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At Idaho GOP convention, lobbyist advocates for state-sponsored Christian education

The Idaho GOP convention began Thursday with a lobbyist arguing for more Christian control over childhood education.

Idaho Family Policy Center President Blaine Conzatti made a case to a classroom full of Republicans — gathered Thursday for the Idaho Republican convention at the College of Southern Idaho — for a Christian approach to government on several social issues, and said he’d like to see public schools run by churches.

“Even the public schools in early America were always administered by the local church,” Conzatti said. “So I’d like to see that again. But until we get there, the question is, how do we mitigate the harm that’s done and do as much good as we can in the system?”

Conzatti was a featured speaker on the agenda for the GOP convention, which began Thursday morning and will conclude Saturday evening.

The Idaho Family Policy Center is a nonprofit organization that calls itself a “ministry that advances the lordship of Christ in the public square through engaging the church, promoting God-honoring public policy, and training statesmen.” 

The center has drafted and pushed several significant pieces of legislation in the past two years, including at least four successful bills related to abortion and two failed bills related to health care for transgender minors and keeping “obscene material” out of the hands of minors in public libraries. 

Even the public schools in early America were always administered by the local church. … So I’d like to see that again. But until we get there, the question is, how do we mitigate the harm that’s done and do as much good as we can in the system?

– Idaho Family Policy Center President Blaine Conzatti

Conzatti bases his arguments on statements from America’s Founding Fathers about Christianity. While historians argue the nation’s founders explicitly wanted religion out of government after declaring independence from the religiously dominated England, Conzatti singled out quotes about how human laws must conform to God’s laws.

“How do we preserve a constitutional government in the United States? Through education based upon the Christian religion,” Conzatti said. “Again, what’s the purpose of a public education? Love of God, love of country.”

‘It’s Christ or chaos’: Idaho’s newest family policy center and its biblical beliefs

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