Fault and Educational Neglect

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HA note: The following is reprinted with permission from Kierstyn King’s blog Bridging the Gap.  It was originally published on August 28, 2014.

I don’t usually post about things Kevin Swanson says, and I usually try not to pay attention to it, but a recent week’s broadcast…hurt more than usual. For a synopsis/highlights that will keep most of your eyeballs intact, you can read this post from HA.

One of the highlights, and…what’s sort of turned me into an odd little puddle, is this bit (emphasis mine):

Kevin: when someone says, I could have had a better education than that provided by my mother or by my father, that’s really, really, really hard to prove. How, how, how do you know that? Maybe it was a character problem on YOUR part. Maybe you didn’t obey your parents! Maybe you didn’t study your books like you were told to! And to think that you could have had a better education if you had done it this way versus that way is extremely hard to prove.

Steve: Right!

(laughter)

Kevin: Extremely hard to prove!

Steve: Because you can’t go back and do it that way!

Kevin: You can’t! (laughter) You can’t… and even if you could have, you would have dragged your same old person, with your same old character flaws, with your same old slothfulness issue, into the public school or private school setting or other setting ‚ and you could have done worse…

Steve: Yeah.

Kevin: …than you did with your parents — trying to do whatever they could have done with you, even with all of your character issues that you’re dealing with. It’s fun to blame your parents for your OWN lack of character!

And then there’s this charm (emphasis mine):

Kevin: I’m talking about Christian homeschool families. Their values are primarily first and foremost not to get their kid into Harvard or get them a good job.

Steve: Right.

Kevin: That’s not primary. It’s not being sure that the kid can read Plato before he’s 12 years of age…

Steve: Yeah.

Kevin: …and get really messed up with the wrong worldview. (laughter) That’s not the goal. See, homeschoolers bring in other values: like relationship building, character building, work, worship. These are important.

What struck me is my parents have said essentially the exact same thing that Kevin did in the second quote. Multiple times. I remember in no uncertain terms hearing that the most important thing educationally was that we were able to read and understand the bible, write just enough to communicate, and do basic math. NOTHING ELSE MATTERED. This is what Kevin Swanson advocates, this is what my parents believe, and importantly:

This is not a full, well-rounded education.

He talks about how fake educational neglect is, makes fun of the people who have pushed through it, pretends the people living in it don’t exist, and blames the (current and former) students with little to no power over their own education, for their own neglect.

He talks about how children should be learning “work, relationships, character, and worship”….

Well sir, that was my entire childhood, and you know what, I was educationally neglected! I taught myself and my parents bragged about it from the age of 10, I did everything I could possibly do, everything I knew to do, and it doesn’t change the fact that my education was neglected. It was not my fault. I’m not lazy, and wasn’t a lazy student – I was  an over-worked student who’s parents cared more about being served and looking good than their children and the quality of their education.

Swanson is advocating for educational neglect, and then turning a blind eye to the people who say, no, my parents did do what you said and that’s the problem, and instead labeling them whiners, traitors, and Benedict Arnold’s.

Well if talking about my lack of education and working to put regulations in place so my siblings and other kids have a chance means I’m a traitor, so be it.

But don’t you tell me that my lack of education was my fault as a child.

That was out of my control, it’s not blaming my parents for my flaws, it’s abuse.

P.S. I would have done amazing in a traditional school setting, before my parents took me out of pre-k, it was amazing and I loved it. No one asked me if I wanted to be homeschooled, they just said “we’re gonna homeschool you from now on” and being the ripe age of 3 or 4, I just wanted to make sure I could be picked for Show-and-Tell still. I don’t remember doing show-and-tell after leaving school though.

HSLDA Withdraws From Kevin Swanson’s Gen2 Conference

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By R.L. Stollar, HA Community Coordinator

On August 29, HSLDA announced via their Facebook page that their attorney, Mike Donnelly, withdrew from speaking at Kevin Swanson’s upcoming Gen2 Conference:

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Donnelly was originally slated to be 1 of 6 speakers at the conference. Other speakers include: Kevin Swanson, Brian Ray, Jeff Myers, Al Mohler, and Ken Ham. An August 21 screenshot of the Gen2 Conference page shows Donnelly listed alongside the other speakers:

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As of August 31, the Gen2 Conference site has been updated and Donnelly no longer appears on the speaker roster.

The Gen2 Conference is hosted by Christian Home Educators of Colorado (CHEC)’s Generations Radio program. It is being held on January 30-31, 2015, at Ken Ham’s Creation Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio. According to the conference website, it “is for Christian Leaders who care what happens with the Millennial generation.” During the conference the results will be revealed from Kevin Swanson and Brian Ray’s 2013 Gen2 Survey, allegedly “the largest Christian study ever conducted on the Millennial generation.” Last year Homeschoolers Anonymous covered methodological problems with the Gen2 Survey here and here.

Kevin Swanson has recently come under significant criticism for his radio broadcast entitled “Homeschool Educational Negect,” where he and CHEC board member Steve Vaughan went on a bizarre rant against WORLD Magazine and cruelly mocked abuse survivors. In light of that broadcast, as well as HSLDA’s recent white paper about “drawing a line in the sand,” withdrawing from a conference run by Swanson was an absolutely essential step in demonstrating HSLDA’s new principles will be put to practice.

HSLDA did the right thing. I thank them for that.

CHEC’s Kevin Swanson and Steve Vaughan on the “Little Whiners” and “Benedict Arnolds” of Homeschooling

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By R.L. Stollar, HA Community Coordinator

Yesterday we were “blessed” with the Generations Radio episode “Homeschool Educational Neglect: Media Rages Against Homeschooling.” In that episode, Kevin Swanson (former CHEC Executive Director and current Director of CHEC’s Generations With Vision program) and Steve Vaughan (CHEC Board Member) responded to Daniel James Devine’s “Homeschool debate” article published by WORLD Magazine on August 25, 2014. Here is Swanson’s own description of the episode:

We are seeing more negative reports on homeschooling than ever before.  Anecdotal evidence is fun, but does it reflect the real story? Kevin Swanson interacts with a World Magazine article that covers homeschool graduate malcontents, and discusses a biblical perspective of educational neglect. Should the state prosecute educational neglect in the case that a father fails to follow through on Deuteronomy 6:7?

Sound like fun?

Well, in case it does not, I saved you the teeth-grinding and transcribed the entire episode here.

Swanson and Vaughan go after WORLD rather mercilessly, accusing them of “cutting down” and creating a “firing squad” against fellow Christians. Furthermore, they insinuate that WORLD is too daft to know how to use a concordance and may have socialists on its staff. This is all curious considering that Swanson had no problem using WORLD to advertise his “Apostate” book just a few months ago. It’s also curious because Swanson and Vaughan neglect the fact that WORLD’s own Editor-in-Chief is the Distinguished Chair of Journalism and Public Policy at Patrick Henry College, the same college at which Michael Farris is Chancellor. They further neglect the fact that WORLD is probably the most go-to news source for conservative Christian homeschoolers. So whatever “bias” WORLD Magazine has, it clearly isn’t against Farris, HSLDA, or homeschooling. That Swanson and Vaughan would immediately jump to that conclusion is indicative of their own paranoia, not anything about WORLD turning an ideological leaf on homeschooling.

If you want to read the entire transcript of the episode, you can do so here. Below are the “highlights” from it. (Be forewarned you might need to steel your mind and stomach for abuse denialism and apologisms and homophobia galore.)

My final comment before I turn you over to the minds of Swanson and Vaughan is this:

Yesterday Michael Farris and HSLDA declared to the world that they are “drawing a line in the sand.” But time and time again they say this and yet it seems like nothing but word gamesit isn’t trueit minimizes or refuses to acknowledge the atrocious and previous lack of lines, or it isn’t enough. And sometimes, like today, when I am so disturbed, heartsick, and saddened by Kevin Swanson’s hatred, cruelty, and antichrist-like behavior towards homeschool alumni, and I see that HSLDA’s “line in the sand” means nothing when it comes to standing up to someone like Swanson — and thenthen I see Swanson promoting his book “Upgrade,” a book that HSLDA’s very own president J. Michael Smith said “should be in the hands of every homeschool family in America”

Then I want to say: You really have built your lines on sand, HSLDA, haven’t you?

I think Libby Anne said it best:

Real leaders speak out against dangerous teachings or leaders when speaking out is still difficult rather than letting others do the heavy lifting and waiting to speak out until speaking out is easy.

And on that note, here are some highlights from Kevin Swanson and Steve Vaughan’s “Homeschool Educational Neglect”:

WORLD Magazine just found “the 25 people” upset and created a “circular firing squad”:

Kevin: They [WORLD] found the 25 people upset with home education…

Steve: …yeah…

Kevin: …that started the little IHateHomeschool.com and then they gave them a nice little publicity piece. And HSLDA, you know, did their faithful thing, they wandered up to the microphone and tried to fight for homeschooling and its reputation but…

Steve: Yeah they got a paragraph in the middle of the article. (laugh)

Kevin: They did. But, but you know what? And I realize that makes news. I realize that the 25 people upset in America make news. But they’re not interviewing the 3.2 million kids who have been homeschooled. That didn’t show up in the magazine. And I don’t see that showing up much in the magazine [WORLD] these days. But you know, here’s the problem with Christian organizations. They turn into circular firing squads.

Steve: Yeah. (laughter)

Steve: You know how that works? Everyone just stands in a big circle. Aim, fire, shoot. And everybody falls.

