thatmom

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are patriocentric views of a woman’s role putting homeschooling freedoms at risk?

A while back I wrote about the necessity of homeschoolers to “police our own” when it comes to some of the patriocentric teachings that are making their way through homeschooling groups around the country. The main point I made was that if we do not, someone will do it for us and we won’t like what we get. In that post, I mentioned a research paper that has addressed the disparity between home education for girls and boys that is being promoted in some circles and offered to send copy of that study to anyone who requested it, which I did. Last week I received an updated copy of that paper and I am including an alarming section of this paper today. Please note the footnotes at the bottom of the page and who is mentioned as contributing to what this professor believes is an unconstitutional practice in some homeschooling families. Perhaps this will better explain why I have given so much space to this topic on this blog. I honestly believe that these patriocentric teachings have not only wrecked havoc on families and individuals but it is in the process of threatening the freedoms homeschoolers currently enjoy.

CONSTITUTIONAL CONSTRAINTS ON SEXIST EDUCATION
(excerpt from a research paper by Kimberfly Yuracko at the Northwestern University School of Law.)

Given that states have a constitutional obligation to ensure that homeschoolers receive a basic minimum level of education, the next question becomes whether the federal Equal Protection
Clause entitles at least some children to something more than this basic minimum. A review of popular Christian homeschooling curricula, books and websites reveals an ideology of female
subservience and rigid gender role differentiation. Prominent homeschool curricula, for example, emphasize that girls should be subordinant to their fathers and later their husbands.

Vision Forum Ministries, a group founded by a leading homeschool advocate and influential among Christian homeschoolers, posts articles on its website asserting that women belong exclusively in the private domestic sphere. Several articles assert that women should not work outside the home, with one contending that “God does not allow women to vote.” Not surprisingly, this ideology of constraint also has something to say about girls’ education. In So Much More, for example, a book written by two homeschooled sisters and currently popular in the Christian homeschool community, the authors argued that college is dangerous for young women because it diverts them from their God ordained role as helpmeets for their fathers and husbands. Under existing laws, it is impossible to know how often and to what extent such beliefs lead to significantly inferior substantive educations for homeschooled girls.166 Yet this Part contends that the Equal Protection Clause imposes limits on the degree of sexist homeschooling that states may permit, entitling some girls—those in households where boys receive far more extensive instruction—to a level of education above the basic minimum.

The Equal Protection Clause prohibits states from discriminating against protected group
members in the delivery of goods, services, benefits, and privileges. The clause is importantly
distinct from the substantive Due Process and Privileges or Immunities Clauses discussed in Part
I. While the latter two clauses guarantee fundamental rights to all individuals, the Equal
Protection Clause guarantees equal treatment across protected groups with respect to both
fundamental rights and trivial interests. As a result, the Equal Protection Clause effectively
guarantees individuals a constitutional right to goods and services to which they would not
otherwise have a right.

162 The President of Vision Forum Ministries, Doug Phillips, formerly worked for the Home
School Legal Defense Association and served as Director of the National Center for Home
Education. He also speaks regularly at homeschool conferences around the country.

See Vision Forum Ministries, About the President,
http://www.visionforumministries.org/home/about/about_the_presiden.
163 See Melissa Keen, Called to the Home—Called to Rule, Vision Forum Ministries, June
16, 2004.

http://www.visionforumministries.org/issues/family/called_to_the_home_called_to_r.aspx

(last visited Sept. 13, 2007) (“God did not intend for His women to pursue careers outside the home”);
Vision Forum Ministries Editorial Note, The Tenets of Biblical Patriarchy,
http://www.visionforumministries.org/issues/family/biblical_patriarchy.aspx (last visited Sept. 13,
2007) (“While unmarried women may have more flexibility in applying the principle that women
were created for a domestic calling, it is not the ordinary and fitting role of women to work
alongside men as their functional equals in public spheres of dominion.”).
164 See Brian M. Abshire, Biblical Patriarchy and the Doctrine of Federal Representation,
Vision Forum Ministries, July 15, 2005,

http://www.visionforumministries.org/issues/family/bibilical_patriarchy_and_the_do.aspx

(last
visited Sept. 13, 2007).
165 See Anna Sofia Botkin & Elizabeth Botkin, SO MUCH MORE: THE REMARKABLE
INFLUENCE OF VISIONARY DAUGHTERS ON THE KINGDOM OF GOD 136-137 (2005) (“For young women, college campuses have become dangerous places of ongoing anxiety, wasted years, mental defilement and moral derangement. . . . Today’s college experience can lead young women away from real knowledge and blessing and into estrangement from both their heavenly Father and earthly fathers.”); see also the Botkins’s website, www.visionarydaughters.com;

see also Stacy McDonald, RAISING MAIDENS OF VIRTUE: A STUDY OF FEMININE LOVELINESS FOR MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS (2005). McDonald explained that a girl’s education “should be focused on assisting her future husband as his valuable helpmate, not on becoming her ‘own person.’” Id. at 55. She counseled girls to “[r]emember that a strong desire to be a doctor or a seemingly God-given talent in math is not an indication of God’s will for you to have a career in medicine or engineering. Sometimes God gives us talents and strengths for the specific purpose of helping our future husbands in their calling.”

Id. at 56. Kevin Swanson, Executive Director of Christian Home Educators of Colorado, has argued in his daily radio broadcast that women who focus on education and career will end up having multiple abortions and will be lonely and purposeless in their lives. See Kevin Swanson, Raising Visionary Daughters—An Interview with the Botkin Sisters (June 19, 2007), available at http://www.kevinswanson.com. Ideas about the inappropriateness of higher education for girls have clearly taken hold among some segment of the Christian homeschooling community.

(I am sorry, but for some reason, some of these links are not showing up as hyper-links. If you want to receive a copy of this document, contact me at shesthatmom@gmail.com)

 

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221 Comments»

  Cindy Kunsman wrote @

This is, among many things, mortifying. To draw a strange analogy, it’s like the whole school of students getting punished for the consequences of a bunch of playground thugs that insist on forcing their way. Now the school children wait to find out if they will have their playground privileges taken away. It’s rarely ever good when the school administration has to police the playground.

  molleth wrote @

I would be concerned, honestly, if I was an onlooker from the outside. As a homeschooler and looking from the INside, I am concerned.

It’s a small percentage of homeschool families that practice these things, sure, but it’s there, nonetheless. What’s worse, the VF materials are being promoted without warning in many widely circulated homeschooling catalogs.

How do we give people the freedom to choose their own paradigm for life and yet also protect the rights of their children to choosing a paradigm for themselves? This is the impossible question.

  Lynn wrote @

See, when Doug Phillips has items such as “God does not allow women to vote” on his website, he’s just asking for it . . . and I don’t blame people for investigating this.

  Anne wrote @

I’m interested in seeing the paper, the references, and how they are cited. In particular,

Given that states have a constitutional obligation to ensure that homeschoolers receive a basic minimum level of education, the next question becomes whether the federal Equal Protection
Clause entitles at least some children to something more than this basic minimum.

I’m most unfamiliar with that interpretation and not sure it can be substantiated that the Constitution indicates that states are responsible for education. Parents, yes, the state, no.

I wonder if the author can prove the disparity of education — that girls in these families are being shortchanged compared to the boys.

I’ve definitely read from these folks of the dangers of women leaving home to go off to college, and questioning the wisdom of a $40K college degree for young ladies who hold as their life’s goal to be a homemaker. I haven’t inferred that women aren’t worthy of education because they are going to be staying at home anyhow.

That said, I know some of these folks personally, and if I were a betting woman, would bet that these girls from these families are more knowledgeable about math, science, literature, and politics than most publicly schooled kids their age.

The older young lady, single, homeschool grads I know have pursued photography and doula-ing, and one is a registered nurse. They work in family businesses. They are hardly sitting around fanning themselves waiting for Prince Charming.

I haven’t read Swanson’s article, but wonder if he couldn’t be quoting statistics? Statistically, women in the workforce are more likely to divorce. (Not sure about feeling purposeless, many working women I know relate feeling fulfilled and living a life filled with purpose.)

  Joseph Berger wrote @

Dear Karen:

I have a question: Since you have a son that is a lawyer perhaps you should ask him if parents can violate the constitution? I was taught in law school that only governments could violate the constitution, not private individuals. I have read the article you quote above and this paragraph really troubles me:

“In Part I, I consider whether states may permit homeschooling parents to deprive their
children of a basic minimum education. I argue, as a matter of state and federal constitutional law,
that states are required to oversee and regulate homeschooling parents so as to ensure that they
provide their children with the same basic minimum education as their state’s own schools. In
Part II, I consider whether states may permit homeschooling parents to provide their sons with far
better and more sophisticated educations than their daughters. I argue that in order to comply with
the federal Equal Protection Clause, states must prohibit extreme forms of sexist homeschooling.
Finally, in Part III, I explore the steps that states must take in order to ensure that their educational
obligations are being met within homeschooling families. I argue that states are constitutionally
obligated not only to formally recognize children’s educational rights, but also to take affirmative
steps to make such rights real.”

Do you really believe that Mike Farris and HSLDA are making the wrong arguments when it comes to parental rights? What does your lawyer son think about such a position? Your argument that “we must police our own” which you then use to base your support for this by quoting from a radically liberal feminist professor who argues that the state must police home schools to ensure non discrimination based on sex, but by that standard the state would also have an obligation to ensure that home schools do not discriminate based on sexual orientation (i.e. homosexuality). Which I would also point out that the author makes this point in her article. (So should we police ourselves on the issue of our involvement to the opposition to same sex marriage?) By stating that since home schoolers are sheltered they are taught to discriminate against homosexuals. I find this very troubling that you would support such a radical theory. I would urge you to contact HSLDA and see what they think of this article. Just like you encouraged everyone to do regarding their email about Passionate Housewives.

Is the scholarship supporting your position so wanting that you have to grab onto such poor scholarship such as Kimberly A. Yuracko’s article in order to justify your position?

I can’t believe you would link to such a outlandish and foolish article as this one.

Here’s another crazy quote:

“This argument about the constitutionally mandated minimum education that states must
require of homeschools is critically important for two reasons. Conceptually, it rejects the
dominant HSLDA view that parents possess absolute control over their children’s education. It
highlights the legal distinctness of parents and children and emphasizes that parental control over
children’s basic education flows from the state (rather than vice versa). States delegate power
over children’s basic education to parents, and the delegation itself is necessarily subject to
constitutional constraints. Certainly there is an upper limit to states’ control over children’s
education.44 Parents do have constitutionally protected liberty interests in their relationship with
their children.45 This article does not address the upper limits on state regulation. What it
emphasizes, however, is that there is a lower limit as well—a minimum level of regulation and
oversight over children’s education that states may not avoid.46″

Kimberly is twenty-five years behind in her scholarship. This argument has been decided in virtually all fifty states. All fifty states have decided against her either in case precedent or in legislation have decided against her position in one way or another.

Are you really saying it’s the states duty to provide an education and mandate what parents should teach their children? I thought you were a pioneer in the home school movement? Freedom means that those that you disagree with are allowed to educate their children according to the dictates of their own consciences, not yours! So if a father wants to train his daughter to be a keeper at home that is his prerogative and not yours. You may not like it just as I don’t like your view, but this is the current law.

In conclusion, I would really like to hear your justification in citing and promoting this article.

I look forward to your response.

  Joseph Berger wrote @

I just found this post by former HSLDA attorney and Harvard grad Scott Somerville http://www.k-dad.net/blog/_archives/2007/6

Here an except:

If she wants “gender equity in athletics,” it’s hard to beat homeschooling. Public schools may struggle with the moral dilemmas of funding field hockey less than football, but homeschoolers don’t.

Maybe what really bugs her is the gender inequity in homeschool employment–98% of homeschool teachers are female, and 100% get paid nothing. Women who choose homeschooling aren’t pursuing other careers with higher salaries.

From a gender equity standpoint, homeschooling is a problem. But from a gender identity perspective, it may be what feminists have dreamed about for generations–a profoundly meaningful lifestyle that is built around the feminine lifestyle instead of a male-dominated factory model of production.”

  Lynn wrote @

Are you really saying it’s the states duty to provide an education and mandate what parents should teach their children? I thought you were a pioneer in the home school movement? Freedom means that those that you disagree with are allowed to educate their children according to the dictates of their own consciences, not yours!

We’ve heard some interesting testimonies on the Gothard discussion list (from both sexes, I think) of how poorly educated some of them were and how they had to scramble to catch up as adults. But that’s just ATI. The Wisdom Books make for a very incomplete education, and that is where some parents camped, I heard, to the exclusion of more rigorous treatment of some academic subjects. I would think the state has an interest in some minimum competency in reading and civics, but I don’t know what that would entail.

What gets very interesting is to me is somewhat beyond this discussion. Sure, I agree that parents have the right to direct the education of their children. But when young adult females want to exercise their freedoms as citizens of the United States, and their Patriarchal parents unlawfully restrict them, demanding that they obey them and stay in their houses until marriage, not go to college, then guilt them for getting out from under such restrictions when some of them do blow a gasket, I think it is very important to trumpet that education is, in part, to help anybody become a responsible adult. Or is that NOT what education is for, in part?? And in this country an adult is a LOT freer than what VF and patriarchal places would have them be, and that includes the males, from what I’ve heard from people who have been into VF.

It also seems to me (that and another buck will get you another cup of coffee) that while basic education among homeschoolers at large seems to be better than the average public school education, there are the sequestered nightmares of neglect, abuse, etc., and this is a concern. There needs to be a good balance, but as I’m not a lawyer, I can only say that I completely understand when liberal scholars get ahold of the Vision Forum whackiness that they would run with it (the “God doesn’t allow women to vote” comments). It makes perfect sense to me to see that happening.

  thatmom wrote @

Joseph, I had to go back and reread what I had written after I read your first comment since I am really confused as to what you think I actually am endorsing.

Where did you get the idea that I agree with Kim or that I agree with her solutions to what she sees as a problem? How did you conclude that I am in disagreement with HSLDA’s basic arguments for parents and their rights to homeschool? I am confused and think that perhaps you didn’t get the whole point I am trying to make.

I read through Kim’s article and, not being an attorney, of course much of it is foreign to me and I don’t understand all the constitutional law aspect of it nor all the ramifications of her presuppositions.

However, I am concerned about her PERCEPTION of the disparity of educational standards between young men and young women. I have heard and read enough to know that there are many girls who ARE being short changed and who would spend years in remedial classes if they were called to something other than homemaking, both of which I believe are options for young ladies. Kim is accurate that, in some homes, there is a difference between the way girls are educated and the way boys are educated. It seems like she was concentrating on the curriculum aspect of it and those she quoted do hold to extreme views, in my opinion.

There is a fine line between a parent’s rights and a parent’s responsibilities and I was making the case that if some of these extremists continue to control the homeschooling groups around the country, it will only be a matter of time before someone like Kim gets a law passed that will limit our freedoms, the freedoms of all of us, not just those who are patriocentric. I shared this article to show others what the dangers are if we do not challenge the more extreme teachings within homeschooling circles.

You are correct that I am concerned by the fact that HSLDA has endorsed the Passionate Housewives book. It has placed them on the extreme end of the continuum in the roles of men and women and has alienated many homeschooling families that they represent. I am also wondering if they actually read the book, since it contains beliefs that appear to be contrary to those of Patrick Henry College.

Btw, are you an attorney or a law student? Do you know my son? I thought perhaps you went to law school with him.

  thatmom wrote @

Joseph, just one more thing. Have you read anything else I have written on this blog other than that article? If so, I cannot understand how you have jumped to these conclusions…could you explain what I have written or said that would write this:

“Is the scholarship supporting your position so wanting that you have to grab onto such poor scholarship such as Kimberly A. Yuracko’s article in order to justify your position?”

  Joseph Berger wrote @

Lynn:

Your response is no answer to my questions. Telling me about bad experiences from Gothard land is not an answer. I want you all to deal with the issue at hand: namely does the state have the jurisdiction to tell parents how they can educate their children even for minimum constancy? We know what this looks like because groups like HSLDA are dealing with this stuff everyday. Freedom means that some people are free to fail. That’s the price of freedom. It’s not your responsibility to make sure everyone is a “success” in life nor is it the states responsibility. That’s the price of liberty. If you don’t like it too bad.

Here’s another statement that doesn’t make sense:

“that while basic education among homeschoolers at large seems to be better than the average public school education, there are the sequestered nightmares of neglect, abuse, etc., and this is a concern.”

How is this an argument? Since there is legimate physical abuse in families does this mean that all families need to submit to Social Services to perform psychological evaluations at will in order to measure likihood of abuse?

Where does it stop?

We need something less nebulous than a real “balancing of interests,” we need a standard. You sound like the modern Supreme Court that wants to be pluralist and not offend anyone and while at the same time offends everyone.

As to your comment about “in this country an adult is a LOT freer than what VF and patriarchal places would have them be, and that includes the males, from what I’ve heard from people who have been into VF.”

So is what your saying Lynn that in order to free us from the bondage of VF teachings we need more state regulations of education? How can this be liberating? You all have to be kidding me! This surprises me because typically freedom moves away from state regulation…Also, I’m getting really tired of hearing all these comments about “what I’ve heard about VF” you people don’t even know what they really believe. Have you really ever met someone who holds to these beliefs or are you just parroting the arguments of those that are bitter against this teaching? Their beliefs are not abnormal. They are in keeping with the last nineteen hundreds years of Western civilization. If you don’t like their position at least be consisted and admit that it is your views that are new, not theirs. At least then, you would be academically honest.

  thatmom wrote @

Joseph, one thing we have tried to do here and on the True Womanhood blog is to hold each of the patriocentric teachings up to Scripture. You come here asking this question: ““what I’ve heard about VF” you people don’t even know what they really believe. Have you really ever met someone who holds to these beliefs or are you just parroting the arguments of those that are bitter against this teaching?” on a day that I have posted several questions to Stacy McDonald, who authored a book that they published. I, as well as many others, have had questions about her teachings and are looking for sincere answers. We are still waiting for them. If we sincerely ask questions of these people, based on things we want clarified, is that ok? Or do you believe that we ought to simply nod and agree and go along with these teachings? I would suggest that you visit the blog that has about 2500 comments in a 6 month discussion on these teachings and tell me that we aren’t honestly reading and researching these teachings. We are holding them up to the Word of God, not man’s traditions. Please come on over for a visit…
http://www.truewomanhood.wordpress.com

  thatmom wrote @

“I want you all to deal with the issue at hand: namely does the state have the jurisdiction to tell parents how they can educate their children even for minimum constancy?”

And I am telling you, Joseph, that IF the homeschooling community and/or the body of Christ does not do this, then the state WILL.

  Cindy Kunsman wrote @

Chances are that an article published slated for publication in the California Law Review is not going to get a lot of attention (hopefully). Don’t law professors publish quite a bit without a tremendous amount of peer review? I’ve been peripherally involved but knowledgable about the editing process of scientific papers for publication in medical toxicology literature. It’s amazing the amount of stuff that gets by reviewers these days. Can it really be much better in the field of Law?

Second, this above discussion highlights something that I think Christian Reconstructionists have lost sight of in recent years. Granted, we need to return to the Constitution and the framers of the Constitution held a Biblical Worldview, so that even the deists of the day would probably make most conservatives today look like we look at the Clintons. But how feasable is it to continue to demand to hold the rest of the world to the old ideal. (Not to say that we should not be doing so, but is it realistic and arrogant to take the rights that we do have for granted?)

You can believe as I do that it is no business of the state how I educate my children and what beliefs I hold. And it is insane, given the state of the government schools, for the state to presume that they can do a better job. Granted. But is it not naive to think that we can assert our rights in a paternalistic state that actually does believe that it is their duty to govern these things. They are wrong, but that doesn’t keep Christians and homeschoolers alike from sitting in a precarious postition, given the climate of today.

The scary thing about this is that it is on someone’s radar. It may be in the “flaming liberal” quadrant, but it appears that homeschooling is now a blip on the screen. It’s not an ominous sign, but its not a good one either.

Gothard teaches that we really have no personal rights. Our founders entrusted us with rights as derived from God (through what I believe was the fruit of the Reformation by way of the good aspects of the Enlightenment). And I know that you MUST know this well, but we are responsible our stewardship of those rights. It is tragic if by not keeping these small aberrant groups at bay, we put the sacred trust of our liberty at risk. If we fail to police our own (mentioned in the first sentence in this post), we have failed to be good stewards.

Although it’s horrible to think of what the fallout may be from all of this, if we have failed in policing our own, we should not be surprised if we lose the privilege. More than anything, this is a warning to be better stewards of our precious freedom. Whether the liberal law professor makes valid point may not even classify as a skirmish, but what of the potential of a greater war ahead? There’s a part of me that absolutely agrees with Lynn in her statement above about this scrutiny. And that’s what’s really frightening.

  Jen wrote @

Joseph: “Have you really ever met someone who holds to these beliefs or are you just parroting the arguments of those that are bitter against this teaching? Their beliefs are not abnormal. They are in keeping with the last nineteen hundreds years of Western civilization.”

First, I am not bitter. Not in the least. Second, until recently I had those beliefs and I know many people who do have these beliefs. One thing I have tried to present is that what is in writing is not exactly what it looks like in real life. In real life, women are often looked down upon. Whether that is consistent with the last 1900 years or so is irrelevant when we consider what Scripture has to say.

I think I speak for the majority here when we say that we believe in the biblical roles for husbands and wives, and the different roles for men and women at church. What we don’t believe in is adding to Scripture and that is exactly what Vision Forum is doing.

I think you are Karen are basically arguing for the same thing here. We are all concerned about giving the government a reason to take more control over our lives. If we want to keep our freedoms, we should be responsible with them. If we neglect to fulfill our duties as homeschooling parents, then the State will be happy to take over! Let’s not let that happen.

  Cindy Kunsman wrote @

Aldous Huxley: (Brave New World Revisited):

Big Government and Big Business … will try to impose social and cultural uniformity upon adults and their children. To achieve this they will (unless prevented) make use of all the mind-manipulating techniques at their disposal and will not hesitate to reinforce these methods of non-rational persuasion by economic coercion and threats of physical violence. If this kind of tyranny is to be avoided, we must begin without delay to educate ourselves and our children for freedom and self-government. Such an education for freedom should be … first of all in facts and in values — the facts of individual diversity and genetic uniqueness and the values of freedom, tolerance and mutual charity, which are the ethical corollaries of these facts.

  Lynn wrote @

I want you all to deal with the issue at hand: namely does the state have the jurisdiction to tell parents how they can educate their children even for minimum constancy?

And

So is what [sic]your saying Lynn that in order to free us from the bondage of VF teachings we need more state regulations of education?

My POINT was that Vision Forum is blatantly teaching that women should not vote, that they do not, as adults, have the same liberties as adult males do, and I am sitting here right in the middle of all this, not being liberal, and not being Pharisaical as VF, understanding perfectly well why political liberals would sooner or later find out this stuff and make hay of it.

Liberals are bringing it to the light of day, and I can’t say as I blame them. It’s good fodder for their cause, no? No, in saying that I’m not saying I agree with “State-ism,” but neither do I agree with Vision Forum robbing liberty from its adult children either. As I see that I probably need to make this a long-winded comment and add caveats, I don’t mean liberty to become drunks, drug-addicts, fornicators, and lazy. I meant liberty to get education and job training if they would want it, and freedom to engage in legitimate commerce, and in government. Vision Forum does teach that God does not allow women to vote, no??

So, I’m neither fish nor foul here, and I hope that helps.

I stopped here to see if someone else said what I was thinking, and found Cindy Kunsmann said it exactly right, so I quote part of her comment above. This sums up my thoughts:

You can believe as I do that it is no business of the state how I educate my children and what beliefs I hold. And it is insane, given the state of the government schools, for the state to presume that they can do a better job. Granted. But is it not naive to think that we can assert our rights in a paternalistic state that actually does believe that it is their duty to govern these things. They are wrong, but that doesn’t keep Christians and homeschoolers alike from sitting in a precarious postition, given the climate of today.

The scary thing about this is that it is on someone’s radar. It may be in the “flaming liberal” quadrant, but it appears that homeschooling is now a blip on the screen. It’s not an ominous sign, but its not a good one either.

Gothard teaches that we really have no personal rights. Our founders entrusted us with rights as derived from God (through what I believe was the fruit of the Reformation by way of the good aspects of the Enlightenment). And I know that you MUST know this well, but we are responsible our stewardship of those rights. It is tragic if by not keeping these small aberrant groups at bay, we put the sacred trust of our liberty at risk. If we fail to police our own (mentioned in the first sentence in this post), we have failed to be good stewards.

Now, I would add that the only way we can keep “these small aberrant groups at bay” is to get some kind of megaphone and keep shouting “this is what they teach, and this is why we don’t believe it,” so don’t get anybody wrong here.

  Lin wrote @

“I want you all to deal with the issue at hand: namely does the state have the jurisdiction to tell parents how they can educate their children even for minimum constancy? ”

No… but then they did not have the jurisdiction to make Roe about privacy but they did.

“As to your comment about “in this country an adult is a LOT freer than what VF and patriarchal places would have them be, and that includes the males, from what I’ve heard from people who have been into VF.

So is what your saying Lynn that in order to free us from the bondage of VF teachings we need more state regulations of education?””

Vision Forum is INVITING state regulations. When they publish beliefs such as woman not voting or no college for woman or substandard education for women, they are asking for the nanny state to intervene. And because of this, many others will be hurt.

You can scream about ‘parental freedom’ all day. The nanny state has been trying to encroach on that for 60 years. There is NO right to public education in our Bill of
Rights…but try convincing most Americans of that fact. Did you read the last issue of Imprimis? The speaker asked Margaret Spellings about the legality of the Department of Education. Ha! Sir, we are WAY past the issue of parental rights for education. The new issue is keeping them OUT of what few rights we have left.

The problem VF and others have is that the majority of voters would agree that little girls should be given equal education and the opportunity to attend college if they wish. It is a no brainer.

I would love to see them try and defend the belief that girls need substandard education to boys in the public arena. Or that girls do not need college or that they should not vote. Wonder how many Christian voters would disagree?

  Corrie wrote @

“Also, I’m getting really tired of hearing all these comments about “what I’ve heard about VF” you people don’t even know what they really believe. Have you really ever met someone who holds to these beliefs or are you just parroting the arguments of those that are bitter against this teaching? Their beliefs are not abnormal. They are in keeping with the last nineteen hundreds years of Western civilization”

Hi Mr. Berger,

You just gave yourself away! :-)

“You people” don’t even know what they [VF] believes? LOL! Well, if years of sitting under and following their teaching, reading all of their materials, listening to all of their lectures on CDs, reading the teachings of those who follow the VF model and watching their “documentaries” that come out of VF don’t qualify us to know what they teach, I don’t know what does!

I actually lived it, Mr. Berger. I do know people who actually live this way. The book, So Much More, likens college-going women to “harlots”. College for adult women is discouraged because a woman was born to get married, bear children, keep house and serve her husband’s vision…nothing more.

So, which beliefs are not abnormal? And who is bitter? What is the litmus test for “bitter” in the eyes of the law? I wasn’t aware of an objective standard for “bitter”? Is that a legal term?

Are you bitter and that is why you are here and that is why you have an opinion on these matters?

After re-reading Karen’s post, it looks like you misread what she was trying to communicate.

Do you believe that parents have the right to restrict their adult daughters from attending college or from having any other desire outside of the home that doesn’t center on and revolve around and focus upon her father?

I would think, at the very least, that some of these teachings concerning the education of daughters are causing God’s name to be blasphemed among the Gentiles. No one is for government regulation on this but we are for holding our brethren accountable. Karen’s point is that we had better do that before the State steps in and does it for us. I believe that these teachings are going to draw the suspicions of the State and that is going to cause all of us homeschoolers a great amount of grief.

Our children belong to God. I don’t see these teachings taking into account that God may have a different plan for our daughters (foreign missions, college, etc) than the parents’ misguided theology allows for. So, do parents have the right to take the place of God in their children’s lives?

  Corrie wrote @

Take away the vote from women and take away her access to a college education which disallows her to have any sort of professional work to do (nurse, doctor, etc) and what do we call this? What is the domino effect this will have for all of us?

“But when young adult females want to exercise their freedoms as citizens of the United States, and their Patriarchal parents unlawfully restrict them, demanding that they obey them and stay in their houses until marriage, not go to college, then guilt them for getting out from under such restrictions…”

I wonder if Mr. Berger believes females have the same freedoms under the constitution as males? Or was the constitution written for males? I am not sure if he is a lawyer but I would like to know his scholarly opinion about this.

  Marcy Muser wrote @

This article, and the discussion posted here, are very thought-provoking. It seems to me there are several issues being brought up, and all are significant.

