In the Christian creation myth, God creates humanity. Upon creation, God invites humanity to go and name their world. In the midst of the naming story, it becomes obvious that God educated and guided humanity on what to do. Throughout time, it has been the human responsibility to continue to educate and guide younger generations in the task of naming creation. The question is…are we continuing in the task of educating and guiding our children in equipping them to name their world?
This morning, I sit around a table with other Statewide Steering Committee members of a new organization called Pastors for Texas Children. The organization is a collection of over 500 Texas faith leaders who have joined together in the last six months to stand for neighborhood schools. About an hour ago, the Statewide Steering Committee dedicated itself to organizing an additional 4,500 pastors before the 2015 Texas Legislative Session. I am proud to sit around the table with this amazing group of passionate people who refuse to allow local schools or the last bastions of public good to fall to privitization.
Also this morning, there are school board elections taking place all over the country between pro-neighborhood schools candidates and pro-privatization candidates. Right outside of Denver, Colorado this morning in the Douglas County School District, venture capitalists Koch Brothers, through their political advocacy group American’s for Prosperity, have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars seeking to elect a local school board that is pro-privitization. Make no mistake…there is much money to be made in education. Texas is a very attractive option for the forces of privitization. Imagine these companies gaining an ability to make a buck off of millions upon millions of Texas children.
So why should pastors care?
We choose to push because we believe in the mandate of Jesus in Matthew 25 to the least of these. We push because we know that if neighborhood schools are shutdown the people who will suffer the most are the disadvantaged. Education should be a right not a privilege. We push because we know that if schools are privatized then there will no longer be the centers of diversity that can be resources to promote inclusion in all of our communities. We firmly believe that our children should NOT be used for profit.
I participate so that my sons Jeff and Phillip might have a neighborhood school to go to that educates them because they are human not because they are wealthy.