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Home » CHFWeb Forum » HotTopics » Culture Wars, Home School, Christianity in the 80s to present day
Culture Wars, Home School, Christianity in the 80s to present day [message #820165] Sun, 09 July 2017 10:47 Go to next message
Messages: 4194
Registered: April 2005
Senior Member
The following link was shared in a Classical Conversation group that I peek into now and again (I'm not a CC homeschooler). I wasn't part of the pool of homeschoolers she describes, or even a member of the HSLDA, but as someone who was a parent homeschooling during the time in which the author grew up, I find it interesting. I do remember more patriotism in that time, more emphasis at knowing our laws, and being committed. I don't find those things distasteful at all, and have found it really sad that at least that part isn't something alive today in the homeschooling community. (Even at Jonah's young age of 5, I'm finding a lot of political activism for things that just walk contrary to what I understand biblically, and on a political level would welcome globalism, etc).

I remember, first entering homeschooling, that the majority of the individuals were Christians that seemed strange (but then, homeschooling was stranged). I do remember the "imbalance" happening as more and more individuals outside of Christianity began to join the ranks, and in particular the strong "we're not with them" point of creating secular groups. In our area, the Wiccans were the first wave, followed within a couple of years by the extremely liberal in political affiliations. I don't know how it looked in other parts of the country. It became very difficult, for our family, to find a Christian group that wasn't either expensive to join (and further out) or really regimented to the point our family really couldn't participate. We weren't any more at home with non-believers...or, I should say, I wasn't.

I have noticed that the teens (now adults) that were more or less raised the way she describes she herself was raised, aren't really "in it" any longer. I had a discussion with a young woman who came late into the congregation we left after Max's death. She married the one son my daughter was seeing/courting. She mentioned that not one of them attends any longer, and very few (and it wasn't a large group) go to any church. I know that many are kinda doing what I guess I'm doing at this moment...floating. My own daughter who was the most devoted, stopped going to church up until last year. Hers was more to do with her brothers death (my reasoning) and being hurt by our congregation. It took time, and then it just became easier. But this is going way off topic (sorry - free form thinking, LOL).

Since many of you were homeschooling in the same era as the author was as a child, I'd like to know your thoughts on how she depicts both the era and the present day.

https://www.autostraddle.com/i-was-trained-for-the-culture-w ars-in-home-school-awaiting-someone-like-mike-pence-as-a-mes siah-367057/

[Updated on: Sun, 09 July 2017 10:48]

Re: Culture Wars, Home School, Christianity in the 80s to present day [message #820166 is a reply to message #820165 ] Sun, 09 July 2017 15:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
Messages: 14921
Registered: April 2005
Location: Georgia
Senior Member

Let's start here:

"Many of us who have come out as queer, trans, or even merely gone to college, have lost family because of this worldview."

So, from the outset, the author has rejected the conservative Christian view, and God's ways, in choosing a lifestyle contrary to scripture. (And their families have missed out on God's love for the lost).

Second, the things being described by this author are the things that were going on when my kids were young. Some of my kids were somewhat involved with TeenPact & Generation Joshua. The author is correct in that the goal/mission of these groups is to get Christians involved in government, especially because at the time all this was starting up, there was a fairly popular view that "this world is not my home," and so Christians were avoiding political involvement and we were losing rights like crazy because we weren't even recognizing that they were being legislated away.

What I see in this article is an exaggerated view of what I see in a few of my children, and I believe it comes about in part because parents were involving their children in all these things, perhaps for quite good and godly reasons, with good and godly views, but without explaining why things should be the way they should be. Much of the rejection of those views comes from lack of understanding, and failure of parents to properly explain why they were doing the things they were doing.

Example, if you tell your kids that sex is bad and they shouldn't be involved in sex because it's bad...after years and years of that, they run into attraction to someone and they only thing they know is that Mom and Dad don't like what they are feeling...and that's not enough to resist temptation. But if you teach God's Word, and explain God's views on sex, and if your kids have a relationship with Jesus, and they understand that sex within marriage is the better choice, and they have the Holy Spirit temptation is easier to fight, and they are more willing to see a reason to fight it.

The kids like the author of this article got all the rules, but none of the reasons.

