Update on Alecia Pennington, Homeschool Alumna with No Legal Identification for Job, College, Passport, Driver’s License, etc.

 

Update on Alecia Pennington, the homeschool alumna who has no legal identification.

 

The Washington Post has an update on the story of Alecia Faith Pennington, who was raised in a large conservative homeschool family without legal documentation to prove she is a US citizen:

Alecia Faith Pennington describes herself as a Texan, born and raised. But in a video that went viral after she posted it on YouTube last month, Pennington said her parents never obtained a birth certificate or other basic documentation of her life, leaving her with “nothing to prove my identity” — or her U.S. citizenship. Because she was home-schooled, she also has no school records. That means, the 19-year-old said, that she’s unable to get a job, go to college or obtain a driver’s licence. (Source)

This is the original YouTube video Alecia posted trying to raise awareness about her situation and get help. Alecia’s story went viral and was covered in the UK.

 

 

 


Alecia gave an update on February 12:

Later, we read that she was receiving legal counsel for her case, in the State of Texas, in an attempt to obtain identification documentation.

An article in The Washington Post today mentions that as a result of Alecia Pennington’s plight, a new bill in Texas has been written to address this issue:

 

The bill, inspired by Pennington’s campaign, would address some of the problems she says she encountered when she set out to prove her own citizenship. It would allow individuals to petition for a delayed birth certificate in the county where they live, rather than in the county in which they were born. It would also make it a misdemeanor for a parent to refuse to sign an affidavit to help their child obtain a delayed birth certificate.

“This bill is designed to make it easier for people like Faith to get a delayed birth certificate,” David Glenn, legislative director for Texas Rep. Marsha Farney (R), said in an e-mail. “If this measure had been in place today, it would have been easier for Faith to have her case heard in the county court and find representation during those court proceedings.  It also would have required her parents to sign the affidavit or face jail time.”

 

This new bill is really important. I hope it passes and other states follow suit. A few years ago at a homeschool family camp, I met a woman who also had to go through hoops to get her own identification. She needed it to get married. All of her siblings (also a large family) had to go through a difficult process of getting their documentation so they could get their driver’s licenses, go to school, be employed. Thankfully, their mother cooperated, but there are cases where parents do not want to cooperate. It goes against what they believe spiritually. However, this puts the adult child at great risk.

It’s important to note that this situation is not isolated, especially in Homeschool Movement circles and in some families whose parents are strongly anti-government. R.L. Stollar of Homeschoolers Anonymous wrote, When Your Very Identity is Held Hostage: Alecia Pennington and Identification Abuse, on the Pennington story and has labeled this as abuse.  The term, identification abuse, coined by Homeschool Alumni Reaching Out defines the term:

Identification abuse is destroying, holding hostage, or denying a child their identification documents: birth certificate, driver’s license, Social Security card, and so forth. While such abuse can happen anywhere and everywhere regardless of one’s educational environment, homeschool kids (and alumni) are particularly vulnerable to this form of abuse because of certain anti-government and pro-parental rights attitudes in totalistic homeschool subcultures. Some people see identification documents as ungodly or even a “mark of the Beast,” a reference to the number 666 associated with the Antichrist in the Christian Book of Revelations.

Stollar continues:

By denying their children documentation of their existence and citizenship, such parents set up their children for future exploitation and abuse, even trafficking. They are forcing their children into jobs that are unsafe and/or lacking basic rights and protections. For example, I have heard from a number of homeschool alumni who were forced into sex work because they had no other ways to stay afloat.

This is a movement that is anti-government. The government is viewed as evil. This is the same movement that labels public schools as “government schools,” and it is not uncommon to hear from leaders in this group that anyone who sends their children to public schools is sending their children to Satan.

These anti-government Homeschool Movement families often connect with other homeschool familes who have similar beliefs, so for teens or young adults raised in this environment, they may be isolated and not know that the way they are living is not the norm, and that they have no rights as US citizens. With no documentation, they really aren’t considered US citizens. In this “culture,” parents are hoping that their young adults marry others who hold to the similar ideologies.  Now do you see how important courtship (where the father gets to decide who daughter marries) comes into play in the Homeschool Movement? Some adult children will not realize the full ramifications of the choices their parents made for them – on their marriage partner, the choice to not file birth certificate, Social Security card – until they are well into adulthood.

We really should not be surprised when some of these adult children get divorced, abandon their faith, or even sever ties with their families once they realize what their parents have done to them based on their spiritual ideologies.

 

Related articles:
Alecia Pennington Wants to Obtain Her Legal Documentation: Is Spiritual “Tough Love” Preventing Lisa and James Pennington from Complying?

