HSLDA-Affiliated Homeschoolers in Military: QOTD

9 03 2009

First time I’ve heard anyone put it quite like this!

I will never understand why parents who would never allow their children to set foot in a public school would encourage — or at least not discourage — their children to join the U.S. military and not only face government propaganda and immorality on a much greater scale than exists in the public schools, but participate in bringing death and destruction to the latest “enemy” of the U.S. empire.

Advertisements

Actions

Information

54 responses

9 03 2009
Doc

I’ve had this question (being the mother of a Navy veteran and current National Guard member). My answer – because once they’re adults, you can’t control their decisions. You raise them to think for themselves, and then they go and do just that.

9 03 2009
COD

Those parents would happily put their kids in the public school system if only right minded Christian lawmakers could work around the Constitution to allow the bible to be the primary text used in school.

Those parents don’t fear government power. They fear government power that doesn’t agree with them.

9 03 2009
JJ

That’s a good point. Let’s suppose (not that it’s likely to happen) that someday the military gets de-Christianized and overt faith is separated out from the insitutional, left to individual-only free expressions more like what’s happened in the schools.

Would the military’s popularity then plummet among those parents and lawmakers?

9 03 2009
JJ

You know me. The arguments we make need to work when we switch them around. I can’t help it; the first thing I do when I hear something like the Big Bad Wolf of Government argument, is turn it around and try it out with different characters in the same roles, to see if the storyteller still stands behind it as True.

Conservatives are big on community government in most versions of the story I hear — authority, dress codes, schedules, rules, law and order, hierarchy, punishment, required sharing for the common good, submission, sacrifice, etc, especially if they also are Christians — but just not when it comes to School or Big Business, maybe not when it comes to paying federal taxes or cooperating with the United Nations.

So like COD’s explanation, what makes sense to me is that the real story is about obeying authority and following rules, not being free and indpendent and making their own private choices, etc. The exceptions are a dispute over which authority should govern, not about whether real individual liberty is best.

9 03 2009
JJ

Hi Doc — see now, that Story hangs together when I turn it around. You would be just as proud and supportive (and uncontrolling) of adult children who became tortured beat poets and mad scientists, I suppose? 🙂

9 03 2009
Daryl Cobranchi

I’m a mad scientist. I’m not sure I’d want my kids inheriting my insanity. 🙂

OTOH, it’s perfectly rational that the ultra-rightwing parents and HSLDA would want their kids to go into the military. How else are they going to acquire the weapons they’ll need for the coming culture war?

9 03 2009
JJ

Not turning the other cheek and being meek to inherit the earth then? It’s very confusing.

I remember the day FavD was born — I had majored in journalism and was working in policy/politics. Her dad was an investigative newspaper reporter covering state government and the Legislature. All his cynical journalist buddies were sending him (very well-written of course) messages on the computer system, about how she probably popped out with a notebook and pencil in her hands, smoking a cigar (and with a beard like his) but we should save her from her heritage while there was still time!

9 03 2009
Kristina

Conservatives are big on community government in most versions of the story I hear — authority, dress codes, schedules, rules, law and order, hierarchy, punishment, required sharing for the common good, submission, sacrifice, etc, especially if they also are Christians — but just not when it comes to School or Big Business, maybe not when it comes to paying federal taxes or cooperating with the United Nations.

LOL I guess I’m not a conservative. I want my children to question authority (I made them question MY political viewpoints during the election, instead of just parroting them. It drove them nuts!) I let my kids dress however they want. One caveat: If I had a girl, I probably would lay down the law in some instances. I hate schedules, but my kids love them. Damnit. I am big into rules when they make sense. It makes it easier to live with each other. I’m also big into law and order. On the other hand, if the law and order don’t make sense, see the authority thing. What’s hierarchy? Aren’t we all able to step out of where we are and achieve what we want? I think people should be punished when they do wrong things. Sharing for the common good? I always thought that was a liberal thing. We conservatives tend to share because we want to. I am all into submission. It makes my relationship with my husband much more interesting. Sacrifice is done when it is worthwhile. For instance, it is worthwhile for me to sacrifice time with my husband in order for my children to grow up in a free country. It is not worthwhile (to me) for me to sacrifice time with my husband for a bigger pay check. So, maybe I’m not a conservative, after all. Although, except for my stance on gay marriage, I would guess that most people would classify me as a conservative.

Let’s suppose (not that it’s likely to happen) that someday the military gets de-Christianized and overt faith is separated out from the insitutional, left to individual-only free expressions more like what’s happened in the schools.

*sigh* This is supposed to already be this way. Unfortunately, military members are adults. They don’t always play by the rules. There will always be chaplains because military members are stationed away from churches, and they need access to those people. But, it is really too bad that the chaplains are the first access military members have to counciling. There are too many chaplains that have coniptions when they find out you’re not a Christian.

