Monday, October 23, 2017

Christian homeschool landscape from here

A year ago, October 21, 2016, I was watching the American Presidential election with a great deal of apprehension.  I didn't realize how much anxiety I had until we woke up on Wednesday to Donald Trump's win, and palpable relief.

The day of the election I was pretty sure that Mrs. Clinton would be the outcome, and that homeschooling as we knew it would go away under increased government control of education, or requirements to include certain topics in education that would clash with religious conviction.

I was prepared to tell the Christian homeschool group that I administrate to get ready to dissolve, that government would take over the testing, the judging of performance of homeschool students, who could qualify to teach homeschool students, the freedom of religion in homeschool, on and on until homeschooling itself became illegal or it became impossible to comply with requirements.

The Tuesday of the election was one of the two days per week that my homeschool group meets.  (Yes, we only need two days per week to do a full year's curriculum.)  No one among us thought Trump would be the outcome.  I was wondering that day how fast all those changes would happen, and if I would even be able to see the end of the school year with my students before Clinton regulations dismantled us.

The Thursday of that week I was pretty jubilant.  Yes, there were votes left to count, and uncertainties such as plagued the 2000 election (look up 'hanging chads').  But I was pretty sure that Trump and Congress would preserve the freedoms we need to be homeschoolers.  We would be ok for awhile.

One year later I am wondering if a Clinton win wouldn't have been better for Christians.

We would most certainly have seen our freedom to homeschool taken away.  We would have seen our children forced back into government schools with a secular humanist agenda.  We would have seen religion in education become illegal, and people jailed for bending the tender minds of their children towards a loving God.

In preparation for that persecution we would have been on our knees, praying about all of the above.  We would be sharing the gospel until we were jailed for it, then we would be rejoicing to be counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the Name.  Our best customers would be the other sinners with whom we were jailed, and no matter what, the Word of God would spread.

But what has happened?

Now I see Christians attempting to strengthen the physical bulwarks against the outside world, and forgetting that the battle is spiritual.  Instead of using this space of time to reach out to the world I'm seeing Christians once again becoming complacent, pulling in to their Christian safe spaces.  Christians are demanding that only Christian materials, people, thoughts, and ideas be put in front of their children.  I thought that only snowflakes on college campuses acted that way.

I teach math.  I'm afraid I'm going to have to throw out all of geometry because it was put into approximately its modern form by Euclid, a Greek who preceded Christ by 300 years.

For that matter I had better revert to Roman numerals because they were used at the time of Christ.  Oh, and about those symbols we call Arabic numerals?  They were the result of translating a Hindu work on math into Arabic, so it could be read by the Muslim world.  Part of the title of that text is transliterated "al-gebra".

What are you going to do with the wise men at the birth of Jesus?  They used astrology to know both the time and the approximate place of the birth of a king of the Jews.  A star led them to the exact place to find that king.

When did Christians become the Pharisees, refusing to eat and drink with sinners and tax collectors?

When did we become snowflakes, refusing to listen to any ideas not first presented in the Bible?