Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Homeschool Movement: Its Reconstructionist Roots and Rushdoony's Influence

"We are authorized by God to challenge all that is not godly!" Rushdoony thundered. "God is angry with the wicked every day, and the sins of the wicked deserve the infliction of God's wrath in this life as well as the life hereafter!"  Rushdoony

I know the title of this post seems dry and boring.  If spiritual abuse is a concern of yours, I encourage you to take the time to read this post carefully.  Check out the links and do some research on your own.  The information I have found has compelled me to keep blogging, to keep telling my story, and to keep sharing the stories of others.  I am just a little worked up on this topic.  

There is much more to homeschooling than just educating children.  There is much more to patriarchy and courtship than fathers being heads of home and parents involved in the process of finding mates for their adult children.  You must know that there is an agenda going on.  This agenda ties these practices together.  I thought I was homeschooling my children because I could do a better job than the local public school system.  I thought I was homeschooling my children so I could include Bible in their education and also protect them from negative worldly influences. That was pretty much my agenda.  But that was not the agenda of the people I looked up to - the leaders in the homeschooling community.  We looked to the leaders because they knew what they were doing and could help guide us on our foreign path.  But there was an underlying agenda that I didn't know about, that they did not disclose.  It was there all along, but it's not so obvious.  I want to expose that NOW! 

Many of you know that this blog started with the intent to share about my family's experience at a spiritually abusive church.  There has been much heartache in that experience and then 3-1/2 years later, it continued as my former pastor filed a defamation lawsuit against me and 4 others (and lost) this past summer.  I have seen the impact on my family and have done a lot of soul searching:  what led us to that church?  who influenced my life as a Christian?  who influenced my life as a mother?  who influenced my life as I ventured into homeschooling my children?  As I researched my primary influencers, I found a common thread of destructive ideologies within the homeschooling movement.  

My first article on the homeschooling movement opened up a whole can of worms on a culture that I have been a part of for the last 20 years or so.  Some of these teachings (courtship, modesty/purity, full-quiver) have infiltrated churches and families who do not teach their children at home.  It is a powerful movement and I caught on to the movement without realizing I was part of it.  I embraced certain aspects of it, brought those aspects that I agreed with to my churches.   As we moved around the country (my husband was in the Navy), I shared these aspects with my friends and friends shared the aspects they learned with me, etc.  That is how this movement spreads.  It can be one particular teaching or many, but they all intertwine, feeding the agenda.

It is important to have knowledge of this movement because even if you have no desire to homeschool your children or maybe you are single or empty-nesters, this movement spreads to churches in some way or other and as we have seen with courtship, patriarchy, and other teachings, some of the teachings leave a devastating path with emotional and spiritual turmoil.  

The other night I read an article about Michael Farris that got me worked up. Mike Farris is known as one of the key pillars of the homeschool movement.  I wanted to share my thoughts on a situation regarding Michael Farris, but realized without sharing more background information, you wouldn't get the full picture.  So, please allow me to do that now.  

Before Michael Farris was a pillar in the homeschool community, there was another very prominent figure, Rousas John Rushdoony (1916-2001).  I believe Rushdoony set the trajectory for the homeschooling movement.  Although Rushdoony died in 2001, he established the basis of the movement long before.  These roots are in Christian Reconstructionism.   

I found this article which described Christian Reconstructionism very well.  As you read the variety of quoted materials included in the post, I encourage you to keep in mind how the ideas of patriarchy, courtship, full-quiver tie in with this belief system.

What is Reconstructionism?
Reconstructionism is a theology that arose out of conservative Presbyterianism (Reformed and Orthodox), which proposes that contemporary application of the laws of Old Testament Israel, or "Biblical Law," is the basis for reconstructing society toward the Kingdom of God on earth.
Reconstructionism argues that the Bible is to be the governing text for all areas of life--such as government, education, law, and the arts, not merely "social" or "moral" issues like pornography, homosexuality, and abortion. Reconstructionists have formulated a "Biblical world view" and "Biblical principles" by which to examine contemporary matters. Reconstructionist theologian David Chilton succinctly describes this view: "The Christian goal for the world is the universal development of Biblical theocratic republics, in which every area of life is redeemed and placed under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the rule of God's law."

More broadly, Reconstructionists believe that there are three main areas of governance: family government, church government, and civil government. Under God's covenant, the nuclear family is the basic unit. The husband is the head of the family, and wife and children are "in submission" to him. In turn, the husband "submits" to Jesus and to God's laws as detailed in the Old Testament. The church has its own ecclesiastical structure and governance. Civil government exists to implement God's laws. All three institutions are under Biblical Law, the implementation of which is called "theonomy."


