Decoding the Christian Nationalist Mind of Professor Lee Strang

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Lee Strang Website
The Meaning of ‘Religion’ in the First Amendment
Northwest Ohio Classical Academy

Barney Charter School Initiative

Center for Christian Virtue

Lee Strang Dossier by ‘Whip Hendricks’

From NOCA Family Handbook 2022-2023 p. 19
From NOCA Family Handbook 2022-2023 p. 20
From Dobbs v Jackson: Brief Of Amicus Curiae Lee J. Strang In Support Of Petitioners (2022)

Editors Note: Professor Strang was invited to be a guest on the show to talk about these topics. He initially agreed to appear then shortly before it was to be recorded he canceled the interview.

Previous episode with a conservative guest: No Outrage Politics With Bud Cornwell 02/08/2023

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Show Transcript

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[0:00] We probe into the intriguing life and ideologies of Professor Lee Strang. He’s a Christian nationalist law professor who is the go-to guy for the Ohio GOP when, they need conservative justifications for hurting the people of Ohio with their extremist legislation. Strang also believes the First Amendment doesn’t apply to atheists or secular humanists. I’m Doug Berger, and this is Secular Left.

[0:34] Music.

[0:45] One of the things that I like to do with this podcast is I want to explore ideas and discuss topics that are of interest to people, both because it involves the separation of church and state and the relationship of religion and government, and also other issues as well. I make no bones about it. I am liberal. I am a progressive. I am not conservative. I don’t agree with anything current conservatives talk about. I haven’t voted for a Republican probably since college, back when it was cool.

[1:29] And so, I want to have different guests on that are conservative or have a different viewpoint than myself. Because that makes interesting conversations when you can have a discussion about topics. Necessarily topics about whether or not somebody deserves rights or anything. I don’t like to have top discussions like that because that’s just something that that’s a line I don’t cross. Everybody has rights or nobody has rights. You know, there’s no academic discussion about whether or not one group of people deserves rights over another. I don’t, I will not have that discussion on on any of my shows. But, one of my other podcasts that I host…

[2:27] Had a conservative on recently back in February and I was and they came to me. They wanted to be a guest on on, my podcast secular left podcast and, So I said look, you know, I don’t want a MAGA person on I don’t want you to start name-calling and using derogatory comments about people, you know, let’s go Brandon. I didn’t want to hear any of that crap. But this person was, just like me, wanted to have a conversation with somebody who did not think exactly like them. And so I thought that went well. That episode went well. Probably in the show notes, I’ll put a link to that episode if you want to check it out. So, It got got, you know, we’re here in Ohio. We have the state issue one coming up, that would increase the threshold by 60% for.

[3:30] For Approving amendments to the state constitution and it would increase the double the number of signatures required, it’s a bad a bad amendment brought on by, Conservatives in the state legislature who have ignored who ignored five other Ohio Supreme Court decisions about gerrymandered maps, but that’s a whole other thing. I’m not going to talk about that today. And so we have that going on. We have the Dobbs decision that was decided by the US Supreme Court that overturned Roe v. Wade. We have calculated and targeted attacks on the LGBT community by various laws and rules that are in the state legislature today, like banning gender-affirming care. There’s a new one that was introduced by somebody in the northwest Ohio area that would ban, drag shows because they start out by calling them obscene. A lot of these laws are going to be unconstitutional. When they get passed and they reach a court, they’ll be ruled unconstitutional. The fact that it’s a concerted, targeted attack on the LGBT community is one thing.

[4:48] What I wanted to do is, there is a well-known conservative here in Northwest Ohio. He is a professor at the University of Toledo Law School. His name is Lee Strang, and he’s been in the news lately also, not only for being one of the most well-known conservatives, he’s a go-to person for the Toledo Blade when they’re talking about constitutional issues, and I’ll get into his bio here in a minute, but he also worked with the Ohio Republican Party to come up with justifications for the increased threshold in in State Issue 1. He helped them write State Issue 1. Another thing that Professor Strang also did was he had an idea for what he’s calling an intellectual, intellectual diversity unit at the college, in the College of Law at the University of Toledo. And he worked with a state legislature, and it was Senate Bill 117, and it was eventually added on to the budget instead of passed as a law, that created these intellectual diversity.

