I have been studying, reading, and contemplating this series for a few weeks now, and despite my nervousness at publishing it, I think it’s an important topic. I include it on my blog because this group is infiltrating homeschooling communities across the country and not representing themselves accurately Biblically. Please feel free to comment; if you disagree with me, that’s fine – but keep your comments clean, polite, and respectful. Those who don’t will find their comments deleted at my discretion. –Sue
I was recently discussing Vision Forum with a friend of mine; the group has rubbed me the wrong way for some time now, but after doing more research, I felt more confident in expressing how they rub me the wrong way. And then I kept reading. And reading. And researching. I came to some pretty startling conclusions and in an effort to keep others aware and informed, I decided to write about it.
But first, I feel compelled to define myself, just so there are no questions about where I stand:
- I am a Christ-follower
- I am a Libertarian who leans towards Jeffersonian Constitutionalism
- I am not a feminist nor an egalitarian, but see the beauty in the creation of the sexes as different, but worthy of the same Saviour, education, & respect
- I am an educated woman (last degree, MA; future degree, MA)
- I am well-educated in Scripture
- I desire to be known by the way I’ve loved: generously, like Jesus, and without prejudice
Those things out of the way….
My first foray in to Vision Forum was with a quote by Doug Philips. It was tagged to someone’s signature block and said, “The Bible calls debt a curse and children a blessing. But in our culture we apply for a curse and reject blessings. Something is wrong with this picture.” Honestly, I don’t see anything wrong with this statement. Children ARE a blessing. Debt IS a curse. And yet too often, our society values how many credit cards one has to one’s name and fails to value one’s own family and progeny. And so, with that introduction, I went on my merry way. I wasn’t interested enough to read further.
My next exposure to VF was through a “free!” book. I looked at the title and realized that although it wasn’t something I would likely read on my own, for free, it wouldn’t hurt to read it. I was dismayed to see that “shipping” for the “free book” was upwards of $7.50, but figured they might be shipping FedEx or some other more-costly carrier. The book came in Media Mail (USPS’s cheapest form of shipping) about two weeks later, with postage that read $2.23. I was ticked, but Mark said, “It wasn’t a FREE book; you paid for the book with their overpriced shipping, sweetheart.” Yeah, whatever. It did seem underhanded, but lots of places pad their shipping charges. I saved the book to read on the plane on the way to a conference in Texas earlier this year and it was probably a good thing I did: being on a plane restrained me from throwing the book across the cabin and knocking someone in the noggin with it. Yes, it was that bad. Not poorly written, but poorly exegeted (remember, my Masters is from a seminary) and the basic message of the book was “Stay Home. Don’t Work. Not Even From Home. Have a Happy Heart No Matter What. And (oh yeah), Do As I Say, Not As I Do,” because the book was written by two at-home moms.
More confession time: I am an at-home mom. I enjoy what I do here to make a home, bless, and serve my family. But not all women have the luxury that I do to stay home. I scrimp, pinch, save, and do nearly everything from scratch; not all women have the desire to do this. I also home-educate; some of my compatriots don’t have the knowledge, energy, or desire to do this – that’s okay.
The over-arching tone of the book is what hacked me off – well, that and the insistence that a) there is “no such thing as a conservative feminist” and b) providing higher education (beyond high school) for our girls is a waste. As to a) – ummm, yes there is. “Conservative feminist” would be women who believe that women and men are equal (a Biblical concept, by the way – see also, Galatians 3:28), but reject the liberal politics that come along with traditional feminism. As far as b) WHAT IN THE WORLD?! And yet, the authors are serious. They believe that providing a higher education to girls will simply corrupt them and plant crazy ideas in their heads that they need to work, not be family-oriented, and other “undesirable” things. It’s almost as if this group, which purports to be “Christian” has completely negated the role of the Holy Spirit in a woman’s life. So absent the Spirit of God Who can mold hearts and minds and lovingly urge people to change their lives, this group has to rely on a lack of education in order to accomplish their goals. Doesn’t say much for the group, does it? o.O
read the next installment here