Tuesday, April 22, 2014
IGNORANCE ISN'T BLISS
If you are making that decision for someone else, especially your children here's where we part company.
Under the guise of so called religious freedom there are homeschooling programs and Christian "academies" that use resources like Accelerated Christian Education. The entry in Wickipedia is quite informative.
Frankly after reading about their "curriculum" I prefer the term brainwashing. They're radical fundamentalists. Proud of it and intend to raise their children that way. Supposedly there have been some improvements. However, the program teaches young earth creationism, Biblical literalism, and apparently believes that free market, unregulated capitalism is in the Bible. Somewhere.
Here's a link to an entry on Leaving Fundamentalism that examines what the author calls the Top 5 lies. And they are corkers aren't they? I wasn't aware that nuclear physics was dependent on the Theory of Evolution. Not that there are any signs that these folks understand how that works either. Fish do not give birth to frogs, people. And monkeys do not give birth to humans. (face palm, head desk, piercing scream)
Recovering fundies like Samantha from Defeating the Dragons describe a fairly common culture that limits access to information and contact with outsiders. No cable TV. No going to movies. No books, magazines or music from outside the Christian subculture. Contact with family that doesn't belong, former friends who don't belong and members who have been kicked out is definitely discouraged. Members are encouraged to keep each other in line. Some of the descriptions I've come across make the old KGB and Gestapo look almost benevolent.
Samantha's description of the filtering program used at Pensacola Christian makes it sound like it was designed by the Chinese for their internet. When she wanted to check out possible grad schools she had to go to the local library, chaperoned of course, and use their computers.
I'm providing a link to a study that compared a local Christian school using ACE with a local public school to compare college readiness. A quick read through of the intro though shows that the abilities you need to even start in college are not emphasized or even used in ACE. The ability to do research, to listen to an instructor and take notes, the even listen and follow what's being said for that matter. And so on. Since the whole curriculum is based on independent "study" using a series of workbooks and tests none of these skills are being taught.
The fundie Chrisitan homeschool lobby has made it almost impossible to assess these students. I haven't found out yet what kind of diploma you can get that will be recognized outside the fundie Christian network. Samantha hit this wall researching grad schools. Pensacola wasn't accredited by anybody at the time, and is barely accredited now. She was able to get into a program at Liberty University (Falwell's old stomping ground and considered "liberal" by the true fundies) Mainline schools were out. Her credits wouldn't transfer.
Upshot? Choosing ignorance for yourself is bad enough. Choosing it for others, especially your children,and doing your best to ensure they stay ignorant is downright criminal.