By Barbara Miner
The campaign is being organized by some of the top leaders of the religious right, including Dr. D. James Kennedy, pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida, and Robert Simonds of Citizens for Excellence in Education.
The idea of an exodus campaign surfaced publicly last February. At that time, Simonds announced "Rescue 2010." Other religious right leaders wanted to move forward the date to the year 2000 - which, perhaps only coincidentally, overlaps with the presidential elections.
The flavor of the campaign is captured in a Sept. 11 press release from E. Ray Moore, director of Exodus 2000. Moore said: "Today some 12-15 million evangelical Christian children, or 90% of the kids from Christian families, are still attending government schools which are totally hostile to their principles and their faith. If these Christian families were to leave Pharaoh's schools for the promised land of Christian schools or home-schooling, it could trigger the spiritual re-awakening we are all praying and longing for to renew our churches, our nation, and our debased culture. It would seriously cripple the power secularism now holds over our culture by holding our children as near-hostages in state schools."
Moore underscores the importance the religious right attaches to attacking public schools and advocating religiously based instruction by noting, "This is the only battle that counts in the long run, and a battle that can be won, but only if Believers begin the exodus from atheistic public schools."