Preview of Coming Attractions

So, I distracted myself from studying for my final to make this post. I’ve been saying for a while that somebody needs to do a greatest hits of current events and history for the former homeschoolers whose parents censored the newspaper/didn’t own a TV/learned all their history from Bob Jones or Abeka and are trying to catch up.  Well, it hit me (all my ideas come when I’m supposed to be doing other things), that instead of saying “somebody” should do it, I’m a somebody and I’ve got a perfectly good blog, so why don’t I just do it?  Without further ado, presenting: So You Lived Under a Rock for 18 Years: A History of the World for Sheltered Homeschoolers and Others Who Missed Out I’m going to try to put together sections on things like the Civil Rights movement, the Women’s Rights movement, and other topics that I know that[…]

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13 Again

I feel like I just found a time machine and was transported two decades back in time. You may have seen that American Prospect came out with an article, “The Homeschool Apostates,” that chronicles some of the people who were hurt by the fundamentalist homeschooling world, and how homeschool graduates are pushing back. It’s a pretty long and important article and discusses Homeschoolers Anonymous, which I’m involved with. The article has gotten a lot of press and buzz on Twitter, including from Richard Dawkins (who I really don’t like for lots of reasons, but hey, he’s super famous) and Dan Savage (who I like much better than Dawkins). Plight of homeschooled children with religious wingnut parents: http://t.co/9FxSwfokuJ. Support group here: http://t.co/56Hp3X4v6B — Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) December 6, 2013 Terrific—and depressing—longread: children escaping from homeschooling families. Read: http://t.co/eXKMiiCcGs — Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) December 6, 2013 ICYMI: Compelling piece about kids abused[…]

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For our next installment in the Vision Forum saga, Peter Bradrick breaks his silence

For those of you who aren’t entirely up to speed, Peter Bradrick is a Vision Forum intern turned executive assistant to Doug Phillips who was so close to Doug that Doug posted the picture below on his blog. You know, the picture that I said looked like a wedding photo. He doesn’t work for Vision Forum any longer, but even after he left as an employee he was involved in their “Hazardous Journeys” trips, and was pretty much BFFs with Doug. He’s married to the daughter of Scott Brown (not the politician, the one who’s head of the National Center for Family Integrated Churches, an organization that Doug was on the board of until his scandal broke).   Anyway, everybody close to Doug and Vision Forum–Peter included–have been tight-lipped about Doug’s affair and the closing of Vision Forum Ministries. Tight-lipped until now, that is. As late as the end of[…]

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Knew it, Doug Phillips was lawyering his original Vision Forum resignation statement

Posted today: Clarification on Resignation by Douglas Phillips, Esq., November 14, 2013 I would like to express my gratitude for the great kindness so many have shown to my family in the wake of my stepping down as president of Vision Forum Ministries. My family has been greatly encouraged by many loving notes we have received. With that in mind, I want to be so very clear about the rightness of this transition, and I want to clear up some matters which have been brought to my attention. My sin has resulted in great pain within the Body of Christ, some confusion, and has given the enemies of God reason to rejoice. This is heartbreaking to me. Some have suggested that my sin was not sufficiently serious to step down. Let me be clear: it absolutely does merit my resignation. My resignation is sincere and necessary given the weightiness of[…]

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In which Kathryn contemplates the possibility of becoming a professional member of the religious right

Why did I have to be such an ethical person? I’d make a pretty darn good professional member of the religious right. I’ve got such a perfect story to sell a ton of books and make it for years on the fundy speaking circuit too.  I mean, grew up in conservative homeschool family, did the Operation Rescue thing in my teens (even performed and spoke at several national events), even did the conservative Christian college thing. Then I “backslid” into sin and depravity by coming out about my “same-sex attractions,” became a rainbow flag waving/parade marching gay rights activist, took up liberal political causes, identify as a feminist, all I need to do is pretend that I was an atheist for a while and I’ve got the perfect matched set of depravity and apostasy that any good religious right audience would eat up.  I just need to invent the perfect[…]

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Ding dong, Vision Forum Ministries is dead (But Vision Forum, Inc. is still raking in the cash)

Vision Forum Ministries announced today that they are closing up shop entirely. Whatever Doug Phillips did, it had to have been something so bad that the board decided the best course was to shut down the whole thing, turn off the lights and go home. Closing a ministry entirely when it’s not named after the person who sinned is unprecedented in Christian circles, I can’t remember a time that something quite like this happened. Here’s the statement. The Closing of Vision Forum Ministries In light of the serious sins which have resulted in Doug Phillips’s resignation from Vision Forum Ministries, the Board of Directors has determined that it is in the best interests of all involved to discontinue operations. We have stopped receiving donations, and are working through the logistical matters associated with the closing of the ministry. While we believe as strongly as ever in the message of the[…]

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In case anyone was wondering why people acted surprised that Doug Phillips’ affair was with a woman, it’s because he posts photos on his blog like the one above. I was poking around on his blog yesterday because, to be quite honest, I’d never much paid attention to Vision Forum other than to be creeped out by their catalog. When I came across the photo above, I had to do a double take because it looks so much like the sort of candid (but not really) wedding photos that everybody has, where the one spouse is gazing thoughtfully while the other spouse looks on, beaming. So nope, that’s not a tastefully understated portrait from a same-sex wedding, it’s just Doug Phillips with his “bosom friend” Peter Bradrick (and yes, he used that term to refer to Bradrick in another post, dude reads too many Victorian novels or something).  And I[…]

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Doug Phillips confesses affair, resigns from Vision Forum, questions still remain

Yesterday Doug Phillips, one of the major names in the conservative homeschooling world and the quiverfull movement, announced his resignation from Vision Forum Ministries and the cancellation of all speaking engagements. With this, he joins a long list of Evangelical leaders who have engaged in inappropriate extramarital relationships and had to leave their ministries in disgrace. I can’t say that I’m surprised, there’s a reason I start wondering when the scandal is going to hit when we’re talking about people who spend as much time lecturing on women’s and girls’ modesty as Phillips did. This seems to be yet another example of a leader preaching against something as a way to build a fence around his own temptation. I feel for his wife and children, and I feel for the woman because while it takes two to tango, in this world the other woman often gets the brunt of the[…]

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Kevin Swanson and the “Homeschool Apostates”

Guys, guys, my favorite wingnut is talking about Homeschoolers Anonymous! He doesn’t mention HA by name, because heaven forbid someone go to the website and see what it’s about, but apparently wanting to reform abuses in homeschooling makes us all apostates. Also, somehow doing debate plays into it, though I’m not entirely sure how debate could have made me an apostate given that I’ve never done it. Particularly amusing to me is that I first saw that in Kevin Swanson’s universe I’m some sort of apostate when I got home last night from hanging out with my Bible study group. Anyway, I can’t stop laughing. On a somewhat more serious note, I would like to point out to Kevin Swanson that if his only solution to keep kids from becoming “apostate” is to keep them from learning critical thinking skills through debate, he’s got a problem. You shouldn’t have to shut down[…]

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The Curious Case of the Spell Family, or, The Entirely Invented (Non)Threat to Homeschooling in Florida

Proving again that one should be careful to make promises one cannot keep, I feel that I must break my promise to myself that I would stop writing about homeschooling for a while. In the last few days a story has been making the rounds about a supposed threat to homeschooling in Florida. The potential for hysteria and misinformation is huge, so as a Florida homeschool graduate whose parents homeschooled for a total of 18 years in Florida, I want to help set the record straight. On September 27th, a woman named Kathy Stock posted an entry on her blog entitled, “A War on Homeschooling.” In it, she claimed that Steve and Kristina Spell of Tallahassee, Florida, were arrested for homeschooling on February 3, 2011. The version of the story told in her post is that they were charged with violating the compulsory attendance laws despite being enrolled in an[…]

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