Where homeschooled kids can go after Jesus Camp & after graduation

I’ve been reading the Jesus Camp… thread, which seems to be bubbling right along. I have something here that seems to be the next chapter of that discussion, but I didn’t want to hijack a 3-page thread.

It’s an audio excerpt from the Fresh Air interview show. It speaks of distorting history in homeschool texts to make it seem that the US was a “Christian nation” until a few decades ago. There is also a post-homeschool university that specifically trains students to take over the government for Christ.

The camp thread was jousting about whether children were being indoctrinated to “take back America.” Michelle Goldberg shows us what the next step is.

Thought I should throw this in there. Not all homeschooled kids are being taught to ‘take back America’. I was homeschooled from 2nd grade on up and that was not part of what we learned.

While a lot of things did have a christian perspective/slant/bias etc, it was more of how to have christian view in your own life not to change what other people believe or think.

[Jesus] “Look, did I ask you to take over the government for me?” :rolleyes: [/Jesus]

The word “dominion” figures prominently in their worldview.

Sounds like you’re talking about wingnut Michael Farris’ Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, VA.

Ah, Dominionism! It’s rather popular in my locality. Next step, Theonomy!

I see that Patrick Henry College has 308 students. There are probably a couple of million homeschooled kids in the US. I don’t think they will all fit.

Certainly there are quite a few very conservative Christians who homeschool, and who use history texts that give a certain viewpoint–generally they focus on the rise of the evangelical movement far more than others do. OTOH, A history of US is also a popular text, and completely secular. Many others prefer to skip textbooks entirely, and use a history encyclopedia as a spine while checking out piles of specific books from the library.

The variety of curricula available to homeschoolers is really mind-boggling, and while some is religious (and of every flavor), much is not. It is not unusual to find a homeschooling family using a Mennonite grammar text, a Catholic writing course, a logic course from a Calvinist publisher, and a secular math book–regardless of the family’s actual beliefs. Whatever works best is usually what gets used.

Homeschoolers come in every possible philosophical flavor, from atheist to pagan to Jewish to Methodist. The very extreme fundamentalist flavor is not nearly as large as most people assume. So I wouldn’t worry just yet about guerrilla-trained homeschoolers taking over the government.

The Christian school I attended taught this view. America was discovered by a Christian (Columbus!) and settled by people who wanted to found a Christian nation, as illustrated by cherry-picked quotes from our Founding Fathers. Everything proceeded according to God’s plan until the 1960s when women started burning their bras and practicing witchcraft.

Because we “turned away from Him” God has removed his blessing from our nation, hence the wars and such. Our duty is to bring the nation back into the Christian fold. Thus, all young Christian men should be prepared to take leadership roles. (“Leadership starts in the home” was a secondary track.) Young women, of course, were excluded from this task, charged with creating a Christian home suitable to raise another generation of leaders.

Toward this end, we should only vote for candidates who profess the Christian faith if we were unable to run ourselves. We should persuade others to do the same, as well as not patronizing any buisness which supports or seems to endorse unChristian ideals.* We should write to our politicians regularly, urging them to turn to Biblical principles.

  • A great portion of these boycotts were based on urban legend. In 1995, our principal urged us to boycott Proctor and Gamble and even passed out sheets printed with the name of their products. I told her that I felt it was my Christian Duty to inform her that P&G was so sick of the related myth that they were suing people who spread it.

And if you want to teach and (I suppose) believe that since the US became secular and God split then we have wars (which seems a mite hypersimplistic to me, but what the hell), then have at. But how did they explain all of the wars that took place well in advance of the sixties and the bra burning and witchcraft and dark arts such as “Laugh In”? I mean, the Civil War killed more Americans than any other conflagration in US history, and each side claimed that God was in their respective hip pocket. Which skims over the joy and warm fuzziness of World Wars I & II, as well as the others. I honestly would like to know how they explained every other bad thing that happened to the US before the sixties.

If I believed in smilies, there aren’t enough rolleyes in the world.

Well, you see, God’s a bit of an insecure fellow. Every now and then, he would send us a “test” or, like in the story of Job, allow Satan to run the show for a bit to see if we would still “praise him” through the tribulations.

The African people had “turned their backs” on God and had adopted idol worship and witchcraft (voodoo). It was part of God’s plan that they be punished by being taken into slavery but redeemed when the white men taught them to go back to Christianity. God spoke to Abe Lincoln and Harriet Beecher Stowe, but just as he did with Pharoah, he hardened the hearts of the Southern people so they didn’t hear the message. Then, God took his hands off the wheel and let Satan drive for about five years in one of those “tests.”

