Rage Against the Machine

rageMy wife and I are true, cultural subversives. Counter-culture to the core.

We homeschool our children.

I remember one time standing around with our neighbors outside on a Saturday afternoon when we were young parents still living in this condo complex. One of the other young mothers asks my wife about which school we were going to send our oldest son. My wife replies, “We’re going to homeschool him.”

Silence and blank stares.

Like looking into the eye of a chicken.

After about 8 seconds, one guy pipes up, “What’ya gonna do for their social skills?”

I answered, “Nothin.” The looks of dismay were precious.

Now just so I am clear:

Neither my wife, nor I , have anything specifically against public education. (Though our disdain for the creeping progressive leftism infecting public schools grows on a yearly basis). We were both publicly educated, and I actually graduated high school normal, well-adjusted, and loving my parents and church. And that in spite of the temptation to attend the weekly kegger parties.

My wife even taught 6th and 3rd grade for a number of years before she gave it up to become *GASP* a stay-at-home-mother.

momathome

We live in a more conservative than normal area of LA, so our public schools (for the most part) obviously reflect the community conservatism. We have never advocated “homeschool only.” We have a good number of close friends whose kids attend public schools. Some of them even attend LAUSD schools, and we let our kids play with their kids.

We had the conviction to homeschool for a few reasons.

First, we wanted to be the primary influence in our children’s young lives, not some gray-headed lady as sweet as she may be.

Second, we recognized how strong an influence our children’s peers can be. Public school, with their progressive values is bad enough, but parents can combat a lot of what kids are exposed to at home. It’s the peers that can be a problem. If there is one group of boys who are notoriously hateful toward authority, their influence is way more powerful on my sons than some spiteful, anti-Christian 5th grade teacher. Additionally, we didn’t want our kids exposed to junk earlier than we wanted them to be. In our day of instant, hard-core pornography on the internet, any 8-year old with an older teenage brother and the app to download videos onto his Ipod touch, can be scandalizing my kids’ minds before school or at lunch.

Third, schools waste a lot of time on frivolous, stupid stuff like pep rallies and seminars about not smoking, going green, bullying gays, etc. It’s nonsense junk our undiscerning, feelings-driven culture believes is essential for being healthy. In reality, it’s filler to keep the kids in class until a specific time, like baby sitting; and it’s propaganda to teach them to be mushy minded, pliable leftist. The truly important stuff, you know, like reading, writing, adding numbers, could take half a day to complete. With my wife directing the course work of our children, their education stays focused and their thinking isn’t cluttered by silliness.

peprally

Fourth, our education is well-rounded, much more so that what is offered in public education. By that I mean our kids will be exposed to ALL points of view and they will be taught how to critically think through those issues.

Kids now-a-days – and I am thinking more along the lines of older, teenage kids – go to class and hear one point of view from a teacher. Yes. I know people want to think a teacher is objective, fair, and centered on the facts of the material being presented, but such is rarely the case. They are imparting their values onto a subject they are teaching.

So, for example, the obvious contentious debate between evolution and creation will be hopelessly lopsided in a public school setting. That’s because the school is forbidden to teach creation and the teacher is typically biased in favor of evolutionary thought. Thus, the kids get a propaganda lecture, and are not taught to critically think through the issues of dissenting opinion. Even more so now with the Gaystapo demanding children be exposed to homosexual perversion earlier and earlier in their education. The last thing I want is 7 year olds told about cross-dressing and sex change operations in their 2nd grade class.

Our convictions to homeschool are shared by many of our friends, and I would imagine the hundreds of thousands of homeschooling families across the United States. However, our convictions are despised by the elites who worship the State “god.” In fact, our convictions are beginning to be considered subversive, undermining the very fabric of our society.

As Big Gay continues to cram their agenda down the throats of families in our culture, and eventually corrupt our laws, any “dissent” against homosexuality being a legitimate lifestyle will not be tolerated. Meaning, homeschoolers, who tend to be Christocentric and in turn confidently teach their children homosexuality is sinful perversion and contradicts simple, biological nature and that it will be judged by God, will increasingly be seen as a serious threat to the secular society. So much so, that any talk of “tolerating” the intolerant for the sake of the 1st amendment rights will be dismissed.

