Remember That Michael Jackson “Homeschooled” His Kids

26 06 2009

And when he was the child instead of the father, was what he got as parenting, “right”?

Joe Jackson told the BBC that he whipped Michael with a switch and a belt . . .When asked about Michael’s comments that he was so nervous seeing his father that he regurgitates, Joe Jackson’s comment is, “He regurgitates all the way to the bank.”

Just a reminder to temper our parental self-righteousness in the public policy square, as this summer’s hysteria heats up over the UN daring to champion the Rights of the Child, and the US education department addressing national school standards . . .

When it comes to Michael Jackson’s children and OJ Simpson’s children, Octomom’s or Jon and Kate’s Eight; Gov. Sanford’s children or John Edwards’ children, in or out of marriage; Sarah Palin’s special needs baby (and her teen-parented grandbaby, her daughter/s maligned by a late-night comic, her 18-year-old son off to a misbegotten war in the Middle East, whew!) never mind a whole world full of hungry, poor and health-threatened children, literally mutilated or enslaved children, abused and neglected children, church-cult-terrorism indoctrinated children. . .

Whose side are we really on?

See also
Latest Homeschool Freakout

Teach the Controversy: UN Convention of Rights of the Child



18 responses

28 06 2009

You nailed it, JJ. Whose side are we on..grown up parents who can testify for themselves in whatever court of law they might have to represent their case in..or small helpless children dependent upon the control of the adults in their lives.’m sticking with the kids of the world.

30 06 2009
Mrs. C

Me, too. That’s why I’m against the UN Rights of the Child. If I had to send my son to public school, he’d literally be locked in a closet.

Elf told me that the teachers don’t really believe in autism. They just believe he is weird. He wants to stay home where someone believes him.

Wow, that makes me sad.

30 06 2009

But be happy too — we can celebrate because he’s GOT a place where adults love him and believe in him.

That’s what we all can be for instead of against. I think we need to focus on that, care about that, talk about that. Defending and protecting the child absolutely, not defending and protecting the right to control the child absolutely. Not the same thing! Don’t these HSLDA lawyers read their own bibles? — follow their anti-UN treaty plotline and sooner or later, conservative Christian parents will get slapped in their public policy mouth with King Solomon’s power of story, offering to cut the baby in half rather than taking it away altogether.

It wasn’t a literal threat but a sort of thought experiment for the devoted parent imo. Priorities. What’s at the top, the very top?

30 06 2009

Fundamentalists in American politics (as reflected by HSLDA) aren’t really for parent rights, you know, but specifically husband-father rights. Patriarchy. God’s law interpreted by men to their own advantage as men, so males will still control not just children but their mothers, and all human endeavor from economics to education, culture and politics and government up to and including life and death.

Never mind evolving human rights concerns the world over, even among Christians.

Suppose this were an honest amendment instead of a political calculation, worded to spell out what they really believe, that the divine order of the universe puts men in charge of both children and their mothers. Would you still support it?

30 06 2009

Favorite Daughter read James Baldwin’s 1953 Go Tell It On the Mountain in religion class, muttering to herself a lot as she was writing a paper on its ruthlessly patriarchal belief history and the real human effects.

Mountain is a novel brave enough to study and examine the wounds that black people have instead of using them to either browbeat a white audience or ask them for pity.

It is also a novel of ecumenical ecstasy and pathology, showing the bind religion has on the scope of African American lives and history, how it helped black people survive during their darkest hours and how black people can barely live its ruthless orthodoxies.

30 06 2009
Mrs. C

I agree with you on some of the more… patriarchal folks in the Christian circles. They represent a very small but vocal minority. These are people who are going around looking for things to be offended by. Now it’s not enough to wear a dress… you need to wear a slip, too! (siiigh)

But I don’t feel nearly so threatened by them (given their numbers) as I would by a UN-controlled anything. As yucky as I think politics are in my country, I’d prefer my own messed-up country to something imposed from outside. I see them making a big stink in homeschooling circles… but really… have they changed anything much? I’m thinking not. They have a few pet issues which I would agree with on the surface… but are taken to such extremes…

OH! And speaking of Solomon and Bible goodness… can Sanford/King David get any weirder? I mean, do you think Christians are really buying his crap about how GOD wants him to stay in office? How dopey can people be??

