education, homeschooling

A flawed argument for and against homeschooling

Ingrid of Slice of Laodicea has an entry with some strong rhetoric regarding public education and a parent’s responsibility to educate his children in response to Governor Schwarznegger’s signing of SB777:

…Sending our Christian children to the atheists, the evolutionists, the activists who seek acceptance of sexual perversity is simply wrong. The idiotic idea that our kindergarteners will go off and be “salt and light” to their lesbian teachers is finally being exposed for what it is.  No Israelite general in his right mind would have sent off a regiment of little children to face the Assyrian army…

It is a tone that seems to be spreading among conservative Christian ministries, and it is a trend I would like to see reversed.  After all, who should better understand gentleness, meekness, humility and correction spoken in love?  The appeal here is made directly to the emotion and not to reason, serving only to verbally abuse those who would dare take an opposing view without actually establishing an argument.

Verum Serum takes on the first paragraph of this entry with a decidedly more rational approach.  He also demonstrates how quickly an argument built on emotion rather than logic falls apart.  I shall attempt to apply the same level of reasoning in response to his discussion on homeschooling.

Ingrid sets up a strawman with the whole idea of kindergarteners going off to be salt and light to their lesbian teachers. To the best of my knowledge, nobody is advocating sending a kindergartener in to debate their teacher regarding issues of sexual orientation, evolution, atheism, etc.

True.  Matthew 5:13-16 is not really relevant here.  We agree that the kindergartener does not really have a Christian witness, yet.  The parents may, as Scott points out later.  You can also always point to Moses for an example of what can happen when you turn your child over to Pharoah’s schools.  If we want to advocate for homeschooling, it has to be on a stronger basis than, “the public schools are bad.”

Regarding Israelite generals in their right mind, Scott says:

While she is stating the obvious, she is doing so while trying to make an emotional connection by making an analogy between the violence and brutality of battle and the collision of ideas and morality within the classroom. As she does this, she seems to have forgotten about a Biblical example of a boy who was, indeed, sent in to battle and with a giant no less:  (I Samuel 17:4-7 & 12-14 follows).

I agree with the intent, but the story of David does present an interesting dynamic into the discussion in my opinion.  How old was David?  We cannot know for sure.  Most estimates I have seen place him between eight and fourteen.  What was his education to this point?  I trust that, given his family, he grew up with his father teaching him in accordance with Deuteronomy 6:7.  He thus knew the Lord and His commandments.  Supplementing this education was experience defending his sheep from lions and bears.  In other words, he did not enter the battle unprepared.  His education gave him both the faith and the skill he needed to defeat Goliath.

The education came first.  We are to prepare our children to stand up to a culture which at times seems like Goliath, but first comes training.  I believe that home education best presents families with the opportunities to teach the faith as we rise up and as we sit down and all along the wayside.  If done successfully, even a child may stand up to giants.

Unfortunately, the really solid Christian schools and the really solid home-schooled students are few and far between. Many Christian schools are weak academically and use substandard curriculum that is cheaper and/or that has been created by Christians who aren’t educators and/or who try to sanitize the curriculum in an effort to Christianize the subject matter.

I actually agree with the curriculum issues.  I do not think that being an educator is as big of an issue as it is presented here, but there is a tendency to take largely secular materials and “Christianize” them with a few verses.  The advantage of homeschooling goes well-beyond curriculum, however.  All studies show that the number one determining factor in a child’s educational success is parental involvement.  If you are highly involved in your child’s education, your child is likely to be successful, no matter what environment he is educated in.  The issue comes down to one of purpose.  What are the goals of education?  Standardized tests?  Then it probably does not matter where you send your child.  They all seem to do about the same, with private secular schools outperforming all other groups (including homeschoolers).

I am not convinced from this statement, however, that “really solid homeschoolers are few and far between.”  That is a strong assertion with no evidence.

I can’t tell you the number of home-schooled students I’ve had over the years who come into the “public school” classroom after years at home. The vast majority of the time these students can’t carry on a discussion. They aren’t able to see both sides of an argument. They can’t engage in dialogue and in taking their thoughts and ideas to the next, deeper level. Their critical thinking skills are weak and their logic is almost non-existent, mainly because they have been fed a one-sided, one-position, one note stream of curriculum that doesn’t offer any subtlety or nuance or any variety in shades of meaning.