And, I’m assuming that these people want their children should go forth and witness. After they’ve been brainwashed raised for years, they should be strong enough to stand up to the immorality present in the military. Many of these people are even more patriotic than I am, and that’s saying a lot. I think, though, that they are somewhat fanatical. 😉

I want my children to serve in the military. But, I know they will have a hard time in the lower ranks. My husband, both my brothers, and I had a hard time dealing with the stupidity expected (and often present) in the lower ranks. When you’ve been raised to think for yourself, the military is difficult. But, these parents are not raising their children to think for themselves. They will probably have the least amount of trouble, until they try to promote. At that point, their religious views will start to get them into trouble. I’ve seen it happen again, and again.

You’re not going to get promoted when your commander is concerned about your fanatacism.

10 03 2009
boremetotears

Conservatives are big on community government in most versions of the story I hear — authority, dress codes, schedules, rules, law and order, hierarchy, punishment, required sharing for the common good, submission, sacrifice, etc, especially if they also are Christians…

A couple years back, I read an article about how the military is now quick to recruit conservative Christian homeschoolers. It made the case that kids raised to embrace values like obedience, duty, patriotism, “authority, dress codes, schedules…”, are highly valued in a military environment. (I’ll link the article if I can find it.)

10 03 2009
writestuff444

Along the “following authority, schedules, dress codes..”, Emily received 2 job offers last week, of people calling her, because they knew she had been homeschooled..and so they wanted her because she’d be a “good worker.” 🙂

We laughed, because since she’s my daughter, she is good and hardworking, responsible, etc. but …she certainly questions authority and rules all the time and chooses and dismisses those that work or don’t. 🙂

I do think JJ hit the nail on the head…conservatives are for government being in control of everything but their money! and they want it to be their principles in charge of everyone…because they are the right principles…don’t ya know? 🙂

10 03 2009
JJ

Hi Kristina, you are a true individual from that description. Sounds like it might reflect some version of what happens when conservative Christian authoritarianism chafes against the ties that bind and morphs into some rightist version of Libertarianism? I took a little trip looking for what to call that, but all I got was this lousy headache. 😉

10 03 2009
Nance Confer

Part of this must be the economy. Yes, even hsers have a hard time finding a job in a recession.

Nance

10 03 2009
JJ

Btw, I do see some required sharing ethic in many conservative religious stories, from compounds, kibbutzes and the Amish to tithing and School. Forced sharing is the first thing kids must learn whether in in church playgroup or public/private kindergarten (if you can’t bring enough for the whole class. . .)

Of course then we’d debate whether School itself is more conservative or liberal. All the women and most of the men on both sides of my ancestry were conservatives and schoolteachers, many military. School AND Church history (theology was the first university degree, right?) is about social units in religious enclaves living apart (and sharing everything within that community, yes? Not freedom or capitalism!) Until the Prussians decided State School could run like the military. And so like the military as an institution, School in America today still seems conservative to me, intent on reinforcing the status quo, literally “ruling” to conform individuals to congregational norms.

Glenn Beck was just on my car radio ranting about how the “Law of Consecration” will be coming back in this crash and we’ll need godly grace to live by it. That Marxist sharing aspect is probably what some right-wingers rebel against, preferring to think of themselves as “libertarian” and/or Objectivist but then continuing to boss around the world, telling everyone else their parenting and politics and private choices are immoral if not unconstitutional. I personally know one (wait, two or three) extremist homeschool mom blogger like this, who fancies herself a godly conservative libertarian constitutionalist. She’s really just self-righteous and ignorant and bossy and small and mean and selfish, from what I’ve seen and heard. Now THAT’s a hardcore conservative imo, conserving the rules and forms and whatever resources for herself she feels entitled to . . .

And somehow like Rick Warren at Saddleback e.g., it always works out to abundance and authority for the supposedly humble men (harumph, yes, MEN) running things. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be —

10 03 2009
JJ

I should add I know MANY conservative Christian homeschool mom bloggers who aren’t any of those things, and do have good natures plus healthy imaginations and a good sense of humor!

So (sigh) this is not to attack conservatives, or libertarians or the military, or schools or Christians. I dislike labels and definitions used to limit rather than expand understanding and connections. That’s not what this is about. The original quote made an interesting CONNECTION for me, that I hadn’t examined explicitly before — between the opposite reactions to similar institutions by similar parents. So I wanted to think about it and talk about it and see where it takes us, what else it connects to.

Dale’s Parenting Beyond Belief philosophy lays out some good reasons for us to learn about and think about all sorts of such ideas with our own kids, no matter what we believe ourselves. . .he just posted again on this and it’s a really good list. It reflects why Favorite Daughter as an independent thinker is minoring in “religion” at the university. To me this way of thinking via human power of story is Real Education, not School by Rule.

Whatever label or political wing or philosophical school of thought anyone chooses or es-chooses, (eschew-zes!) I am for the kinds of people who appreciate such an approach to important issues. Not self-righteous, destructive and divisive rants! 🙂

11 03 2009
Mrs. C

I had always understood HSLDA as fighting for what is the homeschoolers’ rights under the law, regardless of whether they as an organization AGREED with the parents.

I’ve called their “special needs” department about my oldest autistic child in public school. I wanted to find out what they thought I HAD to do if I homeschooled him, bounce some ideas around. But I also said that for THIS child, I preferred him staying in ps because he’s always been there.

(How many autistics does it take to change a light bulb? None. Autistic people don’t like change. LOL sighhhh… but true. )

SO, she was very supportive and offered some ideas on our next IEP meeting. But I know on the whole HSLDA encourages homeschooling.

I don’t mind HSLDA’s conservative viewpoint on social issues, but I do prefer they would concentrate more on homeschooling and changing some of the more restrictive laws in other states… ESPECIALLY as we move to a uniform national system.

(Let’s not fool ourselves. It’s coming.)

I also feel that they dropped the ball a bit in allowing law changes in many states mandating eye exams and Gardasil (for girls) in public school students. These changes affect everyone. I would like to get my child his eye exam because he needs an eye exam, not because some bureaucrat thinks it’s time. Maybe my child needs an eye exam during fourth grade and NOT third AND fifth grade as mandated by law. And why only those two grades? Can preschoolers not have eye problems?

It bothers me. Good parenting should not be legislated, and I think good parenting doesn’t mean *I* have to follow *their* schedule. Good grief!

Ok, rant over. Thanks for listening. :]

PS I have told my children never to sign up for the military because I have heard of the military cooperating too much with the UN. Really.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_New

13 03 2009
Suze

“A couple years back, I read an article about how the military is now quick to recruit conservative Christian homeschoolers. It made the case that kids raised to embrace values like obedience, duty, patriotism, “authority, dress codes, schedules…”, are highly valued in a military environment. (I’ll link the http://i.ixnp.com/images/v3.72/t.gifarticle if I can find it.)”

Which of course doesn’t describe any single “homeschooler” NEARLY as well as it describes the influences on every SCHOOLER. (Which was perhaps Lynn’s point, although I didn’t catch that.)

BTW, JJ, libertarianism is very simple:
http://www.isil.org/resources/introduction.html

Anything layered on to that is, well, layered on — and should be cited as such. Me, I consider myself a “left-libertarian.” The “left” part is layered on to the “libertarian” part, and I hold myself fully responsible for the “left” part– i.e., what I mean by that and what it entails is not to be laid at the door of “libertarianism,” and the same should hold true for what amounts to “right-libertarianism.”

Of course, the only “true” libertarianism is left-libertarianism. 🙂

13 03 2009
Nance Confer

Simple or simplistic?

Never mind.

At least you are on the correct end of the spectrum. 🙂

Nance

13 03 2009
JJ

Gee, thanks for clearing that up, Suze (not!) 😀

Between you and Kristina, I may actually be more confused than I started out, if that’s possible. . .no wonder I eschew labels, at least for people.

Nance, when you said “on the spectrum” I had a flash that we’re all autistic-like about politics in some ways, somewhere on a spectrum of being unable to grasp nuance, emphathize with others and respond with the appropriate social lubrication rather than head-banging, etc. Maybe that’s the real problem we face today, an epidemic of citizens on the spectrum and no one qualified to help us . . .

13 03 2009
JJ

For example, this WSJ public opinion polling analysis just came up on a conservative-libertarian hyperChristian hs blog.

Of course I don’t understand how extreme-edge-of-spectrum hs parents can interpret such data as proving everything is the Alien Obama’s fault and he’s secretly planning to attack homeschool freedoms as part of his own world domination liberal pathology (some vaguely demonic Hitler-Jesus complex) :

. . . just 19% of voters believe that Congress has passed any significant legislation to improve their lives. While Congress’s approval has increased, it still stands at only 18%. Over two-thirds of voters believe members of Congress are more interested in helping their own careers than in helping the American people. When it comes to the nation’s economic issues, two-thirds of voters have more confidence in their own judgment than they do in the average member of Congress.

Finally, what probably accounts for a good measure of the confidence and support the Obama administration has enjoyed is the fact that they are not Republicans. Virtually all Americans, more than eight in 10, blame Republicans for the current economic woes, and the only two leaders with lower approval ratings than Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are Republican leaders Mitch McConnell and John Boehner.

All of this is not just a subject for pollsters and analysts to debate. It shows fundamentally that public confidence in government remains low and is slipping. We face the possibility of substantial gridlock along with an absolute absence of public confidence that could come to mirror the lack of confidence in the American economy that the Dow and the S&P are currently showing.

To me, it’s clear no one labeled group on our public spectrum owns or rules or spoils our national barrel. Unfortunately for all of us and whatever we call it, here we are souring and rotting together.

13 03 2009
JJ

Nance, remember the cultural meme spectrum? Which color was the the law and order, rules and authority, religious conformity faith without question, worker bee, group norm-exalting color?
Orange, wasn’t it?

13 03 2009
JJ

Nope, the conservative Christian meme would be “blue” and then orange is the next level, the Randian Objectivism. So hmmm, trying to explain labels with this model, maybe my confusion is that these two memes are right next to each other and I see the parents moving out of blue into orange but feeling and sounding confusingly alike?

