South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, a Republican, is asking the state to spend millions of dollars more on its public school system.
A new entry in the race for the state’s No. 2 post, lieutenant governor candidate E. Ray Moore, says he also would like to help improve education.
By taking kids out of public schools. Putting them in Christian schools. And in homeschools.
Moore is an expert in such matters, having served for more than 15 years with Exodus Mandate, which is part of Frontline Ministries. The group’s aim is to “encourage and assist Christian families to leave Pharaoh’s school system (i.e. government schools) for the Promised Land of Christian schools or homeschooling.”
Moore said he believes a “fresh obedience” by families providing Christian or homeschooling for their children can be a key to the revival of churches, families and culture.
His candidacy, announced here by WND, puts him up against Pat McKinney, a 64-year-old Republican from Charleston who is a retired real estate developer, and 29-year-old Democrat Bakari Sellers, a Columbia attorney. Mike Campbell, son of former Gov. Carroll Campbell, also is considering entering the GOP primary.
Moore is not just an expert on schools. He has served more than 35 years as a campus pastor, a congregational minister, an Army chaplain and director of a Christian ministry.
He’s also served as a consultant or campaign staffer for political campaigns, including former Vice-President Dan Quayle’s first Senate race in 1980, former Congressman Mark Silljander’s race in 1981 and Pat Robertson’s presidential bid from 1986 to 1988.
He’s a graduate of The Citadel with a B.A. in political science and an M.Div. with honors from Grace Theological Seminary in 1974 as well as a master of theology in 1979.
For 19 years, he was an Army Reserve chaplain, retiring as a lieutenant colonel in 1999. He was awarded the Bronze Star for service in Gulf War I.
Moore is also a co-founder and member of the S.C. Sound Money committee.
The state’s current lieutenant governor, Glenn McConnell, is not seeking reelection. Moore said he is asking for support from the tea party movement as well as sound money and family advocates.
He said the state’s GOP isn’t doing all that it should for children.
“It looks now as if the South Carolina GOP has committed to the ‘Truce Strategy’ on major issues in the upcoming 2014 elections,” he said. “For example, Gov. Haley has adopted much of the Democrat program on K-12 public education reform and abandoned any sort of school choice model. … Someone needs to carry the banner statewide for educational freedom (or school choice) and [the] need to grow K-12 private, Christian and home education.”
Moore said that as executive producer of the nationally acclaimed “IndoctriNation” movie, he would be a good person to make the case for education alternatives.
“A sub-theme would be ‘every church a school, every parent a teacher, every pastor a headmaster,’” he said.
“IndoctriNation” takes a “hard look at the true state of public education” and notes that nearly 90 percent of Christian children attend a public school.
In the film, Colin Gunn, a homeschool father of seven, drives an old school bus across America, asking questions about the origins and social impact of America’s public education system.
“My candidacy would be a message and agenda-oriented one, focusing on the theme, ‘What once was can be again,’” Moore said. “We would focus on a restoration of pro-life, pro-family, pro-private, Christian and home education and pro-sound money (or a return to the gold standard) principles.
“If we go back to these principles and our Christian heritage, we may find with God’s mercy ‘what once was can be again,’” he said.
Haley wants to spend $160 million on “students living in poverty” as well as classroom technology, according to TheState.com.
In an interview with WND, Moore noted the requirements of the part-time job including presiding over the state Senate and direct the state’s council on aging. In the Senate, he said, he could have influence over which bills go to which committees, and he would work to ensure valuable ideas are supported.
He said he questions the wisdom of injecting millions of dollars “into a failing public school system.”
The fact that the incumbent is not seeking re-election is an open door to “elevate the agenda for homeschooling, Christian, private schooling, as well as sound money,” he said.
Moore asserts the typical public education model “has failed.” He said it needs to be replaced by an expansion of the free market, including Christian schools and homeschools.
Such an endeavor may take years to accomplish, he said.
Details about his campaign can be found at VoteRayMoore.com.
On his campaign site, he warns that “adult material” already is hidden inside the literature in Common Core, the nationalized standards program being imposed on schools in some states. He also plans to address health care and sound money policies.
In a foreword for Ray Fournier’s book “Education Reformation,” Moore writes that many evangelicals “who recognize the Great Commission as the primary focus of the New Testament and the principal mission of the church will ascertain through these pages that they have neglected the discipleship of their own children in the family.”
“All too often many of these dear brethren have sent their children into harm’s way in the public schools to fulfill the Great Commission or be ‘salt and light.’ This tactical error has had tragic consequences,” he writes.
Moore notes that studies show 40 percent of elementary school children walk away from the visible church by the end of middle school and “the percentage increases to an alarming 80 percent by the end of their senior year of high school.”
“The Christian church in America is truly in the middle of a generational crisis,” he writes. “We are losing our children, we are losing our civilization.”
He points out that with faith removed from public schools, secular humanism is taught. Also, the state sponsored education system is a socialist model, he said.
“Secular humanism teaches that humans are the supreme beings of the universe instead of God, and that God either doesn’t exist or is simply not necessary. As a result, without God to determine the absolute standard for good and evil, secular humanism teaches that every human being is free to do whatever seems right in his own eyes.”