“If the evangelical community would step up and obey God in educating their own children, we could collapse the state model,” Moore told WND. “We’re feeding the monster by keeping our children there.”
Moore, who has served as a pastor, an Army chaplain and director of a Christian ministry for more than 35 years, co-founded Frontline Ministries Inc., a Christian ministry, and currently serves as president of the board. He also foundedExodus Mandate, a ministry toencourage and assist Christian familiesin leaving government school systems.
“When I see a family in public schools or a pastor in public schools, I know there’s a great blindness or an area of disobedience in their lives in that particular area,” he said. “I think Christians are ignorantly doing this. There’s no Bible verse that gives you permission – as a Christian family – to put your children under false doctrine and in harm’s way.”
The public school system has become the domain of the Democratic left, Moore argues, and it has fundamentally changed American culture because it successfully indoctrinated five or six generations of U.S. children.
“We estimate 70-80 percent of evangelical Christian children who are in public school for their entire educational career are abandoning the church and the Christian faith in their early adult years,” he said. “About 20 percent return after they get married and start having their own kids.
“It’s a holocaust going on in our churches, and we’re trying to fight a culture war while our resources are being depleted.”
Moore said children in public schools “do not hold a traditional view on family issues,” especially with regard to the sanctity of marriage. He also said students aren’t being taught the originalist view of the U.S. Constitution, and public schools are indoctrinating children with a “Marxist view of American history,” environmentalism, evolution and other “bizarre radical agendas.”
As evidence of a major cultural shift, he pointed toa recent poll by the Pew Research Centerindicating a full 70 percent of Millennials (born in 1981 or later) support same-sex marriage. By contrast, 49 percent of those in Generation X, 38 percent of Baby Boomers and just 21 percent from the Silent Generation support homosexual marriage.
“It’s incredible,” Moore said of the cultural shift. “We’re losing the culture right in our homes and in our churches, and it’s because of government education.”
AnotherPew Research Center analysisin 2011 showed mothers now spend an average of 13.5 hours a week with their children and fathers only 7.3 hours per week. Moore said if a family attends church, children may spend one to two hours a week there.
Meanwhile, U.S. public schools have their children for about 35 hours a week.
“Families don’t have family worship anymore,” he said. “Parents don’t instruct their children in the Christian faith much anymore at home. So we’re just losing the culture because we’re losing the youth.”
Attorney Bob Tyler of Advocates for Faith and Freedom told Christian News Network, “We have seen a dramatic increase of phone calls nationwide as it pertains to kids in public schools who are facing hostility because of their faith.”
According to the report, Tyler said the reports aren’t a result of student bullying.
“[The reports all surround] hostility from teachers and school administrators who are curtailing the students’ free speech rights simply because they’re Christians and they might express a Christian worldview,” he said.
In recent years, WND has reported the following attacks on Christians in the public school systems:
Churches have failed their congregations on this issue, according to Moore, who says they should be focused on forming Christian alternatives to public schools.
But he said pastors address the public versus Christian education issue.
“I’m going to let you in on a dirty little secret of the evangelical pastors,” he said. “I’ve been in the ministry for 40 years, and I can tell you this is true because they tell me this when we talk privately. They are afraid to tackle this because they have so many public school addicts in their churches. If they address it strongly, they’ll lose their jobs.”
Moore added, “They’d rather hold onto their jobs, thinking they can do some good and win people to Christ, and not tackle the big gorilla in the room, which is public education. We think it’s the responsibility of the churches to meet this need.”
The ideal model, according to Moore, would be if churches would provide financial assistance to their tithing families who couldn’t otherwise afford the cost of a private education. Families who could afford the tuition would pay for it themselves.
“In South Carolina, it costs $11,500 to educate child in public schools,” he said. “If the system operated on the free market, if it were all private, just based on the cost of private education, we could do it at half the cost.”
But Moore admits that convincing churches to accommodate families’ educational needs is a major task.
“Getting them to do that is the tough part because they’re not even taking care of their affluent members right now,” he said. “Part of our problem is we’ve got to sell this to the churches and pastors.
“We would take charge of our children’s education, and in doing that, we would take charge of the country and our culture. This would be a reformation or a revolution.”
