Asking Candidates About Their Faith (and Extraterrestrial) Beliefs

26 08 2011

“God chose me for that moment!” she thrills . . .

Following up after the GOP debate controversy around asking Rep. Bachmann about the implications of her bible-based wifely submission beliefs should she become President:

This year’s Republican primary season offers us an important opportunity to confront our scruples about the privacy of faith in public life — and to get over them. We have an unusually large number of candidates, including putative front-runners, who belong to churches that are mysterious or suspect to many Americans.

Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman are Mormons, a faith that many conservative Christians have been taught is a “cult” and that many others think is just weird. (Huntsman says he is not “overly religious.”) Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann are both affiliated with fervid subsets of evangelical Christianity — and Rick Santorum comes out of the most conservative wing of Catholicism — which has raised concerns about their respect for the separation of church and state, not to mention the separation of fact and fiction.

And let’s not skip too quickly over Read the rest of this entry »





Blind Pig Homeschoolers and Truffles of Ham

25 03 2011

Even academically indefensible homeschoolers sometimes wind up doing the right thing for the wrong reason or put another way, even a blind pig sniffs out a mouldering truffle now and then (this is a childish play on the man’s last name, get it, get it?)

Either way, if banning Ken Ham for life from churchy corporate-corrupted homeschool conventions is wrong, I don’t wanna be right . . .

Ken Ham, the man behind the Creation Museum and the future Ark Encounter amusement park, has been disinvited from a homeschool convention in Cincinnati next week because he made “ungodly, and mean-spirited” comments about another speaker, according to the convention’s organizers.

Ham also will be excluded from future conventions, according to a statement by Brennan Dean of Great Homeschool Conventions.

Here’s my favorite part though. Guess who Ham’s ungodly and mean-spirited comments were meant to discredit, the man who was also invited to speak and has NOT been banned?

Read the rest of this entry »





“Derailing for Dummies” — How to Sabotage Civility and Ruin Conversation!

30 01 2011

Derailing for Dummies is a major collection, not one article. Here are the section headings:

Just follow this step-by-step guide to Conversing with Marginalised People™ and in no time at all you will have a fool-proof method of derailing every challenging conversation you may get into, thus reaping the full benefits of every privilege that you have. . .

Read on, and learn, and remember… you don’t have to use these in any particular order! In fact, mixing them up can really keep those Marginalised People™ on their toes! After all, they are pretty much used to hearing this stuff, so you don’t want to get too predictable or they’ll get lazy!

If You Won’t Educate Me How Can I Learn
If You Cared About These Matters You’d Be Willing To Educate Me
You’re Being Hostile
But That Happens To Me Too!
You’re Being Overemotional
You’re Just Oversensitive
You Just Enjoy Being Offended Read the rest of this entry »





“Sexist Patriarchal Tyranny” of Homeschool Divorce

1 08 2010

How to help homeschool moms who divorce?:

I am making it my personal mission in my lifetime to see the divorce stigma within the home schooling community be exposed for the sexist, patriarchal tyranny that it is. I hope to see women band together to help each other raise their children and home school their children in spite of divorce.

I hope Snook can help her. I hope we all can. Sounds like it will take both the secular and sacred putting their values where their mouths are, to get it done.





Latest Palin Lies Exposed: The Aunt Was a Peacock

3 12 2009

Couldn’t resist the scholarly book pun, for yet another Republican/conservative calling out the ridiculous Sarah Palin for her self-aggrandizing and self-serving public lies. The original Ant and the Peacock is about complex and nuanced scientific truth. Want to lay odds about whether she’s read it? (I have.)

And speaking of Sarah Palin and science thinking, she who claims that God has everything planned out for her and wanted her to run for vice-president (and wanted her son off to war, her daughter pregnant, sister divorced etc etc?) — what a fitting exemplar of the effect discussed in this next story, frisky cock of the snook to Daryl via PZ Myers: divining the divine mind is really about probing the echo chamber of one’s self, how Dan Brown! [see chapter 118-133 note at link]

Epley’s research calls the worth of this counsel into question, for it suggests that inferring the will of God sets the moral compass to whatever direction we ourselves are facing. . .

