Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Friday, April 08, 2011

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. One of them asks my wife 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 look of dismay was precious.

Now just so I am clear:

Neither my wife, nor I , have anything specifically against public education. (Though our disdain for the creeping 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 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.

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 secular 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.

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.

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 the gay agenda continues to assert itself in the lives of families, in our culture, and eventually our laws, any “dissent” against homosexuality being a legitimate lifestyle will not be tolerated. Meaning, homeschoolers, who tend to be Christocentric and teach their children homosexuality is sinful and 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.

I was recently directed to a report written by law professor Catherine Ross,


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]


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 refuses to entertain anti-Darwinian criticisms, or 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.”

I don’t think we can mark this off as the rantings of a hairy-legged, man-hater feminist. 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 that are coming out of Germany.

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Blogger Marie said...

Great post. It's so funny how they can take our kids and teach them that everyone can do what they want to all of the time, and somehow that makes them better citizens. I'm thankful that, for now, we still have the right to homeschool! Thanks for writing.

9:05 AM, April 08, 2011  
Blogger P.D. Nelson said...

Good post Fred while my son went to a private school for eight years and a public school for the last four my daughters were home schooled for most of their school years (they went to public school until my son graduated from high school). Because of this I have seen a distinct difference between my kids and those of my friends who chose public school. The only thing we had to do was get the girls a GED as many employers chose not to recognize a home school "diploma". They of course passed the GED with flying colors and my oldest even won a medal for some of her scores.

11:39 AM, April 08, 2011  
Blogger Sir Aaron said...

This should not surprise anyone. Every leftist/statist/communist/facist regime has had forced state education. As we go down that road, of course people will require Christians to attend public school. It's a terrible predicament for those of us in the U.S. because there really isn't anyplace for us to flee to.

One of the advantages of homeschooling is that you don't have to abide by the public school schedule for vacations and such. (and I say this as somebody who will likely not homeschool).

6:10 PM, April 08, 2011  
Blogger thomas4881 said...

Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

10:51 PM, April 08, 2011  
Blogger Kim said...

Great post, Fred. Having utilized both systems, I know that are holes in both, but I will tell you this: all three of my kids who were educated in the public system for high school say they wish they had stayed home.

12:17 PM, April 09, 2011  
Blogger Sir Aaron said...

I am interested to see how the homeschoolers in CA deal with the expected law requiring mandatory teaching of the valuable contributions of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered persons.

2:02 PM, April 09, 2011  
Blogger Sir Aaron said...

@Kim: I went through homeschooling from 6th through 9th and went to high school from 10th through 12th. I do not wish I stayed home. ;)

But I think parents should educate children how they wish.

3:52 PM, April 09, 2011  
Blogger Sir Aaron said...

I'll also say that not every child and parent are built the same, so I think much is dependent on the personalities and strengths of both.

3:53 PM, April 09, 2011  
Blogger Herding Grasshoppers said...

Well said, Fred.

It always amazes me how "tolerance" is such a one-way street.

We've been homeschooling for four years now and our reasons to keep going get stronger each year.


8:22 AM, April 11, 2011  
Blogger Duane said...

Oh, nice one. Rescue kids from "parents who subscribe to an absolutist belief system" and place them under the supposed protection of the public school system, where they can be indoctrinated into a different absolutist system. While Ross may not be aware of it, she's not actually against people who subscribe to absolutist beliefs. She's just against people who are against her absolutist beliefs.

3:35 AM, April 12, 2011  
Blogger sam said...

do I sense a little "Subdivisions" in your 2nd to last paragraph?

Thanks for the article--I think your points are cogent and not wild-eyed.

Best phrase "the rantings of a hairy-legged, man-hater feminist"--is there any other kind?

Sam Hendrickson

7:51 AM, April 12, 2011  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

do I sense a little "Subdivisions" in your 2nd to last paragraph?

Oh. You caught that, huh? I appreciate the readers with a touch of culture.

8:22 AM, April 12, 2011  
Blogger MSC said...

Somehow I don't think Neal Peart would appreciate the reference.

3:17 PM, April 12, 2011  

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