The education of a true believer

The education of a true believer

The Washington Post reports:

Linda Wenhold closed her eyes, bowed her head and offered a prayer. “Lord, let us see that the further we move from biblical truth, the further we move from our liberty and freedom,” she began.

The 60-year-old grandmother stood at the front of a modest stone church in this former steel town just beyond the exurban sprawl of Philadelphia. About a dozen people had turned out on a cold February night for the fourth week of a 10-week course she was leading on the Constitution and America’s Christian roots, one of 500 that were underway at churches and community centers across the country. Radiators clanked. The attendees sipped coffee from foam cups.

Wenhold hit play on a video that opened with soaring music and scenes of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. The classes were the product of the Patriot Academy, a Texas-based nonprofit whose mission is to “restore our Constitutional Republic” and the “Biblical principles that cause” the United States “to thrive.”

The Patriot Academy’s classes were tapping into a growing fear among some evangelical Christians that their faith and what they saw as its rightful place at the center of American culture and government were under siege. It’s a message sounded in recent years from church pulpits, conservative think tanks, right-leaning colleges and the 1776 Commission report, released in the final, chaotic days of Donald Trump’s presidency. This sense of loss has become a central part of Trump’s 2024 campaign and his outreach to conservative Christians. Like the former president’s “Make America Great Again” movement, the Patriot Academy was calling for a restoration.

The Patriot Academy classes urged participants to run for local office, especially school board, and to fight back against the “secular leftists” and “Marxists” in their country and their communities. In November, Wenhold won a seat on the Palisades School Board. The position was unpaid, but it gave her a little bit of power. She wanted to use it to make sure students in her school district were taught America’s “true history” as a Christian nation, as she had come to understand it. [Continue reading…]

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