This is a version of an argument I hear often from teachers, but I think it is important to note that teachers are largely dealing with the homeschooling situations which were not successful.  After all, if the family felt that homeschooling was going well, they likely would not have given it up.  Teachers rarely see the other side.  I think this actually shows the effectiveness of parents in that these parents realized another educational situation would be better for their children.

We have to be very careful in using anecdotal evidence to make generalized claims about entire groups of people.

Besides all of this, since when has God ever called for removing ourselves from the world? “In the world but not of the world” isn’t just a cute little catch phrase.

Agreed.  But homeschooling is not about removing ourselves from the world.  Again, we run into a conflict with the way Ingrid originally set up her case.  By defending homeschooling as a response to evil, she has placed Christians in the predicament of appearing to retreat and isolate themselves.  That is not what we are doing.

Yes, parents can have a tremendous impact on schools.  I believe that is part of why there is such a heavy push to take control away from local school boards and place it in the hands of the state and even the federal government, but that is another discussion for another time.  Where should my priorities lie?   Ephesians 6 instructs fathers to bring their children up “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”  Not under the tutelage of someone else in order to have an opportunity to witness.

It seems to be assumed in this that because a group of parents have chosen to take on the education of their children that they are somehow in violation of the command to be “salt and light.”  But there are other ways to be salt and light without turning our children over to a system that cannot teach our children  according to Ephesians 6, Deuteronomy 6 or any other verses on child raising.

I agree with the rest of Scott’s observations about the importance of our personal ministry in this world.  But this is not an either/or scenario.  A homeschooling family has a plethora of opportunities to engage the culture and witness for Christ.  And the public schools have not been left without their missionaries.  After all, as Scott implies, there are a number of Christians working in the system.  They, too, have an impact.

Does Christian homeschooling threaten education by removing those most interested in education?  I am not so sure about that.  Scott suggests debates like the one over SB 777 / AB384 will not occur if parents do not “have a dog in the fight.”  But I think he underestimates just how involved homeschooling parents tend to be in educational issues, even outside their own homeschooling groups.  After all, I am a homeschooler in Nebraska and I am talking about it right now.  It is all over message boards, blogs and e-lists.  We may have exited the public school system, but we have not exited the discussion.

How can we be a conduit of blessing to the world when we have withdrawn from it? How can we be a conduit of blessing into the schools, a conductor of the light and love and grace of God, if we never show up there in the first place?

And now it is Scott’s turn to have a straw man argument based on emotion rather than reason.  There is no quicker way to start a conversation with a stranger than to run errands during school hours.  “What about socialization?”  As much as the question gets on most homeschoolers’ nerves, it is a perfect invitation for a spiritual discussion.  We have not withdrawn from the world.  We are very much in it.  We have just chosen to go there as a family where we can teach our children all along the way.

[tags]homeschool, education [/tags]

0 thoughts on “A flawed argument for and against homeschooling

  1. In September, Brannon Howse of the Christian Worldview Network sent out an urgent letter explaining why they were dropping some of the writers that routinely author articles in their newsletter. The reason he stated is that some writers weren’t presenting the “truth in love.” Well, they kept Ingrid Schlueter. I find her extremely abrasive in general and have always wondered what the real reson was that Worldview Weekend dropped some of their writers.

    You have done a great job arguing the “salt and light” error. I have always felt the salt and light argument represent lazy reading. First, the verse talks about salt losing its saltiness. When Christians begin to think, be socialized and have a worldview exactly like the world, we can no longer flavor and preserve the world. A light in the darkness (and a city on a hill) is separate, distinct and inviting.