[6:02] Units at the University of Toledo, University of Cincinnati, University of Miami, and Ohio State University. And Professor Strang is going to personally benefit from that state tax dollars funding that school because he’s going to be in charge of it. So that’s how well known he is. The other reason he’s well known too is that he was paid by the Christian Center for Virtue, which is a right-wing anti-abortion group in Cincinnati, they paid him to write an amicus brief, it’s called an amicus brief or a friend of the court brief, in the Dobbs decision. And in it, he made the argument that an unborn fetus is a person and should be protected by the Constitution. So that’s why, you know, and then there’s other reasons I wanted to talk to him about is he started a public charter school.

[7:07] He is active in the anti-abortion community here in Toledo. He’s a Catholic and and he during the pandemic, he sued the state to have student mask mandates invalidated, things like that. So, you know, he’s a conservative through and through. Back in June, you know, I wanted to talk to him. I wanted to ask him some questions about some of his beliefs and some of his ideas, and just have a discussion about it. So I sent him an email, cold email, and said, you know, I want to invite you on my podcast, talk to you about these different items. And I had a list of items, and he agreed to be a guest on the podcast. I was shocked. I really was, because, even though conservatives complain about censorship and not being allowed to talk about their ideas, they generally don’t want to be in a room with somebody who doesn’t agree with them, or where they don’t control the the narrative as it were. They don’t want they don’t want to have to defend themselves and if he was going to be a guest on this show, he was going to have to defend his ideas.

[8:31] So, had the interview set up, I had a friend of mine who’s also a friend of the show send me basically a dossier, he compiled a dossier about Strang and all the different tentacles and things that he’s into, which I really appreciate, and he knows who he is, so I thanked him for that. And so we agreed that we were going to meet on July the 31st at one o’clock, and we were gonna do this at the radio station, the WAKT studio, record it in person because he wanted to do the interview in person because you know, he’s a lawyer, constitutional lawyer, that’s what he likes to do is do the personal thing, no problem. Had it all set up. So last week I sent him a reminder, last Tuesday, sent him a reminder email. I said look just wanted to let you know, we’re going to meet on the 31st, here are the topics, and I copied my original pitch to him.

[9:34] He sends me an email back saying, you know, I thought we were going to talk about policies and, issues, and I didn’t expect it to all be about me. I don’t think we should do the interview. And that was it. He cancelled. He cancelled on me. And the thing is, while I was ruminating in my head about this interview, because I always do that when I prepare to interview somebody, is I think about the topics I’m going to talk about, and I write out ten questions, usually about ten questions that I’m going to ask them to guide the discussion. And some of the things that he complained about, one of the things he complained about was I said he was an anti-abortion activist.

[10:24] He disagreed with that. He also disagreed with the fact that he was going to personally benefit from this intellectual diversity school at the University of Toledo. And that’s fine. If he did, if he thinks that I got that wrong, then he should come on the show and give his side of the story. And that those weren’t even the important points that I was going to talk about, mainly, and we’ll get into this here in a little bit in this episode, is that he founded a public.

[11:01] Charter school based on classical education. Classical education. I mean, they teach Latin at this school. All right. And so I was going to ask him about that. The other thing I was was going to ask him about is he is a proponent of constitutional originalism. And if you’re not familiar with that term, that’s used by conservatives because they don’t like the fact that courts in the past have applied the Constitution to society changes. So like, for example, Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973 on the basis that, a basis of the right to privacy. That unless somebody’s life was in danger, the mother’s life was in danger, the government had no reason to get involved with her decision to abort her pregnancy.

[12:09] That was the, I know I’m simplifying things, but that was the main argument was the right to privacy. And that was based on an earlier court case that did away with laws that prevented doctors from talking to patients about birth control. Yeah, there used to be laws preventing doctors from talking about birth control. And the court said, no, that’s marital stuff, that’s private, That’s no concern of the government. The same with sodomy laws. There’s a sodomy law in Texas that was struck down in the, I believe it was in the 80s, late 80s, early 90s. Might have been, I apologize for not having the dates. But, again, the court said what people do in their bedroom is no concern of the government. You have a right to privacy.

