See also "Homeschooling Under Fire"
From Fabienne: A friend emailed me about this article in the NY Times: "Taught at Home, but Seeking to Join Activities in Public Schools" at www.nytimes.com/2005/06/22/education/22home.html
One paragraph stands out:
"Christopher Klicka, senior counsel for the Home School Legal Defense Association, a nonprofit group based in Virginia, said polls showed that a majority of home-school parents remained wary of letting their children participate in public school activities. But as earlier battles over the right to home schooling fade from memory, that attitude is likely to change, he said.
'The further we get from those early days, when there was real persecution, the more people will forget,' Mr. Klicka said. 'And they will want equal access more.'"
Surely this is tantamount to these homeschoolers saying that homeschooling doesn't work -- just what the anti-homeschool people need to turn the system back against homeschooling! How long will it be before the states which allow homeschoolers to take part in some public school activities turn around and *require* them to be part of *all* the activities ("goodbye homeschooling")?
I share your concern, Fabienne. The old slide toward complacency seems to repeat itself again and again, doesn't it? Persecuted Christians would leave their homes in search for freedom to worship our God and raise godly children. But the next generation, whose faith had not been purified through suffering, preferred pleasure and ease rather than purity and freedom. Today, the "lures of this world" seems to be blotting out both the cost and the value of freedom in this world.
I thank God for the freedom we have in Christ -- a freedom no one can take from us:
“Jesus said... 'If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.'” John 8:31
From "Homeschooling mother of four" (1972-1987): RE: TV's Law & Order: "Homeschool mom orders son to kill his little brother"
This evening I turned on the TV and saw the last half of the most vicious, sick portrayal of a homeschool family I've seen on television. Although the word "Christian" was not used in the part I saw, it was obvious the family was Christian (the names of the boys, the reference to heaven, etc., but not the mother's attitude). The one-hour program was Law & Order SVU (Special Victims Unit) on the USA channel, Saturday, March 26, 2005, 7:00 pm Central time. If you've watched this show before, you know that the story begins after the crime is committed, and the authorities are trying to get to "the truth." Notice the buzz words.
The story: A single mother was home schooling her two boys after her husband had been murdered. She taught them how terrible the world "out there" is (drugs, crime, murder). She said she "wasn't going to sugar-coat the truth." She told the older boy, Adam (there was an older son Daniel but we didn't find out about that until the end of the show), who looked about 14 or 15 (I never heard his age), that the worldly people wanted to take the boys away from her and put them in a foster home after the younger boy, Jacob, had been found eating from garbage cans. She said in a foster home they would be raped and abused. She had told them stories like this for years, and they were afraid of foster homes. She over-protected them so they "had no friends." Mom told Adam that the only way to save Jacob from a foster home was to kill him. (We learn later in the show he was to kill himself after killing his brother.) She gave him a gun, then she went off shopping, making sure she left a paper trail (charge card) and made sure she was photographed on the stores' security cameras.
Adam shot Jacob in the head, killing him. One of the D.A. persons said Adam "was like a ventriloquist dummy; whatever his mother says, he says," when they couldn't get Adam to tell how this happened. Noting how controlling the mother was, another person in the office said, "he doesn't rebel against his mother like a normal teenage boy." A lady they interviewed who knew the family said, "I wondered if homeschooling was healthy for her kids; she wanted to control those boys completely." They concluded that "the mother's paranoia caused Adam to kill Jacob, then try it on himself, but the gun jammed. When Adam realized that the authorities knew it wasn't an accident, he pleaded guilty to killing his brother, "so Jacob could go to heaven." They then arrested the mother for murder, which upset Adam, and he sobbed and sobbed for his mother who "always told the truth."
The mother said, "None of this would have happened if Jacob had listened to me." (That must have occurred earlier in the show; I don't know what that referred to; probably some reference to eating out of the garbage cans.) A psychologist was brought in and described the mother as "borderline psychotic," or similar words (I couldn't write fast enough to get it all down). With the authorities asking so many questions, the mother said "the government doesn't like persons who home school."
The police tracked down an older son, Daniel, who had left years earlier to be put into a foster home (which he said was loving and kind) when his dad died (I don't know why). The police (or D.A. personnel) asked him to return and talk to his brother Adam. Once Adam learned the details of Daniel leaving, that he was not dead as his mother had told him, he realized that his mom had "lied about everything." In order to save Adam and Jacob from "the world," she had ordered Adam to kill Jacob, then himself, so they both could "get to heaven." The mother was tried for murder; they didn't show what happened to the boys; we were led to believe they went to foster homes.
From Robert Rae (17): I have never been home-schooled, having been in public education, both Christian and secular in various countries. I do, however, have several friends who have been home-schooled. Your main point (if I can be forgiven for generalising) appears to be that the government at many, if not all levels, is targeting home-scholars because they don’t fit in to a mould that those in power would seem to want. I wonder some times that we don’t see how much this applies to ourselves.
