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Get ready. It's one of America's most important, influential and respected voices on cultural and political issues. An apologist, Christian political advocate and author, here is the founder and chairman of the Citizens for America Foundation, Dr. Chris Hughes.
Welcome to The Christian Perspective, where we look in God's Word in order to develop a Christian worldview and modern culture. I'm Chris Hughes and today's guest is the co-pastor of Antioch International Church outside of Charlotte, along with her husband. She's an author, a speaker, a dedicated wife and mother, and her love for her children inspired her to start an organization that we're going to talk about today called Patriotic Students of America.
Recently, I spoke a few months ago at a conference called the Mom Rise Summit put on by Moms for America. And Dr. Enns hosted this event in her church and we met and she shared with me something that she's doing to change the hearts and minds of students, particularly high school students where they can impact the culture for Jesus. When I heard what she was doing, I knew that we had to have her on The Christian Perspective to share with you what she's done to engage students in the culture for Jesus. Dr. Elizabeth Enns, welcome to The Christian Perspective. Thank you, Chris. It's great to be here with you.
Well, I'm so excited because I love what you're doing. You know, our organization, Citizens for America, tries to educate Christians on issues that are important in the culture, you know, abortion, homosexuality, transgender, school boards, critical race theory, all the different things that are going on in culture. So Christians can learn about these issues and know how to discuss these issues when they enter the culture. But a real problem we have is young people today are not grounded in the Word of God in many cases like they should be. Most pastors, I know you and your husband are not like this, but most pastors across the country never address issues that we have to face daily in the culture. Most Christians never read the Bible, so they don't know what God has to say about these issues because they don't read their Bible. Their pastors don't ever talk about it.
Or if they do, they only sit there for 20 or 30 minutes, hear a sermon and may not know exactly what to do or how to carry it forward. And I think we're seeing in our younger generation a desire to be engaged and to make a difference. And I know as a mom, you've got some students in your house and realize something needed to be done, so tell us what you've done and why you did it.
Well, I am a mom of three, and my three boys, one is in elementary school, one is in middle school, and one is in high school. And they are very hungry to be engaged and to be involved in something bigger than themselves. And about a year ago, I went on a bus tour. I was the pastor on the bus tour, and I traveled to 10 different states leading up to the election just encouraging people to vote and based on policy. And the question that came up everywhere we went was, what can we do for our young people? And this idea kept coming to me of, well, just start a patriotic club.
But people were like, well, that would be nice if we knew what to do, and people didn't know what to do. So when I got home, I started researching and looking for some type of patriotic club that I could encourage other people to go to. Because I didn't feel the need to reinvent the wheel, I just thought I'd look for something and encourage others to go hook up with this group, this would be great.
But I couldn't find anything. So then I decided that I needed to start an organization to launch patriotic clubs for school-aged children, kindergarten, middle school, and high school. And so then I started looking for curriculum. I reached out to all different groups, and they might have school curriculum or they might have a book, but there wasn't something suitable for a club curriculum. So then I realized I needed to write my own. So I went ahead and wrote a one-year club curriculum for students that are in school age. So from reading, reading ability, all the way through high school. And we went ahead and launched that. Are the curriculum that you developed, is it different for different age groups?
No, no. It's just one basic curriculum, but it's put together in such a way that depending on who's facilitating the group, you can make it very understandable for a second grader, a third grader, or it's still engaging and cool for teenagers and high schoolers. So how long ago did you start this organization? So we launched it officially on July 4th of this year, 2021.
I thought July 4th was appropriate. And we, our first batch of course curriculum arrived in August, and we just went forward from there. So from what I understand, and I don't know enough about it, the curriculum I believe is non-partisan and non-religious. So if it's non-religious, how does it reflect a biblical worldview? So you're right, it is intentionally non-partisan and non-religious so that it can reach across the aisle in every direction.
