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Saturday, June 28

SEE GALLAGHER:

Having just posted the following blog, I looked through Maggie Gallagher's archives and would recommend it. As you might guess from her books, her very very good books, Enemies of Eros and The Case for Marriage (written with the sociologist Linda Waite), she writes a lot on marriage and the family, and combines useful reporting with equally useful analysis.

See, for example:

- Must we accept unilateral divorce? on pre-nuptual agreements and the legal impossibility of signing such an agreement to have a traditional, unbreakable marriage; and

- The new attack on marriage on the new proposal to treat live-in girlfriends as if they were wives and therefore should be paid alimony.

And read her books, too.


2:34 PM


HOLLYWOOD'S PROFITABLE SANITY:

In "Hollywood discovers new jackpot in old-fashioned Bruce'", the columnist Maggie Gallagher argues that the new Jim Carrey movie Bruce Almighty is

a post-feminist film. No, it is a post-post-post feminist film. No, let's face it. In "Bruce Almighty," Hollywood has produced its first PRE-feminist film in 30 years. Jim Carrey is Jimmy Stewart with body function jokes. Jennifer Aniston is just plain Doris Day.

As Grace, Jennifer is the adorably blond good girl who works with children, volunteers for her community, cooks (!) for her boyfriend, and wants nothing more than to settle down, get married and make babies with the man she loves. "Bruce Almighty" even features that old Hollywood standby - a sexual villainess who is (surprise!) a brunette and a career girl.


Doris Day movies make me ill - did the men of the time really find that kind of woman attractive? - but I know what Gallagher means. Donna Reed in It's a Wonderful Life would be a better parallel, I suspect.

Despite being - or in part because it is -a pre-feminist movie, Bruce Almighty made $135 million its first two weekends. It is also, Gallagher writes,

a frank homage to what used to be considered mainstream religion in this country. As Bruce Nolan, Jim Carrey goes on a spiritual journey that leads him to, first, rebellion . . . and eventually to explicit spiritual surrender. He learns that there is a God and he is not Jim Carrey, er, Bruce Nolan. He learns that it is better to give than to receive. He learns that true love is all that matters and that true love wants to give happiness to the beloved . . . .

I think the success of such movies proves Chesterton's and Orwell's contention about the basic morality of the average man - not necessarily the morality he practices, mind you, but the one he wants held up as an ideal. His instincts are sound, though he does not always get the details right (Bruce and his girlfriend Grace are living together). Hence the success of movies that present old-fashioned lessons.

Of course, the average man doesn't mind a few rude jokes along with his ideal morality. But then neither did Chaucer and Shakespeare.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Gallagher includes a link to an interview with the director posted on HollywoodJesus.com.


2:23 PM


Friday, June 27

WHAT CHILDREN WATCH:

While I'm at it, I'd recommend to parents Barbara Nicolosi's latest column"A Media Strategy for Families". She argues:

Plato was right: If you want people to give up sugar, offer them honey. The best way to make sure that your kids avoid entertainment that is vile and crass, is to give them a taste for entertainment that is beautiful.

She then describes her parents' way of guiding her and her siblings in learning to love honey and dislike . . . whatever's the opposite of honey. I think her parents were right.


7:21 PM


WHAT CHILDREN WATCH:

While I'm at it, I'd recommend to parents Barbara Nicolosi's latest column"A Media Strategy for Families". She argues:

Plato was right: If you want people to give up sugar, offer them honey. The best way to make sure that your kids avoid entertainment that is vile and crass, is to give them a taste for entertainment that is beautiful.

She then describes her parents' way of guiding her and her siblings in learning to love honey and dislike . . . whatever's the opposite of honey. I think her parents were right.


7:16 PM


THE PASSION:

From the "Church of the Masses" blogsite, Barbara Nicolosi talks about seeing a rough cut of Mel Gibson's film The Passion. She begins:

The Passion is a stunning work of art. It is a devout, act of worship from Mel and his collaborators - in the way that Handel's Messiah and Notre Dame were artistic acts of worship in previous times.

. . . is the greatest movie about Jesus ever made.


In the rest of the blog, and another following it, she explains in detail what she means. Nicolosi is the director of Act One, a group that teaches Christians how to make movies to Hollywood's standards.

I'd never looked at her blogsite before, but if you're interested in movies or popular culture, it's very good. She looks at the way movies work, how they are put together and say what they say, rather than talk in the general terms a lot of cultural critics use.