First, there is the question of whether the VF people are right or not. I have significant concerns about Doug Phillips’ position, not just on men and women but even more importantly on the Civil War and slavery. I feel pretty strongly that men and women should have different roles, and that most women will be more fulfilled if they in fact follow the role of helper to their husbands. And I think our culture is WRONG to teach women that the only way they can find satisfaction is to go out and get a job and try to be just like men. I AM educating my daughters differently than I would educate sons if I had them – not so much in terms of academic content, but in terms of ultimate goal. My daughters are both very bright; I am making sure they get a solid background in science and math as well as language arts and history, and in many electives as well. If they want to learn “Industrial Arts,” I will teach them – but I won’t volunteer that, especially since I don’t engage in many industrial arts myself!

I would never deny my daughters the right to go to college or to learn careers satisfying to them; for one thing, I read I Corinthians 7 to say it’s better for women (as well as for men) to remain single, because they can serve the Lord with fewer distractions. I have read way too much about single women missionaries to believe that young ladies should be required to live at home with their parents until they are married. (Quite frankly, no matter how much the VF people believe this, they can’t enforce it anyway once the girls are adults.)

That said, I think another issue comes in here. Ms. Yuracko favors significant government involvement in homeschooling, not only because of this issue but many others as well. Her entire argument is based on a flawed premise – that the state, not the parent, has the right and/or the obligation to control children’s education. Like many liberals, she believes this. When I read her article, it feels to me like she is stretching, trying to find some legal basis to allow the state to control homeschoolers even thought the Supreme Court has been quite clear that that right belongs to the parents. In fact, to me she is just one more anti-homeschooling voice, though her argument is slightly different.

I’m very hesitant to allow my actions to be dictated by people like Ms. Yuracko. In truth, I believe that parents do in fact have the right to control the education of their children – even if I don’t agree with them. Whether a person is Muslim, Hindu, Christian, fundamentalist – I support their right to homeschool as a fundamental right allowed by our society, and it seems to me we ought to be arguing THAT case before the public.

I’ve recently been engaged in several vehement online discussions with people who believe the state has an interest in controlling homeschoolers because many of us believe in Creation rather than evolution, and we teach our children creationism, thus supposedly leaving them crippled for life in their understanding of science, and unable to think critically or to reason logically. (Yes, these folks really believe this!) My argument with them (besides the obvious creation/evolution issues) is that it’s NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS what I teach my children! The Supreme Court has made it clear that I have the constitutional right to “direct the education of my children,” regardless of whether they agree with how I do that or not.

And while I agree that the Christian community needs to be interacting with people like Doug Phillips, challenging him on his statements, and showing how they are unbiblical, I’m not sure I agree that we ought to “police” him. I guess it depends on what you mean by that expression. If this is what he really believes, then he does have the constitutional right to teach it, and I have no right to impose my own views on him. I can do my best to publicize what I do believe and how I think he’s wrong, but if I should try to prevent him or his followers from teaching their children in accordance with their conscience, I am in the same category with those evolutionists who believe I’m harming my children by not teaching them evolution exclusively.

Ms. Yuracko’s article has encouraged me to put my beliefs about educating girls into words. That will help me to promote what I do believe among my friends in the homeschooling community. And ultimately, I think that’s the only way I can have any effect on this issue anyway.

  thatmom wrote @

Marcy, i so appreciate your comments and I think you have described quite well what I mean by “police our own.” I do not think we ought to try to place some sort of regulations on people who are teaching the “visionary daughter” approach to their children. However, my concern is that if you look at the state homeschooling organizations and who they invite to keynote conferences, invariably a majority of them invite what I call “patriocentric” speakers in, thus these views of young women are being taught in a “presuppositional” manner. (That is their own word, by the way, Doug Phillips has repeatedly said that these views of women are “presuppositional” that is, they are necessary to be believed because they are “part of the grand sweep of revelation” again, his words. In essence, he teaches that they are necessary to be believed for a Christian. This is also what is taught about the “foreordained” roles of men and women as you read through the Passionate Housewives book or the Botkin book.)

So speaking up both to friends as well as local support group leaders and those who plan conventions is absolutely crucial. They need to understand that when they bring in these speakers, they are introducing a “new Gospel” message, a presuppositional approach that says that ALL Chrsitians must believe these views of women, thsu adding to the Gospel of grace.

The other point you raised was also important and I hope everyone reading here is listening to Mary’s concerns….the majority of patriocentrists are promoting a view of slavery and the Old Dominion that is quite alarming. Several contributors to this blog have contacted VF for clarification on this issue and have received no answer. This is alarming. Doug Phillips “hails” Dabney on his blog. A quick google search of Dabney’s views on African Americans and women will shock those who are new to these teachings.

Mary, if you haven’t yet listened to the series of podcasts I did with those who are also concerned about the growing patriocentricity movement, I would encourage you to do so. Along with the upcoming review of the Passionate Housewives book in December, it should give you an even better background on why I, as well as others, think this is such a crucial issue for homeschoolers, both personally and for our freedom to educate our own children.

  Lynn wrote @

That said, I think another issue comes in here. Ms. Yuracko favors significant government involvement in homeschooling, not only because of this issue but many others as well. Her entire argument is based on a flawed premise – that the state, not the parent, has the right and/or the obligation to control children’s education.

I agree with you completely on this. When I look at the title of this post, it says NOTHING about state intrusion is a good thing, and the underlying inference is that homeschooling freedom is a GOOD thing.

  Lynn wrote @

Menat to say, “I infer that the underlying assumption is that homeschooling is a good thing.”

  thatmom wrote @

Lynn, reading back through my original post and Joseph’s comment, what I see is the same old same old shifting of the focus away from the real problem to an imaginary problem, this time making ME the enemy for bringing up the subject, accusing ME of wanting to limit our freedoms.

Is there a training workshop or an online tutorial somewhere these people go to learn how to do this stuff?

  Cindy Kunsman wrote @

Here’s a new book advertised on fallacy files:

http://www.classicalsubjects.com/aa.html?gclid=CKOctfCGj5ACFSSaZQodjkhmtg

I haven’t read this one, but they have a student and teacher manual and you could use it as a homeschooling course for English. They say for 7th grade and up.

  Lynn wrote @

http://etext.virginia.edu/jefferson/quotations/jeff1350.htm

Jefferson saw that the state had an interest in education — so that a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” could stay that way.

  Marcy Muser wrote @

>>So speaking up both to friends as well as local support group leaders and those who plan conventions is absolutely crucial. They need to understand that when they bring in these speakers, they are introducing a “new Gospel” message, a presuppositional approach that says that ALL Chrsitians must believe these views of women, thsu adding to the Gospel of grace.<<

Your point about speaking up to support group leaders and those who plan conventions is excellent. I think it’s critically important, though, to be extremely careful how we voice our positions and what we use to support them. In my case, for example, I live in Colorado, where Kevin Swanson is in charge of our state organization. I respect Kevin highly, though I do occasionally disagree with him.

However, if I tried to use Ms. Yuracko’s article in talking with him, I would lose any influence I might have had, because of the reasons I gave in my earlier post. Instead, we MUST address these people from a Biblical perspective – in my opinion they have no respect for any authority except that. (I realize you have done that as well in other blog posts and podcasts.) It is imperative that we not get caught up in using secular reasoning or discussing cultural advantages. And I think it’s important that we recognize our own tendency, because of the society in which we live, to lean in the direction of encouraging women to find fulfillment outside the home rather than within it. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t agree with the VF position that women shouldn’t go to college – but I do think that most women are happier when they follow the role for which God created women in the first place – being their husband’s helpers, and I think our society pushes women NOT to do that. I want my girls to believe that being a homemaker, wife, and mother is a high calling; I just don’t want them to believe it’s the ONLY option God has given them, because I DON’T believe that. And there is a point to which in order to help them see the home and family as a high calling, I must actively counteract the culture in which we live that is constantly telling them only lazy women, brainwashed women, or those who can’t do anything else stay at home with their children and submit to their husbands.

I think you are right about speaking up to the leadership though. I will see how I can be involved in this. I don’t expect it to be easy given the leadership in this state, but there are many – maybe most – individual families who feel as we do, and perhaps it would be helpful to begin discussing this issue more broadly.

  Gene Steadman wrote @

Don’t you mean “Patricentricity” and not “Patriocentricity”? The former means father centered while the later means patriot centered. In fact if you take the stem “Patrio” and Google it, Google will ask you, “did you mean patriot?” I am not sure if you were trying to make up your own word (which unknown to you; already had a meaning) or if you have just been misspelling the word all over the internet. There is nothing wrong with creating words as long as you use the proper stem with the proper ending. Remember, words are the vehicle to all thought. When you try to use long words to sound thoughtful, but use them wrong, it makes you look thoughtless. Another misusage can be pointed out by the way in which you seem to think that the words “scholarship” and “gossip” are interchangeable. However, judging from the complete disregard for sound scholarship on your site, it will not detract from your image one iota. Scholars write books and give lectures where they can be held academically accountable. Blogs like yours are for cackling old hens who only self certify the validity of what they say to other hens that cackle alike.

The idea that we should be afraid that if we don’t police our own on issues sensitive to the State, then the liberals are going to pass laws is ridiculous. If this is your position then Berger had a good point. Should we then tone down our involvement in speaking out against homosexuality? Since when did the home school movement go on the defense? I though Pioneers are supposed to push forward, not cower back. It is the wicked who flee when no one pursues them. Then again that is case and point here isn’t it? If this is anything more than a panic driven overreaction to a second rate law review article, then can anyone explain to me how the constitutional limitations apply to private individuals? Until that can be demonstrated your argument is nothing more than a fear driven boogie man tactic.

P.S. I am flattered to receive the title of “intelligent commentator” merely for posting on your sight. Does that work like a title of nobility allowing me to affix IC to the end of my name, or is it just another attempt at self acclamation among the other hens.

  thatmom wrote @

Marcy, I agree that we must be wise in who we reference as “experts” or “authorities” and I want to be clear that that was not my purpose. I was not deeming Kim Y. to be an expert, but rather, someone who is concerned about some of the same things I am concerned about, but also someone who does not share my convictions about homeschooling and thus could seek to use those concerns to bring an end to freedoms we do have through the position she also has.

You know, this has brought to mind something else that is troubling….I have found that too often those in patriocentric circles are so used to living inside the paradigm, they do not realize how they are perceived by those outside of the paradigm. We have said several times that what they all need are good editors outside their camp to read their materials and explain how they are coming across to others.

I am also not convinced that they truly understand the culture in which they live. For example, a woman named Dana on the Monstrous Regiment of Women video made the blanket statement that “the world hates children.” I do not believe that to be a fair statement. It is hyperbole. I also think that the premise of Passionate Housewives that housewives are maligned is hyperbole. Sure, there are people who do not understand or approve or appreciate what a homemaker does. There are people who do not like children. But I also think these are stated in such ways that they become offensive to those outside the paradigm and thus cause confusion at best and terrific offense at worst.

Just some random thought that are related in my mind and connect some of the dots for me but am not sure I am being very clear this morning!

  Lynn wrote @

Another misusage can be pointed out by the way in which you seem to think that the words “scholarship” and “gossip” are interchangeable. However, judging from the complete disregard for sound scholarship on your site, it will not detract from your image one iota. Scholars write books and give lectures where they can be held academically accountable. Blogs like yours are for cackling old hens who only self certify the validity of what they say to other hens that cackle alike.

Ain’t you a sweetheart! XOXOXO!

Oh, by the way, did you know that it makes you look less intelligent than I am quite sure you are to come out with such accusatory speech and not provide evidence for your assertion?

  Cindy Kunsman wrote @

Gene Steadman said: The idea that we should be afraid that if we don’t police our own on issues sensitive to the State, then the liberals are going to pass laws is ridiculous.

Why? You offer “toning down” our speech on homosexuality as a comparison. That’s not a congruent comparison. Homeschooling is not a sinful act about which the Bible mentions specifically. (And education was very different then as it has been revolutionized by the printing press which fostered the enlightenment which was made possible by the Reformation, in case anyone’s blood has started to boil from my previous statement.)

Can you offer another argument? This is not an issue of free speech as with homosexuality but a matter of stewardship of the freedom that has been established by God, and we have the great blessing of living under a government that supports our freedom to homeschool. If we have been poor stewards, then we will inevitably suffer the consequences. You’re comparing apples and oranges by offering this comparison.

You also wrote: Since when did the home school movement go on the defense? I though Pioneers are supposed to push forward, not cower back. It is the wicked who flee when no one pursues them. Then again that is case and point here isn’t it?

When has Christianity and freedom and liberty not been on the defense? A major component of a good offense is an excellent defense. Hmmm. I think I’ve read that somewhere? Oh yes, Bahnsen. We’re even charged to “guard our hearts” on an individual level which sounds like a defensive posture to me. Defense and pioneering are not mutually exclusive concepts. Pioneering requires wisdom and discernment, assuring that one does not head off on a course that invites danger or lacks respect for nature and the environment.

And this criticism you make could be well used against the actions of those in patriarhcy who fall back and flee whenever their doctrine is questioned. That is the true case in point here.

  Corrie wrote @

Gene,

“Don’t you mean “Patricentricity” and not “Patriocentricity”? The former means father centered while the later means patriot centered. ”

No it doesn’t. Patriot comes from the French word “patriotes”.

Patrios means, in Latin, “of one’s fathers”

Patris means, in Latin, “fatherland”

Both of these Latin words are a derivation of the word “pater” (patros- gen) which means father.

The “otes” suffix is a state or a condition.

Patrios does not mean patriot, it means of one’s father.

Being a homeschool mother who has taught Latin since 1993 comes in handy.

Either way, it means the same thing. Patriocentricity does not mean “patriot centered” because “patrio” doesn’t mean “patriot”. Patrio means “of one’s fathers” and “patri” means “fatherland”.

All of them come from the root pater.

Patricentricity is most often used to refer to a system that is concerned and centered on the authority and prerogatives of males but I don’t see the term “patriocentricity” breaking any rules and it certainly does not have as its root “patriot”.

  Corrie wrote @

“In fact if you take the stem “Patrio” and Google it, Google will ask you, “did you mean patriot?” I am not sure if you were trying to make up your own word (which unknown to you; already had a meaning) or if you have just been misspelling the word all over the internet.”

LOL!

I googled patriocentricity and the only use, minus one, has its roots back to you, Karen!

I just want to say again “patriocentricity” does not mean patriot. LOL!

This whole thing has me chuckling!

I googled “patrios” and mostly Spanish speaking sites come up.

It means “father” in Spanish. :-)

I googled “patrio” and it does ask me if I mean “patriot” but so what? It doesn’t mean that “patrio” means patriot!

“There is nothing wrong with creating words as long as you use the proper stem with the proper ending. Remember, words are the vehicle to all thought. When you try to use long words to sound thoughtful, but use them wrong, it makes you look thoughtless.”

Gene, I know you came here to give Karen a lesson on using words and your point was to try and make her look stupid but this is sort of embarrassing for you, imho.

I might suggest that you follow your own advice and understand the proper etymology of words and the Latin/Greek roots before you make such assertions.

Remember, a wise man once said: “There is nothing wrong with creating words as long as you use the proper stem with the proper ending!”

ROFLOL

Patrio does NOT mean patriot. Patrio means FATHER. It is a derivative of pater.

  Corrie wrote @

“Scholars write books and give lectures where they can be held academically accountable.”

ROFLOL!!!

Yeah, right, good luck with that!

  Corrie wrote @

I know this is redundant but Gene has cautioned Karen that she must be very careful to understand the meanings of words in order to appear thoughtful.

Gene said he googled “patrio” and it asked him if he really meant “patriot”. From there he assumed that patrio means patriot.

Actually, patriot is made up of two words:

patri- fatherland

otes- a suffix which means the condition of or state of

patriot comes from the French word- patriotes.

The root “patrio” is NOT in the word patriot. The root word is “patri”.

Thus, the word patriot the condition of being of the fatherland.

I forgot to make the etymology of the word “patriot” more clear in my former posts.

So, there is NOTHING wrong with using patriocentricity the way that Karen uses it.

As in “patriARCHY”, “patrioCENTRICITY” is a consistent use of the root word “patrio”.

Centricity means focusing or centering on.

Just like ecclesia is the Latin word for assembly (lit. called out of) and people use the term “ecclesiocentricity” to refer to that which focuses or centers on the church.

Ecclesio is a variant of ecclesia and patrio is a variant of patri. Very consistent. Nicely done, Karen. Word makes perfect sense and it is well within the proper usage of roots and suffixes.

See? Aren’t root words fun!

  Corrie wrote @

Gene,

“Blogs like yours are for cackling old hens who only self certify the validity of what they say to other hens that cackle alike.”

Aw! Don’t pour all your charm on us at once! LOL

Truly, are you wanting to set an example for us to follow? Name calling? Putting down women who may or may not be “middle aged” or “old”?

If I addressed you as an “old fart” would that be helpful to getting anything I had to say across? ;-)

No, I don’t think so. I know you want to sound thoughtful but your words were not carefully chosen. If you want people to respect your position on patriarchal beliefs, then I would suggest to you that you don’t call those who disagree with you “cackling old hens”.

I think you owe Karen an apology. Of course, this is just a suggestion from a sister in Christ.

  Lin wrote @

” Homeschooling is not a sinful act about which the Bible mentions specifically.”

“Patrios means, in Latin, “of one’s fathers””

Hens-2
Gene-0

  sarah wrote @

I find everyone’s response to this to be interesting.

First, HSLDA is already aware of this article. I am sure it will increase their membership, and help Farris’s Parental Rights Amendment campaign, so perhaps it’s not all a bad thing.

Second, the California Law Review is a very prestigious publication. “Peer Review” has an entirely different context in terms of law (as opposed to science). This is not shoddy or irresponsible scholarship. We may disagree with Yuracko’s premise, reasoning, or other arguments, but that is what law is all about – disagreement and the honing of argument. Trust me, I bet HSLDA already has a response written that addresses some of her legal arguments.

Third, sexism is a horrible problem in the home school movement. Girls are receiving different educations than boys in many families. Girls are treated very differently in home school culture than boys, and in negative ways, not just, “God made boys and girls different.” our problem now is this: How can we, as Christian home schoolers, begin to claim this is fringe thinking when everyone seems to own “So Much More”, Vicki Farris endorses Stacy MacDonald’s new book, and leaders all want Kevin Swanson to speak at their conference?

Lastly, Kim Yuracko makes a legal argument that state governments have various constitutional requirements to regulate home schooling to ensure that all children are receiving an adequate level of education. She does not say no one should be able to home school. Please, feel free to disagree with her legal arguments, but I beg you to refrain from the ad hominem attacks that I’m seeing here and other places. Kim Yuracko is a scholar and a legal professional. Her article will be read by many lawyers. A lot of them will disagree with her, and some may even write a response to her article. Attack her arguments, she will expect that, but please do not attack her personally as stupid, hateful, or irresponsible. She wrote an interesting, provocative article that should be a wake up call to any home schooler complacent about their home school freedoms. I’d hope it would wake people up to thinking about how the movement is treating it’s daughters, but I won’t hold my breath on that one.

Side note: I have listened to Swanson’s broadcast where he outright says that girls who go to college will have three abortions and one night stands. I’m sorry, but there is no statistic that will support this for the general population of college educated women – this allegation is beyond absurd – and he does not, in his broadcast, cite any support for this statement. Nor has he retracted or clarified this statement in spite of numerous emails from concerned listeners.

  thatmom wrote @

Sarah, I am so glad to see you commenting on this thread…i was waiting for your expertise on this! Could you explain HSLDA’s parental Rights Amendment campaign?

  Maura wrote @

I am very much an outsider (as an as-yet-childless feminist attorney) and I am absolutely fascinated by vision forum and all that goes with it. I can’t tell you how happy I am to have found this site, and how wonderful it is to read critical discussion of the movement (as opposed to “look at the freakshow!” discussion, which *is* available elsewhere, but is not terribly interesting). so, um, cackle on!
I don’t see any kind of threat to the homeschooling community as described in the paper above, but I can tell you that I am personally very concerned about homeschooling as a phenomenon and wonder if I could ask your thoughts on a slightly off-topic question.
It troubles me that so many women who are clearly excellent teachers of their children have a knee jerk reaction to *any* suggestion of children’s rights. As a long time lurker on many forums and blogs, I can say absolutely that there are many, many children who are being neglected academically and medically, abused physically and psychologically (this is by no means a strictly “christian” phenomenon) and they have no meaningful exposure to any adults outside their own families who might intervene on their behalf. So when, again, excellent mothers (whose children are well cared for and working well above grade level) kick and scream at the thought of, say, a law that would require that the kids take a test or be visited in the home by a teacher for the most basic kind of assessment… I wonder how they justify fighting this kind of minor inconvenience when it’s clear that so many less fortunate children would deeply benefit from such a law.
I think that homeschooling is a wonderful thing, but I think that the HSLDA hurts children.
(As for Kevin Swanson – I get a huge kick out of him and the absurd things he says, and I find the repetitiveness of his show really soothing. I like to listen to it while I do housework, and wonder if he uses the same riffs just as endlessly when he’s off the air – “kids, this room is messy! this is a worldview problem! this messy room is just like the time rousseau abandoned his children on the steps of an orphanage!”)

  Corrie wrote @

“It troubles me that so many women who are clearly excellent teachers of their children have a knee jerk reaction to *any* suggestion of children’s rights.”

Maura,

Nice to meet you.

I am troubled, too. As a Christian, I do not think that parents have carte blanche rights over their children to do with what they may.

As far as “rights” that word will get you a knee-jerk reaction any time it is coupled with women or children. It appears, to me, that the only time a person has “rights” under the constitution is if that person is male.

Talk about a woman’s “right” to vote, and you will get the same reaction.

Talk about a man’s “right” to vote and you will be welcomed with open arms.

I agree with the basic premise that we, as believers, have no rights but that argument is only trotted out when the subject of women’s or children’s rights comes up. It is not trotted out when men’s “rights” come up.

Karen posted an article on Papa Pilgrim aka Robert Hale from Alaska who isolated and abused his wife and all 16 of his children because that was his biblical right as priest, prophet and king. I also wrote a little article about him.

I wonder if this family could have been rescued from his tyranny earlier if there were some sort of accountability to someone? Were these kids even educated?

This is a hard issue for me because I think both sides have some good arguments. But, I just can’t get myself to turn my back on the children who are being abused and violated and neglected just so that I can enjoy my “rights” to privacy. I also don’t want intrusive government telling me that I must teach their brand of truth- whether that be secular, evolutionary truth or what ever the ruling Christian majority says is “truth”.

There should be some standards and maybe more accountability at the church level is necessary?

I have no problems with tests. I have my children take tests every year. It helps me to know where they are at and it gives them experience at taking tests. It also helps when grandparents or relatives or onlookers are concerned. When I share with them that I have them tested with standardized tests, they seem to soften and relax. I want to be a good witness to non-homeschooling people and show them I have nothing to hide.

  Corrie wrote @

http://www.law.northwestern.edu/faculty/fulltime/Yuracko/Yuracko.html

Here is a link with some information on Kimberly Yuracko.

Sarah,

Thank you for weighing in here. I am always glad to read your point of view.

  Joseph Berger wrote @

Well, ladies I’m back because I had to work all day I wasn’t able to join the discussion. It seems that I caused quite a stir today. I am beginning to think that maybe it would be okay if women worked outside the home–then they wouldn’t be able to sit on blogs all day, gossiping, and not answering the question I posed last night.

Again, that question was: How does the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment apply to parents? No lawyer that I know of from HSLDA or from the ACLU would want to make such an absurd comment. I even heard the liberal legal professor Stephen Emmanuel point out the fact that only government entities can violate the constitution, not private individuals!

Sarah, if you are so sure that HSLDA has prepared a response to this law review article maybe you can provide it for us? I wasn’t able to get anything from them when I contacted them. I only found Scott Somerville’s take from his blog, which I posted last night. Now, as to your point about not wanting us to be too hard I believe it was G.K. Chesterton who said that “That which is ridiculous deserves to be ridiculed.” When a law professor makes an asinine argument such as the one Mrs. Y makes stating that the Equal protection clause applies to parents you better believe those that have any sense about them are going to ridicule that argument. Just like we ridicule the “right to privacy argument” in Griswold and the “so called right to abortion” in Roe v. Wade.

Now, I am not really sure I agree with Michael Farris that we need an amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting parental rights, but at least he and his fine organization understand that the Equal Protection Clause does not apply to parents!!!

As I mentioned yesterday in pointing out that just because you all don’t like the fact that some girls are not “given same opportunities as the boys,” well, I think you should be grateful that the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year pointed out that Homeschoolers have more freedoms then public school children. Justice Clarence Thomas in the United States Supreme Court decision Morse v. Frederick. The case addressed the alleged free speech rights of a teenager to display a banner at school promoting illegal drug use. He said:

“If parents do not like the rules imposed by those schools, they can seek redress in school boards or legislatures; they can send their children to private schools or home school them; or they can simply move.”

This was the first time Homeschooling was mentioned in an official Supreme Court case and Thomas point was that in public schools they can regulate what is taught and if you don’t like it you can home school your children because we can not tell parents what to teach their children!!!

So ladies, I am finished with this blog because you all can not stay on point. You link to a radical feminist liberal law professor who believes the state should mandate what parents teach their children and then say that you are justified in doing so because Doug Phillips and Stacy MacDonald are just too extreme and must be stopped at all cost! Give me a break! When are you going to start making real arguments instead of just bitter triads?

  Gene Steadman wrote @

I just thought I would tune back in to see if anyone had answered my question, but it is really hard to keep you on point. In case you missed it the questions was,

“Can anyone explain to me how the constitutional limitations apply to private individuals?”

Sarah, you were most on point so I will answer to you first.

I’m sorry Sarah, if you are familiar with the legal profession in any way you may want to read Kim Yuracko’s article again. Your assessment is a gross over simplification and a gross underestimation of the absurdity found therein.You said, “This is not shoddy or irresponsible scholarship” Yuracko wrote that the equal protection clause in the United States Constitution somehow applies to parents of home school children. Question, how does that happen? Yuracko also neglect the fact that states derive their obligation for education from the various State constitutions and even then most only go so far as to establish public education and not the “right to education”. States are in no way obligated by the Federal Government to provide education. (Outside of monetary coercion) Yuracko does not even touch on the issues that are common place in this area of law to show how she would get around them. To ignore them is indeed shoddy or irresponsible scholarship. I am not sure what kind of connection you have with HSLDA, but this is not at all the information I received when I talked with them about the article. In fact the response I got from HSLDA was quite the reverse.

You also wrote, “We may disagree with Yuracko’s premise, reasoning, or other arguments, but that is what law is all about – disagreement and the honing [sic] of argument.” By your comment you seem to think that law is somehow fluid and local. I have heard Mike Farris state his firm belief that law is transcendent and universal. I am not sure that he would agree that the “law is all about – disagreement and the honing [sic] of argument”. Law is never about argument for the sake of argument. While those of us in the legal profession may disagree about the application of fixed principles to a certain set of facts, the law must remain fixed for there to be any law and order.

Furthermore, if we are to extend respect and courtesy for “interesting, provocative” ideas of Mrs. Yuracko’s article, telling us that we should not call it shoddy or irresponsible” then how are you justified for going for the jugular in your comments about Swanson, saying his statements are “beyond ridiculous”. Perhaps the courtesy is only extended to feminists. Why is patriarchy not extended to the same consideration being equally respected and free from ad homonym attacks? You are being a bit hypocritical don’t you think? Not to mention, if that is what you believe, you are in posting in the wrong place.

And finally you said “Peer Review” has an entirely different context in terms of law (as opposed to science)” I completely agree, the context of law reviews have been far more subjective and conceptual than science. Modern legal scholarship finds itself in a sad state.

Corrie:

You learned Latin from teaching your children? I think that’s great! However, I think you are quite wrong here. I don’t want to get farther off topic so I am going to make my case one last time and give it up. I think with only a little teachability you will be able to concede this point. . However, if you want to defend the improper combination and continue to use it, I won’t be offended in the least.
The Latin word for patriot actually precedes the French by a few or more centuries. I have no idea what Spanish has to do with anything aside from its being a Latin language. In Latin the word for patriot is patriota. It is also reflected in the classical greek word patriôtçs which means lineage from the father. You said yourself that the stem means fatherland or rather from the fatherland. I hope I do not have to point out that father and fatherland do not mean the same thing. In every way you construe the word you do not get “father” centered but rather Fatherland centered, lineage-centered or in other words, centered on patriotism. I am amused that when you typed in “patriocentric” Karen popped up. I guess that should tell you something about the accuracy of its construction. Sorry I can’t say that I learned that from instructing my children. I learned it from the University of Notre Dame.

The proper word is patricentric. It can be found in most expansive dictionaries including the Merriam-Webster unabridged. It reflects the proper combination with the Latin stem with the ending. Here is the definition from the first dictionary that pops up on Google. Try it on for size.

