Never Mind That Using Kids Is Immoral in Any Belief System

16 10 2009

Including Church. Including School. Including journalism and media coverage. Including “entrepreneurial” or “abstinence” or “extraterrestrial” or “family values” beliefs. Including political arguments about saving liberty or avoiding debt for the next generation.

Just for today, never mind the real horrors and outright tragedies — maybe if we stop to sweat some smaller stuff, we’ll adjust our eyes to better see how the big stuff got so big that we no longer even see it, and when we do catch a glimpse, why we usually can’t believe our own eyes.

If I write a blog essay on this topic today, I think I’ll somehow weave together these power of story posts:

Wife Swap Family’s Six-Year-Old Balloon Boy Doesn’t Homeschool (never mind whatever’s wrong with Jon and Kate)

She’s the shusher

Begin with the Beginning

Never Mind the Children’s Screams



Watch the video of the eight-year-old boy whose father is Coptic Christian, training his boy to be the same rather than educating him in the real world: “If a dog follows me barking, I can raise the [cross] tattoo for protection.”

Then I might add disturbing parent-teacher stories I’ve blogged as power of story, Glenn Beck and Jesus Camp and Sarah Palin for sure, and this.

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

Don’t forget all the UN Rights of the Child versus HSLDA “Parent Rights” claims and petitions and controversy. More here and here.

We can intellectually sweat some illuminating small stuff like whether we control food [or sex] or in reality it controls us, and What Should We Call Christ as a Kick in the Head?

Then maybe we can start to do the heavy ethical lifting, start to see ethical questions about parenting and education more clearly, big stuff like No Perfect Protection for Our Kids But Better Thinking Would Help.

When it comes down to it, isn’t this ALL connected and always the same power of story, always the dilemma of whether it can ever be moral, to use the kids for our own ends?

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20 responses

16 10 2009
writestuff444

I think you’re dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s, JJ..it’s about all of us as American parents, or perhaps world parents, to put together the pieces of what and how we control our children. Perhaps none of us are innocent, but at least some of us are trying to see the forest through the trees..We’re trying to allow our children to begin to become their own person, yet moral, loving and principled in some way at the same time. We don’t want fear, or hate, or brainwashing.We want human beings who know how to love and learn. Perhaps it all comes down to slogans. Live, Love, Laugh, Learn, Life.

16 10 2009
JJ

The Five Ls could hardly do worse that the Three Rs!
🙂

16 10 2009
JJ

UPDATE: the Heene dad has been peddling the kids as a family reality show since their second Wife Swap appearance in March. I guess they figure if Octomom and Jon and Kate can cash in on the kids instead of earning a living, so can they.

This Wife Swap video from the “science” balloon family will chill you. The parents say they believe they’re direct descendents of extraterrestrial aliens, by whom they’ve been rendered unconscious and “visited” (their own real parents in other words.)

You’ve literally gotta see THAT to believe it (that they believe, I mean) —

16 10 2009
JJ

This is very similar to the media-savvy and profitable celebrity-creating ignorance of Sarah Palin as a sports broadcaster, promoting her pastor’s pentecostal witch-hunting imo.

Denver Post’s 2007 Profile: Balloon boy’s father a weather chaser

Richard Heene is an amateur scientist and Scott Stevens a former TV weatherman. They call themselves The Science Detectives . . .”What I believe this will do is rewrite meteorology,” Scott Stevens said.

[Balloon Boy’s dad] met Scott Stevens during a radio show he was hosting.
Stevens, who has a degree in broadcast meteorology, liked Heene’s hands-on approach to research and his fresh perspective. Heene has no professional science training.

Magnetic fields had been ignored because they weren’t easily seen or understood, Scott Stevens said.

“Sometimes the answers are in the invisible,” he said.
“We almost feel like we know a secret that no one else does,” Heene said.

16 10 2009
JJ

So that was 2007. What does his “partner” in science think now?

Friends and former colleagues of Richard Heene, the father of Falcon Heene, are beginning to publicly doubt Heene’s accounts of the “Balloon Boy” incident.

On Good Morning America Friday morning, Scott Stevens, who used to work with Richard Heene as a storm chaser before he quit due to disagreements over whether Heene should bring his family on missions, described his former partner as a “schemer.” He told ABC’s Robin Roberts the following:

“I believe that Richard had a plan to send this craft aloft,” said Scott Stevens, who used to work as a “storm chaser” with Heene. “Whether it was to leave the illusion that there was a boy on board, I don’t know. [But] I believe it was a premeditated launch.”