WORLD Magazine covering abuse and neglect is just “cutting each other down”:

Kevin: What is with WORLD Magazine, guys? I mean, come on. Aren’t we supposed to be one big family? Isn’t there supposed to be a little bit of symbiosis happening in the Kingdom of God? We are overwhelmed, we are outnumbered. The, the other side is gonna kill us when it comes to homeschool freedoms, the freedom to speak against homosexuality. The left is on the rise, baby! Barack Obama is President of the United States, the most pro-infanticide president ever to serve and what are we doing? Cutting each other down? I don’t think so! Try not to do that!

To be real abuse, abuse must be verified by 2 or 3 witnesses; it is the result of the sexual revolution:

Kevin: Let me say from the outset that sexual abuse, physical abuse — that’s verifiable, 2 or 3 witnesses, etc., etc., k? — a court or trial works through the issue and sure enough, someone was sexually abused? — that’s really, really bad.

Steve: Yeah.

Kevin: That should not happen.

Steve: Anywhere. (laughter)

Kevin: Anywhere. Thank you! And I think it’s due to the fact that we had this sexual revolution that unleashed itself in the 1950’s and 1960’s. And America and many other nations around the world have become a sexual cesspool in which homosexuality, incest, sexual abuse, all sorts of things are happening.

Spiritual abuse, emotional abuse, and educational neglect are laughing matters to to Kevin Swanson and Steve Vaughan:

Kevin Swanson: When you talk about things like spiritual abuse, emotional abuse, educational neglect — we’re talking about things that are very, very slippery. Very, very hard to get your hands around. Okay? (laughter)  And it’s fun for people to use those terms because, you know, you can just bring accusations against anybody and everybody as you use the slippery terms that are very, very hard to define.

Steve: So yeah, how would you define spiritual abuse?

Kevin: Yeah! Or emotional abuse! What IS that? What exactly is that?

Steve: “Well she spoke harshly to me and used the Bible to let me know I was wrong, so I was spiritually and emotionally abused.”

Kevin: Right, right! Someone came up to a rapist and said, “It’s wrong to rape!” (pretending to be rapist:) “Oh you’re abusing me! You’re abusing me! That’s not very grace-filled! You know, what in the world are you doing? Accusing me of sin? That’s terrible! Oh I’m so abused! I’m so abused!”

Steve: Yeah! “You need to honor your father and mother!” “Oh my!”

(laughter)

Kevin: “I’ve been so abused…” (laughter)

When kids are educationally neglected, it’s really just their own fault for being lazy:

Kevin: when someone says, I could have had a better education than that provided by my mother or by my father, that’s really, really, really hard to prove. How, how, how do you know that? Maybe it was a character problem on YOUR part. Maybe you didn’t obey your parents! Maybe you didn’t study your books like you were told to! And to think that you could have had a better education if you had done it this way versus that way is extremely hard to prove.

Steve: Right!

(laughter)

Kevin: Extremely hard to prove!

Steve: Because you can’t go back and do it that way!

Kevin: You can’t! (laughter) You can’t… and even if you could have, you would have dragged your same old person, with your same old character flaws, with your same old slothfulness issue, into the public school or private school setting or other setting ‚ and you could have done worse…

Steve: Yeah.

Kevin: …than you did with your parents — trying to do whatever they could have done with you, even with all of your character issues that you’re dealing with. It’s fun to blame your parents for your OWN lack of character!

Making fun of a homeschool alumna who was regularly beaten and neglected by her parents:

Steve: Here’s the case with the WORLD Magazine article and this gal who wrote this. 31 years old. One of the things she was complaining about was that she still counts on her fingers and has to double-check the tip on her restaurant table.

Kevin: That’s 40% of public school graduates, by the way.

Steve: 31 years old now! She’s 31 years old and she set up a website and started an organization apparently counting on her fingers! And so, you know, give me a break!

Kevin: Yeah.

Steve: If you can do THIS, you can COUNT.

Kevin: And if your parents failed in 18 years, or 12 years, of education, she’s had an additional 13 years!

Steve: Right!

Kevin: So, so…

Steve: GROW UP!

(laughter) (more laughter)

Steve: READ SOME BOOKS!

(laughter)

Steve: THERE ARE BOOKS OUT THERE ON MATH! YOU CAN LEARN HOW TO NOT COUNT ON YOUR FINGERS!

(laughter)…

Kevin: So this little whiner, talking about her bad experience with home education, um, you know she’s had 13 years to learn how to count.

Steve: Right!

Kevin: And to learn how to add. And still hasn’t happened. Sounds to me like there’s something wrong. With HER.

On WORLD Magazine not knowing what a concordance is:

I think WORLD Magazine should think biblically about these things. What does the Bible say about educational neglect? Again, look it up in the concordance! See, people aren’t used to that. Let me explain to you what a concordance is. A concordance is typically found in the back of a Bible. You can find them online. It’s called BibleHub.com. Go there. And… and you look up the word. “Educational neglect.” Look it up in the Bible. You say it’s not there? Yeah. Yeah, exactly! Why? Because it’s not an issue.

On what educational neglect REALLY is and WORLD Magazine maybe having socialist employees:

Educational neglect is the failure to teach God’s Word as you sit in the house, as you walk by the way, as you rise, as you lie down. Okay? So, so, so those are the categories in which we should be thinking, friends. And, now, here’s the next question: How do we prosecute that through the civil magistrate? That’s the next question that comes to the mind of the socialists — whether they work for TIME Magazine or whether or not they working for WORLD Magazine. I don’t know if socialists work there or not.

On educational neglect being a joke:

We’re back on the Generations Radio broadcast talking about homeschool educational neglect. Educational neglect: “when my fa—, when my parents did not get me into Harvard.” (using fake whining voice) “Why didn’t my parents get me into Harvard? What’s wrong with them?” And you know, the point is, the point is, the goal is not to get you into Harvard. The goal is to get you into Heaven.

Basic reading and math ought not be of primary importance to Christian homeschool families:

Kevin: I’m talking about Christian homeschool families. Their values are primarily first and foremost not to get their kid into Harvard or get them a good job.

Steve: Right.

Kevin: That’s not primary. It’s not being sure that the kid can read Plato before he’s 12 years of age…

Steve: Yeah.

Kevin: …and get really messed up with the wrong worldview. (laughter) That’s not the goal. See, homeschoolers bring in other values: like relationship building, character building, work, worship. These are important. So it’s not that you can count when you are 31 years of age.

On homeschool alumni being “homeschool whiners” and “traitors”:

These homeschool whiners, let’s get back to what they’re really all about. They’re jettisoning a biblical world and life view. They’re looking for more socialism. They want more governmental controls of education. They want more socialist services sticking their noses into homeschoolers around America. This is their agenda. From what I’ve read. And, and they’re traitors. Traitors to the cause. The cause of what? The cause of freedom! The cause of anybody who wants to fight for freedom against the rising tide of totalitarianism and socialism in America! I am seeing a lot of these guys. They’re bitter…

Steve: Yeah.

Kevin: …against the values represented by home education and their parents. And it’s probably due to broken relationships in the home. So they walk away from the home, all embittered against their parents and whatever stinkin’ issues their parents ever stood for. And whatever friends their parents ever hung out with. And they’re just angry, bitter people who are, have it in for home education.

On how to logic:

Steve: They’re [homeschool alumni] blaming the whole homeschooling movement. They’re taking… they’re… they’re actually committing the fallacies of… it’s, it’s a genetic fallacy. It’s a fallacy of generalization, that you take the small bit and you say that must be true of the whole. So, so since Judas was one of Jesus’s disciples and he betrayed Jesus, then ALL of the disciples must—

Kevin: —must be a bunch of nutcases—

Steve: Yeah. And so. So yeah.

Kevin: And yeah. That happens when you go irrational when, when your relationships bust up and you begin to hate everything about whatever your parents were associated with because those relationships went sour.

On the “PatrickHenryGayBlogspot.com” or “whatever that is”:

Kevin: These ex-homeschoolers to which WORLD Magazine is giving credence are pro-homosexual. They’re right there behind the emerging gay movement in Christian colleges. They’re encouraging the PatrickHenryGayBlogspot.com or whatever it is. Uh, don’t go there. I said it wrong on purpose. They’re encouraging the homosexuals showing up at the conservative Christian colleges as well and giving them as much credence as possible. Why? Because they are apostates. They’re embracing everything the Bible doesn’t. They’re embracing socialism, totalitarianism, homosexuality. If it’s ugly, if it’s wicked, if it’s totalitarian, they love it!

Homeschool alumni are “Benedict Arnolds”:

Kevin: These traitors are nothing new in the history of the world, my friends. Um, and they’re making it hard on the rest of us. But that’s what the Benedict Arnolds have always done.

Transcript of Kevin Swanson and Steve Vaughan’s “Homeschool Educational Neglect”

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HA note: The following is a transcript of the Generations Radio episode “Homeschool Educational Neglect: Media Rages Against Homeschooling,” broadcast on August 27, 2014. It features Kevin Swanson (former CHEC Executive Director and current Director of CHEC’s Generations With Vision program) and Steve Vaughan (CHEC Board Member). The program is a response to Daniel James Devine’s “Homeschool debate” article published by WORLD Magazine on August 25, 2014. This transcript was created by HA Community Coordinator R.L. Stollar.

See the context of and “highlights” from the episode here. Content warning for transcript: abuse denialism and apologism and homophobic remarks.

*****

(introduction, not transcribed)

Kevin: Today we’re going to take a look again at homeschooling. Why? Because homeschoolers, generally speaking, like to restore and reintegrate the family — as a family in the 21st century. And homeschoolers tend to like freedom. They’re the ones fighting for freedom. You want to find anybody interested in decreasing the influence of government in our lives in an era where 60% of the GNI is consumed by governments at all levels up from 9% in 1900? You want to find people interested in backing government off from education, backing government off from family-owned economies, backing government off from all areas of life? Homeschoolers at the forefront of fighting tooth and nail for any semblance of freedom left in the 21st century. I’m thankful for home educators. It’s hard to find anybody else fighting the good fight for freedom in the 21st century.

There are a few. There are some. Here and there. But not very many.

Hey you want to look at the Tea Party and you want to find the people who are fighting at the forefront for freedom? Tends to be homeschoolers. Not always. But I tell you what, you want to find pro-lifers out there? Tend to be homeschoolers.

People out there on the front lines of the battle fighting for the right to life — generally speaking, you’re going to find homeschoolers. K? Homeschoolers at the forefront of a battle for restoring family, faith, and freedom in the 21st century. and I’m thankful for them.

Steve: Amen.

Allright, so there’s my little spiel. Now, now, WORLD Magazine. Now I’ve been getting WORLD Magazine since the 1980’s. I used to think that WORLD Magazine was interested in home educators and home educators were some of their primary market. They were the ones buying the magazines.

Steve: Yeah, we did that.

Kevin: Then they got a lot, a lot, a lot of spread to public schools. A lot, a lot, a lot of spread to private Christian schools. And homeschool has kinda taken the back seat, I think. That’s my impression, Steve. Maybe I’m wrong. Someone can correct me if I’m wrong. But the recent piece published in WORLD Magazine on home education was not particularly positive.

Steve: Yeah it was particularly negative. (laughter)

Kevin: You think it was negative? It was more negative than positive.

Steve: Yeah.

Kevin: I think so too. You know they found the 25 people upset with home education…

Steve: …yeah…

Kevin: …that started the little IHateHomeschool.com and then they gave them a nice little publicity piece. And HSLDA, you know, did their faithful thing, they wandered up to the microphone and tried to fight for homeschooling and its reputation but…

Steve: Yeah they got a paragraph in the middle of the article. (laugh)

Kevin: They did. But, but you know what? And I realize that makes news. I realize that the 25 people upset in America make news. But they’re not interviewing the 3.2 million kids who have been homeschooled. That didn’t show up in the magazine. And I don’t see that showing up much in the magazine these days. But you know, here’s the problem with Christian organizations. They turn into circular firing squads.

Steve: Yeah. (laughter)

Steve: You know how that works? Everyone just stands in a big circle. Aim, fire, shoot. And everybody falls. What happened? We turn into circular firing squad way too much. And I think it was a couple months ago they kinda had a negative piece on Mike Farris.

Steve: Yeah.

Kevin: And they apologized afterwards, thankfully. But what is with WORLD Magazine, guys? I mean, come on. Aren’t we supposed to be one big family? Isn’t there supposed to be a little bit of symbiosis happening in the Kingdom of God? We are overwhelmed, we are outnumbered. The, the other side is gonna kill us when it comes to homeschool freedoms, the freedom to speak against homosexuality. The left is on the rise, baby! Barack Obama is President of the United States, the most pro-infanticide president ever to serve and what are we doing? Cutting each other down? I don’t think so! Try not to do that!

Now we talk a little about homeschooling negligence and homeschooling abuse. Now granted there are abuse cases out there. We know that.

Steve: Oh yeah.

Kevin: And sexual abuse, physical abuse, in the homeschool is as bad as it is anywhere else. And there’s a lot of it out there. Here’s an article from a South Dakota newspaper referring to child sexual abuse there. The estimate is 8% of kids in South Dakota are sexually abused. That’s bad. That’s really bad. That’s really, really, really bad. If we’re close to 1 in 10 kids in South Dakota are sexually abused, that’s really, really bad.

Steve: Now that’s overall, all the families of South Dakota?

Kevin: That’s right, that’s right. And WORLD Magazine, to their credit, did report that 7% of kids complain to some sort of unwanted touching in public schools.

Steve: Right. And that’s nationwide?

Kevin: That’s nationwide. So a lot of the sexual abuse is coming in public schools. But let’s not negate that issue. And HSLDA apparently has said 1.2% of HSLDA members complain of some kind of abuse. Or something like that.

Steve: Yeah, yeah but I think that’s the state complaining of homeschooling abuse…

Kevin: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Steve: …which could be a messy house. It might be that they didn’t have the right to… [cut off]

Kevin: It’s not just sexual abuse. It could be a messy house. It could be a lot of things. Ok, so it’s very possible there’s way, way, way less abuse happening in homeschools than in the rest of the population.

Steve: Yeah but it makes the news when it happens.

Kevin: Yeah. It does. It does. And of course what we’re talking is the minus 3 standard deviations. And it’s ok to refer to some of the abuse cases happening. That’s newsworthy. But we’ve got to keep these things in perspective.

Steve: Right.

Kevin: And by the way the report did not include references to individuals who have been sexually abused in homeschools. As far as I could tell, that was not part of the story. So first of all, let me say from the outset that sexual abuse, physical abuse — that’s verifiable, 2 or 3 witnesses, etc., etc., k? — a court or trial works through the issue and sure enough, someone was sexually abused? — that’s really, really bad.

Steve: Yeah.

Kevin: That should not happen.

Steve: Anywhere. (laughter)

Kevin: Anywhere. Thank you! And I think it’s due to the fact that we had this sexual revolution that unleashed itself in the 1950’s and 1960’s. And America and many other nations around the world have become a sexual cesspool in which homosexuality, incest, sexual abuse, all sorts of things are happening.

Steve: Yes.

Kevin: Which is a very very sad thing, a very very bad thing. And may God bring repentance to the nation.

Ok. But when you talk about things like spiritual abuse, emotional abuse, educational neglect — we’re talking about things that are very, very slippery. Very, very hard to get your hands around. Okay? (laughter)  And it’s fun for people to use those terms because, you know, you can just bring accusations against anybody and everybody as you use the slippery terms that are very, very hard to define.

Steve: So yeah, how would you define spiritual abuse?

Kevin: Yeah! Or emotional abuse! What IS that? What exactly is that?

Steve: “Well she spoke harshly to me and used the Bible to let me know I was wrong, so I was spiritually and emotionally abused.”

Kevin: Right, right! Someone came up to a rapist and said, “It’s wrong to rape!” (pretending to be rapist:) “Oh you’re abusing me! You’re abusing me! That’s not very grace-filled! You know, what in the world are you doing? Accusing me of sin? That’s terrible! Oh I’m so abused! I’m so abused!”

Steve: Yeah! “You need to honor your father and mother!” “Oh my!”

(laughter)

Kevin: “I’ve been so abused…” (laughter) “…because this Christian is telling me that I’ve sinned against God and I need to repent.” Ok, so if that’s spiritual abuse… (laughter) …I don’t think the Apostle Paul would agree with you. Put it that way.

But when someone says, I could have had a better education than that provided by my mother or by my father, that’s really, really, really hard to prove. How, how, how do you know that? Maybe it was a character problem on YOUR part. Maybe you didn’t obey your parents! Maybe you didn’t study your books like you were told to! And to think that you could have had a better education if you had done it this way versus that way is extremely hard to prove.

Steve: Right!

(laughter)

Kevin: Extremely hard to prove!

Steve: Because you can’t go back and do it that way!

Kevin: You can’t! (laughter) You can’t… and even if you could have, you would have dragged your same old person, with your same old character flaws, with your same old slothfulness issue, into the public school or private school setting or other setting ‚ and you could have done worse…

Steve: Yeah.

Kevin: …than you did with your parents — trying to do whatever they could have done with you, even with all of your character issues that you’re dealing with. It’s fun to blame your parents for your OWN lack of character!

Steve: Oh yeah!

Kevin: It’s fun to do! And I’m sure there are a lot of kids out there who are doing just that! They’re running across the country. Yeah! Their parents pointed out their sin, pointed out Christ. But they still rebelled and they were scoffers and they refused to take the correction their parents gave them. They violated every single principle in the Book of Proverbs. They made a point not to follow through on anything in the Book of Proverbs! Nothing! And at the end of their educational experience at home, they didn’t succeed. They didn’t make it into Harvard.

(laughter)

Steve: Right! But here’s the case with the WORLD Magazine article and this gal who wrote this. 31 years old. One of the things she was complaining about was that she still counts on her fingers and has to double-check the tip on her restaurant table.

Kevin: That’s 40% of public school graduates, by the way.

Steve: 31 years old now! She’s 31 years old and she set up a website and started an organization apparently counting on her fingers! And so, you know, give me a break!

Kevin: Yeah.

Steve: If you can do THIS, you can COUNT.

Kevin: And if your parents failed in 18 years, or 12 years, of education, she’s had an additional 13 years!

Steve: Right!

Kevin: So, so…

Steve: GROW UP!

(laughter) (more laughter)

Steve: READ SOME BOOKS!

(laughter)

Steve: THERE ARE BOOKS OUT THERE ON MATH! YOU CAN LEARN HOW TO NOT COUNT ON YOUR FINGERS!

(laughter)

Kevin: I ran into a family, Steve, a couple of years ago, and these guys had made it through Littleton public schools for 12 years. Okay? They had taken the special needs track as well. Okay, for 12 years, both of them, they got married at 20, 22 years of age and they couldn’t read. Okay? Littleton public schools had spent 100, no, no, excuse me, $347,000 on the education of these kids. They couldn’t read. So they went to church and there were some elderly church people who, you know, took them in and taught them how to read. They were concerned because they went down to the library to get some Dr. Seuss books and he said they couldn’t read the big 27 point font stuff.