1. patricentric – centered upon the father patriarchal – characteristic of a form of social organization in which the male is the family head and title is traced through the male line

On another note I had said that “The idea that we should be afraid that if we don’t police our own on issues sensitive to the State, then the liberals are going to pass laws is ridiculous.” Whether or not Homosexuality is a sin is irrelevant. My point is that Homosexuality is a hot and sensitive issue to the State. Should we be concerned that our involvement in that issue is going to bring home schooling under greater scrutiny because of our disregard for what the state deems as an issue of equal protection? If Mrs. Yuracko’s article is as legally viable as Sarah thinks it is, then this is a real possibility.

Lin, if it makes you feel any better you may keep the two points you gave yourself.

Look ladies, honestly, I have more productive things to do than to keep up with this little fringe group and its latest rants. However, I must say that I have not found any trace of the type of women in the Vision Forum camp that you criticize. They are putting out books while you are whispering on blogs. They are making documentaries while you are piggy backing off of second rate law review articles. For the simple minded women that you try to make them out to be, they have out done you in every way in communicating their ideas. Not to mention that I have never found any of them that seem anywhere near as miserable, bitter, and unruly as this group. But, if you prefer sitting idle at those computers all day pretending you have some noble calling…happy delusion.

  Cynthia Gee wrote @

“I want you all to deal with the issue at hand: namely does the state have the jurisdiction to tell parents how they can educate their children even for minimum constancy.”

If it does not, Mr. Berger, it certainly should have. All children have the right to certain things in this country, such as food, shelter, and adequate medical care. Children have a right to these things whether their parents wish to provide them or not, AND, if parents refuse to provide these things, legal steps are taken to remedy the situation.

Children also have the right to an adequate education; this is true whether they are boys or girls.
Homeschooling itself is a PRIVILEGE, not a right. Homeschooling parents who deliberately choose to provide a substandard education for their daughters should lose the privilege of homeschooling their children, and some would argue that they should lose custody of their children as well.

  sarah wrote @

Yuracko’s article argues for state regulation of home schooling so the state can meet its constitutional requirements. She does not argue that home schoolers violate the constitution or the equal protection clause in their act of home schooling. She simply argues the *state’s* failure to regulate home schooling violates the constitution. It’s a key distinction. You may also be interested to know that conservative law professor Steve Calabresi provided input for this article.

As a matter of fact, HSLDA lawyers have had this article for several months.

Kim Yuracko is not ridiculous, even if you think her ideas are. I requested that people represent themselves well by refraining from using derogatory personal statements as they respond to this article. Ridicule the legal arguments all you want, but don’t ridicule the person. That’s uncalled for, illogical, and unkind.

I have to agree with Maura point, because I’ve seen abuse in enough home school families and I think it just might be worth it for all of us to submit to some annual standardized testing if it helped prevent some of the problems out there. If we are not willing to police our own, as Karen noted in her post about Papa Pilgrim, then we deserve and need state intervention.

Of course, I’m also a feminist and almost a lawyer. Just so all the patriarch types can just write me off without another thought.

The Parental Rights Amendment is Michael Farris’s latest campaign. ParentalRights.org. Frankly, I think it’s probably a big waste of time – with the war and the energy crisis, I don’t think this kind of thing is going to get any political traction. Especially not with a Democratic congress.

  Lin wrote @

“Just like we ridicule the “right to privacy argument” in Griswold and the “so called right to abortion” in Roe v. Wade. ”

And yet…Roe is STILL law even though one cannot make a valid constitutional claim.

I did answer your question, Mr. Berger. You just did not like the answer. I mentioned Roe earlier because it became law. It is an example of bad law that is the law of the land today….even with your ridicule! :o)

Mr. Berger, we all know that many bad laws have passed from emotional arguements. (We can start with the New Deal and move forward) I would hate to see homeschoolers having to publicly defend the right to NOT educate their daughters as equally as their sons.

And keep in mind, even if this never gets that far, think of the response of the public if this unequal education issue becomes mainstream knowledge. Many well educated homeschooled young women could be adversly affected. I know that probably does not concern you…but it concerns me.

By the way, did you and Gene attend the same charm school? :o)

  Cynthia Gee wrote @

Gene Steadman:
“Not to mention that I have never found any of them that seem anywhere near as miserable, bitter, and unruly as this group. But, if you prefer sitting idle at those computers all day pretending you have some noble calling…happy delusion.”

Goodness, Gene, no need to rail at us — has anyone in this “miserable, bitter, and unruly” group called YOU names?

“Jud 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. ”
“1Pe 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. “

  Corrie wrote @

“I just thought I would tune back in to see if anyone had answered my question, but it is really hard to keep you on point. In case you missed it the questions was,”

Gene,

It is hard to keep us on point? LOL!

I went through your entire post and I stayed on YOUR point, or did you miss it? Also, Cindy addressed your point.

I understand that it is frustrating for you, as the rooster….er….I mean the man, to keep us old hens on point. :-)

Here is the entire first half of your post. Maybe you need to adjust your tuner because it seems to be a little off. I know this might be embarrassing to have to go back and read what you wrote but I was hoping that maybe you would apologize to Karen for correcting her when you were the wrong that was wrong.

“Don’t you mean “Patricentricity” and not “Patriocentricity”? The former means father centered while the later means patriot centered. In fact if you take the stem “Patrio” and Google it, Google will ask you, “did you mean patriot?” I am not sure if you were trying to make up your own word (which unknown to you; already had a meaning) or if you have just been misspelling the word all over the internet. There is nothing wrong with creating words as long as you use the proper stem with the proper ending. Remember, words are the vehicle to all thought. When you try to use long words to sound thoughtful, but use them wrong, it makes you look thoughtless. Another misusage can be pointed out by the way in which you seem to think that the words “scholarship” and “gossip” are interchangeable. However, judging from the complete disregard for sound scholarship on your site, it will not detract from your image one iota. Scholars write books and give lectures where they can be held academically accountable. Blogs like yours are for cackling old hens who only self certify the validity of what they say to other hens that cackle alike.”

  Maura wrote @

Ah, Gene. I love that Mr. Language Lesson is all worked up about “ad homonym attacks”. But more on point – “the law must remain fixed”?!? Since when?
Presumably (I dearly hope!) we can all agree with these general premises:
1. Parents have the right to raise their children as they see fit.
2. Parents do not have the right to rape, maim, or murder their children.
Presumably we all are wary of state intervention on the first, and would insist upon it in the second. So the issue isn’t *whether* the state should *ever* intervene in families – it’s really a question of degree. And what troubles me about much of the homeschooling community is that the issues are usually framed as though the second premise doesn’t exist, as though there were no question of degrees, as though children were the property of their parents with no individual rights. (i.e. a Kevin Swanson episode dedicated to the question “can a christian work for the department of social services?” his conclusion, not surprisingly, was that a christian could not).
I don’t agree with the reasoning of the article presented (any more than I expect Title IX to be cited when parents pay for their son to go to sports camp and don’t extend equivalent resources to their daughter) but it’s certainly true that what becomes the law of the land is rumbled about in articles long beforehand.

  Connie wrote @

Maura,

“So when, again, excellent mothers (whose children are well cared for and working well above grade level) kick and scream at the thought of, say, a law that would require that the kids take a test or be visited in the home by a teacher for the most basic kind of assessment… I wonder how they justify fighting this kind of minor inconvenience when it’s clear that so many less fortunate children would deeply benefit from such a law.”

Thanks for your comments. I share your concerns about the education (or lack thereof) of some homeschooled children. I have similar concerns about some of the children I know who attend public and private schools.

Iowa has a law that requires homeschooled children to take a standardized test or have a portfolio evaluated by a certified teacher or have a certain number of visits by a certified supervising teacher. However, in reality I’m not sure if this law actually helps children who are in the situations you describe.

As far as homeschooling, when it comes to tests and supervising teachers, there are several factors to consider. A lot depends on how good the supervising teacher is. I myself have a master’s degree in teaching, plus many additional graduate hours. This, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m a great teacher; it may just mean that I’ve jumped through a lot of hoops and spent a lot of time and money. (Too true about the hoops, time, and money.) However, if I tell you that one of my daughters got a perfect 36 on the ACT and the other got a 35 (this is true, by the way), maybe that would tell you that I’m a great teacher. After all, the proof is in the pudding. But then again, maybe I just have bright children who have learned to become good test-takers and have worked hard to master the subject matter or maybe my husband is a great teacher. (These are all true, too.)

When it comes to tests, what test? Whose standards? I have absolutely no problem with my children taking certain standardized tests. The ACT is a pretty good test, and preparing for it has been beneficial to my children’s education. However, I absolutely detest the new writing portion of the ACT. IMHO, it’s a very poor test that tells nothing about real writing ability and is a colossal waste of time!

A brief visit from a teacher, even a good teacher, doesn’t necessarily tell the teacher whole lot. I wish I had time time to develop this point. Maybe later.

  Joseph Berger wrote @

Sorry ladies, just one more question: Sarah you wouldn’t happen to be the Sarah Mehrens that works at HSLDA on the Federal relations Generation Joshua project would you? You seem to have a lot of inside information with regard to HSLDA.

It’s still confusing because your information regarding the law review article is conflicting with the information I’m getting from the HSLDA legal department, but it would explain it if you were in the Federal relations department.

  Corrie wrote @

“However, if you want to defend the improper combination and continue to use it, I won’t be offended in the least.
The Latin word for patriot actually precedes the French by a few or more centuries. ”

Gene,

I am always glad to remain teachable. You referencing the Latin word for patriot does not change anything, imho. The english word came from the French word which came from the Latin word which came from the Greek word. And your point?

So, it is your contention that “patriocentricity” actually means patriot centered? Do you have a reference for that?

Patris means fatherland not father. Patria means clan or family.

Your contention is that patricentricity doesn’t refer to the fatherland but that patriocentricity does when both of them are variations of the original root word for father?

Pater or patros means father.

I am trying to see, after looking at the logic of your argument, why Karen’s term is so off the mark in your eyes?

“I have no idea what Spanish has to do with anything aside from its being a Latin language. ”

It has as much to do with your original statement about googling “patrio” and it asking you if you meant “patriot”. And somehow from there you came to the conclusion that patriocentricity actually meant patriot centered.

“In fact if you take the stem “Patrio” and Google it, Google will ask you, “did you mean patriot?””

Is this not what you said?

Your knowledge has sure sharpened in this regard from your first post to this last post. I am sure you are keeping Google very busy. :-) Oh, that’s right, you said you learned all of this at Notre Dame.

Karen,

Gene is a lawyer, so he must be right. I am just a lowly housewife who has been put in her place. You are just an old cackling hen. Time to get back to baking bread and making ice tea and time to stop venturing out with dangerous opinions of our own.

Especially when we have such charming, Christian lawyer-friends like Joseph and Gene.

I would think that Romans 14 applies to this discussion. We could surely change the wording so as not to offend Gene, no?

  Maura wrote @

Connie,
I agree with you that laws vary from state to state, and I am equally skeptical of various tests. My point is more that – well, once we are discussing which tests would demonstrate which skills…. and which skills would indicate that the child is receiving the minimal education that is his or her right as a citizen of this country – then we’re already on the right track, and we’re already in agreement. I have noticed, however, (often from women who I admire as teachers and mothers and people) a sort of paranoia when it comes to any suggestion that the state should take an interest in the education of its children. And that’s what I take issue with. I live in Massachusetts, where families homeschool with approval and leave of the local school board, and I know that for many in other states, this level of control would seem abhorrent. Still – I know of a family (not christian, for the record) where the mother’s philosophy of education and the town’s lack of oversight have resulted in a ten year old boy who cannot read, nor write, nor does he have even basic numeracy skills. This kid is basically feral, and at this point, where the school system has finally seen fit to “revoke” the “homeschooling privilege” he is now faced with reintegrating into the school system as a special needs student. I fear that he’ll never catch up, frankly, and I feel that both his parents and the state have failed him. As a citizen of Massachusetts, I feel personally accountable for this kid, and I’m wondering how many others are out there.

  Marcy Muser wrote @

Maura,

I respect your thoughtful question about why homeschooling parents so often react strongly to suggestions of children’s rights. Here’s why I oppose the idea.

First, who defines what the child’s rights are? There are many who believe the child has a right to “free association” – meaning the parent can’t tell them, “I’m sorry, daughter, but that friend is not healthy for you and you may not be around her any more.” (This is in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which the US has thankfully not signed.) There are those who believe the child has the right to freedom of religion – meaning parents can’t require a reluctant 8-year-old to go to church with the family (though the 8yo probably has no problem with Christianity and simply doesn’t want to have to sit still for an hour in the service). (This is also in the UN Convention on the RIghts of the Child.) There are many who believe a child has a right to attend school, a right to learn evolution as a fact, a right to be taught by his teachers to doubt anything his parents say.

You see, someone has to make the decisions about what the child’s rights are, and apart from certain basics such as food, shelter, clothing, and education, there is little agreement on that subject. Even when limited to those four issues, there is controversy: what constitutes shelter? Is a cardboard box a shelter? How about a homeless shelter? An apartment shared with Grandma and Grandpa and several aunts, uncles, and cousins? And what constitutes an adequate education? If I decide my 6-year-old doesn’t really need to learn about saving the rain forest, but needs to concentrate on reading, there are those who would say I am compromising her education. If I think my 11-year-old should learn the science of creation, and should be able to respond to the arguments of evolutionists, I can name you right now at least 10 people I know of who would say (and do say) that I am abusing her, teaching her lies, and handicapping her ability to think critically for the rest of her life. Again, the question is, who decides? Do I, as her parent and the single person in the world who knows her best, get to make those decisions? Or does some authority figure or committee somewhere who’s never met my daughter decide?

OK, now what’s wrong with testing? (And incidentally, I do test my children every year, though my state only requires it every other, because I like to know how they are doing.) The problem with testing is that it doesn’t account for differences in children. My older daughter, for example, was reading chapter books at five. She tests a full year ahead of her age/grade level and rarely scores below 90th percentile. My younger daughter, however, with the same home teacher and the same educational environment, is not quite reading fluently at nearly 8. I have yet to give her a test, and when I do I will worry a bit, because I’m not sure how she’ll do. Fortunately in our state the legal requirement for homeschoolers is only that they must score above the 13th percentile; but in most states homeschoolers are required to achieve at least the 50th percentile (though the children in their neighborhood schools may not do anywhere near that well). Not only that, there is significant evidence, and there are many homeschooling parents who believe, that early schooling (before age 8 or 9) is not helpful to kids and in fact may harm them. Children whose parents choose to delay formal education for a few years generally catch up to their peers within a year or two. Children, especially in the early years, can’t be compared very well with other children, and that makes testing a poor way of determining how good an education a child is getting. Not only that, who writes the test? Who decides what a child should learn in a given year? Last year when my daughter took the 6th-grade test, she was terribly frustrated wiht many of the “politically correct” questions in the history and science sections of the test, questions she considered nearly irrelevant compared to “real science” – the scientific method, physics, chemistry, biology – and “real history.” She still answered them correctly, because she is highly gifted and we had time to get to those issues as well – but what about those kids who need more time on the basics? Who gets to decide what my child needs to learn?

As for having a teacher visit in the home, in many cases this could work out fine. The problem is which teacher you get. There are many teachers who strongly believe any form of homeschooling is abusive. There are teachers who believe teaching a child creationism is abusive. There are teachers who believe if you believe in God, you can’t possibly be giving your child an adequate education. There are teachers who don’t know how to do a long division problem. I nearly finished my education degree, 25 years ago, before deciding on a different career; I passed tests with flying colors that many of my peers had to retake over and over; and I can testify that while there are many dedicated teachers, there is nothing special about earning an degree in education that guarantees a person can even teach well, let alone that they are free enough of prejudice to determine whether someone else is doing a good job educating their child. Suppose, for example, an African-American teacher comes to my house to assess my children and discovers my 7-year-old can’t tell her who Rosa Parks is, or my 11-year-old can’t identify a quote from MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech. That teacher might decide I’m not giving my children a good enough education – though they could talk at length about ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome; they could demonstrate the molecular reaction between vinegar and baking soda using styrofoam balls for atoms; they could both describe the plot of 10 different children’s classics without blinking an eye.

Maybe you’ve heard the adage, “If guns are made illegal, only criminals will have guns.” Regardless of whether you agree with that adage or not, may I suggest that if homeschooling is regulated, only those who are really homeschooling will submit to the regulations. Those who claim to be homeschooling but are using it as a cover for abuse (and while they do exist, my husband has been a social worker for 20 years and has never seen a case), will continue to hide and to abuse their children. If you’ve ever read the book “A Child Called It,” you know that child went to school regularly and was still terribly abused. If you peruse most news articles on abused children, you’ll also discover most of these people either sent their kids to school or were supposed to, and somehow they still slipped by “under the radar.” So regulating homeschooling is not likely to help avoid most cases of child abuse, and it IS likely to create problems for legitimate homeschoolers.

Now do you see why I object to any government interference in how I educate my children? The real question comes down to who makes the decisions about what is best for my kids – the government, through individuals or committees, or me as their parent, living with them day in and day out, observing and interacting and loving them?

I hope this helps clarify a little.

  Maura wrote @

Marcy,
I totally understand what you’re saying, and I agree that parents that love their kids know their kids better than anyone. But if we can all agree that not all parents “love” their kids, then there needs to be room for others to intervene. And I know that for me, although I can understand the horror of the idea that someone might make a mistake (and I’m sure I’ll understand it ten thousand times better if I ever have a child) the reality is that child abuse exists and that a political position that the state must never intervene is frightening to me. For example – once, when I was little, my mother was giving my baby brother a bath in the sink and the dishwasher backed up and he was burned. It was horrible – and my neighbor had to drive my mother to the doctor’s because she was too much beside herself to drive. The pediatrician said to her, “if I hadn’t known you for ten years, I’d have to call DSS!” Now, putting aside how insensitive a comment this was – I think this sort of illustrates the divide I’m talking about. My mother, and I, are really glad to live in a society where a baby boy with a burned scrotum raises an eyebrow. I’m glad that I live in a country where, absent personal knowledge about the family, this kind of thing would lead to a home visit and investigation. And it worries me that there are people who would be against such intervention. And it *further* worries me – as a supporter of homeschooling! – that homeschooling organizations take an explicit stance that families are not to be interfered with, and that teachers, doctors, and social workers are seen as enemies (when so often, they save children’s lives).

  Annie C wrote @

Is it just me or does it seem that when women are talking over an issue amongst themselves, no matter how intelligently it’s always “gossip”?

  Corrie wrote @

Mr Steadman,

” They are putting out books while you are whispering on blogs. ”

Yes, they are putting out books. And, that means what? Do you know how many books are published a year? Does writing a book mean something? I always thought it was the content that meant something. I would rather have less books with better content than more books where anything goes.

That would be like saying that Ms. Yuracko was out writing legal papers while you are whispering on a woman’s blog.

I just wonder what your point was?

“They are making documentaries while you are piggy backing off of second rate law review articles.”

Did you see the documentary?

I find it ironic that you are here criticizing Ms. Yuracko’s paper and you feel you have the freedom to do that but, when we criticize a book or a documentary we are called “cackling old hens”, “bitter”, “gossips” and we are falsely accused of wasting all of our time in front of the computer. How do you know this about us?

Shall I do unto you as you have done unto us? Maybe you are just bitter, lazy and looking for fights. I think I have much more cause to accuse you of being bitter, spiteful and malicious because of your name-calling.

Maybe you are a slacker who spends his time on the internet cruising websites on company time? Maybe you are a dead-beat husband or father because you have taken the time to post on this blog and it has taken time away from your family?

Oh, by the way, when was the last time you beat your wife?

That is just what you and your friend Joseph (if those are really your real names???) have done to us. If these are not your real names, then you fall into the category that Doug Phillips describes: anonymous internet assassins.

“For the simple minded women that you try to make them out to be, they have out done you in every way in communicating their ideas.”

For the record, I hardly think of these women as “simple-minded”. I have yet to find anyone to say anything close to that! That is an argument based on emotion and not fact or reason.

“Not to mention that I have never found any of them that seem anywhere near as miserable, bitter, and unruly as this group.”

Of course not. Would we expect you to say any different? It is like you all have the same playbook and you just repeat the same mantra.

No surprise and nothing new with that accusation.

“But, if you prefer sitting idle at those computers all day pretending you have some noble calling…happy delusion.”

Gene, you have no idea what we accomplish in a day, do you but that won’t stop you from hitting below the belt and falsely accusing, will you?

I am not a lawyer but I thought lawyers have to have some sort of PROOF before they can make these sorts of accusations? My house is as neat as a pin, my family is well-fed, my wash is caught up, my house is decorated for Christmas and all my Jesse tree ornaments are made for Advent. I am involved in my church and I care for my neighbors.

But, most importantly, my children are being WELL-educated and I am giving them every opportunity to know the ways of God through His word and to be equipped to follow them in however He calls them.

I am certainly far from perfect and I am quick to admit what I am guilty of but I am NONE of the things you have called me and neither are the other women that contribute (of which I know personally) to this blog. Basically, the majority of your argument is ad hominem and that is very telling.

I want to thank you, most of all, for proving to all the attitude that is so pervasive in the patricentric (why is spell-checker flagging this word when I spell it correctly?) movement. Your posts have been good for this discussion. Most people have to learn by experience and you and your friend Joseph have given readers quite the picture of patriarchal manhood.

God Bless you and yours. I sincerely mean that.

  sarah wrote @

Gene,

I described Kevin Swanson’s assertion that college leads to 3 abortions as beyond ridiculous. I do not call Kevin ridiculous or hateful, as I have seen alleged about Kim Yuracko. I’m not perfect, of course, but I do try.

I don’t think anyone here alleges the Botkins, Stacy, or Jennie to be simple minded. It’s precisely that they’re so effective that does give us pause. We want stay at home moms to be encouraged. We just want them encouraged in fashion that does not impose extra-biblical rules or foster unhealthy relationships.

Wash your hands of us if you’d like. But if we don’t talk about the extremism in our movement, Kim Yuracko and others like her will.

  sarah wrote @

No, I am not that Sarah Mehrens. But I do know this article was emailed to attorneys at HSLDA this summer.

  Maura wrote @

Yes, when women are speaking, it’s gossip. and it’s hen clucking and it’s cymbal clanging. Also, if you don’t talk about what the particular commenter (not the person who actually posted the blog post) wants to talk about, you aren’t “staying on topic”.

  MC wrote @

““For the simple minded women that you try to make them out to be, they have out done you in every way in communicating their ideas.””

Gene,

Are you sure about that? For communicating so clearly, there sure seems to be an awful lot of confusion and evasion and deleting going on.

“Also, if you don’t talk about what the particular commenter (not the person who actually posted the blog post) wants to talk about, you aren’t “staying on topic” ”

Maura,

Isn’t that the truth?!

  Corrie wrote @

Karen,

I am sorry to veer so off-topic but I thought you would be interested in this article I found.

It is the first usage of “patricentric” that I have found used in Christian writing. I have seen the word used in evolutionary and anthropological articles but I have yet to see Christians us that term….until now. Really, the first time I even heard that term was when you used it and then a discussion at truewomanhood ensued about its usage.

“Citing Old Testament scholar Daniel Block, Kostenberger identifies the family in ancient Israel as patrilineal, patrilocal, and patriarchal. As Block helpfully suggests, the Old Testament family might best be described as “patricentric.” In other words, the family is centered around the father.

In the New Testament, the structures of marriage and family are explicitly affirmed, even as the church is identified as the new family of faith. Nevertheless, the emergence of the church does not eliminate marriage, family, or the bonds and responsibilities established in Creation.”

Not to quibble over word usage but I am not quite sure that the Jews were strictly patrilineal. This is a debate within Judaism. Matrilineal descent was practiced for much of the history of the Jewish people. It seems to have been adopted around 500 B.C. Jesus’ lineage was traced both through his mother and Joseph.

In 1983, the Reformed movement made a patrilineal descent ruling where the temple accepted the children of Jewish fathers and non-Jewish mothers without a conversion ceremony. The Reconstructionist Jews then followed suit.

It seems that *now* either/or/both are practiced where it was matrilineal for the past 2500 plus years or so. If your father was a Jew but your mother wasn’t, then you were not a Jew but had to convert.

My husband is from Jewish descent. Both of his parents are Jews but his lineage is traced through his mother’s side to determine which tribe he is descended from.

As far as being “patrilocal”? Genesis tells us that a MAN shall LEAVE his father and mother and be joined to his wife. Abraham was told to leave his father’s country. Jacob went to his wifes’ home. Jesus didn’t seem to concerned about a man’s ties to his father’s home and making sure a follower stayed “patrilocal”.

I think a lot of this patriolocal and patrilineal practice is just manmade tradition. I can’t find any basis for it, one way or another, in the Bible. There is no way that I would label it “biblical” and then base binding doctrine on it.

This is from an article done by Albert Mohler and it is a book review for “God, Marriage and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation”.

http://www.albertmohler.com/commentary_read.php?cdate=2006-05-17

  Lynn wrote @

and then say that you are justified in doing so because Doug Phillips and Stacy MacDonald are just too extreme and must be stopped at all cost!

Wow! What a lie. Ladies, this guy comes on and makes some points, and then blows it all by saying that.

Or can somebody show where we want Vision Forum stopped “at all cost?”

  Cindy Kunsman wrote @

Quoting Spurgeon:

Complicity with error will take from the best of men the power to enter any successful protest against it. If any body of believers has errorists among them, but were resolute to deal with them in the Name of the Lord, all might come right, but confederacies founded upon the principle that all may enter, whatever views they hold, are based upon disloyalty to the truth of God. If truth is optional, error is justifiable….

It is hard to get leaven out of dough, and easy to put it in. This leaven is already working. Our daring to unveil this deep design [that is, this deep-laid scheme] is inconvenient, and of course it brings upon our devoted head all manner of abuse. But that matters nothing so long as the plague is stayed.

Oh, that those who are spiritually alive in the churches may look to this thing, and may the Lord Himself baffle the adversary.”

  Lynn wrote @

Thatmom:
Marcy, I agree that we must be wise in who we reference as “experts” or “authorities” and I want to be clear that that was not my purpose. I was not deeming Kim Y. to be an expert, but rather, someone who is concerned about some of the same things I am concerned about, but also someone who does not share my convictions about homeschooling and thus could seek to use those concerns to bring an end to freedoms we do have through the position she also has.

I agree and understood your point, thatmom? Why can’t those two “gentlemen” who came on here to rant away see that? I think I know the reason why. For a hint, read Strackbein’s nonsense to Don Veinot on his blog, or Brian Abshire’s response.

It appears to me these men are are stuffing huge straw men to knock down because it is in their interests to do so.

Also:

However, I must say that I have not found any trace of the type of women in the Vision Forum camp that you criticize. They are putting out books while you are whispering on blogs. They are making documentaries while you are piggy backing off of second rate law review articles.

My respect for lawyers is now at an all-time low.

You’re really showing yourselves when you write this fallacious nonsense.

  Lynn wrote @

Also, if you don’t talk about what the particular commenter (not the person who actually posted the blog post) wants to talk about, you aren’t “staying on topic”.

I know. Pretty boorish behavior.

  Lynn wrote @

http://www.comparative-religion.com/forum/exegesis-vs-eisogesis-184.html

http://www.covenantseminary.edu/worldwide/en/ST200/ST200_SG_09.pdf

Karen, the reason I posted these two links is because they use the term “eisogesis.”

When I first came on the Yahoo Gothard_discussion list, I came into contact with that term, and with reference to Bible study, it means reading one’s ideas into the text instead of drawing out the primary meaning of a given text — the true interpretation of the text — which is accomplished by exegesis.

Once I mentioned “eisogesis” on the GDL and I was told that the proper spelling was “eisegesis.” Now keep in mind the person who took issue with me did not write such rude, arrogant, condescending posts to me about the term, such as I have seen here. He claimed I was misspelling the word and wanted to issue a correction.

But I just Googled the term and found it is spelled both ways in many places. And from the looks of it, by intelligent people, too! ;-)

Just wanted to note this. I am not a linguist, etymologist, nor am I a lawyer, but I can see these two “men” making issues out of nothing and wanting to do a snow job on this thread, and just wanted to point out that variant spellings are used all the time.

  Lynn wrote @

Oh, yeah, in thinking about the identities of these two “men” — for some reason “He who defines, wins” comes to mind, and Karen, you beat them to the punch with the definition, so . . . you go, girl! :-)

  thatmom wrote @

Lynn, actually I think the phrase ought to e “SHE who defines, wins!”

  thatmom wrote @

Here is the etymology of thatmom’s coined word “patriocentricity,” just to put this baby to rest.

I kept hearing the word “hyper-patriarchy” and other such phrases to describe those within the contemporary church and within homeschooling communities who held views of fathers and their relationship to their families. The word “patriarch” in this context didn’t quite describe the mutations I was seeing and “hyper” didn’t really say it, either.

Then, one day, I thought about the word “ecclesiocentricity” to describe the notion that the elders of a church and their interpretations of the Bible are central within the church, and it occurred to me that “patriocentricity” would be the perfect word to describe the phenomena I and others had observed.

