Monday, April 26, 2010

Letter from a liberal

There's a very nice polite liberal reader who emails me his opinions from time to time. I don't know why he thinks I'll alter my views based on his arguments, but he's always charming and I can't take offense.

In response to this weekend's column on public schools, he wrote the following:

Hello Patrice! I think you've been misled by too much conservative propaganda. Our public schools, whatever their faults, aren't these horrible, evil, wicked Godless places where kids are being taught to be gay, to hate Christianity, and to be promiscuous etc.

If anything, the REAL indoctrination is by so many conservative religious parents who homeschool their kids. I'm sure this doesn't apply to you and your kids, but many of these homeschooled kids are being brainwashed by their parents to be intolerant of gay people, intolerant of others who don't share the religious beliefs they are being taught, and to be appallingly narrow-minded and self-righteous.

I'm not opposed to Christianity per se, and I don't condemn any one merely for being a Christian. I myself am a non-observant secular Jew, but not an atheist. And many unfortunate children in America are being taught creationist lies and have been hoodwinked into thinking that the world is actually just 6,000 years old, was created in six days, that human beings co-existed with dinosaurs and that Adam and Eve, the garden of Eden, a talking serpent, and Noah and the ark actually existed. These people are just characters in an ancient allegory. They are no more historical figures than Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.

And there is absolutely NO conflict between evolution and belief in God. None whatsoever. People who think that learning about Darwin and evolution in school will turn their kids into a bunch of Godless communists, sexual deviants, and "moral relativists" (what a ridiculous term, there's no such thing!), are not thinking clearly.

The notion that you can only be moral and good if you believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible, and are Bible-believing, born again Christian, is one of the most idiotic notions in human history.

If people want to be Bible-believing, born again Christians, that's their right. But they have absolutely no monopoly of truth and morality. Our public schools are places for teaching, not preaching.

If right-wingers got their way, they would turn our schools into places of religious indoctrination. That's not what they were meant to be.

Best regards, Robert

I replied as follows:

Hi Robert:

Well actually....they are. Public schools are nothing more than change agents. Don't believe me? Try expressing a conservative Christian opinion or wearing an anti-abortion T-shirt and see where it gets you. So much for "diversity" of thought.

The funny thing is, I have a dear (and liberal) friend in Portland who couldn't have kids, so she and her husband adopted a girl from Guatemala. Now this kid is six, and suddenly Wendy is deeply concerned by...all the liberal propaganda rampant in the Portland public schools. And she's a liberal, too!

It is the RIGHT of all parents to "indoctrinate" their children according to their beliefs. If you want your kids to believe Gaia is a alive and you should worship it, fine. If you want your kids to believe Jesus is the Savior of the world, fine. If you want your kids to believe in creationism, fine. Whatever your views to the contrary, someone else does NOT have the RIGHT to indoctrinate MY kids into THEIR beliefs.

And so I will continue to homeschool our kids.

Besides, the public schools around us seriously suck...(smile).



  1. "It is the RIGHT of all parents to "indoctrinate" their children according to their beliefs."

    Is it really Patrice? Any beliefs at all?

  2. Hello Patrice,

    There must be a book out there somewhere that all liberals have on their bookshelves titled, "100 Best Myths and Cliches About Homeschooling." Robert's copy is probably very well-worn and dog-eared.

    The thing that works for me whenever I encounter one of these folks who sees the world with half his brain tied behind his back is to try to help him discover the truth for himself.

    This happened one time when my son was about 11 years old. My best friend and his wife were visiting. She happens to be an attorney for a large-city school district in California. At least once each visit she would tell me that "homeschooling is illegal in California" (it's not), and that children are better, and better off, for being in the government school system.

    During this particular visit we had to make a trip to a local park to meet someone. My wife was off meeting the person, and I stayed in the car with my kids and my friend and his attorney wife.

    There was a pick-up football game going on. My son asked if he could join them and, because I knew most of the kids and they were mostly his age, I said sure, go ahead.

