New Walks, New Talks for Homeschool Politics

3 12 2008

Prompted by Dana’s new conversation about liberal and conservative homeschool politics, I dug out some classics from Culture Kitchen, written when I began trying to transcend the differences from outside rather than inside the snake pit — yes, that’s what it felt like to me, maybe you’ve been in homeschool “discussion” like that too?

The idea I’ve always had is to get all sides focused on the individual education again, instead of fighting over institutional school. To do it, I try to offer the power of story in the native language of the audience.

See New Walks, New Talks: Tetrapods and the Gospel of Judas, for example.

Jesus brought no political message or program.

This is a truth that needs emphasis at a time when some Democrats, fearing that the Republicans have advanced over them by the use of religion, want to respond with a claim that Jesus is really on their side. He is not. He avoided those who would trap him into taking sides for or against the Roman occupation of Judea. He paid his taxes to the occupying power but said only, “Let Caesar have what belongs to him, and God have what belongs to him” (Matthew 22:21). He was the original proponent of a separation of church and state.

Jesus was the victim of every institutional authority in his life and death. . .
The institutional Jesus of the Republicans has no similarity to the Gospel figure. Neither will any institutional Jesus of the Democrats.

Not to argue theology but this fits what I’ve been working through about learning and education not being institutional by nature, nor institutional-izable — that when you try to tame and control it, predict it, profit from it, hold it accountable to you rather than holding yourself accountable to it, the effort is doomed before you’ve begun. You can’t get there from here. It’s the wrong mission, the wrong calling, the wrong story, oxymoronic.

Maybe that construct fits immigration issues too? – hmmm – a person can’t succeed in the naturalization process even for the best reasons, by starting out wrong. And the legal debate is ripe for sacrilege by oh-so-pious partisan forces, not even trying to solve it through justice or actual sacrifice, but only to tame and twist it to their own political ends.
Just like they do with School.

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3 responses

3 12 2008
betty malone

And yet, how many times through the past 2000 years have “politicians” used Jesus for their purpose…always in Western Civilization. And still we Christians keep trying to shape our world into our own perception of the perfect Kingdom of God…and thus it continues. Yes, JJ, I do think this is the conversation of our time. Where does religion fit into our modern world scope and how can we reclaim some of the enlightenment of The Enlightenment and move away from what some of us feel is a coming Dark Ages

3 12 2008
betty malone

Sorry, continuing after hitting wrong button on annoying laptop keyboard,,,

what some of us feel is a coming Dark Ages where superstition has replaced reasoning freethinking

4 12 2008
JJ

Betty, I just came across another Christian homeschooling mom with grown kids whose thinking and writing would probably speak to you (and lots of us):
Rendition

. . .What struck my heart most in the film was seeing how the younger generations are just led into the ideas of the older generations because, well, those are the ways we live, right? Whichever culture it is, dictates their beliefs as correct on the next culture, right?

I’m not saying that any one’s belief systems are right or wrong. I’m saying there are young people who come up and want to go another way than those of their elders. In some cultures, that is not only discouraged, but told to the young they are wrong and there will be no changes without serving eternity in hell.

In watching the film, something resonated with me when a woman in the film, the mother of a troubled young teen, says, “They don’t live in the old ways. They live in the new ways.” But the father can’t change. He’s too deep in his life and *the ways* and rules of that life. He can’t put it down for a second to even listen to what his daughter may have to say. These people love each other, but differences cannot be tolerated.

Sometimes, the new ways, are not necessarily wrong, but, sometimes, I wonder, can’t people see their ways could use a make-over? But, certain people in the generations have such a problem with change. They view any difference in lifestyles they were living, as wrong. It’s such an old story. Perhaps it will not turn out to badly when it doesn’t involve violence, hate, shame, threat of alienation from love, or, as I mentioned before, fear of hell through all eternity, or any kind of fear.

Some people may watch this film and feel like there was no character development. I don’t think there was supposed to be. It was not really about these people. It’s about what happened to them, what they experienced, and then it’s about You. It’s about you -the collective *you*. What you think. What you want for this world. What are you willing to change to make things better in this world.

And yes, we are all responsible for what is happening in this world.

Every single last one of us.

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