I found a summary here, with an interesting label of its own 🙂 —
“rational spirituality”:

SPIRAL DYNAMICS AND THE WAVES OF EXISTENCE

The first six levels are “subsistence levels” marked by “first-tier thinking.” Then there occurs a revolutionary shift in consciousness: the emergence of “being levels” and “second-tier thinking,” of which there are two major waves. Here is a brief description of all eight waves, the percentage of the world population at each wave, and the percentage of social power held by each.

1. Beige: Archaic-Instinctual . The level of basic survival; food, water, warmth, sex, and safety have priority. Uses habits and instincts just to survive. Distinct self is barely awakened or sustained. Forms into survival bands to perpetuate life.

Where seen: First human societies, newborn infants, senile elderly, late-stage Alzheimer’s victims, mentally ill street people, starving masses, shell shock. Approximately 0.1% of the adult population, 0% power.

2. Purple: Magical-Animistic . Thinking is animistic; magical spirits, good and bad, swarm the earth leaving blessings, curses, and spells which determine events. Forms into ethnic tribes . The spirits exist in ancestors and bond the tribe. Kinship and lineage establish political links. Sounds “holistic” but is actually atomistic: “there is a name for each bend in the river but no name for the river.”

Where seen: Belief in voodoo-like curses, blood oaths, ancient grudges, good luck charms, family rituals, magical ethnic beliefs and superstitions; strong in Third-World settings, gangs, athletic teams, and corporate “tribes.” 10% of the population, 1% of the power.

3. Red: Power Gods . First emergence of a self distinct from the tribe; powerful, impulsive, egocentric, heroic. Magical-mythic spirits, dragons, beasts, and powerful people. Archetypal gods and goddesses, powerful beings, forces to be reckoned with, both good and bad. Feudal lords protect underlings in exchange for obedience and labor. The basis of feudal empires –power and glory. The world is a jungle full of threats and predators. Conquers, out-foxes, and dominates; enjoys self to the fullest without regret or remorse; be here now.

Where seen: The “terrible twos,” rebellious youth, frontier mentalities, feudal kingdoms, epic heroes, James Bond villains, gang leaders, soldiers of fortune, New-Age narcissism, wild rock stars, Atilla the Hun, Lord of the Flies . 20% of the population, 5% of the power.

4. Blue: Mythic Order . Life has meaning, direction, and purpose, with outcomes determined by an all-powerful Other or Order. This righteous Order enforces a code of conduct based on absolutist and unvarying principles of “right” and “wrong.” Violating the code or rules has severe, perhaps everlasting repercussions. Following the code yields rewards for the faithful. Basis of ancient nations . Rigid social hierarchies; paternalistic; one right way and only one right way to think about everything. Law and order; impulsivity controlled through guilt; concrete-literal and fundamentalist belief; obedience to the rule of Order; strongly conventional and conformist. Often “religious” or “mythic” [in the mythic-membership sense; Graves and Beck refer to it as the “saintly/absolutistic” level], but can be secular or atheistic Order or Mission.

Where seen: Puritan America, Confucian China, Dickensian England, Singapore discipline, totalitarianism, codes of chivalry and honor, charitable good deeds, religious fundamentalism (e.g., Christian and Islamic), Boy and Girl Scouts, “moral majority,” patriotism. 40% of the population, 30% of the power.

5. Orange: Scientific Achievement . At this wave, the self “escapes” from the “herd mentality” of blue, and seeks truth and meaning in individualistic terms–hypothetico-deductive, experimental, objective, mechanistic, operational–“scientific” in the typical sense. The world is a rational and well-oiled machine with natural laws that can be learned, mastered, and manipulated for one’s own purposes. Highly achievement oriented, especially (in America) toward materialistic gains. The laws of science rule politics, the economy, and human events. The world is a chess-board on which games are played as winners gain pre-eminence and perks over losers. Marketplace alliances; manipulate earth’s resources for one’s strategic gains. Basis of corporate states .

Where seen: The Enlightenment, Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged , Wall Street, emerging middle classes around the world, cosmetics industry, trophy hunting, colonialism, the Cold War, fashion industry, materialism, secular humanism, liberal self-interest. 30% of the population, 50% of the power.

6. Green: The Sensitive Self . Communitarian, human bonding, ecological sensitivity, networking. The human spirit must be freed from greed, dogma, and divisiveness; feelings and caring supersede cold rationality; cherishing of the earth, Gaia, life. Against hierarchy; establishes lateral bonding and linking. Permeable self, relational self, group intermeshing. Emphasis on dialogue, relationships. Basis of value communities (i.e., freely chosen affiliations based on shared sentiments). Reaches decisions through reconciliation and consensus (downside: interminable “processing” and incapacity to reach decisions). Refresh spirituality, bring harmony, enrich human potential. Strongly egalitarian, anti-hierarchy, pluralistic values, social construction of reality, diversity, multiculturalism, relativistic value systems; this worldview is often called pluralistic relativism . Subjective, nonlinear thinking; shows a greater degree of affective warmth, sensitivity, and caring, for earth and all its inhabitants.

