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“California Exodus” Takes Aim at Public Schools

Can a new “exodus” campaign get 600,000 Christian children out of California’s public schools?

Lee Duigon
  • Lee Duigon,
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Can a new “exodus” campaign get 600,000 Christian children out of California’s public schools?

“We can only hope so,” said Dr. Ron Gleason, pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Yorba Linda, California, stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), and chairman of California Exodus.

“It’s a step of faith,” said E. Ray Moore, director of the Exodus Mandate. “That would be 10 percent of the student population of the California public schools. We’re not 100 percent certain we can do it, but everybody I’ve talked to felt that 600,000 was a reasonable number.”

Why Is an “Exodus” Needed?

Last fall the California State Legislature passed new laws that radically altered the moral parameters of the state’s public schools.[1] The laws went into effect this year.

“The public school system is a monster,” Moore said, “but this [the new laws] may be the most egregious thing they’ve done.”

“The schools were already beyond reform, and have proven themselves so,” Dr. Gleason said. “In the Los Angeles schools, for instance, 50 percent of high school students can’t pass the tests for basic skills. And now this …”

“This” is primarily two new laws, explained Houston, Texas, attorney Bruce Shortt, who has been active in the homeschooling movement and is working with California Exodus: SB 777 and AB 394—legislation which, for all practical purposes, requires the public schools to promote homosexuality.

“There are only two real operational provisions to be considered,” Shortt said. “First, there is now an absolute prohibition of ‘discrimination on the basis of gender orientation.’ Second, the schools now can’t use any teaching materials or carry on any activities that would promote ‘a discriminatory bias’ in favor of heterosexuality.

“To these people [radical educators and legislators], ‘non-discrimination’ doesn’t mean what normal people think it means. Here it means that in the schools, ‘heteronormativity’ is forbidden, so they have to teach that all sexual behaviors are morally equivalent.

“California schools are already mandated by law to provide sex education. This means that they will have to teach ‘safe homosexual sex.’ The only way they can get out of it would be to take sex education out of the curriculum altogether, and they’ll never do that. By law, they can’t.”

The new laws, Shortt said, will make it impossible to avoid exposing the children to homosexual indoctrination.

“If your local school has any sort of sex ed curriculum—and inevitably, by law, it must—then it’s necessarily so that they will teach the children to treat the colorful folkways of sodomite people as morally equivalent to marriage,” he said.

The new laws will even require school districts to replace their textbooks with new ones that shun “heteronormativity” and depict “alternative lifestyles” favorably. “Those new books are going to be something else,” Shortt said.

Obstacles to the Exodus

But will these changes prompt people to remove their children from the public schools?

“If this doesn’t do it, I honestly don’t know what will,” Dr. Gleason said. “This is the straw that crushes the camel’s back.”

“If they succeed in this,” Moore said, “it’ll corrupt children, and our whole culture, in ways from which we’ll never recover.”

The biggest obstacle to staging an exodus, he said, is that much of the public is unaware of what has been happening in the public schools.

“These laws were passed under a virtual media blackout,” Moore said. “Many Californians still don’t know about this. The Christian media have done a yeoman’s job of covering it, but the secular media have barely mentioned it.”

“They’re throwing our children to the lions,” Dr. Gleason said. “Churches and pastors have to get more involved in this.

“Churches must help parents to homeschool. A key to raising Christian children is unity among home, church, and school. I teach my congregation that as Christians we are part of a covenant community. We have to be willing to go the extra mile, for the sake of these covenant children.”

Even with the secular media ignoring the issue, and pastors not addressing it from the pulpit, Dr. Gleason said he was perplexed that so many professed Christian parents either claim ignorance of the moral state of public education, or deny it outright.

“How you can fail to realize just how dangerous a situation this is, stumps me,” he said. “In these days, I don’t see how you can not know what’s happening in those schools. I suppose some people are just willing to be deceived.”

Schlafly Joins the Campaign

California Exodus is a joint venture by a dozen different pro-family organizations: Exodus Mandate, Eagle Forum, Considering Homeschooling Ministry, Citizens for Excellence in Education, Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education, the Association of Classical and Christian Schools, Dexios, Nehemiah Institute, Alliance for the Separation of School and State, Mission America, and the Campaign for Children and Families. Most of these groups have been working for Christian education all along, either at home or in Christian schools. Now they have pooled their resources to create California Exodus (

High-profile spokesmen, like Randy Thomasson in California (Campaign for Children and Families) and nationally known columnists Linda Harvey (Mission America) and Star Parker (Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education) have come aboard California Exodus.

