From the July/August, 2018 issue of Touchstone
education politics The Ironic Curtain by Allan C. Carlson

Quodlibet

The Ironic Curtain

This past May, my wife Betsy and I spoke at the third biennial Global Home Education Conference, attended by homeschoolers from 35 nations. The locale might come as a surprise: it was a two-city event in St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia. While the "liberal democracies" of Germany, Sweden, and Norway have recently criminalized home schooling, jailing offending parents and seizing their children, "authoritarian" Russia has legalized the practice as a recognition of "natural" parental rights.

Prominent members of the Duma attending the event praised home education as the best way to rear "spiritually strong" children grounded in Russia's Christian heritage. This mode of education, parliamentarian Inga Yumasheva declared, also grows out of the very purpose of human marriage: to bear children and rear them as moral beings. Archpriest Dmitri Smirnov, chairman of the Patriarchal Commission on Family Matters of the Russian Orthodox Church and a popular television host (he has been called Russian Orthodoxy's "Fulton J. Sheen"), also addressed the gathering. He lauded home schooling as the "recovery of a natural, God-given" thing. Nothing is sweeter and nobler, he said, than for parents to teach their children and build "the image of Christ" within them. "Because this movement now exists in Russia," he confided, "it is easier for me to fall asleep."

Viewed through a wider lens, the event reveals again the growing divide in Europe, and in the world. As the Irish vote for abortion and as the whole of Western Europe submits to LGBT masters, expressions of Christian moral values grow stronger in most parts of post-Communist Eastern Europe as well as among the Christian lands of Sub-Saharan Africa. In short, the Culture War is global and is being cast in ever-sharper relief.


more on education from the online archives

20.8—October 2007

The Pearl of Great Wisdom

The Deep & Abiding Biblical Roots of Western Liberal Education by David Lyle Jeffrey

31.1—January/February 2018

Ivy League Advice Worth Repeating

by Robert P. George

24.5—Sept/Oct 2011

Pupils Delighted

on Wondering or Wandering Through College Education by Anthony Esolen

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more from the online archives

30.6—Nov/Dec 2017

The Messiah's Beauty

on Benedict XVI on the Fairest of the Sons of Men by Michael Martin De Sapio

18.4—May 2005

Of Weeds & Fairy Tales

The Idylls, Idols & Devils That Corrupt the Moral Imagination by Vigen Guroian

27.5—Sept/Oct 2014

Food for Thought

on Growing Vegetables as a Primer in Moral Philosophy by Rachel Lu

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