    I have kind of concluded that Christians have failed at the making ourselves inviting part. The us vs. them arguments presented in Ingrid’s articles certainly draw a line in the sand. Frankly, I think it answers my first question too… you know why WWW dropped some and kept others. Paul Proctor, whose writing I enjoyed, was one of the writers dropped. His writing tends to be an indictment of the church and her failings ~

  2. Interesting and thought provoking.

    And I will say that it is words such as Ingrid’s that push many away from the idea of Christianity and see it as an intolerant world view and way of being. Which is very sad.

  3. Dana,

    We have been commenting and reading each other’s blogs for quite some time, so you may have understood the intent of my comment without this clarification, but I did want to say one more thing.

    I try to live my life so that my family and I are separate and distinct from our culture. I try to be “whole” in that it is my prayer that my behavior, actions and thought match what I say I believe is biblical truth. And, I went to public school. My husband went to public school from 8-12th grade. We did not go to private Christian colleges. We both hold masters degrees from secular universities.

    So… I do not believe nor did I mean to imply that homeschooling is the only way to be salty and shining. I just don’t believe that this scripture can be used to argue against homeschooling.

    Thanks for letting my blog in your comments ~

  4. : ) Me too, Julie.

    Raised in a non-Christian home.

    Attended daycare.

    Went to public school.

    Went to a public university nationally recognized for its liberal leanings.

    Earned a degree from a program nationally recognized for its research into behaviorism.

    Finished my certification as a Teach For America corps member, a program known for its liberal views. I attended a number of trainings on “diversity,” etc.

    Somehow, I survived.

  5. True our pro-homeschooling arguments cannot be based on either emotional reactions to what the public schools are doing, and cannot be based alone on the fact that the public schools are bad.

    What is appalling to me is that Christians see what is going on in the public schools, and they don’t see what’s all the hurry to get out of them.

    The reason that the public school system is so bold and so flagrant in their immorality, perversion, stupidity, and outright hatred of God (this is not emotion, just a simple declaration of the facts) is because PARENTS STILL SEND THEIR KIDS THERE.

    If anything should motivate people to at least pull their kids out of public schools, the raunchy sewer it is becoming should be enough. Don’t Christians have SOME sort of a sense of urgency when they are told that public schools are training camps for how to be as evil as one can be? I wish I could remember who, but someone recently did the math, and figured that if just a measly 1% of Christians pulled their kids out of public schools, the whole system would collapse.

    If the rabid humanist God-haters are in charge of the system, than the system is not going to change by our petitioning for vouchers. We must kill it and start from scratch. It is time that the smug grin of these arrogant traitors were wiped off their faces when they lose their precious training camps, which are more responsible for the damage done to this country in the last century than the failure of Christians to vote Conservative.

    Although Ingrid’s reference to kindergardeners may have been based on one circumstance, and not the norm, nevertheless, she had a point well put. Again, I am no demagogue; this issue should remain soberly examined and discussed. However, there is reason for harshness of tone (although I don’t think that Ingrid was being harsh; she just refused to mince words).

    Ingrid’s tone should be universal throughout the church in America. It is time we took a bold stand for righteousness and justice.

    “It is a tone that seems to be spreading among conservative Christian ministries, and it is a trend I would like to see reversed. After all, who should better understand gentleness, meekness, humility and correction spoken in love?”

    Not meaning anything to you personally, Dana, but I think that it is right to address this issue, as I am your fellow Christian.

    What is “gentleness, meekness, humility, and correction spoken in love?” I don’t see how Ingrid contradicted those standards when I look at what Jesus did. Jesus called the Pharisees and Sadducees “white-washed tombs” and “brood of vipers.” When He entered the temple, and found “the money-changers” “banking” in the temple, he “made a whip of cords” and chased them out, on the way, knocking over tables and opening cages, etc., and shouting “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have made it a den of thieves!”

    What is love? Mincing words so that selfish parents who do not want to remove their children from such a hellish system won’t feel offended or write condemning comments, (ironically) telling the author not to “judge them”? Or is speaking the truth in love saying what is right and just on behalf of those kids who are going through hell five days a week so that their parents can enjoy the conveniences of have a public baby-sitter, meanwhile lying against God saying that they want to give their child and opportunity to witness.

