Way of Life Literature


Publisher of Bible Study Materials

Friday Church News Notes
Volume 21, Issue 18 - May 1, 2020
Graphical Edition
The Friday Church News Notes is designed for use in churches and is published by Way of Life Literature. Unless otherwise stated, the Notes are written by David Cloud. Of necessity we quote from a wide variety of sources, though this does not imply an endorsement.
Elizabeth Bartholet

Elizabeth Bartholet

HARVARD LAW PROFESSOR SAYS HOMESCHOOLING IS DANGEROUS, PARENTS SHOULD NOT HAVE 24/7 AUTHORITY OVER THEIR CHILDREN (Friday Church News Notes, May 1, 2020, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from Erin O’Donnell, “The Risks of Homeschooling,” Harvard Magazine, May-June 2020: “A rapidly increasing number of American families are opting out of sending their children to school, choosing instead to educate them at home. Homeschooled kids now account for roughly 3 percent to 4 percent of school-age children in the United States, a number equivalent to those attending charter schools, and larger than the number currently in parochial schools. Yet Elizabeth Bartholet, Wasserstein public interest professor of law and faculty director of the Law School’s Child Advocacy Program, sees risks for children—and society—in homeschooling, and recommends a presumptive ban on the practice. Homeschooling, she says, not only violates children’s right to a ‘meaningful education’ and their right to be protected from potential child abuse, but may keep them from contributing positively to a democratic society. ... ‘From the beginning of compulsory education in this country, we have thought of the government as having some right to educate children so that they become active, productive participants in the larger society,’ she says. ... In a paper published recently in the Arizona Law Review, she notes that parents choose homeschooling for an array of reasons. ... surveys of homeschoolers show that A MAJORITY OF SUCH FAMILIES (BY SOME ESTIMATES, UP TO 90 PERCENT) ARE DRIVEN BY CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN BELIEFS, AND SEEK TO REMOVE THEIR CHILDREN FROM MAINSTREAM CULTURE. Bartholet notes that some of these parents are “extreme religious ideologues” who question science and promote female subservience and white supremacy. ... ‘But it’s also important that children grow up exposed to community values, social values, democratic values, ideas about nondiscrimination and tolerance of other people’s viewpoints,’ she says, noting that EUROPEAN COUNTRIES SUCH AS GERMANY BAN HOMESCHOOLING ENTIRELY and that countries such as France require home visits and annual tests. ... ‘The issue is, DO WE THINK THAT PARENTS SHOULD HAVE 24/7, ESSENTIALLY AUTHORITARIAN CONTROL OVER THEIR CHILDREN from ages zero to 18? I THINK THAT’S DANGEROUS,’ Bartholet says. ‘I think it’s always dangerous to put powerful people in charge of the powerless, and to give the powerful ones total authority.’”

TERRIFYING LIBERAL TYRANTS WANT TO BAN HOMESCHOOLING BECAUSE THEY HATE CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN BELIEFS (Friday Church News Notes, May 1, 2020, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from Timothy Carney’s response to the Harvard Magazine rant against homeschooling, from the Washington Examiner, Apr. 22, 2020: “It is important to remember that there exist terrifying liberal authoritarians who think homeschooling is horrible and should be banned because it gives parents, particularly conservative Christians, too much control over their children’s education. Harvard Law School hosts a program called the ‘Child Advocacy Program,’ or CAP, which works on weakening ‘parent rights’ and diminishing the idea of ‘family preservation,’ done in the name of fighting abuse. Fighting abuse is good and important. Children often need protection from abusive parents. But the latest crusade by CAP’s director, Harvard law professor Elizabeth Bartholet, is basically to abolish homeschooling. ... based on this second-hand anecdotal evidence of some horrific cases, Bartholet tries to create a presumption that homeschoolers are abusers. ... Much of her argument is standard, paranoid ‘what’s to stop x from y’ reasoning. She argues that under current state laws and enforcement, there are all sorts of bad things some parents could be doing. ... But her real worry isn’t children getting no education. It’s children getting the ‘wrong’ education. ... she grants there are legitimate reasons to pull your children from school. But she is really worried about religious parents who don’t like public schools teaching their children transgender ideology, moral relativism, or radical feminism. To drive that home, Harvard Magazine had an insane picture illustrating the story. Public school children are all running around freely, while the homeschooled child is locked in a literal prison made of books--including the Bible. (Oh, and Harvard Magazine misspelled ‘arithmetic’ in the illustration.) ... This is Alice-in-Wonderland, truth-on-its-head stuff. ... The notion that public schools provide more meaningful education than the average homeschooler is also insane. The idea that homeschoolers are, de facto, not exposed to ‘community values, social values, democratic values’ is also totally unfounded. Unless, again, by ‘social values,’ she means the values of the secular Left. ... If you live in a state with a Democratic legislature, you need to worry about these people. They will craft an agenda to make it illegal to homeschool your children unless you can prove good reason. They will do this precisely because they don’t want conservative Jewish, Muslim, and Christian parents passing down their values. And while these activists will lead by focusing on the rare and horrific abuses, they clearly believe that religion and conservative values count as ‘maltreatment.’ These people have a dangerous agenda. We shouldn’t ignore their work.”

