My husband Ivan and I do not happen to adhere to the practices of any organized religion, and before we had kids that seemed to be working just fine. We come from different backgrounds (mine agnostic with varying degrees of Christianity in my heritage, his a mix between Jewish and agnostic), but had generally landed in the same spot in adulthood: We believe in a Higher Power, and He or She may or may not be bearded (which does not necessarily designate gender; perhaps just a divine aversion to wax).
When I was a small child, my parents taught me to believe in Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sand Man, and Jack Frost. The Sand Man was an invisible but kindly little spirit who came every night, just before bedtime, and gently sprinkled soft sand into the eyes of small children. When these same children would then rub their eyes, some adult or even the children themselves would draw attention to the rubbing of the eyes and say something like, “Oh, look! You’re rubbing your eyes.
The other day my daughter mentioned to a university classmate that she was homeschooled, and the other student recoiled in shock and disgust.
My kid said "What? You are acting like I was raised by the Klu Klux Klan. I wasn't. Homeschooling is simply another form of education."
When the smoke from the Columbine High School massacre cleared, fourteen students and one teacher in my school district were dead, and dozens were wounded. Fortunately, two huge bombs that had been planted in the building didn't explode. Shock waves rippled through the culture and our educational establishment. How had American education gotten to such a terrible and tragic turn? In the wake of Columbine, all of us teachers, veteran and novice alike, were forced to make brutally painful evaluations of our educational goals and means.
In the 2004 presidential election, 80% of voters who chose Bush reported their #1 issue as "values."
The Bush administration has purposely changed the meaning of this word to reflect a particular slice of Christianity and a particular set of wedge issues, starting with fertility, abortion and gay rights and extending to science, civil liberties and more.
In 1988, Soha Bechara bought some Jane Fonda workout tapes in preparation for her new job as personal aerobics instructor to the wife of Antoine Lahad, chief of militia in charge of Israeli-occupied southern Lebanon, a job Bechara took with the clandestine intention of assassinating her boss's husband. The image of this twenty-year-old Lebanese revolutionary, revolver in her purse, using a mixture of French and Arabic to talk about building the abdominal muscles while Hanoi Jane does jumping jacks in the background has to be one of the most compelling -- if bizarre -- representations of war, occupation, and the surrealism of postcolonialism to emerge in the last decade. Eventually Bechara would put two bullets in Lahad's chest. He lived, but her act earned her ten years in a Lebanese prison. Bechara's autobiography, Resistance: My Life For Lebanon (Soft Skull Press, 2003) works on many levels. It's an accessible introduction to the mess that was Lebanon during the civil war. It's an insider's guide to making revolution. It's an expose of Khiam, a prison in southern Lebanon created by the Israelis and then left to be managed by the South Lebanon Army (SLA), their proxy in the region. Mostly, though, it's an autobiography that explains how a girl born in 1967 goes from attending family weddings and watching television with her friends to becoming a would-be assassin.