    I know that not every individual who has hesitations about taking on the financial adventures of removing the child from public school falls under the category above-described, and I am not saying that such people are going to hell. All I am saying is that parents are either dumb or lying when they say that they send their kids to public school because they want them to be Christian witnesses, because they are either expecting spiritual equipping to be 100% the job of the church, youth group, Sunday school, etc., and never involve themselves in their child’s Christian life and prepare them adequately. How do I know this?

    IN summary of my lengthy rant, even though the argument for homeschooling does not totally consist of “The public schools are bad,” if parents need more motivation or more reasoning and logic to convince them to AT LEAST get their kids out of the public schools, than something is terribly wrong with those parents. God have mercy. Any parent would and should sacrifice life and all its joys for their kids.

    I apologize for my lengthy rant, and if I step on people’s toes by what I have said, I am sorry that your feelings were hurt. But it is the truth, and truth is not tolerant, and in drastic cases such as this, there is no super-nice way to say it. People should grow up.

  6. “How do I know this was supposed to be followed by “Numbers don’t lie.” This phrase was to be hyper-linked to the article which I gave the link to above.

    Sorry about that. :S

  7. My difficulty with Ingrid’s wording is that she really did not say anything or present an argument. It isn’t really any different than an entry I read the other day that claimed that religious education is an extreme form of child abuse and should be likened to sexual abuse of the mind. They are harsh words with no actual case to back them up. To be perfectly clear: this entry is not about Ingrid’s statement so much as it is about the fallacious argument I read in response to it. I also attempted to demonstrate how quickly an argument made solely the way Ingrid crafted it can fall apart. Between Ingrid and Scott? I’d say Scott won, even though I disagreed with every point he made. But at least he attempted to back himself up with some sort of reason a some scriptural analysis. I am not sure what you are referring to in parts of your comment so I’ll go through it a bit at a time:

    True our pro-homeschooling arguments cannot be based on either emotional reactions to what the public schools are doing, and cannot be based alone on the fact that the public schools are bad.

    Yeah! We agree!

    What is appalling to me is that Christians see what is going on in the public schools, and they don’t see what’s all the hurry to get out of them.

    I have similar sentiments. I think it centers on that bit of information we already know…namely that most people see what is happening in other schools but do not perceive it to be happening in their own. This might be ignorance on their part or it may be accurate. In my two years of teaching, there really was not a single incident that happened that would have or should have been cause to pull children out of school. Not just in my classroom, but in the entire school…the entire district as far as I know. People will not act until they see it happening in their own district. The reason so much of this goes on in California is because that is what CA voters seem to want.

    The reason that the public school system is so bold and so flagrant in their immorality, perversion, stupidity, and outright hatred of God (this is not emotion, just a simple declaration of the facts) is because PARENTS STILL SEND THEIR KIDS THERE.

    I’m actually not so sure they are that bold and flagrant. None of that is going on in my district. Not that I know of, anyway. A good number of the teachers are even Christian. : ) This is true in some schools, but not all schools (goodness, we still have school districts trying to put stickers in books to tell kids that evolution is just a theory…the courts seem to be more of the source of the God-hating than the schools or why would these cases still be coming up?) I’m sure the ACLU would have a heyday with this, but after 9/11, my principal actually prayed over the intercom. It was a sort of PC prayer, but there was no mistaking what it was.

    And again, that goes back to the problem being more with the courts and the ACLU. School districts are terrified of lawsuits and so they don’t do anything that would possibly be construed as promoting religion, specifically Christianity.

    If anything should motivate people to at least pull their kids out of public schools, the raunchy sewer it is becoming should be enough. Don’t Christians have SOME sort of a sense of urgency when they are told that public schools are training camps for how to be as evil as one can be? I wish I could remember who, but someone recently did the math, and figured that if just a measly 1% of Christians pulled their kids out of public schools, the whole system would collapse.

    Being told that the school is a “training camp for how to be as evil as one can be” wouldn’t be enough for me to pull my kid out. I would think the person were raving mad. The problem I see with public schools from the standpoint of the Christian is that you are not free to worship God. The student’s first amendment rights do not end at the school door, but there is a culture of intolerance (as there is outside the classroom) and students are made to feel as if they are doing something wrong. For the most part, they read watered down curriculum that produces young people ill-prepared for life because they lack basic skills and basic reasoning abilities. They are not really trained to be evil. They just aren’t trained to be good.

