Leaders of a campaign to convince Christians to withdraw from public schools hailed a new book published posthumously by a Christian radio pioneer as evidence the movement is gaining strength.

Public Education Against America: The Hidden Agenda claims America’s public school system “subverts parental rights” as “the ‘village’ takes over child rearing,” instilling values of moral relativism and secular humanism that are contrary to Christian beliefs.

The book lays blame on “Educrats,” politicians and educators who “see the state as the real parent.”

“While trying to dictate state-approved values to biological parents, they have pushed the schools to indoctrinate their children against biblical beliefs, against Christian morals, against patriotism, and toward loyalty to the state,” according to an excerpt.

Written by Marlin Maddoux, longtime host of the conservative evangelical “Point of View” talk show and founder of the U.S.A. Radio Network, the book nearly didn’t make it into print.

When Maddoux died two years ago, his family found a nearly completed manuscript, based on radio interviews and research spanning the last 20 years. They secured a publisher, and after some work to track down footnotes and content, the 280-page book is just out.

“Point of View,” a two-hour, a Christian-oriented talk radio program heard daily on more than 360 radio stations nationwide, featured the book in a full week of programming March 6-10.

Guests included E. Ray Moore Jr., director of Exodus Mandate, a nine-year-old network that promotes home schooling as a Christian alternative to “government” schools.

Moore called publication of the book “another watershed event” for the movement urging Christian families and churches to take up the challenge to offer a “thoroughly Christian, Bible-based” K-12 education through either home schooling or church-run schools.

The movement received an earlier shot in the arm in January, when ABC aired a report critical of public education by John Stossel, titled “Stupid in America,” on “20/20.”

In December syndicated columnist Cal Thomas said a ruling by a federal judge against teaching “intelligent design” in public schools should be a tipping point for Christian parents to give up on reforming secular schools and join the exodus movement.

Last summer the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant body, passed a resolution that criticized public schools and urged parents and churches “to fully embrace their responsibility to make prayerful and informed decisions regarding where and how they educate their children.”

Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said in June it is time for “responsible Southern Baptists to develop an exit strategy from the public schools,” affirming the responsibility of parents to take charge in the education of their own children and of churches to equip and support families for the task.

Ed Gamble, head of the Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools in Orlando, Fla., has challenged the denomination’s churches to organize “a new ‘public’ school system” that is “open to the public but owned and operated by the Body of Christ.”

Bruce Shortt, a board member of Exodus Mandate, called publication of Maddoux’s book an “important development.” Shortt said Maddoux reached similar conclusions to his own book, The Harsh Truth About Public Schools, published by Chalcedon Press.

In a commentary on the “Point of View” Web site, host Kerby Anderson said Maddoux’s book documents how public schools changed in the 20th century from a “thoroughly Christian” system into one that is “hostile to Christianity,” using textbooks that “excise Christian content” while promoting other religions and the occult.

Anderson said the book should lead Christians “beyond denial and anger” and into “tough choices about where our children and grandchildren will be educated.”

Penna Dexter, a former co-host of Maddoux’s show, called it a “foundational book that will help people understand what’s going on.” Dexter, a member of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas, was a member of the 2005 Resolutions Committee that drafted the education resolution passed by the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville.

Bob Allen is managing editor of EthicsDaily.com.

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