    So, while we're sitting in the car watching the kids, my friend's wife decides to start up another of her anti-homeschooling rants.

    I let her spout off for awhile, and then I very calmly asked her a question. I said, "See those kids out there? If you could take any of those kids home with you, who would you choose?"

    She picked one out. I told her, "That's a homeschooler."

    She picked out another one. Again, homeschooler.

    And another. Another homeschooler.

    Then I asked her to pick out the "brattiest" kids.

    She pointed to one. I told her, "Public schooler."

    She tried another one. "Public schooler," I said.

    She refused to play the game anymore, and I haven't had to say another word in defense of homeschooling since then. Which is a shame, because I'd love to dump on her the academic and socio-cultural statistics that prove way, way beyond a doubt that homeschooling makes for better, and better off, kids.

    Now, I know that there are some very nice and accomplished kids who come out of the public school system; and there are some pretty rotten kids who have been homeschooled. But, by and large, and statistics prove it, homeschooling takes the prize -- hands down.

    Any argument trying to refute that merely reflects an agenda that has nothing to do with schooling and everything to do with worldview.


  3. "idiotic notions" "not thinking clearly" "appallingly narrow-minded and self-righteous" "brainwashed"....hmmmm, now that doesn't sound like an open-minded person at all Robert.

    What I want to know is why Liberals are always right and everyone else is always wrong. The very thing they accuse Conservatives of is their own biggest fault!

    I go out of my way to show my kids both sides of all debates and they can make their own decision after that. I am confident they will make the right choices because they have seen all sides and I am not afraid to let the consequences of their actions bite them in the butt sometimes. I am thinking that is where the problem lies for the Liberal Left.

    Isn't that why the huge fight to keep women in abortion clinics from seeing an ultrasound of their baby? The TRUTH of what is forming in their womb? It's not just a gaggle of cells and mucous, but a tiny human that looks just like you! I have a friend that works in a crisis pregnancy center and she said once the women see their baby move in an ultrasound the majority of them opt out of abortion.

    I would have more respect for Liberals if they presented the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but they never do. Ever. Because they know that once that happens, the gig's up.

  4. I had to chuckle at the "dinosaurs and humans living together" bit. I've seen pictures of human footprints in dinosaur footprints. But of course, evolutionists aren't about to tell you about those. Or that human bones have been found that are much, much larger than anyone is nowadays. Laws of Thermodynamics, anyone? No one has proved either Creation nor evolution. They both take faith. One is faith in blind chance; the other is faith in an unseen God. I'd say the latter makes more sense. At least to me.

    I really enjoyed Dave's comment. I remember people asking me if I liked being homeschooled (all 12 grades, and proud of it!). Wasn't I getting socially deprived, etc. I always shook my head at such ignorance and asked them (as politely as possible) if I had a problem communicating with them. That usually ended the controversy! I then proceeded to tell them all the benefits of homeschooling from my perspective (less time doing school--and no evening homework; more time to play; not needing to ride the bus; no peer pressure, etc).

    Honestly, I if there was ever a reason I couldn't homeschool (say, my husband dies off the job and I have to go get a job to make ends meet), I would bend over backward to put my kids in a private school I could trust. Public school would be my absolute last option. I think I would rather they didn't learn. But that's just me.

    My husband works as a social worker, and he sees what public school does to kids. Enough said.

    Okay, off the soap box!

  5. Lisa, evolution has been verified over and over again. It is just a much of a fact as that the earth is round. The footprints you refer to must either be fraudulent or a misinterpretation. The so-called creationists will go to any lengths to defend the laughable "theories" they have produced.