Where seen: Deep ecology, postmodernism, Netherlands idealism, Rogerian counseling, Canadian health care, humanistic psychology, liberation theology, cooperative inquiry, World Council of Churches, Greenpeace, animal rights, ecofeminism, post-colonialism, Foucault/Derrida, politically correct, diversity movements, human rights issues, ecopsychology. 10% of the population, 15% of the power. [Note: this is 10% of the world population. Don Beck estimates that around 20-25% of the American population is green.]

With the completion of the green meme, human consciousness is poised for a quantum jump into “second-tier thinking.” Clare Graves referred to this as a “momentous leap,” where “a chasm of unbelievable depth of meaning is crossed.” In essence, with second-tier consciousness, one can think both vertically and horizontally, using both hierarchies and heterarchies (both ranking and linking). One can therefore, for the first time, vividly grasp the entire spectrum of interior development , and thus see that each level, each meme, each wave is crucially important for the health of the overall Spiral.

As I would word it, each wave is “transcend and include.” That is, each wave goes beyond (or transcends) its predecessor, and yet it includes or embraces it in its own makeup. For example, a cell transcends but includes molecules, which transcend but include atoms. To say that a molecule goes beyond an atom is not to say that molecules hate atoms, but that they love them: they embrace them in their own makeup; they include them, they don’t marginalize them. Just so, each wave of existence is a fundamental ingredient of all subsequent waves, and thus each is to be cherished and embraced.

Moreover, each wave can itself be activated or reactivated as life circumstances warrant. In emergency situations, we can activate red power drives; in response to chaos, we might need to activate blue order; in looking for a new job, we might need orange achievement drives; in marriage and with friends, close green bonding. All of these memes have something important to contribute.

But what none of the first-tier memes can do, on their own, is fully appreciate the existence of the other memes. Each of the first-tier memes thinks that its worldview is the correct or best perspective. It reacts negatively if challenged; it lashes out, using its own tools, whenever it is threatened. Blue order is very uncomfortable with both red impulsiveness and orange individualism. Orange individualism thinks blue order is for suckers and green egalitarianism is weak and woo-woo. Green egalitarianism cannot easily abide excellence and value rankings, big pictures, hierarchies, or anything that appears authoritarian, and thus green reacts strongly to blue, orange, and anything post-green.

All of that begins to change with second-tier thinking. Because second-tier consciousness is fully aware of the interior stages of development–even if it cannot articulate them in a technical fashion–it steps back and grasps the big picture, and thus second-tier thinking appreciates the necessary role that all of the various memes play . Second-tier awareness thinks in terms of the overall spiral of existence, and not merely in the terms of any one level.

Where the green meme begins to grasp the numerous different systems and pluralistic contexts that exist in different cultures (which is why it is indeed the sensitive self, i.e., sensitive to the marginalization of others), second-tier thinking goes one step further. It looks for the rich contexts that link and join these pluralistic systems, and thus it takes these separate systems and begins to embrace, include, and integrate them into holistic spirals and integral meshworks. Second-tier thinking, in other words, is instrumental in moving from relativism to holism, or from pluralism to integralism .

The extensive research of Graves, Beck, and Cowan indicates that there are at least two major waves to this second-tier integral consciousness:

7. Yellow: Integrative . Life is a kaleidoscope of natural hierarchies [holarchies], systems, and forms. Flexibility, spontaneity, and functionality have the highest priority. Differences and pluralities can be integrated into interdependent, natural flows. Egalitarianism is complemented with natural degrees of ranking and excellence. Knowledge and competency should supersede power, status, or group sensitivity. The prevailing world order is the result of the existence of different levels of reality (memes) and the inevitable patterns of movement up and down the dynamic spiral. Good governance facilitates the emergence of entities through the levels of increasing complexity (nested hierarchy). 1% of the population, 5% of the power.

8. Turquoise: Holistic . Universal holistic system, holons/waves of integrative energies; unites feeling with knowledge; multiple levels interwoven into one conscious system. Universal order, but in a living, conscious fashion, not based on external rules (blue) or group bonds (green). A “grand unification” [a “theory of everything” or T.O.E.] is possible, in theory and in actuality. Sometimes involves the emergence of a new spirituality as a meshwork of all existence. Turquoise thinking uses the entire Spiral; sees multiple levels of interaction; detects harmonics, the mystical forces, and the pervasive flow-states that permeate any organization. 0.1% of the population, 1% of the power.

With less than 2 percent of the population at second-tier thinking (and only 0.1 percent at turquoise), second-tier consciousness is relatively rare because it is now the “leading-edge” of collective human evolution. As examples, Beck and Cowan mention items that include Teilhard de Chardin’s noosphere, chaos and complexity theories, universal systems thinking, integral-holistic theories, Gandhi’s and Mandela’s pluralistic integration, with increases in frequency definitely on the way, and even higher memes still in the offing….

13 03 2009
Daryl Cobranchi

I’ve given up dealing with them. They’re barely sentient.

“A new Gallup poll released this morning shows the job approval rating of Congress is now at 39% — the highest since February 2005. Ratings just two months ago were at 19%, which was not too far from the historic low of 14% reached in July 2008.”

