Think HSLDA “Owns” Generation Joshua? Think Again

5 03 2007

Barack Obama’s speech-preach moved me Sunday, sent me drifting hazily back through time to the speech-preach life of my smalltown southern past. But when I got there, he was nowhere to be seen and it WAS very clearly the past to me, not the stuff of any sustainable future for our kids and their kids, no matter whose politics would dominate the rest of us with religion in that future:

Looks like this will be an even more uneasy election cycle for me than the last two — and this time not because of far-right Christian activists manipulating lesser-educated minds (always assumed to be headquartered in the South, sigh) with simplistic, storybook preaching to motivate and direct that base straight to the polls like lordly lemmings.

This time I may have to fight the so-called liberals too, those willing to dominate civic and global matters from the pulpit if need be, with an army of God behind them. . .
Obama kept evoking “Generation Joshua” this afternoon, to hallelujahs from the crowd (congregation?) If you’re a secular homeschooler, that’ll send shivers down your spine and if you’re not, let me ‘splain —

There’s a well-financed, evangelical-dominated national organization of lawyers, lobbyists and speakers/advisors in the homeschool movement, known as the HomeSchool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA.) Its heft and heat tend to blot out the sun — with the Son? — in homeschool politics and the public mind. AS if that weren’t plenty of power for me to fret over, in 2003 HSLDA leaders launched a kiddie “education” project aimed at getting conservative Christians to steer children into Republican politics and government at the highest levels.

What did they name it? Generation Joshua. . .




4 responses

5 03 2007

I’m guessing we can count the number of black kids in HSLDA’s Generation Joshua without needing to involve our toes. It is an odd confluence of the term though.

5 03 2007

Hi Chris – Obama was using “The Joshua Generation” to include himself, all as Children of the Moses Generation, meaning the elders who made all the civil sacrifices that have benefited younger folk like himself. This is how I understand HSLDA to use it as well. He said there is work left to do (ten percent, I think he mentioned) and so he wants all those church folks to join him in doing it in the name of Moses and Joshua, because (wait for it, this is the creepy confluence clincher to me) it is God’s plan for our government and society. World without end, amen.

8 03 2007

Far-left political ideologue and public school zealot Michael Apple is at it again, which sent me back into my archives where I realized with another shiver why Barack Obama’s Generation Joshua preaching makes my skin crawl — “It’s the morality, stupid?”

Are we so sure that the Reich/Apple world view isn’t just as dependent on moral imperative as Patrick Henry College or the HSLDA?

FSU professor reviews new book as “a good read for the intelligent layperson who is serious about citizenship. . . the politics of sin oscillate between a focus on the sinners and one on the sinful system . . nothing stirs the people or grows their government like a pulpit-thumping moral crusade against malevolent dastards.”

“…Today the new Victorians or Jeremiahs are not limited to the leadership of the Southern Baptist Conference or to Jerry Falwell. Many Americans are focusing on the sinners who, as individuals, are responsible for their sins . . ”

JJ says: wouldn’t we be wise to incorporate this view as we consider past, present, and future homeschooling frames? It brought to my mind the demands for “rigor” and high-stakes accountability, also CPS/child neglect and “if it can save just one child” arguments, also the “virtue” arguments against charters and criticism of individuals who choose them (greed, dishonesty, corruption, disloyalty to one’s fellow homeschoolers.)

Hellfire Nation: The Politics of Sin in American History (Yale, 2003) by James Morone, professor of political science at Brown University. It is 497 pages with 60 more pages of endnotes, to chronicle how the politics of sin continues to shape American political development, more so than any nation on earth.

Morone writes that moral concerns play a crucial role in American politics . . .historically our nation “develops not from religious to secular, but from revival to revival.”

He uses the phrase “Social Gospel” to include political frames such as abolition, FDR’s New Deal and Martin Luther King Jr.’s civil rights nonviolence, all based on this moralistic consciousness.

It was in that larger sense rather than “Christian” that this book made me think of homeschooling, because we’re whipsawed between clashing frames from Rob Reich’s and Michael Apple’s communitarian imperatives to libertarian hysteria, all justified on various “moral” terms, with or without Christianity or any other religion per se.

The review I read closed with this creepy note:
“Shrinking government involvement in our lives can always be put on hold, and public expenditures justified, whenever personal morality needs supervising.”

I think I see some very big government coming for us.

29 05 2012
Blog posts on a fine 5 March morning - Home School Article - Articles - HEM

Valerie at HEM giving us a little link-love:

[…] JJ at Cocking a Snook on Biblical imagery: Think HSLDA “Owns” Generation Joshua? Think Again […]

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