Patriocentrists, by stating that wives and children have no callings of their own directly from the Lord, but rather, have one purpose, that of helping the family patriarch fulfill his calling, have really named themselves.

I chose to spell the word this way in order to set it apart from the sociological term “patricentricity” and anyone who has spent any time reading the TW blog, where I first used this term, or here or has listened to the patriarchy/patriocentricity podcasts, knows exactly what I have defined and why the choice of the word and the spelling.

So, I hope that settles the issue. And I think, since I coined the phrase and defined it, I can spell it any way I want to spell it. In fact, isn’t this the way new words come to be a part of the language?

  thatmom wrote @

Sarah, thanks for the link. I am never very comfortable with constitutional amendments and now that HSLDA is promoting Vision Forum I am even more uncomfortable.

  Lynn wrote @

http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/christocentric.html

Here’s an interesting link from 2005 where the author discusses the term “patriocentric” referring to “centering around God the Father.”

Quote from the link:
Should biblical Christian churches be Christ-centered (Christocentric)? Should the doctrines of the Father (Patriology) and the Holy Spirit (Pnematology) also be equally emphasized? Can a church be Patriocentric or Pnemacentric and be biblical?

And here is Lindsey @ enjoythe ourney, and it is not 100% clear, but she might be using the term in 2007 to mean “centered around country” here, but could also be using to mean “centered around the father”:

http://www.haloscan.com/comments/coxclan5/2545812770137074699/

They (VF) elevate “country” to the same level as “God” in the statement “God and country.” While I am a very proud, patriotic American citizen, it is not what defines my faith. My faith in God is so much higher than my love for country that I really can’t compare the two. It is like comparing apples and oranges. But VF seems to take the love for America and equate it into his patriocentric models.

Maybe she can stop in and tell what she meant by the usage of the term in that comment?

Here is a link where someone questions whether the term means “centered around the fatherland” —

http://www.drweevil.org/archives/000008.html

Anyway, on the long dull trip from Detroit to Toronto, I was ethnocentric (patriocentric?) enough that I couldn’t help thinking of kilometers as ‘Canadian miles’ — like Canadian dollars, they look like miles but it takes a lot more of them to cover the same drive, or purchase, as the case may be.

I found a link to a New England Patriot’s site that used the term “patriocentric,” but that was probably referrring to the team, so we will skip that . . .

Here is a link where a commenter uses the term to mean “centered around one’s country,” and he makes it clear that he means that:

http://ca.answers.yahoo.com/answers2/frontend.php/question?qid=20071016075646AA1XQnj

I believe in patriotism – we can see its effects all around us. I don’t think there is anything wrong with love of one’s country. Indeed it can have many benefits – it can encourage us to do good things for others, to bond together in tragedies, etc. It becomes dangerous when it transgresses into patriocentricity or ethnocentricity – where one’s own nation is seen not only as the best, but others as inferior, unworthy, and incapable.

Note that this commenter had the courtesy to define what he meant by the term, just like Karen did.

I’ve seen the term used both ways, Karen, and as long as you define what you mean when you use the term, as you did, that should be enough. As far as I can tell, neither you nor Stacy misspelled the word.

  thatmom wrote @

Corrie, you are not off-topic. I find it a little presumptuous that Gene or Joseph can drop into someone’s blog and decide for the blog owner what is off topic and what is not. And, am I mistaken, or Gene, weren’t you the one who started the “off-topic” discussion on the meaning of the word “patriocentricity?”

  Lynn wrote @

Oops, I typed that in before I saw you calling that part of the discussion dead.

Sorry.

  thatmom wrote @

Lynn, I welcome any comments about patriocentricity etc…..whether it is about the orgins of the word or not.

I just wanted to be sure that my own “etymology” of the word is understood by Gene or anyone else who may be ignorant of the coining of the phrase as it applies to this topic!

Share away…… :)

  thatmom wrote @

“I find the repetitiveness of his show really soothing.”

Maura, you gave me my laugh for the day!

Soothing? I think this proves why some people love Raisinettes and some people think that the words “raisin” and “chocolate” should never be used in the same sentence! :)

  thatmom wrote @

Connie, you made some great points.

With 6 children, I have seen such a variety of learning styles, abilities in different subjects, etc. I have one son with learning disabilities and teaching him has been an incredible challenge. I have musically gifted children and children who would rather have been sent to the Russian front than to have sat down at the piano for a single lesson. I have one child I never tested on reading comprehension because he could repeat back to me, from memory, nearly every single thing he ever read. I have a child who repeatedly wanted to know so many details about anything to do with people to the point it drove me crazy. How do I know who is in the ambulance, what happened to him, and if his mom knows he is in there? But that same son is a sales manager today, one of his greatest strengths being his ability to tune in to the needs of his customers. And on it goes.

And that is the beauty of homeschooling. At its core is the belief that children will flourish in an environment where they are treated like individuals, created in God’s image, with gifts, talents, abilities, and callings each their own.

Connie, thanks for reminding us all of this truth.

  thatmom wrote @

So, I found out something interesting this afternoon. When laws are being written, it is standard procedure for congressmen to cite research papers, such as this one, in order to state their case. In fact, they are happy to do this because these papers have been so well researched that the congressman doesn’t need to do the research himself.

  Jen wrote @

Wow, I miss a day and I can’t begin to keep up with this conversation! Just a couple thoughts.

Marcy: “Quite frankly, no matter how much the VF people believe this, they can’t enforce it anyway once the girls are adults.”

Marcy, that is exactly one of our main concerns. I hope Sarah comes back because I think she can address this one quite well. The problem is that the girls are so brainwashed that they either have to completely rebel against their own family or they feel such a tremendous load of guilt in choosing anything different from their parents — ie, they would not be honoring their parents — that they just give in and go along to get along. Some girls do buy into this vision, but most do not and the results are extremely sad indeed.

Corrie, I loved the Latin lessons! I googled “Patricentric” to see what I could find as well and came up with this:

“Block suggests that the term “patricentric” be substituted for “patriarchy” because this term “corresponds more closely to the Israelite model reflected in the expression . . . `house of the father,’ and allows for the biblical ideal, which emphasizes the responsibility of the father for the welfare of the household rather than his power over its members” (Judges, Ruth, Block, Daniel. p. 94, n. 68)

Therefore, if “patricentric” is being used to show that the fathers care for the welfare of the household, then perhaps Karen’s term is better in that it shows where the focus really lies.

  Jen wrote @

I guess WordPress didn’t like my html code. “Judges, Ruth” is the name of the book authored by Daniel Block.

  Corrie wrote @

Jen,

Great information concerning patricentric. Very interesting.

I agree with you about the term “patriocentric” and that it does show where the focus really lies.

Good job, Karen.

  Cindy Kunsman wrote @

Though this quote is from a book entitled “Take Back Your Life” by Lalich,
she also has a book entitled “Bounded Choice.” This was a nice, concise statement of it though from her newer book. I believe this is what many of us are concerned about:

(pg 50 from “Take Back Your Life”)

“In other words, neither the charismatic leader nor others in the group need to be present to tell a follower what to do; rather, having internalized the lessons and adapted her outlook, the loyal and true believer knows precisely what she needs to do to stay in the good graces of the all-knowing and all powerful leader. The true believer need only ‘imagine’ what actions to take, knowing full well that she will act within the bounds of the cult reality, for in a sense her self has merged with the leader and the group.

What other reality is there? The one thing the devoted adherents cannot imagine is life outside the group. In other words, the cult member is constrained by both external (real or imagined) and internal sanctions. At this point, whatever choices remain are “bounded” ones. They are choices, yes, but not free ones. They are choices of life or death — figuratively, and, in some cases, literally.”

  Corrie wrote @

As I reflect back through this thread it seems that those who promote no college for women, and the focus of any education to prepare them to be wives and mothers, really do not have a high regard for uneducated housewives and their opinions.

I watched “Return of the Daughters” and how these girls are supposedly at a PHd level in their education without really going to school but when it comes to veteran homeschooling mom(s) and her YEARS of education and experience, that really means NOTHING to men like Gene and Joseph. Actually, it really seems like our education is a joke to them.

If I have been teaching Latin since 1993 to my children, does that mean that I am not as learned as Gene who allegedly learned Latin at Notre Dame? Not according to Passionate Housewives, So Much More and Return of the Daughters but in reality, it looks as if Joseph and Gene don’t *really* believe what is taught in the materials they promote.

I am starting to think that the patriocentrists really don’t believe that a woman is as smart as those who do go to college. I am really starting to think that they do not truly respect housewives who are self-educated nor do they respect their opinion but they brush it off as “cackling old hens”. I wonder if that would fly in a courtroom in front of a female judge? I wonder if ad hominem argument works in a court room setting?

But, yet again, a degreed and accomplished judge, even if female, deserves more respect than some lowly “under-educated” homeschool moms and grandmas of MANY.

I am starting to see why people aren’t buying what is being sold. After participating in this thread, I believe even less the words that I have read in their materials. The only respect for housewives that is given are to those women who tow the line and agree with the powers that be.

When a woman agrees and tows the line with the Patriarchs, she is able to doggedly go after pastors and other ecclesiastical authority without being impugned for being a “cackling old hen” or a “ranting, miserable, unhappy, bitter, gadabout who neglects her home and family”. These favored women are able to write books and blog all they want without worrying about being assailed with falsely ascribed motives.

Because of this discussion, I am even more set on going back to college and finishing up my degree and hopefully going on to law school. Because if “Gene” and “Joseph” are the typical example of young, male Christian lawyers , then we are in trouble.

Gene and Joseph are you with HSLDA, either one of you? I want to thank you because God has truly used you to clarify His vision for my life. Now I am focused and I may not be writing books and producing documentaries as a show of my worth but I am hoping, in my own small way, to change the world for good.

  Light wrote @

Here’s a little joke to lighten things up. Some of you may have seen this one before.

How many patriocentrists does it take to change a lightbulb?

Only one. He holds the lightbulb … and the whole household revolves around him!

  Lynn wrote @

Good one, Light. That pun matches your name!!

  sarah wrote @

Light,

I am laughing so hard at your little joke. Thanks for cheering us all up.

Jen,

In terms of adult children not growing into what the movement is hoping, it is so true. I think of all the people I know who were home schooled who have entirely rejected what they were taught by their parents. I know girls who are brainwashed and are going to have to deal with the ramifications of being poorly educated, difficult to employee, and in many ways not even eligible for marriage. I know other girls, and boys, disowned or estranged from their parents for such crazy things as wanting to pursue higher education or refusing to submit to arranged marriage. I know girls who have had to run away from home, girls in their mid-20s, because of abuse in the patriocentric homes. I know home school girls who are literally domestic slaves to their mothers and get no “book learnin” aside from housekeeping skills from age about 15 on.

The problem with this is, you either have to keep these young people in isolation their entire life, or you “lose” them when the get a glimpse of the “real” world and discover they’ve been brainwashed, lied to, and controlled for years.

Most do love their families a lot, and many of the older girls have an almost maternal connection with their younger siblings. This makes it very hard to leave, no matter how appalling the abuse or how crushed the spirit (note Elishaba Hale, who did not leave home until she was convinced her life was in jeopardy). What a cruel dilemma for so many young ladies! I have known a couple, personally, who tried to take their own life because this was too much for them.

Honestly, I could write for a long time on this subject. Real girls are being permanently scarred. Patriarchy tears families and lives apart.

  thatmom wrote @

And how about this one….

How many patriocentrists does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but first he has to check Doug’s blog to see how it is done.

  sarah wrote @

You’re right Karen, I’m sure there is only one, true Biblical way to change a light bulb.

How about this?

How many patriocentrists does it take to change a lightbulb?

None. His wife of children serve by doing it for him (based on carefully written, Biblical instructions, of course).

  TulipGirl wrote @

Maura,

Marcy eloquently answered the main concerns I have about state intervention among homeschoolers.

One thing she didn’t mention is that many veteran homeschoolers remember when homeschooling was barely legal. And even if legal, certainly not common enough to be acceptable or normal. Much has changed in the last two decades, but still there is lingering. . . fear. Having known families who were harassed by CPS or were caught in legal entanglements because they homeschooled or were not “mainstream” enough leads me to be more than cautious about adding more requirements. And considering the significant harm that was done to the families in the name of protecting the children. . . well. . . I’m sure in light of that you can understand why often there is hesitation among homeschool families to welcome what seems to be government intrusion into their families.

That said–of course homeschool families are not free from abuse, neglect, dysfunction. However, adding gov’t homeschool regulations doesn’t seem to be the best way to address those issues.

  Corrie wrote @

I was saving this lightbulb joke for such a time as this-

Q: How many misogynists does it take to change a light bulb?

A: None, let the wench cook my dinner in the dark.

Now, who said that feminists don’t have a sense of humor?

  Maura wrote @

Tulip Girl,
Thanks for your comment! Well, if government homeschool regulations *aren’t* the best way to address abuse, neglect, and dysfunction in homeschooling families… what is the best way? I do think it’s a very real problem…. if we agree that children have a right to an education – and that parents do not have the right to purely opt out of “school” entirely and just have wild, truant kids (and maybe we don’t agree on this point?)… then it seems that there has to be some kind of oversight as to how children are faring, no?

  Lin wrote @

” if we agree that children have a right to an education – and that parents do not have the right to purely opt out of “school” entirely and just have wild, truant kids (and maybe we don’t agree on this point?)… then it seems that there has to be some kind of oversight as to how children are faring, no?”

You bring up an interesting point. Where is the law that says children have a right to an education? It was not considered the domain of the government to educate children 200 years ago, was it?

Then we had Brown vs Board of Ed, etc., etc.,

But now public education is considered a right for all children and it is regulated in many ways. If one has children in public school, try not sending them for a while and see what happens.

This is my point to Mr. Berger about laws, regulations, etc.,

A few bad apples always spoil it for the whole bunch. If the public gets the idea that some young women are not being educated equally to young men ON PURPOSE there will be an outcry for regulation. hence, we must speak out against this injustice toward some homeschooled girls.

  Rebecca wrote @

What a fascinating discussion!

TulipGirl wrote:

“Marcy eloquently answered the main concerns I have about state intervention among homeschoolers.

One thing she didn’t mention is that many veteran homeschoolers remember when homeschooling was barely legal. And even if legal, certainly not common enough to be acceptable or normal. Much has changed in the last two decades, but still there is lingering. . . fear. Having known families who were harassed by CPS or were caught in legal entanglements because they homeschooled or were not “mainstream” enough leads me to be more than cautious about adding more requirements. And considering the significant harm that was done to the families in the name of protecting the children. . . well. . . I’m sure in light of that you can understand why often there is hesitation among homeschool families to welcome what seems to be government intrusion into their families.”

Excellent point. That’s why I had to laugh when I read Gene Steadman’s question:

“Since when did the home school movement go on the defense?”

I thought to myself, he must be so very, very young — or have little or no experience with the “homeschooling movement” at all! Those of us “old hens”, as he so respectfully referred to us, who have been around the block a few times and have direct experience as homeschooling veterans know that the modern homeschooling movement has been on the defense since before there was even anything remotely approaching a movement. Many of us had to be, or there would be no homeschooling movement today.

But someone like Gene, either a Johnny-come-lately to homeschooling circles, or someone who is on the outside, obviously hasn’t done his homework, or he would know this — and perhaps he would have a tiny bit more respect for some of those here whose real life education and experience so far exceed his, at least in the area under discussion here.

  Mike wrote @

“Ah, Gene. I love that Mr. Language Lesson is all worked up about “ad homonym attacks”.”

BWAAA-HAAA-HAAA!! Don’t you just love it when they pretend to know logic?

  Mike wrote @

“Now, who said that feminists don’t have a sense of humor?”

How many feminists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

THAT’S NOT FUNNY!!

  Lynn wrote @

“Ah, Gene. I love that Mr. Language Lesson is all worked up about “ad homonym attacks”.”

I missed that one, thanks for pointing it out, Mike! waaahhahhhhhaaaaahahahahah!

Is “ad homonym” the same as “equivocation?” ;-)

Using a word that has the same sound but different meanings and possibly different spellings in your argument?

Probably not. He probably meant, “ad hominem.”

Thanks, Maura.

Hens = 3
Gene = 0

  Chris Barnes wrote @

As a person who is considered “extremely rightwing conservative” by my non-homeschooling friends and “extremely liberal” by many of my homeschooling ones, I have this to say:

(1) I am appalled when I see ultra-rightwing families who do what is described in the story (and yes, I have seen it happen myself). What they are doing is wrong, and they are BADLY misinterpreting God’s word and intent.

(2) I am INFINITELY MORE appalled that there are people who think that the parents do not have a right to do this. For those of you who somehow mistaken believe that government mandated education is ‘constitutional’, I offer this:
First, a Supreame Court ruling does not make constitutional law. Yeah, yeah – they have tried doing this for the last 60+/- years, but that is not how our country is supposed to operate.
Second, even our constitution itself is based on the premise that the rights originally come from “Our Creator” – God almighty for those of you who can’t understand 1770’s English. Any section of our government which is in violation with God Himself is invalid from the beginning. And chief among the rights given to us by God is that parents – and parents ALONE – are responsible for their children.

Last point – so that everyone understands the volatility of this issue: this is a “go to war” issue. If anyone, private or government, tries to impose their will on my kids, they have declared war on me and my family. And I’m not talking about a “war of words” or a nice “let’s go to court” war – I’m talking about using guns, shooting, killing, people dying type of war.

  Corrie wrote @

“Second, even our constitution itself is based on the premise that the rights originally come from “Our Creator” – God almighty for those of you who can’t understand 1770’s English.”

Chris,

Thank you for explaining that for us. That was very kind of you.

“Last point – so that everyone understands the volatility of this issue: this is a “go to war” issue. If anyone, private or government, tries to impose their will on my kids, they have declared war on me and my family. And I’m not talking about a “war of words” or a nice “let’s go to court” war – I’m talking about using guns, shooting, killing, people dying type of war.”

I want to understand what you are saying, here. If anyone tries to impose their will on your children you will shoot and kill them? Could you please define what you mean by “imposing their will” and what that would look like and could you please give some examples? I am asking in all sincerity and I would truly like to understand all sides of this issue.

Also, what story are you referring to in your first point and what were the things that appalled you?

  Corrie wrote @

In trying to understand Chris’ point about shooting and killing, I was thinking about Esther. I have often thought that I would have fought to the death if the palace guards would have come to my door to seize my daughters (kidnap) to be sexually exploited by the king.

I am quite sure that “render under Caesar what is Caesar’s” does not mean being forced to allow my daughters to be part of a harem. But, is there anything that government can reasonably impose on a parent in regard to their children? If there is not, then why is Papa Pilgrim in jail? What would happen to our country, especially now that we are not an agregarian society, if a child was only educated if their parents felt like it? Would that not create chaos?

Do children have a right under God Almighty, Our Creator, to be educated? Do children fall under the Constitution or are they non-persons? Just who is the Constitution written to? Men? Men and Women? When it means “all” does it just mean some?

These are just some of my questions.

Lin said this:

“A few bad apples always spoil it for the whole bunch. If the public gets the idea that some young women are not being educated equally to young men ON PURPOSE there will be an outcry for regulation. hence, we must speak out against this injustice toward some homeschooled girls.”

I agree. We are concerned about this because we do NOT want any more regulation concerning homeschooling.

  Corrie wrote @

“You bring up an interesting point. Where is the law that says children have a right to an education? It was not considered the domain of the government to educate children 200 years ago, was it?

Then we had Brown vs Board of Ed, etc., etc.,

But now public education is considered a right for all children and it is regulated in many ways. If one has children in public school, try not sending them for a while and see what happens.”

Lin,

This is a very good point.

As far as domain goes, if the government were taken out of the equation, whose domain would it be? The parents? Who has domain over the parents? The church? Or are the parents, especially the father, unaccountable to only God, Himself? This is what Doug Phillips and others teach. It seems that even the church government cannot “interfere” with a father’s inalienable right to do as he sees fit according to his own family.

  Maura wrote @

Yikes! Please go ahead and add Chris to the list of people who freak out the normals and make this secular hen worry about homeschooling! : )

Chris – let me get this straight, because I might be misinterpreting you. Did you just say that that guy raping his daughters is appaling – but that it is *infinitely more* appaling that his family was “interfered with” by the police? Would you have hauled out the guns and come to his defense when the police arrived?

  Cindy Kunsman wrote @

Chris Barnes wrote: I am INFINITELY MORE appalled that there are people who think that the parents do not have a right to do this. For those of you who somehow mistaken believe that government mandated education is ‘constitutional’…

Mr. Barnes,

I don’t think that it is not so much a matter that people here believe that parents don’t have a right to raise their children as they see fit, but concern over living within a culture that believes that it is the duty of the government to intervene.

You also wrote:
Second, even our constitution itself is based on the premise that the rights originally come from “Our Creator” – God almighty for those of you who can’t understand 1770’s English. Any section of our government which is in violation with God Himself is invalid from the beginning. And chief among the rights given to us by God is that parents – and parents ALONE – are responsible for their children.

Again, the issue here is not whether (most) all who have responded here doubt their God given rights but rather the gap between what is right based on a Christian worldview and the opinion of most secularists who do look to Caesar as the source of liberty. That’s not the debate, but rather the disparagement between the two perspectives. It is naive and dangerous to think that our children might fall through this gap because of our failure (or potential failure) to be faithful stewards.

  Cynthia Gee wrote @

Psssst.. Mike…
this is OT, but you did start it…
Q: How many philosophers does it take to change a light bulb?

Kongzi: It is fitting and proper that the youngest daughter change the light bulb.
Laozi: The man a Dao needs no bulb. He is his own light.
Sunzi: If you know yourself and your lamp, you will change a hundred light bulbs. If you know only yourself but not your lamp, you will change one but break the next. If you know neither, you will never change a light bulb.

Zeno of Elea: An infinite number of philosophers.
Socrates: Does the light bulb need to be changed?
Plato: In the ideal state, philosophers don’t change light bulbs.
Aristotle: First, let us classify the several types of light bulbs…
Zeno of Citium: Light bulbs burn out. Deal with it one way or the other, but stop moaning about it.
Epicurius: I’ll just change the light bulb. Then I’ll have a glass of wine.

Bacon: To address the problem, one must first rid oneself of mistaken notions and prejudices regarding light bulbs…
Hume: The light bulb is burnt-out, but it does not automatically follow that it ought to be changed.
Rousseau: In their original state, light bulbs don’t burn out.
Nietzsche: What is the candle to the light bulb? A laughing stock or a painful embarrassment. And the light bulb shall be just that for the überbülb: a joke or an embarrassment.
Marx: To each according to his sockets. From each according to his wattage.

  Lin wrote @

“Last point – so that everyone understands the volatility of this issue: this is a “go to war” issue. If anyone, private or government, tries to impose their will on my kids, they have declared war on me and my family. And I’m not talking about a “war of words” or a nice “let’s go to court” war – I’m talking about using guns, shooting, killing, people dying type of war.”

What is a ‘go to war’ issue? The right to not educate daughters equally to sons? You would pull out the guns and shoot over that?

Someone else brought up Papa Pilgrim. Chris, do you think it was wrong of the civil authorities to intervene against this man’s ‘will’ for his children?

One last question, Chris: Do our operating regulations and laws in this country today look anything like what wasdebated and written in the 1780’s?

You must live in terrible frustration every day.

  Cynthia Gee wrote @

OOOOPPs, sorry, somebody please delete that, or change the Diogenes line. ! I didn’t see the dirty word in the middle. :shock:
Sorry!!!!

  Michael S. Morris wrote @

Friday, the 7th of December, 2007

This author seems to be off the deep end
in constitutional interpretation when she
(“Kimberfly”?) cites the Equal Protection
Clause, and extends that to a governmental
power to prohibit discrimination in private.

The primary reponsibility for the schooling of
children is the parents’, not any state’s. Therefore,
the primary authority is the parents’, not any state’s. The Equal Protection Clause means
that state schools may not discriminate. It says
nothing about what private schools may do. And
it especially says nothing about what families may do.

Mike Morris
(msmorris@netdirect.net)

  Lin wrote @

“It says nothing about what private schools may do. And it especially says nothing about what families may do.”

It says nothing about privacy. We have all heard that one.

And how well did that kind of thinking do when it came to Roe?

When the public gets hold of the fact that some Patriarchists do not want to educate their daughters equally with men and they see guys like Chris with his guns to defend that ‘right’…what do you think will be the outcome?

You all come here arguing constitutional points that have not helped with other bad law that has passed, btw…..but refuse to address the issue: Not educating girls equally. Care to address that ‘right’?

  Michael S. Morris wrote @

Friday, the 7th of December, 2007

Lin quotes me regarding the Equal Protection Clause (of the XIVth Amendment):
“It says nothing about what private schools
may do. And it especially says nothing about
what families may do.”
Lin responds:
It says nothing about privacy. We have all
heard that one.

And how well did that kind of thinking
do when it came to Roe?

Roe v. Wade stopped state and federal laws from forbidding pregnant women from making the decision to terminate their pregnancies. The Roe decision specifically cites parental rights over schooling choices for their children as an example of individual privacy protected from federal or state legislative intrusion, even though the parental right to make schooling choices for children is not an enumerated constitutional right.

Regardless of one’s thinking in regard to Roe, it
would be helpful to remember this paragraph from the majority opinion:
The Constitution does not explicitly mention any
right of privacy. In a line of decisions, however,
going back perhaps as far as Union Pacific R.
Co. v. Botsford, 141 U.S. 250, 251 (1891),
the Court has recognized that a right of personal
privacy, or a guarantee of certain areas or
zones of privacy, does exist under
the Constitution. In varying contexts, the
Court or individual Justices have, indeed,
found at least the roots of that right in the
First Amendment, Stanley v. Georgia, 394
U.S. 557, 564 (1969); in the Fourth and
Fifth Amendments, Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S.
1, 8-9 (1968), Katz v. United States, 389
U.S. 347, 350 (1967), Boyd v. United States,
116 U.S. 616 (1886), see Olmstead v.
United States, 277 U.S. 438, 478 (1928)
(Brandeis, J., dissenting); in the penumbras
of the Bill of Rights, Griswold v. Connecticut,
381 U.S., at 484-485; in the Ninth
Amendment, id., at 486 (Goldberg, J.,
concurring); or in the concept of
liberty guaranteed by the first section of
the Fourteenth Amendment, see Meyer
v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 399 (1923).
These decisions make it clear that only
personal rights that can be deemed
“fundamental” or “implicit in the concept
of ordered liberty,” Palko v. Connecticut,
302 U.S. 319, 325 (1937), are included
in this guarantee of personal privacy.
They also make it clear that the right has
some extension to activities relating to
marriage, Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1,
12 (1967); procreation, Skinner v.
Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541-542 (1942);
contraception, Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405
U.S., at 453-454; id., at 460, 463-465
(WHITE, J., concurring in result); family
relationships, Prince v. Massachusetts, 321
U.S. 158, 166 (1944); and child rearing
and education, Pierce v. Society of Sisters,
268 U.S. 510, 535 (1925), Meyer v.
Nebraska, supra.

Note, in particular, the cite to “Pierce v
Society of Sisters”. That forges a direct
link between the privacy right for a pregnant
to choose to abort back to a privacy right for
a parent to be the authority in decisions
about the schooling of children.

Lin writes:
When the public gets hold of the fact that some
Patriarchists do not want to educate their
daughters equally with men and they see
guys like Chris with his guns to defend that
‘right’…what do you think will be the outcome?

It seems to me it is simply not any of the public’s business. Moreover, it says so in the highest law of the land. Equal protection of the law is about the *law’s* equality, not about the law having to require us all to be equal. There is no way a principle of non-discrimination could be applied to private life, which is entirely made up of discriminations (I choose to marry this person, excluding marriage with all of these other persons, and so on…).

Lin:
You all come here arguing constitutional
points that have not helped with other bad
law that has passed, btw…..but refuse to
address the issue: Not educating girls
equally. Care to address that ‘right’?

Sure. I am a homeschooling father of 3 children. I
also happen to be atheist (just to strike a note of contrast with Chris). My children are Zan (an 18-yo
boy), Helen (a 15-yo girl), and Galen (an 8-yo boy).
We do a partially structured liberal-arts curriculum. Each child has to do calculus and physics and chemistry and literature and history and Latin and Spanish and so on. But, say, within the broad subject-areas of “literature” and “history”, we have and we will use our children’s own enthusiasms as guide for what further materials we give them to read. So, for example, both boys have shown a penchant for reading books in history about battles and war. Helen, on the other hand, shows more interest in “history of everyday life”. So, while, in the middle-school years, they are all required to read Samuel Eliot Morison’s 3-volume “Oxford History of the American People”, Zan’s reading of Morison was supplemented by a history of the US-Mexican War (I’m forgetting which one off the top of my head at the moment), whereas Helen’s was supplemented with _Arguing About Slavery_ by William Lee Miller. Zan competes in the sport of
sabre fencing. Helen competes in equestrian eventing. Their “schooling” is different, and in possibly sexist ways. As I think it perfectly well should be.

