Looking at the teachings of Jesus changed my worldview drastically, and it was the teachings of Jesus that, in the end, made me change my political beliefs as well. I’m not totally on the left side of politics either, I identify as a moderate that leans left because when it comes right down to it, on some issues I’m conservative and on some issues I’m liberal, I just happen to be liberal on more issues than I am conservative.
I am archiving on here what I believe to be my “best of” posts on the old blog. This one will be in three parts and it’s actually a paper that I wrote for school. I’m trying to integrate them with the new content. I am putting up new content every second day and archive every second day until it is done. Well, that’s the plan anyway.
The public school system in America originally emerged as a protestant religious initiative in the 1830’s and was established by the religious fundamentalists such as the Calvinists, Puritans and the Reformers. (Goldfield et al. 2001, pp. 403 – 404). The Puritans believed that everybody should learn the Bible as well as basic math, reading and writing skills, and they thought that the best way to do this was to develop a public school system. (Goldfield et al. 2001, p. 403). Klicka (1995, pp. 117-118) claims that the main reasons for wanting the children educated at all were so that children could read the Bible for themselves and if they could read and understand it for themselves then they would obey it. The main goals of the original public school movement were literacy (but only as it pertained to learning to read and obey the Scriptures) and vocational training (which was really either household work, the trade of the child’s parents, or an apprenticeship in another trade). Although colleges have existed in some form in the USA since the 1700’s, the goals of the Colonists did not usually include a college education for their children. (Klicka 1995, pp. 117-118). However the public school system was very loose and unregimented until the 19th century.
The Modern Homeschooling Movement
When the modern homeschool movement began, it was actually lead by secular educational reformers in the 1970’s (Coleman 2010, unpub.) who believed that schools damage children. The two secular leaders of the modern homeschool movement were John Holt and Raymond Moore. (Gaither 2009, p. 339) In the 1980’s Christian fundamentalists began to join the homeschool movement in large numbers, but for different reasons than the secular crowd. Coleman (2010 unpub.) refers to the secular educational reformers as “Pedagogues” and the religious crowd as “Ideologues”, because some homeschooled for pedagogical reasons and some for ideological reasons. During the 1980’s the Pedagogue crowd and the Ideologue crowd worked together with common goals such as making homeschooling legal in all 50 states of America. (Coleman 2010, unpub.) By the early 1990’s, homeschooling was legal in all 50 states even for parents with no teaching certifications. It was at this time that the Ideologues split off completely from the Pedagogue crowd having completed their goals of making homeschooling legal. The split had been inevitable and had been in progress since about 1985. (Gaither 2009, p. 340)
When President Obama got elected, I was severely disappointed, and I “just knew” that it was a huge mistake and that the problem was that the American people had rejected God. I myself had worked with my church to promote Ron Paul’s campaign, something which now embarrasses me but is part of my journey. During the period of the Obama administration, I have gone from the extreme right, from believing conspiracy theories, from extreme conservatism and fundamentalism, to a position I believe is more balanced. Now I claim to be just Christian, definitely not a fundamentalist, and to being a moderate that leans left. Looking back, I’m glad Obama was elected, although sometimes I wonder if I might not have preferred Hillary Clinton for president. I personally believe Bill Clinton was a pretty good president. Anyway, the main thing that changed my mind on my political views is the teachings of Jesus.
Evans, R 2010, Evolving in Monkey Town, Zondervan, Grand Rapids
Harris, A 2011, Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith From Politics, Water Brook Press, Colorado Springs.
This is a re-post from the old blog since I plan to continue the series on here. 🙂
Most of the time, I actually identify as “moderate” with leftist leanings because I really don’t subscribe to the entire leftist agenda either, I just happen to currently agree with them on a lot more political issues than I agree with the right on.
I totally get that our faith influences our political decisions (it’s why I choose to be a moderate that currently leans left), what I don’t understand is that people who trust in Jesus for their eternal destiny would suddenly not trust that he cares and knows about what is going on in the country and that he can handle it. If Jesus can save us from our sins, can’t he be working behind the scenes in America despite which political party is in power? It troubles me to see how devastated some Christians get when the right is not in power. It troubles me to see how ugly and disrespectful some conservative Christians can be to government they disagree with, it troubles me to see what extremes some conservative Christians will go to. After all, I thought Christians believed that God was ultimately in control, so why all the panic? A big part of me wonders if all the panic comes from maybe we say one thing and believe another? We claim to believe that God is in control but we really believe that man is in control.
I don’t believe, if Jesus was walking this earth today, that he’d be a conservative. I don’t really think he’d be completely liberal either, in fact, I doubt we could put him in a political box. From my understanding of Scripture and his teachings, though, I doubt there would be much about current conservative politics in America that Jesus would be happy with. But I totally understand that many people disagree with me. I am going to spend some time explaining the social issues and what I believe Jesus taught on those subjects. I’m not claiming to be right, I’m just giving a “justification” I suppose for why I believe what I do, because quite honestly, I feel misunderstood, and because of that, I have had many conservatives be downright rude and ugly to me about what I believe. I don’t want to be mean and ugly back so I am trying to present this in a cool, calm manner. I am not angry at conservatives, like I said in the first post, I’d wager a pretty good guess that most of my friends are political conservatives. It’s ok, I love them anyway. :p
I’m going to be exploring this topic with two books (as well as the Bible), the first one is “Red Letter Christians” by Tony Campolo, and the second is “Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith From Politics” by Alisa Harris. Both are very good books and I look forward to presenting some of their material here. I probably won’t post these posts every day, I will probably post about some other topics in between, but I do intend to keep posting them over the following weeks. 🙂
And remember, I don’t even vote because I’m not a US citizen yet. I’m just a woman with opinions. :p