Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Apocalypse is Coming... Yayyyyyyy!!

There is this great scene in the Simpsons (anybody know the episode?) where a catastrophe is happening in Springfield. Flanders yells out, "The Apocalypse is here!" Upon hearing this declaration Flander's two sons, Rod and Todd, throw their hands into the air and joyously scream "Yayyyyy!!!"

Those two came to mind this week when I heard all of the Hoo-Haa going on over a court case in California regarding home schooling. There were Christians everywhere passing the word that California was going to force homeschooling parents to be certified or close shop.

"That sounds pretty far fetched" I would say, "are you sure that is true?"

"Absolutely! They are out to get us!" the person would reply and then go off to spread the good, I mean bad, news.

That is the sad thing, many Christian circles and ministries THRIVE on bad news.

My wife had come home Saturday from a homeschooling conference where the California situation was all the buzz.

Goodness! if it happened in California, it might happen here!!!
That's what happens when you remove prayer from schools!
Our founding fathers would not have put up with this!
We will fight all of this encroaching godlessness!!!

I am a public school teacher who has two kids who are home schooled by their mother (my darling wife). After hearing all the commotion, I did a quick Google search and found what I expected to find. It is no big deal.

An appellate court judge (not the state of California) made a ruling which applied to a child abuse case. The carry over could be applied to all home schoolers, but this is not the intent. The Governor and legislature are already taking steps to make sure there will not even be a bump in the road.

Sorry to take the fun out of it, but it is no big deal.

What this does speak to is the larger problem of Evangelical Exaggeration . There are many individuals and ministries in the Christian community who desire contention. Before a story is clear, they have assumed the worst. Like Rod and Todd, they welcome dark days.


Anonymous said...

I agree...the Christian monolith is a good hype machine preying on the fears of a group of people being raised in fear (namely that of God - which is used as the cover to say most of these outrageous things). I would also say people within Christian churches, in general, are not well researched people and usually have limited world-views. These 2 things combined alone and I can see how exaggeration gets little flack.

I am also fairly upset with the use of use of 'bad news' to support the 'good news' - as if to mimic the use of mainstream media and the use of 'villianization' that sells. I think the best we can do is speak out against it whenever and wherever we hear it...someone needs to raise a counter point to people who believe such foolishness.

Andrew said...

"I think the best we can do is speak out against it"

Yes, it is distressing how pervasive it is within the Christian community. We are offering no "alternative script" (as Walter B. would say) if we simply fall into the same mold of fear driven motivation that is also propagated by the powers that be.

Not that I consider myself much better... I can get sucked into the emotionalism plenty of times myself.

cipher said...

Andrew, do any of your colleagues or the parents of your students ever ask you why you home school your kids? If so, what do you tell them?

Andrew said...

I am going to answer your question, but I realize it is rather lengthy and ties in with a bunch of other stuff I have been wanting to address lately. So I am going to blog about it soon.

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