71 comments on “Update on Alecia Pennington, Homeschool Alumna with No Legal Identification for Job, College, Passport, Driver’s License, etc.

  1. This whole thing is just chilling. I had a VERY controlling mother, although as liberal as the Penningtons and their cronies are conservative, and I can’t imagine treating my kids this way.

    We kind of flitted about the edges of the homeschool movement for a few years, but even then I had no idea what was really going on. I knew we weren’t considered good enough for certain folks who pulled away and refused to socialize with anyone “unapproved” (know now that they got into Vision Forum), and I heard Voddie Baucham speak at the state homeschool convention once, but even though I did homeschool partly to try to protect my kids from what I felt were bad secular influences when they were little, I never could swallow the whole patriarchy thing.

    Sometime I’ve got to write about our experience. I came at it from an extremely liberal, Christian-hating, single-parent background, hung out at the fringes of patriarchy, and ended up a divorced (soon!) late-middle-aged with three awesome kids, possibly making my way out of evangelicalism towards a more balanced, hopefully more accurate view of Jesus and scripture.

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  2. It really is chilling for the adult children who now havehad the rug pulled out from under them. They were raised believing what their parents taught them and then to find out that the actions of their parents who were supposed to be looking out for their best interests only harmed them, it is a difficult pill to swallow, In a sense, they were abandoned at a very vulnerable time in their life when they are trying to establish themselves as adults.

    This kind of thing can cause one to question their whole spiritual foundation. If they (their parents) messed up in this area, what other area did they mess up in? How much of this “God thing” is true?

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  3. I’ve read a lot at Homeschoolers Anonymous, and it’s just heartbreaking. Things most of us take for granted, like how to be friends with the opposite sex, or even how to be friends at all, these adult “kids” struggle with long after they escape.

    I understand wanting to protect your kids. I even completely get the tendency to want to overprotect. What I cannot wrap my mind around is those who deliberately choose to hold their kids hostage.

    I do know there’s a difference between narcissists and well-meaning but misguided parents; I’ve lived with narcissists all my life (up until last year), and some of my best friends have dealt with realizing they may have stunted their kids in trying to protect that from repeating their own mistakes.

    I don’t know…the two biggest things that kept me from wandering more deeply into patriarchy and the homeschool movement were my untraditional oldest (I refused to try to make her fit into what I kept hearing was the “proper,” “feminine” role) and my own lifelong need to question authority (even if it meant I was a bad Christian, I could never just plaster on a smile and get with the program).

    Im glad Alecia seems to be making progress, and really thankful for this bill in Texas. I hope it passes.

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  4. Being totally anti-gov’t’ isn’t healthy cause even Christ said to pay César the money with César’s image. Being totally pro-gov’t’ as the perfect example of replacement to Christ isn’t healthy either. With common-core in place and Native Americans being seen as criminals on their own land for wanting to revive their culture home-education is the only option under persecution. Perhaps a private school would work or charter school?, but under persecution of culture or personhood, home education is best option. For example, what if a child was molested or raped in the household or family of a teacher who actually worked at a public school. Or an in law who is into feminism, works at public school says to a home education parent, ‘I could slap your face.’ That grown child of God will have suspicions of the policies to protect innocent children from harm in public school ‘prison.’ people are very misled about why some families choose to home educate

    Some families do need to visit http://www.gordontraining.com to better understand the Interactions of their children to authority in what is safe and what is not safe. If a parent has a social security card and drivers license, he or she ought to make sure their child can get access to the same.

    If a child has concerns about the college debt and college life, I can understand their desire to not see their children suffer alcohol poisoning, STD’s (cousin of mine whose mother public school teacher got herself one of these), bankruptcy surrounding such atmospheres.

    The Jewish children were all Homeschooled during the Nazi era of their children would have perished. In fact in history, Jewish parents were killed if they didn’t teach the ‘pagan’ ideas from public schooling.

    All in all, if the children are not given access to the ‘holy bible’ they will have problems in their life. I guarantee it. They will live like the dark ages before the reformation and feed the false religious doctrines of deception. Many children grow up in environments of bad education, foolish education, and destructive education where they could have avoided that STD or jail time or bankruptcy or violent temper. Each child needs only to bloom like a Lilly in the middle of a mucky swamp….. cause the world of education can lead people sometimes in a destructive direction.

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  5. Ps. Dietrich bonehoeffer was a supporter of home education or home educated from what I understand. Same with martin Luther. Look into it as German rule was pretty much intended to destroy the foundation of truth.

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  6. There are many more that need rescue. Polygamist compounds still exist. Homeschoolers who keep their children from knowledge of the outside world. I know of many good people who homeschooled, but it was because they wanted all the time they could get with their children while they were young, not because they wanted control. They still allowed their children outside influences. Some of these kids were taking college courses at the local university before graduating high school. It isn’t all bad, but enough is to make us very cautious.

