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

26.5—Sept/Oct 2013

More than Schooling

The Perils of Pragmatism in Christian Attitudes Toward the Liberal Arts by Robin Phillips

28.5—Sept/Oct 2015

Who's Your Teacher?

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

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

21.8—October 2008

Weed Free

on Tending a Child’s Garden of Influences by John Thompson

28.2—March/April 2015

Man, Woman & the Mystery of Christ

by Russell D. Moore

29.4—July/August 2016

Naked Truth

on Noticing That Modern Science Has Rendered Atheism Irrational by Harry Biltz

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