Things HSLDA Opposes: Required Medical Exams for Public School Students

Click here to read the full series. While researching for this series, I came upon this from Illinois in 2009: Summary: Amends the School Code. With respect to the requirement that children enrolling in kindergarten have an eye examination, requires the use of dilating drops for the internal and external examination. HSLDA’s Position: Oppose. No explanation, nothing. HSLDA has absolutely no reason to weigh in on this at all. It does not affect homeschoolers in any way. That they did, however,... Read more

Does Atheist Parenting “Work”?

I recently came upon an interesting comment (screenname Angellius) on a scholarly post titled “Does Homeschooling Work.” The post addressed whether homeschoolers with religious motivations are successful in producing religious children. You could put the question this way: A lot of atheist parents are highly concerned that God not be mentioned in school: No prayers, no overt professions of faith by teachers, no prayer meetings during school hours, etc. Is anybody asking, “Do atheist efforts to shield their kids from Christianity work? What... Read more

Voddie Baucham, Daughters, and “Virgin Brides”

Last summer, Michael Farris denounced patriarchy. Or, so he claimed. Among those who homeschool for religious reasons, there is a subculture sometimes called the “patriarchy movement.” Michael Farris, founder of the powerful Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) and probably the most well-known leader in the Christian homeschooling world, has for decades espoused the beliefs of this movement. But in the last year and a half, two of its leaders, Bill Gothard and Doug Phillips, lost their ministries in the midst of sexual... Read more

“Hey, Dreamboat!”: Teenage Girls Get Mocked Too

I wrote a week ago about conversations within gaming, fandom, and nerd culture over dating and social reclusiveness. Specifically, I looked at a post by a self-described “nerdy guy” about his adolescent and young adult anger toward women for not dating him and a response post by a self-described “nerdy girl” pointing out that guys aren’t the only ones to be shy, socially awkward, and thwarted in love. Today I want to build on that conversation with another point. I’ve... Read more

Is the Internet Changing Evangelicalism?

I recently came upon this article on FaithStreet: Before the Internet, churches, denominations and Christian leaders largely controlled and directed discussions of theology and orthodoxy. If one wished to reform a local church body or a denominational gathering, they first had to find a way to gain access to the platforms, pulpits and power structures of those institutions. Even if they wrote treatises or books, would-be-reformers were likely to find their ideas locked out by the constraints of the publishing... Read more

Dismantling Prejudice and Misconceptions

I’ve often seen Islam treated as an odd case when it comes to willingness to engage in acts of terror or vigilante “justice”. I think it’s easy to view the West as having somehow moved beyond this, and our society as being wholly and completely different. It’s true that non-Muslims in the West don’t tend to carry out honor killings or call for the death penalty for apostates. There are definitely differences. But is it true that non-Muslims in Western countries are immune carrying out acts of... Read more

Charlie Hebdo and Freedom of Speech

The world is abuzz with talk of this week’s deadly terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo, a French satirist newspaper. That anyone could be willing to kill someone else over cartoons—no matter how offensive they find them—is unthinkable to me. Both newspapers and private individuals should be able to be offensive without fearing for their lives. What happened this week at Charlie Hebdo is wrong, and tragic, and horrifying in the extreme. Supporting a person or organization’s freedom of speech does not require... Read more

HSLDA, Champion of Gay Teens?

Telling half truths was easier before the internet—as was covering up past missteps. Back in September, a ThinkProgress article noted the following: One common attack on HSLDA has been that its work often extends to topics that are not directly connected to the rights of homeschoolers … In the 2006 [sic], the group even lobbied for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. A statement on the group’s website explained that because “Same-sex marriage attacks the traditions of the family in western civilization,” it thus constitutes an “attack on... Read more

Things HSLDA Opposes: Kindergarten

Click here to read the full series. HSLDA opposes both mandatory kindergarten and full-day kindergarten. They argue that early childhood education is harmful to children’s development, that beginning compulsory attendance at age five prevents parents from deciding when their children are ready to begin their education, and that full-day kindergarten programs both expand state control of education and cost taxpayers money. Let’s take a look! Massachusetts: Summary: House Bill 349 requires that children attend a full-day educational program at kindergarten age.... Read more

Putting the Chicken before the Egg: Evangelical Perspectives on LGBTQ Suicide

Remember what I said yesterday about evangelicals blaming the suicide rates among transgender teens on anything other than the bullying and lack of acceptance they face? Since writing that piece I have come upon several quotes from evangelical sources that back up what I was saying and shed further light on the lens evangelicals have constructed when viewing LGBTQ issues. First, this from Charisma this past week: I personally know individuals who once identified as transgender and who no longer do,... Read more