Another “big get” for the campaign was Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schlafly, who rose to national prominence in the 1970s when she led the successful movement to block the Equal Rights Amendment. For Mrs. Schlafly, committing to California Exodus was a departure from her long-held advocacy for “reforming” public education.

“I endorsed California Exodus because of the new laws that require teaching about homosexuality in public schools,” she told Chalcedon. “This is unacceptable. Schools should respect the parents’ fundamental right to control the moral upbringing of their children.”

But she has not committed to a nationwide exodus. “I have not abandoned my commitment to reforming the public schools,” she said. “I cannot abandon the 89 percent of kids who are in public schools. They must be protected.”

Meanwhile, in Massachusetts …

California’s decision to use the public schools to promote homosexuality must be viewed in a national context.

“California is a trendsetter in many areas, such as public education,” Mrs. Schlafly said. “The other 49 states should be aware of what is going on in California.”

“California is simply the tip of the iceberg,” Dr. Gleason said, “and the front-runner for the worst in education. Once this catches on—and it will catch on—you’ll see something similar in every state. And then it’s going to be too late. We have to pull our children out of these schools right now.”

Something similar already is happening elsewhere in the country. On the opposite side of the continent, radical homosexuals have made deep inroads into Massachusetts’ public schools. In recent weeks:

  • The state legislature shelved a strong “parents’ rights” bill that would have made it more difficult for the schools to indoctrinate children in homosexuality.[2]
  • “Anti-bullying” bills, supported by homosexual organizations, have made progress in the legislature.[3]
  • A book promoting homosexual “marriage” has been added to public high school libraries.[4]
  • A state “Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth” has announced various plans for strengthening the homosexual hold on Massachusetts public education.[5]

“There are three jobs we have to do,” Ray Moore said. “First, we have to make it widely known what’s being done in these public schools. Second, we need to instruct and train Christians in the need for Christian education for their children: it’s part of their walk of faith and obedience. And third, we have to make people aware of the many types of services now provided to Christian families who have decided to give their children a Christian education.

“If we could give children a Christian education, in several decades it would change our culture and society in many favorable ways.”

The Schools Won’t Change

“The grand design of man is to create a paradise without God, a perfect world in terms of total self-affirmation. To this purpose, the politics of man are bent, and to this goal he bends every effort. The consequences of this grand design are described in Revelation 18.” —R. J. Rushdoony[6]

When Rushdoony wrote those prophetic words in 1970, there was no visible homosexual presence in America’s public schools. What was present, however, was an abiding commitment among “educators” to reconstruct civilization according to “democratic”—that is, secular and humanistic—principles.

What has been done in California will not be the last step toward the fulfillment of that satanic vision; but it is the boldest and most aggressive step yet taken.

Phyllis Schlafly says the schools should respect the parents’ right to control the moral upbringing of their children; but events show, over and over again, that public “educators” will never respect that right. It also seems that not too many legislators or judges will respect it either.

But what of the parents who have ceded that right to teachers’ unions and crackbrained education theorists? In light of current events, how can they continue to expect anything positive from public education?

We will not judge them here, but we will remind them that no one—least of all some militant lesbian belonging to the National Education Association—has an interest comparable to their own in the education of their children. We will remind them that the Bible makes parents, not the state, responsible for their children’s education. And we will exhort them to take up that God-given responsibility, either by enrolling their children in a Christian school or schooling them at home.

It goes without saying that we endorse the California Exodus and pray for its success. It is simply not possible to maintain a Christian nation by sending generation after generation of Christian children to secular, humanistic government schools for 30 to 40 hours a week from early childhood on to the threshold of adulthood.

The public schools will not change, except to get progressively worse. A gerrymandered legislature, lobbied heavily by organized sodomy, will never make them change; nor will an imperial judiciary with a libido for social engineering.

How long will it take Christian parents to realize that?

Lee Duigon
  • Lee Duigon

Lee is the author of the Bell Mountain Series of novels and a contributing editor for our Faith for All of Life magazine. Lee provides commentary on cultural trends and relevant issues to Christians, along with providing cogent book and media reviews.

Lee has his own blog at

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