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Post Messenger Recorder PMR New Glarus Monticello Belleville News Publishing

Legler Asks for Church to be Kept Out of Schools


February 10, 2022

Dear Editor,

As a grandparent of children in the New Glarus School system, I am happy to see the individual interests in our school board candidates for the primaries on February 15th, knowing that the position on our schools board is critical in ensuring that the children’s education is of quality. What I am not happy to see is that an organized religion is inserting their entity into a publicly elected position in our town, and to make matters worse, the publicly elected position involves our children and schools.

The survey Grace Church sent out to school board candidates is especially concerning, knowing that individual members of the Grace Church already approached our school administration this past year to create a pro-life “club” in the school. Regardless of where people stand on this matter, a pro-choice, pro-life/anti-abortion club is not appropriate for schools. The questions posed on the survey are not only concerning but very telling, given that a church feels it is appropriate: “We should be able to ask about all issues and to know where candidates stand on all positions.” However, you do not have the right, as a tax-exempt organized religion, to insert your survey representing a church to elected positions. And no, hosting a religious festival every year does not absolve you of this. There are reasons for these laws, and the church survey is wrong on many levels.

In the previous week’s Letter to the Editor, Pastor John referenced an online post as “hateful, judgmental, and crude.” When the reality is that the survey the church sent out is hateful, judgmental, and crude. With that said, in effort to clarify exactly what the church stands for, I would like to request that Pastor John fill out the survey himself, as this will allow us to “better understand” the positions of the church. Regardless of any response or side-stepping of the survey, it is clear where Grace Church stands on these issues. Furthermore, the church stated the source of their survey came from Pennsylvania Family Council (PFC). The PFC organization openly state their positions on their website, along with ways to access/infiltrate school boards and promote their “values” which are: Anti-Abortion, do not support the rights of LGBTQ+, anti-equality, against women’s rights, against sex-education, and against CRT.

Grace Church even went a step further than Pennsylvania Council in the survey they acquired by adding the word “incorrectly” into the following question, choose support, oppose, or undecided, “Incorporating the 1619 Project into the curriculum that incorrectly claims America was founded in 1619 with the arrival of African slaves and that the Revolutionary War was fought to preserve slavery.” But, the Pennsylvania survey stated, “Incorporating the 1619 Project into the curriculum that claims America was founded in 1619 with the arrival of African slaves and that the Revolutionary War was fought to preserve slavery.” Grace took the survey a step farther, and, in doing so, has stepped over the line.

The separation of church and state exists for a reason. Part of that reason is to be respectful and considerate of other people’s own belief systems. I would assume the Judaism religion would prefer Saturdays to be the day that school events and sports are not scheduled. Nor would it be appropriate for The Presbyterian Church or United Church of Christ in attempt to indoctrinate children to their beliefs of tolerance of abortion, and create school clubs or curriculum that promote it.

If parents want their children to become members of your church, then it is that family’s choice. Until then, please leave our children alone, and do not push your church into our schools.

You have every right to express your thoughts, feelings and those who seek them.

What is not your right is to seek out those who may be vulnerable and impressionable and suggest that those thoughts, feelings and opinions are the only correct ones.

Wanda Legler,

New Glarus


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