    The bill is good that the state of Texas is trying to pass through, but there will still be parents that will walk right over that misdemeanor without hesitation. Parents that want control of their kids will find away. I am glad that Alicia is working through this and also pray that she uses her experiences to help someone else. As an American who pays my taxes I also hope that the IRS is doing some investigating about now. There is nothing spiritual about not paying taxes. I don’t like big government, but I do believe we have to have some.

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  7. “It would also make it a misdemeanor for a parent to refuse to sign an affidavit to help their child obtain a delayed birth certificate.”

    Yay!! Thanks for the update on Alecia. I’ve been googling periodically to see if there was any news.

    I wish something could be done about “homeschooling” parents who don’t provide their child with a high school diploma. (You know, because they didn’t bother to properly educate to begin with.) This also has a chilling effect on an individual’s future.

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  8. Isn’t there a curriculum for homeschooling? Shouldn’t there be required periodic testing to see where the child is at? I would think it would be mandatory to evaluate at some point if the child is learning the 3 r’s at the very least.

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  9. “There are many more that need rescue.”

    I agree with your whole comment, Brenda. Sadly, many people simply don’t care.

    I don’ know who else saw the news articles this week on Gloriavale Christian Community. (Cult) If you google it, there were a few articles in the Daily Mail. The comments on the DM’s articles really got to me. I’d estimate 50 – 75% of them said to “leave them alone, they aren’t bothering anyone” or “Id like to join them and leave the rat race” or something along those lines. And this cult is run by a convicted sex offender! People today seem more than willing to check their brains at the door.

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  10. I can’t imagine that these people have any idea what they are talking about or know what goes on in these cult/prisons. They could also want to be a part of the abuser end of it.

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  11. Brenda R –

    “Isn’t there a curriculum for homeschooling? Shouldn’t there be required periodic testing to see where the child is at? I would think it would be mandatory to evaluate at some point if the child is learning the 3 r’s at the very least.”

    Each state is different. Some have strict homeschooling laws and some have very little oversight. For instance, in Oregon, a parent is required to inform their Education Service District (ESD) when the child is 7 (compulsory age in OR) of their intent to homeschool. Then, the child is to be tested at 3rd, 5th, 8th and 10th grades by an independent testor. The test scores “may” be reviewed by the ESD. Parents have the right to choose which curriculum they want to use.

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  12. Brenda R – That being said, there are lots of homeschool curricula to choose from. If you Google “homeschool curriculum” you’ll be amazed at the amount that pops up.

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  13. @ lauraraggedy

    “home education is best option”

    “All in all, if the children are not given access to the ‘holy bible’ they will have problems in their life. I guarantee it. ”

    I was born and raised in the southern Baptist wife beating convention. My wife beating, Sunday school teaching, deacon of the church, church going, bible reading father did not want to waste money on school books every year so he had us skip grades, I am dyslexic, I had no business skipping grades. My godly father then decided we did not need any more school past eighth grade. We did not go to high school or graduate high school.

    Homeschool ruined our lives. I was miserable.

    I was sexually abused the first ten years of my life by a bible loving, bible verse quoting, church going southern Baptist Christian man. The “holy bible’ did not stop the bible loving, church going, bible verse quoting man from sexually terrorizing me as a little girl. The ‘holy bible’ did not stop my church going, bible reading father from trying to convince me that rape was not that big of a deal. The ‘holy bible’ did not help me not be sexually abused over and over.

    My father and my rapist were obsessed with the wife submission bible verse, these two men loved everything the bible told them.

    The first time I read the bible from the beginning to the end, I cried so hard at the vile, pure misogynistic things the bible said about me as a female, and about me as a sexually abused, no longer virgin little girl.

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  14. “Ps. Dietrich bonehoeffer was a supporter of home education or home educated from what I understand. Same with martin Luther. Look into it as German rule was pretty much intended to destroy the foundation of truth.”

    Yeah, that would have made good sense under the NAZI regime. Fortunately, as bad as things might seem, we are not (yet) experiencing oppression of the sort Bonhoeffer experienced.

    By the way, in case anybody cares, this April 9 will be the 70th anniversary of Bonhoeffer’s martyrdom.

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  15. @Guest, I am so sorry to read how terribly you were abused. Your story breaks my heart. I have been involved with a family who is not abusive in those ways, but has essentially stopped educating their child. They have a pattern of doing this from older children (now adults). One never graduated highschool, although they went to a ceremony with lots of pomp and circumstance. The paper that person has is worthless in our state. Now that I have confronted them about their youngest, they keep a wide berth.

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  16. A good friend of my sister experienced something similar to this. Her older brother basically kidnapped her and took all her identifying papers. She is adopted, and has FAS, so she believed him when he told her that if she called the police, he would send their parents to jail. He kept her for some time against her will, with several states between them and her home.

    She recently got her papers back, but not before Stockholm Syndrome set in. She defends him and his wife, saying, “Well, they fed me while I was there. They didn’t have to feed me.” Every time I think about it, I want to tell her that they had to feed her; they weren’t about to convict themselves of murder!

    The guy is a creep. He and his wife have the supreme ego to call themselves christians. I want hurt them like they hurt her– not very christian of me, but I don’t care. They deserve to know what complete isolation and terror feels like.

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  17. “Yeah, that would have made good sense under the NAZI regime. Fortunately, as bad as things might seem, we are not (yet) experiencing oppression of the sort Bonhoeffer experienced.”

    Which brings us to the point that governments CAN turn evil and oppress people, too.

    Alicia’s parents were ridiculous. On the other hand, I often think of the story my mom tells about my dad trying to get his parents to register with social security when it was first enacted. They thought it was the most ridiculous thing they had ever heard of and did not want the government to be involved in their lives to that extent. These were not Christian fanatics. Far from it, quite frankly they did not even attend church except for Holidays. Just very independent.

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  18. Does anyone know how prevalent this is? I asked on either the HARO or HA site and got a rather smart-aleck answer from another poster which did not help at all. I have never met a homeschool family that denied a child a social security number or driving license. A lot of our friends homeschool under Virginia’s religious exemption, and their children drive, work outside of the home, attend community college and university, etc. This is a legitimate question, not a request for debate.

    Who publicly advocates for this? Again, at either HARO or HA former Virginia AG Cuccinelli is mislabled as advocating for denial of identity documents, but the video clip offered as proof does not support this contention. There must be some group or organisation urging people not to get birth certificates or social security numbers. Does anyone know who these groups are? Phillips? Gothard? Again, I am not asking for a debate, just information if anyone knows.

    Lydia: A lot of people question the whole social security system. Chile has a private pension investment system which seems to have worked well. You grandparents were not unusual in their scepticism.

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  19. I do not know how prevalent this is. The people I know who were doing this did not broadcast it. It’s obviously controversial, so I imagine people would rather keep it to themselves. I don’t know of anyone who publicly advocates for it. Just as I don’t know anyone who publicly advocates wife spanking, but obviously both are being done.

    I did find an old court document of James Pennington you may be interested in reading: http://courtweb.pamd.uscourts.gov/CourtWebSearch/txwd/05799626.pdf

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  20. JA: Thanks. It must be like this CDD stuff. BTW, I met someone the other day who supports that idea. I was so stunned I could not respond. Thanks for the link!

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  21. JA, This document for me was confusing and giving me a headache figuring it out. Does this mean they had to cough up documents? Or they got away with it?

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  22. It looks like he moved to quash not in his personal capacity but as Director of “The Anchor Group”. Since the inquiry was into personal tax liability and not that of “The Anchor Group”, the Motion to Quash was denied, thus the documents were to be produced. Whether the District Court’s ruling was appealed or not would require some research.

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  23. Brenda, I didn’t read the whole document, but from the back page where you can find the conclusion, it appears the judge ruled that James Pennington was not entitled to “quash the summons.” So, the US won this case. The court granted US’s motion to dismiss the petition to quash, and also dismissed the petition for lack of subject matter jurisdiction (blah blah legalese). Anyway, James Pennington lost, US won.

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  24. Keith – it’s weird – these people who like to wife spank (I can’t call it Christian Domestic Discipline because there’s nothing Christian about it) and avoid taxes, avoid the government – – – it’s like they are trying to find something new under the sun – another way of proving how holy they are – how separate they are from worldliness, and so they invent all sorts of crazy. But the interesting thing is this: if what they believed was so right and true (wife spanking, not paying taxes, not filing official documents for your children), then why isn’t this information prevalent and readily available?

    PRO-TIP: if your brand of Christianity is so different from most, and you are afraid to discuss it openly and honestly with other Christians, it probably isn’t too Christian after all.

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  25. JA: “…another way of proving how holy they are…” Well-stated. The “sunshine test” you propose is a good one. If you have to hide it from other believers, it is probably not Christian.

    Sorry to use the CDD term. I don;t want to cede to them the label “Christian’, either. To me it is just DV.

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  26. I have not read the text of the Texas law, but the account of it in the Washington Post sounds like a good piece of legislation.

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  27. Keith, although I’ve homeschooled for about eleven years now, I’ve not personally run into anyone whose kids were so far off the grid, so to speak. I know plenty of homebirthers and a few homesteaders, but their kids all have BCs, SSNs, driver’s licenses, etc.