But I am very conservative and also a born again Christian and believe in the biblical worldview and continuing that throughout the generations. And so how, there's a few ways. One on the basic being very pro-Constitution and teaching about the Declaration of Independence, the basic line that we are endowed by our Creator says that there's a Creator, there is God. And we know and we understand that we are made in His image. And so throughout this curriculum, every single month, the kids are encouraged to be great and look for greatness. And they are encouraged with this, the seed being sown of you, you are here for a reason and for a purpose. So be great because that's part of who you were created to be. And so just inspiring people to realize that there's a purpose behind their life. The other thing is we understand that there's always going to be, there's always going to be evil, there's always going to be darkness until the Lord returns. And so it is our job while we're trying to push back the darkness to sow seed into people's lives. And so throughout this curriculum, learning about great Americans and the things that they did, their creativity, their problem solving.
To sow these positive seeds of now you be inspired, what's inside of you to create, what's inside of you to solve, what's inside of you and just inspiring young people to that and to look for that. Well, you mentioned learning about great Americans. Do you focus just on the founding fathers or even modern history, people like Martin Luther King or do you look at modern people as well in your curriculum or is it just founding fathers?
It's a little bit of everything. And I also looked for great Americans that not all groups in America might consider great. And again, so that it can reach across the aisle. And so past presidents that might not align with our biblical view or might not align with our political understanding. But something that they did, finding one thing, something that they did that was something great. And so from as recent as not I guess two administrations ago and then back to our founding fathers. And then other nonpolitical people from Amelia Earhart to Louis Armstrong, Booker T. Washington and different great Americans in between. Elizabeth, that's so important because I don't think history books in public schools at least are teaching some of this stuff. And so it's great for us to understand that there are people who went through the trials that many of these young people go through throughout their life and they overcame certain circumstances and some of them went on to accomplish great things. Does your curriculum cover the founding documents to the Constitution, decoration, the articles and that kind of thing?
Yes. So we have and it's more of an introduction because it's not a history class but it's to inspire lifelong learners and just to kind of wet the whistle of oh, that was really cool and actually I understood that and to kind of put that fire to want to know more. So we learn about the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, we look at the Federalist Papers, the Bill of Rights, different things like that just to bring in those foundations. Because for people to nowadays understand the Constitution and for those who understand like the Constitution that is alive and well in our nation right now is not the original little Constitution handbook that people read.
It has it has grown with laws and different things have changed it. And so when people understand the original Constitution, as we raise up these young ones, it will help us to get back to the original intent of the Constitution. And that's so important for our young people to understand. I think most people today don't realize how important the Constitution of the United States is. We have the greatest, the longest running free form of government in the history of the world. But most Americans have never even read the Constitution of the United States. So I applaud you for having our young people learn about our founding documents.
Thank you. Reese, you just asked, I guess a couple questions ago about whether the great Americans were just ones from the past. We also do a video broadcast once a month about great Americans right now. And my son Asher, who's 10, he does this little video called see to see like ocean to ocean in 60 seconds, and he highlights great Americans doing great things right now in present day. And we have he's highlighted some children that are helping the needy or children that are coming up with solutions to problems in their community or or veterans or just different people, everyday people that are doing great things.
And so we also have this modern day right here right now real time of that we still have a nation full of great people. Elizabeth, what is your website and for someone who wants to start a patriotic students of America club in their school? How do they do that? So our website is www.patrioticstudents.com and they can check out our website and all of our information all of our books and even some connections to other great books that are out there that are good tools to have are all on our website. Some kids are starting clubs in their school and so they find a teacher who would be willing to sponsor them and go through that channel. They would order our course curriculum and there's a few different packages there's just the basic manual or you can get the complete package that comes with the manual the course manual and nine honor coins or challenge coins. We had a custom made coin designed for us that every month each club can award a student or someone in the community an honor coin or a challenge coin for something great that they're doing because what we honor we get more of. And so as we honor these students for doing something great or they're great character other young people will be inspired to rise up and do something great because they want to be honored also.
So someone starting a club can order the course manual they can order the complete package which comes with these nine coins so that every month through the school year they can hand out a coin you can always order more. And another thing that we did that you can add to your package is we have made little handout magazines for each month so that every student in your club can take home their own copy of what you've discussed and studied that month so that they can share it with their families they can share it with their friends and they have their own copy to go back and reference back to it so that's also another possibility to add on to what you order. Now it's not just happening in schools Chris we have youth groups that are doing this we have families that are getting together we have neighborhood groups that are getting together we have different political groups that while the grown ups are meeting or the mom groups while they're meeting that they have their kids meeting to do patriotic students of America.
