Roger Moran: Quack or Prophet???
This past June at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, Roger Moran & Co. sponsored a resolution urging the SBC to endorse a mass exodus from the "godless" public school system.
After three failed attempts to pass his resolution, I assumed anti-public school activist Roger Moran would disappear for the time being.
Through his work as Research Director of the Missiouri Baptist Laymen's Association, Roger Moran has dedicated nearly ten years of his life to smearing, demonizing, and attacking both the Baptist Joint Committee and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Fundamentalists love to play the game of Guilt-By-Assocation. Roger Moran has years of experience demonizing moderate Baptist leaders. His Guilt-By-Association tactics have been used to portray these leaders and organizations as supporting certain viewpoints simply because those individuals have at times served on boards or committees of other orgaizations alongside non-Baptists who support more progressive positions.
Moran's research is like one convoluted game of Six-Degrees of Separation starring Kevin Bacon. Moran has even accused these same Baptist leaders and organizations of endorsing pornography. How utterly absurd! As a courageous journalist recently stated: "The man who sees absolutes, where all other men see nuances and shades of meaning, is either a prophet, or a quack."
Roger Moran is not a prophet.
For years Roger Moran has proven that he can not stand those unlike himself. Roger Moran's God is the God portrayed in Jonathan Edwards "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." And the saddest thing is that Roger Moran is convinced he always knows who's in and who's out and who is right and who is wrong. Hopefully, Roger Moran will one day come to the realization that mercy, gracy, and humility makes the Gospel go a wee-bit further than the vitrolic judgment and hate that spews from his pen and mouth.
USA Today's article entitled "Evangelicals intensify calls for parents to pull kids from public schools" asserts that a "growing, loosely organized movement is now moving from harsh words to action - with parents taking their own children out of public schools and exhorting other families to do the same."
And from Roger Moran....
"The courts say no creationism, no prayer in public schools," said Roger Moran, a Winfield, Mo., businessman and member of the Southern Baptist Convention executive committee. "Humanism and evolution can be taught, but everything I believe is disallowed."
The father of nine homeschooled children, Moran co-sponsored a resolution at the Southern Baptists' annual meeting in June that urged the denomination to endorse a public school pullout. It failed, as did a similar proposal before the conservative Presbyterian Church in America for members to shift their children into homeschooling or private Christian schools.
Still, the movement is very much alive, led by such groups as Exodus Mandate and the Alliance for Separation of School and State. One new campaign aims to monitor public schools for what conservatives see as pro-gay curriculum and programs; another initiative seeks to draw an additional 1 million children into homeschooling by encouraging parents already experienced at it to mentor families wanting to try it.
Other leaders of this "loosely organized movement" include Religious Right figures such as Dr. Al Mohler and the Rev. D. James Kennedy. In a recent commentary, Kennedy declared....
"The infusion of an atheistic, amoral, evolutionary, socialistic, one-world, anti-American system of education in our public schools has indeed become such that if it had been done by an enemy, it would be considered an act of war."
Moran, Kennedy, and Mohler are leading a campaign to cripple our education system. The charge that public schools are anti-American is ludicrous. Public schools are American democracy's greatest gift to children. Sure, public schools are not perfect. Reform is needed in many of our schools. However, now is not the time for Christians (especially Baptists) to abandon public schools. We must continue to support our public schools and the educators who teach our children. As citizens of these United States, this is our duty.
The demonization of our public schools as being "the enemies of God" must stop. Baptists such as Roger Moran must realize that public schools promote civic responsibility, a common bond in society and provide for equal opportunity for a good life. Moran and other Baptists must heed the Baptist Center for Ethics call to recommit (commit?) themselves to our nation's founding principle of "E Pluribus Unum" because a "society based on unity of diversity will embrace every child and recognize the vital role public schools play in achieving national unity.
Click HERE to read "A Baptist Pastoral Letter Supporting Public Education" signed by over 200 ministers.
Also, the Baptist Center for Ethics has a free, 20-page resource for advocacy and action on behalf of public education and a worship resource for congregations that deserves your attention.
Note: Roger Moran currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention.