After acknowledging that leftists control the content of public schools and are propagandizing the children to their views, Ray Moore decided to get the kids out.
Lt. Col. E. Ray Moore (Ret.), executive director of Exodus Mandate, has made it his mission to lead an “exodus” of Christians out of government schools. Instead of public education, he advocates that Christian children move to the “promised land” of homeschooling and Christian schools. “Christian children need Christian education,” reads a bumper sticker by Frontline Ministries, which Moore founded more than two decades ago.
The soft-spoken conservative heavyweight was a pioneer in the homeschooling movement, educating his own children at home long before it was approved by government or society. And he was the first to organize around the idea of abandoning government schools entirely. As part of his efforts, Moore authored the book Let My Children Go. He also served as executive producer of the hit film IndoctriNation, as well as Escaping Common Core: Setting Our Children Free.
In 2017, Moore was interviewed by James Dobson, one of America’s most influential evangelical leaders, on the nationally syndicated show Family Talk heard on hundreds of stations. And now, 20 years after he launched his exodus effort, more and more conservative and Christian leaders are realizing the need to separate school and state. Moore offered some of his insight on these topics in an exclusive interview with The New American magazine.
The New American: Why did you form Exodus Mandate?
Ray Moore: In February 1997, 20 years after my wife and I began homeschooling our children, I attended the major briefing in Washington, D.C., on the danger of the Goals 2000 agenda. Co-chaired by the late Phyllis Schlafly and Congressman Henry Hyde and sponsored by a dozen major conservative and Christian Right organizations, including Heritage Foundation, Concerned Women for America, and the Home School Legal Defense Association, the briefing featured a myriad of prominent speakers. They spent the day wringing their hands and gnashing their teeth at the juggernaut of the leftist agenda embedded in Goals 2000, with no concrete plan to defeat it. Incredulous, I thought, “Not even our best leaders have a plan!” Exodus Mandate was born in my heart that day, and I went home with a hope of extracting several million children from the leftist-controlled public schools. I spent the next eight months planning and seeking counsel. In November 1997, I made a public announcement that I was forming Exodus Mandate during the weekend of the Promise Keepers rally in Washington, D.C.
TNA: If not federally controlled public schools, what education system should America have?
Moore: There are two competing models. The first is state-sponsored public education, now federally controlled. The second and original American model was private, community, or Christian schools. We birthed America depending on private and Christian education. Now the modern K-12 public-school system has developed into an entirely socialistic model. Schools today are neither for the public nor run by the public. If churches, families, and free market private associations will give birth to new schools or homeschool co-ops, we can recover the original American model, which corresponds to the biblical model. This could spark a revival in our families, churches, and culture, as well as a rebirth of the American spirit of freedom we once knew. Crime would be reduced and a moral and social order could be restored to our communities.
With a plethora of conservative churches in America, thousands of new Christian schools or homeschool co-ops could be launched, requiring no new construction in most cases. Thousands of Christian public-school teachers, some retired, could assist in staffing the new and enlarged Christian school system waiting to be reborn. All that is lacking now is a will and vision to disciple children through K-12 Christian education. Some say this new model is impossible. But impossible things happen every day. Matthew 19:26 says, “With God all things are possible.”
TNA: Why do you believe efforts to reform public education are futile?
Moore: Efforts by conservative public-school reformers to fix the socialistic, K-12 public school model impede revival of free market and Christian education. This is worse than time wasted. State-sponsored public education is socialism in education. Socialism breeds scarcity and mediocrity. Everything that functions successfully in society operates under the free market. No one would want the federal government deciding where we could eat meals or buy groceries, yet we allow that same government to tell us where and how our children’s minds are to be nourished — or starved. Socialism is a faulty model and must be abandoned, most emphatically in education.
TNA: What impediments hinder a revived K-12 free market, Christian and homeschool system?
Moore: National conservative political and policy organizations spend their energies and resources on litigation, lobbying, protesting, and political campaigns and very little on moral and cultural renewal. The Left knows that control of education, both K-12 public education and higher education, means control of the youth and thus ownership of the future. In October 2018, I heard Fox News commentator Frank Luntz say that 58 percent of millennials are self-identified socialists, and in the next two, four, or six years conservatives will start to lose all major elections.
TNA: How are the clergy and religious leaders helping?
Moore: Many conservative pastors and denominational leaders are negligent. According to a Barna study, only nine percent of conservative pastors are very strongly supportive of K-12 Christian education, with an additional 21 percent moderately supportive, meaning they send their own children to Christian schools, but may not preach and teach this to their congregations. The Southern Baptist Convention, 47,000 congregations, has only 750 church-based schools, an amazing statistic of neglect by the largest Protestant denomination....
Conservatives, Christians, and libertarians, instead of lobbying an unresponsive government, should lobby and demand their pastors, denominational leaders, and the conservative policy organizations to get behind the K-12 free market and Christian education efforts. That would be time well spent impacting the culture.
TNA: Have you noticed increasing support for your position?
Moore: Yes, many new trends show dedication to the growth of free market, Christian, or homeschools: dozens of new organizations, secular and religious. I am involved in launching a Christian education network to be announced publicly in early 2019 for exploring ways we can work in a more collaborative fashion to impact the church. We now have 15 members, some substantial with a long history of service, such as Foundation for American Christian Education and The Old Schoolhouse magazine. Exodus Mandate has helped create two movies, IndoctriNation and Escaping Common Core. We’ve published books and the short three-minute DVD “Call to Dunkirk.”
An infrastructure is growing that can accommodate millions of children in the next decade. Fifty state homeschool associations and the National Black Home Educators are thriving, and large regional conventions draw tens of thousands of families and local homeschool support groups. Publishing houses, curriculum providers, and online educational programs abound, such as FreedomProject Academy, Alpha Omega, Abeka Academy, Bob Jones online, Liberty University Online Academy, Apologia, the Robinson curriculum, Classical Conversations, and the list goes on.
TNA: How can readers help advance the mission?
Moore: First and foremost, get your children into the safe sanctuary of K-12 Christian or homeschooling immediately. Urge your church to start a Christian school or coordinate with other churches to do so. Study the case for free market, Christian education vs. state-sponsored public education. Share the many valuable books, DVDs, and articles with your pastor, elder/deacon board, church council, or denominational leadership. Order extra copies of this special issue for family and friends. Set up scholarship programs or benevolence for poor and needy families to attend private or Christian schools.
This article originally appeared in The New American's February 4, 2019 special report on education. (To order, click on the ad above.) The New American publishes a print magazine twice a month, covering issues such as politics, money, foreign policy, environment, culture, and technology. To subscribe, click here.
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