I know that not all Girl Scout troops subscribe to the thinking of the national organization, but families who are considering becoming involved in Girl Scouts need to know the following information. According to Aaron Atwood of Citizen Link Daily Update (9/7/05), the Girl Scouts celebrated their 50th national session on October 7-10, with a duo of pro-abortion, pro-homosexual speakers set to “empower” girls to change the world. Johnnetta Betsch Cole and Kavita Ramdas headlined the tri-annual session, bringing messages that contradict the values that undergird the Girl Scouts of the USA's (GSUSA) founding promise — that members would “serve God and their country.”
Cole has authored several feminist titles and spoken in defiance of Christianity and therapy for homosexuals wanting to get out of the gay lifestyle. Ramdas is president and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, a world leader in the abortion promotion. She has promoted the benefits of Roe v. Wade in America and across the globe, calling called the Bush administration “hostile to women's rights, having re-instated the Global Gag” on “information about and access to contraception, and safe, legal abortions.”
Leslie Unruh, president and founder of the Abstinence Clearinghouse, said the inclusion of the two women to address the Girl Scouts represents a hijacking of the group by a small minority. This is hardly the first time, though, that the Girls Scouts have veered left in educating their members. GSUSA uses homosexual advocacy literature as their primary source to conclude that girls don't feel safe. The AIDS badge curriculum mentions abstinence once but encourages troops to make posters and host meetings showing the best way to use condoms.
Robert Knight, director of the Culture and Family Institute, said it is obvious the Girl Scouts are going in a new direction. But concerned parents can take heart: An alternative to the Girl Scouts does exist. In 1995, Patti Garibay, a former Girl Scout leader, founded the Ohio-based American Heritage Girls (AHG), a family-friendly spin-off that now has troops in 32 states. To learn more about the American Heritage Girls, visit the group's Web site at http://www.ahgonline.org .
In the June 17, 2006, issue of World Magazine, Editor in Chief Marvin Olasky, commenting on the push to legitimize same-sex marriages, said, “At a time when schools should be concentrating on reading and math, schools instead through health classes and special programs attempt to get kids to see as normal what almost all instinctively see as weird. Political scientist Seana Segrue notes, 'The need of same-sex unions to be culturally coddled also increases the likelihood that the state will use public education for this end.'” Yes, I know that the ancient Graeco-Roman world was filled with immorality in general and homosexuality in particular, but can you imagine the apostle Paul encouraging the Christians in Corinth to go ahead and send their children to the public schools where those kinds of things would have been condoned and encouraged? No, rather he told them, “Do not be deceived. Evil company corrupts good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
This doesn't relate directly to homeschooling, but our good friend Craig Meyer, who is a homeschooling father and a gospel preacher working with the church of Christ in Chester, VA, sent me the following note. “Here's the short version of what has happened here in the last 48 hours: On Thursday, June 8, 2006, at approx. 4:30 P.M. local time, a Volvo SUV drove into the front of our meetinghouse, i.e. the church building of the Chester church of Christ in Chester, Virginia….Fortunately, no one was injured or killed. Also, at the time of the accident the vehicle was unoccupied and no one was in the meetinghouse. This event was on Richmond's Thurs. evening T.V. news. Reporters, photographers, and even a news helicopter (hovering overhead) were at the scene! Kimberly and I were attending a homeschooling function at the Coliseum in Richmond at the time so we missed out on all the excitement! Re: HOW the accident occurred – to me, the details of the accident do not pass the 'sniff test.' (Translation: Something stinks–is not right–about the 'story.') AT BEST, the driver was FOOLISH and NEGLIGENT and will be duly charged by the Chester police.” It seems that the most interesting things happen to homeschoolers! In a later note, Craig gave a little further explanation of what happened. “A traffic accident occurred about one block away from the Chester, VA church building (last Thursday, June 8th). A teenage boy was involved in that accident. He telephoned his mother to come and help him. The mother quickly 'flew' to the aid of her boy. She parked her car (SUV) at the top of a small 'rise' (hill) off the road next to the church building. However, in her PANIC, FRENZY, and HYSTERIA (have I painted a picture here?), she jumped out of her car, but did not shift the gear into PARK!!! Eventually, due to gravity and the vehicle still being in gear, the DRIVERLESS car rolled down the hill, gathered momentum, and PLOWED right into the front of our building, causing approx. $10,000 damage. I'd sure hate to pay that woman's car insurance premiums in the future!”
