Monday, November 14, 2022

Oklahoma is starting to raise alarm bells for Jews.

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, who was re-elected last week, recently dedicated "every square inch" of the state to Jesus: "[With] the authority that I have as governor, and the spiritual authority and the physical authority that you give me, I claim Oklahoma for you."


Stitt's new secretary of education, Ryan Walters, also wants to orient the school curriculum towards Jesus.

Parts of what he says are good....

“Our kids need to know about the founding. They need to know this country was founded on Judeo-Christian values.”

“What we have to have is true history taught in schools. Our kids need to know about the founding. They need to know this country was founded on Judeo-Christian values. They need to know about the Constitution. They need to be inspired by heroes like George Washington,” Walters said.

At an Oct. 25 debate, Walters said: “We have to continue to stay vigilant as the far left has decided that they’re going to launch a war for our kids’ minds and convince our young people that they are racist. They’re going to inject this division into the classroom. They’re going to inject this hatred of the Constitution and the values this country was founded on.”
...But not everything.
The Norman Transcript reported that Walters wants to install a “God-based history curriculum” in the state’s schools, one that will highlight the role God played in the founding of America.  
There is no problem noting that the Founding Fathers believed in God and that their theology inspired their politics. But to say that God founded America is going a bit too far for a history curriculum.

And too often, the "Judeo-Christian" values that evangelicals claim to adhere to are really just Christian values. 

If the new government, and particularly school, makes people of other religions uncomfortable and unwilling to publicly espouse their own beliefs that might contradict those of the political leaders, then they are not much better than the woke that they are fighting against. 

The Boston Globe's Jeff Jacoby, in his email newsletter today, discusses Thomas Jefferson's attitudes towards religion in public life in America. "The surest way to prevent a society from igniting in religious strife, Jefferson argued, is not through the establishment of an official religion, but through a steadfast refusal to give any religious creed the endorsement of the state, let alone to dictate how Americans should worship or what faith they should confess."

That is the concern with Oklahoma in a nutshell. There is no reason to exclude God from American history, but there is very good reason not to dedicate a state to Jesus. 

It is entirely possible that the reporting on this issue is exaggerated and statements are taken out of context. I hope so. But if we don't want to let states like Oklahoma go down the slippery slope towards an explicitly and exclusively Christian viewpoint, now is the time to call it out. 



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