    If the rabid humanist God-haters are in charge of the system, than the system is not going to change by our petitioning for vouchers. We must kill it and start from scratch. It is time that the smug grin of these arrogant traitors were wiped off their faces when they lose their precious training camps, which are more responsible for the damage done to this country in the last century than the failure of Christians to vote Conservative.

    I don’t know that anything is served by calling them “rabid humanist God-haters.” I know that anyone who is not for Him is against Him, but that applies to most of the population. There are those in control who have a specific agenda. The system itself is flawed and the root of the problem lies with Christians. I do not disagree. I just think that if we really want to influence people, language such as this is not going to help. You do not recognize the truth while being beaten by a hammer. : )

    Although Ingrid’s reference to kindergardeners may have been based on one circumstance, and not the norm, nevertheless, she had a point well put.

    I don’t think it was well put. I think it was emotionally charged and too vitriolic for rational discussion. She hasn’t even established that this is happening to any degree other than the reference to the amendment to a bill that had already passed. I still think most people do not see an effect in their local school and thus do not see a pressing need to do anything.

    Again, I am no demagogue; this issue should remain soberly examined and discussed. However, there is reason for harshness of tone (although I don’t think that Ingrid was being harsh; she just refused to mince words).

    I disagree. “Not mincing words” merely means to say something directly and without affectation. I would actually say there is a bit of affectation, although in the opposite direction. Rather than couched in superfluous niceties, she is overly abrasive.

    Ingrid’s tone should be universal throughout the church in America. It is time we took a bold stand for righteousness and justice.

    I disagree. Obviously we should take a bold stand for righteousness and justice, but that is not what she has done. Ravi Zacharias makes a bold stance for truth. On the radio. Before universities. Before Yasir Arafat. (Talk about walking into the lion’s den!)

    What is “gentleness, meekness, humility, and correction spoken in love?” I don’t see how Ingrid contradicted those standards when I look at what Jesus did. Jesus called the Pharisees and Sadducees “white-washed tombs” and “brood of vipers.” When He entered the temple, and found “the money-changers” “banking” in the temple, he “made a whip of cords” and chased them out, on the way, knocking over tables and opening cages, etc., and shouting “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have made it a den of thieves!”

    Yes, I am aware of this. He whipped the animals, not the people so far as I can tell. But is this really relevant? Because Christ used some harsh language in some instances is not cause for us to use it in every instance. We do not know the hearts of people as Christ did. He was speaking to people using their holiness as a show while leading people astray. Perhaps it would be more relevant directed at the Methodists. (Sorry, couldn’t help it.) He did not speak this way to the thousands who gathered everywhere he went. He taught them. And I think teaching is more relevant in this context.

    What is love? Mincing words so that selfish parents who do not want to remove their children from such a hellish system won’t feel offended or write condemning comments, (ironically) telling the author not to “judge them”?

    I am not sure what you are referring to. Ingrid is not merely being direct. She did not state her case plainly with no extra words as the phrase “not mincing words” might otherwise imply. Who has written condemning comments and claimed to be offended? I didn’t, nor did any of my commenters. If you are referring to something on another site, I haven’t read it.

    Or is speaking the truth in love saying what is right and just on behalf of those kids who are going through hell five days a week so that their parents can enjoy the conveniences of have a public baby-sitter, meanwhile lying against God saying that they want to give their child and opportunity to witness.

    Neither. And I doubt all the kids you are referring to are going through hell. If they were, the parents would be responding, even if they were not Christian.

    I know that not every individual who has hesitations about taking on the financial adventures of removing the child from public school falls under the category above-described, and I am not saying that such people are going to hell. All I am saying is that parents are either dumb or lying when they say that they send their kids to public school because they want them to be Christian witnesses, because they are either expecting spiritual equipping to be 100% the job of the church, youth group, Sunday school, etc., and never involve themselves in their child’s Christian life and prepare them adequately. How do I know this?