16 10 2009
JJ

Sarah Palin’s latest self-serving media stunt in the works, all while promoting herself as mom of an Iraq veteran.

16 10 2009
JJ

Bizarre new story about the morality of parenting and church combined:
A Mother, A Sick Son and His Father the Priest

16 10 2009
Crimson Wife

Even if the Catholic Church changed its policy towards allowing priests to marry, this priest couldn’t have married this woman as she was already married to another man. Adulterous relationships are not particularly uncommon among clergy of religions that do permit marriage for their clergy. Those scandals usually don’t make national headlines (unless it’s a televangelist like Jim Bakker). There are bad apple clergy in every religion, not just Catholicism…

16 10 2009
JJ

Yes, yes, you and I have been through that defense before right here at Snook in several threads, but that’s not this story’s power in this context imo — here the issue is whether “Church” as interpreted by these two parents as individuals, has contributed to (or detracted from) the moral and ethical upbringing of their son, for his own sake rather than theirs.

So in that approach to analysis, “Church” in the priest-father story would be like “Science” in the storm chaser-balloon boy story.

16 10 2009
JJ

And like both “Church” and “School” in the football coach-baptism field trip story last month.

16 10 2009
Crimson Wife

The parents’ adultery was the primary problem. Had the mom just stayed faithful to her husband, the son would’ve grown up with a real father present. But she and the priest chose to put their own selfish lust ahead of the needs of the children. And that has very little to do with Catholicism per se.

16 10 2009
JJ

The son never would’ve been born at all, so no issue for him, no life to badly parent. If I read the story right.

17 10 2009
writestuff444

Again, the story always comes back to me as one where people have lost their “balance” and usually because they tried to claim an extreme worldview as the truth..and that truth clashed with the reality of life..where people fall in love, when they shouldn’t, and when buried sins rise up to overtake us..We all have lust within us..and when we bury it so deeply in a worldview or religion..sometimes it rises up to bite us in the…..life we live. 🙂

17 10 2009
writestuff444

Same thing on the opposite side of the political spectrum ( i hate that phrase) Those who bury themselves so deeply in the values of the left, of extreme disregard for any need of tradition and understanding of the power of the past and those traditions, who hurry to bury them as unnecessary and insist we, (the world) must change immediately..will lose their battle. We need to move slow sometimes..as a world..keep talking, but let’s think before we rush to action to undo a rule or law that has worked or been in existence..perhaps there’s a reason for some conservatism..for sure!

17 10 2009
JJ

Yes, this isn’t about right/left or liberal/conservative. It’s more how each of us sees different collectives of knowledge and belief, enforced by any Authority to Rule individuals — why we accept or challenge it, how blindly we follow it and impose its conformity and penalties versus demanding it be accountable to us for how it affects the lives of individual human beings.

School for instance. Patriarchy and parent rights. The military. Science. The UN.The Justice Department. Big Labor. Big Food. Congress. The Supreme Court. The BCS. Big insurance. And yes, Church.

17 10 2009
JJ

CW is blogging an “individual civil rights” issue we’d all agree is in fact about individual rights, yet disagree whether Religious Authority should trump Constitutional Authority in secular society’s civic equality.

ACLU and Center for Constitutional Rights take here.

My comment there:
CW, there are men who don’t believe women should leave their children and home to work, so they wouldn’t hire them. These may be religious convictions and sincerely felt for the good of the children and followed by the suggestion that the woman go get a job elsewhere, but that doesn’t make it constitutional to openly act upon these beliefs in a public workplace in America. It’s impermissable discrimination, probably because men soon congregate in their religious beliefs to create a society that enforces them on all; alternatives they find individually ungodly become less available until you get the Sharia law and the Taliban.

It’s flawed, not perfect freedom, for any of us. But what’s that Churchill quote about democracy being the worst system of government, except for all the others we’ve tried?

17 10 2009
JJ

Last night’s new “Law and Order” episode (made before Thursday’s news of course) was about a “Jon and Kate Plus Eight” family-reality-show dad murdering his wife because she wouldn’t sign the tv contract (he needed the money to support the kids.)