[13:00] Well, one of the major proponents, modern proponents of originalism was Justice Anton Scalia, who is no longer with us. He passed away several years ago. And he famously said in a speech at some law school or some legal thing that the Constitution does not include a right to privacy. There is no, nobody has a right to privacy because it’s not explicitly stated in the Constitution. And that’s how originalists work, is if it’s not in the Constitution then it’s not a federal question. That was the main argument that was used to overturn Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs decision, was that, abortion law or the right to an abortion was not a federal question. It was not a civil rights question that.

[13:57] That the federal government should get involved with. And so the way the Constitution is written is a power that does not go to the federal government then gets passed on to the states. And so that’s what the Dobbs decision did was it passed the decision on to the states. So now, you’re going to have, instead of having a right to abortion in all the states, because of the 14th Amendment that says that you have to apply the law fairly and equally to everybody, now you’re going to have a mishmash of state laws. Various levels, some are going to ban them outright, like Arkansas, some of them are going to have severe restrictions. Then you’re going to have states like New York and California where it’s going to be like it was during Roe v. Wade. Michigan recently approved a state constitutional amendment that protects reproductive rights. And here in the state of Ohio, they just got certified for a ballot measure in November that would do the same in Ohio, that if it passes, it would also protect reproductive rights in Ohio. So it would depend on where you live, whether or not you had a right to reproduce, you had reproductive rights.

[15:23] And you can see how that’s unfair. You really do, because I would think that bodily autonomy is a primary civil right. I mean, they have, you know, it starts out with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. How does banning abortion fill any of those requirements? They don’t.

[15:47] But that’s for another episode. We’re not going to get into that argument right off the bat. But anyway, so Scalia was famous for this, that there’s no such thing as, privacy and originalism. And so some people might be confused. So basically there’s two slightly different understandings of originalism. One is Original Intent that says we should interpret the Constitution based on what its drafters originally intended when they wrote it. The other is that we should interpret the Constitution based on the original meaning of the text, not necessarily what the founders intended, but how the words they used would have generally been understood at the time.

[16:36] It says both versions of Originalism, Original Intent, and Original Meaning contend that the Constitution has permanent, static meaning that’s baked into the text. Originalism in either iteration is contrary to the Living Constitution theory. That’s one legal expert’s belief that they call it Living Constitution. But what it is, is interpreting the Constitution as if it was written today rather than when it was written in 17 in the 1790s. Okay, so that’s originalism. Strang was is a big proponent of that. He also wrote a paper in 2012 that called into question whether or not the First Amendment applied to atheists.

[17:32] His argument in that paper was that the word, the First Amendment, only talks about religion. So the title of this paper was called The Meaning of Religion in the First Amendment. And the abstract from it is, this article articulates the original meaning of, religion in the First Amendment. This article contends that religion in 1791 meant belief in a God with concomit duties in this life and a future state of rewards and punishments. Religion did not encompass atheism.” And that is a very provocative.

[18:15] Paper. And if you read it, he makes the argument based on his reading of history, and the Founders and how they felt about things that the originalist meaning or the actual meaning of the term religion meant Christianity, or at least a monotheistic religion that believed in punishment and rewards in the afterlife. So that’s what he believes that the First Amendment, the Establishment and Free Exercise clause covers religion, but not anybody that’s not religious, like secular humanists.

[19:07] And he goes on for many, many, many pages talking about originalism and the meaning. So the paper is available free of charge from this paper website, and I’ll put the link in the show notes so you can actually read the whole thing. But what I wanted to know, and this is what I wanted to talk to him about if he was going to be on the show was his conclusion. OK, so on page 239, well, it’s not 239 pages, it’s on the 59th page of his paper. But in this journal that it was published in, it was page 239.

[19:52] And and it was and this was published in 2002. Says here, he writes, Strang writes, in the realm of the Establishment Clause, persons who sue claiming that the government has established a religion when the religion is secular humanism would not prevail under the original meaning of the Constitution. Secular humanism is a belief system that places individual autonomy as the top belief and claims that value is individual relative, guided by human reason. With these beliefs, secular humanism is not considered a religion by even the most attenuated originalist definition, and thus persons seeking to prevent the government from espousing such beliefs would not succeed under the original meaning of religion.

