5th Grade Classroom battleground for critical race theory
Truth is under assault. An attack on truth is always alarming, but it is particularly so when the battleground is a 5th grade classroom.
Recently a friend from Oregon told some of us that her 5th grade daughter’s public school classroom became a battleground for an experiment in Critical Race Theory (CRT). The teacher of this class of 5th graders in southern Oregon had all the children stand up. She then asked the “children of color” to sit down. Then she asked all the girls to sit down. The only students who remained standing were white boys. The teacher told these boys they were privileged and needed to apologize to the students who were sitting for the things white men had done to people of color and to women.
This outrageous act of abuse and brainwashing of children did not help any child in class that day. Neither the lives of the children of color, the girls, or the white boys were benefitted by her action. Moreover, reports that we are hearing from across the county suggest that this was not a unique event. Elementary-age children are being force-fed the propaganda of CRT. It’s happening in workplaces too, especially government workplaces. Perhaps no state has exceeded Oregon in its zeal to implement CRT and Intersectionality (I). Oregon is even applying CRT/I in math classes (see https://www.libertyineducation.org/blog/oregon-crt-in-mathematics). A simple internet search reveals how pervasive CRT/I is becoming, but its application in schools is most alarming.
The message of Martin Luther King Jr. is being forgotten, or repudiated, by those who no longer believe people should be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. The idea of a “color-blind society,” once the goal of civil rights leaders and people of good will, is now considered racially prejudiced thinking by advocates of CRT/I.
I’ll not take the space here to fully describe or define CRT/I. In general, CRT/I assigns the term “oppressor” or “victim” to groups of people based on skin color, or gender and sexual identity in the case of Intersectionality. There are a number of articles available by experts in the field that explain it more fully. Here is a link to an article I have found helpful: https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/critical-race-theory-fight/.
For the purpose of this short essay, I will make some assertions that can be supported from Scripture. Scripture is the only source of truth and right conduct a believer needs. Now, that said, I am fully aware that believers have misused and wrongly applied the Bible in the past - and without question we continue to do so. It is always appropriate to debate and discuss what the Bible says, what it means, and how to properly apply the truth of God’s Word. What is most dangerous for the Christian is to base our beliefs and convictions on something other than Scripture. It is particularly dangerous when a source contradicts the plain teaching of the Bible.
These Things are True
The Bible is true and sufficient for all doctrine and practice.
Truth is foundational and biblical truth is the foundation for the Christian in all matters.
Every human being is created in the image and likeness of God, regardless of nation of origin, skin color, ethnicity, gender, or any other means of differentiation.
The New Testament places all humanity into two groups, those who know Christ and those who do not.
Jesus is our peace. Jesus alone reconciles human beings to God, and only Jesus brings ultimate peace in human relationships.
Biblical justice requires justice for the individual. If there is no justice for the individual, there is no justice.
Justice for a group, or category of people, cannot be gained by committing injustice toward an individual or another group.
You don’t help children by defining them as a victim based on their skin color, ethnicity or gender.
You don’t help children by defining them as an oppressor based on their skin color, ethnicity or gender.
These Things are Wrong
Racial prejudice is wrong. It is wicked and it is evil. It damages the victim of racial prejudice and destroys the soul of the racially prejudiced person.
Attempts to correct the harm of racial prejudice by exhibiting prejudice toward another racial group is wrong. It is divisive and destructive of personal relationships, communities, and society itself. You cannot right a wrong by perpetrating another wrong.
It is wrong to mistreat a person, or hold bias toward a person, based on the color of their skin.
It is wrong to vilify a person as a racist or an oppressor because of the color of their skin.
It is wrong to exempt a person from racial prejudice and define them as a victim because of the color of their skin.
It is wrong to define a person as a victim or oppressor based on the color of their skin.
It is wrong to hold an individual accountable for the sin of others.
You can add to this list, I’m sure. However, it is concerning that there are credible reports that some things being taught at some of our SBC seminaries draw from CRT/I in ways that are not consistent with biblical truth. I have seen videos of professors expressing such views, and I have talked to a few who provided first-hand testimony of professors teaching from a CRT/I perspective. To be clear, CRT/I attempts to right wrongs for groups at the expense of other groups or individuals. Biblical justice requires justice for every individual. I would urge seminary leaders to address head-on any teaching that conflicts with what the Bible says about humanity, sin, forgiveness, grace, redemption, reconciliation, and justice. We must have transparency regarding what is taught in our seminary classrooms. There should be no secrets. We must also exercise accountability when a professor violates Scripture. In my thinking, accountability requires a Matthew 18 approach, with a goal to restore offenders to the truth of God’s Word, just as we ourselves have been restored from error and sin.
These are challenging days for our nation and for the SBC. Challenging days must drive us to our knees. We must be humble. Any one of us can sometimes get things wrong, and we will because we are sinners. When we are wrong, and when we wrong another, in humility we must repent and allow God to restore us to right belief and behavior.
However, there will be those who oppose a biblical approach to societal and relational problems, seeking solutions in theories and philosophies that are unbiblical. We must not coddle teaching that conflicts with Scripture. We must seek to restore a brother or sister who strays from the truth. Nevertheless, we must not compromise clear biblical teaching for the sake of “unity.” There is no unity outside of the truth of Jesus Christ and His Word.
The story at the beginning about the 5th grade girl continues. The parents removed her from the school and placed her in another school they believe will be better. These parents understand their responsibility, under God, to educate their children, protect them from the evil one as best they can, and guide to them to love God and experience His redemption. But the story continues. All over the nation the story continues.
God help us. Only He can.