By Levi Secord
How does a pastor who gave up on public education a long time ago, and who homeschools his children, end up in an intense meeting with the superintendent of the local school district? That’s a good question that requires a long answer. A couple of months ago, our neighbor who served on the school board was looking for help from fellow Christians in opposing a new gender-inclusive bathroom and locker room policy. My wife brought this need to my attention, but I wasn’t really interested in getting involved. I had lots of excuses as I was busy with work, school, and family. Moreover, the last thing I wanted was another meeting to attend.
Feeling justified in my excuses, I told my wife that while I was concerned, I wouldn’t be getting involved. To this, my wife replied, “Shouldn’t we love our neighbors and help fellow Christians fight?” This is a godly woman, and she was right. I relented and suited up for another fight.
I jumped in and attempted to get the word out in our district before the next school board meeting. It appeared the school board wanted as little attention on this policy as possible as they kept it pretty quiet. As such, nobody we spoke with knew about the proposed policy. On the night of the meeting, many parents came and expressed their concerns to the school board. I spoke against the policy and demanded the board delay their vote so that they could properly inform parents and receive their input before enacting such a radical policy. I thought this was a reasonable request, but the policy passed unanimously. Unfortunately, this meant the school board member who initially recruited me to oppose the policy betrayed us and endorsed the policy, without even letting us know.
That should have been the end of the matter. At least, that is what I tried to convince myself, but the more I tried to move on, the greater I felt convicted that it was not time to surrender. I decided to attend the next board meeting to confront some of the false statements used by the superintendent to justify the policy. I felt this was necessary because in the last meeting we weren’t allowed to dialogue with the board, or to ask them questions with any expectation of receiving an answer.
I arrived at the October meeting and spoke against the board’s passing of the policy and the lies used to prop it up. After that, I concluded by reminding them that all of us, including me, will face the judgment of the risen Lord. I implored them to find forgiveness before it was too late. I left the meeting again thinking it was finally over, but the next day the superintendent emailed me to set up a meeting.
All this leads to how I ended up sitting in the superintendent’s office with a congregant by my side. It felt like getting called into the principal’s office, but this time I had done nothing wrong. The meeting went as expected as it was a battle of two antithetical and hostile worldviews. It was apparent that the superintendent and I didn’t share much common ground. We lived in two different worlds and as such our disagreements were sharp. For example, at one point she mockingly reminded me that once upon a time many people also believed slavery was good. I wasn’t surprised by this line of attack, and I mocked it as an inflammatory comment, which was nonsensical to our disagreement. This was the tenor of our meeting, for good or for ill.
Yet, the meeting wasn’t for nothing, as it crystallized five crucial truths that Christians must see about our progressive opponents.
- This is already the practice in most public schools. The superintendent told me that all the metro school districts in Minnesota, with one exception, are already practicing gender-inclusive bathrooms and locker rooms even without having an official policy. The one exception is a school district that voted against accepting a similar policy but has since been sued. According to our superintendent, no matter the outcome of that legal case, the school district will implement a gender-inclusive policy shortly. Parents take note, your school is already doing this, even if you don’t know about it! The leaders of your schools aren’t telling you because they know you won’t approve. It is time for parents to demand their elected leaders represent the beliefs of their constituents. If they refuse to do so, then vote them out. Liberals control much of our local governments and they are wielding them to advance their progressive agenda. Self-governing is hard work, and it requires vigilance both locally and nationally.
- Christian views are no longer tolerated. At one point, I asked the superintendent if it is okay for the school board to force their ideology (religion) on those who disagree with it. Her solution was to encourage me to move out of the district. I called her out for this, and she backtracked. Nonetheless, this was an illuminating moment of clarity. She voiced what we see play out around our country from college campuses to fortune 500 companies—liberal tolerance is a farce. They don’t tolerate Christianity. We are not welcome in civilized company.
- The rights of Christians don’t matter. I also asked her about Attorney General William Barr’s comments that LGBTQ policies in public schools violate the First Amendment rights of religious people. She told me that while she had heard the comments, she didn’t agree with the Attorney General. I pressed her by asking, “Who would protect the rights of my kids?” She replied, “Well, they aren’t a protected class.” Take note, this is the end of all this social justice nonsense—we are all equal, but some people are more equal than others. Those who are straight, white, and worst of all, Christian must sacrifice their rights to advance the cause of the anointed classes. The only way to bring about a just society is to oppress those who disagree with our new overlords. I reminded her that religion is indeed protected both by the Constitution and civil rights legislation. This reality didn’t faze her.
- Logical inconsistencies don’t matter to zealots. I continually hammered the idea that biological sex is immutable and clearly defined by chromosomes. Therefore, I insisted bathrooms should be based on the objective reality of sex and not on subjective experiences. Again, she disagreed, so I asked, “Can I identify as a bird? Is that okay?” To which she said, “That’s ridiculous.” Exactly my point, but it didn’t stick. Eventually, she denied that biological sex exists in any meaningful way in our chromosomes or DNA. How did she arrive at this point? Because her dogma demands it of her. She must deny science or redefine it to appease her idols.
- When progressives know their worldview is bankrupt, they just ignore it. The superintendent kept boasting about how much she cared about human rights, especially in comparison to people like me. She could hardly contain the glee she had, which was rooted in her own perceived righteousness in defending human rights. So I asked the obvious question, “Where do these so-called human rights come from?” This flummoxed her as she seemed to think I had slipped up and was confessing my great sin of denying human rights. Then I explained to her that not only do I believe in human rights, but I also know where they come from. So I pressed her by asking again, “Where do human rights come from?” She refused to answer. In my estimation, she knew she couldn’t. As we closed the hour-long meeting, I encouraged her to think more about where these mysterious rights come from and why they are so important.
At the end, I thanked her for meeting with someone as crazy as me. In return, she invited me to bring any future concerns to her. Throughout our ideological struggle, I strove to treat her with the respect due to a fellow image-bearer while at the same time being ruthless in our exchange of ideas. Christians must realize what both the superintendent and I realized at that meeting—these two worldviews cannot coexist. Neither one of us can simply agree to disagree; these two religions are at war, and they always have been.
In our relativistic and nonsensical day, we see with blazing clarity that without an adequate foundation for truth, morality, and purpose, everything is nonsense. In other words, if there is no God, then Marx and Darwin are right as everything boils down to power. The strong oppress the weak, and the fittest survive. There is no such thing as human rights in such a world. The truth is, the end of Marxism isn’t a utopia, but oppression and genocide. That is a fact of history. Moreover, in such a world all this oppression doesn’t matter and isn’t wrong because there isn’t any meaning to any of it.
In the end, we see that the enemy is not only at the gates but also in the ranks of the church. We must stop propagating the same destructive ideology which is tearing our society apart. There is no room for the Marxist vision of social justice within the Church of Christ. The evangelical church must rid itself of all forms of this heinous ideology. We cannot flirt with it because it cannot coexist with the true gospel. The good news is, Jesus reigns, and He cannot be dethroned. The Church must stand on that foundation and fight joyfully under Christ’s command and in the assurance of His victory.
Levi J. Secord serves as a pastor at Riverview Baptist Church in West St. Paul, Minnesota. He earned a Master of Divinity from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where he is currently pursuing a doctoral degree. Levi, his wife, and their three boys live in St. Paul, Minnesota, where they spend their time slaying dragons.