parents directly controlled what happened. Do I have that right?

White: Oh, you have it absolutely correct. And the more affluent families would hire tutors and they would do it at homes and churches. That’s one of the many things that churches had abdicated in their responsibilities and one of them was they were a repository for learning.

There would be parents who would bring their kids there and the teacher would actually teach inside the Church. And we just don’t do any of those things anymore because we would apparently much rather in debt our property to bonds to create these new buildings for public schools.

Listen to the full first hour here:

– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio