Homeschooling Archives

Street Preaching = "Homophobic" Speech

At least in London it apparently is.

An American evangelist was arrested and jailed this week in London during the Wimbledon Championships while preaching about sexual immorality on the streets.

Sports Fan Outreach International, led by Bill Adams, has been hosting an evangelistic effort in England over the past week to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with attendees of the annual Wimbledon tennis tournament. Approximately a dozen or more men and women are on the streets preaching, distributing tracts and engaging in one-on-one conversation with spectators.

Tony Miano, a retired police officer who traveled to the UK with the team, states that he was preaching about sexual immorality from 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 on Monday when a woman became agitated by his message and began to curse.

“[I preached about] the fact that people are in sin and are violating God’s word and His law by engaging in immorality — both heterosexual immorality and homosexual immorality,” he explained.

Since he had included homosexuality in his sermon, the woman, who had gone into a nearby store and came out to find Miano still speaking, called the police to complain.

Moments later, officers arrived and notified Miano that he had allegedly violated Section 5 of the Public Order Act, which prohibits public language that is threatening or insulting.

They’ve also redefined "homophobic" as "what Christianity has believed about homosexuality for millennia." Speech code are coming to a church near you.

    Friday Link Wrap-up

    Hobby Lobby could be the next Chick-Fil-A. “Hobby Lobby Sues over HHS Mandate”

    Reverend William Owens from the Coalition Of African American Pastors in an interview with John Hawkins: “Again that’s the reason I took such a stand against President Obama. In every election, in every campaign where the marriage amendment has been on the ballot, blacks in large numbers have been against it and Americans have been against it. But he’s not interested in what the people want. He’s interested in what a few people who can give him big money want.”

    I don’t usually link to Sojourner’s “God’s Politics” blog for good examples of political opinion, but their non-political item — a discussion on the recent “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” discovery — is quite good. “Five Important Questions About That ‘Jesus Wife’ Discovery”

    “Antarctic sea ice set another record this past week, with the most amount of ice ever recorded on day 256 of the calendar year (September 12 of this leap year).” I blame global warming.

    UN Secretary General George Orwell Ban Ki Moon: “Freedoms of expression should be and must be guaranteed and protected, when they are used for common justice, common purpose,” Ban told a news conference. “When some people use this freedom of expression to provoke or humiliate some others’ values and beliefs, then this cannot be protected in such a way.”

    Bullying works. “The Christian-rooted fast food restaurant [Chick-filA] agreed to stop funding groups such as Focus on the Family that oppose same-sex marriage in a meeting with the Chicago politician who had been blocking the company’s move there.”

    And finally, competing mottos (from Chuck Asay, click for a larger version):

      Friday Link Wrap-up

      In Canada, strip searches from possession of a deadly … crayon.

      Also from the Great White North, government intrusion into homeschool, saying that Christian parents can’t teach a Biblical view of homosexuality. Freedom of religion is being chipped away slowly enough that most don’t see it.

      If Obama is some post-racial president, why is he launching "African Americans for Obama"?

      Medical "ethicists" are seriously arguing that post-birth newborns are "not persons" and can ethically be "aborted".

      With all the religious implications of Obama’s policies, you’d think he’d have kept around his faith-based council for advice. Nope, they’ve just faded away.

      Movie reviewers of the liberal persuasion are all for anti-war, anti-military or pro-environmental message movies, but that idea gets thrown out when they disapprove of the message. Suddenly, it’s "propaganda".

      Scofflaw Democrats. "The Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 further provides that if, for two years in a row, more than 45% of Medicare funding is coming from general revenues rather than Medicare taxes, the president must submit legislation to Congress to address the Medicare funding crisis. President Bush dutifully followed the law, but President Obama has ignored it for the last three years."

      Obama claims that we can’t drill our way out of the energy problem, and then, in the same speech, notes that domestic oil production is at it’s highest level in 8 years. Because we drilled! Can’t have it both ways, Mr. President, but the press will try to let you have it.

        Homeschooling: Not Just For the Religious Right

        While it’s never been solely a Christian-oriented movement, homeschooling is also rising with folks of a more liberal persuasion. Some of the reasons are different, but a surprising number are similar as well.

        Before getting to the specific homeschooling instance, in New Jersey, I wanted to point out this wonderful irony.

        According to federal Department of Education statistics nearly 2 million children in the U.S. are home-schooled. The number in New Jersey is estimated to be about 40,000.

