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Rushing to the dark ages

It’s been a busy week –the kind during which so many noteworthy things crossed my screen it seemed impossible to whittle any one thing into a column. So I won’t. Instead, here is a sampling of what’s been rattling around my brain:

* If you are unfamiliar with the label “Christian nationalist,” you are certainly familiar with the concept. We’ve seen far too many elected officials intentionally misunderstand both the intent of our founders and their responsibility to ALL their constituents by putting Christian nationalism into practice, even if they didn’t say the words out loud. U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene isn’t afraid to do that, anymore. “We need to be the party of nationalism and I’m a Christian, and I say it proudly, we should be Christian nationalists,” Greene said in an interview during the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in Florida.

Appalling and terrifying.

Greene is nominally a Republican, though she strays so far from what used to be the values of those who associated themselves with that party that the R is truly just an extra letter after her name.

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, also nominally a Republican, went a step further. “The church is supposed to direct the government, the government is not supposed to direct the church,” she said. “I’m tired of this separation of church and state junk.”

Even those with a passing understanding of our country’s birth must know how dangerous and wrong she is.

But there is so much wrong with what these two –and FAR too many others like them — are spouting that I have trouble knowing where to start. They disregard the teachings of the New Testament AND the U.S. Constitution — claiming all the while to cling to both — and wrap it up as pious patriotism. We should all be frightened they feel comfortable revealing themselves to this degree. Something ugly is happening; and we can’t ignore it. Surely Christians and genuine political conservatives will denounce the movement, though I fear it may already be too late.

* According to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, there are more than 6,600 children in foster care in West Virginia. Fewer than one-third of those children are over age 12. The system continues to be in need of foster parents, with the need growing.

It’s harder to find numbers on adoptions. An organization called KVC West Virginia celebrated 65 adoptions in 2021. In fiscal year 2017, the state finalized 1,150 adoptions. AdoptUSKids noted many children awaiting adoption in West Virginia are special needs.

* The start of school is just a few weeks away in West Virginia. I hope teachers will feel free to educate those kids in the way that best teaches them the FACTS — the whole truth — about our history and humanity as a whole; and lets students think critically and creatively. I hope children ask questions until they are blue in the face, and get real answers. I hope teachers are comfortable using whatever books they deem best for their classrooms; and that school libraries stay untouched by those who want to keep children in the dark. I hope high school teachers feel comfortable answering teenagers’ questions honestly — because what those young people are watching unfold must be sickening and scary for them.

Think about those kids folks. If their lives are what we say we care about, we’d better be doing everything we can to send them into a brighter future; not rushing headlong toward a dark, dark past.

Christina Myer is executive editor of The Parkersburg News and Sentinel. She can be reached via e-mail at cmyer@newsandsentinel.com

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