Steve: Wow.

Kevin: And they got concerned because they were having kids. Pregnant with the first. So, so they went to some folks in the church and the church folks helped them. They taught them how to read. And so they thought to themselves: Okay, let me get this straight. The Littleton public schools spent $347,000 and they couldn’t teach us how to read. (laughter) They couldn’t pull it off!

Steve: I know there are stats out there about how many seniors can’t even read their diplomas.

Kevin: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s really high. Functional literacy really, really, really high. In fact, college graduates? It’s about 40%.

Steve: Yeah. Isn’t that crazy?

Kevin: College graduates! So this little whiner, talking about her bad experience with home education, um, you know she’s had 13 years to learn how to count.

Steve: Right!

Kevin: And to learn how to add. And still hasn’t happened. Sounds to me like there’s something wrong. With HER.

Steve: Yeah! Or she’s whining without any reason.

Kevin: Yeah! So anyways this couple decided, you know, if the public schools spent $347,000 and couldn’t teach us how to read, why would we send our kids to these schools? That was their logic. And I’ve met this family again — well, it’s been about 10 years — and their kids are doing very well. Very, very well.

Steve: Yeah.

Kevin: They’ve got 8 kids. They live in Nebraska. They’re doing very, very well… So anyways, so why are we sending our kids to public schools? And, and ok, there are sort of the minus 3 standard deviations everywhere. Thankfully homeschoolers are averaging somewhere around the 80th percentile for reading and literature and such. So, if they’re at the 80th percentile, my guess is that there’s got to be something like 93% above the functional literacy level. Or 99% above the functional literacy level! Therefore, people like WORLD Magazine are going to have to look HARD and LONG for the 1%!

Steve: Yeah, that’s right.

Kevin: The minus 3 standard deviations on the standard curve! And they found them! Evidently they found them, they interviewed them!

Steve: Yeah! Yeah, and if you take a look at just the overall standardized tests, homeschoolers score consistently in the 60 to 80% percentile average, for public schools 50%. So, so we’re above that, too.

Kevin: The other, psssh, illustration given by the WORLD Magazine article was a young lady whose parents were divorced. And, and here’s one thing that almost every educator understands: that if the family situation is dysfunctional, the marriage is breaking down, there’s divorce in the family — the kids generally are not going to do well in school.

Steve: Right. No matter where they go.

Kevin: No matter where they go! Oh yeah! The reason you’ve got such problems in public schools is not the teachers, generally speaking. It’s the home life. And just taking a kid who is raised in a dysfunctional home — single mom, etc., etc. — putting them in the public schools is not going to fix the problem necessarily. In fact, it generally doesn’t fix the problem. Why? Because they come from dysfunctional home backgrounds. There’s a reason why inner-city schools typically are producing the very worst results. Well, that’s because the family situation for these kids attending these inner-city schools are dysfunctional. And you can’t fix the problem by fixing the schools! And you can’t fix the problem by fixing the education! I’m sorry, you’ve got to fix the family relationships. You have to fix the family. And that should be a no-brainer.

Moreover, I think WORLD Magazine should think biblically about these things. What does the Bible say about educational neglect? Again, look it up in the concordance! See, people aren’t used to that. Let me explain to you what a concordance is. A concordance is typically found in the back of a Bible. You can find them online. It’s called BibleHub.com. Go there. And… and you look up the word. “Educational neglect.” Look it up in the Bible. You say it’s not there? Yeah. Yeah, exactly! Why? Because it’s not an issue. What’s the issue?

Steve: Family.

(laughter)

Kevin: The issue is discipleship neglect.

Steve: Right.

Kevin: The issue is, biblically speaking — if we were thinking biblically — not, not with the psychobabble of the world gives us — but if we’re thinking biblically, educational neglect is the failure to teach God’s Word as you sit in the house, as you walk by the way, as you rise, as you lie down. Okay? So, so, so those are the categories in which we should be thinking, friends.

And, now, here’s the next question: How do we prosecute that through the civil magistrate? That’s the next question that comes to the mind of the socialists — whether they work for TIME Magazine or whether or not they working for WORLD Magazine. I don’t know if socialists work there or not. But, but the question in the minds of a socialist that are in the Christian population and the non-Christian population is: If there is an educational neglect — where a parent refuses to teach their children God’s Word as you sit in the house, as you walk by the way, as you rise, as you lie down — the question in their minds is, should the State prosecute it? My answer is: No.

Steve: No!

Kevin: Thank you! I’m glad that you have a biblical worldview, too!

Steve: Oh yeah!

(laughter)

Kevin: Oh it’s incredible, Steve’s got a biblical worldview, I’ve got a biblical worldview!

(laughter)

Steve: Yeah!

Kevin: Yeah! The State doesn’t prosecute it! So, who prosecutes it? Um, well — where there are church relationships! Where there is somebody who cares! Here’s one thing I’m learning, Steve: the State can’t fix these problems. They can’t fix the family. They can’t fix educational neglect.

Steve: They’re not designed to!

Kevin: They can’t! And it doesn’t matter how many compulsory [unintelligible] laws they pass down, it doesn’t matter how many… uh, their minions they hire… to enter into every single home and double-check and double-check and double-check. It doesn’t matter! It doesn’t fix the inner-city family! It has NEVER fixed the inner-city family! It has never fixed the educational problem in the inner-cities where there is all kinds of dysfunctionality in the families. Friends, the government can’t fix it! Period! Get. That. Down. Straight!

Those of you working for WORLD Magazine and Time Magazine and anywhere else where there’s people trying to be the do-gooders and trying to fix society’s problems: how you fix society’s problems, it doesn’t happen by government. It happens by people who care. Yeah. People who care. People in the church, people in the community, who come side by side and help those families to homeschool and disciple their kids. That’s how it gets fixed.

(commercial break, not transcribed)

Kevin: We’re back on the Generations Radio broadcast talking about homeschool educational neglect. Educational neglect: “when my fa—, when my parents did not get me into Harvard.” (using fake whining voice) “Why didn’t my parents get me into Harvard? What’s wrong with them?” And you know, the point is, the point is, the goal is not to get you into Harvard. The goal is to get you into Heaven.

Steve: Amen!

(laughter)

Kevin: Mike Smith gives that talk. Heaven, not Harvard!

Steve: Right.

Kevin: Um, the goal is to teach as you sit in the house, as you walk by the way, as you rise, as you lie down. And teach what? The Word of God. The goal is biblical discipleship in the Word of God because the Word of God is the core in the education program of a child. And I understand there are secularists who may listen to the program and don’t believe that. I understand. That’s a different worldview, a humanist worldview. I don’t. I have a biblical worldview.

Steve: Yeah! And so, really, when they talk about spiritual abuse, spiritual abuse REALLY is not following Deuteronomy 6.

Kevin: Yeah, it’s not teaching the Word of God as you sit in the house.

Steve: Right! And that’s what’s really going on. They’re thinking that when you DO do that, that’s spiritual abuse.

Kevin: And, and, and the problem is Huffington Post would not agree with you.

Steve: Yeah, that’s right!

(laughter)

Kevin: Or Patheos.com. Or Apostate.com or wherever. Um, here’s the other thing I think we ought to draw into this: Homeschooling families are not like public school families. They have different values. Generally speaking. Now, some share values, but I’m talking about Christian homeschool families. Their values are primarily first and foremost not to get their kid into Harvard or get them a good job.

Steve: Right.

Kevin: That’s not primary. It’s not being sure that the kid can read Plato before he’s 12 years of age…

Steve: Yeah.

Kevin: …and get really messed up with the wrong worldview. (laughter) That’s not the goal. See, homeschoolers bring in other values: like relationship building, character building, work, worship. These are important. So it’s not that you can count when you are 31 years of age. Now hopefully that’s a by-product…

Steve: Yeah.

Kevin: …of other things that have been happening. But homeschool families are focused on other priorities. And that’s a shocker to the world out there.

Steve: Yeah. Yeah, there’s a — do you remember the dad and the daughter who, like, split the city and went out into the wilderness and lived in a tent for a while?

Kevin: Yeah, right, right, right.

Steve: And she ended up, you know, they were so afraid that she was horribly abused and didn’t know anything. And she scored way high.

Kevin: She scored as a 12th grader, a high school graduate, at 12 years of age. And they’d been woods-schooling for 4 years. I remember that story. Um, but again, the goal is not to be sure that your child is hitting the 97th percentile in math or reading.

Steve: Yeah!

Kevin: That’s not the goal. That’s not the goal.

Steve: Jesus said something about that. “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet lose your soul?”

Kevin: Yeah. Well, what socialists are doing — and I’ve seen this more and more, Steve, and I’m concerned about WORLD Magazine and I hope that they don’t go this direction — but what the socialists are doing is they’re looking for the minus 3 sigma cases and using it as the PR case against home education…

Steve: Right.

Kevin: …in America. I’ve seen this a hundred times if I’ve seen it once. I… And… And, you know, that’s what they do. That’s what they do. Never mind the fact that homeschoolers are registering, averaging, at the 87th percentile, and Dr. Ray’s study looked at other teaching— other testing services beyond Bob Jones. I think he was looking at a broader slice of the population than the Rudner study in the 1990’s. So I think Dr. Ray nailed it with the Ray study that came out about 3, 4 years ago. And the overall core average was running somewhere around 87 percent. And remember the Rudner study of the 1990’s was running somewhere around the 83rd percentile point.

