Curl Up and Cry

Since Dana mentioned it, I thought I’d look up some of the Internet nonsense about the dominionists and homeschooling. Two intelligible items are at Dark Christianity and Theocracy Watch.

One of their big boogeymen is the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). Here is a quote from a letter recently sent out by HSLDA:

For a number of cultural reasons, the average German doesn’t
understand the notion of homeschooling. Many German officials fear
that active support of homeschooling will result in parallel
societies, such as Islamic fundamentalism, that would endanger their
country’s safety and stability.

In the United States, we understand that homeschooling supports
pluralism (a term which essentially means that people of different
races, religions, and views should live together with mutual respect
and as equal citizens), that individuals have a natural right to
direct the upbringing and education of their children, and that the
protection of this right is an important function of free and
democratic governments.

In America, and other countries, research demonstrates that
homeschooling does not isolate or create parallel societies but
rather, it allows students to become highly engaged in society,
enjoying a diverse and real-world educational experience, especially
when compared to the institutional, uniform, and age-segregated public
school system. But these notions about homeschooling are foreign to
the average German citizen.
[HSLDA, May 10, 2007]

I realize that Christian dominionists themselves promote homeschooling as a countercultural movement, but so do pagans, Amish, and vegetarians. Seriously, equating totalitarianism/nazism/fascism with homeschooling is truly idiotic.

Totalitarianism

If you want to institute a repressive theocratic government that seeks to control the way everyone thinks, the first thing you should do is set up a system of indoctrination centers for children. Attendance should be mandatory and enforced by prompt removal of the child from the parents’ care.

At these “public schools,” children would be told exactly what to parrot in order to be accepted in society. They would be told that their parents are ignorant, superstitious, and dangerous; that only the government-certified professional instructors know what’s best for them; and that only the government-approved textbooks tell the truth.

What you should NOT do is let children spend most of each day with a parent, where they might learn something not approved by the government.

Revolution

Anyone who truly believes in and agitates for the imposition of Christian totalitarianism might see homeschooling as a kind of guerrilla action to prepare children for the glorious revolution, but that has nothing to do with homeschooling or constitutional US government. It has more to do with lust for power, a twisted Zionistic Christianity, and cynical political manipulation.

Is there anything a leftist loves more than to ridicule the notion that the Soviet Union could have realistically taken over the US government by infiltrating a few peace activist groups? Yet, it is just as likely as suggesting that 1% of the population, right-wing Christian homeschoolers, are going to overwhelm the democratic election system.

Paranoia

However, paranoia is extremely common among certain groups of people:

Conspiracy theories represent a known glitch in human reasoning. The theories are of course occasionally true, but their truth is completely uncorrelated with the believer’s certainty. For some reason, sometimes when people think they’ve uncovered a lie, they raise confirmation bias to an art form. They cut context away from facts and arguments and assemble them into reassuring litanies. And over and over I’ve argued helplessly with smart people consumed by theories they were sure were irrefutable, theories that in the end proved complete fictions.
[XKCD #258]

Excuse me for taking that out of context . . . I guess the cartoonist was trying to slam creationists and 9/11 skeptics. Because, you know, biologists have proven macroevolution in a laboratory somewhere, and the federal government has never covered up anything.

Personally, I would apply those principles to leftists frothing about dominionists, federal g-boys wetting their pants about alternative currencies, evolutionists who whimper about “unfair” critical inquiry and demands for empirical evidence, and average citizens everywhere who curl up in a fetal position and start sobbing whenever someone suggests that they stop believing everything they are told and try thinking for themselves.

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