Ralph Reed, former Time magazine’s “right hand of God” and founder and chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, claims that liberal opposition to Betsy DeVos is based not on opposition to her plan to destroy the public school system in this country but on opposition to religion.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State once called Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition the “Christian Coalition on steroids” and they were certainly right to warn about Reed’s attempt to corrupt the religion he claims to champion.
In an op-ed at Fox News, Reed claims,
In recent weeks, there have been scores of stories planted by teacher’s union apparatchiks that smear Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s nominee to be secretary of education, for her deeply held religious beliefs and for her support for allowing children in underperforming public schools to attend religious schools that infuse religion and moral values into classroom instruction. If the Democrats continue to ratchet up this line of attack during the confirmation process for Mrs. DeVos, they will further alienate people of faith and create a big opening for the Trump administration to make inroads with voters of faith, including African-Americans and Hispanics. This would create a permanent shift in American politics that could solidify the Democrats status as America’s minority party for a generation or more.
Reed is, of course, championing the 26 percent of Americans who self-identify as evangelicals. This is hardly a mandate and Reed ignores the many “people of faith” who vote Democrat, who support women’s reproductive rights, and who, moreover, want their children to get a decent public education as the Founding Fathers intended.
More amusingly, Reed once tried to convince Americans that the “evangelical vote” he is now bragging up, was a myth.
Reed directed his vitriol at Mother Jones in particular, for their speaking the truth about DeVos’ motivations:
The liberal smear campaign against Mrs. DeVos’ religious faith is despicable. The left-wing magazine “Mother Jones” headlined one hit job “Betsy DeVos Wants to Use America’s Schools. To Build God’s Kingdom.” Nonsense. Mrs. DeVos simply wants to insure [Reed can’t spell any better than Trump. This should be ‘ensure’] that every child in America has a civil right to a quality education.
If she wants children to have a quality education, she should support federal funding for public schools. Republicans have been ruthlessly gutting public school funding for years, and then claiming the result proves public education is failing children. Trump himself tweeted this morning,
“Senate Dems protest to keep the failed status quo. Betsy DeVos is a reformer, and she is going to be a great Education Sec. for our kids!”
It is less a matter of reforming than funding, as Trump knows perfectly well.
Reed’s conclusion, based on these false premises, is that,
“In opposing Mrs. DeVos for being a Christian who supports providing children with access to private and charter schools, the Democrats are doubling down on a failed strategy of demonizing people of faith.”
Not only is Betsy DeVos opposed to public education, which renders a position as the person to head the Department of Education problematic, to say the least, but as Al Franken has said, “She is fundamentally incompetent” to lead the Department of Education.
Reed has long sought to make himself relevant again, to once more be the GOP’s “kingmaker” and he has taken every opportunity to support a very un-Christian Donald Trump in pursuit of that goal.
The truth is, even if DeVos was an atheist, liberals would oppose her on the grounds that she never attended public school, opposes public schools, and promotes vouchers and taxpayer funding for charter schools that, while they are proven to make profits for Republicans, have been shown to help our children learn not at all.
That she wants to use charter schools to indoctrinate children in her religion in violation of the United States Constitution only makes it worse.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.