    Aren’t the Penningtons part of the Sovereign Citizen movement, or has that just been speculation? If so, it would explain a lot.

    No Sovereign Citizen is going to worry about the Texas law (if it’s passed). But it’s still a good step.

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  28. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Penningtons turned out to be Sovereign Citizen/Constitutionalist/Posse Comitatus types. These folks think they don’t need driver’s licenses if they drive in the borrow pit and not on the road. If a courtroom has fringe on the flag it has no authority to deal with non-maritime law. The fringe, you see, is associated with ships. Oh, and traffic tickets are not enforceable because of the Uniform Commercial Code. After all, the driver has no contract with the citing officer.

    Basically some federal appellate court summed it up nicely in a case that involved a tax protester: “Some people believe with great fervor preposterous things that just happen to coincide with their self-interest.” The case is Coleman v. CIR (7th Cir 1986) 791 F2d 68 at 69. You can Google it.

    Really, the main difference between dominionist/reconstructionist and patriocentric “Christians” on the one hand, and the sovereign citizen types on the other, is that the the dominionists/reconstructionists/patriocentrists apply a high-torque, self interested, twisting to Scripture rather than to the Uniform Commercial Code. Alice in wonderland jurisprudence. Alice in Wonderland Biblical hermeneutics. Six of one. . .

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  29. I have been really struggling about original sin, there was a discussion on another blog about abortion / contraception and if zygotes are saved or not, most felt not unless their parents were covenant Christians. It also went to the idea that the non believing parents would have the blood of their unborn child, even if they did not know the mother was even pregnant as the child was lost do to a miscarriage would still be held accountable for the blood of the child. I found this rather troubling, this statement was from another blog and it really also troubled me

    “(Sidenote: Infants aren’t only held accountable for original sin; they’re also guilty of actual sin–ask any parent if their newborn was worried about loving their neighbors as themselves at 3am!)”

    I have raised a child and never did I think this, I know that makes me a soulless human piece of scum but I dont know how to attribute adult concepts to a baby that is only doing what it does to survive. I cant read any more as I just cant believe God would be that cruel as to cast a child into hell for crying when said child is hungry or sick. I was listening to a father discuss how he would make his kids jump off a high table into his arms so they would learn to obey no matter what. I find that rather well sick.

    I know I am wrong and even before a child is born it should know the ten commandments and it should be able to give a full treatise on original sin, the trinity, the hypostatic union etc.

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  30. I think we are seeing a very similar situation with the Hal Stanley case in Arkansas. Of course, all the anti-government people are making this out to be the government overreaching simply because a family owned a dangerous chemical, but I think not.

    Hal Stanley told the Washington Post that he believed his two oldest teenagers were responsible for the raid…get this…BECAUSE THEY WANTED TO GO TO PUBLIC SCHOOL. Man, life has got to be bad when a 16 year old is willing to get CPS involved in order to get a decent education.

    A little further research reveals that this dude has 14 kids by a couple of different women. He is 73 years old. And his family proudly boasts that they are quiverfull and do everything at home, including going to church. So not only can kids not go to school…they can’t even have church friends because they have to stay with the parents all of the time.

    If you look at the Facebook posts on this case, you see the similarity with many others. It is all about taking MY kids away from ME, ignoring the fact that the kids themselves have a constitutional rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    We have authority over our children, but they are not property. It is ridiculous to refuse them the basics to be able to function independently as adults, i.e. a birth certificate, social security number, etc.

    We homeschool, and love it, but the more I see cases this, the less I am opposed to a basic, annual homeschool inspection for people like this, just to ensure that kids are learning, legally documented, and have adequate access to social services and healthcare. But no, your guys like Michael Farris have to fight for the rights of pedophiles and conspiracy theorists who don’t want the government to know about their abused children.

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  31. “If you look at the Facebook posts on this case, you see the similarity with many others. It is all about taking MY kids away from ME, ignoring the fact that the kids themselves have a constitutional rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. “

    This is such a good point. These are people who are using their kids for their own personal agenda.

    “We have authority over our children, but they are not property. It is ridiculous to refuse them the basics to be able to function independently as adults, i.e. a birth certificate, social security number, etc. “

    It is their duty to raise future citizens who can function in the community. I say the same thing about other groups who have children for other nefarious reasons like getting more gov aid. the public schools are full of them. Throw away kids who are raising themselves.

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  32. Brian,
    No. Look back at how Jesus was with little children. He loved them just as they were. I had a 9 month old grandson taken home to be with the Lord and I 100% have no doubt in my mind that he is with the Lord. I don’t know at what time each person becomes accountable, but I am sure that there will be no 5 year olds in Hell. I don’t know if there is an age set in stone. Perhaps it is when they have been told about Jesus and choose to reject Him.