7:08 PM


Thursday, June 26

A POPE FOR PSEUDO-INTELLECTUALS?

Following is a response from a Joseph D'Hippolito to last Thursday's blog "For Dreher". It would take some time to respond to everything he says, more than I have, so I won't. (Note to would-be writers: ranting and name-calling reduce to nothing how seriously the normal reader will take you. If you want a punch to hurt, throw it politely.)

He has a useful point to make, though much of the letter is foolish and slanderous to boot (for example, that the pope "ultimately values the Church not as a spiritual institution but as an intellectual and geopolitical one") and some of it nave (for example, that the pope "controls" the Church). I think if he stopped fuming for a moment he would see that I did not say the pope should not have done more, indeed a lot more, about dissent and incompetent leadership in the West.

But I would note the writer's apparent dislike for thinking, as is implied in the opening to his second paragraph ("it's a Pope primary duty to lead, not to make esoteric statements about orthodoxy that pseudo-intellectuals love"). I don't mean so much the second half of the sentence, which is typical of its sort - ideas are "esoteric" and people who like them "pseudo-intellectuals" (I mean, well, snore . . .) - but the first, which assumes that thinking and speaking is not leading.

A lot of people react like this, which does not encourage. They who want something done, and often quite rightly, don't suggest that the person they want to do it stop thinking for a bit and do what they want him to do, but jump all the way to denouncing thinking. It may be an emotional and not a reasoned reaction, and one they might not make when they cool down, but one wishes their reactions did not run that way at all.

They do not seem to realize that a man may lead by articulating certain truths and certain ways of thinking about those truths - that this is a way of charging into battle before the troops waving a flag they can follow. We may wish that he had spent some time yelling at some of the generals and court martialling a few of them, but we ought to give him credit for what he has done.

Here is the letter:

Dear Mr. Mills:

Your comments on the reasons why the Pope has failed to forthrightly confront the sex-abuse crisis are some of the most unmitigated, excremental balderdash I have ever read.

For one thing, it's a Pope primary duty to lead, not to make esoteric statements about orthodoxy that pseudo-intellectuals love. Why do you think Christ appointed Peter to a place of primacy among the apostles? For his charm and good looks? For his esoteric understanding of the profound? No; because he confessed Christ as Messiah and Son of God - and because Peter had the intensity and personality to demand accountability (remember Annanias and Sapphira) and the humility to focus the attention of believers on Christ (remember Cornelius). In these latter two aspects, the current occupant of the Petrine chair has yet to approach even remotely the committment of his predecesor.

For another thing, this isn't about "orthodoxy" or "modernism"; this is about the psychological, spiritual and emotional ravaging of the innocent by "men of God" (one of whom publically proclaimed his support for "man-boy" love) and the enabling of these perverts by "successors of the apostles" (including Bernard Law, who toed the Papal line on every important issue). Disciplining or reprimanding such people is a fundamental pastoral responsibility. Yet the Pope has not only failed to do these things, he has failed in other ways regarding this crisis.

When he was in Canada last summer for World Youth Day, he refused to meet with Canadian victims of abuse. While he was in North America, he could have made a special trip to Boston to console the afflicted, reassure the faithful and discipline those responsible. Again, these are fundamental pastoral responsibilities. Yet he refused to take time out from his busy schedule of travelling, proclaiming saints and engaging in political lobbying.

What makes such pastoral malfeasance all the more troubling is the fact that the sex-abuse crisis has afflicted the entire Catholic world: Ireland, Poland, Mexico, Australia, Austria, Germany, Britain, Canada, for starters. If this Pope cannot see and execute his pastoral duty to protect the innocent, all his "orthodox" pastoral letters and encyclicals are nothing but vanity.

Frankly, I am sick and tired of the collective denial of the more-orthodox-than-thou crowd when it comes to this Pope. These are the same idiots (cf, Stephen Hand) who criticized Mr. Dreher, a true prophet and man of God - more so than this false shepherd of a Pope. These are the same idiots who have been brainwashed into giving blind deference to ecclesiastical leaders. These are the same idiots who equate the hierarchical institution with Christ Himself. And, in my book, that's idolatry.

