Sundays With The Christianists: How Homeschooling Will Re-Christianize America
Remember the anecdote about what Gandhi supposedly said when asked what he thought of Western Civilization? "I think it would be a good idea." Colorado radio preacher and homeschooling advocate Kevin Swanson has a slightly different answer -- he'd say "I think it's been corrupted by Satan from the very beginning." This is why people like the Gandhi quote, even if it's probably apocryphal. But here we are, finally, at the end of Swanson's e-tirade, Apostate: The Men Who Destroyed the Christian West, which lays out his case that most of what we think of as Western Culture is in fact a grand plot by the Father of Lies to turn Europe and America away from Biblical truth and clean Christian living. In his final chapter, "Gardens in the Ashes," Swanson presents his vision for how American Christians can begin to rebuild a truly Christian society after the inevitable collapse of secularism.
Swanson knows that the End of America is just around the corner, what with all the homosexxing and abortions and young folks gyrating to wild rock and/or roll. Just look at the evidence from the 2012 presidential election, which he says was a stunning reality check for conservative Christians who thought that their voices mattered in the least:
For one thing, it was the first time that the leading presidential candidates associated themselves closely with Mormonism, Mohammedanism, and Marxism, all worldviews that are antithetical to a Christian way of thinking. Previous presidential races featured Roman Catholics, divorcees, and liberal Protestants, but this was different. Both candidates in 2012 supported homosexual involvement in the Boy Scouts organization, and when the votes were cast, America went for the candidate most likely to support infanticide, Marxism, and homosexuality. If there had been any uncertainty concerning the cultural direction of the nation prior to the 2012 elections, this was the defining moment. Americans rejected outright the pro-life cause, Christian values, and conservative fiscal ideas. Finally, Christian leaders were forced to admit that they had lost the cultural war, and there would be very little to salvage in the political sphere.
Game over, man. GAME OVER! We're not sure that Swanson would even take any solace from the Republicans taking the Senate in 2014; he seems to have given up on electoral politics, since there's just so much cultural pollution out there. Swanson instead knows that the secularists have won, what with the schools being full of Marxists and Darwinists:
What the conservatives have finally learned is that it is useless to fight these battles in the polls, unless they are first fought in the schools and culture -- and ultimately, in the family. Without the restoration of the family as the guardian of biblical values over the generations , there won’t be a faith in years to come.
Swanson expects the whole of "the modern humanist empire" is going to collapse pretty quickly, given all the moral rot, as "State after state, and nation after nation legalize adultery, promote no-fault divorce, and legitimize civil unions for homosexuals." Plus there's all the birth control and abortioning (which are the same thing in Swanson's mind, since he thinks the Pill leaves women's wombs full of little murdered babies forever). Despite a world population of 7 billion and climbing, Swanson worries that "Nations like South Korea, China, and Japan are experiencing their own severe birth implosions due to the existentialist and humanist worldviews exported from the West into these Asian countries."
Ah, but Swanson is of course quite hopeful, because he knows the most important spoiler warning of all: Jesus wins in the end:
It is an indisputable fact: the Lord Jesus Christ is risen from the dead, and He is reigning as sovereign Lord on the right hand of the Father, until all of His enemies are under His footstool . For the Christian, this is the historical fact by which all other previous and future events are to be understood. It is the most important historical fact of all. Marx and Nietzsche hated this historical reality, and they fought it with all that they had within them.
So really, all Christians need to do is to remember this historical inevitability and do all they can to help move it along. Among the more mundane results, Swanson predicts, is that "Within a few more decades Wikipedia and other academic sources will abandon the 'Common Era' and revert back to the AD designation."
But what should readers do to help bring about this glorious day when their own edits to wiki articles will no longer be immediately reverted by sharp-eyed secularists? Swanson starts with a section headed, in large unfriendly letters, "DON'T APOSTATIZE." Not that it's easy, of course, given what Swanson has shown to be the pervasive influence of the demon-spawned ideas of Marx, Darwin, Nietzsche, and Sartre. Swanson reminds us that most apostasy is "based upon human rationalism and individualism, as Emerson taught. Each man becomes his own 'pope' and makes up his own religion as he goes along." And even American churches have given in to this loose doctrine, and "have proven to be halfway down the road to apostasy themselves."
To avoid ideological pollution, Swanson prescribes a strict course of study:
To avoid apostasy, it is essential that we are first rooted and grounded in the truth of Scripture. Secondly, we should take care to deeply root ourselves in the historical Christian church. If we read anything more than the Bible, I recommend a thorough study of the apostolic fathers who wrote between AD 80 and AD 150. These men were discipled by the Apostles themselves.
And, no, not just the manga adaptations. He also warns to be wary of other "Christians" who have been compromised by apostasy, like the ones who let the homos get married or think that the Gospels promote socialism. Doctrinal correctness is vital to recognizing "the critical battle lines between the Christian church and the anti-Christian, compromised church." And once you're sure you're with a real Christian church, you and your family can start the important work of renewal.
Happily, Swanson notes, most of the damage to Western Civilization has already been done, since "the 'great' philosophers are all dead" and the "tsunami waves of humanism have rolled over Europe and North America, and they have done their damage." With the world already pretty much wrecked, now is the perfect time for True Christians to "rebuild educational systems, churches, families, economic systems, charitable systems, and political systems." Swanson sees a glorious age of decentralization coming, as the secularist monopoly on government, media and education is broken apart by small-government conservatives, Christian broadcasters, and of course homeschoolers. Swanson is pretty proud of the part that he himself has played in breaking apart the monolithic Big Media:
For the last ten years I have built an online radio audience, reaching tens of thousands of people around the world, taking market share from the NBC, CBS, and ABC networks. This was not possible in the 1970s. For $1,000, anybody can start their own program and procure more of the share that used to be controlled by a few select AM and FM frequencies in metro areas.
Yes, and Yr. Doktor Zoom has gotten thousands of pageviews, which means that Huffington Post and Salon are probably quaking in their boots. But we digress. The real battle, says Swanson, is in retaking education and the schools from the secularists: "These are the temples of the humanist philosophers. This is where Dewey’s prophets teach, and this is where man worships. . .himself."
To start with, Swanson advocates fully opting out -- not just homeschooling, of course, but also refusing to buy into the secular university and college system: "You can opt out! You don’t have to play. You can unplug yourself and your family from the matrix. To put it in a vernacular all Americans understand, you do not have to send young people from the red states into blue city colleges to be educated as blue state voters."
Swanson presents a number of basic assumptions about knowledge that need to be reformed, starting with a rejection of Thomas Aquinas. We won't list all of his points; these give you a flavor:
1. We must obliterate the dualist distinction between sacred knowledge and philosophical knowledge, once and for all. To pretend that there can be religious neutrality in education is disingenuous at best, and will only do damage to the Christian faith. Hopefully, we have learned this lesson after 800 years of losing ground
2. We must teach the fear of God as the beginning of knowledge and wisdom in every classroom and in every textbook (whether public, private, or home school).
This should be fairly easy, although those first two are going to maybe require a few revisions to the First Amendment, we think. We're not sure whether Swanson is expecting the corrupt secular government to have already fallen by the time his ideal reforms come in, or if it will be a gradual takeover by Christians who just nudge the schools and courts in the right direction. And once you have the basics in place and all education is based on the Bible, then maybe some remnants of secular philosophy and literature can still be preserved, if only to show us how the world fell apart:
5. We must avoid setting our children at the feet of unbelieving authors and philosophers until they are matured in their understanding of a biblical worldview. When we teach non-Christian literary works, we must set the thesis [the Bible] against the antithesis in sharp contrast. This author is preparing a high school and college curriculum for the liberal arts student that will do just this. As Western civilization disintegrates, succeeding generations must understand the forces that contributed to its demise, as well as the ideas that will rebuild new cultures in the years to come.
As for that comprehensive "high school and college curriculum," it seems to be a bit behind schedule; an endnote promises it will be available in the spring of 2014; so far, Swanson's own website offers one textbook and two workbooks for younger readers, though he also links to another homeschooling website where we may have to do some shopping.
And all of this reform is right at our doorstep: Swanson confidently predicts that "The liberal college monopoly is cracking, and alternative, non-traditional degree programs are more commonplace. Within another ten years, the old brick and mortar colleges will be a thing of the past." You know, like newspapers and television networks went extinct with the rise of citizen journalists on the internets. Swanson also predicts the imminent collapse of the American family, not just because of the homosexxers and divorce, but also because there just aren't any men running families anymore -- the Christian rebuilding of society "will need fathers, men with a vision to disciple their children in the Word of God, as they sit in the house, as they walk by the way, as they rise up, and as they lie down (Deut. 6: 7). We need men to mentor boys into men." He also calls for more "family-based economies" which will enable "maximum opportunity for fathers to mentor their sons as they sit in the house, as they walk by the way, as they plow the fields, and work their businesses." The daughters will stay home and study the Bible so they can be mommies, we guess.
Swanson's also pretty sure the entire structure of secular socialist government will fall apart, because it's all bad for you:
God-honoring Christians are also developing charitable systems that are voluntary , local, relational, and accountable. Public welfare (including Social Security, food stamps, etc.) is pseudo charity that corrupts family relationships, destroys fatherhood, erodes self-government along with the character of the nation, and creates more illegitimacy with every generation. Already a number of biblical churches are working hard to rebuild meaningful charitable programs for widows and orphans, systems that are completely free from government funding and control. In the wake of socialist medicine, this is a good time to abandon the government-mandated insurance programs and public health programs in favor of Christian medical sharing ministries like Samaritan Ministries. Thankfully, there are still legal options for those who oppose government rationing, forced abortions of Down Syndrome babies, and euthanasia of the elderly.
Swanson stops short of actually telling his readers to refuse to accept Social Security or Medicare when they retire, which seems like hedging to us. He's also not entirely clear on what he expects to do with the unbelievers who aren't so hot on going along with his plans for a glorious Christian rebuilding of America, although presumably we'll all just starve to death once our food stamps stop coming. His actual vision for the collapse of the West is remarkably short on apocalyptic detail, so we don't know if he's envisioning happy Christian enclaves surrounded by barbed wire to keep out the marauding zombie remnants of secularism, or if maybe the entire world will just see the good sense of voluntarily switching over to homeschooling and patriarchy. Or maybe he just figures that since Margaret Atwood already wrote The Handmaid's Tale, we've already got a pretty good blueprint for the Republic of Gilead.
And that's where he ends things, with a serene vision of the future:
If we train our children in knowledge that is rooted in the fear of God, and in the firm hope of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, then our children will be the ones motivated and equipped to rebuild our broken-down systems. Our children will plant gardens in the ashes of what used to be called “Western Civilization.”
See you all in the re-education camps!
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.