Quoting Quiverfull: Public Schooling Sets Up Children For Failure?

Quoting Quiverfull: Public Schooling Sets Up Children For Failure? April 23, 2015

quotingquiverfullby the ladies at Ladies Against Feminism commenting upon a piece by Justin McBrayer at the New York Times One Reason Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts

Editor’s note – LAF is taking the original author to task for not saying that scripture is the final truth on everything. The original piece in the New York Times is how whatever school the author’s child is attending is not teaching the real difference between fact and opinion. While he may actually have a point, or not, LAF as always gets the wrong end of the stick and makes it all about how public school is evil and designed to make children fail.

[Editor’s Note: There are a few things to consider when reading this article. One, we’re all born humanists. Unreasoning. Selfish. One-sided in our thinking. Easily mislead. Often biased. Second, we’ve established that academia isn’t healthy for children and so we home school. Third, the author fails to point out the source of truth by which all thought, opinion, beliefs are measured. That would be scripture. Even with the conclusion the author gives us, there must be a standard by which that conclusion is true, rather than the ‘workings of the world’. What this article does do is reiterate just how pointedly confusing government schooling has become especially under common core. They’re setting our children up to be unable to judge rightly and discern good from evil. Do we want that? We’re setting our children up for failure if we’re still partaking in the government school system. ]

What would you say if you found out that our public schools were teaching children that it is not true that it’s wrong to kill people for fun or cheat on tests? Would you be surprised?

I was. As a philosopher, I already knew that many college-aged students don’t believe in moral facts. While there are no national surveys quantifying this phenomenon, philosophy professors with whom I have spoken suggest that the overwhelming majority of college freshmen in their classrooms view moral claims as mere opinions that are not true or are true only relative to a culture.

[W]here is the view coming from?

A few weeks ago, I learned that students are exposed to this sort of thinking well before crossing the threshold of higher education. When I went to visit my son’s second grade open house, I found a troubling pair of signs hanging over the bulletin board.

Fact: Something that is true about a subject and can be tested or proven.

Opinion: What someone thinks, feels, or believes.

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders, cultural enforcers and those that seek to keep women submitted to men and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull and Spiritual Abuse honestly and thoughtfully.

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NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession by M Dolon Hickmon

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • ArianaDream

    But…those ARE the definitions of fact and opinion! I just don’t… Gah. ;_;

  • Nicole

    Is the author using a different dictionary? Mine seems to agree with the signs in the 2nd grade classroom…

  • Nea

    Yes, public schooling sets people up for failure. That’s why there’s no such thing as a public schooled doctor, nurse, lawyer, CEO, inventor, President…

    … oh, wait.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Yes, I don’t quite understand why the original author is upset about what was taught to his child. LAF seems to lack a lot of common sense

  • Joy

    Maybe the author disagreed with “believes” being put on the Opinion sign?

  • Anonyme

    I think she’s afraid that facts will somehow turn into opinions? Such as in her crazy “slippery slope” argument that the public schools could end up teaching that murder is okay if you believe so.

  • KarenH

    Well, because we all know how opposed most Patriarchy/homeschooling types are to the death penalty. Or to war in the middle east. How they wept with shame and dread of the judgment of God when the US killed Osama bin Laden.


  • Baby_Raptor

    There are a few things to consider when reading this article. One, we’re all born humanists. Unreasoning. Selfish. One-sided in our thinking. Easily mislead.

    Taking things on faith simply because a contradictory and easily disprovable book says so is “reason.” Pretending that god loves you specially, everyone else is a filthy sinner and your personal opinion needs to be forced on everyone else no matter what the detriment is “unselfish.” Refusing to even think about, muchless learn of or confront, any view that doesn’t adhere to your version of the bible is totally open-minded.

    Easily misled? I can’t even address that without being completely insulting.

    It pisses me off to NO END how these people entirely disregard that words have meanings and realities and instead simply attach a label to what they hate, pretending that this label accurately describes their strawman enemies. God hated lying so much that it trumped things like rape and abuse in his Big 10 yet Christianity can’t seem to exist without ignoring the truth.

  • Mel

    If you give a philosopher a column…..

    As a former HS teacher and a current college TA, I call McBrayer out for shaky logic.
    The primary people who teach kids about morality are the PARENTS.

    If McBrayer wants to try and teach 2nd graders the basics of philosophy, he can go for it – but based on his discussion with his kid, he’s pretty clueless about child development since his kid is still in concrete thinking stages and his dad is all up in arms because the kid can’t follow a rather crappy Socratic discussion.

  • FrequentFlyer

    Could the author be defining sucess and failure differently than most normal people would? I’m thinking about the question of what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul. If people like this think their children’s souls will be lost forever if they don’t believe exactly what the parents do, then yeah, I guess the schools are setting them up for worldly sucess but spiritual failure. Or something like that.

