Anti-LGBTQ Christian Nationalist Andrew Wommack Vowed To ‘Take Over Woodland Park.’ Then He Did

In 1994, right-wing evangelist Andrew Wommack founded Charis Bible College in Woodland Park, Colorado, and has used it as a platform from which to spew disinformation, conspiracy theories, and anti-LGBTQ bigotry ever since.

Wommack is an ardent Christian nationalist who openly declares that right-wing Christians “are supposed to be ruling in this world.” Right Wing Watch reported in 2016 that Wommack had teamed up with Christian nationalist pseudo-historian David Barton to launch a “Practical Government School” at Charis that teaches students how to “restore God’s purpose in government.”

While Wommack’s Christian college was training up a generation of Christian nationalists to take over governments around the country, Wommack went to work closer to home, musing in 2021 that with just the people associated with Charis, “we ought to take over Woodland Park.”

In 2022, Right Wing Watch reported that Wommack announced that he had decided to “take Colorado back” during the previous election cycle by flooding five districts with hundreds of thousands of voter guides, bragging that he was able to get “78 or 80” of his preferred candidates elected to office.

Wommack is the sort to mindlessly spread false claims about teachers identifying as cats and relieving themselves in litter boxes in the classroom, so naturally he was particularly focused on getting “homosexual books” removed from Woodland Park school libraries.

“I sent a spy into our public school system to check out what the books are,” Wommack bragged in 2022. “I got a list of I think it was 54 books in the Woodland Park School System—and this is a small place, 7,000 people in the community—and there’s 54 homosexual books that we know off. I’ve got a list of that, and I’ve got people that are on my staff that go to every school board meeting, and as soon as we get [the books] looked at so that we can defend what we’re saying, we’re going to stand up in the school board. We now have a number of our Charis graduates that are on school boards, and we’ve got Christians in places.”

Today, NBC News published a lengthy article looking at just what has happened to the Woodland Park school system in the wake of its takeover by right-wing activists who cut services, fired teachers, and installed a new superintendent who imposed a right-wing curriculum.

At the first board meeting in January with Witt as superintendent, the board voted to adopt the American Birthright social studies curriculum standard. No social studies teachers had been consulted prior to the vote, according to three current employees and an administrator who asked to speak anonymously to protect their employment.

American Birthright materials emphasize patriotism, argue that the federal government should have no authority over public schools and say teachers should not encourage civic engagement, such as registering to vote or petitioning local lawmakers on issues students care about.

American Birthright was modeled off state standards in Massachusetts and Florida. The group received input from dozens of right-wing groups and activists, including the Claremont Institute, the Family Research Council and Moms for Liberty. Randall sees it as a bipartisan alternative to coursework that he described as hijacked by liberal concepts. Critics, though, say it’s biased toward the right — for example, it includes Bill Clinton’s impeachment but not Donald Trump’s.

The Colorado State Board of Education rejected American Birthright in October. The National Council for the Social Studies, a professional trade group for educators, issued a rare warning against using it.

The district’s adoption of American Birthright had immediate fallout for an elective class called “Civil Disobedience.” Graf, the English teacher, had created the class in 2015 to trace protest movements like Black Lives Matter back to America’s founding.

Five days after the board approved American Birthright, a community member who does not have children complained to Witt about “Civil Disobedience,” and accused [former English teacher David] Graf of using “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates — about growing up Black in America — as an “indoctrination tool,” according to emails obtained through open records requests.

A week later, Graf read in The Pikes Peak Courier that Witt had decided Coates’ book would no longer be used because it didn’t conform with American Birthright.

NBC reports that the right-wing takeover of the Woodland Park is decimating the school system:

As the school year winds down, many of the Woodland Park School District’s employees are heading for the exit, despite recently receiving an 8% raise. At least four of the district’s top administrators have quit because of the board’s policy changes, according to interviews and emails obtained through records requests. Nearly 40% of the high school’s professional staff have said they will not return next school year, according to an administrator in the district.

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In 1994, right-wing evangelist Andrew Wommack founded Charis Bible College in Woodland Park, Colorado, and has used it as a platform from which to spew disinformation, conspiracy theories, and anti-LGBTQ bigotry ever since. Wommack is an ardent Christian nationalist who openly declares that right-wing Christians “are supposed to be ruling in this world.” Right Wing…

In 1994, right-wing evangelist Andrew Wommack founded Charis Bible College in Woodland Park, Colorado, and has used it as a platform from which to spew disinformation, conspiracy theories, and anti-LGBTQ bigotry ever since. Wommack is an ardent Christian nationalist who openly declares that right-wing Christians “are supposed to be ruling in this world.” Right Wing…