One-two punch. While checking a few websites before heading off to breakfast this morning, I read a couple of articles on Andrew Sandlin’s website that made me wonder whether I had walked through some wormhole and stumbled into Bizarro World.
First there was a piece by Sandlin which argues that traditionalists are actually disrespecting the past by looking to it, that many current developments (e.g. the Left Behind series topping the bestseller charts, George W. Bush’s public Christianity) are signs of societal health, and that we really need to focus on continuing such forward progress.
And then there was this by Steve Schlissel, in which he argues that homeschooling is at best a stopgap defense against an encroaching culture, one that has served its purpose and that we should be preparing to abandon. Specifically, he says:
Covenant community schools were nearly obliterated by public education. However, the spirit of these schools was kept alive by the home-schooling movement. And the movement will reach its goal with the revivification of covenant community schools.
Whether or not there were ever such things as “covenant community schools” before the days of public education, they were certainly nothing like the sort of thing he is proposing as a replacement for homeschooling:
Let me think out loud. We need to establish single-gender prep schools that will serve as feeders for Ivy League and la-di-da colleges. (Like it or not, such schools are where cultural leaders come from—if you want the culture, get the right kids into these schools.) …
[E]xcellent covenant schools do more than encourage Christian communities: they require them. Hey—they create them! Yes, people—serious Christian people—will move to be near a serious Christian prep school. Imagine a high school with Christian faculty members of sterling character who have earned-PhD’s from prestigious schools (yes, it does make a difference, and that on several practical levels). Imagine a curriculum that provides rigorous education in the Bible, history, apologetics, the humanities, math and the sciences, languages, and that calls for earning community service credits. Imagine a high school where uniforms are standard equipment, cleanliness is prized, and honor treasured.
Despite what Schlissel claims elsewhere in the article, this is not antithesis, this is place-at-the-table thinking.