Let's learn a little about Rushdoony.  This is from Wikipedia:

Rousas John Rushdoony (April 25, 1916 – February 8, 2001) was a Calvinist philosopherhistorian, andtheologian and is widely credited as the father of Christian Reconstructionism and an inspiration for the modern Christian homeschool movement.[1][2] His followers and critics have argued that his thought exerts considerable influence on the Christian right.[3] (Source)

I was glad to find this video on Rushdoony and his Reconstructionist beliefs. It is an interview with Bill Moyers of PBS and is very good.  It's still difficult for me to wrap the idea around my head that part of this belief system is to bring the Old Testament laws into modern times; ie, death penalty for those who commit adultery, death penalty for homosexuals, etc.  

Christian Reconstructionism in a Nutshell from Bruce Prescott on Vimeo.

This quote describes how Rushdoony took his Reconstructionist views and made a case for educating children at home and thus became known as the "father of the homeschool movement" by many:

Key to this strategy was the homeschooling movement.  Education, Rushdoony realized early on, was the best way to distribute his message. To that end, he wrote multiple books on the history of American education, charting its transformation from one-room schoolhouses and parochial schools to urban institutions. These books became guideposts for Christians who believed that public schools were indoctrinating their kids in the false faith of secular humanism. McVicar, the Ohio State scholar, says, “Rushdoony understood that if he changed the way Christians educated their children, he could change the way they thought.” (Source - ja note:  this article goes on to discuss current people in politics influenced by Rushdoony's ideologies  - very interesting article)

The homeschool movement is comprised of specific teachings/beliefs.  These teachings come from various groups or individuals who share the common thread of homeschooling.  These groups work independently and may have different focuses, are in different locations, but again, the foundational agenda can be found in Reconstructionist roots.

Interestingly, I had the above paragraph typed up a couple days ago and a few minutes ago I read an article by Frederick Clarkson originally published in June 1994 about this Reconstructionist "movement" and how it has spread over the years:

A Movement of Ideas
As a movement primarily of ideas, Reconstructionism has no single denominational or institutional home. Nor is it totally defined by a single charismatic leader, nor even a single text. Rather, it is defined by a small group of scholars who are identified with Reformed or Orthodox Presbyterianism. The movement networks primarily through magazines, conferences, publishing houses, think tanks, and bookstores. As a matter of strategy, it is a self-consciously decentralized and publicity-shy movement.

This is exactly what I have seen happening in the homeschool movement and why it is so hard to pin down because it is not localized in one church, one denomination, or organization.  Both the Reconstructionist and homeschool movements are so invasive and have spread the same way.  You or people you know may be part of either the Reconstructionist movement or the homeschool movement and have adopted ideologies without even realizing it.  I realized through my research that I furthered the homeschool movement by sharing books, CDs, talking to my friends about my new-found ideas.  I had been a part of it all along endorsing it and spreading it quite convincingly among my friends and church acquaintances.  

Here's a little more on Rushdoony.  In 1965 he founded the non-profit organization called Chalcedon Foundation to promote the Reconstructionism.  Read Chalcedon's vision statement here.  

Here's a brief summary from Wikipedia:

The Chalcedon Foundation is an American Christian Reconstructionist organization founded by Rousas John Rushdoony in 1965. Named for the Council of Chalcedon,[2] it has also included theologians such as Gary North, who later founded his own organization, the Institute for Christian Economics.
The Chalcedon Foundation provides educational material in the form of books, newsletter reports and various electronic media, toward advancing the theological teachings of Rushdoony's Christian Reconstructionism movement. It is notable for its role in the influence of Christianity on politics in the U.S.[3] and has been described as "a think tank of the Religious Right.[4] Rushdoony's son, Mark now heads the foundation.
The Chalcedon Foundation has been listed as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Centerfor, among other reasons, supporting the death penalty for homosexuals.[5]

We can see in the above summary that this Reconstructionist organization has infiltrated the education systems and politics in America with their Reconstructionist agenda.  

Here are more articles I found interesting in researching this topic:

Invitation to a Stoning

Chalcedon Foundation Leads Christian Reconstructionists in Campaign to Convert Conservative Fundamentalist Churches

His Truth is Marching On

When we think of spiritual abuse, we think of it in the confines of a church.  The homeschool movement is different because it has no confines - it is scattered all over the country, people can become as involved as they want in various groups, but what I've noticed is that there are behavioral characteristics used by those in the homeschool movement which are similar to behavior used by spiritually abusive church leaders.  There are different dynamics, but the end results can be the same.  This is why I keep sharing personal stories about these topics here.  