        While supporters cite the studies suggesting home-schooled students do better on standardized tests, critics counter that these students are not held to the same standards as their peers in traditional schools.

        Um, guys, that’s the very reason many people homeschool, so they won’t be held to the same standards as public schools. We prefer higher ones. Hence the better test scores.

        On, then, to the main thrust of the story. Read the whole thing.

        There was a time when Heather Kirchner thought mothers who home-schooled their children were the types “who wore long skirts and praised Jesus, and all that.”

        But that was before the Sayreville resident decided to home-school her own daughter, Anya.

        Kirchner actually wears jeans, and like the two dozen other families that are part of the year-old Homeschool Village Co-op in Central Jersey, she doesn’t consider herself to be particularly religious.

        The co-op is one of dozens in the state formed by home-schooling parents looking to network and provide their children with opportunities to conduct science experiments, play sports and games, and socialize.

        What’s different about Homeschool Village is that its mission is secular.

        According to a 2007 survey conducted by the federal Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, 83.3 percent of home-schooling parents named “a desire to provide religious or moral instruction” as an important reason to home-school, and it was the most important for 35.8 percent of the parents.

        “We are the opposite of that,” said Vanessa Bowden, a former South Brunswick public school teacher who already is home-schooling her 2 year-old daughter and 4-year-old twins.

        In Bowden’s view, there are “two sects of home-schooling people” — the religious kind “and then the hippies,” like her.

          Friday Link Wrap-up

          Post-war (i.e. WWII) marginal tax rates (the top individual tax bracket) have fluctuated from above 90% to below 30%, but W. Kurt Hauser noted that, in 1993, the total tax revenue, as a percentage of GDP, stayed virtually constant. Really. The data has been updated to 2007 and the observation holds. You can’t soak the rich. Raise their rates, and GDP goes down to match, in addition to the tax shelters that suddenly become very popular. Social engineers who want to use the tax code to implement what they want ought to be very disturbed, if they even know about this.

          In terms of absolute dollars, federal revenues have tripled in the last 50 years (quadrupled if you consider the amount just before the recession). The problem is, federal spending has outpaced even that. Ed Morrissey has the charts to show that we don’t have a revenue problem.

          Homeschooling is such a success that liberals at the NEA, in the Dept. of Education and in Congress are "troubled" and "concerned" by it, and of course consider it racist. Yes, really.

          The pro-life cause continues to advance, recently in Ohio. And Americans United for Life has put out a scathing 181-page report on abuses and law-breaking at Planned Parenthood, and is taking it to Congress.

          Global warming seems to have stopped. Well, Scientific American says, "Blame Asia!"

          Obama, in prosecuting war, embraces his inner Dubya.

          Just like the press (and the anti-war movement) has gone very quiet about wars, old and new, being prosecuted by this President, the NY Time even notices that the press has been ignoring the poor during this recession. And they’re part of the press to blame for it! What a difference a Democratic President makes!

          Andres Oppenheimer says it best. "What Chavez has done in Venezuela over the last 12 years is nothing short of an economic miracle: Despite benefiting from the biggest oil boom in Venezuela’s history, he has somehow managed to turn the country into a shambles." Read the whole thing. It’s amazing to see truly how much money socialism can spend on people, only to make their lives worse.

          Comparing and contrasting the economic stimulus under Clinton (that got rejected) to the economic stimulus under Obama (which passed) and which was actually better for unemployment.

          If the debt ceiling is not raised by August, we would still have enough money coming in to not default on interest payments on the debt, and cover Social Security, Medicare, and "essential" defense. Don’t let Obama’s threat about withholding Grandma’s check scare you.

          The ban on circumcision that will be on the San Francisco ballot in November is rife with anti-Semitism. That’s just about all you need to know about it, but here’s more.

          And some more slipper slope for you. (Click for a larger image.)

            Friday Link Wrap-up

            Haven’t found much to expound upon this week, or perhaps my blogging muse took an extended (if you’ll pardon the expression) Christmas vacation.  But indeed, I still have been perusing the ‘net, and have found a few interesting links.

            If you’ve ever wondered why the ACLU seems to regularly side with organizations and issues that seem to oppose traditional American values, this collection of unearthed letters between the ACLU founder, Roger Baldwin and the American Communist Party should shed some light.  (Hat tip: Holy Coast)

            Y’know that phrase, "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it"?  Here’s you’re chance to learn from it.  If you want to find out how ObamaCare will turn out, just look at the broken promises and escalating costs of RomneyCare in Massachusetts.

