When Did Homeschooling and Parental Rights Mean Anti-Gay?

HA note: The following is reprinted with permission from Kathryn Brightbill’s blog The Life and Opinions of Kathryn Elizabeth, Person. It was originally published on October 2, 2013.

Well, I guess it was too much to hope for that Farris et al. would speak out against the egregious threat to the rights of gay parents in Russia. When a concerned former homeschooler asked him about it on his Facebook page, he pretty much blew her off by saying that because it wasn’t a homeschooling issue he wouldn’t do anything.

Funny though, how he doesn’t have the time and isn’t willing to take the effort to speak out against the proposed legislation in Russia to take children away from gay parents, but he did find time to be at the launch of Trail Life. Trail Life, for the uninitiated, is the organization that just formed as an alternative to the Boy Scouts. To be precise, it was founded as an alternative by those who do not like it that the Boy Scouts is no longer kicking children out of the Scouts for being gay. Note, the Boy Scouts still does not allow anyone over 18 to be involved with scouting if they’re gay, but that’s not enough for the Trail Life folks.

If you’re not kicking kids to the curb if they come out, you’re caving into the pressures of the amoral left.

Again, let me remind you, no time to speak out against Russia wanting to take gay parents’ children away since it’s not homeschooling related, but plenty of time to go help launch a group that differentiates itself from the Boy Scouts by targeting children in the culture war. Yes, that’s what they’re doing.

They’re putting kids in the cross hairs of the culture wars. It’s kids who are going to get booted out of Trail Life, it’s kids who they want to get booted out of the Boy Scouts. Kids.

Not surprisingly, Farris has a bit of a persecution complex about all of this. Here’s the relevant conversation from the comments on his post.

farris2

Two things here. The first is that as a K-12 homeschooler and homeschool graduate, I’m tired of the media treating Michael Farris as if he speaks for all homeschoolers. He doesn’t. He certainly does not speak for me.

The second is this. When Michael Farris talks about “the homosexual community and their elitist friends and the courts,” he’s painting this as an us versus them battle between his band of conservative Christians on one hand and the aforementioned homosexual community and their elitist friends and the court on the other. He is mistaken. There is no us versus them. There is only “we.”

Not just “we” in the abstract, “We the People,” sense either. “We” as in, the people his movement is fighting against aren’t some “other.”

Mr. Farris, we are you—

—your family members, the kids who sang in the church choir and went to AWANA every week, who were trusted to babysit for other homeschoolers because we were part of the community, the homeschool kids who listened when you said that we were the generation who would change America.

You’re fighting so hard, but you aren’t fighting for liberty, you are fighting to deny liberty to people who are not so different from you.

Mr. Farris, it was your con law book for homeschoolers that inspired me as a teenager to want to go to law school.

I listened to you when you said that homeschoolers were going to change the country and I believed it. If I’m some activist elite, Mr. Farris, it’s because you and the homeschool movement created me. When I worked on an amicus brief in Perry and Windsor, it was because of the seeds you planted in me to go to law school.

We are not others, this is not us versus them, and it never has been, no matter how much you try to make it that way.

3 comments

  • Thank you! It amazes me how much “othering” many conservative Christian fundamentalists do of the gay community. It’s as though they don’t realize how much cross-over there is… that there might be someone they know and love very much right now who is actually gay. They see a boogieman of gay rights activism and they are perfectly content to attribute all sorts of motivations to the people who disagree with them without knowing a thing about them. It’s pretty shameful, coming from a community that is supposed to believe in unconditional love and “dining with the sinners”.

    I really think that the disciples and Paul may have misrepresented the messages that Jesus gave while he was alive. In many of the stories, Jesus forgives sins and supposedly performs miracles. You know what he doesn’t say before he does that? “You need to be penitent enough.” Nope. He never says it. Even in the anti-homosexual’s favorite story of the woman caught in adultery, Jesus clearly pardons her sins FIRST and tells her not to sin again later. I just… I’m not even a Christian anymore, but I feel like that actually helps me understand the origins of the faith so much better because I’m not blinded by all of the rhetoric that people seem to accept (myself included, back when I was a homeschooler and beyond). Jesus was about love and forgiveness and opposition to oppression. He never said “if a kid is gay, be sure to exclude him from everything and isolate him further than he probably already is. If he commits suicide, that is because he was gay, not because of your behaviors. Carry on.” Disgusting.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Trail Life — “Just like the Boy Scouts, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!”

  • Even if you believe that Jesus was half man, half god (part of pagan mythology), his “human” half was definitely humanist: Live by the Golden Rule, be kind to one another, take care of one another, give your belongings to the poor, etc. Self-described Christians today seem concerned only with monitoring people’s sex lives, whether heterosexual or homosexual, and not with emulating Jesus’ left-wing teachings. Today’s Christianity has wandered so far off course that even Paul, its founder, wouldn’t recognize it. Even the POPE, of all people, has castigated Catholics for obsessing about sex.

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