HARVARD TO HOST PRO-HOMESCHOOL FORUM (Friday Church News Notes, May 1, 2020, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Harvard to Host Pro-Homeschools,” Townhall, Apr. 24, 2020: “Amid outcry from homeschooling advocates and allies [against the ‘Homeschooling Summit: Problems, Politics, and Prospects for Reform’] Harvard announced on Friday that they would be hosting a virtual discussion that would effectively counter the suggestions being put forward by the original summit. Titled, ‘The Disinformation Campaign Against Homeschooling,’ the May 1 event will precede the summit hosted by Harvard Law and being presented by the Kennedy School of Government. The event is also organized by the student-run group, Ideological Diversity. ‘Speakers will discuss the dishonest attacks on homeschooling that have been pervasive in the media and academia and also address the failures of public education,’ the event website states. The discussion will take place via virtual call host Zoom and is open to all, no RSVP required.  Speakers include the Director of School Choice at the Reason Foundation Corey DeAngelis, author of Unschooled, Kerry McDonald, education scholar Peter Gray, homeschooling advocate Patrick Ferenga, and documentary filmmaker Cevin Soling.”

HOMESCHOOL ADVOCATE ANSWERS ANTI-HOME SCHOOLING HARVARD PROFESSOR (Friday Church News Notes, May 1, 2020, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from Michael Farris, “Harvard Law Professor Attacks Homeschoolers, as She Envisions Them,” Townhall, Apr. 22, 2020. Farris is president of Alliance Defending Freedom and founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association. “Should homeschooling be banned? Harvard Magazine and one of Harvard’s law professors, Elizabeth Bartholet, think so. This is despite the fact that Harvard University admits an appreciable number of homeschooled students to both its undergraduate and graduate programs every year. ... Bartholet argues that homeschooling denies children a meaningful education. In so doing, Bartholet fails to demonstrate any familiarity with valid social science research. The literature demonstrates that homeschooling works very well academically—including in some ways that many would find surprising. In public schools, family income is a strong predictor of a child’s academic success. In homeschooling, children from lower-income levels not only outscore their public school socio-economic counterparts, but they also score comparably to homeschool students from higher income levels. ... I personally know two homeschool students who are Harvard Law grads and clerked for the U.S. Supreme Court. Another Harvard alum is the current solicitor general of West Virginia. I taught constitutional law to all three at Patrick Henry College. And two more of my PHC students, who were also homeschooled, clerked for the Supreme Court after graduating from the University of Virginia Law School. Moreover, dozens of homeschooled students in my personal sphere of friends have been elected to state and local offices. ... Thousands of homeschooled students actively participate in the electoral process every cycle through a program called Generation Joshua. ... Perhaps the most troubling thing found in this article is a clear display of bigotry by Professor Bartholet. She argues that a chief evil at hand arises from the fact that as many as 90 percent of homeschooled children live with conservative Christian parents ‘who seek to remove their children from mainstream culture.’ ... Any form of bigotry coming from one of its professors should cause Harvard trustees to be concerned.”

THE EYE OF AN OCTOPUS (Friday Church News Notes, May 1, 2020, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is from creationmoments.com, February 3, 2020: “The eye is a very complex organ. A vertebrate eye, such as that possessed by humans, contains a number of separate parts, all of which have to work together. It is easy, therefore, to show that an eye could not have evolved. Our eyes contain a lens, which is transparent and convex, like the lens of a camera. But, unlike the camera lens, the eye lens can have its focal length altered by being stretched thinner, or squashed fatter, by tiny muscles. If the lens had evolved without the muscles, it would have been useless. The lens needs to focus light on to the retina, where the photo-receptors are found. The retina would have been useless if it had evolved with no lens, and there would be no evolutionary advantage to an organism with a lens, but no retina. And none of these features are useful without a nerve to take the signals of these images to the brain. A further blow that the eye gives to evolution is when we examine the eyes of cephalopods, like the octopus. The eyes of these mollusks are pretty much the same as vertebrate eyes. Are we expected to believe that they evolved separately to the same design? Cephalopods are supposedly less evolved than humans. Yet their eyes seem to be more advanced, as they do not possess the blind spot of the vertebrate eye. None of these issues is difficult to understand when we realize that these features were designed by God, just as He said. Ref: Encyclopedia Britannica, ‘Science: Photo Reception.’”

CONCLUSION: The Friday Church News Notes is designed for use in churches and is published by Way of Life Literature’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service. Unless otherwise stated, the Notes are written by David Cloud. Of necessity we quote from a wide variety of sources, but this obviously does not imply an endorsement. We trust that our readers will not be discouraged. It is God’s will that we know the times (1 Ch. 12:32; Mat. 16:3) and that we be as wise as serpents and harmless as doves. The News Notes remind us that the hour is very late, and we need to be ready for the Lord’s coming. Are you sure that you are born again? Are you living for Christ? “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Rom. 13:11-14).


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