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Now this creeps out

I heard about this disturbing stuff at Butterflies and Wheels (in all cases, my emphasis):

Nearly 7,000 Virginia children whose families have opted to keep them out of public school for religious reasons are not required to get an education, the only children in the country who do not have to prove they are being home-schooled or otherwise educated, according to a study.

Virginia is the only state that allows families to avoid government intrusion once they are given permission to opt out of public school, according to a report from the University of Virginia’s School of Law. It’s a law that is defended for promoting religious freedom and criticized for leaving open the possibility that some children will not be educated.


I have no problem with homeschooling in itself, but I don’t see how a situation like this will ever end well.

Once parents in Virginia are granted a religious exemption, they’re no longer legally obligated to educate their children.

The statute does not allow exemptions for political or philosophical beliefs “or a merely personal moral code,” but the beliefs do not have to be part of a mainstream religion….

Yet again we have perverse privileging of religious belief over secular belief.

Now, I have no absolute proof, but it is virtually inevitable that girls will be the ones who will be denied a or deprived of an adequate education under this scheme of legalizing child abuse. How do I realize that? How many religions mandate the oppression/subordination of men? None (that matter). How many mandate the oppression/subordination of women? Most (that matter).

Denying education and choices to girls is child abuse. Here’s why (after the jump):

Consider this situation:

You’ve been groomed since birth to be no more than a doormat. You’ve been taught that thinking for yourself or having an independent mind is satanic. You’ve been taught mandatory happiness and absolute obedience, at the force of brutal corporal punishment. You have always been isolated. Being a girl you have always been made dependent on men. You have completely internalized your chains. If you somehow decide to leave the bubble: your family will disown you; since you were denied an adequate education, you will be unable to really support yourself; since you have no references, almost no one will hire you. Basically, you have virtually no way to live independently.

In the above situation, are you really free? Your rights to (say) leave the group, change your religion, live somewhere else nominally exist. But they have been made nearly impossible to utilize. Taking a realistic view, you are unable to utilize those rights. And therefore you are stuck where you are. And how, exactly, is this situation different from being denied the same rights by (say) legislation? In practical terms, having no rights is no different from having no ability to utilize your rights. A difference that makes no difference is no difference at all.

It’s people like those in the example I gave who demonstrate why I think freedom of religion should end the instant it oppresses women and girls. I can think of several religious groups who oppress women and girls that this would (and should) apply to, like QF/P types (amongst others). And it’s like any just ends up oppressing women and girls; religion is a choice, and therefore no one is ever forced to oppress women and girls. Hence, freedom of religion should never be the freedom to oppress women. But of course, theocrats and their glibertarians enablers (those who think parents own their children and that children should suffer because they had the misfortune of being born to nutcase parents) would like oppose this. Nice to see where their priorities lie.

And those who think there is nothing wrong with having rights but being completely unable to utilize them, consider this example:

In order to buy a gun, you must fill out a six page application form. You must then take a safety course (paid for with your own money) and pass with a score of 100%. You must take proof of this to a peace officer, who will wield a rubber stamp and always approve you progressing to the next stage. When you go to the next stage, you must fill out another lengthy form, wait two weeks, and then fill out the same form again. Once that is done, you must pay a $5000 gun license fee. When this is approved, you must fill out another form, bring all the paperwork to a judge, who will wield a rubber stamp and give you official permission to buy guns. If you don’t follow the above procedure you’ll get life imprisonment.

In the above example, you are in no way prevented from keeping or bearing arms; absolutely nothing is preventing you from going through the process to get a gun, and it’s not my fault you won’t go through all the steps so shut up and stop complaining. And since your rights are in no way restricted, the same people who have no problem with my first example would have absolutely no problem with this situation, right? You are going to be coherent and consistent, right? Right?

Comments on: "Now this creeps out" (2)

  1. Angie unduplicated said:

    YES! An educated citizenry is essential to self-defense; it is shameful that purchasing a gun requires more qualifications than parenting/educating a child.
    Defending our rights against religions which would deny us our liberties is not bigotry, it is patriotism, unfashionable as that idea might be.

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