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  33. Involuntary servitude is, alas, alive and well. It’s just that we no longer keep slaves. Rather, religious men (as oposed to people of faith) enslave their wives and children.

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  34. We homeschool, and love it, but the more I see cases this, the less I am opposed to a basic, annual homeschool inspection for people like this, just to ensure that kids are learning, legally documented, and have adequate access to social services and healthcare. But no, your guys like Michael Farris have to fight for the rights of pedophiles and conspiracy theorists who don’t want the government to know about their abused children.

    Exactly, Larry. When we homeschooled Hannah, she was under the radar her whole education. She had standardized testing done for my benefit, but I didn’t feel it was the government’s responsibility to know anything. I was under the Homeschool Movement anti-government spell. I, like, you have now changed my mind based on these abuse stories. It’s okay to be inconvenienced a little bit if it helps to ensure that children are not slipping through the cracks and living in abuse.

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  35. You know, Alecia lives in a border state, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to get some fake ID/documents. She’s pretty white and speaks perfect American English, so nobody would suspect anything. Then she could be treated like all the rest of us.

    Isn’t it amazing that all of us here on this blog not only believe her story, but we believe it without the slightest documentation that she has no documentation? Would you trust her if she showed up at your company and wanted to work for a living? Would you hire her? Why not? Because she has no “papers”, that’s why. And if papers were not required, we might hire her in a heartbeat.

    We live in a society where a fake ID is more powerful than the unanimously believed truth by numerous people. Salvation by documentation. Without papers, Alecia is really a nobody, not even given the dignity of being human. What is more abusive, the spiritual abuse by parents of such kids, or the spiritual abuse of a society whose laws demand those kids be treated this way?

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  36. Steve Scott: I think I see part of your point, i.e. that the requirement for documentation has placed the burden of proving identity and citizenship on the individual. It is as if there is a presumption that the individual is lying. I think this is unfair, but there really is no turning back. The claim that one’s social security number would not become at least part of a de facto national identity “card” was met with criticism many years ago. The critics were labelled paranoid, but ultimately proven right. Much the same could be said of the birth certificate requirement.

    Practically speaking, if one has no birth certificate or SSN, it is hard to get a start in life. This young lady did not create either the lack of these documents, or the social changes which make them necessary. She should not be punished for conditions she did not create.

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  37. Keith: I’m glad my point was understandable. I feared I was being too cryptic.

    As to whether there is no turning back, Christians can help by not contributing to the nonsense. But, I won’t hold my breath.

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  38. Brian, I get the sense you are being tongue-in-cheek, but I wanted to emphasize that those people who believe those things about babies, are practicing legalism, not grace. They forget what being a Christian means (“Christ-follower”), and think that people are born into Christianity, instead of being born again.

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  39. Actually L. Lawrence those are the liberal folks and no Im not I truly wish I was, they are few and far between in most circles, not so much in my old crowd.

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  40. This is a very mellow version of some folks I have heard discuss the issue, at least this guy is not red faced and yelling

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  41. I believe that we inherit Adam’s sin. But God is merciful and loving. No, he is not a kindly old gramps, but He does love the sheep. To me, we just trust in God’s mercy and love that the little ones will be in heaven. St. John was saved in the womb by God. Why not other children? Sometimes people want to overemphasize God’s sovereignty and wrath as against his justice and mercy.

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  42. Thanks for this Brian:

    “(Sidenote: Infants aren’t only held accountable for original sin; they’re also guilty of actual sin–ask any parent if their newborn was worried about loving their neighbors as themselves at 3am!)”

    …I dont know how to attribute adult concepts to a baby that is only doing what it does to survive.

    Treating babies and children as though they were adult spirits in tiny bodies? I’ve seen that nonsense suggested before… by a very, very bad, mean man. And now Christians are being infected with this filth?

    There are no words…

    Liked by 1 person

  43. If you watched the video of the guy claiming children go to hell and there are no verses which state otherwise:
    2 SAM 12:22-23 “And he (David) said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept … But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”
    One can see that King David certainly believed he would see his recently deceased son in heaven one day when David shall go to him.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Brian, I think there are legalists on both sides of the political/theological fence. I watched the video…I feel like it is supposed to be a joke. Whether it is or not, he does not appear to have much influence.

