If You’re Here Fresh From “Unity-N-Diversity”. . .

22 12 2007

. . .then you need to read this first, from last spring right here in my capital city hometown where we’ve unschooled for almost 20 years. THIS is why homeschooling has problems, the kind of escalating problems that Unity-N-Diversity is broaching. If you can’t quite grasp what I’m saying here, do your homework, then maybe rejoin the conversation in a few years when you’ve earned your spot and some battle scars online. OTOH if you grasp it all too well but resent the hell out of it, hey! We’re finally communicating.
****************

Not sure when it happened, that the Trinity of God, Government and Guns took over again. I have been slow to notice, with all this gentle, loving, respectful and mannerly pretense that religious education is a private non-governmental realm of the spirit, not the State.

 

 

National Day of Prayer State Capitol Rally Thursday, May 3, 2007

Homeschoolers are invited to take part in this important day of prayer for our state and nation and participate in the children’s prayer walk. If older youth would like to help stamp prayer passports, please email — Volunteer time is from 10:30 am – Noon, report to the tent in the courtyard

 

Children’s Prayer Walk
Location: Capitol Courtyard
Time: 11:00 am-Noon
Emergency Response & Military Vehicles will be on display in the Courtyard as part of the Prayer Walk.
Each child will be issued a prayer passport to take to each stations and pray for the personnel. They can tour the vehicles as well.

 

National Day of Prayer Rally
Location: Capitol Courtyard
Praise & Worship: 11:30 am
Prayer Rally: Noon-1:15 pm
Governor Crist, Lt. Governor Kottkamp and other leaders will be taking part in the service.

 

We did have Easter at the Governor’s Mansion this spring– a very important holiday, said Governor Crist — but at least in the newspaper, his Easter Bunny gig played as a secular hospitality for a few Florida kids who might or might not have been Christian, a ceremonial family occasion and photo op, not associated with the state sausage-making of the Legislature down the street nor with public prayer walks on the Capitol Plaza.
And nothing to do with home education at all.

But now comes a special day for masses of children where the Governor himself will stamp prayer indelibly onto home education “passports”, and not on a weekend at his home but on a legislative workday at the Capitol, in front of all the lawmakers, not in a bunny suit but in his official governing suit and tie. Prayer flanked with tanks and guns for real action, followed by ambulances to mop up all the blood and waste, the way elephants are followed in parades. Talk about Power of Story!

God, government and guns. No wait, that’s not the sponsors’ exact slogan, let me get it just right, oh here it is: Governing Florida with Prayer and Action” which isn’t tricky to translate — “governing Florida” is plainly the dominion that their version of god’s will (prayer) commands them to exercise over the secular State and all our laws. And how will this be accomplished? ACTION. The spiritual realm translated into physical reality, warfare on every front in this world and time.

Resistance is futile?
I personally prefer this version but I digress . . .

The point is I get the meaning of the purpose and method. Dominion through warfare. But when it comes to the education this all represents, I have knotty translation problems.

Does mixing home education with military might — bringing the kiddos along to get their draft cards stamped, whoops I mean “prayer passports”, the better to learn how God wants them to govern Florida — just chill me to the bone? You betcha, particularly the same week as the much more directly child-protective lessons of National Spank Out Day! (which needs prayer and action too, but these folks had no Capitol rally for THAT, didn’t even acknowledge its existence. I doubt the Governor noticed either, or prayed for the kids against whom god is being invoked as commanding their punishment.)

Does this mean child beating has become both corporal and capital punishment?

Whatever happened to peace vigils and humble candlelight, praying for strength to endure, for guiding hands to heal, not hurt? This sounds like state-sponsored prayer for the strength to fight and win and take over!

And what about teaching citizenship and constitutional separation of powers as important, in the system these kids will someday operate and defend (hopefullly with their good minds, not just their gods and guns!) Do we not have that rule any more?
This isn’t a Sunday church prayer picnic and it’s not a school or state holiday of any kind, please note. It’s a lobbying show of strength on the steps of MY state capitol, at the high-drama, high-stakes end of session, while real laws with real force are being passed and everyone’s life, liberty and private pursuits (not to mention money and identity) are at major risk.