The brain scans found the same thing, particularly in a region called the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) that’s been linked to self-referential thinking. . . The three images below show the differences in brain activity between the three tasks and you can see that the ‘God’ and ‘self’ scans had little to distinguish them. . . . many people, from Rousseau to Twain to Voltaire, are credited with the line: “God created man in his own image and man, being a gentleman, returned the favour.”

Epley’s results are sure to spark controversy, but their most important lesson is that relying on a deity to guide one’s decisions and judgments is little more than spiritual sockpuppetry. . .





Speak Up When Pro-Child Politics Are Attacked as Anti-Parent

12 11 2009

Here we go again. Families, child-rearing and home education publicly
stereotyped as conservative extremism and anti-human rights, sigh. If
you parent and/or educate children and don’t fit this stereotype, make
your voice heard too. Don’t let this define your principles.


Parental rights rally on Washington planned: Your stories needed!

November 11, 11:01 AM
by Lynda Ackert

The Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted by the General
Assembly of the United Nations on the 20th of November 1989. As part of a celebration, internationalists backing this UN Convention have
declared November 20th of this year as ‘Children’s Day.’

In response, ParentalRights dot org will rally in Washington, D.C. on that day. The rally will be held at the U.S. Capitol from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the East Lawn across from the Rayburn House Office building.

Speakers during the rally will include Rep. Peter Hoekstra and Sen. Jim
DeMint, the lead sponsors of the Parental Rights Amendment; Gerard
Robinson with Black Alliance for Educational Options; William Estrada of
Homeschool Legal Defense Association; Dean and Julie Nelson of National Black Home Educators; and Steven Groves of Heritage Foundation.

Whether you homeschool or not, parental rights have been and are
continuing to be under attack.

Want your voice heard? ParentalRights.org wants to hear from you. If you have experienced any assault or threat to your parental rights, make your story known by emailing ParentalRights. . .

Homeschooling is a parental right…Let’s keep it that way!

Source: ParentalRights dot org

For more of JJ’s thoughts on the UN and this political meme setting up “parental rights” in opposition to child and human rights, start with:

Homeschool freedom fighting: It’s so not about the UN

Parental Rights and responsibilities: Parenting sex and parenthood

Latest Homeschool Freak-out from World Net Daily





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


Read the rest of this entry »





Because Teaching “Vile, Contemptible Nonsense” Is Bringing Down America

19 08 2009

(More from our epic examination of what conservative Christian curriculum really teaches, even when it claims to double as mainstream academics.)

“My biggest curiosity factor, however, is why do you care?”

Indeed.

Up-thread Lynn and I do talk about how the wonderful world we all live in together is threatened for all, when any indoctrinating power including if not especially patriarchal fundamentalism, gets power-hungry in public policy. Look at the history of the Catholic Church or modern-day middle eastern theocracy, or just turn on cable news in America to the current town halls.

The entire state of Texas is (unconstitutionally in my view) implementing by public policy a new curriculum to literally indoctrinate students in this armed and dangerous version of Christianity — yet you’re asking US instead of those elected public servants, why we should care what kids grow up believing? Do you seriously mean to claim that all curriculum and all education is just competing indoctrination anyway, so what does it matter??

If so, you answer your own question: THAT is why it matters. Because believing that lie spoils everything good, true and beautiful that is real and dehumanizes us all so we can devolve back into warring religious tribes.

Even if you can’t believe as I do, that Read the rest of this entry »





THE ECONOMIST: Homeschooling at the Kitchen Table, Seriously, Still?

