When we would clean the house when I was a child, mom would turn on music from her own past. It was all Christian music, but it was very different from our usual diet of classical music and hymns. There’s one song in particular that stands out—DeGarmo and Key’s “Boycott Hell.” Mom would turn it on and we children would rock out while we wiped baseboards and dusted shelves. During those times, I felt strangely normal.
Sometimes I wonder about my parents’ past. There was a time when they were simply evangelical—a time when they had never thought of homeschooling, much less all of the cultural things that came along with it. I don’t think they realized when they started to homeschool that this would change, but it did. These things slipped in through homeschool magazines, homeschool co-ops, and homeschool conventions. Little things not immediately noticeable, but they built up. Courtship, family-integrated church, even they idea that mothers should not work outside of the home—these weren’t beliefs my parents had always held.
Songs like “Boycott Hell,” so different from the rest of my reality, gave me a taste of a kind of normal I could have been, but wasn’t. It may seem odd to some that I would term mainstream evangelical culture “normal,” but from my conservative homeschooled perspective, it sure looked that way.