Mike Morris
(msmorris@netdirect.net)

  Annie C wrote @

Jumping in very late, and only making a very few quick points…

Mike, the issue is not “Both children read ‘Oxford History of the American People’, one then puts an emphasis on military history, the other on everyday life.” The issue is: “My sons read Oxford History of the American People’, my daughters don’t study history anymore, at 15 they don’t need anymore education, except in how to clean a house and take care of a baby. As a Catholic/Unitarian homeschooling family I’d do almost exactly what it sounds like you’re doing with your children. What I think most of the ladies here are discussing is something far more extreme.

For example Chris up there, who has declared: If anyone, private or government, tries to impose their will on my kids, they have declared war on me and my family. And I’m not talking about a “war of words” or a nice “let’s go to court” war – I’m talking about using guns, shooting, killing, people dying type of war. So if he believes that girls should not learn to read, and someone says they have to, he’ll shoot back.

How many Chris’ will it take before the government decides to step in and screw over everyone, just to be on the safe side?

  Cynthia Gee wrote @

“How many Chris’ will it take before the government decides to step in and screw over everyone, just to be on the safe side?”

Probably not very many. Chris has made what amounts to a terrorist threat; the government takes a dim view of this sort of thing, and rightly so.
While I’d hate to see people like Chris mess homeschooling up for everybody, is our right to homeschool really worth having, if having it means that here and there around the country, girls are growing up without an education and boys are being taught that this state of affairs is good and right, all under the tutelage of gun-toting whacko parents?
I don’t think so, somehow.

  Lin wrote @

MIke, I am impressed. with your law citations and your homeschooling.

I have a question. Right now the law says that a parent does not have the right to abuse their children. Could the state extend the definition of ‘abuse’ to include purposely not educating girls equally with boys?

BTW: Wasn’t spanking just recently outlawed in one state?

  Anonymous wrote @

“How many Chris’ will it take before the government decides to step in and screw over everyone, just to be on the safe side?”>>>>>

Is Chris for real? I don’t believe he would go to prison for murder or live in a forest while hiding from the FBI for murder over an issue. I believe he would go underground, but I think he was trying to get a reaction. Even if he is real he’s a rare bird who is probably fortunate to get internet where he lives. I visited a church once with these types and even though the pastor had the most popular radio show in the big city near me he had such trouble getting members he had to shut down the church. People showing their guns in the parking lot, but remember after many years they only had about 20 people in a 50 mile radius and, oddly, only a few had children (I think families were scared off because most families love their children with all their heart and want what is best). Towards the end I don’t believe there were any families left.

In other words, I believe some are reading this board and getting amused if we believe anything posted here. I tend to think Chris should be ignored unless he posts a blog URL. Some people just want to see knees jerk, not serious conversation. Maybe I am paranoid but he came in after the other two guys. Makes me think he was a set up.

Blessings!

  thatmom wrote @

Oh, I very much believe that Chris is a real guy who actually believes what he told us. I just don’t think that he has thought through these convictions very well. Just suppose he did pull out a weapon to use on someone who had legitimate concerns about his children. Shooting them would most likely result in his own death and would that be the right thing to do for/to his children?

I know there are some people who really do not like the phrase i used….”policing our own” because they believe that all parents ought to have complete rights over their children. I remember years ago a family I knew, though not well. They had several children and none of them were being educated. AT ALL. The parents were barely literate themselves and the children were not only illiterate but socially backward. (For the record, it is a rare homeschooled young person who isn’t extremely articulate and really interesting to engage in conversation so don’t jump to conclusions about my impressions.) Anyway, knowing the family situation and being really concerned for the children, several families in their church, along with the pastor, came alongside this family and built a good enough relationship with them that they were able to suggest that they place their children in the church day school. Since this family was barely making ends meet, there were ‘scholarships” for them. Those children flourished and are now responsible adults. I do not know what would have become of any of them had this church family not lovingly helped them. This is the type of response I was thinking of when I used the phrase “police our own” and perhaps there are people like Chris who would be appalled at this. But I believe this church family was very wise and many of those who helped were homeschooling families.

  thatmom wrote @

Cynthia,

I was just at your website and you mentioned Waco and Ruby Ridge….those were exactly what I thought of, too, when I read Chris’ comment.

  Corrie wrote @

“It seems to me it is simply not any of the public’s business. Moreover, it says so in the highest law of the land. Equal protection of the law is about the *law’s* equality, not about the law having to require us all to be equal. ”

Mike,

What about the daughter? Is it her business? Does she matter? Do her desires matter? Where does she fit into the constitution and the Bill of Rights? Does she have any inalienable rights for any pursuits of “happiness” or “freedom”?

Can you tell me what you mean that equal protection is about the law’s equality but not about the law requiring us to be all equal? That sounds like double-speak? If we all have equal protection under the law, then why in the world would a parent purposefully limit a child’s education based solely on their sex? I am not saying that all will be equal as in we are all the same and we all can do the same things. What I am wondering is if the law equally protects ALL or are some non-persons and the law only protects the rights of males, especially fathers?

Roe v Wade ruled that an unborn baby is a non-person. Dred Scott said that blacks/slaves are non-persons and thus not covered under the constitution.

Are we now saying that female children are non-persons under the constitution? Does a daughter have any constitutional rights in so far as SHE desires an education?

  Lin wrote @

“Oh, I very much believe that Chris is a real guy who actually believes what he told us. I just don’t think that he has thought through these convictions very well. ”

I agree. I believe he is real, too. I have met quite a few like him who have intermingled politics with their faith.

Do not misunderstand me…Christians should be involved and affect laws… but these people take it too far as if the NT teaches Christians to go to war against Nero when he passes laws that affect them negitively. It just ain’t so.

  Anonymous wrote @

Chris came in after the lawyers. I wonder if he is trying to pull your leg. Thankfully, the men like him are too busy in front of the TV, so we don’t see much of them!

I noticed one of the men posting is from Mississippi. Husbands own their wives in that state and I think six other states:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21529255/

<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>

  Anonymous wrote @

Not sure why my copy and paste from the article didn’t post. I will try again:

snippet from above article:
Mississippi is one of just seven states-Utah, New Mexico, S. Dakota, Illinois, Mississippi, North Caroline and Hawaii are the
others–that still have an alienation of affection law on the books. The concept dates
back centuries to when a wife was considered
her husband’s property. If another man has an
affair with a married woman and captures her affections, the law gives the woman’s husband the right to monetary compensation for his loss.

  Corrie wrote @

Mike,

You are an excellent example of what homeschooling should look like. You look at each child and their strengths and likes and you feed those things through a rich educational experience.

I don’t think anyone here is saying we must educate all of our children the same. In fact, I have 6 daughters and they all have different bents and likes and desires. I try and consider what each daughter needs in order to build her and challenge her. My oldest, a 22 yr old son, used many of the same materials but with a different bent based on what interested *him*. I have 3 other sons and they all show different areas that interest them. Well, Levi is just interested in experimenting with household chemicals. He is too young to know for sure what he wants to do! :-)

If your daughter showed a desire to be a doctor, would you say no to her based solely on her gender? Do you, as a parent, have that right under our Constitution, to make that decision for her?

  Corrie wrote @

Lin,

Or they act as if Xerxes has kidnapped their virgin daughters and taken them to the palace in order to have sex with them. I can see bringing out the weaponry in that situation. But, imploring our fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord to educate their *children* according to their own bents and not restricting their child’s education solely based on their gender does not really require a blood-letting, does it?

  Corrie wrote @

“The Equal Protection Clause means
that state schools may not discriminate. It says
nothing about what private schools may do. And
it especially says nothing about what families may do.”

Does this mean private schools can discriminate? Does this mean that private schools can say that only white students can attend?

I guess what I see happening is that this issue just might cause the equal protection act to extend to homeschools if we are not careful.

The 14th amendment came about to secure the rights of former slaves and provide equal protection under the law for all persons. Later, segregation was ruled against using this amendment.

What I see is that some want to assert their own rights under the constitution but then turn around and deny others of those same rights. This is why I would like to know who is covered under the constitution as persons?

How far does the right to privacy go as far as a parent is concerned over a child? Are there no limits to a parent’s rights?

  Corrie wrote @

“Note, in particular, the cite to “Pierce v
Society of Sisters”. That forges a direct
link between the privacy right for a pregnant
to choose to abort back to a privacy right for
a parent to be the authority in decisions
about the schooling of children.”

Having read through this case, it seems that there were two parts to the Society of Sisters’ argument.

The ruling was about a parent’s responsibility to choose TO educate their children. It did not protect a parent’s alleged right to deny their child a full and complete education based on their gender.

The argument of the Society concerned both a parent’s right to choose whether or not their child would attend a private, parochial school and a child’s right to influence their parent’s choice of school. Both the parents’ and the child’s rights were asserted.

The state of Oregon removed the exception clause for private schools thus making it mandatory for all private schooled children to attend public schools.

The 4 other clauses where children were not required to go to public school were: mentally and physically unable, had already graduated the 8th grade, lived too far away or were homeschooled/tutored but they were SUBJECT to local MONITORING. (Still, we do not see the right of a parent to be accountable to no one and a parent’s right to do whatever they please with their child)

The Society argued this:

the enactment conflicts with the right of parents to choose schools where their children will receive appropriate mental and religious training, the right of the child to influence the parents’ choice of a school, the right of schools and teachers therein to engage in a useful business or profession (268 U.S. 510, 532)

The Society then argued that they were not contesting the right of the state to monitor their children’s education but they were contesting the State’s right to exercise ABSOLUTE control over their CHOICE of educational system, in this case private:

No question is raised concerning the power of the state reasonably to regulate all schools, to inspect, supervise and examine them, their teachers and pupils; to require that all children of proper age attend some school, that teachers shall be of good moral character and patriotic disposition, that certain studies plainly essential to good citizenship must be taught, and that nothing be taught which is manifestly inimical to the public welfare. (268 U.S. 510, 534)

They further argued that the state did have an interest in their children’s education but none so strong that it would require the state to mandate attendance of a public school over a private one.

The ruling came down on the side of the Society. Children were not mere creatures of the state and it was the RESPONSIBILITY belonged to the parents to make such a choice (where they attend school).

Because this statute sought to eliminate parochial schools, Justice Kennedy said that this case could have been argued under the 1st amendment.

In this case I see both the rights of the parents and the rights of the children asserted. I also see that parents have a responsibility to educate their children. This law does not, imho, give them a *right* to deny (or diminish their education) their female children an education solely based on their gender.

And maybe that is why I am having a problem with some of the arguments. God has given parents a RESPONSIBILITY to their children not a *right*; especially when a parent thinks it is their right to deny their child’s right to what they themselves feel entitled to under the constitution.

I am especially concerned that the ‘right to privacy’ is being used as a cloak for all manners of violations of a child’s rights under the Constitution. Unless, that is, our children are non-persons according to the laws of this land.

  Michael S. morris wrote @

Saturday, the 8th of December, 2007

Annie C wrote:
“Mike, the issue is not [...] The issue is: “My sons read Oxford History of the American People’, my daughters don’t study history anymore, at 15 they don’t need anymore education, except in how to clean a house and take care of a baby. As a Catholic/Unitarian homeschooling family I’d do almost exactly what it sounds like you’re doing with your children. What I think most of the ladies here are discussing is something far more extreme.”

MSM responds [all my indentation seems to get lost with this medium, so I'll try to demarcate the bits differently]:
I well understand that people here are talking about something far more extreme. But, understand that when we talk of something really extreme, we are also of something extremely rare. I’ve known Chris Barnes online for years. He reacts pugnaciously and, well, over the top to threats to liberty as he perceives them. I think that’s probably a good thing. But, anyway, we’re probably not to the stage of a shooting war, yet.

I’ve never known anyone who was homeschooling and was like the bete noir that is being discussed here: Teach the boys military history and calculus and teach the girls home ec. Chris and his wife Dalene have girls and I believe Chris has devoted whole careers of time setting up and coaching in a homeschool basketball league in which his girls have competed. I.e. he has worked personally hard to get his daughters an *athletic* education in a sport that is arguably more dominantly and traditionally male. I’m pretty sure he’s said before that he’s taught his daughters to shoot, too. Also, not traditionally a female pastime.

I’m not saying off-the-deep-end right wingers don’t exist. But the “Republic of Gilead” (the leftist fantasy from _The Handmaid’s Tale_) is not ready to be established just yet.

Annie C wrote:
“For example Chris up there, who has declared: If anyone, private or government, tries to impose their will on my kids, they have declared war on me and my family. And I’m not talking about a “war of words” or a nice “let’s go to court” war – I’m talking about using guns, shooting, killing, people dying type of war.”

So if he believes that girls should not learn to read, and someone says they have to, he’ll shoot back.

MSM says:
Well, as I indicate above, there is a part of me that applauds Chris’s bellicosity. The issue, as I see it is: Who is fundamentally in charge of the schooling of children, parents or the state? And *my* answer to that is: Obviously and indisputably the parents. This is because the parents acted so as to bring children in to the world in the first place, and the care and feeding (of mind and body and soul) of those children is, by nature, the parents’ responsibility. *Therefore* (because of that natural duty), the *authority* for care and feeding of the children is the parents. And that would certainly include decisions about the entire scope and sequence of school curriculum. Not the state’s business. Anymore than the problem of homefeeding (by nutritionally unlicensed persons) need bother the state. Schooling is not a power the people have ever constitutionally granted to states in the first place. The fundamental authority over the schooling of children is the parents’ authority. The state’s authority to act or legislate laws is *subordinate* to that. Chris is merely saying if the state crosses that line and tries to usurp that authority from parents, then it will come to armed resistance.

Annie C said:
How many Chris’ will it take before the government decides to step in and screw over everyone, just to be on the safe side?

MSM says:
It strikes me that the government may find some Mikes who also own guns and know how to use them in that eventuality. There are fundamental Rights, absolute and inalienable, that I will personally fight for, only to argue about in court later.

You either believe that the authority begins in the parents, so that the public schools are just one option available to us, or you think the state’s is the fundamental authority. That is the basic issue, and clearly that researcher quoted in thatmom’s original blogpost believed the state to be all-powerful. If you side with that researcher, then there is a fundamental divide and Chris and I stand on one side of it, and you and that researcher stand on the other side of it. (Academic researchers do tend to get themselves off in their own little world, and I say that as a former academic—a theoretical physicist in my case. I trust other people have encountered the academic several years ago who was advocating that parents should have to get a license from the state before they were to be allowed by the state to have children?) And I at least certainly consider it something worth fighting about if things come to a head. Of course, I live in Indiana and the *only* regulation we have here is that we are required to report attendance if asked by the state or local superintendent. So, I doubt this particular state is going to get intolerably intrusive too soon.

Personally, if I were made king tomorrow, I would end compulsory schooling, and make the public schools over into something resembling public libraries—optional to those who wish to use them.

When I began to homeschool my children (and Martha and I have always done so—they have never been in school), I did so in rather complete confidence that I (and we) could do a better job for our children than any public or private school system could ever do. But I had to wrestle with the question of what about those other parents who might well choose to teach things that *I* might not approve of, in fact things that I strongly disapprove of. “Creation science” is an obvious example.
And the issue boils down, again, to whether it is the collective—the state—which is in charge of school curriculum, or the parents. And it seems to me by natural law it must be the parents and never the state, which means the parents must be *assumed* to have the proper authority to choose *scope and sequence* of curriculum, and if *I*, or a democratic majority of my fellow citizens, strongly disapprove of that curriculum. So, it seems to me that a curriculum which is strongly sexist in application—teaches boys calculus and military history and teaches girls how to bake apple pies and to clean house—ought to be within the authority of parents to choose for their children, despite what the majority of the public thinks about it.

The state, it seems to me, can make some laws. So there are extremities of abuse which could be criminalized. For example, in homefeeding, no one questions the parental authority to plan and prepare meals for their children. And yet, choosing *not* to feed one’s children is rightfully legislated a crime of abuse or neglect. But, there are Rights of the criminally accused at law in the United States. So, a criminally accused is *presumed innocent* until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a trial by jury. And the state may not check up on you to make sure you are not breaking the law. They can’t search house to house for stolen goods to make sure people aren’t robbers, for instance. So, the state is required to *assume* and *presume* that parents are feeding their children properly and that their children are being schooled properly unless there is evidence to the contrary, at which point the state can get a warrant for further investigation.

The problem the people who are on the side of the state are going to have is that, even if an ultra-right-winger’s daughters are being taught to bake cookies and darn socks only, they are *still* likely doing better than probably a third of the students attending public schools. In Indianapolis, there are high schools where *over half* the students who entered the high school don’t graduate, and of the ones who do graduate, a third of them graduate on a waiver because they couldn’t pass the exit exams as seniors. Over 8th and 9th grade math and reading. And after 5 permitted attempts.

It would be hard to do worse for one’s kids than the public schools are doing for millions of children in the US. As I said, even those daughters supposedly taught to bake cookies are probably measurably more literate and numerate than millions of publicly-schooled children.

Mike Morris
(msmorris@netdirect.net)

  Michael S. morris wrote @

Saturday, the 8th of December, 2007

There are several lengthy things I should respond to, but I have time for just this now.

Corrie wrote:
“If your daughter showed a desire to be a doctor, would you say no to her based solely on her gender? Do you, as a parent, have that right under our Constitution, to make that decision for her?”

MSM says:
Umm, in the first place, a decision to become a doctor or no would likely be made by my daughter at a point in time after she had reached an age of majority and was making her own educational choices. So, past the age of 18, say, no, I would not think I would have any constitutional authority to make such decisions for her.

But, I certainly think the model at common law is that important decisions affecting the well-being and future of minors are the *responsibility*, and therefore “right” of parents to make for their children. Of course, as one’s children grow up, one naturally lets them make more and more of their own decisions so that, by the time they are 18 or 21, they are standing on their own two feet and self-sovereign in their own affairs. But, I think that, as my daughter’s father, and in consultation with her mother, we do have the *constitutional* authority to make decisions for her, even against her will, say, when she is 17 years old.

As to the practical application of this: Well, in homeschool at present my 15-year-old daughter would stop studying math and quit piano in a heartbeat if we let her. Math is non-negotiable. She’s actually in the Saxon pre-calculus book this year, and will be required to finish through calculus next year. And that means work every single problem in the book, and correct any that are marked wrong when the daily assignment is graded. Math is half the universe, half of what we humans need in order to be able to think, and thinking is what it is to be human. So, even though my daughter would prefer not to learn math through calculus, she isn’t going to be given that choice. Because her mother and I know better than she possibly can at her age. Doesn’t mean she needs to become either a mathemtician or a physicist. Does mean that her mother and I think mastery of the math is a requirement of graduation.

As to piano, well, we’ve insisted that our children take piano, but we’ve agreed that Helen may stop doing so next fall. She’s playing at a level that means she can use the keyboard for her own pleasure, and she knows how to read music, and can take it up in the future if she ever wants to. She is taking voice lessons (her choice) and she is also taking drums (her chocie and a not-traditionally-female one at that). And we have agreed that she can then drop piano next year (at age 16). We let her superb guitarist brother Zan drop piano last year (at age 17).

Helen’s primary focus and love is on here horsemanship. She does the Olympic sport of equestrian eventing and this last season qualified for the nationals at Training Level, and
then, just this fall moved up to Prelim and won a show in Lexington, Kentucky, and so has already qualified for the nationals in Illinois at Prelim next fall. She rides probably several hours a day in the woods around around here and has private lessons in both dressage and jumping from two separate instructors. Homeschooling obviously lets her have the time to pursue such an interest. So, there is much about Helen getting to pursue what Helen wants to do about the homeschooling lifestyle.

But Helen has to do thirty pre-calc problems a school day (and correct any that are wrong) because her parents insist that she do so, and even though she, if she had a say in the matter, would not choose to do math. And, obviously, no public school would *make* her study math to that level—it would be an elective choice.

Yes, I regard my authority to make that schooling decision for my daughter as constitutional, as included specifically in those non-enumerated Rights adumbrated in the Ninth Amendment.

Mike Morris
(msmorris@netdirect.net)

  Corrie wrote @

Mike,

If more parents had your attitude about homeschooling and education, the paper that Thatmom cited would have been a moot point.

I don’t think any one of us would disagree with you at all.

“So, even though my daughter would prefer not to learn math through calculus, she isn’t going to be given that choice. Because her mother and I know better than she possibly can at her age. Doesn’t mean she needs to become either a mathemtician or a physicist. Does mean that her mother and I think mastery of the math is a requirement of graduation.”

I totally agree. But, turn that around. Because your daughter is a female, she doesn’t need to know that stuff and you are wasting her time by making her do pre-calc problem since she was born to bear children, keep house, cook meals and focus on your vision or her husband’s vision. There are other more important things like housework and childcare that she should be learning.

Mike, there are many who would take issue with the way you educate your daughter.

“But, I certainly think the model at common law is that important decisions affecting the well-being and future of minors are the *responsibility*, and therefore “right” of parents to make for their children. Of course, as one’s children grow up, one naturally lets them make more and more of their own decisions so that, by the time they are 18 or 21, they are standing on their own two feet and self-sovereign in their own affairs. ”

Not in patriocentricity land.

I think it would be interesting to discuss what our country would look like if this contingent got into office and controlled the laws of the land. People are afraid NOW that their rights as parents to educate their children as they see fit may be infringed?

  Corrie wrote @

Mike,

I just read through both of your posts and I agree with you. I know that sounds redundant.

I see your points and they are good and I agree with them. I am pretty sure we are on the same page, except for Creationism. ;-)

I think the whole point is to understand that there are certain fringe elements of homeschooling that are drawing undue attention to the whole movement. In patriocentricity, women never turn 18 and they are not considered “adults” in the full constitutional meaning of that word. You may think that these girls have a choice whether or not to go to college when they are 18 but I don’t think, in reality, they do. If it was up to them, women would not vote because they teach that the Bible says women can’t vote (it doesn’t).

Thank you again for your reasoned response. I truly appreciate it and I have learned quite a bit from it.

I still think the gun thing is over the top in response to this issue. And I can’t figure out if Chris was referring to the Papa Pilgrim story or what? It sounds like Chris is a great dad but he sounds polar opposite of what patriocentricity allows for a daughter.

  Shauna wrote @

Why is anyone assuming that Chris was referring to the Papa Pilgrim story instead of the story the original post referenced?

  Marcy Muser wrote @

Mike,

Your posts are excellent. I appreciate so much what you said about the rights of parents to educate their children. If we want to maintain our own right to teach our children as we believe is best for them, we must also advocate for others (even those with whom we disagree vehemently) to do the same.

I do think we have the right – and the responsibility – to do the kind of intervention thatmom is talking about in her more recent posts, not in order to protect our rights but for the sake of the children involved. But I think I join you in believing that the homeschooling community as a whole must stand up for the right of parents to determine what they believe to be best for their children.

Maura,

I understand your concern, and your value for protecting children who are abused and neglected. My husband has been a social worker for 20 years, and he has seen many children badly abused. But here’s the problem: most children who are abused and neglected are NOT homeschooled. And MANY families who really DO homeschool have been harassed and intimidated by interfering social workers and authorities trying to enforce regulations. The interferers are often well-intentioned people who truly believe homeschooling itself is abusive. Many social workers believe this; so do many teachers and education administrators.

Again, the issue comes down to who really has the right to decide how children should be educated? If that right ultimately belongs to the parents, as the Supreme Court has made clear, then we must accept the fact that a few children will get what we consider a substandard (maybe even slightly abusive) education. If that right does NOT belong to the parents, then to whom does it belong? The test-writers (who are they anyway?)? The teachers (who generally don’t support homeschooling)? The education authorities at the state or district level (who have a significant financial interest in keeping kids in public schools)?

Do you see the issue here? I value protecting children. But MOST children are not abused, and certainly the vast majority of homeschooled children (probably well over 99%) are not abused. Is it right, for the sake of those few who are abused in the name of homeschooling, to require the huge number of families who homeschool well to subject themselves to intrusive regulations, administered by non-supportive individuals and groups, many of whom have a financial interest in getting our kids back in their schools (and who incidentally are often NOT doing a good job of educating the children who are already in their care)? These are not theoretical or hypothetical problems – others have pointed out that even a brief look at the history of homeschooling will reveal that this kind of abuse of homeschooling families by school authorities and social workers has been more the rule than the exception. Homeschooled children have been (and still are) traumatized and terrified by busybodies who think it’s their job to ferret out any possibility of abuse, people who take families to court for truancy even after they’ve submitted their notice of intent to homeschool, who arrive unannounced at the family’s doorstep and insist on private interviews with the children (with no parent present), who ask the children probing, intimate questions about where they’ve been touched and whether they’ve been spanked, who try to turn the children against their parents, who ignore clearly established law requiring that parents be told what they are accused of, and so on.

Don’t get me wrong – I think child abuse is a terrible thing, and my husband has dedicated the better part of his life to preventing it. But it seems to me this kind of traumatizing of a family is also abusive.

Let me ask you another question. Let’s suppose you eventually have several children, and you decide to send them to private school. How would you feel if a social worker came to your door on a Saturday afternoon and began insisting that someone (they wouldn’t tell you who it was) had reported your children weren’t attending the public school, and therefore they wanted to come in immediately, inspect your house (in its current condition with the kids having been home all day), and ask your children a bunch of intimate questions without your presence? How would you feel if the government passed a law requiring your children – although they were private-schooled – to be evaluated every year in your home and at your expense by a public school teacher, and if that teacher ever said anything was wrong with their schooling, to be returned to the public school system (as bad as that is)? What if they passed a law requiring that you get permission from the public school authorities in order to send your children to private school? After all, some private-schooled children are abused; some private schools offer a substandard education; in order to prevent the few abuses, all private-schooled children must be regulated and subjected to this kind of legal interference.

I hope this helps you understand (whether you agree or not) why so many homeschooling families advocate that the government simply stay out of the homeschooling issue.

  Corrie wrote @

“(1) I am appalled when I see ultra-rightwing families who do what is described in the story (and yes, I have seen it happen myself). What they are doing is wrong, and they are BADLY misinterpreting God’s word and intent.”

Shauna,

Because the above is unclear, especially because there really wasn’t a “story” in the blog post. We are not assuming we are asking questions of clarification. That is necessary in discussions like this so we know exactly what people are referring to.

It would have been helpful to explain what exactly he meant by “doing wrong”. In fact, that is all I think Karen meant by this article. Homeschoolers challenging other homeschoolers. It is not imposing one’s will on another, it is shedding light on a particular issue.

The extreme nature of his post was confusing and somewhat disturbing. Pulling out guns and shooting people over these sorts of issues? I have a gun and I know how to use it but this is very, well….foreign to me.

Marcy,

Thank you for your comments. They were really helpful for me and greatly furthered my understanding of all sides of the issue. I am truly learning a lot in this discussion.

Mike,

I want to thank you for your respectful discourse and for setting an example on the right way to express one’s opinion.

  Shauna wrote @

“We are not assuming we are asking questions of clarification. That is necessary in discussions like this so we know exactly what people are referring to.”

Fair enough. I regretted using the word assuming after I posted, but it was too late to reword my comment. I agree that Chris’s comments about guns were over the top, but I took them as mostly hyperbole and didn’t personally see anything in his post that would indicate he was defending a father’s right to molest his daughters.

  Corrie wrote @

Would this issue be different if there were homeschool families who have adopted black children and were choosing to deny their black children certain levels and forms of education merely because of the color of their skin and allowing their white children to have access to the fullest education if that white child so chooses?

Is it the parent’s Constitutional right to decide a life-long course for their black child thus bringing them up to believe that college is evil for them because the black person’s place is in the home serving men and helping the vision of the master of the house? Teaching them that because they are black, God only has one calling upon their lives and that is one of subservience and servitude. Teaching them that blacks who go out and serve on the mission field and who go to college are like harlots whose feet never stay at home?

If the reason they were denying their black children was because they believed that black people were put on this earth by God for the use of men and to be the servants of men, would that make any difference? Do they have a Constitutional right to educate their children in different ways based on the color of their skin?

It is not sexist to cater to a child’s bents as far as education. No one is arguing that education must look the same for every child. That is not the argument here, that is a strawman.

But, would it be racist to specifically say that black people don’t need certain forms of education because they are put on this earth for the use of men and to live lives of quiet servitude and subservience?

  Michael S. Morris wrote @

Saturday, the 8th of December, 2007

Anonymous writes:
“Is Chris for real?” [...]

MSM responds:
Chris Barnes is a real guy, and a homeschooling father of, I believe, 3 daughters in Texas (though I’m thinking one of the daughters has officially graduated by now). He and his wife, Dalene Barnes, have been regular and valued contributors to the usenet homeschooling discussion newsgroup, misc.education.home-school.christian for years. And, when that forum detiorated because of the postings of a particularly virulent (and possibly mentally disturbed) troll, they moved with many of the regulars from that forum to the moderated webdiscussionforum, http://www.meh-sc.org.