The fact that this Pope spends more of his valuable energy confronting situations he ultimately cannot influence or control (war against Iraq, the EU's constitutional rhetoric) than situations he can control (the sex-abuse crisis) shows how isolated this Pope is from the concerns of the everyday Catholic. It also shows that he ultimately values the Church not as a spiritual institution but as an intellectual and geopolitical one - a mistake this Church has been making since medieval times.

It also shows, unfortunately, that no molested young person can stand in the way of this Pope's desire for political influence. Then again, that's been par for the course for this "hapless bunch of bishops," as Lincoln's Bruskewitz has eloquently pointed out.

No, Mr. Mills, I do not ask for perfection in a Pope. I ask for at least a modicum of responsible pastoral leadership. In the midst of the greatest moral crisis the Church has faced in centuries - what William Donahue rightfully called, "The Catholic Church's Watergate" - this Pope has failed to offer even a thousandth of a modicum.


9:39 AM


Wednesday, June 25

IRON HOOFS AND POOFS:


John Derbyshire in National Review Online comments on the homosexual bishops that the Episcopal and Anglican churches are installing. He comes up with a law:

Any organization that admits frank and open homosexuals into its higher levels will sooner or later abandon its original purpose and give itself over to propagating and celebrating the homosexualist ethos, and to excluding heterosexuals and denigrating heterosexuality..

When I worked as a federal investigator, one of the matters we investigated (in pre-Clinton days) was whether an applicant for a security clearance was a homosexual. I asked why. One of the reasons was the experience that a homosexual in a managerial position often staffed his office exclusively with homosexuals, and that the emotional conflicts this led to were extremely disruptive of the work of the agency.

Office romances occur among heterosexuals, of course, but the extreme sexual tension in a largely homosexual office is disruptive. Homosexuals are more promiscuous that heterosexuals (I can only envy some of the statistics I see about the frequency of sexual intercourse among homosexuals, but then they lie as much as anyone else about sex). A stable heterosexual relationship, especially marriage, especially after children start coming along, has a calming influence on the male but this is lacking in homosexual relationships.

Similar dynamics are at work in the church. The seminary I attended in the 1960s was heavily homosexual, and an emotional zoo although adolescent males tend not to be sane under the best of circumstances. I have observed at close hand the effect on a parish of a homosexual pastor. He felt obliged to propagandize endlessly about homosexuality (a minor concern for most people) and to attract as many homosexuals as possible into the congregation to the discomfort of parents with adolescent boys. Homosexuality was not simply a minor part of the pastor's personality, but something he organized his whole personality around, and he wanted the parish to be preoccupied with it also


2:36 PM


CONDOMS DON'T WORK:

More good news, if only because it might make the people in charge give up a murderous myth: "United Nations Report says Condoms have 10% Failure Rate against AIDS". The Catholic World Report story begins:

The United Nations AIDS agency (UNAIDS) has published a draft of a study, due out at the end of the month, which shows that condoms are ineffective in protecting against HIV an estimated 10 percent of the time. The admission from the UN, which is far lower than some studies which have shown larger than 50 percent failure rates, is a blow to population control activists which have aggressively marketed condoms in the Third World as nearly 100 percent effective.

And continues quoting a Boston Globe story:

The Globe quotes Edward C. Green, a senior research scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health, saying the one in ten failure rate of condoms protection from AIDS is "not good enough for a fatal disease." He said, "The way condoms are marketed in Africa and other developing parts of the world is as if they were 100 percent safe. Condoms have brand names like Shield and Protector that gives the impression that they are 100 percent safe."

Activist groups used to attack the companies that sold baby formula in Africa for dangerously misleading advertising and marketing. (And if they were right about the matter, well they should.) I am, however, not holding my breath to hear them attack the condom-makers for the same thing.

Some readers may remember that several years ago the then-surgeon general C. Everett Koop had a pamphlet sent to lots and lots of Americans - was it every household, even? - promoting condoms as an effective protection against AIDS. It was nonsense, and an article in National Review took it apart. (The liberal press suddenly discovered it liked Koop, though.)

The article noted, for one thing, what lots of people must have noticed on their own (I and my friends did): that if condoms aren't completely effective in preventing pregnancy, it is absurd - absurd to the point of deceit, I would say - to tell people they're to be trusted to prevent their getting a disease that will kill them.

But the propaganda led to the things being sold in grocery stores alongside the aspirin and the athlete's foot powder, thereby helping to sexualize the culture yet further. (Even if one believes in contraception, there is a value in such "marital aids," as they used to be called, being sold behind the counter.)