Consider a moment a report written by law professor Catherine Ross,

FUNDAMENTALIST CHALLENGES TO CORE DEMOCRATIC VALUES: EXIT AND HOMESCHOOLING

It is a amazing document to read. She practically argues that homeschoolers shouldn’t exist. Those that do should be hunted down and their kids seized.

Consider some of her more precious insights, (Note my emphasis)

Many liberal political theorists argue, however, that there are limits to tolerance. In order for the norm of tolerance to survive across generations, society need not and should not tolerate the inculcation of absolutist views that undermine toleration of difference. Respect for difference should not be confused with approval for approaches that would splinter us into countless warring groups. Hence an argument that tolerance for diverse views and values is a foundational principle does not conflict with the notion that the state can and should limit the ability of intolerant homeschoolers to inculcate hostility to difference in their children—at least during the portion of the day they claim to devote to satisfying the compulsory schooling requirement. [Ross, 1005]

And

Homeschooling parents who subscribe to an absolutist belief system are at the base of many legal disputes that arise in schools. They often insist on a closed system of communication—objecting to their children’s hearing or reading about discordant ideas or beliefs. If a parent subscribes to an absolutist belief system premised on the notion that it was handed down by a creator, that it (like the Ten Commandments) is etched in stone and that all other systems are wrong, the essential lessons of a civic education (i.e., tolerance and mutual respect) often seem deeply challenging and suspect. If the core principle in a parent’s belief system is that there is only one immutable truth that cannot be questioned, many educational topics will be off limits. Such “private truths” have no place in the public arena, including the public schools. [Ross, 1006]

I love this line, They often insist on a closed system of communication—objecting to their children’s hearing or reading about discordant ideas or beliefs. I wonder if she would say the same thing about a biology teacher who insists on telling kids how homosexuals, according to the facts of the CDC, are more disease ridden and often die early deaths? And what about those Muslims with their “closed system of communication?”

But I digress.

And in conclusion she writes,

As I have argued, democracy relies on citizens who share core values, including tolerance for diversity. When parents reject these values, the state’s best opportunity to introduce them lies in formal education. Setting aside all of the other issues surrounding homeschooling, the importance of inculcating democratic values is sufficient reason for more rigorous regulation of homeschooling than prevails at present. Whatever the precise parameters of parental liberty ultimately prove to be under the U.S. Constitution, they neither protect the right of parents to homeschool without oversight nor outweigh the state’s interest in the appropriate education of youth for citizenship. [Ross, 1013]

When Ross writes, “tolerance for diversity,” that’s Orwellian new speak for “you must embrace my sexual perversion without question and celebrate it with me.”

I don’t think we can mark this off as the rantings of a bitter homeschoolers anonymous, anti-patriarchy church hater. She represents the growing voice of the “machine” demanding that you conform or be cast out. And it’s more than just long-suffering with sinners: if you teach your kids anything the “machine” loathes, you do so at the peril of you and your family.

I guarantee you. Here in the good ole’ US of A, we’ll soon be reading more of these reports.

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18 thoughts on “Rage Against the Machine

  1. Pingback: Answering Survivor Bloggers and Other Sundry Theological Cranks | hipandthigh

  2. In the UK, children are required to be educated, but the means used is not laid down by law. In Germany where I now live, you are obligated to send your children to public schools, with heavy fines if you refuse. So far our experience of them when dealing with religion and sex has been a reasonable amount of sensitivity to what parents think appropriate for their children. In particular, there is still a large Catholic element in the population (especially in the south) and their views need to be taken into account. Many protestant churches would make Laodicea seem a sound and lively congregation, especially when dealing with moral issues.

    There is clearly more genuine ‘Christian’ content in religious education here than is the case in the UK, which concentrates on externals only by and large.

    The Germans are much less prudish than that British, (and Americans, I suspect).