PS I am not sure how well anything could protect a child star from abuse like that. Not sure.

But have not read this book by Baldwin to which you’re referring… though… even “ideals” can be used to exploit people. It doesn’t even have to be religion. Could be nationalism, etc. I guess I keep wondering at slaveholders AND abolitionists both using the same Jesus to justify their actions. :]

30 06 2009

Ecumenical ecstasy and pathology.
That would make a good blog name . . .

30 06 2009
Mrs. C

LOL yep, with that would take a lotta typing.

30 06 2009

Mrs C, you and I agree on so much! 🙂

And then when we compare notes, we both see more than either of us could see just standing in one place.

I’d say power-seeking fundamentalist men are a small minority, but their influence has been frighteningly disproportionate — in the Middle East and even in America where like you, I would’ve thought it could never happen! Have they changed anything? How about the sitting Supreme Court? [shudder] And embedded justice department “lawyers” there to impose fundamentalist Christianity as the Law of the Land.

Ask gay people living in California if their human rights have been compromised by religious patriarchs “imposing something from the outside” on them (Saturday was the 40th anniversary of Stonewall, another horrendous human rights violation in the name of controlling other people’s morality including other men, btw.)

I now find Bryant’s “Save Our Children” bigotry much more ominous and offensive than I did when I was, well, politically not much more than a child myself.

In fairness (not that she deserves it) Wikipedia suggests Bryant repented some years later, good power of story because apparently her epiphany arose when she fell victim to her own patriarchal fundamentalism. . .

Did you see my post about this secret monastery of national political programming . . .it’s like the Borg!

See also What John McCain Could Save His Soul By Learning:

Love is thereby defined as power, absolute control by any escalating means that crushes challenge to authority of any kind. . .It translates to a form of self-deluding political power over other people including friends, family and of course foes, that simultaneously corrupts the believers into hurting the receivers — meaning that it literally hurts real Americans right here on earth in both human and divine terms.

In America this wicked reality used to be seen mainly in church, you know, corrupt televangelists and . . . cult child abuse, etc. So if you could stay out of that — and you weren’t in any [minority] class Church resented and terrorized — then you were reasonably safe in secular society with the Constitution and the rule of law.

But now this divine dominion, paternalist pugilist meme has amassed great secular power too, apparently generated from this same conviction that one’s power must be untouchable because it is divinely bestowed.

30 06 2009
Mrs. C

Perhaps you mistake me for someone a little more liberal. I’m against gay behaviour. I would vote against “gay marriage” because I feel Christian businesses, landlords, etc. should have the right to not rent or do business with other people of their choosing. That hardly makes me Fred Phelps, burn ’em at the stake and human rights be d*mned. Though, if you think of sodomy as a “human right,” I guess I get lumped into that crowd, and would be a bigot or whatever else.

I think there is a *range* of opinion there, and I’m a (gasp!!) moderate. For an extreme conservative, anyway.

30 06 2009

LMAO! No, Mrs C, I don’t think that I’m mistaking you for more liberal than you are.

30 06 2009

And yes, here we differ. I do definitely think of choosing and committing to one’s own life partner, with whom to make one’s home and family, as a basic human right.

Especially in America, and even if traditional entrenched Establishment interests would rather choose for me or damn me for it.

1 07 2009

Mrs C, I learned more about that strange King David story today:
(crossposting my comment)

Taking Young Son to Shakespeare summer camp around noon today, our radio suddenly filled the van with Jeff Sharlet talking with NPR’s Terry Gross, about this very same secret church-convent-think tank-command headquarters!

He said it’s an old convent and Doug Coe runs it under the “church” tax exemption even though it’s in no way a church and Coe doesn’t care for “church” anyway, thinks religion should ruthlessly rule every part of life like in the Old Testament. (my words though, not his.)