Anonymous wrote:
“I tend to think Chris should be ignored unless he posts a blog URL.”

MSM responds:
I find this especially puzzling coming from someone who posts as “Anonymous”. Chris Barnes posted with his real name. I don’t think he blogs, though he does write to the above referenced webforum. Heck, I don’t happen to blog either, but I do post my opinions over my real name and with my email address, too. I’ll even provide phone number and street address if you’d prefer them.

Anonymous said:
“Some people just want to see knees jerk, not serious conversation. Maybe I am paranoid but he came in after the other two guys. Makes me think he was a set up. ”
MSM responds:
Umm, on the above mentioned webforum, yesterday (December 7th, 2007 Pearl Harbor Day), a contributor posted a link to thatmom’s blog page (this page) under the thread title “Sexism in Homeschooling?”. Chris posted that he had gone and read the link and posted his response which he copied there, too. I, too, went and read this page and added my comments here, made a comment back on the homeschooling forum, and have since responded with several further comments. I’m pretty certain there was no “set up”. It’s just pretty clear that Chris believes the state has no business telling parents that parents have to teach their children equally or non-sexistly or non-racistly or whatever else it is that certain social engineers want the state to force us to do.

Mike Morris
(msmorris@netdirect.net)

  Cindy Kunsman wrote @

Actually, Corrie, because –in theory– the issue of subordination in regard to race in patriarhcy is not bound to gender but is based within culture and creed, “the black race” is subordinate because of their godless culture. (Guess they don’t count the well-established Black church these days and are still borrowing the antebellum argument. Mark Noll insinuates that this is when the confederates really blew their argument when they started arguing race via Ham. For awhile, I attended an AME church in San Antonio where I felt far more at home than I did in any other and was well cared for and well-fed. There are some wacko AMEs, but that was not my experience. There were also very balanced ones in Baltimore and DC, too.)

They can’t really argue culture against Blacks anymore unless it is against liberalism or something like inner city lifestyle. They also can no longer borrow from the evolutionary theories that deemed other races to be lesser since we now have disproved all those early “studies” and conjecture.

So in that sense, those of a different race are actully in a better place than women. What subordinates them is their godlessness. A woman is by matter of her essence and inherent authority lesser than the man, despite their prostests that they can hold both of these ideas in concert. (Funny how psychology served that purpose well, but to talk about the neurophysiologic effects of abuse is socialist.)

So the woman is in much worse shape than a “minority” or a lesser culture. You can transcend your culture by shedding your godlessness, but you cant transcend your essence. (I wonder if that’s why Voddie Bachaum’s daughter refers to herself as a “double minority” in the Return of the Daughters?”)

Discrimination based on beliefs about woman’s nature and essence is at the CORE of this issue, not discrimination itself. Ideas have serious consequences (and I suppose saying so proves that I’m a Marxist?) Equality of gender (not race) and egalitarianism is the root of all evil and the scapegoat for all that patriarchy and the more radical complementarians view as wrong with the world.

Consider this quote from Jennie Chancey:
But while all these things are praiseworthy, we must seek to go further if we hope to pass on a vision of womanhood that does more than decorate the snorting pig of equality with ribbons, rings and bows.

http://www.ladiesagainstfeminism.com/artman/publish/LAF_Theme_Articles_13/Is_This_a_Victorian_Site_41004.shtml

  Cindy Kunsman wrote @

Let me clarify the above. I wrote: So in that sense, those of a different race are actully in a better place than women. What subordinates them is their godlessness. A woman is by matter of her essence and inherent authority lesser than the man, despite their prostests that they can hold both of these ideas in concert. (Funny how psychology served that purpose well, but to talk about the neurophysiologic effects of abuse is socialist.)

Socialisim and antequated evolutionary theory as applied to psychology used to argue that women and other races made them lesser and of limited ability in comparison to white males. That is no longer politically correct nor supported by current neurophysiologic studies, imaging, statistically validated psych studies, etc. But these things served the patriarchal types well when that data supported their claims. But to cite information about psych disturbances caused by spiritual abuse and cultic techniques, somehow one becomes a socialist and a Marxist.

  Cindy Kunsman wrote @

Mike Morris wrote: It’s just pretty clear that Chris believes the state has no business telling parents that parents have to teach their children equally or non-sexistly or non-racistly or whatever else it is that certain social engineers want the state to force us to do.

Mike,

I, for one, greatly appreicate your willingness to come back here and clarify many of these things. Given the “Right Wing” crowd that we typically hear from on this blog and others like it, they have not been so forthcoming. Thank you for making the effort to clarify these things for us. I know that many appreciate your willingness to clarify.

We’ve got some differing perspectives on the nature of the Vision Forum group that the original article cites. I think that is contributing to our intial inablility to appreciate one another’s persective. So let me enlighten you. Many here (and some of whom have posted here) have suffered personally under this rapidly growing movement within homeschooling. Many have watched families ripped apart by the Vision Forum ideology that believes that women are ontologically subordinate to men. This same type of dehumanization (though it be lesser than other, similar examples), is the same seed from which fascism and ethnic cleansing grows. Hanna Arent describes this well in her writings on the subject as do many other books. I’m also thinking of a recent publication entitled “Occidentalism.” And on a much lesser scale, many who post here have seen injustices done to women in their churches and some in their own families as a direct result of this growing movement. If you like, I could address some specifics with you. Feel free to email me.

So whereas it seems that you view this group, Vision Forum, as a bunch of fringe wackos, we on the other hand have been living through their wake (and the submission teachings that came before the organized VF) and are far closer if not intimately familiar with what actually takes place in these circles. I personally have withdrawn financial support from five different ministries over the past year or more as I have watched these groups shift in purpose from a support of social liberalism/libertarian views (as you seem to share) to a totalistic and theocratic mission. It’s pretty scary to watch, and I know that I feel somewhat culpable for furthering their cause because of my prior support. And all though these ministries regret the loss of funding, they really don’t care why they lost it because of the other more available wealth that they enjoy as a result of new pursuits and the shift in their mission. This shift conicides with both the advanced age, illness and deaths of many who would have prevented this shift, I believe. So we are closer to this epicenter, if you will.

Because of that, there is a greater sense of urgency to be aware of the signs of change. I’m not sure of your age, but I’m more familiar with the days, as others have stated here, when homeschooling was very sinister. You may or may not have experienced some of these problems also.

Then there is a personal issue for many here. That account of that guy in Alaska who was jailed for molesting his daughters and isolating them hits home. I was molested by my babysitter’s 50 year old son. My mother could not process what I had told her because she found it to be so threatening personally. Three of my dear Christian friends were each molested by family members in their Christian homes. The two of the three women who told their mothers were both told exactly what I was told: “That never happened.” All three of us were too terrified to divulge any additional information to anyone at church or elsewhere because of the fear of our own families. Many of us would have welcomed some type of assistance from someone. Many of us have guilt that our forced silence and lack of options facilitated the abuse of other family members. And these were in “non-hierarchical” homes that were Christian that did not follow the rigid practices of patriarchy.

I as well as other posting here have seen sexual abuse covered up in the name of patriarchy –literally. Some of us have been intimately connected with those who have had their own children abused and have watched the church side with the abuser because it’s wrong to bring attention to wrongdoing or shame upon the brethren. So this is very much not an issue of overreacting to a wacko in Alaska or overreacting to a liberal law professor trying to make a name for herself.
That law article documents a well-established trend that we are well knowledgable about.

So that may add a bit of perspective. So not only is the potential for gender based sexual abuse and emotional incest much higher for girls within this population, now they may not be given the tools to transcend their situation? I think that may be why there are women advocating for these girls and why there are men that have appeared here contending that we are arguing the wrong points.

I also would like to pose my original question to whomever would like to answer it. Perhaps you would like to respond.

It is one issue to believe that you have rights and be convinced of your stance, but how do you address that in a society that is control happy. You can shout until you are blue in the face that America is Christian or that the state has no right to tell you how to raise your children, but if the state determines that you are somehow abusing your children and takes measures to limit or eliminate the “abuse,” then how do you respond? I’ve stated before that we here agree with you, but we are concerned that insisting that the government has no right to tell you what to do does nothing to deal with what we here view to be an early sign of a very viable threat.

Can you tell me, even if you don’t think our concern is all that legitimate, what would be a reasonable course of action to follow to keep our kids from falling into the chasm of what our true rights are and what the regulation happy elements of governement would like to impose? Standing here “idle” stating that the VF fringe is not significant does nothing to curtail them. What is it then that you think we should DO?

  Lindsey @ enjoythejourney wrote @

Karen,

I have not jumped in here (too much going on and so little time!) but you know that I totally agree with you.

Karen was NOT asking for more governmental intrusion into homeschoolers lives.

She was simply saying that if we let some wacky people in our own “community of homeschoolers” speak for all of us on critical, very public issues such as the right to send girls to college, THEN, AND ONLY THEN….WILL THE GOVERNMENT STEP IN AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

She was simply saying, or so I believe, that we need to control it ourselves to keep the GOVERNMENT INTRUSION OUT!!!

Trust me, give Doug Phillips or anyone like that long enough to say things like women shouldn’t vote, and so on, and before long some media outlet will pick it up. And they’ll do what they do best: Spin, spin, spin it.

And mainstream America, who does NOT homeschool by the way, will watch and sit by and say, “By George! That is crazy! Those homeschoolers are crazy!”

They will wrongfully assume that the convictions of a few (like DP and VF and their cronies) are the same convictions of the normal middle of homeschoolers everywhere.

They’ll push for more restrictions and more governmental influence in the lives of homeschoolers in America.

Sitting by and letting the vocal MINORITY speak for ALL OF US (and trust me, there are many who feel Doug Phillips is a fine representative for all homeschoolers out there) is wrong.

Karen is exactly right. We need to police our own so that someone else doesn’t take it upon themselves to do it for us.

  Anonymous wrote @

I’ve known Chris Barnes online for years. He reacts pugnaciously and, well, over the top to threats to liberty as he perceives them. I think that’s probably a good thing. But, anyway, we’re probably not to the stage of a shooting war, yet.

I’ve never known anyone who was homeschooling and was like the bete noir that is being discussed here:
>>>>> snip

Mike I agree with you. Many of these people are created by the liberal press (although, I shared there was a church not far from me with similar types, I don’t think they would kill for their right to homeschool. I know some who said they would shoot to protect their food before the Y2K scare, but not for the right to homeschool), but I wondered what forums you would recommend to discuss homeschooling issues such as these? Is that how you met Chris? You just seem like an odd mix, and if you two can get along (even with such diverse differences) it may be somewhere we would like to go and discuss.

Out of curiosity how did you or Chris find out about this board? I just wonder if the conversation is being held elsewhere. Maybe we could join in? I have appreciated your comments.
Blessings!

  Cynthia Gee wrote @

“It’s just pretty clear that Chris believes the state has no business telling parents that parents have to teach their children equally or non-sexistly or non-racistly or whatever else it is that certain social engineers want the state to force us to do.”

Mike, it sounds like you have a bit of a problem with folks being “forced” to teach their children “equally or non-sexistly or non-racistly” .

It is precisely because there are people who would deliberately teach their children racism and sexism, that we NEED laws to ensure that children WILL be taught “non-sexistly” and “non-racistly”.

The fact that certain homeschooling curriculum companies do a brisk business selling revised history books which portray slavery as a benevolent institution and praise such despicable men as Otto Scott and Dabney further underscores the need for governmental supervision to ensure that American children will not be spoonfed the seditious “educational” agenda of dominionist social engineers at the hands of their very own parents.

  Cynthia Gee wrote @

“But, anyway, we’re probably not to the stage of a shooting war, yet.”

And may God be thanked for that.
But isn’t it amazing how quickly the idea of violent resistance to governmental supervision of education has surfaced?

Chris is “pugnacious”, that much is obvious, but such mindsets do not exist in a vacuum. For every Chris who does make his “pugnaciousness” known on lists such as this one, it is fair to assume that are — hundreds? thousands? — who do not and who are equally violence prone, AND who support each other in their tendency to this particular brand of “pugnacity”.

  JayneK wrote @

I learned about this discussion in the same homeschooling forum as Chris Barnes and Mike Morris.

I am having difficulty concentrating on the larger issues here because I am distracted by Corrie getting her Latin facts all wrong.
I need to address this first and get it out of my system. Please indulge me.

Corrie wrote:
Patrios means, in Latin, “of one’s fathers”

Patris means, in Latin, “fatherland”

Both of these Latin words are a derivation of the word “pater” (patros- gen) which means father.

The “otes” suffix is a state or a condition.

Patrios does not mean patriot, it means of one’s father.

There is a Latin adjective “patrius, -a, -um” which means “belonging to a father, paternal, hereditary, of one’s native land” While the masculine, plural, accusative form of this adjective is “patrios” I suspect that Corrie is thinking of the Greek.

In Greek, “patrios” means “of one’s fathers” and “patris” means “fatherland” and “patriotes” means “fellow countryman” (Its Latin equivalent is “patriota”.)

The Latin word for fatherland is “patria, -ae.” The Latin word for ” father” is “pater.” Its genitive form is “patris”. (It is third declension.) No Latin declension has genitives ending in “-os”. In Greek, the nominative for “father” is also “pater” and its genitive is “patros”.

Based on what she has written here, there is no evidence that Corrie knows any Latin at all. It looks like she copied an etymology from a dictionary and misread “Greek” for “Latin”.

Corrie if you have taught Latin to your children, you may have some Latin dictionaries or glossaries around. Otherwise, go online. Look it up yourself. Then you can apologize to the nice man who tried to set you straight. Gene was exactly right about everything he said regarding language and word-building. I thought that he was remarkably polite under the circumstaces.

(If it matters, I was a linguistics major as an undergrad.)

  Cynthia Gee wrote @

“Then you can apologize to the nice man who tried to set you straight. Gene was exactly right about everything he said regarding language and word-building. I thought that he was remarkably polite under the circumstaces.”

Jayne, I’m not Corrie (and I know very little Latin), but if the “Gene” to whom you are referring is the same Gene Steadman who was commenting earlier in this thread, he may or may not know his Latin, but he does not appear to be a “nice man” or even a marginally polite one. A nice man knows how to correct another’s errors tactfully, and certainly without resorting to unprovoked name calling.

Just sayin’.

  Cindy Kunsman wrote @

Cynthia Gee wrote:It is precisely because there are people who would deliberately teach their children racism and sexism, that we NEED laws to ensure that children WILL be taught “non-sexistly” and “non-racistly”.

Cynthia, you ought to know by now that I love you dearly, but I disagree wholeheartedly with this.

You can believe and teach whatever you want to in this country, and I’d fight for anyone’s right to believe whatever fool crazy thing they want. It may not be right and it is certainly not Christian to believe in ungodly things, but it is certainly American to not be discriminated against based on beliefs.

I think that we are called upon to contend for good stewardship and to not bring disgrace upon the name of Jesus Christ, first and foremost. I think that the VF teachings do exactly that and draw attention to the homeschooling movement as a result, puting all homeschoolers at risk. The more distance that exists between governmental regulation and belief systems, the better.

The very last thing you want is the government dictating what view you have to teach and is the beginning of the end for Christian freedom if the government does so. And there are plenty who would like to. Guys like Richard Dawkins would probably immigrate here to be able to help make it happen. Avoiding the revisionist history is a major part of why homeschooling was sought as an alternative.

But remember that I love you dearly!!!

If the VF agenda progresses and they get increasingly more separatist, they will hopefully dissociate from other homeschoolers and Evangelical Christianity. If they are blatanly guitly of abuse, then let the government intervene. But if we seek government intervention regarding revsionist history, then the only benefit for homeschooling your kids will be to pretect them from Methylocillin Resistant Staph infections and school shootings.

  Cynthia Gee wrote @

Cindy, I love you too, but I do not believe that ANYONE, including parents, has the right to teach children racism, revisionist history or even ficticious multiplication tables as part of a (home)school curriculum.
Non-homeschooling parents are free to teach their worldview to their kids, and so are homeschoolers, but just as schools have no right to teach incorrect grammar, math, and history to children, neither do homeschoolers have the right to teach THEIR kids such things.

  Cynthia Gee wrote @

oops.. that should read,
“just as schools have no right to teach incorrect grammar, math, and history to children, neither do homeschoolers have the right to teach THEIR kids such things as part of their school curriculum.”

  Anonymous wrote @

I learned about this discussion in the same homeschooling forum as Chris Barnes and Mike Morris. >>>>>>>>>>

Would you mind sharing what forum that is? I really enjoy conversation, and at this rate if the other guys don’t come back we won’t get much diversity and we need that in order to have an “iron sharpens iron” type of conversation.

The truth is I could care less who has their Latin right, because at this point I am more concerned that some posters don’t understand the Constitution and would change it so things can be their way. Whether their intentions are good or bad doesn’t even matter, or their reasoning, they need to go back to the very foundations and understand that removing the rights of one group often means infringement upon your rights.

We can crusade all we want out of a strong sincerity, but the truth remains if you remove their rights to educate their daughters as they please (and it’s a small percentage because most states have mandatory testing or assessments for homeschoolers and the facts are in about how well homeschoolers are educated), then when things change you will find yourself under more scrutiny from the state and your own parental rights to be more structured in their educational manner will be infringed upon.

Watch out what you wish for, you may get more than you bargained for . Now if these people were doing physical harm to their children they wouldn’t have a Constitutional right, but no matter what way you slice it or how much you care you could be bringing down the wrath of the government on a whole group of people (the VAST majority of homeschoolers are good, law-abiding citizens doing a great job). And when that happens you may just find yourself on the Statehouse steps right next to a patraichal type homeschooler fighting for the same parental rights your protests may have cost both of you.

Blessings!

  Corrie wrote @

“I am having difficulty concentrating on the larger issues here because I am distracted by Corrie getting her Latin facts all wrong.”

Hi Jayne,

I am so sorry you were distracted but I didn’t bring up the Latin at all. If you remember it was [not-so-polite] Gene who brought that up and was quite rude about setting Karen straight on the subject.

Of course I know nothing and I am so glad that you came here amidst all this distraction to teach me.

So, Gene was right then about the part where he said that patrios means patriotic because when he put patrio into the Google search engine it asked him if he really meant “patriotic”. Therefore, he deduced from there, that patrio means patriotic.

What exactly was Gene right about? That patriocentric means patriotically focused? I just want to be sure before I apologize to “Gene” because this is exactly what he was saying.

  Lynn wrote @

Jayne, you probably have your Latin facts straight, but this is way beyond the point. Thatmom specified prior to this thread what she meant by the use of the term “patriocentric,” and as such, we knew where she stood on the issue. That was just a big bluster by Gene. After Maura pointed out Gene’s comment on “ad homonym” attacks, you juxtapose that with his purported problems with thatmom’s orthography and usage, and it was enough to start a “laughing revival” in here! ;-)

By the way, Gene made a comment on Kevin Swanson. I’ve only heard one of his podcasts — on Gothard, but I am planning on listening to more of them. But the one on Gothard was nonsensical to the core.

The kicker for me was one of them saying it isn’t Gothard’s teaching that is the problem; it is that his followers make his principles too much into absolutes, or confuse application with principles. That if Gothard is “legalistic, he’s legalistic the same way James is legalistic.” But James was the one who pronounced that Gentile converts shouldn’t be circumcised or be directed to observe the law of Moses! Sheesh! And Gothard is all about encouraging obedience to his selection of rules from the law of Moses.

They also said we shouldn’t be confuse applications with principles with absolutes, and they said just think of Abigail, who understood correctly what she needed to do, and did that. We need to be flexible like Abigail with principles and not get “boxy.”

The problem is, if you look at Gothard’s teaching on Abigail in the Character Sketches, Gothard teaches that we do have to be “boxy,” because he taught Abigail was very wrong in what she did to save her household.

So far, and I’ve only heard one podcast, Kevin Swanson isn’t telling it straight, and is getting some things badly messed up. It sounds very good, but that will add to the “deceivability factor,” I suppose. People are apt to swallow falsehoods hook, line, and sinker when they are attractively packaged and spoken in a chipper, confident tone of voice.

  JayneK wrote @

To Anonymous:
I know Chris and Mike from the homeschooling forum at http://www.meh-sc.org

To Corrie:
Gene’s comments about language were both correct and polite, although he made additional comments that were not so much. There are conventions among educated people about how to create words from classical roots. When one violates these conventions, one gives the impression that one is not an educated person. This is what Karen is doing by coining the word “patriocentric”. Following these conventions, “patriocentric” indeed ought to mean something like “patriotically focussed.” You wrote:
So, Gene was right then about the part where he said that patrios means patriotic because when he put patrio into the Google search engine it asked him if he really meant “patriotic”. Therefore, he deduced from there, that patrio means patriotic.
Gene was not deducing the meaning of “patrio” from the Google entry. He obviously already knew it. It looked to me like he was trying to present some evidence that would be understandable to a person who does not know Latin.

To Lynn:
You wrote:
Thatmom specified prior to this thread what she meant by the use of the term “patriocentric,” and as such, we knew where she stood on the issue. To some extent, a person can make up a word and assign it any spelling and meaning he or she wishes. If, however, she chooses to use classical roots and violates the conventions for these, it gives an unintended message. My immediate reaction to seeing Karen assign the meaning she does to “patriocentric” is that this is a person being pretentious and lacking in true scholarship. I am not saying this to be rude and am sorry if Karen is hurt by it but I think it is ultimately kinder to let her know. It is like telling people they have spinach on their teeth.

To Cynthia:
You object to me calling Gene Steadman a nice man and referring to him as polite. Note that I qualified my assessment with “under the circumstances”. I would expect many, possible most, educated people to react to Karen’s word usage much as I did. I sympathize with such people being provoked to irritability or shortness. It rubs me the wrong way too.
It is difficult, even for nice people, to be tactful when under the influence of such feelings.

  JayneK wrote @

Now that I have dealt with my distraction, I can focus on more substantive issues. Let me start with Chris Barnes. I have been aquainted with him online since March 2002. He made a horrendous first impression on me and it took me a long time to learn to appreciate his good qualities and to respect him. He will be the first to admit (actually I think he is proud of it) that he has no talent for tact. Over the years, I have seen person after person offended by him and forming bad impressions of homeschooling because of him.

You may be wondering why I consider this a substantive issue. It is because this situation illustrates just how problematic the idea of “police our own” is. I have been distressed and concerned by comments from Chris many times. So should I be “policing” him? And, if so, just exactly how do I do that?

I have pointed out to Chris that his lack of tact sometimes reflects badly on homeschoolers and homeschooling in general. I have expressed disagreement with him. I have disassociated myself from his remarks. The phrase “police our own,” however, conveys to me stronger measures. It suggests that I somehow ought to be interferring with his freedom of speech. But perhaps I am reading too much into it. I hope so.

Although I am puzzled as to how I could possibly prevent him from saying what he thinks, I am more troubled by the notion that I would have any right to do so. Just because Chris and I are both homeschoolers, I have no right to dictate what he is allowed to say, just as he has no such rights over me. And, just as we cannot tell each other what to say in public, we cannot tell each other what to teach our children.

By the way, speaking of first impressions, please allow me to share some of mine. I was favourable impressed by Vision Forum Ministries and appreciated the link to their site. While I did not agree with everything they said, I found their vision of men as leaders of families heart-warming and inspiring. I was touched by seeing these men prepared to take on the work and responsibility of protecting and guiding their families, out of their love for God and their wives and children.

In contrast, I had a negative first impression of this discussion. I was most struck that some women seemed unwilling to accept correction from men who are clearly their superiors in scholarship and logical thinking. This sort of thing is almost an argument in favour of patriarchy in itself.

  Cynthia Gee wrote @

“You object to me calling Gene Steadman a nice man and referring to him as polite. Note that I qualified my assessment with “under the circumstances”. I would expect many, possible most, educated people to react to Karen’s word usage much as I did. I sympathize with such people being provoked to irritability or shortness. It rubs me the wrong way too.
It is difficult, even for nice people, to be tactful when under the influence of such feelings.”

If mere incorrect word usage provokes one to “irritability or shortness”, that ought to be something of a spiritual wakeup call, don’t you think?
Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

  Cynthia Gee wrote @

“I have been distressed and concerned by comments from Chris many times. So should I be “policing” him? And, if so, just exactly how do I do that?”

Perhaps by “policing” the movement that has attracted Chris and other gun-happy, violent people in the first place? The fact that the patriocentric movement (much like fundamentalist Islam) attracts such a large number of assorted violent whackos, racists, kinists, and misogynistic nuts should alert you to the fact that something just may be fundamentally WRONG with it..

  thatmom wrote @

Risking displaying more proverbial spinach in my proverbial teeth, let me once again explain my use of the word “patriocentricity,” which I intend to continue to use, Jayne notwithstanding.

Here are two online sources for Patri, patrio, patrios, etc.
pater-, patro-, patr-, patria, patri- (Latin: father [family member]; fatherland).
From http://www.wordsources.info/refs-pa-py.html
patriot
1596, “compatriot,” from M.Fr. patriote (15c.), from L.L. patriota “fellow-countryman” (6c.), from Gk. patriotes “fellow countryman,” from patrios “of one’s fathers,” patris “fatherland,” from pater (gen. patros) “father,” with -otes, suffix expressing state or condition. Meaning “loyal and disinterested supporter of one’s country” is attested from 1605, but became an ironic term of ridicule or abuse from mid-18c. in England, so that Johnson, who at first defined it as “one whose ruling passion is the love of his country,” in his fourth edition added, “It is sometimes used for a factious disturber of the government.”

From http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=patrio&searchmode=none

Even the most unlearned such as myself would know that a “patriot” is one who is loyal to one’s FATHERLAND. The concept of “patriot” or “patriotic” is clearly and culturally known to refer to the land of one’s father, the key word here being “father.”

So, dumb me, I thought that using the clearly and culturally known word for “father” such as is the root word used in “patriarchy” and adding “centricity” which means “at the center” or “central to” is logical. And, again, so as not to be confused with the sociological term “patricentricity” I chose to use an “o” in the word, in the same way that “ecclesiocentricy” is used. Voila, patriocentricity.

Now, Jane, in order to help you keep any further spinach off of your own teeth, I would suggest that you might want to go to http://www.truewomanhood.wordpress.com and read the three threads on the visionary daughters topic, as well as the 100 plus entries on the contributors page so you can have a background that will help you understand this discussion. Then I would encourage you to listen to the podcast series on patriocentricity and patriarchy and follow the links given to Don Veinot’s journal articles on this topic. Then, I would be happy to discuss the real issues surrounding this topic rather than meandering along on your rabbit trail.

  Cynthia Gee wrote @

“I was most struck that some women seemed unwilling to accept correction from men who are clearly their superiors in scholarship and logical thinking. This sort of thing is almost an argument in favour of patriarchy in itself.”

Jayne, have you visited the Bayly brothers blog? These fellows teach that NO man ought to accept correction or instruction from a woman, even if she IS his intellectual superior in scholarship and logical thinking — they believe that any drunk in the gutter is the natural superior of even the holiest and most intelligent Christian woman, simply by virtue of his anatomy, AND (here’s the kicker) that this is the Holy Spirit’s own teaching on gender, as delivered to the rest of us through THEM.
That in itself is enough to convince me that the Bayly Brothers, their compatriots in the patriocentric movement, and their teachings are seriously unbalanced and are to be avoided at all costs.

  Corrie wrote @

Jane,

I am more than happy to accept correction from people but I disagree with you about being more scholarly and logical.

“This is what Karen is doing by coining the word “patriocentric”. Following these conventions, “patriocentric” indeed ought to mean something like “patriotically focussed.””

Jayne, could you give me a reference somewhere to this assertion? I know you are head and shoulders above me in knowledge and wisdom and logic but I just don’t take someone’s word for it. Could you please point me to some linguistic expert who would affirm that using the term “patriocentric” ought to mean something like “patriotically focussed” ?

I have done some searching and it seems the term “patriocentric” is a popular term used in psychoanalytical journals as a term to refer to “male focused”. Are these scholars wrong, too? After all, these are PHds in their fields and are very scholarly people, too.

You are correct about the Greek/Latin but that really doesn’t change the argument at all.

There was no evidence that Gene was a scholar nor did his initial assertion indicate logical thinking. Just because I stick patrio in a Google search engine and it asks me if I mean patriot means nothing. Scholars and logicians don’t come out putting people down and accusing them of using big long words to look thoughtful in a condescending manner.

Do you know Gene? Is that his real name?

He availed himself of Google as much as I did as evidenced by his second post. The “scholarship” in his first post did not compare to the scholarship in his second.

Are you telling us that anyone who claims to be a scholar is to be automatically believed and that we are to acquiese to them? Because if that is true, how dare anyone challenge Ms. Yuracko. I am sure she has many more scholarly credentials in the field of law so that must mean she is to be agreed with and her logic is superior according to your logic.