Source: http://blogs.usatoday.com/onpolitics/2009/03/gallup-congress.html

13 03 2009
JJ

It’s the repetition that is the problem. The wearying drumbeat on one note. (Remember Annette?) It’s what makes them so impossible to reason with, and unfortunately even the best thinking is subconsciously affected by that hammering; even as we object, the negative and wrong narrative is carving itself deeper into our minds as important to remember because we hear it so often. We can’t any of us help that.

So you’re right to limit your attention to it. . .and I guess the Rs in Congress and governor mansions (and their media moguls) are smart to have started drumming that note already, for the midterms.

13 03 2009
Crimson Wife

During the 5 years I spent as an Army wife, I didn’t notice the military being dominated by Evangelicals. There were far more Mormons and Catholics among the officers in my DH’s unit than Protestants. The battalion commander and 3 of the 6 company commanders were Mormon. The battalion executive officer and one of the company commanders were mainline Protestants. The other company commanders were Catholic and Reform Jew.

14 03 2009
JJ

CW, I don’t get your point. Why would you interject that as if it mattered? Virtually (except the one Jew you mention) all Christian and pretty much standardized military-style conservatives, yes? — so denominational distinctions don’t mitigate the overt conservative Christian culture of the US military.

What I still want to know more about is why Increasingly Regimented and Authoritarian School hasn’t become similarly attractive to the same conservative Christian culture? And there are so many other similarities: School and the military both are (practically socialist, gasp!) public institutions run by government bureaucrats with tax dollars over the conscientious objections of some citizens forced to pay anyway; they both affect whole families rather than just the individual directly enlisted or enrolled; they both are huge influences on the private economy for good or ill; etc etc.

14 03 2009
JJ

But even if it’s irrelevant to this discussion — what’s the deal with all those military Mormons?? Seems way disproportionate to me . . .considering that Jews and Mormons make up the same tiny, tiny percent of the US population (around one-and-one-half percent each.)

Nonbelievers or “nones” are ten times as big a group, and growing in every state! So it seems to me unless your DH had ten times as many nonbelieving officers as Mormons — was there even one token nonbeliever? — it’s clearly skewed toward the Christian in the military.

I was looking at figures here and in more depth here.

14 03 2009
JJ

Btw I still have a chip about the Supreme Court being majority conservative and paternalistic Catholic (five of nine) when the total Catholic population of our nation has fallen to just 25%.

At the same time “nones” are already up to 15% and growing fast — yet not a single justice, not one, represents that group, even under a purposefully secular Constitution meant to separate church and state interests.

14 03 2009
Daryl Cobranchi

I realize the “None” != “Atheist” but I’m sure there’s a fair bit of overlap. Atheists are the last minority that it’s absolutely A-OK to discriminate against.

14 03 2009
Kristina

Virtually (except the one Jew you mention) all Christian and pretty much standardized military-style conservatives, yes? — so denominational distinctions don’t mitigate the overt conservative Christian culture of the US military.
********************************************
Well, having grown up in a very strict Christian denomination that was VERY different from mainstream Christians, I would argue the point. There is a huge spectrum among Christians, going from very fundamental, conservative, evangelical to very liberal, anything goes, you can do whatever you want. In fact, my own family is shows this. My parents know that I’m going to hell. My in-laws are quite comfortable with my religous choices, and believe that any choice you make is fine.

***********************************************
School and the military both are (practically socialist, gasp!) public institutions run by government bureaucrats with tax dollars over the conscientious objections of some citizens forced to pay anyway; they both affect whole families rather than just the individual directly enlisted or enrolled; they both are huge influences on the private economy for good or ill; etc etc.
**************************************************
We will never agree on this. And, I try to stay out of these conversations. But, here I go, anyway. 😉 Many people consider school to be for the common good. And, certainly, an informed citizenry is preferable to an uninformed one. However, our schools don’t produce informed citizens. If anything, they discourage people to think.

The military has nothing to do with producing good citizens. Their sole purpose is to protect and defend the constitution. They are one of the few things that is actually specified as being paid for by the government (or your tax dollars) in the constitution. And quite frankly, contrary to some people’s opinion, without the military, we would not have peace. Unfortunately, at this time, in this world, that is not possible. And I wish that people would stop thinking that people are just going to leave us alone if we all just suddenly give up our arms. That has worked so well for other countries.

14 03 2009
Kristina

But even if it’s irrelevant to this discussion — what’s the deal with all those military Mormons?? Seems way disproportionate to me . . .considering that Jews and Mormons make up the same tiny, tiny percent of the US population (around one-and-one-half percent each.)

Nonbelievers or “nones” are ten times as big a group, and growing in every state! So it seems to me unless your DH had ten times as many nonbelieving officers as Mormons — was there even one token nonbeliever? — it’s clearly skewed toward the Christian in the military.
********************************************************

Are these numbers based on what military members put down in their paperwork? Because, I’ll tell you that we’ve served in or with all branches of the military. Throughout the military, young members are much more likely to be “nones”. However, by far, the largest group in the military, is very similar to the largest group in the US. They are believers that are like “Christmas/Easter Catholics.” They only go to church on the big holidays, and sometimes not even then. They were raised a certain way, so they still associate themselves as such. But, many military members are not strong believers. Of my husband’s squadron, now, about 50% is Catholic, none of whom go to Mass more than 5 times a year. (The vast majority of these are from New England, where the Catholic church still reigns supreme.) Approximately 25% is Prodistant. The last 25% is either Agnostic or Atheist. Only one family attends church on a regular basis.