            An impressive new invention from Germany; heat balls

            Chavez currently has dictatorial powers in Venezuela, and is currently in a stand-off with American diplomats.  So he wants the US to change the envoy to Caracas to one of his choice of useful idiots; Sean Penn, Oliver Stone or Bill Clinton.  Talk about gall.

            So many liberal blogs got this absolutely wrong, you wonder if poor civics or history classes in public school lead to liberalism.  Talking Points Memo illustrated this perfectly.  When reading the Constitution in the House chambers yesterday, Republicans read what amounted to the amended Constitution, skipping parts that were superseded by later amendments.  This included counting only 3/5ths of the slaves.  Evan McMorris-Santoro writes:

            It’s fairly likely that no elected politician wants to stand up and read aloud the Founder’s vision of African Americans as equaling three-fifths of a white person, so the GOP has decided to leave that part, and others, out when the Constitution is read today.

            This was no "vision" of discounting African-Americans.  In fact, the "Three-Fifths Compromise" did two things when it was written into the Constitution.  It gave us a "united" states, which would have been impossible if slave states would not agree to the new Constitution, and it kept slave states from gaining too many representatives in the House (by simply importing "constituents") to keep slavery from ever being abolished.  It was a compromise, not a "vision", and it paved the way for the abolition of slavery.  A good explanation is here.

            The federal debt is certainly cause for concern, but there’s also the problem of individual cities who have been financing all sorts of things with municipal bond debt.  This, too, has gotten out of control, leading us to another bailout-or-bankruptcy issue.

            And finally, the roll of homeschoolers has grown to 2 million, 4% of all school-aged children.  Thanks, public schools.  Couldn’t have done it without you.

              Friday Link Wrap-Up

              They check immigration status at traffic stops.  This can only be referring to those racists in … Rhode Island.  Do you think we’re likely to see a lawsuit from the Justice Department there?  Yea, me neither.  In fact, it’s already been upheld by the First Circuit Court of Appeals when a private citizen sued.  Yet the government is going after Arizona for this.  Can’t have anything to do with who each state voted for in the last election, right?

              "A federal district court judge in Boston today struck down the 1996 federal law that defines marriage as a union exclusively between a man and a woman."  I’ve read portions of the ruling, and I can actually see the judge’s point.  However, I think the 10th Amendment’s "equal protection" clause is being misused a bit to now refer to things like health benefits, which doesn’t really strike me as "protection" from a government’s viewpoint.  And Jack Balkin, a supporter of same-sex marriage incidentally, wonders (among other things) if liberals really want to go down this path with the 10th Amendment.  "As much as liberals might applaud the result, they should be aware that the logic of his arguments, taken seriously, would undermine the constitutionality of wide swaths of federal regulatory programs and seriously constrict federal regulatory power."

              The "biggest revolution in the NHS [Britain’s National Health System] for 60 years" is … giving doctors responsibility for overseeing patient care!  Yes folks, it took 60 years of socialized medicine for them to realize that.  Do you want to lose those 60 years of common sense here?

              Much of the media is saying that the report that was commissioned by the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia to investigate the ClimateGate document dump exonerated the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia.  Except there’s the issue of the biggest thing critics have been harping on; the "hide the decline" suggestion that inconvenient data has been reworked to be consistent with the conclusion already drawn.  Buried in the report is this gem:

              On the allegation that the references in a specific e-mail to a “trick” and to “hide the decline” in respect of a 1999 WMO report figure show evidence of intent to paint a misleading picture, we find that, given its subsequent iconic significance (not least the use of a similar figure in the IPCC Third Assessment Report), the figure supplied for the WMO Report was Misleading.

              Terry Miller explains:

              The researchers were not trying to hide evidence of a decline in global temperatures over the last decade—we have plenty of actual thermometer readings to show temperatures in recent years. What they were trying to hide was the discrepancy between actual temperature readings and the temperatures suggested by tree ring data. They have relied on tree ring data to show that the earth was cooler in the past. If the tree ring data is not reliable (as the discrepancy in recent years would suggest), then maybe the earth was actually hotter in the past than these researchers would have us believe—and perhaps the hot temperatures of recent years do not represent unprecedented global warming but just natural variation in climate.

              So the big issue that critics latched on to is, indeed, still a big issue.

