I've no problem whatsoever with homeschooling. I think it's wonderful - when done for educational or special needs purposes. However...when the goal is indoctrination (as I discussed here) I stand whole-heartedly against it. It never, ever, produces good results. It produces broken and narrow minds, hearts, and lives.
Unfortunately for Christians who are attempting to properly and fully educate their children at home, a minority of neo-conservative, hyper-fundamentalist "Christians" have co-opted the industry, attempting to force-feed their religiously stupid (best word I know) agenda to all homeschoolers who claim Christ. A platform has been given for idiotic demagogs and wolves like Gothard, Phillips, Swanson, the McDonalds, Baucham, the Botkins, the Chanceys, Wilson, Lindvall, the Ludys, to become folk heroes and 20th/21st century versions of the apostles, redefining the Christian faith and lifestyle with their brand of reconstructionism and dominionism. All who fall under their spell are dumber for it.
The narrow minds become evident in groups like HSA (Homeschool Alumni), a popular gathering of what its title suggests, with annual reunions and a private forum. From what I understand of it, a better title for it would be Neo-Conservative Homeschool Alumni, as the strongest voices in it seem to fall under the sway of "the movement". Dissenters are generally kicked to the curb and banished, which suggests a strong desire for milieu control by those in charge, i.e., they prefer to control the discussion and thinking of those involved. More reasonable voices usually don't feel welcome there.
The narrow minds also become evident in the comment sections on popular blogs within the movement. Look at the comments at Stacy McDonald's blog or Kelly Crawford's blog. God help us all at the narrow-minded, mis and ill-informed ignorance by Victorian groupies. That ignorance is being daily indoctrinated into their children.
The impact also manifests in the webpages of women (particularly younger women) who become wannabes of the sterile, isolated, "godly" lifestyle promoted by the queens and would-be queens of the movement. Those pages have a lot of images on them like this...
And like this...
It makes me look like this...
(I wrote about the Victorian Era Fantasy several months ago, and it still boggles my mind.)
The worst manifestation of it, however, is in the plethora of emotionally dysfunctional and intellectually stagnant homes where the agendas are lived out. Would a home where a proper education, both academic and moral, is taking place produce something like this recent nugget from the son of Doug Phillips?...
For those who don't know, Nathan Bedford Forrest's enduring contribution to society is the Ku Klux Klan. He's the first ever Grand Wizard. Somehow, I don't think this is that big of a deal in the Phillips household.
Does anyone really think that this kid, or any of his siblings, has a reasonable chance at living in ANY semblance of reality, being fully educated about the world around them and its history? The McDonald's kids? How about Kelly Crawford's? Sheesh.
My former future in-laws are exhibit A in the product of an emotionally, spiritually, and even moreso, intellectually stagnant and closed environment. My ex literally knew nothing about anything outside of the patriarchal, neo-conservative bubble. She had no ability to reason or to use logic. To some degree that's understandable, given the gross amount of information purposely kept from her or blatantly revised in her "education". She had been heavily indoctrinated to believe that the course of her life was set due to her gender, regardless of wherever her life may be spent or whom it may be spent with. She was to be a "help-meet", look to a man as her "spiritual head", cook daily and dutifully, clean, spit out babies (preferably by the bushel), and "keep sweet" while doing it, even in suffering, being she was under the curse of Eve and all that cheese. She was to follow the courtship formula, she was to always be under the covering of a man (her father, then transferred to her husband upon completion of a marriage ceremony), to never use birth control, to have all of her babies at home, to distrust modern medicine, and to homeschool her children. When pressed, she couldn't tell you (from any genuine conviction or knowledge) why these things were best.
All of these ideas were part of her homeschooling indoctrination.
Her family didn't choose homeschooling to give the children the best possible education. Her family chose homeschooling to isolate itself from that mean ole world (which it knew nothing about aside from the movement's propaganda), to make sure that the religious beliefs - not the intellectual and personal growth - of the family were continued. She and her siblings are the casualties of a stupid sociopolitical cultural war that her parents, in their blindness and fear, bought into with wholesale zest - but at retail prices. Their wounds are their social and knowledge handicaps and their overwhelming emotional and spiritual dysfunction.
I was labeled a "dishonorable" man and a "troublemaker" for standing up to it. Rather than impotently "speaking the truth in love" (which by most Christian definitions is worthless) I stood in the midst of the madness and shouted "This is wrong and it must stop!!!" Judge me for that if you will. I don't really care. I had to do what I knew was right and stand up to what I knew was evil, and the neo-conservative minority which has overtaken the Christian sectors of the homeschooling industry is evil to its core, producing destructive evil in homes like that of my former future in-laws. I loved my ex. I couldn't just passively let the nonsense continue and see her get hurt repeatedly beyond the scope of what she could fathom.
I don't use the strong language you frequently find here, or even within this piece, flippantly. I know of too many young women living in exile from their families, guilty of nothing more than thinking for themselves outside of the parameters approved by the movement, or in some cases, of loving an unapproved person. Some live in various degrees of hiding, whether for safety reasons or to give themselves enough space to heal. It's heartbreaking in every case. All thanks to the doctrines established and daily reinforced through the indoctrination processes of the "Christian" homeschooling cult movement.
Following formulas, trying to coerce and cajole mechanical fruit into producing a tree, rather than giving a wide birth to the genuine vine and letting it produce what it will. Social and political engineering wearing a mask of Christianity. Apostasy.
It's wrong and it must stop.