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GRACE is a non-profit organization made up of highly trained and experienced multi-disciplinary professionals who seek to educate and empower the Christian community to identify, confront and respond to the sin of child abuse.
I deliberately did not link to the GRACE article, because I wanted to see what you thought without having any other influences. Here is the article: The True (and False) Persecution of the Church. Please be sure to read the comments. If you followed the comments in yesterday’s post, Learn to Discern: Persecution or Hype or Agenda?, you will notice that some of you had similar arguments. The discussion was great. I loved it.
I, too, saw the video before reading GRACE’s article and wanted to share my observations. Here are the key excerpts I found troublesome:
The church in America is going to suffer so terribly. And we laugh now, but they will come after us and they will come after our children. They will close the net around us while we are playing soccer mom and soccer dad. While we are arguing over so many little things and mesmerized by so many trinkets. The net, even now is closing around you and your children and your grandchildren and it does not cause you to fear.
You’ll go down as the greatest bigots and haters of mankind in history. They’ve already come after your children, and for most of you, they have already gotten them. They got them through the public schools and indoctrination and in the university and indoctrination and then you wonder why your children come out not serving the Lord. It’s because you fed them right into the devil’s mouth. So little by little, the net is closing around and then it’s not little by little – look how fast things are going down hill in a matter of weeks, matter of weeks. But at the same time know this: persecution is always meant for evil, but God always means it for good. And is it not better to suffer in this life, to have an extra weight of glory in heaven?
They were martyred and they were persecuted as enemies of the state, as child molesters, as bigots, as narrow-minded stupid people who had fallen for a ruse and can contribute nothing to society.
This is the kind of rhetoric that we have been given in the Homeschool Movement. As soon as I heard him say these words in the video, I immediately thought that he had drunk the Homeschool Movement Kool-Aid. What Kool-Aid is that? It is the pervasive idea in the Homeschool Movement (and consequently churches who embrace the Homeschool Movement) that the government is first and foremost E.V.I.L. – as in all caps, bolded, and italicized!
And we laugh now, but they will come after us and they will come after our children. They will close the net around us while we are playing soccer mom and soccer dad.
They taught that there can be nothing good about the government (or government schools). They are out to get Christians. We must be fearful of them. They are not of us. We must not be connected with them.
A couple of weeks ago when I was in Portland, I reconnected with an old friend and I confessed that I had thought poorly of her because she allowed her two sweet high school students to attend their local heathen government school for choir classes. Yes, that’s the way we talked sometimes. You see, these girls used to be in the homeschool choir I directed and I couldn’t fathom the idea that these precious girls whom I loved were being indoctrinated in the evil government high school. Oh, that Kool-Aid was so thick. Evil, I tell you, heathen government schools are E.V.I.L. (Side note: they are so evil that I have now sent 3 of my kids to the evil public high school and now I’m Evil Choir Mom and Accompanist and going on my 5th year of doing so – my, my how things change.)
Back to more of Paul Washer, warning, warning:
The net, even now is closing around you and your children and your grandchildren and it does not cause you to fear.
As homeschooling parents, if you do one thing bad, don’t dot your “i” and cross your “t,” the school district is going to come after you, and the police and CPS is not far behind. Warning, warning:
They’ve already come after your children, and for most of you, they have already gotten them.
And if those evil ogres come to your front door, you will need to know what to say because if you say the wrong thing, they could take your children away from you.
Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM) had a large population of homeschooling families who were well acquainted with this kind of exaggerated anti-government mentality. That mentality, along with the mentality that churches know better how to handle crimes which they labeled as “sin” than civil authorities helped to create an environment perfect for sexual perpetrators to live and thrive.
Think about the SGM case and my former church. Pastors allegedly knew of the sex abuse cases and refused to notify civil authorities. They dealt with the cases in the church and wanted to keep them under wraps. They surely had the evil-government idea in their minds, too. It was common knowledge that you did not involve the evil government in these affairs. This mindset gave the green light for church leaders to not only overlook abuse, but could also give them the green light to abuse since they knew there was no civil authority oversight.
I am not saying that Paul Washer by any means condones abuse or has even thought this through, but do you see what can happen with his they-are-evil message?
Please, listen to the video again. This time when you listen, imagine yourself as a homeschooling family who has drunk the Kool-Aid that the government is evil. But wait . . . before you hit “play,” look at this. I’ve mentioned Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) before:
Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms. Through annual memberships, HSLDA is tens of thousands of families united in service together, providing a strong voice when and where needed. (Source)
Imagine that you believe wholeheartedly that if you don’t say and do the right things, “they” may come after you and take your kids away. Note the words “government intrusion” below taken from the HSLDA site below:
HSLDA also takes the offensive, filing actions to protect members against government intrusion and to establish legal precedent. (From HSLDA site)
Imagine that you have taped a script on the inside cupboard in your kitchen cupboard. The script (printed and distributed to HSLDA members) is what to say should any evil school district officer or evil government official come to your front door. Imagine you have also trained your children what to do or say should anyone confront you while you are out in public, at the library, at the grocery store. All of your children are trained how to respond to the question, “why are you not in school?”
See, you had to have the right response – – – just in case. Just in case what you ask? Just in case that person you met notifies evil Child Protective Services or the evil local school district. In the HSLDA newsletters, we read letters from concerned parents about what to do with nosy neighbors or family members who did not want you to homeschool. There was clearly an us versus them mentality that we were exposed to.
Ok, now hit play.
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Now imagine you are a parent of a child who was sexually violated. In your church, your church leaders have told you they will take care of the problem. You trust them. They have your family’s best interest at heart. Not only that, you are protected by HSLDA. It’s a “Christian” organization. They believe like you that homeschooling your children is your civil right and will protect you and fight for you when the government tries to tell you otherwise. Both HSLDA and your church leaders are in agreement, so they both must be right . . . right? Now everybody is in agreement: government is evil. That part is settled in our minds.
When thinking of the sphere of influence in the families of victims, we realize that they are pretty isolated because of having large families, being active in homeschooling endeavors, and their church commitments. If all of their primary influencers are telling them that the government is evil, you better believe the government is evil. The government might be the last place you want to take our molested child. And if you do, you will surely feel pangs of guilt because you will be going against all of the leaders in your sphere of influence. That is pretty powerful. I cannot imagine the strength of Renee Gamby’s parents who actually DID go against their church authority and notify police of their daughter’s abuse (Renee is sex abuse survivor and plaintiff in SGM’s sex abuse civil lawsuit). ::::High fives to the Palmers from JA:::::
I’m telling you people, we as homeschool parents were taught by homeschool leaders (HSLDA and leaders at Christian homeschooling conventions) to fear government. That they were not there for our protection.
Whether he meant to or not, Paul Washer seems to be perpetuating the idea that all government is evil by his fear mongering.
I do not like this fear-mongering. People in positions of influence and authority need to be very careful in how they use their words. Below is what the Bible says about civil authority. It seems a lot different from Washer’s, “they’ve already come after your children.”
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.
For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.
[Act] as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but [use it] as bondslaves of God. Honor all men; love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. Peter 2:13-17
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