God doesn’t want your kids in school



It turns out, that if you live in Virginia, god might want your kids to remain uneducated.

Some Virginia children might not be getting any education because of the state’s religious exemption from mandatory school attendance, according to a recent University of Virginia study.

It’s on the rise, parents choosing to take their kids out of school due to a “religious exemption.” The unearned respect for faith means parents can claim that their god is one that demands a special kind of ignorance. Normally this results in the children being home schooled, which in most states comes with some minimum educational standards.

Virginia doesn’t require parents to provide any education to children who are granted religious exemptions. The statute also doesn’t require exempted students to meet any educational requirements, according to the study by the Child Advocacy Clinic at the University of Virginia law school.

Virginia Department of Education spokesman Charles Pyle said the department presumes that these students are getting some kind of home instruction. But there’s no follow-up reporting.


Actually…it turns out its only if you claim that god said so, that you can get away with loving your children into ignorance,

“This is a very serious decision, not something everyone should do,” said Yvonne Bunn of the Home Educators Association of Virginia. “It is based on sincere religious conviction. If that’s not the case, they need to just comply with the home-schooling law.”

You’re an atheist and want to home school your kids? There’s minimum standards to follow. You’re a devout True Believer (TM)? No standards or followup, you just do whatever you want.

This is the power of faith. These parents love their children, there’s no question. But they have fundamentally failed to be reasonable. The faith blinders of the parents are becoming shackles of ignorance on their children.




You can find me on twitter, @DrDavidBurger

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  • http://aceofsevens.wordpress.com aceofsevens

    Is this unique to Virginia or are a lot of states like this?

  • http://writtenaftermidnight.wordpress.com Jaime Wise

    This is of particular interest to me, since I was home-schooled myself. My parents listed religion as a significant reason for doing this, but it wasn’t the only reason. I think my family may have been unique in that my parents had no required follow-up (I’m not sure what the laws in Michigan are for that) but they also had us follow an intense education program. having gone through home-schooling myself, I strongly agree that there should be legal requiremnts to check in on the children doing this.
    Additionally, isn’t denying someone an education a civil offense? I’m not sure what the law is about that either.

    • iknklast

      I think that offense only holds if you’re not religious. Religion does so much good for the world (snark) that we have to give it what it wants, otherwise it might go away and then where would we be?

    • Joe

      If it isn’t some sort of offense, it sure should be – the right to an education is listed in article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It does say that parents have the right to determine what kind of education is given to their children, but presumably that doesn’t overide the child’s right to an education.

  • iknklast

    Part of the problem is the assumption that our children belong to us. We have a “right” to bring them up as we wish. I don’t agree with that; children are human beings, not property, and as parents entrusted with their care, we have an obligation to educate them properly, not indoctrinate them into whatever we happen to believe (this goes for atheists, too, but I think this is often the view of atheists. There are probably some who believe we shouldn’t expose our children to any religion, but I suspect that’s not a majority, since you want them to have immunity, and that means exposure!).

    As long as we erroneously believe that we have a right to bring our children up to be little versions of us, we’ll continue making these exceptions. Sometimes it backfires, like in the case of Nate Phelps, but all too often we hear very young children parrot ridiculous things they’ve learned from their parents, and challenge educated adults to prove them wrong, which may not be possible, since the children haven’t been trained in logic or critical thinking.

    • Eric

      Monotheism, specifically the Abrahamic religions, appeal to the authoritarian mindset and so it perpetuates a vicious cycle of ignorance.

    • Anna

      “Part of the problem is the assumption that our children belong to us.”
      Thank you! I had a conversation with some friends where I had to try and demonstrate why thinking of your children as essentially property was wrong.

    • John Horstman

      Yay! I frequently get weird looks when I assert that children have rights as human beings, like a right to bodily agency: it IS wrong to force your kid to kiss hir funny-smelling grandma; demanding access to a child’s body for one’s own gratification as a relative is no better than, say, a man insisting he should be able to grab his waitress’s ass for the sake of his own gratification. When we teach children that their thoughts, feelings, and agency are less important than what others want of/from them, they learn it, and subjection to authority becomes normalized. This is especially problematic for women: the idea that women don’t have a right to dictate what happens to their own bodies enables rape culture and bolsters anti-reproductive-rights ideology.

  • http://writtenaftermidnight.wordpress.com Jaime Wise

    Very god point. I see parents act like that all the time. I would say that you do have a right to raise your kids how you see fit, but you also have a responsibility to them. Like drinking. You’re allowed to drink however much you see fit, but you’re not allowed to use alcohol as a reason why you aren’t legally answerable for your actions.

  • Roger

    At least they’ll still be able to get a good paying job when they grow up: Preachers!

    • Revruthucc

      Only some TV preachers make it big. I toil underappreciated in the fields, hoping to help people accept that God gave them brains for critical thinking and for the wonder of experiences of that which cannot be explained logically. I want my parishioners well-educated and thinking critically and I believe in secular, scientific education for every child. I also want people to have a place to come when logic and critical thinking fail them…which is the difference between science and faith.

  • Lucas

    At a certain point, I believe this will become natural selection for religion. Going to pull your kids out of school and not educate them? Cool, you’ve created a food service worker with no bearing on society. They might not even be smart enough to vote. Bye bye republican party.

  • Derek
  • EEKman

    I honestly feel for the people of Virginia and all people who have had their identity defined by ancient tribal myths. That’s the issue with religions claiming they have the answer to everything. When one part of myth is no longer believed by a large portion of the society they live in, a crisis of identity develops. Do you discard the beliefs that generations of your family were founded on, even if those beliefs were a catalyst to giving you a good life or do you discard your slice of reality for another one that you are pressured into accepting, yet you have no internal connection to even if all the logical evidence points to it being true.

    While science has made amazing advances and has improved our quality of life tremendously. We are still terribly confused as a species about the reason for our existence.

  • Richie

    “These parents love their children, there’s no question.” Um, I have a question. Doesn’t love mean doing what is best for the person no matter what you think or want? How can willfully not educating your child be classified as ‘love’?

    • Roger

      Because to them, this IS what’s best. They sincerely believe that they are saving their children from wickedness and sin, and that’s all that matters. The world is ending Real Soon Now (TM)(R)(C) (Pat. Pending), so there is no need to teach them anything other than the Babble and the fear of hellfire and damnation.