by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Redeeming Dinah
All images by Cindy Kunsman and Redeeming Dinah used with permission.
At the beginning of QF/P, I believe that the religious aspirations were largely healthy, or at least the original ideologues behind it envisioned healthier models. Initially, both private Christian schooling and homeschooling offered alternatives to secular education in government schools which would not only allow parents to convey their particular set of values to their children, but the data in the early days of the movement showed that homeschooling offered many children a significant academic advantage.
Unfortunately, due to fear mongering and fancies of conspiracy, for many Christians, the movement quickly became a method of cloistering children from the evils of culture who baited their children to sell their souls to secularism. This attitude of fear created a ready market for QF/P as the ideal method for responsible Christian parents to “save” their children from a culture that they believed sought to eradicate their religious beliefs altogether while also saving their souls from eternal hell.
As with all new movements, many young entrepreneurs saw QF/P as an opportunity to make a living while also devoting their lives to something idealistic, allowing them to live meaningful lives. In the early 1980s, these various family oriented, wholesome interests coalesced into an interesting clustering of beliefs and practices of which homeschooling and the pro-life movement became an essential part in the US.
Having created a ready market through propagating fear, many of these entrepreneurs provided ready-made, Bible-approved solutions for all of the problems of these families in need. From there, the focus branched from education and the virtue of family into a dynamic lifestyle which offered the lowliest of seemingly insignificant persons the powerful opportunity to save the world. The housewife and blue collar worker became mighty warriors on the front lines of the culture war, empowered by ‘godly’ formulas and strategies that promised them success and victory. In the end, their children would take dominion over the earth and would make the world a Christian utopia.
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