Never mind school reform and the protection from school conquest we homeschoolers thought we were fighting for; these lessons have nothing to do with “school and state.” What will this teach kids about CHURCH and state, prayer and government? And what will this teach lawmakers about homeschooling?

Is there really nothing wrong with this, not even a little off-sounding, to these conservative Christian homeschool parents? If it’s really a prayer day then it doesn’t belong in the middle of the secular government identified with legal “home education” and conversely if it’s a home education lobby, for the legislative presence and show of strength and solidarity, then it isn’t about prayer and religion; those are constitutionally separated for good reason.

All the other Christian kids are still in school this time of year, folks, so this rally will be rightly (pun intended) perceived as primarily homeschooling kids.
Wonder if “we” will be sponsoring a State Purity Ball to follow? The warfare weaponry will already be all polished up and onsite, kinda silly to waste it once we have the girls and dads all rounded up to put on a show and the lawmakers paying attention. . .

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15 responses

23 12 2007
NanceConfer

Well, I’m still trying to figure out what the point is over at the Unity blog. Is it a HEM outlet? An NHELD effort? I asked. We’ll see if we can figure out who is really running the show over there or if anyone speaks up and tells us who the man behind the curtain is this time.

In the meantime, it seems to be the usual baggage of vehement anti-HSLDA venting, some sort of libertarian “remember we’re a republic” line (I liked the phrasing “democratic republic” we came across recently) and “be afraid, be very afraid” because there’s going to be more regulation of hsing (or there already is or just you wait and see or some such).

All in the name of “unity,” while of course drawing fire from the vehement pro-statement-of-faith type hsers. . .

Maybe there’s more to all of this than I am seeing. . . hoping so. . .

Nance

23 12 2007
JJ

Oh, I’m willing to be afraid, very afraid all right, but not of the State so much as of the Sacred, the Untouchable, Untaxable, Ungovernable Trust working to rule every aspect of all our lives, like the Taliban or worse.

If the Christofascist wackos riding through home education like the horses of the Apocalypse haven’t got your attention yet, check out a biblical principles home education site called CLASS. Don’t let the welcoming smile and talk of independence and tolerance lull you as a real independent. These folks are unified in yoke together already, they don’t need you and they are relentless. Here’s what they are taught to teach and it’s not “education” at all but indocrination morning, noon and night, no matter what it seems like they are saying oh so sweetly and reasonably about the classics or test scores:

“. . .the teacher must self-consciously teach all subjects in the framework of biblical authority. . . The proper method is to use the Bible in each and every course both directly and indirectly.
Biblical doctrines must regulate the way we teach and learn. . . . teach the student to reason biblically.
. . .
This worldview is a unified system of principles that . . . requires that every thought be made captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ.
. . .Culture, society, and education are thus bound to religion.
. . .Christ is now reigning, but not everyone has bowed the knee to His authority. Not every area of life and thought has been made subject to Him. Christian education serves as part of His purpose to subdue people from all nations to the glory of God.”

Your hair should be on fire by the time you read down to:

Because the Word of God is the only standard for education, Christian education is at odds with all pagan thought. Because it is part of Christ’s program for building His kingdom, Christian education is engaged in spiritual and intellectual warfare with the kingdom of darkness.

The Kingdom of Darkness, that’s any Thinking Parent who dares think about anything academic other than what the bible tells them to think, as interpreted by the men who write all this power of story in god’s name, I suppose.

The fact of the new birth creates a distinction between two types of people: Christians and non-Christians. Christians are bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and earnestly contending for the faith. The non-Christian, however, looks to man as the standard of all things, reasons according to the flesh, and calls his education neutral.

Because all education is inescapably religious, it can never take place in an ideological vacuum. Neutrality is impossible; for the educational worldview will either be Christian or humanistic.

Christ clearly taught, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathers not with me,
scatters abroad” (Matthew 12:30). Therefore all non-Christian education is ultimately anti-Christian because it does not submit to the claims of Jesus Christ.

