Ah...how I wish I could have been homeschooled as a kid. Would have been nice to not have had to face the bullying... but on the other hand, if I hadn't been exposed to the evil that is people in grade school...how much more severe would the consequences have been if I hadn't discovered it until college or even after?
But, not coming from a religious household, and not having given much thought to it, I confess, I'd always assumed that's why parents wanted to homeschool their kids - to keep them away from the bullies, or to teach them at a quicker pace then schools did, which had to accomodate kids of all knowledge levels in one class room.
I suppose I must have heard that Christians home schooled their kids (and other faiths too, presumably) but I never gave much thought to it.
But today I picked up the magazine "The Old Schoolhouse: The Magazine for Homeschool Families," because I have an idea to write some science pamphlets and I'm looking for markets...
And I start paging through this quarterly magazine and yes, every article is permeated with Chistianity, quoting from the Bible, etc., etc.
Although there was an article in it I wasn't expecting to see: Alien Intrusion: UFOs and the Evolution Connection. Of course, the author, Gary Bates, believes the aliens and the UFOs are actually from God...
Of the 23 contributing writers to this issue (it's a thick issue), all are white, four are guys. I state these statistics only because it's one of the men who writes the article, "Who needs calculus?". Norman M. Birkett is prosletyzing for teaching students calculus...but one does wonder how many parents (ie the mom in the family) is actually qualified to teach calculus?
The rest of the articles are on reading and writing - the easy stuff.
Now, I have no problem with home schooling, as long as the kids are taught what they need to know (including the fact that all people, of whatever race, creed, color or religion are not to be trusted - something you learn if you go to a public school, heck, probably even a private school but not if you're sheltered in a home school!) but what I really found amusing were some of the ads, for materials teaching creationsism.
I'm an atheist. But I'm curius about the Bible and religion. I just can't understand how anyone in the 21st century, knowing everyhting we know, can believe in an omnipotent being - or, if there is such a being, that he's a "loving and merciful god." Jee-sus! Just look around you at what 2,000 years of religion has brought us to! "The Holy Land" of the Bible... probably the bloodiest stretch of land on earth, as Jews, Christians and Muslims have fought over it with implacable savagery for decades...all to bring greater glory to their god...
That's what I find fascinating and frightening...that people can look at a child born with encephaly (no brain), or spina bifida, and say, "God has sent us a gift, to teach us something." Or survivors from an Earthquake that has killed 20,000 people can say, "God has sent us a message, we'd better start believing in him and worshiping him."
Frankly, if there ever did come a time that I did believe in God, it would only be to reject him, totally and utterly, for the incompetent he so clearly is!
There's an example, that religious types use, when trying to convince atheists that of course there is a god. "You come across a watch, so intricately made, you know it must have had a creator."
And that's very true. But a watch is a mechanical construct...whereas life is organic.
And of course, here's the final argument from the atheistic point of view... If God created everything, who created God? If God could appear fully grown, with all his powers.... why couldn't life itself have evolved over billions of years?
Evolution is certainly more compelling than a "pop" and "OH, I'm God. All powerful. Now, I think I'll create some people to worship me."