[20:48] Finally, if the government seeks to exclude certain groups that are religious in the modern broad sense from access to fora that religious groups traditionally understood are admitted to, does not constitute discrimination in violation of the Establishment Clause. If a group’s belief system does not conform to the original meaning of a religion, that group has no Establishment Clause claim. The exclusionary government would not have the defense, however, of avoiding establishment clause problems in a free speech claim by the excluded group. So, you know, that was basically what I was trying to look for is a lot of times when people like Strang make these these arguments about original meanings and, and whether or not somebody deserves certain rights or fetuses or people is I always want to know what the end game is. What is the result? What are you looking for to happen.

[21:56] If we say, okay, we’ll do this. Then what? And here he’s saying that even though secular humanists, couldn’t have a complaint for establishment clause reasons, because secular humanism is is not a religion, they would possibly have a case under free speech jurisprudence.

[22:23] So I don’t know. Like I said, it was a provocative paper, and it’s something that I wanted to discuss with him pretty much, if he was here, and get his thoughts about it. Because, you know, I think that the way that the courts address deeply held beliefs as religious, quote unquote, for purposes of the First Amendment, I think that is more fair and more just than saying, well, you, know, these Christians, they get an exemption because of the Establishment and Free Exercise Clause. But me, being a secular humanist, I don’t get the same exemption because I’m not a religion. And so I have to file a lawsuit based on free speech reasons. And I just can see, I’m not a lawyer, but I can see the problems with that.

[23:21] And so if you want to read up more on the definition of religion in the First Amendment, there’s a case from 1970, a conscientious objector case called Welsh v. United States. It talks about it, he talks about it, Strang talks about it in his paper, and some other ones too. But that one, the Welsh one, is the most recent one that expanded the definition of religion to include any deeply held belief. So basically, strengthen an originalist who doesn’t believe that atheists are protected under the First Amendment. Well, modify that. Not protected under the Establishment or the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. For more information about any of the topics covered in this episode, check out our show show notes at

[24:19] Music.

[24:25] This is Doug, the host of Secular Left, letting you know that I also get tired of hearing, myself talk all the time. Would you like to be a guest on the show, or know someone who you think would make a good guest? Then let us know on our website, slash guest. One of the other items that Professor String took exception to was that I had called him an anti-abortion activist, and he said that that was not a good characterization. The thing is, I have receipts. This dossier that this friend of the show put together has some very good information about Strang and his anti-abortion activities. For example, you can learn more about Strang’s position by listening to his 60-minute interview, on May 3, 2022, with the president of the Center for Christian Virtue, the day after the leaked Roe v. Wade opinion was announced.

[25:38] And again, I need to point out that the Center for Christian Virtue funded his anti-abortion amicus brief in the Dobbs decision that made the argument that unborn fetuses were people. Strang is also the past secretary and a current member of the Foundation for Life, which is an umbrella organization that includes all the anti-abortion groups in Toledo and Northwest Ohio.

[26:08] On May 17, 2022, the organization hosted Strang for his talk on the case for personhood at Post Roe, playing off his amicus brief. The event was held in the evening at the school he founded, the Northwest Ohio Classical Academy. In 2019, Peter Range, Executive Director of Ohio Right to Life, interviewed Strang for his show on Annunciation Radio to discuss the basis for overturning Roe v. Wade.

[26:40] In 2011, Strang wrote a letter of testimony to the Ohio Senate Health and Human Services and Aging Committee supporting passage of the informed consent provisions of HB 125, also called the Heartbeat Bill. He shared that he was a board member of Toledo Area Right to Life and directly declared his goal of outlawing abortion. I also have a Facebook posting from the Foundation for Life of Northwest Ohio with a picture of Professor Strang speaking at his school to 75 guests on the history of U.S. Supreme Court abortion decisions in Roe v. Wade and Dobbs case. Also the argument for personhood. And then I also have an image of the quarterly publication for the Foundation for Life from the summer of 2013 that shows board members and it shows Lee Strang as secretary. And also his friend from UT, Kirk Ross, was also on the board at that time. So that is the receipts on his anti-abortion activism. I mean, you don’t write paper, you don’t write amicus briefs and talk about personhood for fetuses, and serve on the board of the Foundation for Life if you’re not anti-abortion.