Well-trained Christian students must be prepared to battle intellectually against the spirit of this age with an aggressive yet
humble manner. CLASS desires to train Christian warriors and leaders who will go forth in the power of the Holy Spirit to win decisive victories for the honor, glory, and kingdom of Christ.

Aggressive yet humble? Battling against the spirit of this age? Huh? Which age are we glorifying then? (Doc had a post about the modest dress considered more godly for homeschool moms in this age. It wasn’t sandals and sackcloth but fifties stuff. Were the 1950s mentioned in the bible somewhere I never noticed before as a glory-to-god age of spiritual enlightenment, with the little woman in the kitchen with helmet hair in high heels and a frilly apron, beating children and cookie dough alternately with her worshipful, aggressive yet humble wooden spoon. . .?)

23 12 2007
NanceConfer

LOL . . . . sorry. . . not PC, I know. . . but the image of the alternating use of the wooden spoon got me. 🙂

My objection to thinking any of this is suddenly scary is that it has been scary — for a long time. It isn’t a new scary thing. It is the same old ignorant scary thing. Unevolved in every sense.

And now that this administration is a laughing stock — has been for a while if not for the entire past 7 years — is it time to be brave enough to call out the religious child-beaters for their garbage? For a while, it wasn’t safe to be against the Iraq war. And now it is. And is it now safe to be against religious insanity?

But this must, of course, never mean that we shouldn’t buy services and magazines from the people selling them. Oh no, if things were really safe, if hsing was just steadily growing in popularity and acceptance why would we need the likes of HEM and NHELD? No, there still must be a bogey man. We can now see the religious wackos and HSLDA dashed on the rocks of reason. But who should we be afraid of next? The Dems? The big bad public school folks?

I’m not even sure who runs the Unity site but it has a commercial feel to me. One way or another. If someone over there would speak up about the agenda and ownership of the blog, maybe I would see that I am wrong to feel this icky feeling.

Nance

23 12 2007
JJ

Good point, that it’s not new or sudden. MisEducation wrote Large Dogs Welcome in June 2004, and by then “inclusivity” was already a tired old battle.

Remember, you and I first met online almost 10 years ago on the state law list?! — when we had little kids and nothing in common with our state full of conservative Christians who ran home education conversations and conventions and support, and were speaking to power as “the” voice for all of us whether we liked it or not, and interpreting the law back to us the same way.

Everything was in church lady code all the time, and it was exhausting just to ask or answer the simplest newbie question! Also it was pretty humorless, and they would scold us in tag teams for not being “nice” when we challenged legal information or political strategy — we’re generally better informed and more relaxed (and funnier) as a community now, I think. 🙂

And I think things in Florida at least are better now, not worse — less rigid and exclusive, less fraught with “issues” and grassroots alerts and agitation, or maybe our cohort of moms is just older and not sweating the small stuff so much?

But the really funny thing is that you and I have no problems with most of that leadership. As it turned out I like and respect the FL HS policy leaders I’ve met and worked with, and they don’t seem to view me as demon seed or some pagan force of darkness. (maybe you, Nance!)

These particular conservative Christian leaders here in our state, weren’t operating under theocratic commandments to exclude and then conquer, nor would they bow politically or strategically to HSLDA or the We Stand movement. Like Kay Brooks in TN and many hardworking, long-suffering, genuine homeschool leaders who define themselves as conservative and Christian, they don’t buy into literalist One Book brinksmanship or paternalistic principles dictating to secular governance of education.

24 12 2007
NanceConfer

many hardworking, long-suffering, genuine homeschool leaders who define themselves as conservative and Christian,

***

Right. There are many good people doing good things even if they do sit in some strange pews — or think I do. 🙂

Maybe the Unity effort can find them and . . . who knows?

Nance

24 12 2007
JJ

Someone over there alluded to “unity in diversity” being an established phrase, shoot, I can’t find it — but it gave me the notion that maybe we just stumbled cluelessly onto another community’s insider baseball field, without the context? Is it some Christian effort?

