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May 25, 2007



I wonder if those tickets prices are tax deductible as a religious contribution?


"Christian" homeschooling. Repeat that 200 times. There is an entire movement of us (secular homeschoolers) giving those bible bangers a run for their money. Homeschooling - it's not just for the closed minded anymore...


Absolutely wonderful! I definitely need to go back and do some editing to make sure my post is up to par. You're right in that, at least for me, since is like a "chain reaction"; there is simply too much to know. Every time I get into a book I find out there's 20 others I need to read to fully understand the topic, but I enjoy doing it. Anyway, wonderful post; keep up the great writing.


As not only a liberal homeschool, but a Pagan one I hate being shuttled in with those who choose to homeschool to prevent their children from exposed to any views but their own. Now don't get me wrong, I'd fight for their right to do so, but it still sounds like nails on a chalkboard when someone lumps all homeschoolers into this ball of right-wing, fundemental Christian, fear. And that includes when the fundies do it as well.

By the way, as a girl I was in love with dinorsaurs. I'm even more excited now that I have children who share that passion. :)


The 'loony liberals' who refuse to see the benefits of homeschooling worry me the most. They want to take our right to independently homeschool away.


"and that the gospel and Christian morality are based on the true history found in the Bible."
except that the Bible is full of multiple marriages and baby killing, slavery and torure. hello, it also says that you should take joy in learning new things and be willing to change your mind. i have no conflict teaching my children that God exists and still have them going to public school. i hope that i am teaching them to think for themselves and to revel in the many conflicting wonders this world, it's history and it's cultures have to offer. God created evolution, is that so hard?

Liz in Australia

Another homeschooler here. Even in Australia, where our few fundamentalist fruitloops barely have a public profile, homeschoolers still have to fight against the perception that we shut our kids away from "the real world" in order to indoctrinate them. Can't imagine how irritating it would be to have evidence of that stereotype in your face as loudly as these people are.

I think the thing which offends me most about creationism is that it is so insultingly simplistic. In effect, they look around themselves at the incredible diversity of the world and cheapen it by saying, "God did it". Something as astonishingly beautiful and complex as the interaction between fig wasp and its host - "God made it that way". What kind of explanation is that?


"At this age, learning comes (when uncoerced) as a series of firework-like explosions. Each new concept touches off another string of explosions, a chain reaction that's perceptible as it goes on inside their heads (usually as a barrage of questions)."

That's beautiful. Really beautiful.


"The idea that everything worth knowing can be sandwiched between the covers of a single book."
Not "everything worth knowing", just everything you *need* to know for salvation.

"The concept that there is some evidence that must not be examined,"
No, again, they're not afraid of evidence, facts, or observations. We all live on the same Earth, with the same scientific instruments, etc. But the same evidence is subject to different interpretations. The most obvious example is the commonality between human and animal genetics. Is it b/c we have the same ancestor? Or is it b/c we have the same designer? You decide, based on your personal philosophy, which you believe, but only one it true.

Christian homeschoolers (by and large) don't want the public schools telling their children that they are nothing but hopped-up pond scum b/c they believe that ideas have consequences. If you teach a child that he or she is an animal, you're more likely to get animal-like behavior, and objectified attitudes towards other people. If you teach a child that he or she was created special by a God who loves him or her and wants the best for that child and others, you are more likely to get loving, considerate behavior. In short, a child's attitude toward self and others depends on what is taught about our nature: beloved creation, or accident of nature.


Thanks for your comment, Webster; unfortunately, all I'm seeing here are the same unsupported assertions that creationists have been using for decades to try to discredit evolution (and geology, and astronomy...).

Evidence may be "subject to different interpretations," but not all of those interpretations will be correct. For example, throwing aside the massive amount of evidence derived from different lines of inquiry that demonstrates that all living organisms are descended from a common ancestor, and that this evolutionary process has unfolded slowly over billions of years, is an incorrect interpretation of the evidence.

As azureavian remarked above, there is no reason to make God and science an "either/or" proposition if you're not so inclined. There are evolutionary biologists who are strongly committed to their faith; there are evolutionary biologists who are atheists or agnostics. One does not necessarily equal the other.

And finally, I have never seen a speck of evidence that children raised with a realistic scientific view of the world and their place in it are the slightest bit more inclined toward criminality or antisocial behavior in general. Couldn't it be at least as true that people who consider themselves to be a part of the natural world and not separate from it also have an increased sense of compassion toward other living things--more of a "we're all in this together" attitude? Certainly, if you believe that this life is all we have, you're more likely to realize that other people have no more desire to lose their lives than you do... regardless of religion, nationality or any other difference... and hence to be less likely to resort to killing to solve your problems.

(Also: which "animals" are you so fearful that your children will imitate? Bonobos? Dolphins? Seahorses? Meerkats? There's no one sort of "animal behavior," any more than there is one sort of "human behavior." As anyone who had actually examined the evidence, rather than parroting the line of AiG and its ilk, would doubtless have noticed.)


Excellent. Very well said, esp. "Bonobos? Dolphins? Seahorses? Meerkats?" A fine array.


Selecting the story of creation over the evidence of science in the hopes of inculcating "loving, considerate behavior" seems a stretch, and a long one at that.

If I have to choose a school of religious thought, I'm going with (retired) Bishop John Shelby Spong,


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