We passed. Things got a bit sticky again in the latter part of the 1800s, but single-handedly, William Jennings Bryan brought about a spiritual revival with his famous “Cross of Gold” speech (which we had to memorize.)

We really didn’t want to exterminate the Native Americans, but they kept attacking us! What else were we supposed to do? God clearly supported Manifest Destiny. Such a shame they wouldn’t abandon their false gods and behave themselves.

Then some other things happened, (WWI was a bit glossed-over. I guess it was hard to find a message in all that mess) and then there was another big war-- WWII. Which we fought, by the way, so that we could save the Jews because they’re God’s chosen people. The Holocaust was God’s way of trying to wake up the Jewish people to see the love of Jesus.

Just as an example of the revision, I’ll give you a paragraph I clearly remember regarding Hiroshima. The text was discussing the pilots of the Enola Gay. "The pilot, seeing the devestation the bomb had caused, began to pray to God: “‘My God, what have we done?’” (Still don’t sound like no “prayer” to me.)

They actually called Joseph McCarthy a hero and a godly man for his efforts against communism and bitterly denounced the godless people who “conspired to ruin him.”

I could go on for weeks.

:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :confused: :confused: :confused:

Ah, yes. The “God as narcissist” school of thought.

Well, historical inaccuracy (which they seem to have in spades) aside, saying that the Holocaust was a wake-up call to Jews to get right with Jesus offends me to the very core of my being. And I’m an old school atheist who doesn’t believe in any of that hokum.

But dayum! Couldn’t God have gone back to his old ways and spoken through a burning bush? Y’know as opposed to killing 6 million people? Because it didn’t work, anyway.

Judging by what you’ve posted thus far, I’ve no doubt you could.

I asked much the same question.

I asked a lot of questions-- that’s why the principal/teacher took me aside about once a week and told me that if I didn’t change my ways, she was worried I was going to go to hell. I was a nightmare student: a smart kid who asked* why and read other sources.

She wasn’t articulate enough to voice what really bothered her about my skeptical nature. She used the term “arrogance” out of lack of a better one. How dare I question when smarter people than I had figured all of this out already? She also found it very embarassing when I would bring up historical or scientific facts of which she was ignorant. “You don’t know what you’re talking about! If that was true, or important, it would be covered in the text!”

  • Asking “why” was apparently akin to saying “Hail Satan!” judging by the offense it caused.

** Which was specifically forbidden by the rules. Non-approved books were banned from campus, as was* talking *about them. (You could get expelled if you talked about what an “outside” book had to say on a subject.)

What’s truly fascinating about the Christian Nationalist movement is how its switched gears half a century ago. For most of the history of the nation, the movement was centered around railing against the heathen founders and trying to pass an amendment to “fix” the Godless Constitution. Now, suddenly, we’re a christian nation after all and the founders were all good orthodox Christians.

Talk abou tmaking your head spin!

Wow!!?? Do you feel like telling which school it was? Where? Is it still there?

I remember years ago a friend of mine reputing lies his teacher was spreading about the Movie Jesus Christ Superstar. He was budding Christian but was shocked and offended when the teacher at his Christian school told a lie about a sex scene in the movie and tried to insist it was the truth. That stuff really blows my mind.

I notice in the link that Patrick Henry had some trouble getting accredited. No doubt GWB helped them out. I do think private schools should have to meet some standards to even be called a school. I winder where distorting history and science fits in there?

I’d prefer not to give out any geographical details, but yes, the school (if you want to call it that) is still open.

The place I attended was proud of the fact that it wasn’t accredited. After I graduated, I heard they were in a battle against having to administer the state-mandated proficiency tests. They lost. However, since they don’t recieve any federal funds, I imagine there aren’t any consequences to having dismally low scores.

I hated that place and I still hate it. I wish it would close down because Og knows there’s enough ignorance in the world without building a factory for it. However, I still hesitate to say that the state should intervene. Though I consider myself a victim of it, I still respect religious freedom, especially for groups like the Amish who would be affected by any types of restrictions.

I come from a Christian background and still have spiritual beliefs, but one important one is that as a family of mankind we need to try and not let things come between us. I respect many different paths spiritual and non spiritual and support peoples right to choose their own way. At some point though we have to take a stand for something and the truth is pretty important. I wouldn’t support a state closing of a school like that but I think the truth about that school and others like it should be made public. If it’s harmful to kids then perhaps something should be done. I guess that’s where I agree with Sam Harris. Things like that should be examined and challenged. Religion is something that should be offered to people , not forced upon them. Not hammered into them.
If you don’t mind a couple of questions
What age group did they teach?
How did you happen to go?
What happened when you stopped going?