Anyway, I hope that this news, coming from the U.N., if coming a couple of decades late, might make Western aid agencies reconsider their policies and take more seriously the example of Uganda, which has cut its AIDS rate greatly by stressing abstinence outside marriage and faithfulness within.


7:50 AM


PRO-LIFE GOOD NEWS:

Useful information from the Family Research Center: "Poll: A majority of women pro-life" according to a study done by a pro-choice organization.

[j]ust 30 percent of the women polled said abortion should be generally available. A majority of 51 percent favored restricting abortion to cases of rape, incest or a life-threatening condition (34 percent) or making abortion illegal (17 percent). The Gallup Organization confirmed these are about the same numbers its own polling. . . .

The majority is only 51%, but still, it's something to have that high a number after thirty years of legally available abortion and a pro-abortion media that knows how to promote its causes effectively. And those media's even more relentless promotion of a view of freedom, the good life, and sexuality that makes abortion a necessary safeguard - the needed guarantee that the sexualized life will have no living consequences. (That this is a lie we all know, but a lot of people buy it.)


7:45 AM


Tuesday, June 24

FM-G ON MARRIAGE:

After recommending Frederica Mathewes-Green's BeliefNet articles in yesterday's blog "Look for FM-G", I've got the link to the article that sent me there in the first place. I would commend her latest column, Finding Your Other Half .

It begins with the claim that

there are two mistakes I think a new couple can make. The first is to take marriage too seriously. The second is to fail to take it seriously enough.

and goes on to explain this, i think quite insightfully. Well worth reading, and also the sort of column you may well want to pass on.


1:21 PM


A WOMAN'S PLACE:

In a recent column, "Hot Zombie Love", Ms. Maureen Dowd of The New York Times praised the remake of the 1975 movie The Stepford Wives. The movie portrayed a suburb in which men murdered their wives and replaced them with robots who were, as kids say today, "totally blonde."

You can get some idea of the movie by what its writer Paul Rudnick has said about it (as quoted by Ms. Dowd):

the plot has only increased in resonance because men have grown even more anxious about gender issues and begrudge having their hegemony shredded by women, gays and minorities. "Straight white males act like the angry new endangered minority," he says. "Men only evolve with a gun at their head."

. . . "Men and women are working in tandem to create the Stepford wife of tomorrow. Once the technology advances, there'll be a Botox babe who runs on solar power."


Dowd agrees, as you would expect. The Stepford Wives of today

can no longer wince at their mates because they have frozen their faces with Botox. They're sedated with Prozac, Zoloft, Xanax and Paxil. (As one mother told New York magazine about rampant pill-popping: "People say I'm anxious' and I think, how quaint.")

Women puff their lips, balloon their breasts and suck fat from their hindquarters. The spring fashions were so hourglass sexy, frothy and pastel, they were dubbed "Stepford style" in the Times fashion section.

Martha Stewart (a haywire robot with a team of lawyers) led women - and culture - back to the wifely arts of cooking, gardening, decorating and flower arranging. Hillary Clinton, once so angry about tea and cookies, is now so eerily glazed and good-natured that she could be the senator from Stepford.

. . . There's even a retro trend among women toward deserting the fast track for a pleasant life of sitting around Starbucks gabbing with their girlfriends, baby strollers beside them, logging time at the gym to firm up for the he-man C.E.O. at home.


The conservative columnist Suzanne Fields disagrees, as you would expect. She responds to Ms. Dowd in "When the Dowdies Confront the Mommies" by noting that

these moms match the contempt of the Maureen Dowdies of the world with pity for those mired in a 70s mindset, where what you "do" on the public stage defines who you are.

She notes that the number of women with children staying at home has risen from 9.3 million in1994 to 11 million last year, and that the percentage of working mothers with babies dropped notably (from 59 to 55 percent) just from 1998 to 2000.

I might note here that this statistic is itself probably misleading, because most such things count as a "working mother" any woman who works outside the home, even if she works one night at the local library while her husband watches the children. In other words, the number of really working mothers who leave their babies may be much, much lower. And would be lower still if many of the women could choose to do what they want.

But back to the point. That more women are staying home with their children is - this is me speaking, not Fields - not only a good thing, but a glorious thing, a thing to be cheered from the housetops, a thing to be encouraged in every way possible.