Hmm – well, wikipedia says it’s a “socio-ecological philosophy” referring to a “sense of oneness” in a”unique eclectic culture” despite physical or psychological barriers. The phrase is widely used for India — hello, hardly a Christian theocracy– and other multicultural nations like South Africa, and it’s the official motto for of the strange new animal called the European Union (peoples not unified culturally or religiously, who literally don’t speak the same language or follow the same laws)

Somehow I missed ever hearing this phrase before.

Ah, and it’s got UN overtones, no wonder it gripes conservative Christians who are so suspicious of the UN. And this write-up seems to explain why a Unity N Diversity blog for homeschool religious healing would appear online right now — maybe it’s behind that organizational feel you were sensing, Nance?

PREPARING FOR THE HOLY DAY SEASON ’07

This is a new cycle of human power. It is the hour of unity among all peoples, and of the drawing together of all races and classes. — Baha’ Faith, Science and Spirituality, p. 170

The most important time of the year for the Unity-and-Diversity World Council is what I call the Holy Day Season. It is the time when Christians, Jews, members of Kwanzaa, and people of other faiths celebrate a season of peace and goodwill. It is, in fact, the one time of the year when everyone increasingly celebrates together the spirit of new birth and the emergence of the new civilization.

Specifically, December 25th is seen not only as the birth of Jesus but also the birth of the new global civilization. The time from December 25th to January 1st then becomes a period of inward looking and decision-making regarding our lives and how they can be made more awakened and life-affirming. January 1st is the conclusion of this time as we celebrate the emergence of the new civilization. It hopefully is a time also when people stop their fighting and look to the Universal Spirit for guidance toward a saner, more civilized way of living.

For Christians, the first part of December is seen as advent, a time of preparation for the birth of Jesus. From a unity-and-diversity perspective, the first two weeks of December, from Dec. 2nd to 16th, this same idea applies but seen as a development of global consciousness and sacredness related to all peoples and all life. It is a time for getting beyond the commercialism and party-mindedness that so often become prominent at this time. Instead, we are called to realize the importance of a new birth of life and devote time and thought to making it real and truly sacred.

This year in particular, it is urgently important we acknowledge that this Holy Day Season is not just for Christians but for everyone to prepare for and celebrate. In fact, this season, in its new light, could become the most powerful tool we have for making the change of consciousness that the world so urgently needs. When we are finishing our interfaith candlelighting, we say “Spirit Is One; Paths Are Many”.

Democracy opens the door to diversity, and the strength of democracy is approximately proportional to the diversities of race, culture, and religion that we can acknowledge and include in our life perspective.

May this Holy Day Season truly be a time for our transformation as never before. May we make the decisions that will allow us to be our sacred self, and that we will be able to unite with others and see the best in them as well.

In the Spirit of Unity-and-Diversity!!!
Unity-and-Diversity Fellowship, c/o Unity-and-Diversity World Council
P.O. Box 661401, Los Angeles, CA USA

24 12 2007
NanceConfer

Members of Kwanzaa?? WTF??

Nance

24 12 2007
JJ Ross

LOL – can’t help with that! But maybe this will ease your mind?

Just for the record, I want to state that I am not part of any group and have no hidden agenda. I have never belonged to AHA, NHELD, NHEN, or any other such group. I am a nobody in the homeschool world. This is my first blog. Up until this past summer, I have been a loner in the homeschool world with a hand full of homeschool friends scattered around the country. I didn’t even subscribe to any homeschool publications or belong to any online groups until a few months ago. We moved recently and I tried an inclusive group in the area with disappointing results and really began to question if I wanted to remain in the homeschool world. Could I remain committed to the ideology and the movement. After much reading and soul searching I came away with a renewed committment to the homeschool philosophy after reading Holt and Gatto. BUT, I also came away very alarmed after joining some online forums and reading blogs, educating myself on the history of the movement through the writings of Dr. Moore, Home Ed Mag, and Cheryl Seelhoff. I heard story after story online about people who were having the same struggles with the movement that I was having.