There was also an Octomom type suspected of the murder for the same reason, trying to get the tv contract away from the first family, to support HER kids.

Apparently this is a new meme in our society.

17 10 2009
What School Movies Have Affected Your Life? « Cocking A Snook!

[…] After posting that video clip from The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie the other day, I was stunned that Lynn has never seen it thus doesn’t have it in her frame of reference as we talk about School Ideas — what an impact that movie had on me as a schooled girl, seeing it in the theatre in 1969! [shudder] […]

3 08 2010
JJ

Update Aug 2010 – I linked a Betty Malone essay above and repost it in full with comments below, because since her passing the blog is inactive and may be lost to us. It would be a real shame to lose this one:

* Home
* About Betty Malone
* Writestuff on the Web
* Creative Dramatics
*

The Writestuff
Begin with the beginning, establishing an informed worldview

October 13, 2009 by writestuff444

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how homeschool children are acquiring their worldview and how slanted that can be when it’s only their parents controlling the input of information that forms such worldview.

For some parents, that’s good news. But more and more, I’m inclined to fear that fact. For when we have children being taught by parents who present only one possible version of the “truth” and that no other “truths” exist in the world except that one narcissistic understanding then how can society hold itself together. When the marketplace of competing ideas is not free and open, then can real freedom exist and thrive?

I’ve thought about how we taught history to our five children and how each of them have acquired a slightly different version of the “truth”. Well, not slightly, in some cases completely opposing views! But for the most part, they hold true to this one thought.

As a world we must respect and seek out other truths and continue to weigh our worldview and our assumptions against new evidence and new thought. And that to me, seems to be what learning should always be.

And yet, the evidence provided me recently, seems to be slanted not in the favor of fundamentalist homeschoolers or even far left liberals, both of whom seem guilty of claiming, only one truth as the worldview we must form all decisions against. It is nothing or all for both sides. And those sides continue to dominate our decision making process.

The health care debate in the Senate and the vote being made today hinge on compromise but has too much been compromised in either direction? Are we left holding a bag of worms sown by the margins on either side of this issue? We wait to see what vote Senator Olympia Snow from Maine, is going to cast today. Will she make or break this healthcare reform bill? And is it so far from what will be in the best interests of Americans that more of us are rooting for its failure than for it?

I hate that word phrase – the political spectrum – as though it were a scientific scale that correctly assigns value to people all across America, based on idealogical beliefs.

Homeschoolers are heavily weighted on the right side of that scale and recent comments made to this author personally let her know that she is in the minority view amongst home educators. That’s okay, but what isn’t okay, is the virulent remarks I hear come from the mouths of babies. Okay, perhaps not babies, but young men and women in junior high and high school who are being spoon fed the “truth” by parents who allow no debate or even willingness to look at the opposing viewpoints. I’m not going to present an opposing viewpoint to them. It’s not done in home education. I respect that, but who is giving them any other information that would allow them to form their own worldview based on lots of input, not just one channel, the Fox channel.

Opposing viewpoints, the dinner table at our house always rang with them. Young men and women, all five of ours, competing to see who could present their case, their argument for their idea of what the truth might be. And where did they get their background information?

They read and studied history from the beginning of history and prehistory. They read literature, political opinion, talked with their dad, worked on campaigns, discussed the growth of liberalism and why this concept should be understood in the 20th century. They know the difference between true socialism, communism, dictatorships and republican democracies and they know that the United States in modern times is an evolving breed of government that isn’t clearly defined yet, but borders more on the democratic socialism model at this time in history based on decisions made by 20th century Congresses.

Because home education extends beyond the borders of your home, and mine, begin at the beginning of history. And study it with them to see that our country is a work in progress and we are far from finished. The doomsayers from either side are afraid and spread their fear to all of us it. It’s contagion and we catch it and we give in to the sky is falling ranting.

But, the serious student of history knows that governments, religions, rulers and movements rise and fall, and the slow steady march of history moves on. There are serious decisions to be made right now, today in the Senate of the United States of American. And there are serious decisions to be made today in the homes of the children in these United States. Are you brainwashing your child with your truth or allowing the freedom of learning to flourish in your home?