    1. Creation and evolution don't have to be at odds with each other. God started the whole thing and let evolution do it's thing. There are many things that prove that some of the "stories" in the Bible are turning out to be true as well as there is much evidence that points to things evolving. I could should you a lot of things that says as Christians we can be just fine with evolution, and the other side can be just fine with a creator. This whole thing with us against them, doesn't have to be this way. both sides are to blame and we need to learn how to meet each other in the middle, we wont always agree with each other, but as Christians, we have to stop being holier than thou, as Christians we need to shut our mouths and open our ears, learn to love others, no matter what they believe and maybe we could learn a few things. St Francis said," preach without ceasing... and if necessary, use words."

  6. Quedula,

    I don't know if Patrice wishes to open up this comment area to be a forum for the Creation vs. Evolution debate, but I'll give it a try and see what happens.

    Quedula, with all due respect, and I'm sure you're a nice person, you're wrong. The theory of evolution is in no way a proven fact. At best, it is an unproven theory.

    Just try to apply the principle of Scientific Method to anything that you know about evolution as "fact." It absolutely will not pass the test.

    Evolutionists handle this with a hand wave by saying that the scientific method does not apply to evolution. OK. Fine. They said it, not me. Then you can't call anything about evolution a scientific fact.

    Virtually every "fact" of evolution has an answer in God's word about His creation.

    What's interesting about your comment about "fraudulent misinterpretation" is that the most famous, classic hoax cases all reside at the door of the evolutionists ... Haeckle's drawings, Nebraska Man, Piltdown Man, etc.

    As in homeschooling, creation vs. evolution is not a debate in science, it is a clash in worldviews ... the Godless against God's word.

    Simple as that.


  7. Soooooooooooo, when DO we begin evolving instead of devolving, quedula?

    I put a pile of laundry on the floor about 20 years ago and guess what? It's covered in hasn't done a dayamed thing - imagine that!

  8. Dave,
    I am always surprised that people who, every day of their lives, enjoy the benefits that scientific enquiry has provided, can suddenly declare that it gets the wrong answers when applied to the branch of science known as evolution.

    And surely one only needs the minimum of scientific insight to realise that "god" is a figment of man's imagination and doesn't usefully explain anything at all. If mankind had simply stuck with "god" as an explanation of everything we would still be back in the stone age as far as scientific knowledge is concerned..

  9. Quedula,

    I forgot to mention that there is also a book on most liberals' bookshelf titled, "100 Best Strawman Arguments to Use Against Creation."

    You said: "If mankind had simply stuck with "god" as an explanation of everything we would still be back in the stone age as far as scientific knowledge is concerned."

    Wow! How wrong can you be?!

    Quedula, if you'll do a little research you'll discover that virtually every one of the scientists who you, yourself, would hold up as historical pioneers of science were men of faith who used their belief in God's word to help them arrive at their discoveries. Matthew Maury's "pathways of the seas" comes immediately to mind.

    Did you realize, for another example, that Isaac Newton wrote more words, over 1 million in fact, of Bible commentary than he did about science? Surely you wouldn't characterize Newton as scientifically in the stone age, would you?

    So, Quedula, if you were to look at it objectively, and not through your God-denying worldview, you'd discover that faith in God and a belief in His word is the underpinning of all that you enjoy as the benefits of science.

    In contrast, the pseudoscientific, secular religion of evolution has brought us nothing but a dehumanizing of mankind, euthanasia, and racial strife, and has led to such genocidal monsters as Hitler, Stalin and Margaret Sanger.


  10. Scientists of the past had to be men of their time or risk persecution, torture or death by the religious establishment. The very fact that they persisted with their studies in such circumstances shows, with added weight, that they WEREN'T satisfied with "god-did-it" as the universal explanation.

    It is not possible to look at 'god' objectively Lloyd. "Belief" is subjective, emotional, and occurs in the RH hemisphere of the brain; objective reasoning occurs in the LH hemisphere. One's overall view of the world depends on which has become dominant.

  11. Dave, I apologise for calling you Lloyd. Getting my believers mixed up :)

  12. quedula, It is not over till you are drawing your last breath lady. It is a very traumatic experiance in spite of what you may believe.

  13. Typical. As a last resort in an argument believers descend to issuing vague threats, presumably on their god's behalf.

