Thousands of Christians Push Back on GOP’s ‘Hijacking of Jesus’ in New Petition

By: Georgia | Published: Jun 10, 2024

A wave of signatures has flooded a petition from Faithful America, pointing fingers at Florida’s recent civics course for allegedly exploiting Jesus’ name to advance Christian nationalism in public schools. 

The organization argues the course wrongly asserts the Ten Commandments as the cornerstone of U.S. law, shaking the very secular roots of American governance.

The Charges in the Petition

Faithful America’s petition doesn’t pull punches—it claims the civics curriculum bribes teachers to mold students’ minds with Christian nationalist ideas. 

A young boy seated on a colorful classroom rug looking at paper while a female teacher kneels beside him

Source: Wikimedia Commons

It openly challenges assertions that “the United States was founded as a Christian nation,” calling these claims outright fabrications that misrepresent historical truths about church-state separation.


Disputed Historical Foundations

The heart of the petition is its objection to claims that America was intended as a Christian nation. 

A detailed stained glass window depicting Jesus holding a lamb, with a scenic backdrop of trees and a sunset

Source: Wikimedia Commons

These controversial claims have sparked a heated debate, questioning how history and constitutional foundations are being represented in educational materials.

Support Swells for the Petition

Newsweek reports that since last Wednesday, the petition has secured nearly 13,500 signatures, nearing its 15,000 target.

A diverse group of young students attentively listening to a male teacher who is explaining a lesson in front of a classroom whiteboard

Source: Kenny Eliason/Unsplash

The swift rise in numbers mirrors growing public unease over how the civics curriculum portrays U.S. history and its constitutional underpinnings.

DeSantis Pushes for Historical Accuracy

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is championing a major overhaul in civics education as part of his Civics Literacy Excellence Initiative. 

A man in a dark suit and blue tie smiling as he speaks at a podium with an American flag backdrop in a well-attended event hall

Source: Wikimedia Commons

He said that the state is “unabashedly promoting civics and history that is accurate and free from ideological bias.”

A Financial Boost for Civics Teachers

Florida is now offering a $3,000 bonus to teachers who tackle a 60-hour online civics course, aiming to deepen civic knowledge.

A diverse adult class with a male instructor and a female student discussing over a notebook in a brightly lit classroom

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However, the content and intent of this incentivized program have come under scrutiny and criticism for potential ideological slant.


Controversy Over Course Content

Faithful America highlights problematic content in the civics course, particularly the notion that “the separation of Church and State did not mean the separation of God and government.”

Silhouette of a church audience with a person raising their hand towards a stage

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This interpretation clashes with traditional understandings of the First Amendment and the foundational principle of church-state separation.


Journalistic Investigation Raises Alarms

Journalist Judd Legum recently shed light on the course content, uncovering training materials that mix Biblical passages with civic lessons. 

Close-up of a person's hands holding an open Bible, reading a passage intently in a dimly lit room

Source: Rod Long/Unsplash

This blend of religion with public education has sparked concerns about the neutrality and objectivity of the civics course.


A Rallying Cry from Faithful America

The organization is mobilizing its base with a clear message: “As Christians, let’s speak out together against this theocracy now, and demand that Florida schools stop pushing Christian nationalism.”

Front view of Melbourne High School, a modern building with palm trees in front and a clear blue sky

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This call to action seeks to uphold the secular integrity of public education.


Immediate Changes Demanded

The petition is not just a protest; it’s a demand for action.

A teacher reading a book to a group of attentive young children sitting on the floor in a colorful classroom

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It is calling for the immediate suspension of the civics program and the cleansing of Christian nationalist elements from educational materials, to preserve the secular nature of public education.


Upholding the Constitution

Faithful America is emphasizing the breach of the “two-way separation of church and state” as outlined by the U.S. Constitution.

A historic image of the U.S. Constitution showing the detailed script of "We the People" at the top

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The petition argues for a strict adherence to constitutional guidelines and the expunging of any biased religious teachings from state education.


A Broader National Conversation

The uproar surrounding the civics course in Florida taps into a broader national conversation about the role of education in fostering a balanced and inclusive understanding of civics.

Silhouette of a simple cross against a vivid pink and purple sunset sky

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The significant public response illustrates the polarized views on integrating religion with public education, highlighting a critical divide in American society.