    I wouldn’t say dumb or lying. Ignorant comes to mind. Which is why teaching is relevant, not emotionally charged rants.

    I respect your zeal, but honestly, do I come across in my entries as apologetic of sin? Walking some middle ground? Wishy washy? There are issues I generally do not touch because they are not relevant to the topic of this blog, but I do not shy away from confrontation and I am not “super nice.” I just refrain from calling people I do not even know as rabid, God-hating, lesbian idoloters and I doubt I ever do unless it happens to be substantiated fact and somehow relevant.

    I am well aware of the studies on biblical worldview. The fact is, most adult Christians do not share a biblical worldview. Every social problem we as Christians condemn occurs in the church at the same rates as society at large. In fact, the group with the lowest rate of divorce is the atheists. I know there is some denominational differences, but if this is true, why are we surprised that they do not question what is being taught in the public schools? It isn’t that different from what they themselves believe.

    And I think that is the heart of the problem.

    You present this as if there are only two possibilities: abrasive language such as Ingrid’s or compromise. I do not think that is true. When I read Paul’s letters to the churches, they are dealing with a plethora of sins. He addresses them but not in such an abrasive manner.

    Paul seemed to have a similar problem with the church at Corinth. Did he beat them over the head with harsh language?

    1Co 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
    1Co 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

    His letters are direct, but gentle and these people were engaged in sin far greater than thinking it ok to send their children to school. They were fornicating, suing one another, divorcing, teaching false teachings…in short, they themselves were everything we accuse the public school of being. And yet he did not fall upon them with a scourge and call them a “generation of vipers.”

    I think you’ve hung out here long enough to know my views on most things and have a pretty good guess at the rest. I do appreciate your zeal and your passion, and I am in no way calling for a middle ground. I am only questioning if this is really the tone we want to strike.

    If you have never listened to Ravi, you can search around on his website and download his speeches. They are thought provoking and confess the truth boldly and without apology.

    And I’m not offended by anything you wrote. That isn’t very easy to do, especially when the only difference between us is the way in which I believe we should bring these issues up for discussion.

  8. As a former Christian school teacher and a mother with her child in the public school system, I really appreciate this post. Very well stated. You clarified so many of the false claims on all sides of the debate.

  9. Goodness, I seem to be having an identity crisis. I was looking at your name while typing mine, and I have become you. Yikes. I think maybe I need more sleep.

  10. In defense of us Californians, a huge problem with our state legislature is that the districting is done by total population rather than by the number of citizens who are eligible to vote. So areas that have a heavy illegal alien presence are overrepresented in the legislature and those areas tend to elect very liberal politicians. It’s all very frustrating to see the political process being hijacked in this manner 🙁

  11. Thank you for your response, Dana.

    I did not mean to make you write such a long response, but thank you for taking the time.

    I think what you said was right, and I agree with you that not all schools are as far down the drain as the ones we hear about, and the ones which stick in our memories.

    I also think that you are right when you say that the main motive for parents, especially Christian parents, should be that the public schools, do, in fact, dictate the student’s religion — they decide how and if you may worship God openly, or what is perceived to be openly.

    As far as the statement by Ingrid was concerned, that statement by itself is not enough to back the homeschooling argument; there needs to be When I initially read Ingrid’s words which you quoted, I did not perceive them as being harsh, but as blunt. When I said that her tone should be universal, I did not mean (I apologize for not clarifying) that we should be harsh or “all emotion” in our tone; I simply meant that we should look at this as seriously as she did, whether or not the crimes which are being committed in the CA schools are happening our ours or not. I wrote a post on homeschooling (very long) the only real benefit which an expert like you may glean are the quotes I presented of leaders of the NEA who made it absolutely clear that the content and style of school curriculum serves the purpose of making Americans more friendly towards a “New World Order” (they actually used the term).

    I didn’t see anything on this blog or on the comments you have received that reflect that Christians are indifferent, or maybe more accurately, not shocked, at the trend that our schools are seeing. I have seen it elsewhere however. I would label such people wishy-washy, but to answer your question, I don’t think I would label you that way. Sometimes all we have to the problems in our culture is an emotional reaction. We need to soberly consider and think things through, and I like your blog for that. It is time that Christians started to think outside of the box.