[28:01] And he’s an anti-abortion activist because he actually does things to try to get abortion abortion banned, such as giving a justification for State Issue 1, which is primarily on the ballot in order to sabotage the Reproductive Rights Amendment that’s supposed to be voted on in November. And of course, I still don’t believe that even if State Issue 1 passes, that it’s going to affect that, because I don’t think you can do that legally, because they’ve already completed the process, they’ve already got their signatures, they’ve been approved to be put on the ballot. So I don’t see how you could change the Constitution for future ballot measures and have that apply ex post facto is the legal terminology. Anyway, Professor Strang is also against the LGBT community, or doesn’t support them. And he wrote an op-ed in The Record, which is a Harvard Law School publication back in 2003. Oh, it was a letter. It was a letter to the Harvard Law School newspaper back in 2003.

[29:30] And in it, he said that homosexuality prevents him and his wife from practicing their religion. So I’m going to have a copy of that available on on the show notes. So let’s get to talking about his founding of his school. It’s the Northwest Ohio Classical Academy. It’s a conservative public charter school that opened in 2019 and now enrolls about 500 students. Strang says the idea first started in his living room when several families gathered to brainstorm options for their children. The information I have quotes him, says we were from all different backgrounds and different schooling choices, he says, but we were not happy with the options. Homeschooling was time consuming and burdensome to family life. Private school was expensive and tuition was a strain on family resources or the education provided was not considered worth the price. Public education had low academic value or was inconsistent with their family values. We wondered how we could start a private, religiously oriented school that would provide an education consistent with family values.

[30:49] And so, the Northwest Ohio Classical Academy is a public charter school. And what that means is it accepts state tax dollars to operate. It is not overtly religious. You know, it meets in a church or a former church building, But it’s not, you know, they don’t have chapel and they don’t have ministers teaching classes, and religious education isn’t really done. It’s done in the context of social studies, you know, just talking about different religions. It’s not like a Catholic school at all or an evangelical private school at all. The classical academy movement, I call it a movement, is a conservative-based, alternative to a religious school in that it basically hides the religious intent.

[31:54] So that you can get tax dollars easily and not run afoul of state law or federal law that prohibits schools from getting direct money from the government. I mean, they teach Latin. They teach Latin in this school. Latin is a dead language. I was talking to somebody who went to a Catholic school in the 80s, and back in the 80s, Latin was optional for Catholic students. You know, there’s no real use for Latin, but they add it to add on to this classical. So it does, basically it It focuses on, for like literature, it focuses on dead white men, and in history it deals with all the good things about America and doesn’t talk about the bad things, at least not comprehensively as we should. And so they had a family handbook that really kind of gave me pause. They have a section on teaching controversial issues. And we’ve seen in the news, these parent groups, supposedly grassroots parents complaining about CRT, and grooming children and removing inappropriate books, et cetera, et cetera. So this Northwest Ohio Classical Academy has a section in their family handbook, about teaching controversial issues.

[33:24] And it goes on, it says controversial issues are defined as contemporary problems, subjects, or questions of a political, religious, or social nature where there are entrenched differences of opinion and passions are on high. Controversial issues will be explored only when emanating from some part of the curriculum in grades 9 through 12. When these subjects come up, teachers will present an impartial view of both sides of the issue without prophetizing. Very controversial issues will not be discussed in the elementary school, even if part of the core knowledge sequence, without headmaster approval. Parents will have the choice of having their children opt out of this portion of the class. This is what got me. No part of the curriculum will be used to undermine the nobility of America’s experiment in liberty and self-government under the rule of law.

[34:19] So basically, they’re going to whitewash everything, and that I have a problem with. And I get it, I get it why some adults don’t want their children to learn the truth about history and about America’s experiment and liberty and self-government. I’m guessing they probably don’t want their kids to learn about the Trail of Tears. They don’t want them to know about the internment camps during World War II. They don’t want them to know about the Civil Rights era and the fact that it took a hundred years from the time that the slaves were freed before they were considered actual citizens and could vote. It’s tough to explain stuff like that, I guess. They just kind of want to avoid reality. I’m guessing. Anyway, so then they have a next section on teaching evolution.