I can hear the gasps of indignation now. Remember this, truth stands up to the light of history and time. And if you are afraid that words, discussion, and reading will change your child’s mind on your worldview, then how strong is your worldview and how good is it? Don’t be afraid to learn something new and be open to the fact that what we believe now, was once heresy to someone else.

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments
10 Responses

1.
on October 13, 2009 at 5:24 pm JJ

Betty, you are a treasure.
{{{hug}}}

Love, JJ

2.
on October 16, 2009 at 2:23 pm Never Mind That Using Kids Is Immoral in Any Belief System « Cocking A Snook!

[…] Begin with the Beginning […]

3.
on October 16, 2009 at 6:29 pm Crimson Wife

I don’t think it’s as easy to “brainwash” a kid as people fear. I look around at folks I know and many (if not most) have political and/or religious beliefs that are pretty different from the way they were raised.

My grandparents were devout Catholics and socially conservative “Reagan Democrats”. My dad is a “progressive”/”cafeteria” Catholic and a fairly liberal Democrat. I’m a devout Catholic and a political independent who usually votes for the Republican candidate because of positions on social issues.

If anything, people tend to look at the problems they see around them and ascribe those to the failings of their parents’ generation. My dad grew up in the 1950′s and was part of the Baby Boomer rebellion against conformity & authoritarianism. I grew up in the 1980′s and saw all the problems caused by moral relativism & extreme individualism. So I’m part of the re-embracing of tradition.

It remains to be seen what our children will perceive as society’s problems and what needs to be done to fix them.

4.
on October 16, 2009 at 6:37 pm JJ

Heck, it remains to be seen what WE we will do to fix them! If anything.

5.
on October 17, 2009 at 12:13 pm writestuff444

To CW, I do think there’s some truth to that. But that doesn’t make me feel better, because the example you posit..are reactionary. In other words, instead of making informed, learned choices about belief systems and worldview, people who are raised to think that only one worldview is correct, “react against it” when it conflicts with their adult reality. And they then discard the baby with the bath water..

In other words, I see this many times, as a moderate progressive Christian, young people who get turned off by the radical fundamentalism of an evangelical faith, and they reject the entire faith due to a few conflicts, because they can’t reconcile it. Raised as a moderate Methodist I have held on to my faith in Christ as a Redeemer, because I have also been able to see Him as a rebel Himself, who refused to compromise his core values, but was able to see the other side…I think the model that Jesus presents in the gospels is a fine way for a young person to live their life. He rejects the Pharisees, (the adult model in charge) and embraces the lost and society’s dregs (the poor fishermen) and tells them, you too can reap the bounty of the Kingdom..instead of telling them, grab your sword and fight tooth and nail against the Pharisees, use love to overcome, and stand strong together with the Lord.

I love the rebel Jesus, He’s my kind of truth against the conservate Pharisees of our time, the Limbaughs and the GOP! That’s the way I see it. Hey, I think I have to write an essay on this idea…of a radical Jesus fighting the Pharisees of our time, the drug companies, the big corporations raping our land.

6.
on October 17, 2009 at 5:06 pm JJ

Power of story! 🙂

7.
on November 17, 2009 at 11:04 pm Nance Confer

DD informs me that she is doing well in this week’s Biology segment on evolution because of the years of my harumphing and haranguing about it and in spite of her otherwise wonderful teacher’s opening remarks stating that he may or may not believe this material but is forced to teach it.

Perhaps a decade or more of “brainwashing” at home is necessary in order to stand up to not so much religious forces but the forces of ignorance everywhere.

Nance

8.
on November 17, 2009 at 11:05 pm Nance Confer

And JJ — re: Power of Story — there was a doctor selling a book on NPR this evening — all about how he writes and reads literature for the stories! How that helps him diagnose patients when he hears their stories.

Nance

9.
on November 19, 2009 at 2:48 pm JJ

Nance and I have just learned of Betty’s passing — stunned and saddened. Dear in life, dear in memory. Love.

10.
on November 19, 2009 at 6:11 pm Crimson Wife

Heaven has gained a new angel. R.I.P. Betty, you will be missed!

Comments are closed.

9 09 2010
Consider “Parental Rights” in Light of Friendly Atheist Advice to 14-Year-Old « Cocking A Snook!

[…] Never Mind That Using Kids Is Immoral In Any Belief System Handy-Dandy Public School Test for Constitution-Waving Conservative Christians […]

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