So, so, you know, the bad guys are gonna come after us one way or another. I’m just hoping the good guys would understand a biblical perspective on issues like this and fight for freedom. A little faith! A little courage to get out there and shove this back in the faces of the socialists and the homeschool whiners that — by the way, these homeschool whiners, let’s get back to what they’re really all about. They’re jettisoning a biblical world and life view. They’re looking for more socialism. They want more governmental controls of education. They want more socialist services sticking their noses into homeschoolers around America. This is their agenda. From what I’ve read. And, and they’re traitors. Traitors to the cause. The cause of what? The cause of freedom! The cause of anybody who wants to fight for freedom against the rising tide of totalitarianism and socialism in America! I am seeing a lot of these guys. They’re bitter…

Steve: Yeah.

Kevin: …against the values represented by home education and their parents. And it’s probably due to broken relationships in the home. So they walk away from the home, all embittered against their parents and whatever stinkin’ issues their parents ever stood for. And whatever friends their parents ever hung out with. And they’re just angry, bitter people who are, have it in for home education. Now, not everybody. But there’s a handful out there that are making some noise. And as far as I am concerned I’m not giving their websites any credence whatsoever.

Steve: Right. And what they need to do is put the blame where the blame actually is supposed to be. They’re blaming the whole homeschooling movement. They’re taking… they’re… they’re actually committing the fallacies of… it’s, it’s a genetic fallacy. It’s a fallacy of generalization, that you take the small bit and you say that must be true of the whole. So, so since Judas was one of Jesus’s disciples and he betrayed Jesus, then ALL of the disciples must—

Kevin: —must be a bunch of nutcases—

Steve: Yeah. And so. So yeah.

Kevin: And yeah. That happens when you go irrational when, when your relationships bust up and you begin to hate everything about whatever your parents were associated with because those relationships went sour. Moreover, these ex-homeschoolers to which WORLD Magazine is giving credence are pro-homosexual. They’re right there behind the emerging gay movement in Christian colleges. They’re encouraging the PatrickHenryGayBlogspot.com or whatever it is. Uh, don’t go there. I said it wrong on purpose. They’re encouraging the homosexuals showing up at the conservative Christian colleges as well and giving them as much credence as possible. Why? Because they are apostates. They’re embracing everything the Bible doesn’t. They’re embracing socialism, totalitarianism, homosexuality. If it’s ugly, if it’s wicked, if it’s totalitarian, they love it! Why? Because they’re turning away from the values they were raised with.

And guess what? This has happened since Day One. Think about Demus. Think about Alexander the Coppersmith. Think about Judas. I mean, these people have existed since the beginning of the Christian Church. And these traitors are nothing new in the history of the world, my friends. Um, and they’re making it hard on the rest of us. But that’s what the Benedict Arnolds have always done.

Steve: And that’s nothing new either.

Kevin: Yeah, exactly. So, now, now, let’s get back to home education. Are there problems with home education? Yes. Yes. There are problems. And, and, and we need to be the first to confess the weaknesses. Where there are weaknesses, confess them. And, and their slothfulness is an issue. Now again, is it any different, public schools versus private schools versus homeschools? I doubt it. Slothfulness with young men? Yeah. It’s a huge problem.

Steve: Yeah.

Kevin: Huge problem. Lack of discipleship for young men because they’re stuck, tied to their mothers’ apron strings until they’re 18 years of age? Yeah, that’s dysfunction. I’ve seen that. Yeah, I’ve seen single moms out there who may have these co-dependent relationships with kids and they won’t do any schooling at all with them. It’s just this weird little co-dependency. They won’t let them go to the public schools, won’t let them go to private schools, and they won’t even homeschool them because they’re just sitting there in the house in this sort of weird, co-dependent relationship. It’s all self-centered. Self-centered, self-centered. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, you see, you see issues — sin issues — in people’s lives everywhere.

Steve: Right.

Kevin: And as you see those things, I think the church, the local church, needs to address them.

Steve: Yeah! See, really, this is a, not only a family problem, but it’s also a church discipline issue as well. And that’s a whole different show.

Kevin: It is, yeah.

Steve: But it is. I mean, you know, there’s a book Jay Adams wrote that I just really liked about church discipline. And it’s not, you know, most people think of church discipline as a way to kick people out of church. But really, church discipline is a right that everybody has in the church. A well-disciplined church is gonna turn out well-disciplined families, which will have an effect on the community at large.

Kevin: Well, Steve, to close off the program, my hope is that homeschool leaders get a little chutzpah to ‘em and fight the good fight, engage the battle of ideas, come back to a distinctively biblical world and life view and be more self-consistent to it. Stop being so wishy-washy and… And those leaders who are discouraged, I think they’ve been beaten up by an increasingly hostile media to homeschooling. And, and we can expect that.

Hey, you know, homeschooling is making an impact. Of course the enemy’s upset. Of course the media, the academy, the political world is going to note and they’re gonna come after us and they’re gonna do their best to discourage us. But, man alive, get a little faith! You know, dig in for the long haul! Be self-consistent to your world and life view and encourage the next generation of homeschoolers — who, hopefully, should be more self-consistent — and, and, and more committed to the vision of home education than the previous generation.

That’s why I wrote my book “Upgrade: The 10 Secrets to the Best Education For Your Child.” And hopefully this will give vision to tens of thousands of people listening to the program, especially to our kids and grandkids who need a vision for educating their kids — a distinctively biblical vision because education is a point at which we have seen massive apostasy from the Christian faith. This is the catalyst to apostasy. So if you want to see a restoration of the good things of life, it’s gotta happen in the education of the next generation.

The bad guys understand it. Now it’s time for the good guys to figure it out. And that’s why I wrote my book “Upgrade: The 10 Secrets to the Best Education For Your Child.” Also, “Keep the Faith: Volume One” deals with the historical Christian perspective of education based on 2,000 years of the greatest Christians who have ever written anything on Christian education. You need to get these books. Get these resources. And empower the next generation to be even more faithful than we were.

The vision for home education, for family-based education? You’ll find it in my book “Upgrade: The 10 Secrets to the Best Education For Your Child” and our website, KevinSwanson.com.

(end transcript)

Christian Patriarchy Just Made WORLD Magazine $11,200 Richer

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By R.L. Stollar, HA Community Coordinator

WORLD Magazine, a biweekly conservative Christian news magazine, was and continues to be immensely popular among homeschooling families. As a kid, I remember eagerly anticipating each new edition of WORLD. I particularly loved the music reviews, since I used them to convince my parents that I should be allowed to buy new CDs. My family certainly was not alone in our admiration for WORLD: Libby Anne at Love Joy Feminism, for example, also “grew up in a family that read every single issue of WORLD magazine thoroughly.”

The popularity of WORLD among homeschoolers probably isn’t a coincidence. One factor here is staff overlap: WORLD’s longtime (now former) culture editor, Gene Edward Veith, is the Provost of the HSLDA-funded Patrick Henry College, founded by Michael Farris — who also founded HSLDA. WORLD’s editor-in-chief, Marvin Olasky, is the Distinguished Chair in Journalism and Public Policy at Patrick Henry College. And Les Sillars, the current Mailbag Editor at WORLD, is also (currently) Patrick Henry College’s Professor of Journalism.

Another factor is the content of WORLD. WORLD’s founder, Joel Belz, wrote back in 2003 about homeschoolers being the “Secret Weapon” for conservative Republicans — which HSLDA broadcast in their 2004 Court Report while promoting its Generation Joshua program. Furthermore, as Libby Anne has pointed out, a rather friendly relationship has existed between WORLD and Christian Patriarchy, especially Doug Phillips and Vision Forum:

At least a few WORLD magazine writers have been fans of Vision Forum, attending major Vision Forum events, etc. … WORLD magazine published an article by Doug Phillips in 1998. Also in 1998 WORLD magazine also praised one of Phillips’ books and spoke positively of Vision Forum’s publishing wing. … WORLD Magazine…promote[d] the recent patriarchal Vision Forum—related movie Courageous up and down. If WORLD magazine is serious about having nothing to do with the patriarchy movement, they need to be more proactive and less ambiguous.

If WORLD is serious about having nothing to do with the patriarchy movement, they need to be more proactive and less ambiguous. That’s the same criticism we’re hearing about Patrick Henry College’s chancellor, Michael Farris, who gave a tepid and responsibility-shirking criticism of “Christian Patriarchy” in World Net Daily and also recently “critiqued” it via insulting LGBT* and atheist homeschool alumni.

Of course, WORLD has started covering several of the recent scandals within Christian homeschooling — including Bill Gothard being placed on administrative leaveresigning, and the charges against him; as well as the fall of Vision Forum and the sexual assault lawsuit against Vision Forum’s Doug Phillips. Yet in their just-published “2014 Books Issue,” it appears that money speaks louder than principles. Because just like HSLDA continued to receive ad revenue from promoting Vision Forum in Michael Farris’s official HSLDA emails (while claiming it was trying “to keep this stuff outside the mainstream of the homeschooling movement”), WORLD Magazine covers the crumbling public face of Christian Patriarchy all while taking its money to promote it in full page ads.

In WORLD’s most recent print edition, the magazine features two full page ads for the biggest names in Christian Patriarchy. The first is for Kevin Swanson’s new (and academically embarrassing) book “Apostate.” The second is for a NCFIC (National Center for Family Integrated Churches) conference featuring Christian Patarichy celebrities like Scott Brown, R.C. Sproul, Jr. Kevin Swanson, and Geoff Botkin.