  1. Julie Anne,

    I spent a number of years reading Rushdoony and keeping up with his reconstruction movement. I've known a good number of people in that movement or who have come out. I'm no longer associated with it for a variety of reasons. One thing I would say is that Rushdoony was a very complex thinker, and his views are often misunderstood, either for good or bad. Be careful what you hear about him. I don't agree with everything of his I read, as half of it I didn't even understand. ;)

    He did pave the way for the current homeschool movement, and again either for good or bad, he took seriously Jesus' words about being wise as serpents and harmless as doves, which is why you adopted ideas without even realizing it. Clever dude, dude.

    1. That is what is scary about the movement, Steve - you adopt ideas without realizing it - which is what I did! His son-in-law, Gary North, (another dude I have major issues with and I may share my story about him some day) said he read one book a day most of his life and underlined key phrases and kept notes at the back of each book so he could refer back to the notes. That's a lot of reading!

    2. good to see ja’blog most alive and well!

      I remember reading North and other Christian Reconstructionists (Kingdom Now and Dominionist) books some twenty years ago. I realized then this theonomy was a seriously dangerous ideology, but I never thought it would get such traction. But ol' Rushdoony was a keen and patient strategist, right? Seems Rushdoony and company has since taken some significant ground in the church, in government, and especially in the military. You know—“the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force.” They believe the church militant to be empowered to forcibly bring in the kingdom of God, to legislate morality and execute the wrath of God upon all unrighteousness.

      I’m convinced that this reconstructionism is the most dangerous form of Christian Fundamentalism the Devil has yet to concoct! And, btw, doesn’t Rushdoony look a little bit like Mephistopheles in that image above? Let me underscore the Satanic in this movement.

      "We are authorized by God to challenge all that is not godly!" Mark Rushdoony thundered. "God is angry with the wicked every day, and the sins of the wicked deserve the infliction of God's wrath in this life as well as the life hereafter!"

      "To oppose us is to attack God's law," Mark Rushdoony testified... "and to attack God's law is to attack God himself!"

      Wow, they have set themselves up to be in the position of God Himself. Even the grand interpreter and executer of God’s law—that is, the Mosaic law—a law we new covenant believers are not under. “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law” (Galations 5:18).

      Just as legalistic, fundamentalist families and churches and schools are sick and abusive and so utterly unchristlike, so would be a theocratic state of their ideological dreams. It would be one of the cruelest weapons the god of this world, our Adversary, would have in hand as he prevails against the saints to kill them.

      And, yes, the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against the ungodly and unrighteous, but the "anger of man does not produce the required righteousness of God" (James 1:20). Concerning the wrath of God, He said, "Leave it to me, I will repay." (Romans 12:19).

      Good stuff, Julie Anne, thank you.

      book of note: The Family—the secret fundamentalism at the heart of american power by Jeff Sharlet (2008)

    3. David - Great to "see" you. I hope you've been well.

      You nailed it - they set themselves up in positions of authority. These are men with power trips which can easily cross the line into abuse. I've got more stories of how it is infiltrating the homeschool movement. Put on your seatbelt.

    4. Julie Anne,

      Nice article. Very informative.

      Reconstructionists (Kingdom Now and Dominionist) is very much a part of the belief or teaching that we as Christian are supposed prepare the Kingdom on earth for Jesus. You can get more information on this through the Christain Research Institute. While working there, I remember CRI putting out a lot information on this teaching. Really interesting reading your article as I didn't know how it permeated the home schooling environment as well.

    5. Thanks, Linda. Yes, Rushdoony was smart to focus on homeschoolers. People who homeschool are taking a more difficult path. They are risk takers. It makes sense that these philosophies would catch on because homeschoolers can be a little radical. Stay tuned. I'll show how reconstructionists are at work trying to infiltrate the world.

    6. hey ja! even though i’ve been away i’ve been in the habit of praying for you and your family often. i’m happy to see your little light here shining still ever so brightly. i’m rested, well and ready to start engaging more directly in the battle against spiritual abuse and legalistic fundamentalism. i've got my belt of truth on along with the rest of my armor of light.

    7. Thank you, David. I appreciate the prayers. Looking forward to hearing more from you!

    8. David,

      You stated, "They believe the church militant to be empowered to forcibly bring in the kingdom of God, to legislate morality and execute the wrath of God upon all unrighteousness."

      See my post on traditionalist Catholicism below. This is precisely what many traditionalists believe the church militant to be, to the point of wanting to bring back inquisitions and the like. And yet, Christ tells Peter to put his sword back in his scabbard, and in another place, we read that that men are to turn their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.

    9. The goal of the Theonomists/Reconstructionists is Handmaid's Tale for real, "Just like the Islamic Republic of Iran, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!"

      "They believe the church militant to be empowered to forcibly bring in the kingdom of God, to legislate morality and execute the wrath of God upon all unrighteousness."

      In one word: SHARI'A.

    10. Matthias, although my understanding of the Catholic side of things is minimal I do appreciate what you write here:

      I would have to say that the basic, guiding principles in the Reconstructionist movement are definitely active within traditionalist Catholicism, and many of the practical means to achieve the stated goals are even strikingly similar if not identical. Obviously, traditionalists and Rushdoony would butt heads over Reformed theology. But I for one am not surprised at the "unholy alliances" that some are willing to make just to advance their own agenda. As the Reconstructionist movement is not only a theological but also a political agenda, the saying "politics makes for strange bedfellows" seems quite applicable.

      So as I see it, one of the common guiding principles embraced by the militant elements in both the Protestant and Catholic camps is a desire to consolidate all power and control over every aspect of human life to the absolute rule of the “Church.” Of course, anyone who does not line up and submit as directed will be executed.

      Yes, HUG, these are all (highly religious) fascist systems—from the so called “christian” theonomy à la Rushdoony, the Roman military religious orders like the Jesuits and the Knights of Malta—to the Islamofascism gaining critical momentum in the Muslim world—all principally totalitarian and satanic to the core.

      This weekend when I was reading Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics in his section where he discusses the true and false marks of the church—Bavinck wrote of “the error of Rome” as they identify the hierarchical structure of their institutional apparatus requiring (no less than) absolute “submission to the pope [as] constitut[ing] the [true] essence of the church” (p600, 2011 Bolt ed), When I read this on Saturday I remembered a certain connection I made this Summer between the militant (and adversarial) in both the reformed and catholic camps.

      There’s a seminary professor here in Pittsburgh who—as related to me from several sources—has been committing a crushing form of spiritual abuse in the name of “Biblical Counseling.” The professor seems graceless, and the school legalistic and fundamentalist. Actually, he heads up the Biblical Counseling Institute at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary [note: RPTS website hosts reconstructionist writings.]

      Well, this Summer I listened to one of his online teachings where he went on about how it’s the Elders who have been given “The Keys of the Kingdom.” Now what do you suppose he means by this? Here's the connection I made: Ok, I get it! Just like the Jesuits who possess the “Keys of the Kingdom”, that is, they’re Adepts at a diabolical form of programming [Keys of the Kingdom is reportedly a Jesuit mind control phrase] so too are You Ministers of Righteousness programmers and handlers of mind control slaves.

      I got the sincere impression that this professor is teaching (the Roman doctrine) that the Elders (overseers) of the church exclusively possess the keys of power and control over the church. Honestly, I see these reconstructionist wolves in the same dark light as the Jesuits. That’s the connection I made. This reformed presbyterian professor I believe is teaching that Elders possess exclusive and (and apparently infallible, again, "the error of Rome") Spiritual Authority over the church (actually their dominion projects over the whole earth). This, of course, would be a false teaching, and make him a FALSE TEACHER, right?

    11. btw, Charismatic False Prophet Rick Joyner of Morningstar Ministries [Todd Bentley, anyone?] is in the order of the Knights of Malta.

      also, btw, “morning star” in the Scriptures refer to at least two different personal beings. One “morning star” reference is to Jesus Christ in Revelation 22:16, and the other is to our Adversary in Isaiah 14:12. (might the name of this ministry be a double entendre for the initiates?)

    12. Julie Anne: You mentioned "His son-in-law, Gary North, (another dude I have major issues with and I may share my story about him some day."

      Hope you share your story about Gary North - I am very interested.
      I remember hearing about Gary North and Rushdoony in the 1980's, but didn't know North was involved with home schooling.

    13. NAR - I'm not sure how much involvement he had with homeschooling, but homeschoolers connected with him during the Y2K hype.

    14. Ah, yes, Y2K - we were just reminiscing about that the other day. Many Christians looked to different leaders for advice. That was an interesting time.

    15. Headless Unicorn GuyDecember 11, 2012 at 9:15 AM

      Monax: Very long-winded. Invoking the spectre of the Jesuits, Jesuits, Jesuits. Errors of Rome, etc.

      Welcome to Christian Conspiracy Crackhead Land. NO POPERY(TM)!

  2. Fascinating post. I won't tell you how I happened upon your site...let's just say that one link led to another, in typical Internet-browsing fashion!

    We are homeschooling parents, but we are not part of the "homeschooling movement" you describe, so it's hard to relate. For one thing, we are (gasp! horrors!) Catholics. For another thing, we never joined any local homeschooling fellowship or support group. (That was partly because their meetings were always so dang inconvenient!) We pretty much developed our own curriculum, although we started out with a Catholic homeschooling book which gave some guidance and text recommendations. (My husband still owned a lot of the books he'd used during his own years in Catholic parochial schools--including the famous Faith and Freedom Readers, a sort of Catholic Dick and Jane--so we were ahead of the game.)

    Here is the most atypical part, though: My husband did the homeschooling. An ex-teacher, he holds a PhD from Harvard in (Byzantine) history, and he reaaallllly knows how to teach. I don't. I work outside the home as an advertising hackette (hope to retire in a few years). I guess this fact alone would qualify us as Totally Depraved in Rushdoony's book, even if we weren't Catholic!

    We homeschooled for both religious and academic reasons. My kids learned Latin and Greek, among other things. Our older son is now on a near-full-ride National Merit Scholarship in the Honors College at the University of Alabama. Younger son is in the process of taking his SATs. Both kids have had their ups and downs, and there have been times when we have questioned whether we made the right decisions -- maybe we should have become more involved in homeschooling support groups; maybe we should have encouraged sports involvement -- but, by and large, our sons are happy, and I think homeschooling has turned out well for us.

    No one at our parish ever pressured us in ANY way, either to homeschool or to NOT homeschool. I know many evangelicals believe that we Catholics are thralls of the Pope, with chips planted in the backs of our necks to receive signals from the Vatican directing our every move, but in fact Catholicism is very freeing and empowering...our pastor would never remotely dream of interfering in our lives the way control-freaky cult pastors do. In fact, I doubt that our current pastor even knows that we homeschool, lol. (He's young and new to our parish.)

    Anyway, I write all of this simply to beg you not to tar all homeschoolers. Homeschooling is actually very diverse; it's not all a bunch of Reconstructionist Clones. Heck, there are New Agey homeschoolers, too, from what I understand.

    I am so sorry that your experience has been negative. Ours has been largely positive, although we probably would do a few things differently if we had it to do over again. But isn't that true of parenting in general? ;)

    God bless!


    1. Hi Diane:

      Thanks for stumbling across the blog. I know how that goes very well :)

      I loved reading your comment for a number of reasons. I love hearing about other family's homeschool experiences. I think after reading your comment that I do need to put a disclaimer that I am speaking specifically about the homeschool "movement". That really is important. This is a fringe movement, sometimes you can get caught into it in phases. The actual homeschooling/educational aspect overall has been wonderful - it's the extra influences we picked up along the way that I am highlighting. I love thinking back to the days when we lived on the East Coast and studied Early American History. Being originally from the West Coast, I got a "bee in my bonnet", packed up the kids and took them on an extended trip stopping off at historical sites from VA, up through the New England States, and back home again. It was a 3-wk trip - with just my (then) 4 kids and me. You can do that that as a homeschooler, but not very well in traditional schools. I am completely pro-homeschooling. We have had a lot of positive experiences. On my blog I point out influences that could lead to problems and sometimes contribute to spiritual difficulties, so that is why you see the negative focus.

      A little background on me, my dad was Baptist and mom was raised Catholic. Yes, crazy. So we actually went back and forth for a while and my last years at home I was Catholic and graduated from a Catholic HS. We got married in the church with a Catholic priest officiating and Protestant pastor saying the "homily" (sermon) - speaking 2 lingos there (lol). Our wedding was the last time I've attended Mass except maybe for a wedding/funeral. So anyway, I was connecting with you through your whole comment as a former Catholic.

      As a Catholic, you probably would have felt like an outsider if you attended most Protestant homeschool groups. A secular group would have welcomed you. I am not too familiar with Catholic homeschoolers, but there is also a fringe group there as well. My high school friend's sister is involved in it - and it is a "fringe" Catholicism. Some of it resembles the Protestant counterpart: dresses only, full-quiver, etc, but of course they could not have the Reconstructionist aspect, tand hey are into the all-Latin Masses, etc. It seems you can find extremes with most groups.

      I can't imagine a priest concerning himself with such matters, frankly. All the priests I grew up wouldn't have cared whatsoever. I cracked up at your chip-planting comment - ha! I think that some Protestants might think along those lines about Catholics. And your totally depraved comment also cracked me up- you are right - that alone would have done it. How dare you work outside the home!

      Your kids sound like they had a very rich and thorough education being homeschooled. Congratulations to you and your husband on that! What a gift you gave them!

    2. The de facto definition of "Fringe Catholic" is "Tridentine Latin Mass Uber Alles", to the point of not acknowledging any Pope after Pius XII as legitimate. Extra points for "Mary Channeling" (the characteristically Catholic way to flake out) and "Three Days of Darkness" end-of-the-world choreography.

      However, this lunatic fringe is much smaller in Catholicism compared to Evangelicalism, where the lack of central authority and institutional memory often results in "the lunatic fringe running the asylum".

    3. Very interesting, HUG. I had forgotten about those groups of Catholics who refuse to acknowledge modern popes. The Mary obsession brings a whole new slant to the picture. She wasn't always as venerated as she is today.

    4. Headless Unicorn GuyDecember 10, 2012 at 2:01 PM

      When Evangelicals flake out, it's usually some form of Pin-the-Tail-on-The-Antichrist.

      When Catholics flake out, it's usually some form of Mary Channeling. Makes me wish St Mary would appear to some of these visionary fanboys and slap some sense into them.

  3. Oops, just saw that I wasn't supposed to comment as Anonymous. So sorry!! I always have trouble with my Google fact, I usually prefer to post via Facebook. FWIW, my name is Diane Kamer, and the post just above is by moi. :)

    1. Eh - no problem, Diane - I put the disclaimer in there because if there is any back and forth dialogue, it's difficult to differentiate who is who. :)

  4. We spent a year homeschooling our son, actually, my mother did in 8th grade. We had a horrid experience one year in Junior High and my Mother who is a retired teacher with a grades 1-8 self-contained certificate.
    We left the district and moved to another district and our son flourished. He was better prepared for high school than his other classmates, and became more of a social animal. Was elected band captain, played on the golf team, went to state in academic contests. He too went college on an academic scholarship. ( He graduated summa cun laude. )
    Am all against public schools? (I retired teaching 12th grade public high school government/economics.) No, but for some kids, homeschool might be the right choice for a time period....and trust me, we taught our homeschool nothing like the so called religious ones. He was being taught analytically geometry in the 8th grade. He was taught Latin, he got private piano lessons after school.
    But for high school. He was in a real school. He needed a chemistry and a physics teacher, a calculus teacher, he needed social skills.

    1. I think you can have positive and negative experiences with both traditional schools and homeschools. It sounds like you made common sense choices based on your experiences so that your son could thrive educationally. Good for you.

      One of the aspects of the Reconstructionist movement is that all should be homeschooled. There was a concerted effort to undermine the structure of the educational system so that the norm would be home education. I have problems with people who force others into their agenda - big-time problems.

    2. Headless Unicorn GuyDecember 11, 2012 at 9:11 AM

      "All should be homeschooled" so they will NEVER be exposed to anything on the Outside, anything but The Party Line.

    3. HUG, my next post ties in beautifully with your 9:11 comment.

  5. Once again, I am so glad that I am ignorant to such things. I've been homeschooling for 10 years now and this is the first I've heard of Rushdoony. However, I'm pretty sure I understand the influence as I've heard some of the rhetoric of the Oregon Christian homeschool association.

    1. Kathi - - You nailed it - - - after Rushdoony came people like Gregg Harris (he's in Portland, you familiar with him?), Michael Farris, etc.. Gregg Harris is largely responsible for getting states to have a Christian homeschool group to coordinate homeschool conventions. Gregg Harris has been a speaker at Christian homeschooling conventions for years. We saw him when Hannah was 6 years old (20 yrs ago) and we were living in Maine. We then saw him several times in VA. It's funny, when we moved back to OR, people didn't know where he was, but outside of Oregon, he is very well-known pillar in the homeschool movement. So much of the rhetoric comes from those Christian homeschooling associations. It's important to look at who those leaders are and what they represent.

      BTW - Gregg Harris is Josh Harris' dad. Josh Harris is pastor of Covenant Life Church, a Sovereign Grace Ministries church I have posted about. SGM families are predominantly homeschooling families.

    2. Yes, I'm aware of the Harris family, however, I've never heard them speak or have read any of their books. Are you aware of Greg Harris' involvement in this situation?

      TWW has covered it before. The church that this family was involved with was a part of Harris' family of churches. According to the family, Harris advised the church to not pursue charges against a young man who sexually molested the family's daughter.

    3. Kathi - Yes, I am familiar with that story. Dee of Wartburg blog got me in touch with the mom shortly before they published the story because she knew I had a similar background and a connection with HOFCC. Dee did not know that I knew some of the elders who came from Portland HOFCC to intervene in the situation. That story is probably the worst case of abuse I have seen (abuse by perpetrator and abuse/abandonment/cover-up by church leaders). I cry when I read a lot of abuse stories. This story, I sobbed. I remained in a funk for days. It's one thing for a child to be sexually abused by someone, but the behavior of the elders and the church appalled me and still gets me furious. Reading stories like that makes me continue blogging. This abuse must stop.

  6. Julie Anne,

    Further researching Rushdoony will part of my activities this afternoon.

    Moving onto Diane's comments, I'm glad that homeschooling has been successful for her, minus much of the baggage that you wrote about. Not knowing Diane's theological or liturgical leanings within the Catholic spectrum, I must add that the further one moves into "conservative" or "traditionalist" Catholicism, the more re-constructionist tendencies will be apparent, moving even beyond the goals of Rushdoony. I have met more than my share of "traditionalist" Catholics who seem to believe their primary duty as husband and wife is to bring as many children into the world as humanly possible so that 1) They can make up for the Catholics not having children and 2) faithful Catholics can out-populate the Protestants in America and Muslims internationally. Some of the most extreme individuals I have encountered would even like to see inquisitions for non-Catholics brought back so that our country and world (through theocratic or monarchical government) might once again be "purified." The "Homeschooling" and "Quiverful" culture fit in perfectly with this vision, often under the umbrella of the old (pre 1970's) Latin liturgy.

    To be certain, I'm not against large families, homeschooling, or (if you are Catholic) Mass in Latin. It's the culture and baggage that go along with it that is often the most disturbing.

    1. Matthias - I agree with pretty much everything you've said. I don't think Catholics will embrace Reconstructionist theology, but ultra conservative Catholics may follow some of their practices, as you mentioned full-quiver.

      I think one day I'm going to share my full-quiver story and how it has affected my family. We have 7 children and that is a large family compared most, but we if we followed the full-quiver practices, I'm sure we would have had 20 kids.

      I think people miss the boat when they tend to focus so strongly on rules

    2. Julie Anne,

      I would have to say that the basic, guiding principles in the Reconstructionist movement are definitely active within traditionalist Catholicism, and many of the practical means to achieve the stated goals are even strikingly similar if not identical. Obviously, traditionalists and Rushdoony would butt heads over Reformed theology. But I for one am not surprised at the "unholy alliances" that some are willing to make just to advance their own agenda. As the Reconstructionist movement is not only a theological but also a political agenda, the saying "politics makes for strange bedfellows" seems quite applicable.

    3. Also wanted to add in response to your reply, that philosophically there's a huge difference between spacing children using "natural methods", letting God plan one's family size, and using "natural methods" to ensure that nearly every marital act is a fruitful one.

      I have little problem with the first two, I have a very big problem the last one.

    4. Matthias: Re; 5:37 comment: I don't doubt that whatsoever. I never saw it when I was Catholic, but I was young and my mind was probably consumed with my social life ;)

      Re: 5:45 comment: Something struck me funny about your "to ensure that nearly every act is a fruitful one". husband to wife (or other way around): hey, honey, let's go make sure our act is fruitful :) Darn, I wish I would have thought of that line!

      I had to play mind games when I was influenced with the full-quiver mindset. I think I really need to do a post on this because it really tweaked me out. This full-quiver thing is huge in some circles. I have several friends/couples who have had vasectomies/tubes tied and then get reversals after being "convicted" of the full-quiver mindset and then go back and have another vasectomy/tubes tied because of changing their minds again. Seriously!

    5. Reconstructionism plus Quiverfull equals Outbreeed The Heathen.

      "We conquer the lands of the Franks! Our wombs shall be our weapons!!!!"
      -- attr to Extreme Euro-Mullah

    6. HUG - - I never thought of my womb as a weapon. I had huge babies and sometimes I wondered what in the world was going on in there. Thanks, now it's all becoming very clear - haha!

    7. Headless Unicorn GuyDecember 10, 2012 at 1:59 PM

      Problem is, Julie Anne, to both the Reconstructionist/Patrios and those Extreme Mullahs, a woman is nothing more than a weapon to use, a womb to breed more (male) soldiers for the Great Jihad. Outbreed the Heathen and Overwhelm them with sheer numbers.

      Like I've said, when Christianity goes sour it curdles into something resembling Islam.

    8. I do get your point, HUG - this is the culture where women are objects. hmmm.

    9. Rereading my above comments, I just got a flash of the first Lord of the Rings movie -- when you first see Saruman breeding the Uruk-Hai in the spawning pits beneath Isengard. Spawning pits for living weapons.

  7. A couple more thoughts. Many in the reconstructionist movement (fondly known as "recons") are homeschool only. Not only do many see public - er, I mean government - schools as inherently idolatrous, many condemn private Christian schools and claim they're as bad as public schools.

    I've known some people high up in homeschool culture (even conference organizers, etc.) who are there just because they want to help families homeschool, and aren't necessarily part of "the movement", say that about a third of Christian homeschool parents really have no business homeschooling their kids.

    Two things the homeschoolinistas pound into people's heads are, and I'm juxtaposing these on purpose, 1) the public school system is completely incompetent at teaching kids, and 2) public schools are masters of indoctrination of secular ideology. How can somebody so incompetent be able to teach secular ideas so well?

    1. Steve - Why do you suppose they are opposed to even Christian schools? Is it just part of their power trip and wanting to control everything? I read the same thing but didn't understand why. I was also wondering why they would want "heathens" to homeschool their own children? And how would they work out a system for unbelievers, or where both parents worked? See, their talk is just crazy talk to me.

      Oh, I definitely got those 2 ideas pounded in my head. I was fearful when enrolling my kids in public school just for choir. The first kid who went to choir was 18 yrs old and I was still a bit nervous. So I volunteered to play piano there so I could see what was going on. Yea, I was a spy - lol. After the first day of observing, I threw those crazy ideas out of my head and dove into the class helping/mentoring high schoolers. I've been playing piano and "choir mom" at the public high school for 5 years and love every minute of it. Such a heathen I am.

    2. I think they believe there's "magic power" in not only content of cirriculum, but in method, too. Many private Christian schools educate children with the same kind of methods as the public schools. Plus, they believe that only parents are allowed to teach their kids, and sending kids to Christian schools necessarily means that parents have abdicated their duties.

      What's just a little bit ironic (microscopically ironic, actually) is that it is Satan worship for our 18 1/4 year olds to attend public schooling, but three months later our 18 1/2 year olds are just fine at public schools. (High school/college) And what about adults taking vocational classes at the local JC from unbelievers? Why would anybody take auto shop from a non-Christian? Man, I tell ya. So, I think the whole system they have set up has inconsistent thinking running through it. It doesn't stop anybody from condemning others, and that is unfortunate. And you know what? Even in neo-Calvinist circles I've been in where the overwhelming majority of people home school, there have been quite a few Christians who are public school teachers.

    3. How'd that indoctrination work on Alice Cooper and Pink Floyd?

    4. Yes, how does that work as Christians teaching in public schools, anyway? I remember back in the day, Christians would say that teaching in the public school is a ministry. I don't see how they can say that now with all of the religious restrictions. And what about if these kids get a job out in town? Who is going to protect them from secular influences there? When does it stop?

    5. Steve & Julie Anne,

      But wouldn't neoCalvinist homeschool advocates teaching in a public school or serving on a school board be practical ways for Christians to covertly begin overtaking the government and routing out secularism?

    6. I suppose so. I guess it depends on who is in charge. It seems they are pretty cautious on what they allow in schools these days regarding religious matters.

      I volunteer at the high school in choir each day and choirs are an exception to the rule because of the sacred music genre. In fact, you will probably be docked points if you do not include sacred music in your repertoire, especially if going to choral festivals for competition. They usually add a disclaimer to school programs about why it's appropriate to include sacred music, too.

    7. How'd that indoctrination work on Alice Cooper and Pink Floyd?

      Or Marilyn Manson?

  8. Headless Unicorn GuyDecember 9, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    We are authorized by God to challenge all that is not godly!" Rushdoony thundered. "God is angry with the wicked every day, and the sins of the wicked deserve the infliction of God's wrath in this life as well as the life hereafter!" Rushdoony


    Very familiar to anyone who has lived under the Ayatollahs of Iran, the Mullahs of the Taliban, and even the Comrades of the Khmer Rouge.


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