When I joined the military, my dogtags said, “none”, but my husband’s still say “Catholic” even though the only times he has stepped foot in a Catholic church in the last 15 years was for 2 weddings and one Christening. He’s definitely NOT Catholic, but hasn’t done anything about changing that paperwork. It’s just not important.

14 03 2009
Kristina

Btw I still have a chip about the Supreme Court being majority conservative

**********************

LOL I would say that most conservatives believe that the Supreme Court is majority liberal. And, really, what does it matter what they are? They shouldn’t be making rulings based on their own preferences. They should be making rulings based on the law.

14 03 2009
JJ

The rest of the sentence is the key, Kristina. Conservative CATHOLIC.

The Roberts Court is in fact (not opinion) majority Catholic as our Supreme Court, five conservative Catholic men who decide the law of the land for a population that is majority female, only 25% Catholic and right now, less than one-third hardcore conservative.

The single Jewish justice actually way OVER-represents Jews, if they are only 1.5 percent of the population but she is 11 percent of the Court! :D.

No religion-free justices at all, male or female — and the research says that’s a full 15% of the population now.

14 03 2009
JJ

If it doesn’t matter, let’s flip it around for a century or so, make all Supremes no-religion and seat, say, six out of seven women. We’ll have you explain to the preachers and popes how it’s all fine, nothing to worry about, nothing will change because religion (and male entitlement) weren’t affecting anyone’s legal judgment anyway. . . 😉

I vividly remember Rick Warren of Saddleback after he hosted a national presidential debate (at his CHURCH!) being interviewed as a political sage, and saying no atheist must ever be allowed to be president in this Christian nation. With a big inclusive smile on his face. Why would it matter to him, I wonder, if it doesn’t matter?

14 03 2009
JJ

Kristina, I dunno about the dog-tag/cultural only or form-checking religious count. I was going by CW’s report of her husband’s army officers. I’m guessing she knew this because it was part of who they were that showed, not from reading their paperwork or dogtags, but let’s ask her. CW? What say you?

16 03 2009
Crimson Wife

In terms of how much the other officers actually practiced their stated beliefs, I can only say for sure about the Catholics. I didn’t ever go to any of the other worship services so I don’t know who did or did not attend. Of the Catholics, I’d say maybe 1/3 went every week, about 1/2 went on Christmas & Easter or less, and the rest were somewhere in between. The married guys were mostly active members (especially if they had kids) while the single guys tended to go less frequently or only on holidays.

I’m not sure why there were so many Mormons in the unit- perhaps because it was stationed at one of the closest Army bases to Utah?

I’m trying to recall if there were any open atheist/agnostics among the officers in the unit. Definitely there weren’t any among the married guys. I can’t think of any off the top of my head among the single guys but I’d have to check with my DH. If there were any, they kept it to themselves.

The reason I brought up the denominational affiliations is because the typical criticism I’ve heard of the military is that it’s supposedly dominated by Evangelicals. There have been several discrimination lawsuits in recent years alleging that. I certainly met more Evangelicals during my time as an Army wife than any time before or since, but they were far from the majority.

16 03 2009
Crimson Wife

Oh, I just realized that I did not answer JJ’s question about how I knew the religious affiliation of the other officers. A big part of it was the common practice (which I always personally found rather nosy) of using “Which church do you go to?” as an icebreaker. Also, because there were so many Mormons, we always had to be careful about serving alcohol and caffeinated beverages to folks.

16 03 2009
JJ

Odd but true, I don’t think I’ve ever heard that icebreaker, not even here in the Bible Belt! 🙂

17 03 2009
Kristina

*sigh* That seems to be a common icebreaker, here, in Kentucky. It is actually kind of nice, because you find out quickly which people are going to be comfortable with your kids playing with theirs, and you don’t have to wait until your kids are already friends.

17 03 2009
JJ

Depressing that it makes a difference though.

Maybe we’re onto something, with this question. Asking how common the church question is, could become the NEW icebreaker question, for getting to know where someone’s “from” culturally. I’m sitting here now trying to figure out why Kristina and I aren’t “from” the same place even though we both have some South and some military in us. . .

17 03 2009
NanceConfer

I don’t think the point of the complaints about Evangelicals in the military is that they are the majority. It is that they seek to impose their views on others and, in the military setting, have the power to do so and use it.

That may not have been your experience in the past. But during the Bush years, under the Evangelist-in-Chief, that was certainly a complaint that bubbled up.

Nance

17 03 2009
JJ

Meeting someone new who asked what church we went to, might tip me off just with the question, that our kids wouldn’t be welcome friends for their kids.