You can check out the ads here, the photographs of which are courtesy of Chris Hutton at Liter8 Thoughts:

The NCFIC ad is for their upcoming “Church and Family” conference. You can see their speakers are a Who’s Who of Christian Patriarchy — and basically a list of everyone who previously walked in line with Doug Phillips: Scott Brown, Kevin Swanson, Don Hart (General Counsel for Vision Forum Ministries!), Geoffrey Botkin, R.C. Sproul, Jr., etc. You honestly can’t get much more Christian Patriarchical than this. As Julie Anne Smith at Spiritual Sounding Board has said, Scott Brown is “posed to fill the void left by Doug Phillips and Vision Forum to further the Christian Patriarchy Movement among homeschool families and family-integrated churches.”

And Kevin Swanson’s “Apostate”? Really, WORLD? You want the guy who talks about “feces eaters” and compares abused children to “dead little bunnies” advertising in your magazine? That’s a new low, especially since “Apostate” is a book that seriously proposes that “Charles Darwin’s farting at night (not kidding) is relevant to his philosophic and scientific influence.”

Not to mention that many WORLD subscribers are conservative Catholics and one of the “Apostates” that Kevin Swanson believes helped usher in the end of Christianity is Thomas Aquinas. Yes, like the classic Christian theologian Thomas Aquinas. But despite Aquinas being Evil Incarnate to Swanson, Aquinas’s face is absent from Swanson’s WORLD ad. Pretty convenient, right?

Ultimately, money makes the world go round, and that’s evidently no less true for Christian magazines. Considering that full page ads are $5,600 each, Christian Patriarchy just made WORLD $11,200 richer this month. And WORLD just brought Kevin Swanson and NCFIC into the homes of 100,000 families. Wink, nod, shhh.

Kevin Swanson, Child Abuse, and Dead Little Bunnies: Kathi’s Thoughts

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HA note: Kathi is a Bible-belt midwest transplant to the beautiful Pacific northwest. After homeschooling her kids for 10 years (she decided that high school math and science were not her strongest subjects), both kids are in public school. She is a former church goer and finds herself in that unstudied demographic of middle-aged Nones. She has a B.A. in Urban Ministry and a M.S.W. Her goal is to work with children who have been abused or are in foster care. She loves to knit, cook and read (not in any particular order). The following was originally published on Kathi’s blog Moving Beyond Absolutes on April 5, 2014 and is reprinted with permission. 

I had never heard of Kevin Swason until after I got done homeschooling. That’s how out of touch with the Christian homeschool movement I was during my homeschooling period.

When he did a show on March 18th titled, How to Recover from Sexual Abuse, I had to listen. This program included guest Keith Dorscht from Biblical Concepts in Counseling. Here’s an interesting point to make note of – at the end of the program, Keith Dorscht tells listeners how to get in touch with Biblical Concepts (www.biblicalconcepts.org — this is the URL he provides). However, when you go to that URL, it shows up through Sedo’s Domain Parking and it gives someone the option to purchase that domain name. Because of this, I’m not sure how anyone who listened to Swanson’s program would be able to follow up with Biblical Concepts in Counseling.

I became interested in this particular program because of my social work focus in child abuse, my past work with children who had been sexually abused, and because of my own personal experience with abuse.

I admit that when I saw the title of the program I sighed and thought myself to be a glutton of punishment. (Swason’s voice tends to grate on me a little — okay, a lot. But, there’s nothing that a glass — or two — of wine can’t cure!) I tell you this because I am passionate about helping people who have been abused.

Unexpectedly, and thankfully, there were some good ideas and thoughts on dealing with sexual abuse. What did not surprise me were some of important things that were left out and the prevailing attitude toward victims that creeps in. I transcribed** the show and am here to offer my opinions on the good and the not so good of what I heard.

The Good

1. Keith Dorscht acknowledges the fact that sexual pleasure can be experienced at any age. At the 7 minute mark he says,

“What that means is that from birth, there can be sexual stimulation, excitement, that feels good. And, you can’t stop that as a child of any age, you can’t turn that off. God wants you to have that.”

That is true. It has been shown that babies are able to experience genital stimulation. Our bodies are hard wired to be that way.

2. Right after this remark, he continues saying,

“When some perpetrator comes in, takes advantage of that, but they also overwhelm you and you feel guilty because you know something is going on wrong. So one of the main damages is that someone at any age is experiencing something that feels pleasurable, but they’re feeling guilt. And there’s a knitting together, a marrying together, of those two emotions.”

Very true, too. Abusers will manipulate a victim for their own pleasure. Threats, fear or simple words such as telling the victim that this is something “special” shared between them and that no one else should know about it, are tactics used to keep them in their grasp. The victim, realizing that what this person is doing is wrong, may feel pleasure in the act. Thus, the feelings of guilt may become overwhelming.

3. As far as responding to a child who tells you that they have been sexually abused, Dorscht says the following after the 10 minute mark:

“You can pretty much trust that they’re telling truth. Only half a percent of children actually make up a story of this. So if you’re getting signs and statements being made and strange behaviors in your child, you want to definitely consider the idea that perhaps someone has sexually abused them and get talking about that.”

While there have been times when a child will lie about sexual abuse, it is very rare. If a child tells you that they have been sexually abused, always believe them.

4. Dorscht offers hope to victims of sexual abuse. Just before the 9:30 mark he says,

“There is so much hope for people who have been sexually abused. If I can say one thing on this program today and leave people with something, is that there is hope. That God can restore. He can finish the work.”

There is hope for a survivor of sexual abuse. A person can be made whole again. It takes a lot of time, patience and hard work with a therapist to get there. I do believe that God can help in that healing process. However, if the person does not have a faith in God, healing can also be accomplished.

The Not So Good

1. Kevin Swanson seems to think that sexual abuse did not happen as often in the 1800’s compared to today. In the opening of his show, just before the 1 minuted mark he says,

“See, we have social sins now that were almost unheard of in the 1800’s. And they are common place today. The 1 in 10,000 occurrences we saw in the 1800’s, now 1 in 100, the 1 in 100 now 3 in 10.  The free sex movement of the 1960’s has resulted in people thinking they can get any kind of sex they want for free. And they’re doing it all the time. They’re doing it with kids. It’s hard to get accurate numbers of sexual abuse. But accounts have it as high as 20, 30, 40%

“The stories abound. Priests abusing kids. School teachers abusing kids. Babysitters abusing kids. Everywhere. Part it is the absence of parental oversight in the training of children. And, part of it is the whole sale raw eros sex on MTV and the whole music culture. Part of it is the lack of phileo love, agape love, and all that is left is animalistic physical copulation. Whatever the cause, the consequences of this free sex, this fornicating sexual abuse culture, the consequences of this stuff is just devastating. The purity has been stripped away.”

And, just after the 5:30 mark he says,

“Just horrific to see what is happening. And of course I believe this has been increasing over the last 30-40 years. This kind of thing was not happening as much 100 years ago.”

Dorscht follows this statement by saying,

“No, and you can blame the internet for that. Blame media influences and parents letting their guards down with their children and not protecting them the way they need to be.”

Does Swanson realize that, while avenues for reporting sexual abuse existed in the 1800’s, the response to those reports were very different than today’s response? Also, means of storing numbers for statistical analysis did not exist in the 1800’s.

How about the fact that there really was not a clear definition of child abuse in the 1800’s or child abuse reporting laws or laws set in place to help protect victims?

My only other note to Swanson is that if you are going to supply a fact in the form of a percentage of something happening, please make sure you do your homework and make it very clear to the listener. This “20, 30, 40%” of reported abuse does your listener no good. Let them know the facts up front.

2. Swanson wants to deal with the problem of guilt. Rightfully so. Children who have been sexually abused may feel guilty about their participation in the act, or in their lack of ability to stop the abuse from happening. Just after the 13 minute mark he says,

“You know, some Christian perspectives of psychology will tell us that man suffers from guilt and often he will resort to masochism or sadism, that is hurting themselves or hurting others, as a means of atonement. Because, of course, guilt cries out for atonement. And when people try to self atone for that guilt, by mean of masochism or sadism, they are denying the atonement of the son of God who came to atone for those sins. And that in itself is a sin, right Keith? If we don’t go to Christ and say, ‘Hey, your atonement is sufficient for me,’ you’re denying his offering.”

So Swanson wants to heap on more guilt for a person who is trying to deal with their abuse. (Shaking my head) In essence, he is saying, “If you don’t rely on Christ, you are sinning.” I’m sure this extra layer of guilt will be helpful for the victim.

3. Bitterness — one of my least favorite words. Swanson wants to deal with it though. Just after the 14:30 minute mark he says,

“Well, Keith, there’s also the issue of bitterness. Perhaps we should talk about this as well. This is, of course, carrying other people’s sins and holding them against them. How often do you see this problem of bitterness where they hold this bitterness against the violator?”

Dorscht responded at the 15 minute mark with,

“They’re holding that bitterness. Every single week in the counseling office those people are holding on to that bitterness. The problem is too often that the perpetrator is out of their reach and not receiving any of that bitterness. And, again, it can turn back on them. Or turn back on a spouse, or to parents. A girl will have anger issues with a father or a brother, and they may wonder where that’s coming from. And those people are paying.”

