Monday, November 22, 2004

Education and the Religious Right - an Oxymoron?

Let me make two confessions (heck, its my blog I'll do whatever I want). First off I am a home school parent. We home school through the local public school system because we want the public schools to get funding and we want them to succeed. We also want to teach our children science, like Evolution and we want to let our children read all kinds of books that Bush and Co. no doubt want banned. The second confession is that I had a distant relative who fought at the Alamo. A very, very, very distant relative named Colonel Travis.

Because we home school we get no end of literature from the good people at Religious Right incorporated. They must be really confused by us given that we are registered Democrats, ACLU members and subscribe to Sojourners magazine. We are also on mailing lists for Focus on the Family and the Republican Party (I think they took us off of this last one). We have a very clear idea of who we are though the religious right seems confused.

One item we get is a catalogue from the good people at "The Vision Forum." The Vision Forum sends out a catalogue every year with all kinds of interesting text books that you won't find in places like a Public Library, Public School or Public anything. The cover of this year's glossy offering from Vision Forum was titled, "A Line in the Sand" and featured a picture of a child dressed like colonel Travis of the Alamo holding a sword in one hand and a sign in the other that reads, "The Biblical Family Now and Forever." The Vision forum in based in San Antonio, Texas. Surprised?

Every year they offer a number of books on famous American heroes who were "Christian." In case you were wondering none of them fought for the North during the civil war. However, Robert E. Lee, a man who never beat his own slaves (he didn't own slaves but his wife did and he beat them to within an inch of their lives) was a worthy role model. Robert E. Lee may have used every means at his disposal to destroy the United States of America (treason?) and preserve the institution of slavery (just plain evil?) but he dressed nice and prayed like a good Evangelical so he's a role model. The other guy we get to learn about is Stonewall Jackson. Jackson had a similar relationship to slavery and the United States but, like Lee, Jackson loved Jesus. Of course, if these guys loved Jesus so much, how come they committed treason and whipped black people? I'm sure all of this is made clear if you buy the book and the recommended "Gods and Generals" video; $45 for both not including shipping.

Blog postings are supposed to be short so I will have to cover the rest catalogue in several postings. The Vision Forum catalogue used to make me mad, but now that I have a blog I realize just how much fun it really is!


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