  • katiehippie

    Humanist means that? Have they looked at a dictionary lately?


  • My opinion of public school, especially elementary school is tainted by what happened to me as a child. When my oldest niece started first grade, at a very well respected private Episcopal school, I’m the one who agitated until my sister gave up and decided to homeschool her, then her brother and sister. With the exception of home/family, more children are molested in a school setting than anywhere else. At the time, I was still dealing with a sudden onset of what I now know to be PTSD based on what happened to me.

    Logically, I know that public schools can be a treasure. Hysterically, I consider them traps for children to be molested. In many ways, I think it depends on the child. I have friends whose oldest daughter was starting college with a double major of physics and nuclear physics at the age of 16. She had been homeschooled. She finished her studies so quickly, she was too young to being a Ph.D. program. Her younger sister decided to go to the local high school. I think she’s also working on a Ph. D.

    It’s too bad we can’t think of the individual child, and what is best for them on an individual basis.

  • Nea

    There’s a thought. Mind you, it’s surprising how spiritual success is linked with worldly failure: not just all the powerful minister now or about to be in jail, but all the other testimonies of how faith sustained people through grinding poverty and living on cat food/in a condemned home/in a too-small home, etc.

  • jennabobenna

    I just read the original opinion piece from the Times. The author is a philosophy professor with an interest in ethics and philosophy of religion. His issue is with the dichotomy it creates between “fact” and “opinion” because it leads to kids thinking there are no moral truths. Some of the examples he pulls from common core worksheets online that are supposed to be examples of “opinions” are concerning–for example: “cheating is wrong” falls into the “opinion” category. Kids aren’t being taught to think critically. The definition of “fact” hanging in the classroom also conflates “proof” with “truth”. Facts are statements that are true, but that doesn’t mean they can be scientifically proven.

    ETA: Everything after the first paragraph set off by brackets is from the original writer over at the NYT, not LAF. The original writer wasn’t calling into question the efficacy of public schools. Rather, he was doing what any adult exposed to the Common Core standards does: freak out about how the CC standards are a crock of sh*t.

  • Rebecca Horne

    For a philosopher, this guy seems awfully confused on the point that believing there are no moral facts does not lead you to believe that everything is ok.
    I think that good and evil are all-but- meaningless abstractions, but joy and suffering are not.

    Also, do public schools set kids up for failure?
    Depends on the kid. Most public schools seem designed to set up certain kids for success, at the expense of all the others.

  • Jenny Islander

    That’s my problem with Common Core math in a nutshell. I was trying to figure out how the designers (surely not teachers!) decided that K students would have to know how to skip-count to 100 and fourth-graders should get binomal equations in their homework. My BIL pointed out that a quick’n’easy way to address the current shortage of U.S. graduates going into math-heavy STEM fields would be to identify the ones who were naturally good at math and who cares about the rest amirite?

  • KarenOfRocks

    “Cheating is wrong” IS an opinion. If you want to state facts, try “Our society has generally agreed that cheating is wrong. Cheating often hurts yourself and other people in both obvious and subtle ways, Our society agrees that hurting yourself is a bad idea, and hurting others is wrong. You are a member of a social species, and you will probably find your life vastly better if you get with the program.” Except that is pretty long-winded for youngsters.

    I see a notion expressed online that boils down to “Oh, that’s just your opinion.” The implication is that opinions don’t matter. But most adults learn that opinions DO matter. It doesn’t help to misidentify them as facts, though.

  • Baby_Raptor

    His issue is with the dichotomy it creates between “fact” and “opinion” because it leads to kids thinking there are no moral truths.

    See the problem with this is that the vast majority of what people call “morals” IS opinion, a lot of which isn’t even based on fact.

  • jennabobenna

    So “Murder is wrong” is an opinion? Because I really don’t want to live in a world where that isn’t a given fact. The axioms that make math work can’t be proven, but they’re still facts because if we didn’t treat them as such, math as we know it wouldn’t work. Likewise, if we don’t accept “murder is wrong” as fact, society as we know it wouldn’t work.

  • gimpi1

    “Fact: Something that is true about a subject and can be tested or proven.
    Opinion: What someone thinks, feels, or believes.”

    Pretty good definitions, if you ask me. Why, exactly, are those troubling?

  • gimpi1

    Actually, it is an opinion. A virtually universal opinion, but an opinion nevertheless. An opinion with exceptions, such as, for self-defense, in war or as punishment for a capital crime.

    At least as I read the definitions, facts are those things that don’t change depending on how we feel about them. For example, Ferguson, murder or justified shooting? People have profoundly different views, depending on their experiences, beliefs and understanding of the situation. However, the existence of the element iron (FE) or zinc (Zn) is not subject to our opinion. The exist and react chemically exactly the same way, no matter how we feel about metals.