Swanson continues the thought after the 16 minute mark,

“And, you know, as we bring the guilt and the bitterness together, this is precisely what Jesus puts in the Lord’s prayer when he says, ‘Forgive us our debts, our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.’ So, Keith, I think that these things come together in the counseling situation where we go to the cross of Christ. Yes, we drop our sins there, but while we’re there, we drop everybody else’s sins too. It’s almost as if the bitter person, the guilty person, is holding two burdens. He’s got his own sins, and then he’s got everybody else’s sins. I don’t think anybody can carry that much.”

It is important to note that Dorscht is identified as a “Biblical” counselor.

I don’t have any training in Biblical counseling, so I’m not exactly sure how a Biblical counselor works in a therapy session. What I have heard, though, is that Biblical counselors stress the need for a victim to forgive a perpetrator. Dorscht confirms this at the 17:30 mark:

“When they forgive that person, I’ve seen people instantly, when they pray, ‘God I forgive that person.’ And they open their eyes, they look at me, and they say, ‘Can I pray for that person?’ And I say, ‘Why would you want to do that?’ Just to kind of test them. They say, ‘Because I know how much I’ve been forgiven. And I know now how hurting that person must have been for them to hurt me.’ And not in every case does this happen. But, I think people can get to that point where they can say, ‘I want to pray for them because they are hurting also.’ And that is a sign of genuine heart-level forgiveness. They have compassion. If that person needed a meal or needed a cup of water, that person is free to give that to them. That’s a minimum requirement.”

KS: “Wow! That’s true deliverance. And, that’s walking in Jesus’ ways when he says, ‘Pray for those who despitefully [sic] use you.’ And, if there is anybody who would despitefully [sic] use somebody, that would certainly be one who sexually abuses. And, to pray for that person is exactly what Jesus wants to see happen there.”

I’m not downplaying anyone who says that they are able to forgive someone who has victimized them. If they are able to say and do that, then more power to them. However, some people may never be able to forgive the person who abused them. I would never consider that person bitter, and I would never question their faith. I would also never say a person needs to forgive their abuser because they were hurting too. There is never a good excuse for someone to sexually abuse another person.

Saying that a victim is bitter because they are unable to forgive the perpetrator is another way of placing guilt and shame on a victim.

4. Going back up to point #1, did anyone else realize that Swanson never states that parents may be the ones who are sexually abusing their kids? He mentions priests, school teachers and babysitters, but not once in this radio show does he admit that a parent may abuse their child.

Just after the 18:30 mark, Swanson asks Dorscht what a parent should do when a child tells them that they have been sexually abused. Dorscht’s advice is to first allow their child to talk openly about what happened; to hold them and cry with them. Then at the 20 minute mark he says,

“You’ll want to report something to authorities if that’s appropriate and necessary. You want to warn anyone else who may be in danger. Again, I said there’s a 90% chance that you know the person who abused your child, so you might know other people that could be in danger.”

Of course it’s “appropriate” to report sexual abuse to the authorities! Along with being there for your child, this should be the first thing a parent should do — even if it means that your spouse is the perpetrator of the abuse.

5. Toward the end of the program, Swanson talks about the cold, hard reality of sin in the world. Honestly, at this point in the program I started getting an uneasy feeling and here is where Swanson’s voice starts to grate on me. Just after the 20:30 minute mark he says,

“And, Keith, I think the cold, hard reality of sin and this sinful world comes home to us. Not just in the case of sexual abuse, but when the family has been robbed. You know, when somebody has broken into our house or into our car and stolen our things. Or, even when we have a horrible disease or when somebody dies in the family. I mean, you know, it’s not as if these people who have been sexually abused are the only ones who have suffered the consequences of sin.”

Okay, “these people”? How condescending are those words toward a victim of sexual abuse? I would never refer anyone to Swanson for counseling. I do not think he has the ability to feel empathy or compassion toward someone who is suffering.

He brings in another illustration to emphasize his “cold, hard facts” about sin in the world. This is just after the 21 minute mark:

“And the cold, hard reality of that sinful world comes home at certain times in our children’s lives. In fact, just yesterday, two little bunnies died that we were trying to take care of that we found in the wild all by themselves. And my little daughters were crying. Oh, it was such a hard thing to see the little bunnies die. And they’re still recovering this morning.  You know, we had to tell them, this is what happened when man sinned against God. This is what sin has brought into the world. Little bunnies die. This is the real facts of the matter. But, the hope is in Jesus. We’ve got to give them hope, don’t we Keith?”

Creepy. Dead little bunnies.

And to suggest sexual abuse is one of the the cold, hard realities of a sinful world that enters our children’s lives is horrendous.

*** Please note:: In my transcription I may have missed some words, and I intentionally did not include “filler” words (ummm…, and, or any repetitive words). Even though I left out the filler words, I maintained the cohesive thought of the speaker.

Child Marriage: I Dodged the Bullet

HA note: The following is reprinted with permission from Kierstyn King’s blog Bridging the Gap.  It was originally published on January 12, 2014.

I don’t know that I’ve written much about the process of the relationship Alex and I had before we got married. I started my blog after the fact and before I had even begun to process the hellmouth that was my childhood.

With three creepy-as-fuck-patriarchs coming out in favor of child marriage – something they’d always been in favor of, I suppose, but just now coming to light – I keep remembering how close I was to that being my story, our story.

This might be timey-wimey.

*****

Ever since I can remember, my mom really really really wanted to be pregnant at the same time as me.

I don’t know why, I just remember her telling me this, often, and it creeping  me out before I was 10 — and after I was 10, but I remember being really damn young when she was telling me this. I feel like I was 8.

When we started homechurching, my mom become obsessed, I mean obsessed with jewish culture. Like everything about it was perfect and not at all weird, and by jewish culture, I guess I should clarify, I mean old testament jewishness, and whatever of that was referenced in the new testament. Yes, how women were property and bought/traded for dowries, and how they were surprised for when they were getting married, and their parents picked out their husbands (my mom is also obsessed with betrothal), and then how they wait for the couple to do it, and then they bring out a sheet that had better have a bloodstain on it to prove…virginity – because, obv’s everyone bleeds (<nope).

(HA note: Kiery’s mom was not just wrong in a moral sense, but wrong in a religious sense; for an accurate description of how Jewish weddings work, please see Rachel’s comment here and Petticoat Philosopher’s comment here.)

She had, before I was a teenager even, basically planned out my wedding to be like that. Complete with my future husband building an apartment attached to their house, and even as a kid who knew nothing, this was the thing I fought against, this was the battle I always chose, I was not going to allow my mom to pick out my husband, and dictate my wedding and create the most humiliating ceremony I could imagine – just so she could get her jewish fix and fulfill her dream of carrying children simultaneously.

For context: She had also decided that I would marry at 18 to ensure that pregnancy thing would be feasible.

She was pregnant when I was 18 (I’m 18 years and one-week older than my youngest sibling) and I did end up getting married at 18, but the simultaneous pregnancy hasn’t happened (and never will, thanks to my own birth control and my grandparents stepping in after the last baby and paying for my mom’s sterilization).

Anyway, back to the story…

So, my childhood was already riddled with disturbing fantasies from my mom in relation to my future love-life, and I had been fighting this battle for as long as I can remember. Thankfully, my dad was on my side here, and also thought that my mom’s whole wanting to control all of that thing was ridiculous, which made it easier to just look at her and say no whenever she mentioned it (that was the only thing I was ever able to do that with) even though she ignored it.

I had read too much Elsie Dinsmore to be cool with the idea of betrothal.

Anyway, after we moved to Atlanta I went to TeenPact State Class and then TeenPact National Convention where I met Alex and we became fast friends over the course of the year. Later that year my parents told me they were done teaching me/had taught me everything I needed to know when I was 15 and they said I’d graduated. It was 2006. I turned 16 in February of 2007, had my graduation ceremony at the state homeschool convention in May, and Alex came down for camp, and that fall we started courting (which is, in our case, another kind of hell). Because he lived in Maine, our relationship was Long Distance and we saw eachother less than a handful of times a year – which means most of our relationship involved lots and lots and lots of talking and getting to know each other over IM/Email/Phone calls.

Nonetheless, as soon as my dad said “okay” to us courting in September of 2007, my parents – especially my mom- heard wedding bells. Courting is basically like, “dating with the intent to marry” but with everyone sticking their hands and ideas into the situation but without actually caring about or getting to know the two people involved – they just want power and think they can because they’re parents, so they must be right, right? (no)

My mom, at this time, had just had my second brother, and so, my broom services weren’t as desperately needed.

By december they were pushing Alex to propose, made him buy me a promise ring, and kept asking about when we were getting married, anddon’t you love him? (yes) don’t you want to marry him? (sure) but why not NOW? (because I’m 16) We’ll sign the paperwork! eventually I just looked at them and told them, I feel like you’re pushing me out, and I don’t know why. They were like, we’re not pushing you out! and I forget what else they said, but in retrospect, that conversation, and me not coming home engaged after visiting and meeting his family for the first time after christmas changed things.

But one thing remained, they wanted me married. Stat. They wanted him to propose like, right away, and when he didn’t propose by my birthday, in February (because we both decided it wasn’t a good idea to get married at like, 17 and 19) they got pissed and over the course of the summer of 2008, decided to do everything they could to sabotage our relationship.

It was brutal and nasty and deserving of more than one post because it was fraught with verbal and emotional abuse, withholding, and bribery – complete turns of opinions and demeanor’s, saying one thing and then the next morning saying something else, the last pregnancy that ruined everything, and the reason I had to run away.