14 08 2009

Sarah Palin must be not just reading the Economist now, but maybe writing for it?? Frisky cock of the snook to Meg, for this HSLDA-heavy homeschooling story she says will gag you:

economist homeschool art august 2009

ECONOMIST: Kitchen-classroom conservatives — Home-schooling on the rise

Moreover, having Barack Obama in the White House may cause more people to pull their children out of public schools, predicts Mr Farris. Views of the government are coloured by views of the president, he says, even though the president has little control over education. And Mr Obama is far too liberal for most of America’s home-schoolers.

Sounds like they didn’t know to call Laura Derrick of NHEN?! Meg is right. Gag me.

At least there’s a “response” online that might settle our secular stomachs: Read the rest of this entry »





Thinking About This New Bonfire of the Vanities Case

24 07 2009

UPDATE
Overheard on cable news just now: “This could be a teachable moment, with a Gates/Crowley dialogue” — Jesse Jackson

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

Consider this an open thread around class and race, law and order, freedom and community and government in America, as electrified by professor Henry Louis “Skip” Gates being handcuffed in his own home for arguing with an armed government employee who came to his door and challenged him as a citizen to present his papers, prove his innocence of wrong-doing.

Is the citizen (or the police officer) the victim, or the offender? Are both both, or perhaps both are neither?

Is it really about race and class problems, or is this case primarily a clash between private individual rights and public government power? My own experience, in which everyone was white and everyone was wearing orange and blue, and both the police officer and myself were female, informs how I see this case — as not about race or class or color and minorities, not even testosterone, but rather the same way I’ve seen schoolfolk self-justifying their institutional job (to the point sometimes, of dismissing the reality that actual individuals are hurt rather than helped.)

All in all, it was a transformative moment for me, the quintessential teacher’s pet and media spokesperson, grievance hearing officer and pourer of oil on troubled waters. . .
Personal rage and alienation caused by social injustice was a new feeling for me, and it came literally out of the blue. I was just enjoying the day and my life, with my family and friends in a place I’d felt completely comfortable, safe and loved for my whole life, when WHAM!

And what if it were instead a CPS worker backed up by an armed sheriff’s deputy, in the south, say, at your door investigating a similarly misinformed neighbor’s complaint, coming to challenge you as a homeschooling parent in your own home, such an obviously unfounded complaint that you get outraged and say so loudly, hoping the neighbor will hear you and feel ashamed?

Now do you feel the same sympathies and concerns in the Gates case as you did before, or does your stomach suddenly flip-flop along with a 180-degree change of heart?

And please note, unlike my anonymous encounter with the police on game day, or any ordinary homeschool parent’s with the CPS, these principal characters were both well-known, mature, professional role models colliding in one of America’s most historic, educated and enlightened communities. White versus black, town versus gown, hate mail and a hot summer, a media feeding frenzy — here is Bill Cosby’s take — and one of them even knows the President of the United States personally! (Have you read Bonfire of the Vanities?)

The suspect was a black expert on racial profiling, while the white police officer who arrested him was a racial profiling trainer — if they can’t treat each other in an educated and enlightened manner, who can or will??

Some of the positions being publicly taken are Read the rest of this entry »





Robotic Orders From Above?

7 07 2009

Rush Limbaugh’s substitute this afternoon said something strange in my minivan today on our way to Shakespeare Summer Camp. He was railing (as usual) about liberals who are ruining the country and then he called them those people “following robotic orders from above” —

Wait, what? Isn’t that the OTHER guys??

lol-ceiling_cat_creates.jpg

O Hai, Ceiling Cat Has Bibul Laffs for U





Can Science Find a Vaccine Against Palin-esque Obama Hate?

6 07 2009

Ashamed to say this is my own state —
Jacksonville Florida, at an event sponsored and heavily hyped by the local Republican Party.

hitler-obama tea party 2 in 1

July 4 “tea party” protests were a lot smaller this time around, so logically there must have been less net hatred and ignorance being spewed than in the April events.

I guess.

But American education obviously still has its work cut out and then some, especially if Sarah Palin is now heading for the Lower 48 as some sort of um, leading light. . .