Dark Christianity
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May 2008
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dogemperor [userpic]
Here's what kids in dominionist "homeschool"/private school households are often learning...

(EDIT: Edited for formatting, also edited to emphasize that both dominionist homeschool programs and private schools operated by dominionist denominations (particularly AoG and "independent pentecostal" or "independent Baptist", increasingly in Southern Baptist schools as well) are using this material in their basic school curriculum. I apologise if I didn't make this clear.)

Especially in the past ten to twenty years, there's been a major push in the dominionist community towards homeschooling kids (to specifically insulate them from "worldly" or "satanic" influences--read: exposure to any info outside the coercive religious group). There's been a very similar push in dominionist circles to get them into private schools operated by dominionist groups for even longer, closer to fifty years.

One of the most common curricula used (both in dominionist homeschools as well as private religious schools operated by dominionist churches) is called "A Beka" (http://www.abeka.com/) which is apparently a company started approximately thirty years ago by Pensacola Christian College (per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Beka_Book).

Pensacola Christian College itself is operated by an "independent Baptist" (which in practice, "independent Baptist" is much like "non-denominational pentecostal" in that it is a church with practically no outside supervision) church that is explicitly fundamentalist and dominionist. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pensacola_Christian_College has a listing including the school's "statement of faith" and the school rules (similar to Bob Jones University; BJU also has known ties to dominionists)

http://www.rethinkingschools.org/archive/16_02/god162.shtml has some info regarding the curricula taught in A Beka, as well as http://www.rethinkingschools.org/special_reports/voucher_report/vinto162.shtml with specific info on dominionist theology being specifically taught in the textbooks:

“All governments are ordained by God, but none compare to government by God, theocracy.” (from William R. Bowen et al., American Government in Christian Perspective, 2nd ed., (Pensacola, Fla.: A Beka, 1997), p. 19.)

"We present government as ordained by God for the maintenance of law and order, not as a cure-all for the problems of humanity. We present free-enterprise economics without apology and point out the dangers of Communism, socialism, and liberalism to the well-being of people across the globe. In short, A Beka Book offers you a Christian and conservative approach to the study of what man has done with the time God has given." (from A Beka's website: http://www.abeka.com/About/Distinctives.html)

"While secular science textbooks present modern science as the opposite of faith, the A Beka Book science texts teach that modern science is the product of Western man's return to the Scriptures after the Protestant Reformation, leading to his desire to understand and subdue the earth, which he saw as the orderly, law-abiding creation of the God of the Bible.

"The A Beka Book Science and Health Program presents the universe as the direct creation of God and refutes the man-made idea of evolution. Further, the books present God as the Great Designer and Lawgiver, without Whom the evident design and laws of nature would be inexplicable. They give a solid foundation in all areas of science -- a foundation firmly anchored to Scriptural truth."

"God gave us our powers of thought and language and chose to reveal His will and His ways to us in a written form, the Bible; thus we need to pay particular attention to the teaching of grammar, spelling, vocabulary, composition, and literature as we seek to educate students from a Christian perspective.

"Since Darwin, linguists have sought in vain for a credible explanation for the origin of language. Having accepted evolutionary philosophy, they can only think that language must be simply a response to a stimulus, an emotional outcry, an imitation of animals.

"If such foolishness were true, then any talk of language being governed by rules or any claims that some expressions are better than others would be inappropriate, and relativism would rule. This explains many English programs today. But as Christians, we still believe that the Bible provides the only credible explanation for the universe, of man, and of language. Therefore, it is easy to see in language a structure which reflects the logic, reasonableness, and orderliness of the One who created man and his language.

"Unlike the "modern math" theorists, who believe that mathematics is a creation of man and thus arbitrary and relative, we believe that the laws of mathematics are a creation of God and thus absolute. All of the laws of mathematics are God's laws. Our knowledge of God's absolute mathematical laws may be incomplete or at times in error, but that merely shows human frailty, not relativity in mathematics. Man's task is to search out and make use of the laws of the universe, both scientific and mathematical.

"A Beka Book provides attractive, legible, workable traditional mathematics texts that are not burdened with modern theories such as set theory... Besides training students in the basic skills that they will need all their lives, the A Beka Book traditional mathematics books teach students to believe in the absolutes of the universe, to work diligently to get right answers, and to see the facts of mathematics as part of the truth and order that God has built into the real universe."

(Yes, in other words, people who are studying using the A Beka mathbooks are going to be unprepared for basic college-level maths. Or for that matter, much in computer engineering/computer science, seeing as you have to work with that "modern math" stuff)

The scary thing is, A Beka is actually liberal as far as homeschool curricula targeted at dominionists go. http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/materials/Christian.htm has a list including:

http://www.learningthings.com/go.asp?agent=atozhomescool (toys specifically aimed at dominionist/"deliverance ministry" households)
http://www.homeschools.org/ (a resource specifically aimed at "Christian Reconstructionist" households--no, I am not making this up. They are marketing specifically to the Rushdoony crowd)
http://www.schooloftomorrow.com/ (ACE, Accelerated Christian Education--also had some of their material quoted in the above articles referenced in A Beka's section; content is explicitly dominionist, heck, downright Christian Reconstructionist)
http://www.homeschoolfcgs.com/product_info.php/products_id/3051 (a homeschool supply store that sells "America's Providential History", a blatantly dominionist/Christian Reconstructionist textbook pushing the "Christian Nation" canard)
http://www.providencefoundation.com/ (Providence Foundation, the publishers of "America's Providential History" and many other Christian Reconstructionist textbooks; it's links page (http://www.providencefoundation.com/links.php) includes (among other Naughty Spawn) hate group American Vision and Family Research Council (whose head, Tony Perkins, has been linked to "white citizen's council" and Klan groups))

(More backgrounder regarding dominionist groups and homeschooling specifically is at http://www.politicalamazon.com/fcf-homeschooling.html (and Yurica Report and Theocracy Watch, among other places); more backgrounder regarding one dominionist text, "America's Providential History", here: http://www.beliefnet.com/story/161/story_16152_1.html)

Also, another point: Many, if not most, of the dominionist homeschool programs are actually operated as correspondence schools by dominionist churches as extensions of existing dominionist private school systems. In other words, the problem isn't restricted to homeschool groups at all (and has been festering for quite some time--A Beka has been in use for at least thirty years in AoG private schools, for instance, and Bob Jones University's material even longer).