On the other hand, the author absolutely got it right about some of the ideas, because of some of the ultra-conservative homeschoolers of those days *were* looking much more to laws and government to "save" the nation, rather than looking to God. There seemed to me among many homeschool leaders of the day, this idea that if only we could take our nation back to its Christian roots, then we'd all be one big happy nation.

I'm not getting much into the whole "re-writing history" thing, but while it's clear that our nation had a number of founders and leaders who were Christians, there were also a great many more who were deists who merely recognized the existence of a god without knowing the God of the Bible.

The idea was that we would all be able to practice our faith as we understood it...but there's always the issue of Christians understanding that Jesus is The Way, the Truth, and The Life, and no one comes to the Father but by him.

That understanding that ours is the only way to heaven puts us at odds with every other faith or lack of faith. We tend to confuse civil law with God's laws, and civil justice with salvation. We become offended at the sins of other, and try to make laws so that they must abide by the rules of our faith without the Holy Spirit to empower them to obey. So we are offended that two women want to marry each other, and instead of going one on one to share the gospel in love, we campaign to make gay marriage illegal. It is no longer enough for us to live in a nation whose laws protect the freedoms of all people, we want the laws to line up with the Bible.

The homeschoolers of the '80's and '90's were often trying to set up a theocracy rather than participating in our government in such a way as to protect their right to practice their own faith as they pleased, and allowing others to do the same.

As to the comments about the 1800's---there was indeed quite a movement toward a highly structured patriarchal movement. So. many books on "biblical" courtship--so many parents choosing or being heavily involved in their children's choice of spouse. So much unhealthy intrusion. I remember discussion here where folks asked, "What will you do about your children's courtship?" My favorite answer was from Charity Lovelace, who said something to the effect of, "By the time my children are ready for marriage, they will be old enough to manage that on their own!"

I'm not going to name homeschool programs for fear of offending, but there was a lot of unhealthy, even cultish, homeschooling back in the early days. Curriculum providers sometimes insisted on precise adherence to their program, in terms of how you managed your family (I remember a friend of ours complaining about how difficult it was to get up at 4:00 in the morning for the required prayer time! Shocked ), and certainly homeschool groups requiring statements of faith (not always a bad thing!), and insisting on certain behaviors, or more likely, refraining from certain behaviors, gave homeschoolers quite the deserved reputation for legalism.

Trying to take that sort of control to national politics resulted in a lot of what this author described. It's not inaccurate.

It is, however, incomplete. There are many folks like myself and many of us here at CHF, who would prefer a godly President or congressman than an ungodly one, but in the hopes of having godly laws and policies that treat others kindly and lovingly, rather than taking the government back to the atmosphere of the Salem witch hunts.

Taking things a bit further, I was horrified after the last election, with the liberal contingent who started all the campaigns about how afraid they were, and doing so much pitting of us against them. I found myself frustrated because I absolutely detested the protests, and the glorification of ungodly lifestyles, but I didn't want to speak out because I didn't want to be associated with the unloving "Christian" right. I think the vocal folks who fit into the description that this author provides have made it incredibly difficult for those of us who want to proclaim Jesus in a loving way. Jesus has been misrepresented and the Biblical worldview has been misrepresented, and it's increasingly difficult to take the conversation back to basics because of all the fear-mongering.

I think I'm rambling far beyond what you probably wanted to hear. My basic comment on the article is that the author is of a generation who bought into the form without understanding the substance, and, finding the form meaningless, opted out. And rightly so...because God's law was only ever supposed to point us to Christ, and if we now try to live by the law without Christ, we not only will fail, but entirely miss the point that we cannot save ourselves (or our nation), but we need a Savior. Jesus is what is missing with the groups that this author was a part of.

It's a good lesson for all of us. When we look outside Christ to government or any other thing, we will miss the mark and confuse and confound those who watch us or follow us.