                Friday Link Wrap-Up

                I may start doing this more often.  I collect links during the week, some I comment on here, and some just languish in Google Bookmarks.  Normally I’m going to save it all until the end of the week, but this installment will be a bit longer than others since I’ve got some aging links here that really want to see the light of day.  So here they are, usually, but not always, in reverse chronological order:

                Coattails?  What coattails?  "Some Democrats on the campaign trail have hit upon a winning campaign tactic: Run against President Obama and his agenda — especially the health care overhaul."

                Seeking asylum in the US for … homeschooling persecution?  "A German Christian family received asylum in Tennessee after being severely penalized for illegally homeschooling their children in Germany."  I’ve covered this particular situation before; here, here, here, here, here and here.

                California, parts of which are boycotting Arizona for it’s new immigration law, which just enforce existing federal law, should take a look at it’s own lawbooks first.  They might find something familiar.

                The economic meltdown in Greece should be a wake-up call to politicians of both parties in the US.  Otherwise, it may turn out to be, rather, a coming attraction.

                ObamaCare(tm) is predicted to increase the crowding in our hospitals’ emergency rooms.  "Some Democrats agree with this assessment. Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) suspects the fallout that occurred in Massachusetts’ emergency rooms could happen nationwide after health reform kicks in."  But he still voted for this snake oil anyway.

                "Economic Woes Threaten Chavez’s Socialist Vision"  Only on NPR would this be news.  For the rest of this, it’s a redundancy.

                Comedy Central stands on the bedrock of free speech and will mock anyone, just as long as there’s no chance of getting beheaded for it.  "The show in development, "JC," is a half-hour about Christ wanting to escape the shadow of his "powerful but apathetic father" and live a regular life in New York."

                Green energy falling by the wayside in Europe.  Seems the massive subsidies for this alleged cost-saving energy are too much for governments going through financial troubles.  Should we (will we) take note?

                  First Day of School

                  Growing up in the North, school never started until after Labor Day.  Living now in the South, it comes much earlier.  Today is the first day of school for most districts around metro Atlanta, and I have 2 in high school; one a freshman and one a junior.  For the freshman, it’s his first day of public school, and he’s looking forward to it.  All our kids have been home schooled through 8th grade.

                  One reason (of many) that we do this, relates to this article talking about Delaware schools.  It repeats a statistic that I’ve highlighted in the past, and think now is as good a time as any to repeat it.

                  Across the country, it was estimated in 2003 that nearly 10 percent of American students — or more than 4.5 million — were targets of sexual harassment or abuse by a public school employee between kindergarten and 12th grade, according to a study by former Hofstra University professor Charol Shakeshaft.

                  The study, commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education, said those numbers could be low because inappropriate behavior by educators is likely under-reported, Shakeshaft wrote.

                  Emphasis mine, as I emphasize them again.  Know your school district.  Home schooling is always an option.

                    Britain Clamping Down on Homeschooling

                    …and using the United Nations as the club.

                    British homeschoolers may no longer be able to teach independently. Children’s Secretary of Britain accepted a report in full last week that could change the face of homeschooling in Britain indefinitely. In the report, the author, Graham Badman, Chair of the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA), argues for an end to homeschool freedom.

                    "While it’s disgraceful that the British government would even entertain this report it’s particularly troubling for American parents because the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) was used as the justification for this action," said Michael Farris, Chairman of HSLDA and President of ParentalRights.org.

                    The Badman report uses Articles 12 and 29 of the UNCRC to justify registering the estimated 80,000 homeschooling families in Britain, forcing them to provide annual reports regarding their homeschool, granting government officials the right to enter the home and interview the children alone as well as reserving the choice of curriculum to the state.

                    HSLDA has been warning that the UNCRC could bring an end to homeschool freedom in the U.S., if the treaty was ever ratified by the U.S. Senate because Article VI of the U.S. Constitution says that treaties become the supreme law of the land.

                    OK, first I have to admit that I snickered a bit when I read the phrase "The Badman report".  But getting beyond that…

                    I’m wondering if the UNCRC says or implies that children can be used as witnesses against their parents without a lawyer present.  I mean, why would any government official be granted exclusive access to a homeschool child other than to find out what’s really going on?  Somehow, without all this invasiveness, homeschool children are, on the whole, doing better academically than their public-schooled peers.  Part of the reason people homeschool is precisely to avoid the problem with government-chosen one-size-fits-all curriculum.

                    Do people misuse the opportunity?  Indeed they do, but it is such a small minority that this is akin to burning down the forest to kill the mosquitoes.  Parents, on the whole, are doing just fine thankyouverymuch educating their own children.  (One wonders how we learned anything prior to the 19th century.)

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