And how does disagreeing with Gene’s ORIGINAL assertion about his findings with the Google search engine asking him if he meant something else is an argument for patriarchy?

I will tell you what, I am going to write several scholars concerning this term. I am going to send them Gene’s initial post and your posts and my posts and I will find out if they can shed some light on all of this.

Also, I would like your expert opinion concerning the term “ecclesiocentricity” since that also contains a Greek root if I am not mistaken.

People who condescend and call names from the get-go are not logical nor are they “nice” (you are a linguistics expert so you know that his initial post didn’t fit the definition of that word) nor do they demonstrate scholarship.

It is obvious you have an agenda here because you are understating the facts and overstating the truth.

  Corrie wrote @

“I would expect many, possible most, educated people to react to Karen’s word usage much as I did. I sympathize with such people being provoked to irritability or shortness. It rubs me the wrong way too.
It is difficult, even for nice people, to be tactful when under the influence of such feelings.”

Ladies,

Jayne K. has made an excellent point. We MUST send our daughters to college. We do not ever want them to be in a position where someone with a degree can automatically claim scholarly authority just because they have a degree and they must acquiese to anyone who claims to be an “expert”. This is just more evidence that educational degrees are used to subjugate others and used as a weapon to make them feel inferior about any opinion they may have. If you notice, that is a theme running through some of these posts. They really do not mean what they say when a woman doesn’t need a degree or when they assert that their daughters have the equivalent of PHds from being self-educated. Self-education does not count and we must make sure that our daughters are never put in this position because of their lack of degree.

And I find it highly ironic that Jayne K. is taking this stance when the blog post was concerning a legal paper written by a scholar! Whose scholarly opinion are we to go with? And, we know that Ms. Yuracko is exactly who she says she is but how do we know who “Gene”, “Joseph” and “JayneK” are and whether or not they are more scholarly and able to speak on this matter than Ms. Yuracko?

I do understand about the feeling of frustration and being provoked but that is no excuse for name calling and that is what happened from the very beginning. I agree with Cynthia G. For someone to be provoked by the usage of this word (what are Gene’s credentials? LOL!) when SCHOLARS use it to refer to the same exact idea causes me to think that there is an issue of instability.

Jayne I appreciate all input as long as people are not putting down others unreasonably. I know many scholars and they would never immaturely address Karen’s word usage like Gene did. You are defending things that he said (ie., Google search proves???) that I believe any scholar in your alleged field would raise an eyebrow at.

Look at the initial post and I think that the responses are understandable. There was no scholarship recognizable in that initial post. And, yes, that is my illogical, under-educated opinion as a lowly housewife who has merely educated her 10 children since 1993. BTW, my oldest went on to college early and he has excelled in every way in his field of engineering. I may not have your credentials but I do have fruit.

  Corrie wrote @

“By the way, Gene made a comment on Kevin Swanson. ”

Lynn,

Where did he make this comment? Or was he on Swanson’s broadcast?

  Michael S. Morris wrote @

Sunday, the 9th of December, 2007

For what it is worth, and though I am not the linguistic scholar I know Jayne is, I did a double-take at first encountering “patriocentric” above. It sounded wrong. And exactly like the wrong case ending was used as a combinatoric form. It seemed to me clear that “father-centric” was meant, but why not simply “patricentric”, like “patricide” and “patrilineal”? But, I figured maybe this was a coinage that had been around awhile.

Mike Morris
(msmorris@netdirect.net)

  Corrie wrote @

Mike,

I have emailed several linguists who have their PHd and I am waiting to hear back from them. All of them are men and respected in their fields. I am assuming, based on the comments here, that because they are men and very respected in their field, that all other scholars, especially the female ones, will submit to their judgment on the usage of patriocentric.

“But, I figured maybe this was a coinage that had been around awhile.”

It has been around for a while and it is a term used by *scholars* in psychoanalytical journals to refer to treatment that is “male centered”, not patriot-centered. Karen has more than fully explained herself concerning why she chose that term.

I just don’t understand this term throwing everyone for a loop and causing such major distraction? But, like Karen said, it is a rabbit trail and has nothing to do with the topic at hand. It was brought up in order to try and put down Karen and make her look stupid as if her usage of that word discredits anything she has to say about the issue of this blog post. I don’t know about anyone else, but where I am from, we don’t call these types of people “nice”. There are other words that we call people like this.

I know scholars who get things wrong all the time unless I am to believe that scholars are 100% right and they are never driven by their own bias? I am sensing some bias BEHIND all this scholarship surrounding this word. It is obvious that bias is coloring scholarship in this discussion.

One of my children was once very sick and kept on spiking fevers and having seizures. The ER doctors and other doctors kept on telling me it was an ear infection. I am not at all trained in medicine but I do read and I do learn from life and I knew that it was not an ear infection. I had enough of doctors prescribing my child antibiotics and it never clearing up the problem. I was tired of watching my child suffer. So, I took him to a specialist against my doctor’s recommendation. Guess what? It was a brain tumor.

We can all sit here and compete for the top position of scholarship but I find it ridiculous. Checking out some linguist sites, I find they fight over the meaning of words amongst themselves. What does that prove?

  JayneK wrote @

Corrie asked for references to support my assertion that “patriocentric” indeed ought to mean something like “patriotically focussed.”.
From the Classical Origins site at:
http://www.phthiraptera.org/Classical%20Roots/Classic_frame.html
patr, -i, -o (L) – A father
patri, -a, -o (G) – Fatherland; habitat

The relevant instructions for interpreting entries are
:
“Every scientific term or name is composed of one or more word roots, between and following which may be one or more vowels or consonants. In the list of roots on the following pages, the connecting vowels and consonants that are most frequently encountered are indicated as variations in the roots. For example, the entry ‘erythr, -o (G) – Red’ indicates that the root is ‘erythr’ and the most commonly encountered connecting vowel is ‘o’, and the root may be found as ‘erythr’ or ‘erythro’. The source language of each root is indicated by the abbreviation in parentheses (the root ‘erythr’ is from a Greek word).

In other words, “patri” or “patro” ought to mean father, while “patria” or “patrio” ought to mean fatherland.

Also, the wikipedia article on combining forms gives some useful background information.:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combining_form

Corrie claims:
it seems the term “patriocentric” is a popular term used in psychoanalytical journals as a term to refer to “male focused”.. Could you give some references to these please?

She continues:
Are these scholars wrong, too? After all, these are PHds in their fields and are very scholarly people, too.

If there are in fact scholars doing this, they are indeed violating linguistic conventions. Since a PhD in one field does not automatically convey expertise in another, it is certainly possible they could be wrong about linguistics.

Corrie also says:
You are correct about the Greek/Latin but that really doesn’t change the argument at all.

While it might not change the argument it was devastating to your credibility. I was shocked by your lack of intellectual integrity. You implied an expertise in Latin when you did not even know enough to tell that you were writing Greek rather than Latin words. Your first reaction to having this pointed out was to blame the nearest man for raising the subject of Latin. The intellectually honest response would have been to retract your incorrect statements and apologize to everyone for making them.

And she writes:
I would like your expert opinion concerning the term “ecclesiocentricity” since that also contains a Greek root if I am not mistaken.

Yes, “ecclesia” (genitive “ecclesias”) is a Greek word. Its combining form is “ecclesi-” as in “ecclesiology”. And “-centric” is also a combining form from Greek. Since “-o-” is a thematic vowel, this word does not violate any linguistic conventions.

  Shauna wrote @

I have a question for Karen and others who do not believe we need more government oversight and more homeschooling laws but rather believe that we should “police our own.” What exactly does that entail?

  JayneK wrote @

Karen,

I have told you that you have spinach in your teeth. If you want to leave it there, I am not going to argue with you about it.

  Lindsey @ enjoythejourney wrote @

Policing our own would mean to me as it refers to Vision Forum, since they’re the main one we’re discussing anyway:

-no longer allowing companies/ministries like VF to “speak” for all of us by complaining to our local HSing support boards when they are invited as “keynoe” speakers for our local conventions

-boycotting the purchase & use of their products in our personal lives, if we so feel convicted.

-speaking to our favorite homeschool suppliers (such as Rainbow Resource, CBD, etc) about our concerns with the ministry. Speaking in a loving, but firm manner exposing our concerns with evidence…aka not just complaining without basis

-standing up in forums such as this and other blogs/discussions and being SILENT NO MORE

-being ready to discuss with evidence our concerns to anyone who might question our intent

-stop letting the minority speak for the majority because we’re either to apathetic or lazy to do it ourselves

-quit hiding behind the veil of “religious reasons” for homeschooling. Being willing to converse and discuss with ALL homeschoolers, be they Christian or not. (this may sound silly but this is actually where I’m finding the best dialouge. For too long we’ve misunderstood one another) We can unite in our cause to be HOMESCHOOLERS and put our personal convictions to the side for the discussion of homeschool freedoms as it would apply to ANY (Christian, Jewish, Pagan, whatever) HOMESCHOOLER in America

-support candidates and policies that continue to grant full freedoms to homeschooling parents, and keeping our eye on those who don’t have our best interests at heart (aka, those who think ALL of us follow the VF lifestyle!)

I’m sure there is more but this is what hit me as I read your question. Great discussion and excellent question!!!!

  Lynn wrote @

Although I am puzzled as to how I could possibly prevent him from saying what he thinks, I am more troubled by the notion that I would have any right to do so. Just because Chris and I are both homeschoolers, I have no right to dictate what he is allowed to say, just as he has no such rights over me.

These are interesting times in which we live, on account of the actions of a few.

One of the problems with what Chris said is he wasn’t specific enough. When a government protects a child from abuse in a manner which would please God, it is a good government. When a government is evil, it is different:

If anyone, private or government, tries to impose their will on my kids, they have declared war on me and my family. And I’m not talking about a “war of words” or a nice “let’s go to court” war – I’m talking about using guns, shooting, killing, people dying type of war.

Supposing the government does not allow its citizens to be caned, but assume Chris does, and that is how he treats his children.

Supposing the government does not allow its citizens to teach their children about the Lord, but conscripts young boys and girls for military service at about age 10 — the boys for war, and the girls for sex.

Two totally different scenarios.

I am married to someone who is under obligation, if he hears ANY kind of threatening remarks made against the President of the United States, to report the incident to the Secret Service. I don’t know under what other conditions he is obligated to report to the SS, but that is at least one of them.

Not all speech is “free.” Same goes for slander and libel.

My husband is a homeschooling father, and if he heard another homeschooler talk like that against the President, he would automatically report such an incident. It’s just part of his job to do so. If I heard someone do this, I would immediately go to my husband and have him talk to the person. If the behavior continued in his presence, that person WOULD be getting a visit from the SS.

  JayneK wrote @

Cynthia answers my question about “policing” Chris with:
Perhaps by “policing” the movement that has attracted Chris and other gun-happy, violent people in the first place? The fact that the patriocentric movement (much like fundamentalist Islam) attracts such a large number of assorted violent whackos, racists, kinists, and misogynistic nuts should alert you to the fact that something just may be fundamentally WRONG with it..

And just how does one police a movement?

Leaving that aside, you are making a false assumption that Chris is a part of the so-called “patriocentric” movement. He is on your side. If we poke him, we can get him to make one of his lovely gun-waving speeches about what he will do if anybody tries to prevent his daughters from going to college or voting. I guess this means there may be something fundamentally wrong with your position.

  Lynn wrote @

Corrie, you asked why I said what I said about Swanson. The very first podcast I heard by Swanson was so full of error (that was done very convincingly) that I see no problem in people saying Swanson is “beyond ridiculous.”

Now that isn’t fair of me, but I know of at least one podcast — about Gothard — that is full of downright falsehood.

Here is Gene’s remark about him, and this is what I was referring to:

Furthermore, if we are to extend respect and courtesy for “interesting, provocative” ideas of Mrs. Yuracko’s article, telling us that we should not call it shoddy or irresponsible” then how are you justified for going for the jugular in your comments about Swanson, saying his statements are “beyond ridiculous”.

  Lynn wrote @

I have told you that you have spinach in your teeth. If you want to leave it there, I am not going to argue with you about it.

Oh, thank you, Jayne, that you are done with your nonsense.

I’ll take “patriocentric” which is defined in context, over “ad homonym” any day.

This subject is a rabbit trail and poor way to change the subject. I’ll tell you why it is a poor way to change the subject. The vast majority of people reading this, including educated people with degrees (some even in foreign language with just a bit of Latin), and many people with just plain good critical thinking skills (with or without degrees), DO NOT KNOW LATIN, either because they never studied it, or because they have not pursued it after studying it years ago. And do you really think they care? Guess again!

Secondly, we are having this conversation in English, and language is not a static thing.

The spinach is not in Karen’s teeth. She said what she meant by using the term, so we UNDERSTOOD her intent. Her argument is the main thing. The spinach, however is now in Jayne’s hair, and on her face, and spattered on her shirt.

  Lynn wrote @

Lindsey, that was an excellent list of examples of “policing” in that we let our voices be known.

  JayneK wrote @

I agree with Lynn that a lot of people are not going to care about Latin. However, every single person reading this ought to care about intellectual honesty. Corrie’s lack of intellectual integrity reflects badly on her, on homeschooling, on this blog, etc. She, in effect, claimed to be an expert on Latin with her “Being a homeschool mother who has taught Latin since 1993 comes in handy.” Based on the this implied expertise she laughed at Gene and made comments like,
“I might suggest that you follow your own advice and understand the proper etymology of words and the Latin/Greek roots before you make such assertions.”

It is bad enough that she did this, but now that you all know the truth about what she did, nobody here has seen fit to call her on it. All you espousers of “police our own” seem ready to sweep it away with “nobody cares about Latin anyhow” remarks. Several of you were ready to gloat at Gene about Latin when you thought that Corrie knew what she was talking about. But now that Corrie is proved wrong, Latin is not important.

You do not appear to me to really care about policing your own. It is apparently just a code phrase for some crusade against Vision Forum Ministries. Well, don’t expect me to join the crusade. VFM seem like fine Christian people to me and I would be happy to hear a speaker from them at a homeschooling conference.

  Lynn wrote @

I agree with Lynn that a lot of people are not going to care about Latin. However, every single person reading this ought to care about intellectual honesty. Corrie’s lack of intellectual integrity reflects badly on her, on homeschooling, on this blog, etc..

Jayne, I have a BS in physical therapy, a year of Bible college, and I study formal and informal logic in my spare time.

I read what Corrie wrote, what Gene wrote, what Joseph wrote, and what you wrote. I Googled some items, and I am still confused about the matter. For you to come out and demand that I and others call Corrie on the carpet when I/we have very little idea of what exactly is going on is very premature.

I do express disagreement, though. Jen Epstein can tell you that I have disagreed with her on several occasions.

On Jen’s wordpress blog, I did have a bit of a disagreement with some other people, yesterday, over Kevin Swanson’s use of the term “leaven.” I felt free to share what I thought was the best way to look at someone who uses the metaphor of “leaven” from a Christian perspective, and I cited Augustine and Calvin as the main sources which explained what I thought and agreed with. In so doing, I disagreed with one thing I recall Corrie said, and possibly something Cindy K. said.

But as I do not understand the big deal here, I’m sitting this one out.

  Cindy Kunsman wrote @

Mr. Morris,

You’ve reappeared here but have neglected to address my specific and pointed question to you and any others who take offense to thatmom for posting this excerpt from the article by an NWU School of Law professor that is slated from publication in CLR journal.

What is it that we who are much closer to the epicenter of the problem supposed to do –desiring to be responsible, concerned citizens — to ensure that additional persons to not make the same error of application of the federal Equal Protection Clause or add momentum of Yuracko’s assertions? Is there anything that can be done?

You’ve already addressed the red herring of what you deem to be irresponsible and improper use of language. Perhaps I have disqualified my questions from consideration because I am a terrible speller like so many of those excellent readers who learned via the ITA method. Need I be subjected to a Daubert hearing to qualify as a reasonably intelligent person, listing my credentials as well? Are there additional issues here that must be addressed and qualified first?

We’ve addressed the red herring of the usage and etiology of terms.

We’ve addressed the red herring of the non-applicablility of the federal Equal Protection Clause to homeschooling and education.

We’ve addressed the red herring of the idiocy of the belief that the government should dictate the content and nature and methods of homeschooling curricula.

We’ve addressed the red herring of how different individuals view their rights and responsiblities, offering examples of how they would choose to resist violation of their rights.

We’ve addressed the red herring of the fact that Vision Forum does not represent all homeschoolers.

We’ve addressed the red herring that Vision Forum has more appeal in their presentation and message than does this blog or its particular content which may or may not extend beyond the subject matter of this particular if not peculiar post.

We’ve addressed the red herring that many do not prefer the use of the term “policing our own” because of its negative connotation that is likely to stimulate “knee-jerk” reactions in some individuals.

We’ve addressed the red herring of the ad hominem arguments that we may or may not be well-educated sufficiently to speak to the topic with command or perspicuity.

Lets throw in there, for sake of argument and since is the established trend here, that due to an ad hominem circumstansial logical fallacy, that we are uniquely disqualifed to speak to this topic appropriately because we have become emotionally engaged because of our past personal experiences. That we may be inappropriately attributing more emotional weight to the significance of the article than is due.

All those things aside, can we possibly have some reasonable dialogue with one another that addresses the problem that this growing minority within homeschooling possibly poses a risk to the freedoms that we now enjoy? If this were not a Christian group, would this even be a topic of discussion? Do you understand the nature of coersive and covert techniques of manipulation, and can you appreciate the cultic nature of this group? If so, how does a responsible homeschooling parent limit the possibility that this fringe group become a steriotype for all homeschoolers? Do you think that you might have a different opinion of this topic if the government decides to apply the Equal Protection Clause to all homeschoolers at the federal level, continuing to usurp the authority of the individual states? If individual states choose to apply the Equal Protection Clause or some corollary of it on the state level?

  Cynthia Gee wrote @

“Leaving that aside, you are making a false assumption that Chris is a part of the so-called “patriocentric” movement. He is on your side. If we poke him, we can get him to make one of his lovely gun-waving speeches about what he will do if anybody tries to prevent his daughters from going to college or voting. I guess this means there may be something fundamentally wrong with your position.”

Chris isn’t a part of the patriocentric movement? Good for him, and I mean that. I’ve dined upon crow before, and if I’m wrong about Chris being a patriocentrist, then dish me up a heaping helping, and I’ll eat it with relish.

BUT, just because someone happens to agree with you on some point or another, does not necessarily mean that they are on your side. Anyone who is prone to making “lovely, gun-waving speeches” and who appears eager to get into a “shooting war” with the government or with other believers (however heretical their movement may be) is no ally of mine. A loose cannon is a very dangerous companion.

  Cynthia Gee wrote @

“Several of you were ready to gloat at Gene about Latin when you thought that Corrie knew what she was talking about. But now that Corrie is proved wrong, Latin is not important.”

Who said that Latin is not important? Of course it is. But it is not so important that it gives people like Gene an excuse to call other people names, and THAT was why most people here were upset with Mr. Steadman — not because he corrected Corrie or Karen or anyone else, but because he was rude in his manner of correction.
But whether Latin is important or not, it certainly provided a handy rabbit trail for certain folks who wished to to sidetrack this discussion, didn’t it, Jane?

  JayneK wrote @

Lynn wrote:
But as I do not understand the big deal here, I’m sitting this one out.

You have dismissed my concern as “nonsense” and a “rabbit-trail”. It sounds to me like you don’t want to understand it.

The big deal is that honesty is extremely important and I can see no explanation other than Corrie was being dishonest about Latin. Even assuming that Latin is the most unimportant subject in the world, it is not right to lie about it.

It is not that hard to understand the sequence of events. Gene questioned Karen’s use of the word “partiocentric”. Corrie defended Karen by claiming expertise in Latin and citing several allegedly Latin words to support Karen’s position. Except the “Latin ” words weren’t. Every one of them was actually Greek. Corrie herself now admits that they were Greek not Latin. A person with a basic mastery of Latin ought to have immediately recognized that these words were not Latin. Corrie was being dishonest in pretending an expertise she did not have to bolster her position. In fact, everything that Gene said about word formation was correct and Corrie did not know what she was talking about. This really ought to bother you.

  JayneK wrote @

Cynthia wrote:
BUT, just because someone happens to agree with you on some point or another, does not necessarily mean that they are on your side.

That is easy for you to see when the loose cannon agrees with you. You do not seem to apply this to the loose cannons who agree with some points of “patriocentrism”. You seem prepared to accept the lunatic fringe as typical examples of a position you disagree with.

  Corrie wrote @

“Corrie’s lack of intellectual integrity reflects badly on her, on homeschooling, on this blog, etc. She, in effect, claimed to be an expert on Latin with her “Being a homeschool mother who has taught Latin since 1993 comes in handy.””

Jayne,

What did I do? I misspoke and said Greek instead of Latin? I admitted that. Again, thank you for pointing that out. But, what does that prove? It proves nothing.

I did in NO way claim to be an expert. Rather, I was playing on the irony of this situation. Remember, we are told over and over again that college is not important and we are told that daughters who have never gone to college have PHd level of education.

I have taught my children Latin since 1993 using the very same materials you have plus I have used ‘Latin Road to Grammar”. How is this a claim to “expert” status? I was laughing about Gene’s statement that he put in “patrio” into Google and it asked him if he meant “patriot” so that means that the word “patrio” meant patriot. Did you not see that? Why haven’t you addressed his ORIGINAL statement? Is that even a logical thing to say? My spell check asks me if I meant “goat herd” instead of “Gothard” , does that mean Gothard is really a goatherder?

Nothing you have shared, here, leads me to believe that Karen is using the word in a “stupid” way. She was not trying to use big words to appear to be smart like you and Gene accused her of.

I did consult my root word materials that I have in my home and I also went to the internet. All did was misspoke when I said Latin when I really meant Greek. How is that intellectually dishonest?

Is it against linguistic rules to use Greek roots instead of Latin? Because I knew that Karen was going on the term “ecclesiocentricity”, I looked up the word “father” in the Greek. I have no problem for apologizing for being confused and writing “Latin” instead of “Greek”.

What I found absolutely abhorrent is Gene’s behavior towards Karen right from the bat. You said he was “nice”?? Your slip is showing, Jayne. How you can overlook Joseph and Gene’s behavior is beyond me and then applaud them for their scholarly and “patient” ways?

You set me straight. I am thankful that you corrected me. Yes, it is Greek and not Latin. But, from there, I wonder what your point is? What is it that you and Gene have said that has shown Karen to be wrong in her usage of that word? What is it that you said that proved me wrong in what I said? (besides the Latin/Greek error)? And, so what if it isn’t linguistically rock solid? She doesn’t look stupid at all. Everyone knows what she meant.

My lack of intellectual integrity? What in the world are you talking about? Because I stated I homeschooled my children, I was claiming expert status? LOL I threw that in there for irony’s sake! Remember, Gene and Joseph are in a group that states females don’t need an education! I expected them to be consistent and treat homeschooling moms in accordance to the teachings they follow.

  Corrie wrote @

“The big deal is that honesty is extremely important and I can see no explanation other than Corrie was being dishonest about Latin. Even assuming that Latin is the most unimportant subject in the world, it is not right to lie about it.”

Jayne,

This is foolish.

What was I dishonest about? My statement that I have taught Latin to my children? What in the world are you talking about? Again, what did I lie about?

  JayneK wrote @

Cynthia wrote:
Who said that Latin is not important?
I think it is reasonable to infer from Lynn calling my comments on Latin “nonsense” and claiming that the vast majority of people reading this do not care about Latin that she thinks it is not important.

And Cynthia wrote:
But whether Latin is important or not, it certainly provided a handy rabbit trail for certain folks who wished to to sidetrack this discussion, didn’t it, Jane?

This is not a sidetrack, as far as I am concerned. It is the foundational issue. If I cannot trust people to be intellectually honest, then that affects how I deal with everything they say about everything. If I can’t trust people to be honest then I don’t care what they have to say about patriarchy or women’s education or anything else.

I actually did attempt to discuss the intellectual honesty issue concurrently with other points. However, I received more comments on this point so I have written about it more in response.

  Corrie wrote @

I am perfectly willing to be called on the carpet. These ladies have done it before and I have been wrong many times before.

What does Jayne mean when she said that I “lied about Latin”?

What did I lie about?

Yes, I have admitted several times that I mistakenly said it was Latin when I should have written Greek. But, I still do not see that this makes a difference at all? I was talking about the root words and their meanings. Go back and see what I said and you will see that it is exactly what Jayne said (word for word) except that I wrongly used the word Latin instead of Greek. I knew it was Greek but my brain was saying Latin because that is what was on my mind from the initial issue. I also have a lot of chaos at any one given time and I do make mistakes. I get distracted.

But, where did I lie? That is a very strong accusation, Jayne. And, for the life of me, can’t figure out where I lied? I was wrong but that is not equal to lying, is it?

And, your information does not prove anything. I asked you to show me some online resources that would show me that patriocentric means patriotically focussed and you continue to assert you are right and everyone else is wrong and now you are asserting that I am lying. You and Gene come into Karen’s living room and imply she is stupid and unscholarly for using that term. Shouldn’t the burden be on YOU, the self-proclaimed expert, to show us some sort of source material?

Jayne, since you have publicly accused me of lying, then show me where I lied.

I have said all I can. I apologize for getting my ancient languages confused but the information I gave was not wrong, just that I labeled the Greek roots, Latin. The Latin word for father comes from the Greek word for father.

I still am not convinced from what Jayne said on this issue that Karen is using the word wrong. I have made several emails to linguists and I hope to get an answer back. What else can I do?

  Maura wrote @

Argh! We were having such an interesting conversation, and it’s been completely derailed (as, no doubt, was the intention). Or… I suppose there’s *some* doubt.
When Jayne says things like “I would expect many, possible most, educated people to react to Karen’s word usage much as I did. I sympathize with such people being provoked to irritability or shortness. It rubs me the wrong way too.
It is difficult, even for nice people, to be tactful when under the influence of such feelings”…. I can’t help but disagree. I don’t think that many or most educated people are provoked to such irritability and shortness that they cannot focus on the issue at hand when confronted with a possibly wrong usage of a language root, so I have to conclude that either Jayne is afflicted with some variant of OCD (as some of my friends are, and I know that this kind of distraction over detail is a painful and difficult part of it) or she’s trying to insult Corrie and end the discussion.
Luckily, I don’t have any such problem or intent. So, for example, even though Jayne wrote “possible” when she clearly ought to have used “possibly” in the above quoted comment, it doesn’t temper my enthusiasm at all!

  JayneK wrote @

Corrie claims not to understand my charge of intellectual dishonesty.

Here is the context of Corrie mentioning that she had taught her children Latin since 1993.

Gene,

“Don’t you mean “Patricentricity” and not “Patriocentricity”? The former means father centered while the later means patriot centered. ”

No it doesn’t. Patriot comes from the French word “patriotes”.

Patrios means, in Latin, “of one’s fathers”

Patris means, in Latin, “fatherland”

Both of these Latin words are a derivation of the word “pater” (patros- gen) which means father.

The “otes” suffix is a state or a condition.

Patrios does not mean patriot, it means of one’s father.

Being a homeschool mother who has taught Latin since 1993 comes in handy.

She did not just say that she had taught Latin; she said that it “comes in handy” with the clear implication that it had just come in handy for writing her comment. She implied that the reason she knew all this Latin (which was really Greek) she had just cited was that she had taught Latin to her children. She also implied that she was able to contradict Gene because she knew all this Latin.

Other people obviously understood her comments this way as there was much gloating over how she had put Gene in his place.

Corrie wrote:
I was laughing about Gene’s statement that he put in “patrio” into Google and it asked him if he meant “patriot” so that means that the word “patrio” meant patriot. Did you not see that? Why haven’t you addressed his ORIGINAL statement?

Gene was correctly saying that the root “patrio” is so similar to its English derivative “patriot” that it triggers this response from Google and so it ought to be obvious to you that they are related. I have addressed his original statement. I said that everything he said about language in it was correct.

Corrie wrote:
“Is it against linguistic rules to use Greek roots instead of Latin?”

It is against linguistic rules to use the combining form “patr-” interchangeably with “patri-“. They may be related but they are distinct. It is like claiming that one can use “feminine” and “feminist” interchangeably because they are related.
To a person who knows about such things, Karen, and you defending her, look as intelligent as someone using “feminine” where she means “feminist.” And, no matter how many people know what she really means, this is not very intelligent.

  JayneK wrote @

Maura,

I was a linguistics major as an undergrad. I studied this subject because language fascinates me. I notice and react to language usage and other language issues more than most people. The rest of you can continue on with your interesting discussion. You don’t have to respond to me.

And thank you for pointing out my typo. I noticed it after the comment was submitted and, since there is no edit feature I am aware of, I was wondering what to do about it.

  thatmom wrote @

Everybody look….I am wearing a black and white striped shirt and blowing a whistle.