He mentioned Mark Sanford’s defense of his Argentinian mistress using King David, and said it was one of Coe’s core teachings, and its moral is that no matter when a “chosen” patriarch like Sanford sins and everybody sees it (David actually murdered to get his mistress’ husband out of the way and marry her) he can go right ahead in his public rule, because god chose them for that and wants them to carry on . . .


Thinking of all the rest of the bible, especially the Old Testament, that Doug Coe is effectively twisting and how Abraham/Isaac e.g. could justify “god” having parents do anything to their children, up to and including murder. If that’s the world view behind this anti-UN treaty for children, pro-US parent rights amendment, we all need to be afraid. Very afraid.

2 07 2009

I don’t think that is the worldview behind the anti-UN “crowd”. Americans in general have mixed opinions on the UN, with a lot of mistrust that is far broader than any influence that these incredibly small minorities have. I was anti-UN years before I became a Christian and was probably more doggedly anti-UN in those days.

It is stepping more on the “Don’t tread on me” and “Don’t mess with Texas” type of mentality…the individualistic side of America that is a little suspicious of government and anything that looks like outside control.

I think the following, written by a man not known to be particularly evangelical, has far more to do with the suspicion of the UNCRC than any religious group:

“Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations–entangling alliances with none, I deem [one of] the essential principles of our government, and consequently [one of] those which ought to shape its administration.” –Thomas Jefferson: 1st Inaugural Address, 1801. ME 3:321

“I am for free commerce with all nations, political connection with none, and little or no diplomatic establishment. And I am not for linking ourselves by new treaties with the quarrels of Europe, entering that field of slaughter to preserve their balance, or joining in the confederacy of Kings to war against the principles of liberty.” –Thomas Jefferson to Elbridge Gerry, 1799. ME 10:77

We may not study it all that much anymore, but I think these sorts of things are still enough a part of our national character that many are reflexively distrustful, even if they cannot say exactly why. I don’t think it has much to do with religion at all, just that these are the groups currently formulating words and arguments to a much more far reaching sentiment.

2 07 2009

That could explain a lot about reflexive anti-Obama distrust then too, seems like.
“Little or no diplomatic establishment” for instance.

But it doesn’t explain why those same groups are such eager confederates to “enter the field of slaughter” wherever they see profitable power to be had around the world, hmmm — Sharlet in this NPR interview suggests that war slaughter and “free commerce” have become intertwined in the minds of men who consider themselves the New Chosen.

2 07 2009

I was thinking the same thing JJ. The “don’t mess with Texas” crowd is highly correlated with the “bomb, bomb, Iran” crowd.

14 07 2009

So family/Family isn’t the solution to every problem we see with “government” because family/Family is government too, just on a mini-scale. Both are relationship bicycles in which people living interdependent, connected lives have to constantly navigate, tinker and repair systemic damage while we’re already riding full-speed.

And on any scale, the dangers of that aren’t just from authoritarian excess, control and combat. Following the hands-off laissez-faire unfettered “freedom” blueprint — up to and past outright crazy — can crash us, too. Back to Michael Jackson and his “homeschooling” :

Where are the welfare workers that would swoop in and scream bloody murder that there were children who were not attending school, yet because they’re the children of a celebrity, it all gets passed on. Where was the loving family when time after time, year after year, incident after incident, it was as clear as it can be that this man was on a course of self destruction and nothing was being done?

Oh yeah, they were all at his funeral, heartbroken that he was lost at such a young age. And now it’s time for a song! Everybody sing along! Look how much we loved Michael. How’s my makeup?

Anyone who is allowed free reign of inappropriate behavior will continue to engage in it. Add fame and fortune and it will surely run amok. Michael needed guidance and never got it. And as far as I’m concerned that makes everyone who was on that stage at his service a hypocrite.

Or maybe they too, are just stupid.

17 10 2009
Never Mind That Using Kids Is Immoral in Any Belief System « Cocking A Snook!

[…] So we can start to think globally and act locally, about Whose Side Are We Really On? […]

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