Here, my friends, is your un-p.c. thought for the day: if a man and his wife have children, especially small children (defined as children under 18, just to be safe), the woman's place is in the home. In fact, "home" means "the place where mom is to be found." Having children means giving up the dream of being the c.e.o. of Wonderful Widgets Inc. It means running the day to day operations of the small local corporation called the family.

Now, before those of you not entirely cleansed of p.c. emotions start screaming, I should say that the man's house is also, to a great but usually lesser extent, in the home. "Home" means "the place to which dad returns." For him too, having children will often mean giving up the dream of being c.e.o. of Wonderful Widgets Inc., if to be the c.e.o. he must let his family run itself as a subsidiary corporation, which he inspects from time to time to make sure it is creating the profits it should.

And as Fields points out, a lot of women - several studies say a big majority - want to be at home all the time. And she does not feel that these women, whose gathering with strollers in Starbucks so infuriates Ms. Dowd, are the men-serving morons Ms. Dowd feels they are.

These moms are not complaining about husbands keeping them "in their place." The places have changed, and changed utterly. They enjoy escapes to the gym, yoga classes, and - horrors! - coffee breaks at Starbucks. Technology has liberated them to run businesses out of their homes, if that's what they want to do.

The resurrected Stepford ladies, in fact, are the Maureen Dowdies themselves, the "working girls" toiling away in the vineyards of national politics, exchanging mother's milk for wine pressed from grapes of wrath.


Over-written, I know, but right. As lots and lots of people have noted by now, the women who have most formed themselves to serve men - the Stepford Mistresses, you might say - were the supposedly liberated ones. My friend Frederica Mathewes-Green has said over and over again that abortion most serves the desires of the kind of men who want women to serve them, and the women who deny their deepest instincts and allow the technological violation of their wombs, mainly to be sexually available to men who are not committed to them.

That said, I would like to say - perhaps you'd best sit down for this - a word in defense of Ms. Maureen Dowd of The New York Times. She does seem to have a distorted idea of motherhood and certainly writes as if she hates women who choose - in good feminist fashion, I might note - to drop out of the public world and raise their own children in their own homes.

But the kind of life she attacks in her column deserves attack. Any wealthy suburb of any American city includes lots of women for whom motherhood is a "life style" and not a vocation and for whom children are "life style options" and not gifts of which they are stewards. I have heard some women talk about being home with their children as if it were a fashion statement, in that detached, self-centered way that suggests they would give it up as quickly as they give up last year's dresses if it became unfashionable or they found themselves bored.

The recent bestseller The Nanny Diaries describes a world that really exists, and not only among the super-rich it describes, but among the upper-middle-classes as well. (I recommend the book, as a satire and social document, though I should warn you that it ends heart-breakingly.) These women, to quote Ms. Dowd again,

can no longer wince at their mates because they have frozen their faces with Botox. They're sedated with Prozac, Zoloft, Xanax and Paxil. . . . [They] puff their lips, balloon their breasts and suck fat from their hindquarters.

I think plastic surgery of this sort pretty silly, myself, but whatever might be said for it, it is a good symbol of self-centered materialism. By this I mean a way of seeing one's life as the place one tries to be happy on one's own terms and by getting more things from the world, tangible (designer coffees at Starbucks, for example) and intangible (high status among the neighbors, for example). I think this is what Dowd intends to attack.

Other women I've known, who would never think of spending the money reshaping their bodies, insist that though they'd love to be home with their children - and as far as I can tell they are quite sincere about this - they are forced to work to support the family, but their definition of "support" includes buying lots of things they do not need. They could live quite comfortably on their husband's salary if they gave up the vacations in the Caribbean, the new BMW, the dinners at the fashionable restaurants, and the like. They could stay home with their children, if they were willing to live another, comfortable if not luxurious, life. And they should be.

Dowd is not making up the story she tells, alas. I think this is what we get when materialistic women respond to the deep instincts apparently built in to human nature. They want to be mothers, and fairly traditional mothers at that, but they want also a life that at best fits uneasily with motherhood.


8:02 AM


Monday, June 23

BEAUTIFUL TRUTH:

A book that will, I suspect, be well worth a careful reading: David B. Hart's The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth, to be published by Eerdmans this September. Here is the description from Eerdmans' website:

The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth
David Bentley Hart
$55.00 Paperback
Not yet in print (Expected ship date: 9/14/03)

496 pages; dimensions (in inches): 6.25 x 9.25
ISBN: 0-8028-1254-6


The Beauty of the Infinite is a stirring foray into "theological aesthetics." David Bentley Hart here meditates on the power of the Christian understanding of beauty to rise above the violence - both philosophical and literal - characteristic of today's postmodern world.

