The Next Challenge to Homeschooling

Cartoon by artist Ben Lansing
Cartoon by Ben

As homeschoolers, we know what it is like to be criticized by those who do not agree with our choice to educate our children at home. It has been said by those who oppose us that our kids can’t possibly get a quality education unless it is provided by a “professional” teacher. We have also heard it said that our homeschooled children won’t be properly “socialized” and will not fit in with other members of society. Of course, both of these charges have (for the most part) been shown to be false (see here), leaving our detractors with no more ammunition to fire at us.  We’ve won the battle, right?  Not so, according to a recent speech by HSLDA Chairman and President, Michael Farris.  He warns that a new and much more threatening “Third Wave” of homeschool persecution is coming.  And this time, as they say, it’s gonna get ugly.

Unlike prior criticisms, the new charges that will be leveled against homeschoolers (particularly Christian homeschoolers) will be (despite some hyperbole) based upon a bit of truth, says Farris.  Our opponents’ new attacks will go after the very heart of Christian belief and ethics by asserting that the truth claims we hold dear are dangerous, threatening to the well-being of our society and therefore should not be allowed to be taught to our children.  Of course, this is nothing more than a direct attack against the God-given rights of parents to teach their children the way they think is right and necessary.

If you are a Christian and/or a homeschooler, you really must read the full text of his speech, which was given in late 2010.  You can find that speech here.  I highly recommend that you also share it with friends and family.  This is ultimately not just about homeschooling.  This is about religious freedom.

Don’t think you need to read it?  Ok, maybe you need more convincing.  To give you a sense for what Mr. Farris has to say regarding his perception of this potential new threat and his take on the motives of those who will level these charges against us, I present you with a few of the more alarming quotes from his presentation:

Christian homeschooling parents are effectively transmitting values to their children that the elitists believe are dangerous to the well-being of both these very children and society as a whole.  What are those values? Homosexuality is a sin. Men should be the leaders of their families. Jesus is the only way to God. All other religions are false.  I could go on. But what the elitists really mean is the set of religious beliefs that they label as fundamentalist Christianity.

Private education should be banned. All of it. Private schools, religious schools, homeschools.

The motive is to stop Christianity. The theory that advances their motive is that the state comes first in a child’s life.

Of course, the Christian church throughout history has always had to deal with persecution, and so in a sense this is nothing new.  In America, however, this should be more alarming, considering the liberties we’ve enjoyed and our historical Christian roots. Thankfully, we still live in a nation where we are still able to take action and do something about it.  Don’t squander the opportunity to act. Take the time to become aware of the tactics that our enemies will use against us and be ready to combat those arguments.

I would encourage all of our readers to press on in their homeschooling, while keeping this situation in their prayers and, where possible, to financially support organizations like the Home School Defense Association and, as well as volunteer time and get engaged in the fight.  I’ll end with these encouraging quotes from Mr. Farris and Martin Luther’s hymn, “A Mighty Fortress in Our God”, respectively.  I look forward to your thoughtful comments.

Truth is on our side. Freedom is on our side. The American Constitution is on our side. And all of that matters, so long as we remain faithfully on God’s side. Stand up for Jesus, and He will never leave us or forsake us.

Did we in our own strength confide
Our striving would be losing,
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He —
Lord Sabaoth His name,
From age to age the same —
And He must win the battle.

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