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  45. Christian Father,
    I didn’t watch the video. I didn’t want to even listen to that kind of ignorance. Thank you for that passage of David’s repentance and prayer for his little one who was taken to be with God.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Steve, Because so many millions of people break the law, people have to question citizenship for all sorts of reasons. A friend of mine was involved in a horrible accident with illegals who have no papers, insurance or anything but owned a nice big truck, had an under the table business, etc. And because of that her insurance went through the roof. Fortunately for her she is a lawyer who would not let it go and eventually they were deported— but it took years! Oh, they had fake everything…ss numbers, drivers license, etc. And they will probably be back.

    All of this is unfair to people like Alecia who broke no law, but is a victim of ridiculous parents. As an 18 year old, she should be able to sue her parents if she can find a decent lawyer who will take it on. She was smart to take it to social media and put pressure on them.

    So why don’t we deal with those who break the law?

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  47. L Lawrence I dont know if it is a joke but the theme and subject have been the bane of many Christian traditions for almost the entire history of the religion. All older traditions struggled with it to some degree and it has caused much horrid pain for most of the history of the faith. It has me, it has been one of the central tenets that has caused me many sleepless nights.

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  48. @Lydia:

    So why don’t we deal with those who break the law?

    Down here in SoCal:
    “!!!ES RACISTO!!! RACISTO!!! RACISTO!!!”

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  49. @ServingKidsInJapan:

    Treating babies and children as though they were adult spirits in tiny bodies? I’ve seen that nonsense suggested before… by a very, very bad, mean man. And now Christians are being infected with this filth?

    It’s a logical corollary of separating SOULS(TM) from bodies.
    Especially if you tunnel-vision on Total Depravity and Sin Nature(TM).

    How many times have you heard the Christianese phrase “Saving SOULS(TM)”?

    Or “Going to Heaven” instead of Resurrection?

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  50. @GaryW:

    It wouldn’t surprise me if the Penningtons turned out to be Sovereign Citizen/Constitutionalist/Posse Comitatus types. These folks think they don’t need driver’s licenses if they drive in the borrow pit and not on the road. If a courtroom has fringe on the flag it has no authority to deal with non-maritime law.

    As Tim the Judge put it on another blog’s comments, “When the opening statement is reciting a Sovereign Citizen Manifesto, you know it’s not only going to be a LONG day, but it can only go downhill from there.”

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  51. Lydia asks, “So why don’t we deal with those who break the law?”

    Lydia, I want to outline a pattern here with the story of your friend and with Alecia. A better question would be, “so why don’t we deal with the law itself?”

    Illegals caused a tragic accident. Somebody who causes an accident is liable to pay for the damages to the persons and properties of the victim. “Deporting” the illegals simply absolved them of their responsibility to pay for the damage they caused. What should have happened was to allow the “illegals” to continue their business as a means to cover the costs of the victims of the accident until all was paid for. But, noooooo…

    Instead, the guilty party is cleared of responsibility, and the victim is made responsible through the piling on of insurance premiums. Sound similar to any spiritual abuse stories ever told on this blog? The law itself is an abuser, just like the by-laws of authoritarian churches are abusers.

    “Steve, Because so many millions of people break the law, people have to question citizenship for all sorts of reasons.” I’m not arguing against all questions of citizenship, but the reason to question Alecia’s citizenship? There is no reason, as I outlined in my first comment. Nobody with the slightest amount of common sense and compassion doubts her or her story. But the “law” imposes (and all of us sheep seem to follow, I guess) a blanket and universal, “you don’t exist, Alecia.” And somebody who hires her despite her having no documentation is a criminal in the eyes of, yet again, this same law?

    As ridiculous as her parents might be, the law doesn’t allow for the provision for “the least of these.” What would Jesus say to that?

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  52. But…public schools ARE government schools. I’m sorry, but that comment alone speaks to a slanted agenda on behalf of the author of this article. That’s unfortunate, because it lessens the objectivity.

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  53. The author is aware the public schools are government schools. The reason I brought that up is because I was reprimanded for saying public school. In the Homeschool Movement, they made a big deal about only calling public schools government schools, which I find ridiculous.

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  54. Julie Anne,

    Language is one of the primary ways the cultic end of homeschooling has affected their subculture and controlled it. Every specialized group has their own language that is common to their specialty — words that are not used in the larger culture. I remember how, early in my marriage, my husband started his job with the ME for the military. He went to military school when I did not know him, and he walked through the door like a stranger to me almost in the way that he used language that I’d never heard before. It took several weeks until I was up to speed with the military acronyms that he used as words that he was surprised that I didn’t already understand. But we don’t use them in the general culture, and I didn’t come from a military family, so I didn’t know them.

    NOTE: That doesn’t mean that saying “government school” is not accurate to describe the public school system, but it takes on a sacred, ideological significance within Christian homeschooling, especially on the controlling end of the continuum.