On June 6, 2006, a Florida television station reported that a Titusville, FL, teacher was disciplined for a “racy” test given to students. Harry Huff learned about the test from his son and met with the principal of Madison Middle School on Tuesday. The test contained more than 200 questions and was designed to measure “strong-mindedness.” Some were ordinary questions like “Would you like to learn to be a pilot?” or “Do you dislike spicy food?” However there were at least five questions some parents, including Huff, found fault with. Those questions asked things like “Do you like ordinary sex?” or “Would you take part in an orgy?” Madison Middle's principal Joan Sparks said it all came down to a bad mistake. I must ask, why is everything just “a mistake.” Why cannot we ever admit that someone did something wrong? She said an inexperienced teacher named Ms. Williams didn't read all of the questions on the test before giving it to 34 students. Still, some parents like Rachel Quillen wondered if other questions like “Do you sometimes have cruel fantasies?” might have signaled that the personality test meant for entertainment was not one that belonged at a middle school. “If she can't make a judgment call that these questions aren't appropriate for 12 or 13 years old, then I don't want her teaching my child,” said Quillen. Amen!
I know that even some conservatives who oppose homosexual marriage do not support a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between as man and a woman, giving several reasons. One, based upon the premise of federalism which leaves such issues up to the states, is that we already have the Defense of Marriage Act and several states have passed constitutional amendments defining marriage as between a man and a woman. However, all it will take is one out-of-control federal judge (and a Democrat President to appoint future Supreme Court Justices) to declare all such laws invalid. However, if it is in the Constitution, no judge can declare such laws “unconstitutional.” Another reason is fear that if we allow the federal government to define marriage, it could easily change that definition. The fact is that the federal government already defines marriage as concerns income taxes, federal benefits, etc. The objection would be true of Congressional acts, which can easily be changed, but if a carefully crafted amendment to the Constitution were passed, it could be changed only by another amendment, which is more difficult. I personally support the amendment, but, alas, all of this is moot because the cowardly United States Senate has rejected such an amendment again. We can hope that those who oppose righteousness and support perversity will be swept out of office in the coming elections, but even if not we know that, unless they repent, they will receive their just punishment. “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14.34).
Kim Wolf does an excellent job maintaining the Ohio page and doing the Ohio blog on the TOS Website. However, even though we now live in Missouri, I am a native of Ohio and we stay extremely interested in what is going on in Ohio among homeschoolers.
The May/June, 2006, issue of The Home School Court Report from the Home School Legal Defense Association contained the following note from Scott Somerville. “New superintendents are often unfamiliar with the workings of Ohio's homeschool law. Sometimes this causes problems, as when a new superintendent insists on regulations that go beyond the actual law. Sometimes, though, superintendents display an honest interest in homeschooling. This seems to be the case for the new superintendent of Hillsboro City Schools, Arthur Reiber. He has sent out a letter to homeschoolers in the district, asking why they chose to pull their children out of public school. He includes a short form with a number of questions and a chance to comment. Such a form carries both danger and opportunity. Of course, homeschoolers are not required to provide this information to the district, and this could be the start of a marketing campaign in which the school tries to persuade homeschool families to place their children in public school. However, families may want to take advantage of the opportunity to portray homeschooling's benefits and to communicate how the school district can build a strong relationship with homeschoolers. A number of homeschool families have written to Superintendent Reiber to explain why they are home educating. We trust this will satisfy his curiosity!”
I always enjoy reading the “Across the States” section of the magazine to keep up with what homeschoolers all over the nation are experiencing, but this one especially caught my attention because Hillsboro, OH, is my hometown, and I graduated from high school there in 1972. Of course, homeschooling, as such, was practically unheard of then. And Mr. Reiber was not there when I was. I do not personally know any homeschoolers in the Hillsboro area, but I know that they are there (including, at one time, the editor of the local newspaper, Rory Ryan). If I were writing Mr. Reiber, I would simply tell him that I want my children learning everything–science, history, language, and yes, even mathematics–from a Biblical worldview and they simply cannot get that in public schools today (and in many cases what they get is antagonistic to it), so I have chosen to provide the kind of education which I believe that they need at home.
In World Magazine, founder Joel Belz had an Apr. 22 article critical of public education but balanced it in a May 13 article which admitted that Christian schools are often “skimming off the easy assignments, and leaving the rest to public schools.” In the June 10, 2006, issue, Molly Black of Bay City, MI, wrote a letter to the editor in which she noted, “Joel Belz says that Christian education has neglected vocational education and special-needs children. This may be true for some Christian schools, but many homeschools teach valuable vocational skills, and special needs and learning disabilities are major reasons why many families choose to homeschool in the first place.” Right on!