So while the while the grown ups are working on how do we save the world on the grown up level the kids are working on how do we prepare ourselves to continue and to stand on our parents shoulders and go forward for this for God and for our country. You know as you as you say that Elizabeth I'm thinking of, I know you're familiar with an organization called Moms for America, and, and we recently had a show with Julian Jackson who is their national vice president and she was encouraging moms to have cottage meetings with Moms for America and I'm just thinking, you know, as the moms are meeting at their cottage meeting. This might be something as you say that the kids, the, the, the younger adults could be meeting separately, while the moms are having their cottage meeting they the students could be having their patriotic students of America meeting the magazine or the booklet that you mentioned so I'm assuming there's a topic that is covered each month, and that that publication is reinforcing what they learned in their meeting.
Yes, it's, it is exactly what's in the course manual, it's just on a smaller scale like physically smaller paper so that the kids can take it home with them and it's if it gets this like just like a little magazine so they can keep it if they'd like but if they don't want to or if it gets destroyed it's not a big deal. This would also be a great organization. Now you mentioned churches, have you had any success with homeschool groups of starting a chapter for patriotic students of America. Yes, that's the different we have. So currently we have about 70 clubs in 16 different states.
Wow. And so some of them are homeschool groups. Some of them are public schools, private schools. Church youth groups, neighborhood groups, like I said, so all several of these different spheres are starting up clubs, and, and doing we also have this was a cool thing that I didn't really foresee ahead of time but we have some grandma club. And so we have these grandmothers that are meeting with their grandkids once a month, specifically to do patriotic students of America, so the kids all come to grandma's house, and they, they look at the content for that month and they do some activities and play some games and and grandma is teaching her grandchildren about these, these important these important things documents from our nation but also then inspiring them to go and do something great because every month there's an action challenge and so then they can together work on the action challenge. We even have one grandmother that all of her grandkids are across the nation and so they do a patriotic students of America, zoom, zoom call clubs, once a month, so she has the book, she sent it out to all of her grandkids so they have their own copy. And then they meet on zoom once a month to have their club meeting.
Elizabeth is there. And I know this is not a scouting program but are are there merit badges or anything like that that that students are earning or is it just the knowledge that they gain from attending the meetings. The, the only thing like that would be the coin. The challenge coin or the honor coin that kids can get awarded for doing something great, or showing great character, and at least in the schools or the meetings, pretty much student led. Yes, they are typically so far what's happening is their student led but teacher facilitated and. Moving on I know there's a school in Ohio, that the teacher had found out about it, but understanding the way the public school works. Basically each year she'll look for a student that would be interested in this and propose the idea of, hey, would you be interested in leading our club this year, because as students age out you still need another person in that school so if there's a teacher who's really passionate about this, they can just look for those those leaders and those students who would really thrive with this opportunity to lead their peers.
You mentioned earlier videos, I think you said your son's done some videos. So what does a meeting look like would they show videos from the national organization and then is there like a video that teaches the lesson about you mentioned people who have impacted history or done outstanding things, or is the student leader having to learn all this in advance and then, and then teaches it themselves at the meeting. So generally the students, the leader or whoever's facilitating the meeting will learn it ahead of time. The curriculum is pretty simple that if you don't, you don't need to memorize it, you don't need to put a ton of study into it, what you put into it you get out of it.
But if you don't have time to really prepare in a huge way. There's enough there that you can just read it over and refresh yourself before going into your club meeting and your group could go through it and have a great time. Where currently what we have for videos is just the once a month, see to see in 60 seconds that if they have the technology available where they meet at the club, they can watch that video or just encourage their club members to go on the website and check it out later. There is a growing library of how to so it might be how to play this game. Recently we put up how to make poppies and because we want to encourage people to honor veterans, and so to wear a poppy as you know if it's Veterans Day or Memorial Day or that kind of thing to honor those who have served and given so much for our freedom and our liberty, things like that. So after they learn about history or people, are there action items where they're charged to go do things in their community or put in place what they've learned?