If I had complied, as I did in every other thing, my relationship with my parents would have been less strained for a short time, but neither Alex or I would be in a healthy place. 16 is too youngMuch too young.

So when people talk about child-marriage proponents, I remember being 16 and pressured, unbelievably pressured by my parents, to make my boyfriend propose and marry me.

because it’s better to marry than to burn with passion 

I wonder if some of the logic of Swanson, Maranatha’s dad and husband, and Creepy Duck Guy wasn’t part of the logic my parents had too: female independence is bad, marry them off young so they can do what god commanded women to do – be fruitful and multiply.

On Child Marriage: Kevin Swanson and Dave Bruehner Defend Phil Robertson

Kevin Swanson (and Dave Bruehner) have now publicly joined the ranks of Phil Robertson and Matthew Chapman in advocacy of child marriage.
Kevin Swanson (and Dave Bruehner) have now publicly joined the ranks of Phil Robertson and Matthew Chapman in defense of child marriage.

By R.L. Stollar, HA Community Coordinator

Kevin Swanson and Dave Bruehner have now publicly joined with Phil Robertson (in particular) and Matthew Chapman (in general) in defense of child marriage.

In their latest Generations with Vision broadcast, “Sexting and Christian Modesty,” Swanson and Bruehner propose that liberals want pre-teen and early teen girls “sexing” it up all over the place, whereas biblically-based Christians should want them… “sexing” it up at that age only in marriage?

Generations with Vision describes the program in the following way: “Public junior high schools are doing more sexting, and Kevin Swanson recommends a biblical view of womanhood and modesty for Christian families.”

Starting at the 13:45 mark, Swanson and Bruehner mount a defense of Phil Robertson’s advocacy for child marriage. Shortly thereafter, Swanson presents his own ideas about child marriage. The transcript of the section is as follows:

*****

Kevin Swanson:

Remember that one concern people had over Duck Dynasty, when the guy came out and said the girls, 15 or 16 years of age, she’s able to get married, they got all mad. Because boy, you get a girl married at 15 or 16 years of age, that’s a sin!

Dave Bruehner:

Well it is because she doesn’t have a whole life of fornication ahead of her anymore.

Swanson:

Yeah!

Bruehner:

I mean, there’s a whole junior high, soon to be a high school, there’s the staff, there’s the janitors, there’s… there’s the police department, there are so many sexual opportunities for a young woman that are cut off if she actually commits to one guy and tries to live a pure life.

Swanson:

Yeah! Yeah! So see, again, the liberals are really excited about getting the kids doing as much fornication as possible. But the rest of us are saying, “Hey, what about God’s law? What about God’s law?” By the way, nothing in God’s law that would prohibit a young girl who’s ready to get married, at 15 or 16 years of age — now it takes some wisdom, it takes some wisdom — but nothing in God’s law that forbids — it’s not like immoral. There’s nothing in God’s law: “it’s immoral for a 15 or 16 year old to get married.”

By the way, my grandmother was married at 15. I think it was 15. My grandmother on my father’s side was married at 15. It was during the Great Depression. Her father had died and her mother was trying to provide for the 5 kids or whatever. So you know it just made sense. She was 15 years old, she was ready to get married. So that kind of thing has happened, friends. But a sin! A sin in a modern world?

I mean, think about what the president of the Girl Scouts would say about this, Dave, if we said, “Hey, these 15 year old girls, 16 year old girls, they may be ready to get married. They don’t have to live these, you know, independent lifestyles.”

Kevin Swanson Has Stumbled Upon a Very Real Truth

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HA note: The following is reprinted with permission from Libby Anne’s blog Love Joy Feminism. It was originally published on Patheos on October 17, 2013 with the title, “Kevin Swanson on ‘Apostate Homeschoolers.'”

It seems Homeschoolers Anonymous has made an increasingly large splash in the homeschooling world.

Prominent Christian homeschool leader Kevin Swanson himself felt the need to address the group in a recent broadcast on his Generations with Vision radio show. He gave it the title “Apostate Homeschoolers.” If you click the link to listen, the section on Homeschoolers Anonymous starts at 5:00 and goes until 10:40, when Swanson moves on to the Boy Scouts.

What does Swanson blame for the growth of the “homeschool apostates” and their increased networking and online activism? NCFCA homeschool speech and debate. Oh yes. NCFCA was started by Christian homeschool leaders to equip a generation of homeschooled children to be culture warriors, fighting against the godless secularists and working to establish a Christian America. But apparently, according to Swanson, it’s gone awry, and too many of its homeschool participants have left God’s Truth for the faulty world of man’s intellect and reason.

In other words, Swanson has stumbled upon the very real truth that indoctrination fails when you teach children how to think instead of what to think.

But if ensuring that your young people retain your beliefs requires teaching them what to think without ever teaching them how to think, the problem is with your beliefs, not with the fact that certain of your young people figure out how to think and then walk away. That this is the response of the Christian homeschooling world—that perhaps teaching kids how to think was a bad idea—then what they have to offer is very sad indeed.

And just so we’re clear, this is what Kevin Swanson is now apparently afraid of:

debate1

debate2

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Look how scary we are, with all of our researching and talking and thinking and socializing!

Kevin Swanson and the Fundamentalist Code Book

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HA note: The following is reprinted with permission from Lana Hope’s blog Wide Open Ground. It was originally published on October 18, 2013 with the title, “In Fundie Land Name Calling is Fair Game.”

Some days — so much of the freakin’ time — fundies don’t give back any substantial rebuttal or feedback to arguments that have been addressed specially at them. For example, a while back, Libby Anne addressed how the leading homeschool legal defense group in America, HSLDA, had called a child abuser a hero. That’s a substantial claim that would deserve a good answer.

But fundies don’t usually give back any sort of substantial argument. They might, however, name call (“you feminist” or “Jezebel”), or they might go so insanely vague on the argument, or they might laugh themselves sick and assume others are bitter, but shallow, thinkers.

HSLDA responded all vague. Surprise, suprise. Then numerous other individuals just cried, “she can’t know what she’s doing. She’s an atheist.” Yea, FOR REAL KINDA CRAZY STUFF.

I’ll tell you an insiders secret:

Fundies are trained not to give the other side a bit of an edge.

For example,

My mom knows child abuse is an issue that has not been addressed in homeschool mom circles. She remembers when one of my friends came over with bruises on her back and how the girl had been forced to stand in front of her church and repent for something we knew was a load of crap. My mom knows about another friend whose dad repeatedly shoved him against the wall. My mom was always against their abuse and never said it was their fault.

Yet now a decade later she said I shouldn’t tell the child abuse stories online. Not because it didn’t happen. It did.

“It will ruin homeschooling for the rest of us!”

Dang truth!

So get this: It’s okay to defend your beliefs. But suppose someone else does come along and not only challenges your position, but also make some good points?

Name call.

Laugh.

Ignore the meat of the argument.

Ignore all together.

Don’t ever say, “Yeah, fundamentalism has some holes, you’re right. But here is why it’s not as big of a deal as you think….” or “Yeah, fundamentalism has some holes. I still disagree with your conclusion because…..”

NO HECK NO. We don’t ever say that. Not to our opponents face, anyway. (Debate teams don’t count.)

Here’s another secret: as a kid, I thought going all vague and not admitting to agreeing whatsoever at all was the best response. Yea, that’s what I thought.

Then I met healthy disagreements. A good example is the recent debate between Marcus Borg and Tony Jones. They disagree on whether Jesus physically resurrected from the dead. They went back and forth and back and forth on their blogs. They never name called, they addressed the dang arguments (especially that part), and yet they still disagreed. Novel?

Oh yes, novel to me.

I’ve gotten interested recently in a very, very, very, very current philosophy of religion debate in academia. In fact, it’s so recent that theists are arguing with theists over how to best defend this. ARGUING WITH THEIR OWN DANG TEAM MEMBERS! IN JOURNAL ARTICLES. Talk about flooring me.

This is why folks like Kevin Swanson who recently on his Generations with Vision podcast referring to Homeschoolers Anonymous, said we are “a bunch of bitter ex-fundie homeschoolers” who are “finding each other on these websites” and “opening up [our] IHateHomeschooling.com websites.”

Not only could Swanson not say, “Yeah, Mary’s life was living hell. I agree” (cuz that might make homeschooling look bad), but he also couldn’t see beyond the fog that maybe we aren’t all or nothing kind of folks.

Why? Because if we were prohomeschooling, you see, (back to what my mom said), we wouldn’t be speaking up. Swanson is taking this at face value. So we are speaking up; therefore, we areIHateHomeschooling.com kind of people.

You are so wrong, Mr. Swanson.

In fact, I’m so pro-homeschooling that I’d totally leave the country if homeschooling were illegal in America (oh wait, I already left the country).

Yet I’m all in favor of Homeschoolers Anonymous and Homeschooling’s Invisible Children.

It’s possible to say, “yea, I’m pro-homeschooling, but sometimes homeschooling sucks.” It’s also possible for me to disagree with other bloggers on certain issues, even other bloggers on H.A., and yet still have some common ground and share group hugs.

I say let the defenses down.

Falling.

Down.

Down.

Down.

If Swanson doesn’t want to agree with Homeschoolers Anonymous, he should say what he disagrees with and address our arguments. I’m not all oh-he’s-gotta-agree kinda gal. Just, yeah, tell me the what, why, and how you disagree.

Oh yeah, that’s against the fundamental code book.

That’s why I enjoyed the Tony Jones/Marcus Borg debate. The only thing that I didn’t like is that I’m a nobody and don’t get smart folks like that to argue with me.