Washington Education Watch, January, 2021

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Our Government May Be on Shaky Ground, but We Will Not Be Shaken

By John Mitchell

Now that the inauguration of President Joe Biden is behind us it is time to assess where things stand in the capital. The Senate and House are under the control of the Democrats: the House by a slim margin and the Senate by the slimmest of margins in which Vice President Kamala Harris will be called upon to cast tie-breaking votes in the fifty-fifty split. Further, the Democrats seem to have succeeded in their scorched earth policy against Donald Trump by impeaching him for a second time, but may have permanently alienated over 70 million Trump voters. It seems at this point that the impeachment of President Trump passed by the House of Representatives will hit a brick wall short of the 2/3 vote necessary to convict him in the Senate. Regardless of the result of the impeachment effort, it is now certain that the Democrats will control two of the three branches of our government. 

For those concerned about one party rule in the House, Senate and Presidency, there are two threads to cling to. 

The first thread is that moderate Democrats in the Senate may prevent Vice President Harris from casting the tie breaking vote in the Senate on at least a few critical issues. Most importantly, West Virginia Senator Manchin may keep his promise and vote against his party to block packing of the Supreme Court and elimination of the Senate filibuster which prevents voting on legislation without the support of 60 senators instead of fifty-one. However, in such a narrowly divided Senate, moderates like Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) or Mitt Romney (R-Utah) may at times flip to vote with Democrats on some especially important issues. This split in the Senate will give moderates from both parties, who may flip-flop on various issues, outsized influence on the course of policy. Placing such power in the hands of a few senators is indeed a tenuous thread.

The second thread that may buffer one party domination is the Supreme Court. Because six of the Court’s nine justices have at times supported conservative and/or originalist interpretations of the Constitution, the Court may slow the erosion of religious liberties, incursions by the federal government into states’ rights, and the spread of identity politics that are advanced by Congress, state legislatures or lower courts. In spite of the fact that the Supreme Court did not step in to rule unconstitutional some of the electoral college methods used by states, there are some hopeful signs that they will exert a moderating influence. The new Court ruled last week that abortion pills must be picked up in person rather than being sent through the mail which was a pro-life ruling opposed by the three liberal justices. The Court is not yet finished deciding which cases they will hear in this term, but still on the watch list are five interesting possibilities. Two of these cases, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and Planned Parenthood Center for Choice v. Abbott impact abortion policy. One case, Texas v. California, contests a state law passed by California that bans state sponsored travel to any state that enacts or repeals legislation affecting sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression that California objects to. And two Pennsylvania cases, Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Boockvar and Scarnati v. Pennsylvania Democratic Party, contest the controversial election rules implemented in Pennsylvania without legislative approval. While the Pennsylvania election cases would not impact the outcome of the past election, if the Court takes them up, they could establish some standards that would lead to less conflict and uncertainty in future elections. We will keep you posted on which of these cases, if any, the Court decides to hear.  

There is also a glimmer of hope that the Biden administration, when it comes to education policy, may not cater to the extreme liberal elements of the Democratic Party. In the past two columns we speculated that President Biden might nominate former NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia as Secretary of Education. This is not going to happen. Biden announced last week that he will nominate Connecticut State School Superintendent Miguel Cardona to the post. Both the NEA and AFT applauded the nomination, but Newsweek noted that some classroom teachers have strong concerns about Cardona, observing that he served as a classroom teacher for only five years before moving into administrative ranks. Most of the education policy establishment has praised Biden’s pick. Education reform advocate Andrew Rotherham feels that Cardona is a  “deft pick,” for Secretary of Education.  

Surprisingly, Cardona is likely to be an advocate for charter schools and supports Biden’s pledge to open public schools in his first 100 days. Support for charter schools will not sit well with the AFT and NEA, but the desire to open schools will play into the hands of the unions who are positioning themselves to use the reopening of schools as a bargaining chip to secure more school funding. President Biden is already pursuing more educational funding, asking Congress to approve an additional $1.9 trillion in coronavirus funding which includes $130 billion for public schools. This cozy prior arrangement between the unions and the president could smooth some of the rough spots that may occur during the new administration’s first 100 days.  

Regardless of your political perspective it seems like there is plenty that could cause anxiety regarding the course of our nation and how public schools will change once they are reopened.   We truly are in a time when many major cultural and political tectonic plates are shifting. An early shift is that one of Biden’s first executive orders affirms the transgender agenda and mayrequire public schools to allow biological boys who are want to change their gender to compete with biological girls. This has distrubed not just Christians but many feminists and others who are advocates of women’s sports. As Christians we may see the need to change this, but we should not allow such absurdities to shake our faith or agitate us. As my pastor reminded our congregation on Sunday, in these uncertain times we should remember that in the Lord’s perfect timing, He “will shake not only the earth but also the heavens,” and when this happens there will be the “removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made,” but we should be “grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken” (Hebrews 12:26-28).  The kingdom of Christ will frequently seem to be at risk in this world, but the ground we stand on is solid. Let us pray for each other that we keep this eternal perspective.

Please share your thoughts on this column that you would like other readers to see by entering them in the form below. Personal comments can be sent to JMitchell@ceai.org.  John Mitchell is the Washington, D.C. Area Director for Christian Educators Association International.

© 2021 Christian Educators Association International | www.ceai.org | 888.798.1124
Washington Education Watch 1/2021. Used with permission.