    I am glad that you were not offended at anything I said in my comment, because I did not mean to offend anyone, and my tone was not directed at you. It was addressed in a general direction, so no, I was not trying to give you the impression that I thought you were in any way an apologetic of sin.

    I like Ravi Zacharias too! I have listened to some of his arguments and speeches, etc. In my opinion, he is not only a great apologetic, but one of the greatest thinkers of our time. He is organized, articulate, sober, and balanced. Nice that we have this in common. 🙂

    Crimson Wife:
    Oh, I sympathize. I live in Upstate NY, where NYC with all its Hillary & liberal kook-loaded skyscrapers overshadow the rest of the states. We are experiencing a problem very similar to yours. Even though Upstate is full of natural New Yorkers (some, like myself, can trace our ancestors back to the early days of NY colonization, and our ancestors settled this area) who are “conservative.” However, because our vote-count method is like yours, the God-hating America-hating kooks from NYC (although I am thrilled to hear that more and more there are people there who are strong Christians) decide state policy, and decide state politicians.

  12. Thanks! I started to write a short comment, but that isn’t my forte. You brought up too many things. : )

    I didn’t grow up Christian and my first experience with “Christianity” as a new believer was Phelps and his ever-present activity on my college campus. Thus I am acutely aware of how this sort of emotional reasoning is received. I didn’t identify myself as Christian for years because I was automatically lumped in with him and I did not have the scriptural knowledge to be able to show people that what he was doing wasn’t Christian.

    I am not accusing Ingrid of having the same doctrinal difficulties as Phelps, just showing why these things bother me so much.

    Words like that spoken to those who agree with her are likely to be well-received. Most of our churches today do speak a message of compromise and it gets tiresome. But spoken to those who do not yet see a difficulty with the schools, especially if they have children in those schools, it seems it will only drive them away.

    It is fine for truth to divide, but I don’t think that is what is being divisive here. When addressed in this manner, rational discussion and real teaching is hindered in my opinion.

    And for those who disagree, it is nothing but fuel for the fire.

    So why take that tone? It isn’t that I disagree with what she said, nor even her passion, but I don’t personally see where it gains us anything.

    And I need to catch up on your blog! I tried to read your essay about the supposed divine right of kings, but it was too late to concentrate. Lots of good stuff!

    (And I wish our churches could show more passion, too…the ones that do tend to go overboard and the rest seem to want to distance themselves who are going overboard.)

  13. Yes, Dana; I must agree with you above. Thank you for taking the time to respond. 🙂

    Thanks for reading my blog! I am constantly apologizing for making my posts so big. I am working toward making the posts smaller, but still satisfactory. It was hard to keep the post you mentioned short, because there is so much to include!

    Again, I also enjoy reading your posts (which are much shorter!).

  14. I hope you didn’t take that to mean I thought it was too lengthy…just more than I could process at the time. You could always go with everyone’s favorite: “Now we are going to begin a 44 part study on the divine right of kings…”

  15. Oh no, Dana. I know that the post was a bit much for you to process late at night (I know how you feel).

    Thanks for the post-beginner tip! (lol) 😀

  16. I just would like to say that I think SB777 is the best thing that could have happened to California. People are waking up. Many California schools already have “teaching” that positively portrays the gay/transgender lifestyle. This Constitutionally violates students that fall under the protected class of religion. The gay/transgender teachings are in direct violation of the tenets of many faiths. It took something huge like statewide implementation of this teaching to make people stand up and ask why. Now the question is being asked. The people of California did not get to vote on this issue. The petition drive will succeed for the referendum and the people will get to vote on whether SB777 should be implemented. If the people vote this bill out, no implementation. Parents need to get involved in their schools. Sign up for focus groups and committees that will discuss what should be taught. It is my opinion that religious parents should not run for the hills. It’s time to make a stand and get involved. Why should a minority special interest group chase the majority “religion” protected group out of public and charter schools?

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