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Progressive 'evangelicals' push Common Core for 'biblical justice and equity'

Education Secretary Arne Duncan
Education Secretary Arne Duncan
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A press release today posted at Religion News Service gives the impression that Christians are firmly in support of the controversial education initiative known as Common Core.

The announcement reports that the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) "joins Christian and conservatives in their support of the Common Core State Standards."

The NHCLC is led by Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, who is also a member of the “Evangelical Immigration Table,” which seeks to persuade Americans on the merits of "immigration reform," as reported at the Examiner. The NHCLC group is among a coalition of "evangelical organizations" that have financial backing from progressive groups such as the Ford Foundation and George Soros's Open Society Institute.

Rodriguez implied that Republicans are racist in the wake of the 2012 election, as he was quoted at the Christian Post as admonishing,

"Either [Republicans] press the snooze button on the Latino electorate and continue with an exclusive Southern strategy that is no longer applicable in a 21st century reality, or they have a 'come to Jesus' moment ... where they realize America has changed." [emphasis added]

As reported at Liberty Unyielding,

"An effort is underway, and has been for some time, to persuade Christian Americans on various policy issues, including same-sex marriage, extending unemployment benefits, and anti-Israel initiatives, by using an oftentimes cherry-picked and/or unusual interpretation of biblical teachings."

The Religion News Service press release continued to say that the NHCLC is

"launching a national education initiative to educate members about the benefits of the Common Core State Standards for Hispanics and low-income students and to mobilize church leaders to support implementation of the standards in local schools."

The organization continues to tout "Numerous conservative and Christian leaders" who support the Common Core standards, such as former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, whose position on Common Core seems to evolve, as reported at Liberty Unyielding.

In October. a letter sent to each Catholic bishop in the United States, signed by 132 Catholic professors, warned that Common Core is

"so deeply flawed that it should not be adopted by Catholic schools which have yet to approve it, and that those schools which have already endorsed it should seek an orderly withdrawal now."

Peg Luksik, Founder and Chairman of Founded on Truth, wrote an article for Crisis Magazine in November arguing that common core standards are not "compatible with Catholic education."

As reported at the Examiner, Education Secretary Arne Duncan responded to criticism of the Common Core standards by lashing out at American citizens. He said in part,

“It’s fascinating to me that some of the pushback is coming from, sort of, white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn't as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’isn't quite as good as they thought they were, and that’s pretty scary...”

He later apologized for the remarks.

If progressive Christians really want to influence policy, why not seek to persuade with a heartfelt presentation of their beliefs, instead of trying to frame certain issues as being advanced by conservatives, when they are not?

A very good discussion is found at the Heritage Foundation, where a panel discusses America’s immigration conundrum from a biblical perspective.

The introduction notes,

“Many are quoting the Bible in a way rarely seen with respect to other issues, arguing that legalizing unlawful immigrants is the Christian way to ‘welcome the stranger.’ This event brings together serious evangelical thinkers to examine these arguments and bring to bear their own views, informed by their faith, concerning immigration.”

The phrase "false prophet" comes to mind.

Follow Renee Nal on Twitter @ReneeNal and Facebook.

Check out her news and political commentary on Liberty Unyielding and for news you won't find in the mainstream media. Renee is also a guest blogger for the Shire Blog.

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