Maybe it's just me, but it seems like #ExposeChristianSchools is getting more & higher-profile pushback than things like #EmptyThePews or #ChristianAltFacts -- and I wanted to explore some reasons that might be.
I grew up in evangelical-land during the 70s and 80s, and left the church in the 90s, so my experiences were before a lot of the other people who share their #Exvangelical stories on here.
I ~saw~ these changes happening in the church -- the move toward right wing politics, Christian patriarchy, anti-demonic paranoia, etc. -- but I saw a lot of them in their early, nascent forms
In even my earliest memories, distrust of public schools was already a theme -- largely centered around outrage that they "kicked God out of school" because you "couldn't pray in schools anymore" & this was connected to Madalyn Murray O'Hair somehow
It didn't make any sense to me as a kid. I didn't see how either the Constitution OR the Gospel pointed toward ritualized prayer in what was supposed to be a secular context.
At the time, I didn't know how much evangelical culture-wars stuff was a front for racism. Now that I know outrage about "school prayer" was really outrage about integration it makes more sense.
The stereotype of public schools as cesspits of drugs, violence, sex, and bad education has held steady from the time I was a kid until just a couple of years ago --
When I had to walk out on my extremely evangelical uncle as he was spouting off about how terrible public schools were because it's "just a job" to the teachers there
While home schooling was OBVIOUSLY better because "that child is the most important thing in the world" to the homeschooling parent.
I never got any pushback from my immediate family for going to a regular secular university, but I definitely picked up this idea that it was "dangerous" in a way a religious school wouldn't have been.
I ~think~ maybe the reason people are getting extra het-up over #ExposeChristianSchools is because of the money involved in private Christian schools -- there's a reason Betsey DeVos owns multiple yachts --
Their BRAND is threatened.
I know, in an anecdotal way, that the reason families -- sometimes even cash-strapped families -- cough up the money for Christian schools is because they ~genuinely~ think it will be better for their kids.
They think their kids will get a legitimately better education than at "failing" public schools, that they won't be exposed to sex & drugs & bullying, that they will be more likely to remain in the faith as adults.
If all that is exposed as false -- if Christian schools are revealed to be no better and often far worse than public schools -- why would a cash-strapped family pay to send their child to one?
And because of that, it may be that Christian schools are more vulnerable to a public relations crisis than other Christian institutions. You don't have to be ready to #EmptyThePews entirely to decide it's not worth thousands of dollars to send your kid to Christian school.
So, I guess that's my working theory. Why is #ExposeChristianSchools seeming to getting under people's skin more than other #Exvangelical themes?


<the end>
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