This week the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Carson v. Makin, in which Maine is being taken to task for refusing to cover tuition to religious schools as part of the private school tuition assistance it provides for rural families without access to public high schools.
One organization that filed a brief with the Supreme Court in this case says these “opportunities are sought after by parents who choose to send their children to religious schools so that their children receive both a first-rate education and they are able to pass the faith to the next generation.” The case comes as tensions rise nationwide between the public education system and the Americans who use it.
Take the uptick in parental involvement in local school boards, a phenomenon the Biden-Harris administration found so alarming, it sicced the Department of Justice on concerned parents. But parents are concerned for good reason: School-age children are being exposed to licentious sexual materials; discriminatory racial doctrines rooted in critical race theory; and gender theories unmoored from human biology (and to school policies based on those theories that have enabled alleged sexual assault).
But it’s not just public schools that are clashing with Judeo-Christian values and the Americans who hold them. Christian and Catholic schools are experiencing their own crisis of values, torn between adherence to the faith in which they’re rooted and the leftist orthodoxy that pervades the educational leviathan.
This is especially true on college campuses, where students at Christian and Catholic schools are often the most intolerant of any Christian belief that comes into conflict with the doctrines of gender fluidity, bodily autonomy, or anti-white “anti-racism.” If parents don’t wake up to the erosion happening in their religious schools, there is little promise for their attempts to push back against troubling trends in the secular system.
Students for Life of America has a front-row seat to the discrimination that practicing Christians face on Christian campuses. The list of vandalism, acts of violence, harassment, and threats SFLA team members and campus activists have received this fall alone, disproportionately on Christian campuses, is astonishing.
At Wellesley College, my fall campus tour speech was protested and the school newspaper ran a libelous article calling me “transphobic” and “ableist” because I oppose killing babies in the womb. At the Catholic St. Louis University, pro-abortion students verbally attacked members of the Students for Life group and repeatedly vandalized their peaceful “cemetery of the innocents” display, made of flags staked into the ground to memorialize the lives of children lost to abortion violence.
With these tensions coming to a head, concerned parents cannot just play whack-a-mole against the attacks issuing from the pro-abortion mobs at the Christian schools to which they send their children — and their money.
SFLA took an offensive approach this year, embarking on the Christian Schools Project, a research deep-dive aimed at exposing and addressing the relationship that many Christian colleges and universities quietly maintain with abortion behemoth Planned Parenthood. In addition to slaughtering 354,871 American children last year, the abortion vendor is tied to much of the rot emanating from both secular and religious schools alike, from primary to higher education. Planned Parenthood is one of the biggest elephants in the room, and Christian schools cannot be permitted to sell their “Christian education” with a side of abortion propaganda to unwitting students and parents.
SFLA researchers assessed all 783 colleges and universities affiliated with Christian churches in the United States, finding that 103 of those—or one in eight Christian schools—was engaged in a relationship with Planned Parenthood. The nature of these relationships varied from offering academic credit for an internship at Planned Parenthood to listing the abortion giant as a “resource” for students.
SFLA carefully recorded the infractions of each bad school and also noted the good schools that promoted local, pro-life pregnancy resources. Based on the number of infractions and promotion of pro-life resources, researchers assigned a grade to each school, from A+ to F.
In a Christian manner, the researchers repeatedly reached out to infracting schools to make them aware of the relationship with Planned Parenthood and request that the schools cut ties with the abortion vendor. Many schools did just that. Dozens cut ties with Planned Parenthood, and at the time of this publication the number of Christian schools promoting Planned Parenthood has dropped to 69, or one in 11 schools. Engaging to uphold Christian values yielded tangible, positive change.
Many have characterized this century as the dawn of a “post-Christian” era. The Judeo-Christian values that shaped western civilization are no longer warmly embraced in academia, pop culture, or government.
But these values still matter to millions of Americans, many of whom raise their children in the Christian faith and send them to Christian schools in hopes that they will be salt and light for a new generation. These schools and these values are worth fighting for, and Americans should take hope in the fact that when they engage in this fight, Christianity can win.