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Atheists, Christians respond to online essay, Homeschool Apostates

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The recent American Prospect's essay, Homeschool Apostates, by Kathryn Joyce, has garnered some various responses from atheists and Christians alike.

The Unreasonable Faith blog at Patheos favorably references the article as the gospel truth on all things "fundamentalist" in homeschooling circles. The article got the attention of Richard Dawkins' website as well.

But Christian homeschoolers weighed in as well. Chris Jeub, of Training Minds, based in Colorado, responded with an essay mixing sympathy with critique. Coming from a trained experience in public speech and debate, he critiqued the article's implicit hasty generalization while encouraging people to read the article. He concluded: "I hold a lot of hope in these 'apostates.' They’re not enemies to homeschooling. They may just be the liberators. Maybe that’s a better title. 'Homeschool Liberators.' "

Local homeschool-oriented, Christian organization, Generations with Vision, responded with its own blog post highlighting differences of morality between Joyce and the author. The article admits that there are legalists in homeschool circles and that there are many apostates:

"I make no bones about it. We’re in the minority. The masses are moving towards apostasy...My tiny radio broadcast is only meant to salvage a few Christians left in the Western world who have ears to hear and won’t move with the masses."

The article offered a list of supposed sins that Joyce thinks too many homeschooling Christians engage in: obeying authority, dressing modestly, spanking children, wearing denim jumper, and the like.

Local Christian news writer, Mr. Mathis, offered a more personal and sympathetic article while expressing concern about the article's tendency to lump all conservative homeschoolers with the abuses described. About a month ago, Chalcedon, a Christian education organization, published an online article about spiritual abuse, determined to help those in horrible situations like those described in Homeschool Apostates.

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