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

28.5—Sept/Oct 2015

Who's Your Teacher?

on Our Sacred Duty to Teach the Devil to Death by Marcus Johnson

18.6—July/August 2005

Lesson Plan

on Fifteen Principles of Christian Parenting by Paige Patterson

25.5—Sept/Oct 2012

Easy Burden

on the Blessings & Challenges of Homeschooling by Graeme Hunter

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more from the online archives

26.1—Jan/Feb 2013

Lost & Found in the Cosmos

The Alternate & Alternative Worlds of H. P. Lovecraft & C. S. Lewis by C. R. Wiley

18.3—April 2005

Book Worms

on Textbook Publishers Who Lie About Islam by Terry Graves

30.1—Jan/Feb 2017

Family Matters

Domestic Altars & Godly Offspring by Allan Carlson

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