Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Do They Own Us and Our Children?

The above comedy video by Christian humorist Tim Hawkins is a self-parody of homeschooling. There is some truth in this little video, though (like all good humor) it is exaggerated and blended with stereotypes and misconceptions.

A relative recently decided to start homeschooling, and found out the snarky attitude of some of the establishment, one of whom told her that she "needed permission" to do it.  Now, in her locale, this permission consists of basically notifying the government with a simple letter.

This is basically the case in Louisiana - which is quite a homeschool-friendly state. Nevertheless, the fact that one has to petition the state to homeschool one's children does raise the question: "Why?" What is it any business of a bureaucrat - be it in Baton Rouge, Washington, or Geneva? Why should we seek their permission - especially considering the track record of a lot of these government schools (some of which allow children free access to contraception without parental notification, many of which allow for pseudo-religious indoctrination which may run contrary to the parents' religion, not to mention the foisting of a political point of view at odds with those of many people who do not agree with the dominant views of many in the educational establishment)?

So why should parents seek permission from the state? Why should it not be the other way around? Does the state own our children?  Does the state own us?

Why shouldn't the default position be that the parents have the right to educate their children as they see fit, and that the state should seek permission to indoctrinate the children? Or as member of the European parliament Nigel Farage famously challenged his power-grubbing "colleagues" in Strasbourg: "Just who the hell do you people think you are?"

The more people start asking these fundamental questions, the more people realize that the state has long since overstepped its bounds, that the servant now presumes to be the master, that the Frankenstein Monster is running amok and the constitutional chains that were designed to keep him in tow have been snapped like balsa wood, and that it doesn't matter whether the state is a democracy, a republic, a monarchy, or a dictatorship, it is wrong for any agency to presume to tell parents how to raise their children.  And if the state's wings were not still somewhat clipped as they are here, we would have a system like Germany and Sweden where homeschooling has been basically criminalized, and children have been taken away from their parents!  Think about that, dear reader, children have been taken away from their loving parents and placed into foster homes because the parents were homeschooling their children.  We are not talking about beating them or starving them, but educating them.

Their real "crime" is showing the inferiority of the bureaucratic John Dewey progressive model of "education" as well as taking the (God-given) liberty of handing down their own moral and political views.  In unbridled statist models of society, the state is omnipotent over the individual.  There are some in American capital cities and capitol domes who lust after such power to dominate.

But in the final analysis, who does a better job, the government (with its mercenary armies of paid bureaucrats pulling the strings with money and regulations in the luxury of marbled domed edifices)?  Or parents themselves, who love their children, sacrifice for their well-being, and who have a moral and natural right to teach their values to their children?  And by what authority does the state claim authority to lord over the parent-child relationship?  Just who do they think they are?

Homeschool families often get to see these questions in action, not merely presented as theoretical poly-sci premises for academic discussion, but rather up close and personal in the very real world.

Maybe that's why Tim Hawkins also made this video:

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