11 Comments

  • Connie Jones says:

    Excellent synopsis of what has and may go on with Biblical issues we Christians feel very strongly about. Helpful. Thanks for the update.
    Connie Jones
    Proud Mil to David Schmus

  • Karsten Roell says:

    I want to highly recommend this article from ‘WORLD’ magazine.. It helps us remember that we should never become caught up in political wrangling. We are called to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus Christ, and to not let our focus become diverted by the values and systems of this world. https://world.wng.org/2021/01/christians_in_a_politically_charged_climate

  • Heidi Long-Lind says:

    I appreciate the update in these crazy changing times. Thank you! I so appreciated CEIA magazine. How uplifting and useful! What a wonderful change from another teacher’s magazine.

  • Jared Mixon says:

    Not all Christians are Republican. Many of us voted for and are excited about having a Democratic president. We are even more excited to have a first lady who is an educator. I never read any concern about one party rule from your organization when the Republican party had control of Congress and the White House. It’s time to change the name of your association to the Republican Educators Association (REA) or maybe Conservative Educators Association. I am proud of my state’s senator, Lisa Murkowski, because she does value education and she does not sheepishly follow the Republican establishment.

    • Merritt says:

      Thank you John for the informative article. Thank you CEAI for always being rooted in the Word and encouraging me.
      We are definitely in the season of the Lord’s return with all the foreshadowings of the Tribulation period and so many other signs that Jesus tells us about (and all over in the NT and as by the prophets). I am grateful for that, I am looking for Him, and getting ready for Him..If I did not know any of this I would not understand the spiritual deception and warfare we have today. This will continue to get worse. The response to Covid and the perception of it will continue to get worse. The world will get worse until Jesus comes. Please check out the plans for the Great Reset (World Economic Forum etc) underway so you can understand what is happening in the world today and the elite’s plans for the near future- truly all happening now. This is just one major thing happening today. The Bible shows us what season we are in and where its all headed.. If you are aware of all of this and of Bible prophecy you will have His peace and joy as we continue to see our nation and world implode. No, it will not be a good thing to head to globalism and one world government,. But we know how it all ends. May we all have a great sense of urgency for spreading the Gospel and serving in His name until He comes. God bless you all.

  • Brian m says:

    Prayers for you and your family
    Thanks Brian, I’m reading this

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    Hey John,
    This is an intercessory prayer I crafted with some intercessors over the 7 mountains.
    I don’t know if I passed it along to any of your family.

    ______________

    Moving Mountains: Intercessor’s “briefing” for the 7 mountains.
    THE MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD
    “I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord,
    Who made heaven and earth.” (Ps. 121:1,2)
    We declare:
    In these last days the mountain of the Lord’s house will be established as the highest of the mountains…and all nations will stream to it. (Is. 2:2; Micah 4:1)
    Your kingdom is the Rock that strikes the nations and becomes a huge mountain that fills the whole earth. (Daniel 2:35, 44) – a kingdom that will never be destroyed…and will itself endure forever. The increase of your kingdom government and peace will never end. (Is. 9:7)
    Every knee should bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord in every sphere of culture. (Phil. 2:10,11)
    You LORD are king over all the earth. There will be one LORD—his name alone will be worshiped. (Zech. 14:9)
    Your kingdom come and will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven…for Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. (Matthew 6:9-13)
    We speak to the gates of each of the Mountains: “Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.” (Psalm 24:7)

  • Brian m says:

    EDUCATION MOUNTAIN
    We call forth the knowledge, understanding, and ancient wisdom that was there when you created the universe (Proverbs 8) to rest upon the Mountain of Education. Creator of All, we affirm self-evident truths such as Your supremacy and creative hand. You reign supreme over every department of education and agenda. We call forth schools, standards, methods, resources, teachers and curriculum that acknowledge You and Your Truths, your Word and Your works (Rom. 1:20). We ask for the ancient paths, for the good way, for rest for our souls (Jer. 6:16). This is Your mountain, for all of our children to be taught by You (Is. 54:13); for all students to be trained in the way they should go, so they won’t depart from it when they are old (Ps. 32:8, Prov. 22:6); for them to actualize their identity, calling, giftings, and value; for them to be fully trained and become like their Master Teacher, Jesus (Luke 6:4). We pray for education that employs a holistic/unified view of being (mind, body, soul/psyche, and spirit/emotions), without ignoring or suppressing any aspect of being, regardless of their cultural, social-economic, or background. We pray for the most direct route to knowledge, understanding, mastery, and then wisdom (the proper application of the knowledge) – social, tactile, kinesthetic, and multiple intelligences. Lead all who are involved in this mountain away from the temptation to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and instead to eat of the tree of life; to not lean on their own understanding or interpretation (Prov. 3:5,6) but to trust You with all their hearts and lean on Truth personified (John 14:6). We pray for a complete spectrum of knowledge subjects in every area of life and existence. Bless students to trust Truth and doubt/discard lies and misconceptions, to follow instructors who are trustworthy and eject professors who mislead them. (Your sheep hear Your voice and will not follow another – John 10:5). Tenure teachers who carry Your nature, Your values, your understanding, and help guide students toward knowing You.

  • Clara Strausser says:

    During the Trump administration, Democrats held majority in the House and Republicans in the Senate so Congress was split, now Democrats will hold majority in both the House and Senate due to VP voting Democrat. The Supreme Court is also a Democrat majority. If it were not, it would have accepted the voting abuse cases that were presented. My vote did not count in PA due to a last minute illegal switch by the PA Supreme Court.

  • Gaylene DeMars says:

    Thanks John for another interesting article. Always good to hear your view.

  • Andrew Pierce says:

    Great article.

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