    Here in Baden-Württemberg the social democrat/Green state government wanted to introduce teaching that homosexuality was normal into the classroom,, including visits to LGBT institutions. There was a petition circulated against this, joint action by both Catholics and protestants that collected enough signatures to really rattle the politicians. The Greens underestimated the strength and extent of the opposition to this move.

    The petition rightly was in favour of teaching that homosexuals ought not to be bullied, but criticised what was being left out, namely information as to the dangers of this lifestyle – dangers that are considerably worse than heavy smoking.

    To what extent this will reign in the politicians remains to be seen.

    I still think though that the Christian faith ought to be robust enough to counteract this kind of teaching, without being glib as to the potential damage this might do. But it is an area where Christians need to do some careful thinking: neither going with th flow nor appearing to be repressed maiden aunts.

  3. Reblogged this on The Coffee House and commented:
    I’m not a “homeschool only” proponent. We have homeschooled are three boys in the past, but the majority of their education has been in public schools. Butler’s post is a well-reasoned and documented reason why parents should at least consider educational alternatives for their children, especially in states like California.

  4. Hey Ken,
    I appreciate your insight about Germany. It was good to have a firsthand account of what is happening on the ground there. Most of the reports we get here in the States is that when it comes to Christians and public schools, Germany has turned into this vile, tyrannical God hating machine that wants to snatch religious kids from their homes.

  5. I think your reasoning here is great, and as someone who is considering homeschooling in the future, it is good to hear arguments not from the opinion of “everyone must homeschool, people who don’t clearly aren’t very good Christians”. But I didn’t quite get what you meant about equipping your children with social skills – could you elaborate? I have grown up around many homeschooled kids, and many of them were very sheltered; struggling terribly when they realised what the real world was like. Of course I want to love and do what is best for my children, but when they are out of the shelter of home I don’t want them to struggle to make conversation, or have a panic attack when they hear someone use God’s name in vain. This is probably my biggest concern about homeschooling – how do you help your children adjust to the world while in many ways protecting them from it? Thanks for any help you can give!

  6. That’s a great question. You are probably not the only one thinking about kid’s social skills and homeschooling. I think I want to respond with a stand alone article on the subject. So give me a week or so.

  7. Regarding having a panic attack over hearing somebody take God’s name in vain…I would actually find it refreshing if that actually bugged Christians a bit more than just saying, “That’s just how the world is.” We’re supposed to be offended by sins against God. In our day and age, though, that just seems so wacky and offensive. I pray that we become more sensitive to sin instead of just brushing it off so easily. I think homeschooling can actually be of much benefit in this manner.

  8. I totally agree about being bugged by sin, and it certainly challenged me (when I saw how other homeschooled children were so shocked by the world’s sin) to question why I am not so hurt at people’s rebellion against God. Hating sin is not just good, but necessary as a Christian, and of course disobedience to our Lord should offend us. But sin is so very much a part of this world that to react with great shock and disgust to each sin would be cripplingly exhausting, not to mention how we might respond to our own sin. But I think the problem my homeschooled friends faced was that they didn’t even realise how cruel and wicked the world could be – it did not occur to them the evils that take place around us each day. To quote Dan Phillips, we shouldn’t be “…shocked when unbelievers act like unbelievers”. I absolutely believe we should be offended by sin, and I envy that in many ways homeschooled children can run circles around me at this, but I don’t want to be so shocked or surprised that I can’t go about daily activities without being emotionally drained. It is important to remember that even God’s own Son, the one whom these sins are ultimately offensive to, could go out into the world, amongst some of the ‘worst’ people in society, and meet them, talk to them, eat with them, and ultimately forgive them. Christ hated sin, and at times made His offence very clear (e.g. Matthew 21:12), but He could still cope with living amongst sinful people. I would want my children to be offended by sin, but I also want them to be able to deal with the fact that they live in a wicked world. I appreciate getting this balance is not easy, and would be interested in anyone’s take on this.