[35:26] So it says Northwest Ohio Classical Academy embraces a rigorous program in the natural sciences. In biology, the school will teach the theory of evolution as found in the standard high school biology textbooks, as also taught at the college level of both secular and religious colleges. The theory of evolution is largely misunderstood today by the general public. Much of what constitutes the teaching of evolution concerns adaptation of species to their environment and change over time. A great many of these phenomena are observable. A very small percentage of evolutionary theory deals with the more controversial issue of the origins of life, and in particular human life. This latter aspect of evolution, to the extent it is taught, will be introduced to students briefly with a great deal of circumspection. It is not a central part of the theory there. Furthermore, the study of science will be confined to the investigation of the physical world. It is not the place of science to make metaphysical claims, nor to confirm or deny the validity of religion or the existence of God.” And then it says, “…the role of the teacher in a public school is neither that of preacher nor of skeptic.

[36:37] Rather, teachers of history, when called upon by the curriculum, will teach the history of religion without either advocating or undermining religion in general or any specific faith like why science teachers will teach science, without comment on religion. Teachers, students, parents must realize that a biology class has a particular purpose and is not a proper venue for a philosophical or theological discussion on the existence of God or claims relating to the activity of God or absence thereof in the natural world. That sounds completely reasonable, other than the fact that they’re ignoring macroevolution and only staying with microevolution. So then we get to where they talk about teaching human sexuality. And I’m not going to read the whole thing. A red flag just lit up the sky when I read this part. It says here, under Teaching Human Sexuality, “…sexual intercourse will only be discussed in the context of a monogamous relationship between two people of opposite sexes.”.

[37:47] That right there tells me this is a religious school. It’s not a difference of opinion. And they took a specific position. Now remember, when talking about evolution and science, they said they weren’t going to take a position on anything, they were just going to teach the facts. We get to human sexuality and it’s only going to be a monogamous relationship between two people of opposite sexes.

[38:13] That means that if Timmy has two moms, they’re not going to discuss their two moms in class. And the other thing that bothered me about this too, is they’re going to teach human sexuality in the fifth grade. Okay? And they give parents the opportunity to review the materials, talk to the teacher, and they even have the opportunity to opt their children out of this whole thing. Okay. And then it says, depending on the general maturity level of the fifth grade boys, NOCA may decide that this curriculum is too much information and less necessary for boys at this stage of development and therefore delay these lessons for a later time. Yeah, why are they putting that on the boys? The boys are the ones that need to know this stuff and they’re the ones that need to know the facts about human sexuality. And there’s also a bit about anti-abortion. It rears its ugly head within that school as well. They do field trips.

[39:22] And one of the field trips that they did was several girls from, and this was back in 2020, several girls from the Northwest Ohio Classical Academy freshman class found a way to help bring Christmas cheer to community members unable to have visitors during, this special time of year. The girls wrote personalized Christmas letters to the residents of the Glendale Assisted Living Center and a generous donor provided hand-knit stockings for the residents. The girls also bought baby toys and baby essentials for Heartbeat of Toledo. Heartbeat of Toledo is one of those fake pregnancy crisis centers that receive tax dollars in order to convince women not to have abortions.

[40:09] The other thing, too, is that they had Jimmy Seitz, who is a religious speaker, speak at the school and sign autographs for the kids. And in the comments it says, wow, public school, good stuff right there. God is in the move. So, they expose the kids to religion during the school day in the school building, but it’s not a religious school, supposedly.

[40:44] And then they take field trips to Greenfield Village in Michigan. It says, N-O-C-A first graders enjoy the field trip to Greenfield Village in Michigan. Our students learned the truth about the men and women who contributed to America’s greatness. Instead of using the quote-history-unquote of the 1619 Project at Greenfield Village, our students saw firsthand the positive impact of America’s ingenuity, resourcefulness, entrepreneurship, about which they have been learning in our BSCI curriculum. That would be a good time. BSCI is the Barney School Curriculum Initiative. And that is from Hillsdale College, which is an evangelical Christian college connected to the DeVos family, which is the Amway people. Betsy DeVos was Secretary of Education under Trump. So this curriculum is from Hillsdale College and it’s an alternative to public school curriculums. And basically, it’s a whitewash. Whitewash of real history to protect the children.