Christians, since the time when they were first sent out to preach the gospel, have tried to make people like themselves. From the Crusades to the forced conversion of ‘heathens’ and ‘savages’ during the height of slavery, Christians universally want people to be as they are; one spirit, one body, one mind. I don’t doubt that there have been many glorious men who have done this for all the right reasons, just as I doubt even less there have been missionaries on the other side. The point is that the goal of any group of people with an ideology they believe (with a very few exceptions) will desire greatly for other people to be like them.
While you may feel slighted because home-schooling and fundamentalist Christians have been targeted, you must admit that it is any government’s responsibility to look out for the best interests of its country. Home-schooled children are, by the nature of their education, more fundamentally inclined that those educated in a school environment: taught from only one point of view, by one person, they are naturally going to have a stronger tenacity when it comes to beliefs.
It must be said, fundamentalists, of any kind, are bad for any society. Those who hold so strongly to their beliefs that they will not even take the other side into account are just as much a threat to a stable government as any terrorism. Violence and attacks can be dealt with in a like manner; unreasonable people are an unchangeable blight on a community.
If there is anything that will stop the rot that threatens to consume humanity, it will be neither home-schooled children nor fundamentalists, nor even Christianity, as much as I love its ways. Rather, it will be that government that convinces its people to band together as a community not by force, but by the holding of a like-minded ideology. However much we may rail against the forces of a government that we believe is taking away our rights as individuals or as a community of believers, we are yet forced to concede that they have done, and likely will do yet, more good in bringing people together than we can dream of accomplishing. [Emphasis added]
Forget not that a like-minded people are a happy people, and the schisms and inter-denominational warring of the Christian church show that to not be the case with us. In reality, the sheer number of denominations out there suggests us to be a people incapable of resolving our differences at all. In an age where we decry the workings of a secular government, we have missed entirely the fact that we are perhaps more of what we hate in them that they are. Beware the large hole of hypocrisy we walk into unawares, for we have no positive answer to question that is at the heart of the separation of Church and state: could we really do things any better?
I wonder, rather, whether after reading this, you will post it as a comment or not. At present, I have no opinion on your work or person; you seem to believe well what you are doing, and I support you in your attempts to combat non-Christian ways in the world. There is a line, however, between belief and fundamentalism, and I hope you will post this in the confidence that, believing it or not, you have an open mind to what it says. Yours in Christ, Robert Rae
Robert, I would like to respond point by point to your letter, but I don't have time to do so right now. Let me just remind you of one of history's most important lessons: strong central governments -- the kind that "convinces its people to band together as a community not by force, but by the holding of a like-minded ideology" -- has been thoroughly tested and tried. It is not worthy of your faith!
Human nature hasn't changed! Today's government (national or global) may have persuaded you that its ideology would fit your values, but as it gains power to mold and manage public thought, values, speech and beliefs, it will quench your freedom. It will trade your personal rights (legal as well as ideological) for a collective standard that will serve the elite minority, not the controlled masses. In our Western world of plenty, we tend to take freedom (like food) for granted. That's sad. People may not even value it until they lose it.
As for "forced conversions" by missionaries, may I refer you to this chart: Biblical versus Cultural Christianity
From Michele M.: Berit, I'm FURIOUS. I'm watching NBC "Law and Order" show right now, and it's about an evil, psychotic homeschooling mom. They didn't only make the main character (the homeschooling mom) evil, they SLAMMED homeschooling in general. "Oh kids need socialization.......". That kind of GARBAGE.
Maybe you could ask your many loyal readers to do what I did and write a letter to NBC and express their outrage at such a negative, MISLEADING T.V. episode.
It's open season on Homeschoolers, and we can't accept this quietly. I know the Bible tells us that times are going to be getting worse, but we, as Christians STILL need to fight against it.
Thank you and God bless
I would be upset, too, Michele! Here's a note to our visitors: Please write NBC and voice your concerns! The first link below leads to NBC's "Law and Order" page. The second link leads to their email response system. So far, I haven't been able to find a street address.
From Michele: The link you had to the Seattle newspaper's article by Froma Harrop about homeschooling parents made my blood boil!! She called us "unstable, narcissistic and child abusers"!!!! Also that we live in a family "mad house" and "keep our inmates inside"!!!! Thank God in heaven we have a President that is pro-homeschooling. I sent an email to Ms Harrop c/o the Seattle paper expressing my feelings too! he he he I'll be shocked if they print it!!
Oh yes, and by the way, remember I told you that Wal Mart was selling crystal balls (they called them "Gazing Balls")? Well, the last two times I went there I didn't see them at all. Maybe a lot of other Christians protested to the big-wigs at Wal mart. I hope so!
From Terry Barkhous: I wanted to comment on the homeschooling article that I read. I am a homeschooling mom for 3 years already. Our oldest is 18 and will graduate in May, after being an independent homeschooler for the last 3 years. We have a 2nd & 1st grader that I teach at home. The blessings I receive by staying at home, taking care of the family and household and teaching my children to grow up and know the Lord is beyond words!! When I have bad days, the Lord reminds me how blessed I am!
See also News relevant to Christian families then click on "homeschooling"
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