Yes. Every month there is an action challenge. So one month it's find someone in need and bless them, help them.
There's another I think in the month of November it is find a veteran and ask them if they have some wisdom to share with the world and then email us or let us know what you learned and then to compile this wisdom to share. Another action item might be to I have to think off the top of my head. This escapes me.
I'm sorry. But it's always about finding solutions. I think on a month where they learned about Thomas Edison, we talk about how there was a problem that once it's dark it's hard to get anything done.
So he found a solution to bring in the light bulbs so that you could still do things in the evening with better light. And so to encourage the students find is there something around you that's a problem or less convenient, be inspired to find a solution to that and let us know about your solution. And so just different things like that, whether it's it's personal or whether it's in the community and thinking outward and just getting out and doing something. I love the model that you've set up here and folks, if you're just tuning in as patriotic students of America calm as patriotic students of America calm. Well, Elizabeth, I also love when you mentioned a while ago, talking to veterans, I think that that's something that every young person should do. Years ago, we were stationed in Hawaii and at Pearl Harbor, and I don't know if you've ever been there, but there's a monument to remember what happened there on that that dreaded day. And there's probably not many alive now, but there were some that were still alive then and they would come the men who had actually served that day. And, and I took my kids and let them sit down and talk to these men because that's a generation, you know, that was dying and my kids got to learn firsthand what happened on the day of the Pearl Harbor attack and didn't have to be Pearl Harbor, but so many veterans have so much to offer.
And November every year is Veterans Day and, and so I think it's great that you're doing that. Well, we only have about three more minutes I wanted to ask you, because this is such a wonderful organization so many liberal groups are opposed to the true teaching of American history or anything patriotic these days being in the school system. Have you had negative feedback from liberal groups. I actually haven't and I'm so grateful to be able to say that when I first wrote the curriculum, I intentionally took it to neighbors and friends that were voted differently than I do. I took it to some libertarian friends I took it to some democrat friends who, who I know, care about the nation and care about children, but just have some different perspectives on on things and I specifically and intentionally said Could you please look at this and have your, your feedback your constructive criticism and everyone that I took it to thought that it was great. They were surprised at what they saw in it. And, and so at this point I'm happy to report I haven't received any, any backlash, any negative feedback I have groups that are are starting clubs in in different spheres like children's museums and things that it's very much nonpartisan and, and they're looking for an excuse to say no to you to be able to do these kinds of things. But they've, they've had open doors to it because, because it's, it's been written so intentionally. Yeah. Well, I just want to thank you for what you've done, folks.
Again, if you're listening. This is a way for your student to get involved. It's called patriotic students of America. It's a new organization.
I think they have about 70 clubs in 16 different states, you can go to patriotic students of America.com to learn how you can start a club, it doesn't have to be in a school, it can be in your church, it can be your homeschool group, or just for the kids in your community to teach them about the founding documents of our country and important people not only in the United States, but around the world who have influenced the world that we live in today and encourages our kids to get involved. Dr. Elizabeth Enns, thank you for seeing a need. Thank you for meeting that need. And thank you for helping educate the next generation of students and leaders and the United States of America. We sure appreciate what you're doing. Thank you, Chris.
It is truly an honor and a pleasure to serve in this way. Well, folks, thank you for joining me today. I'm Chris Hughes and this is The Christian Perspective. Please subscribe and like our podcast and share it with your friends on social media. Now let's go change the culture for Jesus.
Thank you for listening. The Christian Perspective with Chris Hughes. Learn more about impacting the culture for Jesus. Visit Christian perspective.us. This show is brought to you by Generous Joe's. The coffee company with the Christian perspective. This is the answer that Christians and conservatives have been looking for. A coffee company that gives back to causes you care about. Order your coffee today at shopgenerousjoes.org and even subscribe to a subscription coffee plan and never forget the coffee you love or the causes you care about.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-16 23:36:20 / 2023-07-16 23:46:09 / 10