    I've got news for you Lloyd its the same for all of us in spite of what YOU may believe.

  14. Wow, now that IS fantastic news folks! Quedula has a crystal ball and can tell us with absolute authority what our future holds.


  15. Tait no threat quedula! And it is not a last resort either. Unless you are referring to yourself. This is simply an act of kindness.You can not even imagine the horror and sorrow that you are looking at when there is no turning back. I want to commend nanc for an excellent comment.

  16. Wow. Does this gentleman (and I use that term sincerely) live under a rock? Open your eyes, friend! All of those things that you claim _don't_ happen in public schools do _indeed_ happen are are well documented!

    Visit a conservative (or at least not mainstream) news source occasionally and read about the values battle occurring in public schools everyday.

    I think you are well-intentioned but underinformed.

  17. Quedula, Have you really ever seriously considered some of the evidence that contradicts evolution? If not, how can you really say evolution is "truth" or "fact". Try viewing the Creation Seminar video series produced by Creation Science Evangelism ( It's not copyrighted and I can even help you obtain it for free (legally) straight to your computer. Just email me at rgknowlton (at) hotmail (dot) com.

    I give you permission to mock it all the way through, but after viewing it, you just might have a better understanding of why many people don't swallow evolution hook, line, and sinker.

  18. Grandma Tillie's Bakery: I don't need a crystal ball to tell you that our future contains our deaths and that is all we need to know to ensure we enjoy the present.
    Lloyd: nanc has not the slightest understanding of evolution.
    Bob K: You have obviously swallowed creationism hook, line & sinker because it reinforces your religious beliefs. As for myself I shall not waste any time on any "theory" that suggests the Earth was created 4000 years ago.

  19. You are a grouchy atheist quedula. Military tactics dictate that you do not spread your defences too thin. It sort of looks like you are being flanked by these God loving people.

  20. Come one, come all Lloyd. My personal mission is to refute nonsense whether or not the perpetrators appreciate it . . . . Its good fun too :-)

  21. Evolution is not a theory? Really? It passes scientific tests? It is proven factual? I must have missed something along the line somewhere. I thought there were many, many holes in the evolutionary theory.

    Am I wrong?

    And how is the Bible nonsense when it is proven to be historically correct? Or are you just saying that God Himself is nonsense but the Bible (the book) is real?

  22. "As for myself I shall not waste any time on any "theory" that suggests the Earth was created 4000 years ago."

    And that is exactly why you yourself can no longer claim to speak scientific truth. You see, if you refuse to look at _all_ sides of the argument, if you refuse to honestly explore those areas with which you might personally disagree, then you are not a scientist. You are simply choosing the side that reinforces your own personal beliefs.

    Think about it from a logical perspective. If a flat earther only read information that told him the earth was flat, how would he ever know differently? Likewise, if Darwinian evolution is all you've ever been exposed to, how would you ever know if--in reality--intelligent design were actually the truth?

    Trust me. It's eye-opening, even for a skeptic like myself. Give it a try. You don't even have to believe it. If it's just hogwash, then you have nothing to fear.

  23. Please tell your liberal friend for me that there is no DNA evidence of evolution and please refer him to the web sites answers in genesis and institute for creation research. please ask him to buy an incubator and hatch out some chicks. after he has turned the eggs twice daily for 18 days and the chicks hatch as 21 days he will understand that sometime more than evolution is involved. If he can't hatch chicks have him hang a bird feeder outside of a window and then explain that these birds evolved from ???????? we enjoy your site.

  24. I have read that Darwin actually recanted his theory on his death bed. you believe one part of his theory as truth but when he says he could not prove the theory or there were faults in the theory, he is wrong. Optimum word being Theory. Not a proven fact. And we as people who believe in God do not have to prove he exists to anyone, that is why it is called Faith. Liberal's have done more harm and oppression to man than the monarchy which caused a Revolution that led to our freedom. I asked when will the line be drawn for keeping that freedom?