An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
You've heard me blog before about the car at the park and ride that has a bumper sticker reading: "So many Right-Wing Christians, so few Lions." Well, the driver apparently has a new one that I saw this morning and it read: "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and a cross."
The irony was not lost on me that this person with the stickers was the one apparently advocating for the execution of his political opponents (even if in jest). I've seen a lot of right-wing bumper stickers, but I've never seen one that suggested their political opponents be killed...let alone fed to lions. It gives me pause to wonder if perhaps Fascism is MORE likely to come (if ever) in the form of the smiley face that Jonah Goldberg uses on the cover of his book Liberal Fascism
But bumper stickers and random stupidity doesn't concern nearly as much as things like the recent California Court decision that could ban homeschooling for anyone who is not a state credentialed teacher. I'd heard of the case, but recently Sue showed me Matt's blog post about it which contained the actual court documents. In reading it I am in total agreement with Matt: there is some VERY frightening language therein.
Starting with parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children and then this ominous line in terms of what the state may do if they catch you denying your children a state education: "Parents who [do not enroll their children in schools with credentialed teachers, or hire credentialed tutors] may be subject to a criminal complaint against them, found guilty of an infraction, and subject to imposition of fines or an order to complete a parent education and counseling program."
Hello...did you see that? COMPLETE A PARENT EDUCATION AND COUNSELING PROGRAM. Yep, you heard right: the state will re-educate you so that you may educate your children! This is the absolute pinnacle of the violation of parental rights! Of course liberal fascists will decorate this decision with the laurels of the absolute worse case scenarios which are child abuse and neglect, but don't doubt for a second that what they consider abuse is going to include what many of us are doing to our children right now.
Raising them within the context of a conservative religious tradition: abusive. True, they cannot come right out and say it yet because of what little freedom remains to us today, but they believe we are raising up children who will not tow the people's rainbow coalition line of moral relativity and they believe it must be stopped. This ruling in California is no doubt the means by which they will do it. Keep a close eye on "hate-speech" laws as well, because they will come shortly into play in further allowing the state to oversee our parenting. What would the state think if they knew how many services we forced our kids to attend last week?! Worse still, at a church that won't allow women to serve as priests and won't marry homosexuals!
If you ever wonder why I will not vote for a democrat, it is because of this nonsense. You go through any democratic candidates "issues list" and time and time again you seem them touting collectivism, the state as mother, and the rights of individuals are always trumped by the need to "fix" society...and specifically: Parental Rights are ALWAYS subject to the state's interest in "solving" sociological woes. But always you have to peel the layers of the onion and thibnk about it because these issues are always dressed up in notions of helping people. It almost sounds like Christian charity, but it ISN'T. I don't doubt the good intentions of these people, but the operate under the assumption that their values are or ought to be universal!
I tell you: the more we rely on the state, the more the state will work to "take care of us" as we have asked...and the time will come when people will wake up and realize what a slippery slope they have started down. Our state is a thoroughly secularized entity...less and less neutral toward religion and more and more default propagators of atheism and moral relativity - because after all when you start advocating certain types of morality it is deemed to be religious in nature and we fall right back into the fears of violating the erroneously called "separation of church and state" clause.
This is one more step toward overseeing every aspect of our lives...and it is coming upon us with smiley faces and promises of goodwill. And many of us will swallow it down without thinking about actually seeing parents dragged off to mandatory state "education and counseling" for the crime of homeschooling their kids. Good night...this is what Castro does to his political opponents! Now California will do it to parents who are opponents of the what they perceive to be indoctrination by the government run schools! Freedom anyone? Hello? Liberal Fascism indeed!
Heck, at least a flag wrapped cross brand of fascism would be obvious! This is subtle and slick and couched in terms that feel good. I'd be livid if I lived in California...but I expect our time in Washington is soon coming and the California decision will have implications nationwide. But it sounds like, for now, that the problem has most to do with how California's law is written...but we shall see. Nothing irks me more, though, than the state stepping in to "help" parents. And I simply cannot get past the state needing to enlighten parents with counseling and education.
The Court's decision can be found HERE. There is some interesting stuff therein about how the Amish can get around the restrictions that I will address later.
One more thing for my Californian friends to consider: If the state is going to FORCE you to send your kids to be educated by "certified" instructors then I would DEMAND they give me vouchers. Give me MY tax money back that presently goes toward public schools (as they should ANYWAY) and let me use it to satisfy the state's restrictive laws by having my kids to attend the private school of my choice. Good luck with that.
"The irony was not lost on me that this person with the stickers was the one apparently advocating for the execution of his political opponents (even if in jest)."
It reminds me of my own gripe I've always had against those "Mean people suck" bumper stickers. Apparently people who put those on their own cars are so thin between the ears that they don't realize how mean their own bumper stickers are, and therefor how they are basically saying "I suck"