The book begins by tracing the shifting use and nature of metaphysics through the thought of figures like Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Derrida, Levinas, and others - a discussion that highlights the significant "interruption" that Christian thought introduced to the Western philosophical tradition. This discussion sets the stage for a retrieval of the classic Christian account of beauty and sublimity, and of the relation of both to the question of being. By framing his reflection in relation to the Trinity, creation, salvation, and the eschaton, Hart is able to demonstrate the power of Christian metaphysics not only to withstand the critiques of modern and postmodern thought but also to move well beyond them.

Challenging and deeply rewarding,
The Beauty of the Infinite is both a useful account of the history of metaphysics and a compelling contribution to it.

Dr. Hart writes often for First Things and Pro Ecclesia, and is also the brother of our contributing editor Addison and frequent contributor Robert. I know the book is throat-tighteningly expensive, but I always find his writing genuinely interesting and often original (well, original to me, at any rate, though he is one of those learned people who know a lot of things one doesn't). He is a writer well worth reading with pencil in hand. And one I hope to get into the pages of Touchstone.


7:37 PM


LOOK FOR FM-G:

A website to check out: Frederica Mathewes-Green on BeliefNet. It includes twenty or thirty - count them yourself - of her columns for the ecumenical website, where she is one of the most Christian voices. Recent subjects have included Andrea Yates, the "Left Behind" books, and the value of teenage pregnancy.

This is a good thing, because Frederica knows how to speak winsomely in such a place. You will enjoy the columns for themselves, I think, but I also commend them as examples of how to present the Christian mind or vision to people who may well be spiritually-inclined but do not care for Christianity, or what they think is Christianity.

Frederica is, by the way, a contributing editor of Touchstone and the author most recently of "Why they hated Pinocchio (April 2003) and "The Oneida Experiment: What we have discovered about not-so-free love" (November 2002).


11:28 AM


CALIFORNIAN UNIFORMITY:

According to a story by WorldNet Daily (from June 2nd, but I only just read it), "California homeschool advocates celebrate victory",

school districts will receive notification that the earlier references that "homeschooling is not legal in California" have been removed from the California Department of Education's website.

. . . Last July, the office of former Superintendent Delaine Eastin issued a memo stating that parents without a teaching credential who homeschool their children are "operating outside the law."


One reads a lot of these stories in the conservative press. A lot of public school powers dislike home-schooling and will use the power of the state to get their way - which is to say, get the children back into the public schools. They do not like people walking off the reservation.

I have home-schooling friends in this state, one of the better ones for home-schoolers, who have suffered persecution from the local school district. In one case, an obviously bright little girl did not do well on one part of an achievement test, and suddenly became the object of school district's scrutiny.

That lots of the children in the district's schools did no better, and that most did not do nearly as well as she on other parts of the test, did not matter. The little twerps had something to use against her parents. They gave up eventually, but only because the parents knew their rights, knew their child's gifts and needs, and held out against all the legal threats the district threw at them.

However, I should say that our third child is home-schooled and we have gotten perfect cooperation from the local school district. (The eldest is in the public high school and the second in a Catholic school, and the fourth will start next fall in an Evangelical kindergarten.) But I've known a lot of people who haven't.

I am by no means a libertarian, but I think it a rule of political life that people in power always want more power and that they have more time to think of ways to get it than the rest of us have to stop them. In California, for example, home-schoolers use a provision in the state education code allowing people to set up a private school by filing a form, called a "R-4 affidavit," saying that the instructor is "capable of teaching." But

The filing of this R-4 affidavit, which notifies the CDE of the creation of a private school, has become known as the homeschooling "loophole," by government authorities who consider homeschooling illegal.

. . . Holding this view, some local school districts have ignored the R-4 affadavits and attempted to prosecute homeschooling parents on the basis that they're not obeying compulsory attendance laws.


Notice that you can do something legal, or at least arguably legal, and still face the threat of jail and perhaps other penalties- these people are threatening your kids, mind you - simply because a local authority decides to read the law its own way. The school district has the money and the lawyers. The parents don't.


8:18 AM




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