Lisa R.
Re: Culture Wars, Home School, Christianity in the 80s to present day [message #820167 is a reply to message #820166 ] Sun, 09 July 2017 18:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Messages: 4194
Registered: April 2005
Senior Member
I agree with so much of what you've said, Lisa. I'm still mulling around my thoughts. I don't think that I was into a lot of it, but I did think that raising the kids with a courtship mentality was a good one (though I think that "courtship" meant something different to different groups). I think that those differences, and the general "weirdness" of it outside likeminded individuals were problematic. It worked for my eldest daughter who was in agreement with the sensibility of it all. Contrarily, for my son I think it hurried him too fast into the romantic, but there's no way to know for certain. But, basically what it brought out in him undermined the entire point of courting to begin with. My other daughter rebelled against it once she found "the one" and we tried not to throw up walls or force her into what we had envisioned, just that they be respectful, careful and courteous. The other family was a bit less lenient. In concept, I still think it a good idea, but would perhaps put less emphasis on the outward things, as you've just explained. I remember finding an atheistic site that was bashing CHF before, and calling everyone fundies and the accusation was that we were all in the patriarchal what-ever-it-was-called. I know we weren't. I don't even know if many here were. But I remember being named specifically, and that my daughter's estrangement was a "what did you expect."

I thought that there was a lot of stuff in there to reflect, but with a grain of salt. As I said, I'm still mulling over it. The CC site this was posted on is in an uproar, defensive, some not even thinking that this was real, or that it was more fringe. I'm kinda of the mind that it was more real than fringe (though there were extremes). I do appreciate your further insight. It's hitting different depths and points than I had thought myself. I was half thinking that the more extreme the push of believers in things outside of scripture (or stretching of) the more extreme the push of the child in rebellion against either the parent or the ideal put forth by the parent. That's not necessarily a bad thing (heh, the whole thing that started me on the conservative path politically as a young child in 6th grade was because it was exerting myself against what my parents presented).

Overall, I think that what I've seen, by and large, in my area has pretty much reflected this girl's views of Christianity whether there was familiarity with homeschooling or not. And I don't know how to string this together, but on the flip side of the culture wars, I was just listening to former Congressman Barney Frank on the radio this afternoon, who states that the LGBT community gained so much in the last 40 years by working in increments and then getting into politics...and that he had a distaste for the loudness and pushiness of it now. I think the loudness/pushiness of Christianity (politically speaking) was perhaps what I was witnessing during the 90s/00s?

Re: Culture Wars, Home School, Christianity in the 80s to present day [message #820168 is a reply to message #820167 ] Sun, 09 July 2017 21:56 Go to previous message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
Messages: 14921
Registered: April 2005
Location: Georgia
Senior Member

There are issues and, separately, there are ways of handling issues. Courtship v. traditional American serial dating is probably a good thing, but parent-controlled, patriarchal courtship v. moderately just waiting for romance till you're ready for marriage...probably not so good.

The thing I see as being the problems involve a lack of grace on the part of Christians. I have learned that I have been quite guilty of being too dogmatic and too graceless. I don't think I'm alone.

The other thing involves insisting that others agree and live by one's own convictions or preferences. (For that matter, there's a lot of insistence that preferences are biblical convictions!)

The gay thing...yeah, there's an agenda and they've been amazingly effective at incremental progress that has brought them into mainstream acceptance. It's a good example of both pushing one's views on others and allowing hearts to be changed.

I was vehemently against gay marriage 20 years ago. Now, I would prefer that they call it a civil union because I believe marriage is meant to be a picture of Christ and the Church, and gay marriage doesn't cut it. But I've come to realize that these are real people not a theoretical problem of doctrine. They by and large are not Christians. In terms of eternity, those who do not accept Christ are condemned, of course, but in terms of this life, unbelieving gay folks do not live their lives on principle of biblical laws. And why should they? They don't know Jesus? How much better would it be for Christians to be kind and loving in sharing the gospel rather than being harsh and dogmatic in trying to legislate something that only God can do in their hearts?

And by the same token, how frustrating that it's not enough for us who believe the gay lifestyle to be sin to accept legal and civil protections...they want us to quit calling it sin. And we're not making things any easier by focusing on the sin of it and our "righteous" positions.

It's not enough for either side to live and let live...both sides what to make the other side *agree.*

Anyway..I'm distracted and probably not quite coherent here. I may come back and edit some, as I'm not sure I'm sticking to the point.

Lisa R.
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