I am just a mom trying to navigate the rapids of this movement without ending up in the swirling torrent. I have another decade to invest in this movement before my children are done and I would like for my grandchildren to have the same opportunity to homeschool as well. I hope that there will be a free homeschooling movement for the future generations. Freedom to homeschool – if we can keep it.

24 12 2007
NanceConfer

It started to but then I read it all and realized she’s caught up in the HEM fear cycle. I advised her to read other things. 🙂

Nance

7 01 2008
Crimson Wife

The Natl. Day of Prayer is a non-sectarian event with speakers representing many different faiths. I’ve been to NDOP’s with speeches from Jewish rabbis, Catholic and Eastern Orthodox priests, and the full range of Protestant ministers from liberal to fundamentalist churches. I’ve heard speeches about not just conservative issues like abortion and traditional marriage but also liberal issues such as ending the Iraq war and fighting global warming. The NDOP is about putting aside theological and political differences in coming together to pray for our country.

If you do not believe in a higher power, that’s your prerogative. But I fail to see how the NDOP is so offensive to you and other militant atheists. It’s like when the Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses come to my door. I simply tell them politely that I’m not interested, and then get back to whatever it is that I was doing. I don’t get all in a huff and go off on some big diatribe about how offensive I find their proselytizing, yadda, yadda, yadda.

7 01 2008
JJ

Public prayer days belong at church, not capitols.
My saying that and explaining why I think so, is hardly proselytizing – ?! — but to assume my so doing makes me “militant” or even an “atheist” might well be (proselytizing) — and that’s not only not nice and not necessarily true, but nonsensical.

I Googled proselytize though, and found a pithy blogpost that applies to both the personal and political layers of this:

. I was born in the campus hospital of the infamous Bob Jones University. . .
I attended fundamentalist, evangelical Christian schools from kindergarten through grade 12 and fundamentalist, evangelical churches – usually of the Grace Brethren variety. The Grace Brethren denomination, which is not as prominent here as it is in the Midwest, is similar to Southern Baptist in doctrine.

. . .The controversies – local and international – underline the importance of the separation of church and state. Many evangelicals’ willingness to pay almost any price to save souls (so what if we offend millions of Muslims, make the world more dangerous and make the president’s job more difficult, we’re sending those missionaries) means that separation is imperative.

Our secular government must consider earthly consequences – including increased terrorism, religious freedom and free speech – unfettered by literal interpretation of any religion’s holy texts and unencumbered by commandments to evangelize, for the sake of every religion, which often contradict and conflict with one another.

With church-state separation, everyone – fundamentalist, evangelical, religious, and some or none of the above – wins. The strife, persecution and intolerance in so many countries that lack it prove that separation of church and state is, well, fundamental.

7 01 2008
NanceConfer

Well, that’s nice because the Mormoms and Jehovah’s Witnesses are, after all, fellow Christians and I would hope you would be polite to them.

But, as JJ explained, none of this belongs in the Capitol.

Nance

7 01 2008
JJ

And especially not in the name of “home education!”

11 01 2008
JJ

This is weird though — I found this as I was looking through the message archives of our local eclectic list for a long disagreement over a legal fine point here (ought we be “polite and respectful” and give our phone numbers to the official home education office at the school board when we register, even though the statute does not mandate it?)

It was all there, right out in the open. It’s from 2002, a nearly identical National Day of Prayer announcement to homeschoolers, complete with the military vehicles etc, sent from the same woman even. Apparently I wasn’t tuned into it then, so focused was I on what I knew best, the law. I thought and believed five years ago, that homeschooling’s struggle against conservative christian dominance of homeschooling, was a matter of bringing more knowledgeable political and legislative perspectives to the table.

I would laugh at my own earnestness back then, if my fears hadn’t been seriously awakened post-Terri Schiavo — and if they were not escalating as I watch a presidential campaign that looks more like a fringe-church preaching competition to see who can exploit pulpit charisma most effectively to wrest away control of the people’s secular government.

30 04 2009
Can You Go All Day Without Hitting a Child? « Cocking A Snook!

[…] On Christianity, Fundamentalism, Spanking and what constitutes Child Abuse Does this mean child beating has become both corporal and capital punishment? […]

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