Are you still in touch with anyone from the school?

All ages, from pre-school to 12th grade. The classes were divided into three age groups: K-3 in one room, 3rd-6th in another, and 6th-12th in the third.

The cirriculum was self-guided. You read the text, then answered the questions after each section, grading your own work in central answer keys. At the end of each text, you would take a test monitored by the teacher. If you got a 90% or above, you could move on to the next text. Once you completed a certain number of them, you graduated.

One teacher was considered sufficient for each room. We sat in little cubicles and had two flags that we would mount on the edges. The Christian flag indicated you wanted to get up and score your work. The American flag indicated you had a question or needed to use the bathroom.

In the morning, we had a one hour long “devotions” session, in which the principal preached at us. We had to take notes and were tested on the content. On Mondays, we had a two hour long “chapel” session where the preacher from her church did the honors. (And in all my days I have yet to see another speaker as boring as he.)

We didn’t have uniforms, but we did have a strict dress code. Girls had to wear skirts that covered the bottom of their knees and shirts could be no lower cut than two finger-widths below the collar bone. (And they would press their fingers against your skin to check.) Shirts could have no logos. Denim skirts could only be worn on Fridays. Boys had to wear cotton slacks and shirts which had collars. (Buttons also required on Mondays, when we were supposed to dress up for chapel.)

Our physical education was comprised of mandatory basketball for the boys and cheerleading for the girls. Of course, we weren’t allowed to do any flips or splits, so our cheer routines were mostly arm work. It was as embarassing as hell because the league we played in was comprised of other Christian schools which weren’t as conservative. We’d go out there to do our arm-waving routine after the opposing team had just done a super-coreographed dance routine.

My grandparents were impressed by the aura of private school and believed the principal when she bragged about their academic standards and the success of their graduates. They didn’t believe me when I told them she was lying shortly after enrolling. They knew I hated the place, so they chalked it up to exaggeration.

I graduated from there. The woman in admissions at the first college to which I applied actually laughed at me when I told her from whence I came. I never did go to college, but that probably has as much to do with my lack of confidence and not pushing the issue as it does with the lack of accredidation. (Where there’s a will, there’s a way. I didn’t have the will. Apparently, none of their graduates ever did, because I have yet to hear of one of them attending a secular university.)

It did have a slight positive side: when employers saw the name of the school on my application, it gave me a bit of a boost. They thought I’d be honest and hardworking coming from such a place. (Suckers!)

Classmates who left the Christian school to go to regular schools were generally made to catch up on all they had missed. One girl I knew basically had to take three years simultaneously in order to graduate on time.

No, I don’t. My grandma occasionally bumps into my classmates around town and so keeps me up to date on the latest gossip, but I really have very little interest.

This is (inadvertently, I’m certain) amusing as all hell. Sounds to me like the people who put together the idea of your high school worked a few call center gigs in their time.

And while this, too is amusing, I’ve always been gobsmacked by those who think that because someone comes from a Christian background then they are a better or more conscientious worker and/or person. Some of them, sure. But some of the public school grads are the same way. And the pool of public school graduates is considerably larger. Plus, I’ve encountered a handful of people who went to Christian private schools who are the laziest, sloppiest workers I’ve yet to encounter. And their propensity for dishonesty is definitely up there, too. Not certain if that is because of their Christian upbringing, or what. Personally, I kinda doubt it, due to the number of public school kids I’ve encountered who act in a similar fashion, but still.

I deal with a lot of Christians at the music store and for the most part they are fine people. We have learned that you need to treat them as regular customers. A few bounced checks or loaners not returned. As you say. It’s not a guarantee of honesty or temperament. We’ve had one minister buy stuff and then fight a prolonged battle to get a cash refund when he knew at the time of purchase that it was against policy. One minister got busted because his plan was to buy some gear, use it for the service , and then return it for a refund. When he found out he only got an in store credit he argued a bit. When we told him we had to watch out for the rent for free crowd he got humble quick. He was real nice after that.
What galls me a little is when they hint that because it’s for the Lord they should get some extra discount. If you want to negotiate then fine, have at it, but please don’t act like we owe it to the Lord to give you one. One man said “I’m a minister , don’t you have some discount for that?”
“No” I replied, “You’ll just have to render unto Ceaser, what is Ceaser’s”
He smiled and said, “You got me there”