Roy Exum: The Christians' Fault

Saturday, May 23, 2020 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

A Harvard Law professor, Elizabeth Bartholet, has clamored for the spotlight in recent weeks seeking to ban homeschooling. She claims there is little oversight for what homeschooled children are learning, that in many places the uneducated adults are not qualified to teach their children, and that with child abuse on the rise, the fact there are no “mandated reporters,” such as public school teachers, this abuse goes unchecked. But what catches the headline writer’s eye is the professor’s strong belief that it is “dangerous for parents to have total authoritarian control over their children,” and – get this – “expose them to extreme ideologies, such as Christianity.”

Suffice it to say Dr.

Bartholet never met my mother, or millions upon millions of other women from the Deep South who were first and foremost their child’s favorite teacher. The professor says homeschooling has become increasing popular due “to the growth in the conservative evangelical movement” and asserts, “Conservative Christians wanted the chance to bring their children up with their values and belief system and saw homeschooling as a way to escape from the secular education in public schools.”

Bartholet comes down hard in her outlandish view of conservative Christians, saying “some believe that black people are inferior to white people and others, that women should be subject to men and not educated for careers but instead raised to serve their fathers first, then their husbands.”

She’s right that public education has put God last. There is no prayer allowed in public schools, this despite the fact that anytime there is a catastrophic incident the very first thing everybody from the state governor to the State Patrol chief openly urges, “Bow your heads and let us pray.” This rankles parents who take their children to Sunday School, and the professor doesn’t seem to mention that in some schools where the majority of students cannot read at grade level, neither race nor Christianity has anything to do with the public school’s repeatedly dismal outcomes. Homeschooling has everything to do with the fact the only two things a parent can give a child are “an honorable last name and the best education humanly possible.” No one, not even a Harvard professor, can take either away once a child is grown.

So help me, I know tons of people, some who homeschool and some who are part of the 240 million Christians in the United States, and I give you my oath that such a stereotyped view is a bunch of cockamamie, instead the twisted view from some Ivy League liberal who I am thinking has troubled dreams on any given night and is … er, “unchurched.” But Bartholet forged on, saying “ideologues are dangerous to homeschooled children and society in general. The children may not have a chance to choose for themselves whether to exit these ideological communities; society may not have the chance to teach them values important to the larger community, such as tolerance of other people’s views and values.”

The law professor doesn’t explain where the children “who choose to exit these ideologues” are going to go, because it is impossible for minors to leave or get expelled from their homeschool, nor can she seem to grasp the value of the family setting, from Little League baseball to cutting an elderly widow’s grass. I can understand why, in quarantine, cases in child abuse may have risen but I’ll wager that among homeschooled children, that was not the case.

And let’s not forget that Prof. Bartholet spews her “free thought” and “outside-the-box” ideologies every day at Harvard.

* * *

CHRISTIANS RESPONSIBLE FOR LOCKDOWN PROTEST

Another freethinker from Harvard just blamed Christianity for the fact America came out of “house arrest” earlier than it should have and claimed following a Washington Post editorial, “Belief in an afterlife is a malignant delusion.” Harvard professor Steven Pinker is identified as a Canadian American cognitive psychologist, linguist, and popular science author. He is Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, and is known for his advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind.

That said, Prof. Tinker claims that a belief in the afterlife (heaven) “devalues actual lives and discourages action that would make (lives) longer, safer and happier. Exhibit A: What’s really behind Republicans wanting a swifter reopening? Evangelicals.” he tweeted.

In other words, the Christians’ focus on heaven makes Christians care less about the coronavirus. Tinker’s remarks were in support of an op-ed article written by Gary Abernathy that presented the author’s belief that the anti-lockdown protests were animated by more than simply the partisan support for President Donald Trump, but that the focus on the afterlife made Christians care less about the virus.

“Christian fundamentalism is often fatalistic. As far as many evangelicals are concerned, life passes quickly, suffering is temporary and worrying solves nothing. That's not a view that comports well with long stretches of earthly time spent waiting out business closures or stay-at-home orders,” Abernathy wrote. “It should be no surprise that a person's deepest beliefs about the world influence how they measure the risks they're willing to take.

Abernathy further surmised, "when ruminating over why there are millions of people who don't seem to panic over a global pandemic or other life-threatening events, critics should remember that, right or wrong, it often involves a belief in something even bigger than people named Trump, Hannity or Limbaugh."

Reaction to such thought was swift and sure. Ben Shapiro, who in fact is Jewish, wrote: “So if I believe that my actions don't merely matter here on earth but in eternity, my actions are somehow devalued? Also, please explain why my synagogue shut down before any governmental orders to do so if we don't care about actual life. Ridiculous on its face."

"Religious people live longer on average, report higher happiness and have more children. But Pinker believes in SCIENCE!" wrote Michael Brendan Dougherty of National Review, while actress/activist Kirstie Alley came out swinging: "More proof of why godless Psyches are destroying the planet ... you cats are the ‘malignancy’ who have been trying to turn us into 'brains' instead of spiritual beings for centuries .. your gifts to man are ETC, drugs, lobotomy and lock up. I'll take my chances with God," she stated quite boldly.

"Christopher Hitchens once described this pompous Harvard pedant as 'educated beyond his intelligence.' Pinker here proves Hitchens right. People want to get back to their jobs, their friends, their life, but Pinker insists their real motive is 'belief in an afterlife,'" said Dinesh D'Souza.

"Word of advice: If something makes logical sense to you but doesn't play out in reality then the problem is in your head," added Catholic comedian Jeremy McLellan.

* * *

Summation: Parents – don’t send your kids to Harvard.

royexum@aol.com


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