    In high demand groups and in cults, specialized language is used like the “shorthand” like those acronyms in the military, but it’s also used to control thought and the milieu of the group. When you’re in the military and not on active duty, you can think and speak the way you want, and you don’t have to use the special language. In a high demand group you MUST (!!!) use the specialized language used within the group, no matter where you are or who you’re talking to, and you never get any time off. You’re always on the clock. If you deviate from the use of the specialized language — you fail to show the group is special. In religious groups, it shows the elitism of being special to God.

    We saw this at work in an active thread discussing “Biblical counseling.” People mistake the imprecise language and the nebulously defined language as what it means in their experience which is limited or specialized. We also see this in the use of the term “narcissist,” because it can be a clinical diagnosis, but it also is a term well within the vernacular as a trait and not as a diagnosis. I said that Biblical counseling is a type of pastoral counseling and have done so in professional settings under peer review. But that meaning becomes muddy because there is a profession that practices it under licensure. This creates ambiguity and what is officially a “linguistic boobytrap.” Cultic groups capitalize on that ambiguity to shape thought and govern behavior as a means of control. It gives manipulators a lot of wiggle room.

    For those who have been conditioned to use ONLY the term “government school,” stop to consider that much of the reason for its use is ideological and religious and whether or not you face criticism or punishment if you would go back to saying “public school.” Does it really matter THAT MUCH? I suspect that those who use it don’t realize that they adopted it because of social proof and the punishment they face in the subculture if they don’t. Instead of just being different — or even inaccurate — it takes on the significance of profanity. Good Christians are only supposed to speak in holy language, not in the profane. Stop and ask whether that really makes sense, especially if you are talking to people outside of the culture who don’t understand what you mean by the term.

    “Government schools” helps show that homeschoolers are different than the culture, and people have been trained to use this language at all costs, 24/7. Once you get out of that largely closed subculture, you see that you can communicate better with people outside of the homeschooling bubble if you use “public school.” But those terms get adopted into the “sacred science” of homeschooling, and you’re seen as a turncoat if you don’t use them or if you rethink them. You’re never permitted to challenge the sacred science and the worldview of the subculture. That is part of how the subtle forces of control affect you in small ways, but when you add them all up when you’re living in that closed off culture, they become a part of the system of control. And while you’re in that group and remain isolated, you lose perspective about how much your own language has changed and how self defeating it can be outside of the group.

    But while you’re in the group, it’s proof that you belong there. And it proves to the outside world that you are holy and special and a people set apart for God. (People in the general culture don’t see those in the culture that way. They see the group’s representatives as pious, elitist, and so heavenly minded that they can’t even have a mutually respectful and pleasant conversation with them.)

    The military doesn’t do that with acronyms. High demand groups do. It can be harrowing to talk to a friend who is still swimming in the subculture — because after your perspective has shifted back to a healthy one that is not closed — you realize just how trapped you were by the language (and thus the thought and behavior that follow thought). You probably also feel very uncomfortable when you see how easy it could and how paradoxically difficult it could be for you to click back into using that language again without the critical thought that you’ve regained.

    Those programmed and automatic responses and unwritten rules in the social side of things dampen critical thinking. In the outside world, you can choose your own language and freely express yourself. That’s not permitted in high demand settings.

    Lifton called it Loaded Language. In informal logic, it is a “linguistic booby trap” that promotes ambiguity — because the words mean something different ideologically within the high demand group. And the ideology must never be questioned.

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  55. Calling public schools ‘government schools’ is imprecise. Governments also run schools which are not open to the general public, ie. schools for adjudicated juvenile delinquents. Public schools are government schools but not all government schools are public.

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  56. Then you’re barking up the wrong tree, Marsha. I’ve always said public schools. When you see me say government schools, it is only me sarcastically mimicking those leaders in the Homeschool Movement who refuse to say public school. I suggest you contact HSLDA and other homeschool leaders and tell them what you’ve told me.

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  57. In regard to similar use of language, I have been applying for government jobs. On many of the applications I am asked to describe what I think it means to be a public servant. Government run organizations serve the public. A public school is open to the public and is run by government oversight.

    But there is a language difference between government school and public school when it is talked about by some Christian homeschoolers. That was made very clear when I went to the Christian homeschool convention and saw writings by their leaders and HSLDA.

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  58. Calling public schools ‘government schools’ is imprecise. Governments also run schools which are not open to the general public, ie. schools for adjudicated juvenile delinquents. Public schools are government schools but not all government schools are public.

    You are absolutely right about this, too. I can think of another example: when we lived on base overseas, there were Depart of Defense schools which are only open for military dependents and children of civilians connected with the base.

    Like

  59. Maybe we need Venn diagrams? 🙂

    Most people use language to help clarify meaning. High demand groups use this kind of language to obscure it..

    Like

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