"When did you become some political?"
That question is asked of me routinely by random friends in various wording. Fact is, five years ago, before moving from Mississippi to the DC Metro, the extent of my political expressions were limited to voting in elections. I didn't discuss or write about politics. Frankly, I rather despised politics. These days, it's impossible to be a conservative and not speak up while living near DC.
Limiting the amount of political sharing on my Facebook page is a daily goal. After all, no one wants to only hear about one genre from someone all the time. Sadly, there's a lot of material out there that most of us shield our eyes and ears to it or have it spoon-fed by the the media instead of researching and forming our own conclusions. At least two people have defriended me on Facebook and several more dropped off my Twitter feed as a result of my conservative views. Their loss.
Some things simply must be shared. Such as the recent events with the National Education Association (NEA). America's largest teacher's union had their 147th Annual Meeting on Monday, July 6, in San Diego, California. Attendees were paying tribute to Robert Chanin who was stepping down as NEA General Council after 41 years.
Apparently, Mr. Chanin is well-liked and revered by members to watch the video below. I find that honorable and commendable. However, if you begin listening at 15 minutes into this farewell speech, you'll learn about the path this organization embarked upon many years ago which has garnered it quite a few enemies.
Chanin speaks about how during the Bush administration, the NEA was audited by the IRS repeatedly, investigated by the Department of Labor, and called a "terrorist organization" by the Secretary of Education. When Chanin mentions that the Bush administration is history, the crowd explodes in cheers and applause.
Before his speech concludes, Chanin calls the Landmark Legal Foundation, Right to Work Committee, the Heritage Foundation and others "conservative and right-wing bastards" who are "picking on" the NEA due to their being "the most effective unions in the U.S."
Chanin's speech identifies the core problem with the NEA: pride. Chanin says the NEA's advocacy is effective because "we have power." The NEA Mission, Vision, and Values statement says: " We, the members of the National Education Association of the United States, are the voice of education professionals. Our work is fundamental to the nation, and we accept the profound trust placed in us."
Really? Your work is fundamental and you accept the profound trust place in you? That's bold. And, no, Mr. Chanin, the NEA isn't being "picked on" by "conservative, right-wing bastards" because the NEA has the power, the NEA is targeted because instead of being an advocate for education and representing teachers' best interests, the NEA would rather:
1) Reject an amendment to have "no position" on abortion (thus validating support for "family planning, including the right to reproductive freedom")
2) Adopt an action plan supporting homosexuality (support the enactment of same-sex "marriage" laws and fight both state and federal constitutional or statutory provisions defining marriage as between a man and a woman)
How is supporting abortion and same-sex marriage furthering education in our schools and helping teachers? These are cultural and lifestyle issues.
So, my question to you is this. Do you support any of the following:
National Education Association
The NEA Foundation
NEA Health Information Network
Keys to Excellence for Your Schools (KEYS)
The Gateway to 21st Century Skills
NEA Professional Library
NEA Member Benefits
If you do, my challenge to you: stop supporting NEA and its affiliates immediately. If you are a teacher, professor, instructor or anyone supporting these groups, please consider canceling your membership and support one or both of these organizations:
Association of American Educators
The Christian Educators Association International
As the Association of American Educators says from its missions and values page, it does not spend any member dues on partisan politics, nor do they support or oppose controversial agendas unrelated to education.
Meanwhile, the Christian Educators Association International mission is to "serve the educational community by encouraging, equipping and empowering Christian educators serving in public and private schools."
Both of these groups have the better interests of teachers, students and children in mind. Both of these organizations are more family-friendly. While any person or group can be snared by pride, it's clear the NEA has no intention of climbing out of that hole anytime soon.
I welcome your thoughts on this.
Teachers flocking to Christian alternative to NEA
NEA flexes 'political muscle,' backs same-sex 'marriage'
NEA General Counsel Complains of Attacks from "Right-Wing Bastards"
NEA leader: 'Conservative b@$+@%&s picking on us'
NEA Votes to Undermine Marriage