Jayne, You appear to be determined to take this discussion away from the intended context. I would like to ask you to go back and read the original post and if you understand the concept of patriocentricity and the concerns that most of us are discussing, then you may participate. Otherwise, I will no longer be allowing your comments.

  Cynthia Gee wrote @

“I think it is reasonable to infer from Lynn calling my comments on Latin “nonsense” and claiming that the vast majority of people reading this do not care about Latin that she thinks it is not important.”

No, Jayne… there is all the difference in the world between calling the Latin language “nonsense” and calling your comments on someone’s USE of Latin, nonsense.
Latin is important. Your comments about Latin, and your resultant (and very successful) attempt to sidetrack this entire thread based on someone’s possibly incorrect use of Latin, is NOT important .

And to top it off, you have the temerity to accuse someone ELSE here of intellectual dishonesty, after you have used this side issue to lead us by our noses down a rabbit trail, while you sit there, undoubtably laughing up your sleeve.
I’ll give you one thing, Jayne, you do have hutzpah.

  Lynn wrote @

You have dismissed my concern as “nonsense” and a “rabbit-trail”. It sounds to me like you don’t want to understand it.

I do agree that you’ve derailed the main purpose of the discussion and hijacked this thread. Nonsense is a bit of an overcall, but there’s enough hyperbole on this thread all the way around, so I feel no guilt.

As to my not wanting to understand it — the plain fact is, I would have to devote many hours of tutoring to fully understand this, hours I don’t have. The motivation is there, but the resources are not.

  thatmom wrote @

I would like to as anyone commenting here to not respond to Jayne. Since she did not do what i asked, any comments from her will be removed.

  thatmom wrote @

Lindsay,

Your suggestions some two dozen comments ago were really good. I hope they didn’t get lost in the mix.

A few months ago I noted that about 35 state conventions featured speakers who are in the patriocentric camp. I have also noticed that more mainstream suppliers do carry products written or published by patriocentrists, too. You are correct that it will mean that we have to take the time to let our views be known and to not be afraid to share our concerns with fellow homeschoolers. While my own experience has been that I have lost some relationships by voicing my concerns, I have also heard from many people who have thanked me and said that it has emboldened them to speak up, too.

  Maura wrote @

abandonning?
(I’m sorry, I can’t help it now!)

  Lin wrote @

. “I sympathize with such people being provoked to irritability or shortness. It rubs me the wrong way too.
It is difficult, even for nice people, to be tactful when under the influence of such feelings.”

Have you always allowed your feelings to control you? The shows a lack of ‘emotional intelligence’.

  Michael S. Morris wrote @

Sunday, the 9th of December, 2007

Cindy Kunsman wrote, in small part:
You’ve reappeared here but have neglected to address my specific and pointed question to you and any others who take offense to thatmom for posting this excerpt from the article by an NWU School of Law professor that is slated from publication in CLR journal.

MSM responds:
Actually, as you now know, I responded to you within 24 hours of reading your piece. I just responded in email when you sent me a copy of it by email. I began writing my response this morning, and, after singing a Christmas concert this afternoon and before cooking dinner, I finished my response and sent it. The gist was, I think, that your interests are somewhat sideways to mine. I’m happy to agree that there are some very evil people out there, and that, yes, government idiots and supported by a very poorly educated US citizenry are every happy to overreact and and bridge Rights in the the name of order.

Anyway, I do *object* to your characterization of me as among those who “take offense” for thatmom posting this article by the law professor. I don’t think I ever said anything remotely like that I am offended by her posting it. I argued with the legal scholar, not with thatmom, and I certainly do not for one second imagine that people in general, or thatmom in particular, only quote materials with which they agree. I have little idea whether thamom and I disagree about anything.

Moreover, I positively enjoy argument and therefore tend to relish opinions, such as the law professor’s, with which I can disagree. That is, I seldom “take offense”, even when I do disagree.

(I do disagree rather strongly, though, at thatmom’s reaction to Jayne. As I indicated, I’m a PhD in theoretical physics and imagine that I wholly understand where Jayne is coming from about the importance of her distraction and about the basic virtue of “intellectual honesty”. She introduced the linguistics thing as a “distraction”—a personal pet peeve I personally applaud (I care about getting the details right, too)—and she put that in a separate post and on to the main stuff she wanted to write about, namely Chris and “policing him”. By which time nearly everybody went off into arguing about “patriocentric”. At which point thatmom acted so as to threaten Jayne with being shut up. Which exemplifies what I think is fundamentally wrong with moderated forums and why, having said what I wanted to say in my first post, I am now outta here.)

Mike Morris
(msmorris@netdirect.net)

  Cindy Kunsman wrote @

My apologies to Mike Morris. I posed a question to him and it was missed in an oversight, as he went on to respond to other people, so I posed the question again and copied it in an email. He did address things with me and I am very much appreciative. We have very different perspective, which is fine. I’m sorry if I painted him as one who did not wish to respond. He was very agreeable.

Basically, he thinks that it law article isn’t that big of a deal or matter of concern. From my side of the barn, and the landscape from here, the prospects of it all are more disturbing. It’s just another thing to pile onto all the other disturbing things that have been accumulating about Vision Forum.

God bless him. I appreciate his response and willingness to explain his side of things to me.

  thatmom wrote @

Cindy, I appreciate the efforts you have made to discuss these things with Mike. I know it must be frustrating for someone who has never experienced the fruit of patriocentric teachings to really “get” what we are trying to say. I am sorry that they do not understand that we ARE defending their freedoms as homeschoolers by questioning patriocentric teachings.

I also understand that someone who doesn’t share my convictions as a Christians would also not understand the priority of holding all the patriocentric teachings up to the Word of God. That is just a point on which we will have to agree to disagree.

As far as the idea that this article is irrelevant, let me once again point out that lawmakers WILL study research papers like this one before they introduce legislation. It doesn’t really matter what WE think about the essay. It is what LAWMAKERS think about it that matters in the long run and that is the entire point I was trying to make. I am amazed that the alleged law experts who came here to wield their expertise early on were so irresponsible with their comments and totally ignored what are genuine concerns. They ought to be willing to set aside their personal preferences regarding patriarchal teachings long enough to evaluate this issue.

There are radical anti-homeschooling forces who would love to bring an end to homeschooling. Just the fact that we, collectively, prevent local governments from receiving millions of dollars in state funds for local schools makes us a target. The fact that millions of children are being well-educated in their homes by parents with no teaching certificates drives the NEA crazy. These are the people who would love to take this essay and use it to restrict our freedoms.

  Rebecca wrote @

Karen, hate to bring this up again, but — as an ignorant college dropout who has long forgotten her years of Latin (I once placed second in a statewide Latin grammar competition for fourth year students…haha) I wonder if perhaps Jayne (Jane? I think I saw it spelled both ways) might be appeased if you dropped the “i” and began writing “patrocentric”.

But, then again, I may have misunderstood her series of lessons on the topic.

By the way, I am not claiming expert status. I have spent many, many years forgetting my long-ago Latin studies.

Back on topic — I have always wished for those who were not quite so fringy — and for secular homeschoolers — to take a more visible role in the “movement”. It would be nice to see and hear more voices quoted in the media. Perhaps “policing the movement”, since that phrase seemed to so trouble people, should be replaced with the more unwieldy “attempting to hold other homeschoolers accountable”.

I’m sure this post has afforded many opportunities for the grammar police to become irritable. Sorry. I have my own pet peeves and bite my tongue whenever my favorite public school “master teacher” utters one of her many gems such as, “Isn’t this a lot funner than the other game?” So far I’ve not been driven to rudeness or name-calling but, then again, I’m not as highly educated as others in this discussion.

  Shauna wrote @

“I am sorry that they do not understand that we ARE defending their freedoms as homeschoolers by questioning patriocentric teachings.”

There’s a difference between not understanding it and not agreeing with it, and I don’t see any indication that Mike and the others didn’t “get” it. I completely agree with speaking up about and questioning aberrant teachings and homeschooling movements, and Lindsey’s post helped to clarify what is meant by the idea of policing our own.

I’m still not comfortable with the idea, though, because I don’t think it’s my place to tell other homeschoolers what they may or may not teach their kids, whether it’s regarding women’s roles, the origins of the world, America, or the environment. I might speak up about my own beliefs and challenge ideas I disagree with, but I don’t personally consider that policing anyone. I don’t want to make adversaries of other homeschoolers and especially my brothers and sisters in Christ, no matter how emphatically I disagree with their positions on different issues. I also question whether debating theology with and challenging other homeschoolers has much of an effect on lawmakers.

As I see it, if we sincerely want to protect homeschooling liberty, we have to get actively involved in the political process. Laws aren’t generally passed overnight and without warning, although it may seem that way when we don’t pay attention to what’s going on until it’s too late. We need to get to know our legislators, pay attention to what is happening in our local district and our state, write letters, vote, and help keep others informed and active. Some homeschoolers decide to run for office themselves.

Although I wasn’t referring directly to the issue discussed in this thread, I wrote a little about this recently on my homeschooling blog and welcome discussion and other ideas:

http://treasureseekers.wordpress.com/2007/11/15/on-petitions-slacktivism-and-taking-action/

  Lindsey @ enjoythejourney wrote @

Shauna,

Like you I’m not comfortable telling OTHER families what they can and can’t do.

Just like I don’t particularly appreciate Doug Phillips et al teaching that if I’m a good Christian in the fullest, MY girls shouldn’t go to college and I shouldn’t vote.

Blech. Any way you slice it. Blech!

Wouldn’t the entire world be a better place if we all could just focus on our individual families and do things for the greater, true good of everyone involved?

But, it ain’t so. (and yes, I used ain’t on purpose. This whole grammar/Latin thingy is so silly—and yes, I used “thingy” on purpose too!)

My degree is in education and my second degree is in mathematics. I don’t go around fixin’ people’s math for them either.

  Rebecca wrote @

Lindsey, you are welcome to come to our house and fix our math any time. Some days, there’s a lot that needs a-fixin’.

I’ve thought about this whole policing/accounting thingy, and here are some of my still-being-formulated thoughts:

1. I am all for homeschooling freedom. I believe that children belong to their parents, not to the state. Actually I believe that children are entrusted to the parents.

2. I’m radical enough to believe that our federal government should not be involved in the education business.

3. I believe that the state should only step in when there is obvious abuse or neglect going on. However, this needs to be defined accurately. When it comes to education — no matter what some people might insist — it is not necessarily abusive to teach a four year old to read, nor is it neglect to wait until he is 8 years old or even older. Homeschooling is not by its very nature abusive, as some have claimed (not in this discussion, but elsewhere). Public schools can be very abusive places, as I’ve learned from experience, but I don’t think everyone who sends their child to one should be investigated for child abuse.

4. I think one of the mistakes made in the article under discussion is, if I understand it correctly, the idea that the same rules and regulations pertaining to government-sponsored education should also apply to homeschools. But the truth of the matter is that this would be impossible. For example, the vast majority of homeschools in America are racially segregated — because the vast majority of families are. If homeschools need to concern themselves with the Equal Protection Clause, then it would stand to reason that families, no matter how they choose to educate their children, would need to concern themselves as well. And I know plenty of public schooling parents who are incredibly “sexist” about what they will allow or deny their daughters to do in terms of sports, extracurricular activities, educational opportunities, etc.

As for “policing our own” — please don’t tell me what to do in my own home with my own children. I’m sure that I can find loud homeschoolers somewhere who would be aghast at how we educate our children and the content of our curriculum. Tell you what — if you promise not to scream that I’m going to hell for not using your favorite Christian curriculum, I promise not to scream back that your children are worthless wimps because not only are they scared of anyone who does not look or think like them, but they can’t defend themselves verbally or physically, and they probably didn’t just finish tiling and plumbing the bathroom either. So there.

We all have different ideas about what constitutes a good education. That’s why we homeschool and why we approach the task in so many different ways. And that’s what I’d like to see in terms of “holding others accountable”. Somehow, the “big names” need to be reminded, as do their followers and the watching world, that THEY DO NOT SPEAK FOR ME. There is no monolithic homeschooling “movement”, with HSLDA at its head. We are not all living for the day when we can send our children to Patrick Henry. We are not all Calvinists. We don’t all wear denim jumpers or bake bread. We come in all sizes, all beliefs, all educational philosophies, all faith backgrounds, even no faith backgrounds. Doug Philips does not speak for me. Neither do two sweet little precocious girls, no matter how many books they might write before they grow up.

This does not mean I am trying to silence anyone. I am not declaring war; I leave that to Chris and his buddies. If anything, I am trying to get more people to speak up, more divergent voices to be heard. Let our state homeschooling conferences know that we are not interested in just one narrow aspect of homeschooling. (I jokingly nicknames ours “Calvinistic Home Edeucators” and quit going back when I was still a Calvinist because I couldn’t stand their one-sided approach.) Let more people start inclusive groups and inclusive conferences that feature a variety of speakers with a variety of philosophies and ideas. Hold people accountable for what they say and write publicly by questioning them (politely, without resorting to name-calling, even if the speakers are women who make a mistake now and then). Don’t give people a free ride to claim to speak for homeschoolers when they don’t speak for all of us.

But leave the individual families alone — unless, of course, they are criminals like Papa Pilgrim.

I wish all the visitors to this blog had chosen to engage themselves more directly with real issues, rather than threatening bloodshed and getting their knickers in a twist over Latin/Greek.

  Rebecca wrote @

Yes, I know there are typos in my previous comment. They don’t call me the Typo Queen without reason. I’m sure there are grammatical errors as well. What can I say? I am a product of public education.

Please engage my ideas. I promise to try to do the same in return.

  Shauna wrote @

“Let more people start inclusive groups and inclusive conferences that feature a variety of speakers with a variety of philosophies and ideas.”

This is something that I have been thinking more seriously about lately, and after researching possible alternatives to my state’s major homeschooling convention, I found a group that is discussing holding an inclusive conference next year.

  Lindsey @ enjoythejourney wrote @

Bravo, Bravo, Brava! Dear Rebecca!!!!

You hit the nail on the head (and I had a good chuckle on the little vent you had there about curriculum and well adusted/social freaks afraid of their own shadow)

For far too long we’ve been in our little camps, the Christian camp here, the ultra-conservative Christian camp over there, the secular homeschoolers over there….and so on and so forth. If we get to the basics of the freedoms of education, we’ll find that we’re all far more ALIKE than different in that matter.

For the life of me, I cannot and do not understand how these seperate little groups are so afraid of one another. Seriously. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. We had to start a new homeschool park day locally because the ultra conservatives were worried about the little pagan children in the sandbox alongside their own kids. It is ridiculous how we human beings can be when left to our own devices.

If we cannot stand up together and try to keep homeschool freedoms FREE for ALL of us, regardless of religious or non-religious conviction.

That’s my little ecumenical-homeschool soap box moment. I’m done. :)

  TG wrote @

Rebecca, I’ve always benefited when you’ve joined the conversation.

  Rebecca wrote @

Aw, shucks, TulipGirl!

  JayneK wrote @

Karen, please allow me to post this apology on your blog because I would like to apologize to everyone in the discussion as well as you.
I am sorry for being belligerent and tactless.I ask you all to forgive me.

  Cynthia Gee wrote @

“I am sorry for being belligerent and tactless.I ask you all to forgive me.”

Forgiven… and I ask the same of you, Jayne, if my manner of speaking was offensive. Shall we agree to disagree, and call it pax?

  JayneK wrote @

Cyntia wrote:
Forgiven… and I ask the same of you, Jayne, if my manner of speaking was offensive. Shall we agree to disagree, and call it pax?

Thank you. I realize that I provoked much of the response to me here by being overly-confrontational. I do not hold it against anyone. I would be pleased to be at peace with you all.

I’m not sure if I am allowed to say “pax” though, since that is a Latin word. :)

  thatmom wrote @

Jayne,

Your apology is accepted and you are welcome to post here if you do so in the same sweet spirit in which you have written this morning.

  Lynn wrote @

As long as it’s not “Pax Romana.” Not having had Latin, I hope I spelled it right. ;-)

  Corrie wrote @

I posted a public apology to Jayne, yesterday, and others over on the MEH board (thread on sexism and homeschooling) and I will post that apology here because I owe that to Jayne and anyone else I have offended. I am deeply sorry.

Mea Culpa?

or would that be συγνώμη? ;-)

“”The responses by Corrie and others were gloating in their tone to Gene. And suddenly, when Jayne was able to demonstrate that Corrie did not have the expertise she claimed she did, the whole thing was a waste of time. I would bet that if you tallied posts, Corrie and her friends ‘wasted’ more time on that discussion that Jayne did.”

Hi Kanga Mom,

You are correct, I was very wrong. I am asking you and everyone else involved to forgive me. I am very ashamed of myself.

I do want to explain to you that when I made that comment about teaching my children since 1993, it was supposed to be funny. It came in handy because I could identify scientific terms because I knew their roots. I am a complete dunce when it comes to science and learning Greek and Latin roots and teaching them to others has helped me greatly to understand a word even though I have never seen it before. I was trying to be funny instead of responding to Gene by calling him names as he called others. It did not come off the way I meant it. I wasn’t gloating at all. I was really trying to play off the irony of the patriarchal stance that women don’t need to go to college since they already have a PHd level of education just by staying home and reading books on their own.

I was certainly NOT claiming to have expertise. Hardly and that is not at all how I view myself and that is not at all what I was saying in my response to Gene.

I was upset with Gene’s name calling and condescending and rude remarks to Karen and others and I usually try not to respond when I am riled up. I am more than willing to have a discussion with people but I did not understand the type of behavior being exhibited by Gene and Joseph. It was uncalled for. Calling people “cackling hens” and “miserable” and “bitter” and insinuating we are wasting time and taking time away from our household duties just because they disagree doesn’t make for good discussion in my book. When I confront these teachings, I do not attribute motives. I deal with the actual written word of the person who I am confronting. I did not find Gene to be “a nice man” at all and that really rubbed me the wrong way because it seemed unfair. I am truly sorry for allowing my flesh to get the better of me.

You are right, I did waste time. If you notice, I am not posting on this topic anymore. I understood that Karen was asking everyone, especially me to stop talking about the Latin/Greek thing. I have been humbled by this whole exchange and I sincerely want to ask you and Jayne and anyone else I have offended to forgive me.

One more thing, I know the difference between Latin and Greek. I am far from being an expert but when I wrote what I wrote, I was thinking Greek and I was looking at my Greek materials but I wrote Latin. It was a stupid mistake. I have at least a 1,000 flash cards in my home from our Greek and Latin root studies. I have gone through two levels of the Latin Road to English Grammar. My children are much better at Latin than I am. They have far surpassed me in that area. I am more of a facilitator. I have never claimed to be an expert and I am always in learning mode. I shouldn’t try and write those sorts of posts when I have a lot of distractions going on around me.

What I do have is life experience. I do have a son in college that was homeschooled through high school (except for K, 1st, 2nd) and he has done fantastic in his structural/civil engineering course work. I have 9 other children at home and every day I learn something new.

I know Jayne is heads and tails above me in knowledge in this area. It really isn’t the hill I want to die on. I had never even heard of the term until this year. I do think that whatever you want to call it: father-centric, male-centric, patricentric, etc., all describe it much better than hyper-patriarchy or just plain ol’ patriarchy.

I have learned a lot from the discussion concerning making laws that would regulate homeschooling. I have a lot more to learn.”

  Lynn wrote @

Here’s a link Corrie showed the Yahoo Patriarchy board, and it is in keeping with concerns of this thread:

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/14822541/detail.html

In another posting on Dec. 1, Murray wrote about the “insane things” he went through in Christian homeschool.

“I remember the beatings and the fighting and yelling and insane rules and the Bill Gothard bull**** and then trancing out … I remember how it was like every day was Mission Impossible trying to keep the rules or not get caught. . . .” nghtmrchld26 posted on the expentacostal.org Web site.

“We both went through some insane stuff growing up in The Nightmare that outsiders just do not understand,” he said.

  Lynn wrote @

No, I’m not calling for more regulations. No, I’m not blaming Bill Gothard for the murder of other people. That responsibility lies with Michael Murray alone.

But Murray obviously was very angered by the legalism of Gothardism, as many who exit ATI have testified to (I’ve read a lot of their stories on the Crossings, where you have to sign on with your real name, and on the Gothard list), and the media has already taken note of this and is publishing it, and it IS something to be concerned about.

In addition to this we must be praying for the families who now are facing Christmas with loved ones murdered because their murderer hated Christianity.

  Lynn wrote @

Here is a quote from Murray, which is now on Wikipedia. Someone posted it to the Gothard discussion list (a Yahoo group). Patriocentrist Doug Phillips and the Vision Forum are VERY friendly with Gothard, and they teach many things in common about practical Christian living, except for Phillips encourages early marriage, and Gothard encourages singleness for a time of dedicated service. Phillips has spoken on Gothard’s ATI platform. We need to keep in mind this is Murray’s own testimony about why he felt so angry and confused, NOT what other people said about him:

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bill_Gothard&oldid=177364577

Matthew J. Murray, the spree shooter in the Arvada missionary shooting and New Life Church shooting, was homeschooled and raised by his parents according to Gothard’s teachings. Murray blamed this strict, isolated upbringing and Gothard personally for his mental and social problems in Internet postings in forums where other Gothard critics and “survivors” would gather. [21] [22] [23]

“ I am 22 years old and I was raised in Bill Gothard’s homeschool program all the way through high school. I went to both the Basic and Advanced Seminars. My Mother was fully into both Bill Gothard’s programs AND the Charismatic movement.
What I found were all these other rules Irealized I could never live up to, yet, the man seemed to have a biblical basis for everything. In Februrary 2001 at age 17 I plunged into a dark suicidal depression all because I thought I had lost my “salvation” and somehow couldn’t live up to the rules. Every single hour of every single day, up until October 2001 I thought about ways of suicide and hating myself for not being worthy enough and failing God. I felt like there was no reason to live because I had lost my salvation and could never live up to the rules.[24]

It isn’t just conservative homeschoolers who are looking at these matters. And although the overwhelming vast majority of people who come out of ATI would never do such things as Murray did, the fact is MANY OF THEM HAVE VERY SIMILAR FEELINGS ABOUT THEIR LEGALISTIC AUTHORITARIAN HOMESCHOOL BACKGROUND!!!

  Lynn wrote @

Thatmom, I posted about Murray because there are more issues that those who want more regulation are looking at besides how girls and women are treated. It’s the whole excessive authoritarian legalism that is the backdrop for a lot of problems — Murray’s, and many women and girls as well.

But Jesus Christ sets us free from yokes of bondage and heavy burdens. I am grieved to know that Murray felt this way, and in his anger took it out on others.

  matthew murray and the homeschool paradigm « thatmom wrote @

[...] see Lynn’s comments here, (numbers [...]

  Corrie wrote @

“While unmarried women may have more flexibility in applying the principle that women
were created for a domestic calling, it is not the ordinary and fitting role of women to work
alongside men as their functional equals in public spheres of dominion.””

What exactly does this mean? Are we not their equals if they are not in a position of authority over us? Is this saying, in effect, that all women are subordinated to all men?

I had always thought that a woman is in a subordinate position to her OWN husband, her elders (along with her husband equally under submission of their elders), law makers (again along with all men, equally), etc.

So, if all women are not subordinate to all men then why can they not work as functional equals “in public spheres of dominion”?

And what is a public sphere of dominion? Aren’t both the man and the woman given dominion over the earth in Genesis 1 without distinction?

  Corrie wrote @

“see also Stacy McDonald, RAISING MAIDENS OF VIRTUE: A STUDY OF FEMININE LOVELINESS FOR MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS (2005). McDonald explained that a girl’s education “should be focused on assisting her future husband as his valuable helpmate, not on becoming her ‘own person.’” Id. at 55. She counseled girls to “[r]emember that a strong desire to be a doctor or a seemingly God-given talent in math is not an indication of God’s will for you to have a career in medicine or engineering. Sometimes God gives us talents and strengths for the specific purpose of helping our future husbands in their calling.””

What would women do if they couldn’t have access to female doctors? And what is a “seemingly God-given talent”? And where does it say that a woman’s God-given talents are given to her only to serve her own husband and no one else? Is that in the Bible somewhere?

The female doctor issue is especially pertinent because the hyper-patriarchal crowd also teaches that it is immodest and unbiblical to go to a male doctor for any female related issues or in any situation where a male doctor would have to look at a woman’s nakedness.

A woman can’t be a doctor but she can’t go to a male doctor. Hmmm? What to do! What to do? I guess women are not entitled to medical care, then, the way that men are? And don’t tell me that all women can have their health care needs met by a midwife. That is far from the truth.

  Corrie wrote @

It has been recently stated that the sites that confront the hyper-patriarchal teachings are not reliable because they are biased and misrepresent what is taught.

I am reading through some of this article and how can that assertion be true when the quotes are coming from the actual teachings of those in the hyper-patriarchal movement?

In fact, most people don’t make assertions unless they have a quote to back them up.

So, how can you misrepresent an actual teaching and practice when you are quoting directly from the source?

For instance, VF/Abshire assert that the bible teaches that women can’t vote. Anyone show me where the bible says this?

Where does it say that a woman is given talents from God in order to serve her husband? But, when a man is given talents from God it is in order to take dominion?

I would like someone to show a couple of instances where people are misrepresenting what the hyper-patriarchal movement is teaching. One or two examples would be nice, especially since it was said that everything that is said is extremely unreliable and it is a misrepresentation of the hyper-patriarchal teachings.

  Shauna wrote @

“So, how can you misrepresent an actual teaching and practice when you are quoting directly from the source?”

Quotes are misinterpreted all the time (I’m speaking generally here), either deliberately or because the receiver of the message doesn’t understand or get what the speaker is saying. And if the receiver is already biased against the speaker, it’s less likely he or she is going to give the speaker the benefit of the doubt when something is not fully understood rather than assigning a negative intent.

One example that stands out in my mind as an obvious misrepresentation in the ongoing conversation on the other blog were the comments implying that Stacy teaches that chocolate is sinful (in and of itself) and that if you eat chocolate you’ll go to hell. Granted, they were mostly sarcastic, but I don’t see much appreciation or tolerance for sarcasm and hyperbole when someone from the “other side” uses it.

Another example that comes to mind is on this blog when some accused Jennie of dismissing daycare workers as brainless, which, as I pointed out in that thread, was not at all what she was saying.

(Of course I’ve also noticed numerous instances of misrepresentation of this conversation by opponents, but that’s not what your question was about.)

  Clellie wrote @

Shauna wrote: “Quotes are misinterpreted all the time (I’m speaking generally here), either deliberately or because the receiver of the message doesn’t understand or get what the speaker is saying.”

I can agree that sometimes things can be misunderstood and/or misrepresented because the receiver of the message “doesn’t understand.” I can also agree that we can have knee-jerk reactions to a particular comment that can take that comment out of context (perhaps the “brainless” comment) and take us off track of the main point that a speaker/writer is trying to make.

However, it has been my experience that the explanation “you just don’t understand” is used very often by the proponents of Patriarchy. At what point does that explanation become hollow or even unacceptable?

  Corrie wrote @

Shauna,

Thank you for those examples. I agree that those are examples of where statements have been misrepresented.

Did someone really say that she said that eating chocolate is sinful and that you will go to hell for eating it?

I am one that understood what Jennie meant by the brainless daycare workers comment and I believe I even corrected those who misunderstood that statement. It was easy enough to misunderstand, especially if you weren’t following the video clip closely.

Other than that? What major teachings are being misrepresented? What patriarchal teachings are being misconstrued?

I do think that a lot of confusion comes into play because people don’t know what is being taught because of contradictory statements by the authors in various materials. What do they really believe on the subject of women working outside of the home, women going to college, women voting, white-washed feminists, etc? And no matter how many times you ask the question as nicely as possible there is no answer forthcoming.

  thatmom wrote @

Shauna,

This is one reason I always try to give an exact quote, which I did on the True Womanhood blog regarding the chocolate comment. i will have to go back and read there, but I do not remember anyone mis characterizing that comment by saying Stacy said eating chocolate would be a sin. But i will go back and look. If that was stated it ought to be corrected.

Chellie and Corrie both pointed out that these things tend to be confusing sometimes, especially when an author makes one statement one place and then a contradictory statement somewhere else. That is exactly the reason I would so very much like Stacy to respond here to those questions that are troubling so many.

  thatmom wrote @

I would just like to add this observation.

I do much reading. When I read Carolyn Custis James, for example, and then go to her blog and read and then when I listened to the interview with her on Moody radio, there was a consistency, a common thread of teaching. There were no inconsistencies. The same is true when I read Sallie Clarkson’s writings or many other writers.

However, the same has not been true for Stacy’s writings, thus there is much confusion.

[...] more circumspect in providing a forum to patriocentrists. Given the current political climate and the increasing scrutiny I believe homeschooling families will come under in the future, I would recommend that homeschoolers read this book. Then, perhaps, as in the case of the blown up [...]


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