Although to be fair, people ask us all the time what SCHOOL we go to as an icebreaker, without meaning anything. Our pediatrician and eye doctor still do it every year. (The kids get a chuckle from them trotting out the same patter without remembering, although they also appreciate their dentist remembering, and advancing the conversational ball a little each visit.) And strangers always seems to ask what grade the kids are in. We smile and say we homeschool or unschool, and we love going to movies in the middle of the day (or something else that signals we don’t homeschool for religious reasons.) New people we meet are generally engaged by that answer, not put off by it. Then they tell us what’s up with their schooling and we can talk a long time.

I wonder if I’d ever get as cheerfully casual and open about answering the church question, with “we unchurch” or “we’re parenting beyond belief” or just “why do you ask?”

LOL, suppose if I retorted, “Is this a solicitation?” it would make the questioner think I was hostile to all church, or that I was just loyal to one and hostile to trawling? Either way, I doubt we’d be making friends!

17 03 2009
JJ

CW, Nance is right. There have been lawsuits about it, at West Point and elsewhere. For a new one, see below. The culture of the military has become much more overtly Christian, like the culture of school football in my lifetime. Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Tim Tebow. Group prayer on the field (of “battle”) while the tv cameras are still running. Has freedom OF religion filled a neutral vacuum with so much public Christianity that now we need to worry more about freedom FROM religion, in diverse and public cultures like state schools, courts and the military?

Atheist Soldier Sues Gates
Over Mandatory Christian Prayer Sessions

By Jason Leopold
Friday September 26, 2008

. . .The government watchdog group The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), is also a plaintiff in the lawsuit. Mikey Weinstein, the founder and president of MRFF, said “the purpose of the lawsuit is to make it clear to the Pentagon that “Jesus’ will” is not an acceptable American military policy,” Weinstein said.

“This historic litigation we have filed today will incontrovertibly demonstrate a pervasive and pernicious pattern and practice of unconstitutional religious discrimination,” he said. MRFF has leveled a blow in Federal Court against the unlawful religious bigotry and persecution that is sadly systemic in today’s armed forces.”

17 03 2009
boremetotears

re: “Jesus’ will” is not an acceptable American military policy,” Weinstein said.

MRFF used to sell bumper stickers that said, “The Rapture is Not an Acceptable Exit Strategy”

17 03 2009
JJ

Seems like Sarah Palin’s opponents in Alaska would get shirts made!

17 03 2009
boremetotears

You may have already read about the military’s new “purpose-driven” suicide prevention program:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-rodda/creationism-the-latest-in_b_147155.html

[I don’t think I blogged this one. It’s hard to keep up with them, sadly.]

17 03 2009
Crimson Wife

Only our last 2 years as an Army family were during W’s administration so it’s certainly possible that there was a bigger problem later on with inappropriate proselytizing on the part of some military leaders. I don’t know much about the culture at West Point because my DH entered the Army through the ROTC program.

I asked my DH the question about whether he could think of any atheists/agnostics among the officers in his unit, and he couldn’t come up with any names either. He said that is was mostly Mormons and Catholics, which is what I’d remembered.

17 03 2009
JJ

With all the caveats about anecdotal evidence, I still think that’s valuable insight, thanks CW — and thank your DH?

17 03 2009
JJ

Lynn, you think that purpose-driven program can un-gay you at the same time, or does that need a different slide show?

Wonder if the presenter knows that Charles Darwin was trained in theology, not humanism?

17 03 2009
Crimson Wife

There was a monthly prayer breakfast that most of the officers used to attend, but I’m pretty sure it was not mandatory. And the times I went, it was totally nonsectarian. The leader was rotated between all the various base chaplains and one time they brought in the rabbi of the closest synagogue to do the honor.

17 03 2009
boremetotears

re: “Lynn, you think that purpose-driven program can un-gay you at the same time?”

Of course, silly JJ. The show is just standard PDL – and *anything* is possible when you’re striving after God’s intended purpose for your life here on earth 🙂

17 03 2009
JJ

Cohesiveness and camaraderie is so vital to the psychology of life-and-death trust and team, that it seems to me it’s just asking too much to expect the “odd atheist out” would be able to fully belong, in his own eyes or anyone else’s . . .

17 03 2009
Nance Confer

CW, one month they brought in a rabbi. And the other 11 (or more?) months you are aware of? Different flavors of Christian?

And, yes, JJ, I would think a wise atheist would keep his trap shut.

Nance

17 03 2009
JJ

But never mind that, the original question is why isn’t public school the same way, with a predominance of religious folk, no atheists and monthly prayer breakfasts?? Why isn’t it a place where Christians define the norm and feel so comfortable and proud to be, rather than keeping their kids home and being suspicious of the whole institution?

17 03 2009
Kristina

Actually, JJ, I think that through all the rabbit trails, we managed to accidentally answer the question. People feel freer to evangelise in the military. After all, the schools are strictly secular. It is that secularism that these particular homeschoolers object to. You are allowed to express your religious beliefs in the military. Of course you are supposed to keep it out of the workplace. And, if these officers were doing their jobs, they would make sure that was happening. But, it’s not. That is why these particular families want their kids in the military as opposed to school.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: