Friday, September 9, 2011

She's Out of the Bubble

For a few weeks now, I've been following a wonderful blog by Libby Anne, a woman who was raised in a homeschooling Christian Patriarchy family, and is now a feminist and a humanist. Thought she is very understandably wary of homeschooling in general, I love reading the stories about her childhood and her movement away from  fundamentalist roots as an adult. 

Here's a great description of Libby Anne's upbringing, which I find fascinating. I think her parents went wrong with teaching her how to think critically and expecting her to share their world views. You can't really have both! All was fine as long as she was at home with them, but as soon as she entered college, she applied her critical thinking skills to actual information and realized most of the things she'd been taught in her childhood were not based in reality. She gives me hope for other kids being raised in the bubble.

Recently she wrote about Michael Pearl, Christian author of To Train Up A Child and advocate of turning children into good little obedient clones by spanking and training toddlers like dogs. Libby Anne discusses Pearl's book Jumping Ship, in which he addresses the problem of Christian homeschooled kids "going to hell" despite all the walls placed around them by their parents. You should read the whole blog, but I think she summarizes Pearl's ideas about Christian evangelical homeschooling here:

Homeschoolers are the intelligent ones and public schoolers are stupid clones. Your goal as a Bible believing homeschool parent is to make your children into clones of yourself. If your children turn out to be clones, you have succeeded. If your children don't turn out to be clones, they'll be on drugs and committing incest. In this latter case, you're either not good enough or you're not sheltering them from the world enough (including keeping them away from church and grandma). But really, even if you shelter them, your children could go bad anyway, because they're filled with evil. Plus you might not really be a believer in the first place, but rather be blinded by "the 'religion'." Are you scared yet???

Libby Anne is a wonderful and prolific writer. She talks at length about the gradual growth away from her parents' religion, which caused a very strained relationship with not only her parents, but with her twelve (yes, twelve) younger siblings. She is a strong, brave woman, and her story makes me incredibly thankful that, for whatever reason, my parents did not spend much time indoctrinating me with religion.

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