E. Ray Moore and former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C.
Left’s reaction to Ray Moore’s challenge
Moore has faced some criticism from the left over his view of public education. At an April 12 rally, he addressed a crowd in Charleston, telling the gathering:
“It is our hope and prayer that a fresh obedience by Christian families in educating their children according to biblical commands will prove to be a key for the revival of our families, our churches and our nation. We cannot win this war we’re in as long as we keep handing our children over to the enemy to educate. All of the symptoms and the things that we’re fighting and complaining about today have been caused because the culture has changed. The culture has turned against God, against our Constitution and against traditional values. Why is that happening? It’s fundamentally and largely [because] of the public school system. We’ve had six or seven generations where most of us have put our children in the godless, pagan school systems. It cannot be fixed. It’s a socialistic model, and we need to abandon that. As conservatives and Christians, if you think you’re going to win this war you’re in, and leave your children in those schools, it will not happen.”
While Ward affirmed parents’ rights to provide religious education for their children, he added, “I don’t think most people think about it the way this guy does. Most people are much more, I think, reasonable in their approach and much less martial.”
But Moore says he’s “getting a very positive response from Christians and conservatives” across the country.
He recalled a speech he gave in 1999 while serving on a panel for the First Amendment Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Moore said many of the leftists on the panel expected him to say his group was planning to take over the public schools, run the school boards and fight to teach creationism once again.
“But I shocked them,” he said. “I came in, I threw my hands up and I said, ‘We give up! You all can have the schools. I’m taking the Christians and the churches out. We’re going to the promised land of Christian schooling and homeschooling. We’re going to take charge of our own education.’”
Moore said there was real concern in the crowd because the leftists didn’t like his idea.
“They were trying to tell me I couldn’t do that and I shouldn’t do that,” he said.
After the meeting ended, Moore said he began talking with a National Education Agency union leader from Tennessee in the lobby.
“She said to me, ‘Please don’t do that. That is a terrible idea. We need Christians in public schools. You bring so much to public education. Please don’t do that,’” Moore said.
But he added, “I thought to myself, ‘Wow, this must really be a good idea!’”
Moore isn’t concerned about preserving the public model, and he believes leftists and Americans with different belief systems should form their own private schools.
“Let them have their own schools,” he said. “Let the homosexuals have schools for their children. Let the atheists have schools for their children. They’re free to do it. Let the evolutionists have schools for their children.
“But stop indoctrinating our children and taxing us – it’s an obscene and coercive tax. Let them voluntarily pay for their schools, and we’ll have our schools. Don’t use the coercion of the state to coerce the population.”
South Carolina lieutenant governor race
Moore has taken a leave of absence from his position as executive director of Exodus Mandate so he could enter the race for the office of lieutenant governor in South Carolina. His slogan is, “What once was can be again.”
“Now why I’m running for lieutenant governor is, I had this ministry and I was unhappy with the Republican Party and the conservative movement and the churches and how slowly they are moving toward an education freedom model – or some people sometimes say school choice,” he said. “It’s moving so gradually. We’ve got to hurry that process up because our time is getting short where we can save the children because the culture is descending into the moral abyss very rapidly now because of public education.
“I saw a chance to run and elevate the debate in my state.”
E. Ray Moore
In January, South Carolina Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell said he won’t seek re-election. Instead, he’ll serve as president of the College of Charleston.
The date of the primary is June 10. Other GOP candidates seeking the Republican nomination in the primary includeretired developer Pat McKinney, business consultant Mike Campbell andformer South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster. Campbell, the son of former Gov. Caroll Campbell, served as state chairman for Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign in the state. McKinney is a member of Gov. Nikki Haley’s re-election finance team.
The Democrat candidate, running unopposed in his party, isformer state House Rep. Bakari Sellersa former member of the South Carolina steering committee of Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.
If Haley is re-elected this year, she will face term limits and cannot run again in 2018, a situation that may position the next lieutenant governor to seek the governorship in four years.
While Moore said the office of lieutenant governor in South Carolina is primarily tasked with presiding over the state Senate and managing the Office of Aging and Disability, he said, “All the lieutenant governors have their projects that they work on.”
“I’m going to concern myself and my special projects with the reforming of our family lives, cultural development and moral and spiritual renewal,” he said. “One way that I would do that is to be a strong advocate for marriage and for private, Christian and home education. I think we can renew our culture. That would be one of my projects.”