  9. What a frightening article!
    My interaction with kids who were homeschooled first began when I was in a secular college; I was struck by how much more diligent and well rounded they were. They definitely did well in school compare to the average!

  10. Progressives/Socialists/Communists have always felt strongly about maintaining control of children through education. They understand that propaganda at a young age is very powerful. Actually, Christians often instituted public schools and for that matter, many universities. They felt that education was necessary (including the original languages) to rightly divide the Word. So it comes as no surprise that leftists want to eliminate homeschooling. I think homeschooling is likely to be illegal in most places in the future.

    Now, I’d like to move on to homeschooling itself. I appreciate the viewpoint of Fred and think it very well rounded. I’ve been homeschooled, been through public school, and now send my children to private school. I’d probably not send my kids to public school now. I think “socialization” is am important facet of raising a child, however, better to have none then to have your children “socialized” by miscreants. Public schools, in many places, seem more like a feeder system for the prisons than a school. Other public schools are located in conservative areas and reflect that. Some offer very high level educations including very difficult AP courses. In the end, I just don’t feel I could overcome the leftist thought that permeates public schools (both from teachers and fellow students).

    I don’t believe in socialization as the leftists see it. However, I do think different children have different personalities and that group interaction is more important to some kids than for others. I really hate it when homeschool groups tout that kids don’t need any outside relationship other than their parents. My mother and I recently spoke about what I thought about my homeschooling as a kid. I told her I thought I would have been better off at military school. We discussed “socialization” and said what I hear a lot of homeschoolers say. “We took you to sports activities.” Yes. I went to basketball or baseball practice one a week and to a homeschool group or two. And there I made no real connections to my fellow peers and never, ever, had a close friend. So no, I would not count that as helpful and felt that hurt me greatly in high school and college.

    And I’ve seen the gamut of homeschoolers. Some are bright, energetic, motivated, and outgoing. The epitome of everything you want your child to be. Others lack self-discipline, are extremely awkward socially, and lack motivation to do much of anything. Some are outgoing some are so shy they don’t speak. The problem as I see it is that not all parents are equally skilled and not all kids learn and interact with other humans in the same manner. There is not a formula A that you can follow and pop out a perfect child (Although that seems to be the current homeschooling thought..that and FIC).

    And btw, I find it odd that homeschooling parents never think that they have any faults and therefore, don’t even consider the notion that their little angel is picking up their bad habits. You know when you homeschool a child, they don’t just pick up what you teach them out of a book. Oh yeah…it’s a terrible idea to let your kid stay up till midnight every night and get up a 9AM.

    Ok, long uninvited rant over.

  11. Pingback: Early January 2014 Van Tillian Links | The Domain for Truth

  12. @Sir Aaron,

    I certainly don’t believe that you think that all homeschooling parents think they or their kids are perfect and don’t pick up their habits. ALL kids pick up bad habits from their parents, homeschooled or not. I guess the only difference is that kids also pick up bad habits from others they are around as well. All kids need the gospel in order to deal with this…homeschooled or not. Just like we all need to preach the gospel to ourselves so that we aren’t holding ourselves up as perfectionists, but we are counting on Jesus’ perfection. Just trying to add some clarification.

    I can also say that it does appall me that many homeschooling parents do let their kids stay up until midnight, sleep in until 9 AM, and have no discipline or structure to their day. I certainly don’t think that it is in anybody’s best interest to create those types of habits in children in their developmental years. In fact, it just leads to the same problems with kids stuck in some misguided “adolescent” stage well into their 30’s and beyond after graduating high school and sitting on the couch playing video games or surfing the net all day.

    As for private school, I am a bit saddened that we have not been able to find a private school that will take a child with autism. Especially since their is such a wealth of private “Christian” schools/academies in our area. One would think that if a group is really looking to serve Christ in raising children, they would not leave out a group of the population that is steadily rising throughout the country. Of course, it isn’t quite as economical to have to deal with children with special needs. Of course, this is just my own little rant on that subject.

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  14. Pingback: BTWN: The Homeschool Vs. Public School Episode | hipandthigh

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