[41:59] They also, back in 2021, says the NOCA upper school students engaged in the legislative process today, by attending the Foundation for Life Legislative Breakfast. The students had the opportunity to listen to the keynote speaker, State Representative Derek Marron, 47th House District, and he’s from Monclova Township. He is an evangelical Christian nationalist. He explained the various bills and issues he and his colleagues are working on for for the state of Ohio and our local community. In February of this year, the Northwest Ohio Classical Academy had a Liberty Gala fundraiser, and their keynote speaker was Steve, Deace, who is a conservative activist, who basically supports Donald Trump. And he wrote, he says, tremendous. This Steve Deace on his.

[42:53] Twitter feed says tremendous weekend here in Toledo with real Patriots It’s really doing something for the King of Kings and Country. I’d rather do events with salt of the earth folks like these than CPAC any day. They’re making much more of an actual difference. Honored to be invited. Greatly encouraged to see the faithful remnant. Remind us that a live faith will put that faith to good work.”.

[43:20] And Professor Strang and his wife love Steve Deace. The other thing, too, is that Professor Strang, on many occasions, gets puff pieces by the Blade. They call on him to answer questions about constitutional issues that come up.

[43:40] They also interviewed him about this intellectual diversity center that’s going to be built or curated at the University of Toledo, and saying that, you know, hey, this is just, this is just going to be inclusive. We’re going to have all types of views expressed, which is not true. But that’s what he says. And all of these puff pieces that come out about Strang is written by Jeff Smucker at The Blade. Jeff Smucker has a child that attends the Northwest Ohio Classical Academy. He is personal friends with Professor Strang. They never disclose the connection between the two. Strang is also often favorably interviewed by conservative Christian friends Fred Lefevre and Jerry Anderson. Northwest Ohio Classical Academy headmistress Anastasia Desmond promotes the Academy via interviews on Christian media such as Proclaim FM.

[44:51] And the the Academy also is proud to include Joel Berry among their parents. Berry is the managing editor of the Babylon Bee and co-author of their Guide to Wokeness. He also blames miserable unmarried women for the GOP losses in 2022 midterm elections. So those are some good people to hang out with your kids, huh?

[45:15] So, unfortunately, like I said, Professor Strang elected to cancel the interview, and, so I just needed to get this profile done. It’s something I’ve been working on for quite a while, and, you know, this is somebody, Strang is just somebody who is not in favor of rights for atheists or non-believers, who tries to get exemptions for everything for believers, and he believes that the First Amendment gives them exemptions. He’s an anti-abortion activist. He founded a religious school, but disguises it as a classical academy in order to get state tax dollars. He also got that intellectual diversity unit to be added to the University of Toledo, paid for by state tax dollars. Now why something like that has to be paid for with state tax dollars when most of those vanity projects are paid for by donors?

[46:31] You know, that’s how insidious these Christian nationalists are and how corrupt they are. Strang helped Rob McCauley in getting this State Issue 1 passed through the legislature to be put on the ballot. And they’re paying him back by giving him state tax dollars to create this conservative think tank at the University of Toledo Law School. It smells.

[47:05] Like corruption to me. I’m sure Professor Strang is in general a nice guy, but he is ultra-religious, he is no friend of secular people, and he’s teaching constitutional law, and it’s a warped idea of constitutional law.

[47:29] And so I just wanted to make people aware about him, and so if you see articles by Jeff Schmucker in the Toledo Blade about Strang, think of it, you know, with a grain of salt because it’s a puff piece and they didn’t they never disclosed the connection and this is just a conservative we need to watch out for. Thank you for listening to this episode. You can check out more information including links to sources used in our show notes on our website at Secular Left is hosted, written and produced by Doug Berger and he is solely responsible for the content. Send us your comments either using the contact form on the website or by sending us a note, at comments at Our theme music is dank and nasty, composed using Amplify Studio.

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