Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Home Schoolers Fifth Column?

Last month Frank Schaeffer wrote a fascinating article about the fundamentalist Christian home school movement.

I know a fair number of local fundamentalist Christian home school parents, and thought I should write a brief reply.

First, he has seen a different flavor of reaction than I have in Oregon. The folks I know in this movement see a clear distinction between "secular America" and "political America". The former, a mental mish-mash of Hollywood and those political groups actively promoting unscriptural values, is indeed vilified as Schaeffer describes. The latter is not.

Rather, the country's political climate is instead viewed in an oversimplified way as tension along a single political spectrum ranging from "anarchic hedonism" to "selfless devotion to Christ". None of the parents I know think this tension is undemocratic, un-American, or evil. I must disagree with Schaeffer's observation that they see American politics as illegitamite. These parents simply want to add their votes to the side they favor; none of the protest antics or millitia hoarding Schaeffer describes happens here. These parents may misunderstand political issues as they try to force a complicated political climate into an imaginary dichotomy, but this is no more a source of distortion than the way a greater number of American voters cast votes the way their parents did or by party line, or are simply uninformed.

Certainly the local home schoolers I know are not "work[ing] to overthrow our democracy and replace it with a theocracy." They would not even know how to begin this if they were to adopt that goal.

Locally, it is instead the extremely liberal crowd that has (some, only some) members acting as Schaeffer describes. During Bush's eight years Eugene had plenty of examples of people not accepting the 2004 Presidential election results, of signs comparing Bush to Hitler, of preparations made for an imagined imposition of a dictatorship that might happen any day or Armageddon that would wipe out scriptural faith in 2012.

The last point makes Schaeffer's article seem slightly humorous to me. Eugene still has plenty of bumper stickers from the Bush years about "He's not my president" or "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism".

No comments: