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Why Isn’t TFA More Politically Active?

Written by Dr. Steve Whitaker, Head of School

I’ve been asked numerous times in the last few months why TFA isn’t fostering more political engagement and debate in the classrooms and on campus. When I was in high school, this was the centerpiece of our social studies classes during every election cycle. When the bell rang and the class ended, we all walked away, and very few emotions lingered. Not so today.

My explanation as to the less vocal posture TFA has taken during this election season has two parts. First, the fevered pitch around politics today creates an adversarial environment not conducive to teaching and learning. Second, the darkness and division within our culture leads me to believe that what is needed more than anything else is a renewed commitment to the power of the Gospel. It’s what Jesus says will change hearts and minds.

While TFA focuses on providing a supportive learning environment for all students, my encouragement is for families to build upon the work we are doing in the classroom with civics instruction and initiate political conversations at home. You can click here to find some, not nearly all, of the work TFA is doing in the area of civics.

Someone said, “Civics is the stuff we’re all supposed to agree on regardless of our policy view differences. Civics is another way we talk about the rules of the road. None of that stuff should be different if you’re a Republican or a Democrat. Politics is different. Politics is the stuff that happens underneath civics. Civics is the overarching stuff we as Americans agree upon. Politics is the subordinate, less important stuff that we differ about.”

Let’s work together as a team for the good of every student. Our teachers at TFA will continue the work of teaching civics – the rules of the road we all agree upon. We do that through Constitution Day activities, AP Government classes, 8th Grade American History classes, the Washington D.C. trip, and much more. And we’ll let you debate politics at home – the subordinate, less important stuff we differ about.

Below I’ve provided some “table talk” resources and direction to assist you on your journey.

Family Discussion:

  1. Talk about how the political candidates’ positions align with Biblical Truth, but remember that God’s plans are not dependent upon any political party (Psalm 20:7)
  2. Talk about how God raises up and removes rulers as He wishes (Daniel 2:21)
  3. Click on this link and discuss my article entitled, “Biden or Trump?”

Family Action Plan:

  1. Take time to pray for those who have pursued political office as the Bible teaches (1 Timothy 21-4)
  2. Search online for a Voters Guide that is 1) based on a Biblical worldview and 2) aligns with the values of your family (2 Chronicles 7:14)