Archive for the “Homeschooling” Category

I haven’t seen it yet, but I have heard some interviews with Ben Stein on this movie and am happy to see it doing so well (as reported by the Christian Post). Once again, the media elitists in this country have underestimated religion in this country, assuming that their control over the education system had relegated creationism to the “fringes.” WRONG!

“Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” the pro-intelligent design documentary featuring actor Ben Stein, made history this weekend as it propelled full speed into the top 10 box office. It opened as the widest and one of the most commercially successful releases for any documentary film.

In an impressive opening weekend, the film debuted at No. 9 at the box office, earning a respectable $3.2 million while only appearing on 1,052 screens.

“Leatherheads,” the story of a struggling football team based in Duluth, Minnesota, and written and directed by George Clooney, trailed the new documentary film, placing at only No. 10 its third week at the box office, despite showing at over twice as many screens.

Although the new pro-intelligent design documentary had struggled with a reported marketing and production budget that ranged only in the single digit millions – a miniscule figure compared to the standard $117 million regularly burned by Hollywood productions – the film proved to defy expectations and panning by critics.

From the beginning of its conception, the film had been heavily criticized by scientists who dismissed the film as inaccurate, misleading, and dishonest in its portrayal of the shortcomings of evolution.

Reviewers were also among the film’s vocal critics, and in an article written for the Orlando Sentinel, Roger Moore was among those who believed the film would fail commercially, describing the film as a “mockery.”

“’Expelled’ is a full-on, amply budgeted Michael Moore-styled mockery of evolution, a film that dresses creationist crackpottery in an ‘intelligent design’ leisure suit and tries to make the fact that it’s not given credence in schools a matter of ‘academic freedom,’” Moore wrote in his description of the film.

Producers of the film, however, had hoped that while disadvantaged and outmanned in the realm of Hollywood, active marketing and outreach with Christian groups and homeschoolers could help propel the movie, in the manner of David versus Goliath, into a box office hit – a strategy that appears to have worked.

In one such campaign, the producers of the film offered to award as much as $1,000 in a contest among church groups to bring the largest crowds to see the film.

Christian groups in general proved to be receptive to the film’s message.

Anthony Horvath, executive director of the Athanatos Christian Ministry, an online apologetics academy dedicated to the defense of the Christian faith, praised the film.

“The outrage expressed by the atheistic community at Ben Stein’s movie, ‘Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed’ has been so palpable you could bottle it up and sell it as an energy drink. They are practically foaming at the mouth,” he said in a statement.

“The blogosphere reveals the utter disdain that the hard core atheists have for anyone who merely suggests that it might be possible to scientifically detect design. If all Stein’s movie accomplishes is revealing more publicly what many in the scientific community have been saying quietly all along, that is a major accomplishment,” he added.

Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, gave the film a thumbs up, commenting, “I think it should be required viewing for anyone who wants to understand what is going on and what is at stake in the debate over worldviews in this society,” according to Baptist Press. “This is one of these times when you can vote with your pocketbook. You can vote with your economic franchise, and Hollywood will listen when they see the dollar signs.”

“Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” is a feature-length documentary film about researchers, professors, and academics who claim to have been marginalized, silenced, or threatened with academic expulsion because of their challenges to some or all parts of Darwin’s theory of evolution. Makers of the documentary said the movie doesn’t seek to champion intelligent design as the sole truth but calls for more academic freedom, where challenges to any scientific theory including Darwinism would be fairly considered.

Comments No Comments »

Just over a week ago, a California court handed down a decision against homeschoolers and homeschooling. Information on this case available at the Homeschool Legal Defense Association’s site:

On February 28, 2008, the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District in Los Angeles handed down a very bad decision regarding a case involving a homeschool family.

HSLDA was not involved with this case, and the family are not members.

The opinion holds that homeschooling is not a legal option in California. HSLDA strongly disputes this interpretation of California law. We believe that the court made a mistake when it relied on a decision from 1953 in order to show that homeschooling is not a legal option.

If the opinion is followed then California will have the most regressive law in the nation and homeschooling will be effectively banned because the only legal way to homeschool will be for the parent to hold a teaching certificate. Parents should not have to attend a four year college education program just to teach their own children.

California is now on the path to being the only state to deny the vast majority of homeschooling parents their fundamental right to teach their own children at home.

In response, HSLDA believes that the best course of action is to petition the California Supreme Court to depublish the opinion. If the opinion is depublished then this ruling can not be used against every homeschooling family in California.

This case has far-reaching implications that can affect not only homeschoolers but all families, and it MUST NOT STAND. At the root of the decision is a view supportive of a nanny state, where in the eyes of the these judges, parents and children are effectively equals (or more like siblings) and the state – and by extension the public schools – must take on the primary role in the formation of our children. What the 3 judge appellate court suggests is that unless a parent is certified by the state, they are not in a position to appropriately lead their child’s education. It is a chink in the armor of government for the people and with another very important election this year for this country, people need to be aware that it is through moves like this that democracy dies and socialism takes hold.

We must take up this fight, shine a light on this unconstitutional decision and see that it is defeated! Also, we must pray for the people of California and all Americans that our rights be protected from the state as much as they should be by the state. This case may seem small and insignificant to some outside of homeschool circles, but much like the Terri Schiavo case, this kind of ruling from an activist bench can set the Constitution backwards for years to come, and recovery from that is usually far more difficult, slow and expensive that stopping it early.

So what can you do? The primary thing is to make people aware of it and the implications. Blog about it. Post here and on other sites. Talk about the case and the implications in your church and with your friends. Also, consider how this kind of judicial action (and potential similar legislative and executive actions) should affect your vote.

Comments No Comments »

I love Wikipedia. I use it often and most of the information on there turns out to be correct, particularly in areas of fact, such as science, geography, census data, etc. However, in all topics, particularly those that evoke a lot of emotion, such as politics and religion, one must recognize that Wikipedia is a compilation of information provided by many contributors, some of whom have incorrect information, and some of whom have agendas. Here is a great example.

Remember last month, the story about the Holy Father’s canceled visit to a Roman University over security concerns raised by protests of a small minority? Well, it turns out that the whole protests was based on a flawed  Wikipedia article.

It would appear that the text, mistakes and all, had been copied – but then the last part of Cardinal Ratzinger’s speech had been left out by the Sapienza protesters.

“In the name of liberty and the investigation of science, they have taken as true a falsehood, accepting an affirmation without proving its credibility,” the newspaper [L’Osservatore Romano] said.

Not only did the Wikipedia article contain incorrect information, but the entire article was either not read or not considered.

“What is surprising is that the person who copied the citation could not have read the complete Wikipedia entry, which enables one to realize that the meaning of Ratzinger’s phrase is exactly the opposite to what the 67 professors have aimed to attribute to the Pope,” the newspaper said.

In his original speech, the then Cardinal Ratzinger had concluded: “It would be absurd to construct on the base of these affirmations a hasty apologetics. Faith does not grow from resentment and the rejection of rationality, but from its fundamental affirmation, and from being rooted in a still greater form of reason.”

As I said earlier, Wikipedi is a terrific resource. It covers an enormous breadth of topics with easy access. However, facts should be double checked and corroborated before depending on them for something with serious consequence (for example, starting an international incident by misrepresenting the leader of the Catholic Church).

Comments No Comments »

One of the key roles in my life (and thereby in my posts) is the role of Homeschool Dad. I want to share some thoughts about the role of Homeschool Dad as it is such a key element of who I am and what formulates many of the thoughts for this blog. It is not my intention for have this site be directed specifically for Homeschool Dads, but since it is a big part of our faith experience and family experience in my house, it will be a recurring theme so I feel it is important to articulate where I am coming from in that sense. (more…)

Comments No Comments »