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Official persecution of American Christians has shown its leading edge

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Please forgive me for this, my second Debbie Downer column in a row. Last issue I wrote about hell. This issue, I’m writing about Marxists running public schools. Which, as a topic, may be somewhat redundant, since Marxism breeds eternal misery wherever it festers.

Right now, it’s festering in Arizona.

You may already have read about the rift between the Washington Elementary School District (WESD) and Arizona Christian University (ACU). For 11 years, ACU provided student teachers for the district’s 32 schools. But in February, WESD severed ties with the university, citing ACU’s Biblical views on marriage and gender.

Board member Tamillia Valenzuela said such views may make LGBTQ children feel unsafe. ACU said the district’s actions violate the First Amendment, and sued. It’s another public education Free Exercise clash—but what’s different is the soft-sell Marxism driving this one, at least in part—so soft that it’s literally warm and fuzzy.

Of the five WESD board members, it’s Valenzuela who has garnered the most attention. That’s not surprising since her official school board photo shows her hair streaked green and a pair of fuzzy cat ears strapped to her head. Kind of cute, though, right? Might appeal to the kids. Was the whole WESD board going for a fun, accessible vibe, I wondered?

No, other members’ photos are quite traditional, with bios that list degrees, professional credentials, and their views on education. Valenzuela, however, describes herself as a “bilingual, disabled, neurodivergent Queer Black Latina” who is a mom, “community organizer and activist” and loves seeing others “lean into their power.”

Well, OK, I thought, maybe she’s a hardworking mom and when asked to write a bio, she didn’t know what to do but dump the woke lexicon into a Salad Shooter and turn the crank. I decided to read on.

Valenzuela “loves a good hot wing (but only with the right ranch),” her bio says, “and things that sparkle.”

Aaaw. She’s approachable, right? Just folks.

No, not really. Remember the views-on-education part of board members’ bios? Board president Nikkie Gomez-Whaley writes: “Education can expand minds, open doors, and change lives.” Board member Kyle Clayton writes: “A quality public school system creates healthy citizens, resilient communities, and a strong economy.”

But Valenzuela offers an oddly militant view: “To build community requires vigilant awareness of the work we must continually do to undermine all the socialization that leads us to behave in ways that perpetuate domination.”

Huh? Of all she might say about education, why quote the leftist, feminist writer Bell Hooks? Here’s the way I clocked it: Education is to Valenzuela as the Batista regime was to Che Guevara—an institution so riddled with exploitative, socially constructed, bourgeoisie ­values that it must be overthrown.

If that sounds like a leap, consider this: In October 2022, NBC News reported that over the past year, ­“dozens of progressive activist organizations and political action committees have launched or reoriented themselves to counter conservatives who have brought the fight over culture war issues to school board races.”

An example: Run for Something recruits candidates “who will advocate for progressive values now and for the next 30 years.” Since 2017, the group has recruited 100,000 progressives to run for office, electing 637 by focusing on down-ballot races. “We don’t care about your resume,” its website proclaims: All you need to be is a pro-abortion, pro-universal health care, pro-LGBTQ equality, pro-union, climate-committed leftist.

Valenzuela is one of the candidates Run for Something swept into office last November. Just three months later, she became the public face of the WESD/ACU dust-up, saying in her elected capacity that Biblical Christianity is a faith to be feared. You may recall that in the same month, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., publicly compared Christianity to fascism.

“You will be hated by all for My name’s sake,” Jesus said. Now, in America, it’s becoming official.

Lynn Vincent

Lynn is executive editor of WORLD Magazine and producer/host of the true crime podcast Lawless. She is the New York Times best-selling author or co-author of a dozen nonfiction books, including Same Kind of Different As Me and Indianapolis. Lynn lives in the mountains east of San Diego, Calif.


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