Wow, I really am in a bad mood. It might have to do with the fact that we had LB back at the emergency ward last night since his breathing was kind of scary. Fortunately, on the plus side, it's bronchiolitis and that should clear up with the inhalers he is on and time, the antiobiotics should get at the bad ear infection and maybe, just maybe, we might get some sleep around here soon. Bronchiolitis sounds so much less serious than pneumonia, even if he is still having some problems.
I don't really think that's the problem, though. For me, it's some people. Regardless of the fact that I know that there are reasons for why they think what they do and say what they do, I can't seem to let things go. They just drive me crazy.
Sometimes, it's hard to be a Christian, especially when you are a Christian whose politics and moral beliefs might be more to the liberal bent. I'm not saying that I'm all for sex in the street (my friends would probably tell you that I am more conservative than most on some of that stuff) but my ruling principle is that God did not put me on this earth to judge anyone else and my job is to show His love. In one of my favourite sermons from Andy Stanley at Northpoint, which I love to listen to on podcast, he said, and I paraphrase here, that we should love so hard that our critics can't really tell what we believe because we love those who disagree with us so much. That's my view. I don't always manage it but I try.
So, there are these two women from my church. They are nice women, kind women, generous women. They are also huge small "c" conservatives who LOVE to share their views about the downfall of the world. It would seem that public schools, lack of prayer and lack of beating our children has led to the downfall of our society. I really should leave it but I just can't. It drives me insane, especially since one of these mothers homeschools (which obviously makes her an expert on the failings of the public school system) and the other has a family that is entirely dedicated to hockey and they don't come to church because that's hockey time.
This morning, one of them shared yet another Facebook status on the decline of Western civilization being connected to the fact that there is no prayer in the public school system. I should just ignore it and let it go but sometimes, I just need to sound off. Here I go, my counter arguments, which I didn't bother to post on her page since she probably wouldn't get it anyway.
1. It is not the school's job or the church's job, for that matter, to parent and teach my children. It's mine. Read Mark Holmen's book, "Faith at Home." His research clearly shows that it's having a mother with a strong faith that is lived out in the home that is the number one determinant for whether a child lives in faith as an adult.
2. I may be wrong but if your child wants to pray in school, I don't think anyone will mind as long as it isn't in the middle of a lesson. Sure, we don't bring in ministers to lead the prayer but if they want to pray, go for it. I'd love to have a kid ask. It would start a great conversation.
3. The lack of empathy in our kids and the lack of manners is because:
a. We don't model it.
b. We don't teach it.
c. We let them watch t.v. shows, movies and play video games that show the antithesis of it.
d. We are too busy doing our own thing to focus on our kids.
e. Our families are organized around getting through the day instead of living the way that we believe to be most important.
4. Spanking children does not teach them empathy or kindness or consideration or respect. It teaches them that it's o.k. to use force against those who are smaller than you are.
5. You shouldn't criticize everyone else when your own kids act like they are feral and you don't even notice.
6. Learning and study does not lead to the downfall of civilization - ignorance does.
7. Teachers should teach children. I don't care whether the parent is a teacher or a paid educator is a teacher. Buying a programme and throwing in a DVD does not a teacher make. Please do not read this as an attack on homeschoolers. There are some blogs written by homeschoolers that I follow closely and those parents are giving their children a wonderful education that is as sound as they would get in a good public school. That being said, teachers are educated to be teachers. Teaching out of ignorance is not a good plan.
8. God told us to be a light in the darkness, not to hide away in caves and pretend the rest of the world doesn't exist. Jesus did not run from what he didn't like. He faced it head on. Homeschooling because you value your children's education, you have some skill and you want to be involved are good reasons for homeschooling. Homeschooling because you are afraid of everything that is different or because you don't want to face that your children have issues that need to be addressed are not good reasons for homeschooling.
9. In most cases, the reason that Christianity isn't welcome is because of the way that "Christians" have treated others in the past (and, in some cases, treat people now). Perhaps we should earn our way back by living so that people want us there instead of complaining and whining all the time.
10. If you really think the world is that bad, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Teach your children to ask questions. Write letters. Offer other options. Work to positively impact the world around you instead of whining that things aren't how they should be. For heaven's sake, READ YOUR BIBLE. I mean truly read it, not just pick a few verses that make you feel better than other people. Live the message so that without words but with actions you can communicate the message of the Gospels.
O.k., I feel much better. I've had my say.