Southern Evangelical Seminary’s Dr. Richard G. Howe Reacts to Florida’s and Iowa’s Pushback against Critical Race Theory: ‘My Hope Is That Many More States Follow Their Lead’

SES Provost Calls CRT a ‘Destructive Ideology’

June 15, 2021

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Two states have just taken bold, brave steps to stand up to the highly controversial Critical Race Theory (CRT), which teaches America’s students to view our society and history through a racial lens. On Thursday, June 11, after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said it was “outrageous” that some instructors had been deviating from the fundamentals of history, the state’s Board of Education banned the teaching of CRT from public school classrooms, adopting new rules to shield students from lessons that could “distort historical events.” And just prior to that, on Tuesday, June 8, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed House File 802 into law, which codifies the state’s position against teaching “specific defined concepts” such as CRT. The governor said that CRT was not about education, but about “labels and stereotypes.”

Dr. Richard G. Howe, Provost and Norman L. Geisler Chair of Christian Apologetics at Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu), commented on these developments from a biblical perspective.

“Every Christian, indeed, every American, should celebrate the rise of resistance against the toxins of Critical Race Theory that threaten the values and commitments that have characterized the pillars of American history, Western Civilization, and human flourishing,” said Dr. Howe. “States such as Florida and Iowa are now putting their foot down to ban the teaching in public-school classrooms of such a destructive ideology that seeks to indoctrinate into schoolchildren the very racism it ostensibly claims to be concerned about. My hope is that many more states will follow their lead.”

Supporters of Critical Race Theory argue that federal law has “preserved” the unequal treatment of people on the basis of race, that America was founded on thefts of land and labor—and that race, therefore,  should be at “the forefront of American discourse,” as the Associated Press noted. Opponents assert, however, that it is wrong to teach America’s schoolchildren that the country is fundamentally racist. “Governors and legislatures” in GOP-led states “are considering or have signed into law bills that would limit how teachers can frame American history.”

As Dr. Howe also pointed out, “What we need is a return to the wisdom of Martin Luther King, Jr. who longed for the day ‘when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.’ Unless we turn the tide, CRT will take us further and further from Dr. King’s dream.”

Other states have also taken action against CRT. In May, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill banning CRT and gender-based theory from being taught in public schools and universities, specifically teaching that “one race or sex is inherently superior to another,” and that “an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive,” as Fox News reported. Also in May, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a measure into law banning teachers from teaching CRT.

Earlier in 2021, SES released a new video pointing out several inconsistencies with today’s “wokeness” ideology and the importance for Christians to proclaim and defend the true and the good.

The SES video, titled “Are You Woke or Awake?,” has been well received on social media.

Also, a new SES livestream event, “Awaken: Thinking Well about Wokism, Social Justice, and Racial Reconciliation,” is coming up on August 7. Details will be provided soon.

Dr. Richard G. Howe was named SES Provost on May 1, 2021. Dr. Howe is a writer as well as a public speaker and debater in churches, conferences, and university campuses on issues concerning Christian apologetics and philosophy. He is past president of the International Society of Christian Apologetics, has presented at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Philosophical Society, and has interacted with such leading Christian thinkers as William Lane Craig, Hugh Ross, Greg Koukl, and Frank Turek.

The mission of SES is to train men and women, based on the inerrant and infallible written Word of God, for the evangelization of the world and defense of the historic Christian faith. SES offers the 15-hour Certificate in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.SES believes that one must minister to the present generation according to its needs—and to do so with truth and power. Students need training in the ethical, political, and economic implications of the unchanging Faith “once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). The PPE can also be used as a concentration within most master’s degrees (excluding Master of Arts in Religion).The combination of PPE training and classical seminary education can be a potent one in combating the new heresies and false doctrines rooted in a secularist, progressivist worldview.

For more information on SES, visit its website at www.ses.edu or its Facebook page, follow the SES Twitter feed, @sesapologetics, or call (704) 847-5600.

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To interview Dr. Richard G. Howe of Southern Evangelical Seminary, contact Hamilton Strategies, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.