Private Christian Schools – A Handy Euphemism for White Flight?

March 1st, 2010


Oh boy!  I am really asking for it this time aren’t I?  It’s like I am a naughty two year old who just CAN’T keep my fingers out of that boiling water!

But let me back up a bit, before I dive straight into the seething pit of vipers I probably just uncovered.

This weekend we went to Wichita because my son Ethan made the state honor choir for the second year in a row.  Yeah!  That’s right!  I have a kid who can sing!  Like an angel baybee!  (If there were angels – which there are not). But anyway!

So we happened to be in Wichita for Ethan’s concert and a close relative of mine was also there with her family for the Kansas Christian Schools basketball tournament.  We spent the night in Wichita and the next morning we went to watch my relative play some ball.

The gym was in a church.  There was a band, and maybe a total of three hundred people in and out of the gym while we were there – including members of the other teams, parents, cheerleaders (with unusually long skirts) and a lot of other students there to cheer on their school’s teams.  These christian schools were from Lawrence, Topeka and Wichita -which are large cities in my state with diverse populations.  During the game it suddenly became apparent to me that everyone in the gym was white – milky white.  The bleachers were full of people with skin the color of the alabaster cities of heaven.  I carefully scanned the gym and saw maybe two Asian students, zero Hispanic students and the only two black people that were at the event during the time that I was there, were the referees in the game.

Let me just repeat that…

The only two African American attendees for this event were the referees!

Should I write that again?

The only two AFRICAN AMERICAN people in all of Topeka, Wichita, and Lawrence who showed up for the Kansas Christian Athletic Association basketball tournament were the REFEREES!

I live in a small town in Kansas with a predominantly white population.  And yet we have more African American basketball participants in one grade level in any of my son’s classes than an entire gym full of people at this christian basketball tournament.

After this experience, I think I can honestly question the true motives of choosing a christian school for your child.  What are people really doing when they make that choice?  What are they really screening out?  What are they honestly hoping to avoid?

And might I suggest some diversity training to compensate for all that bland, boring, sameness in those private christian schools?

And guess who has a really awesome tutorial up for you to peruse!

My favorite blogger!

PIONEER WOMAN!

And what makes her tutorial so freaking awesome is that you never even have to leave your house to learn about diversity!  All you have to do is BUY SOME DIFFERENT COLORED PLASTIC DOLLS  and then never say a word to your kids about other races or ethnic groups!  The dolls are all they NEED to learn about different races!  This truly is a revolutionary way to learn about all kinds of people!  And so much easier than say – actually knowing someone that is different!  I tell you what, my respect for that web site and the astounding intellect behind it grows exponentially each and every day!

Comments

  • S:

    Sarcasm?

  • CJ :):

    I went and looked. It’s a little creepy how all the dolls have great, big fake smiles.

    Diversity means learning not only that people are not all the same, but the ups and downs of not being the same. It means learning that we have a long way to go to be a completely inclusive society. I can’t see Ree’s approach doing much for that.

    The comparison to her brother being “thrown into the mix” being equal to throwing a bunch of dolls in a pot doesn’t scan.

    However, I have to admit that a lot of ranch and farm families in Oklahoma and other states don’t even get as much as she is giving her kids. While I think her approach is seriously flawed, I have to give her props for trying something. She can’t exactly take her kids to Oklahoma City and enroll them in public schools, and I doubt her local public school system is a paragon to diversity. While she has a handicapped brother, she did come from an upper class family in Tulsa, and I doubt she had a tremendous amount of racial diversity in her life.

    I understand why people homeschool and put their kids in private schools, and I do believe you are correct with one caveat – it’s privileged white flight. I am solidly middle class and there is no way I could afford private school for my boys (even if I wanted to put them in there, which I didn’t). They survived an urban public high school and actually graduated with the ability to diagram a sentence as well as solve for x. They’ll be OK.

    • CJ – She does state that her local public schools have 25% Native American population – which is pretty impressive diversity for a small town. I live about three to four hours directly north of her. I imagine that other than the 25% Native American population, the schools in her area look very similar to ours which would include other races as well. I think she is sadly misinformed about the true diversity in her local schools.

  • I can’t begin to tell you how seeing those play sets made my skin crawl. Why not a package of all different colors just saying “family”? And the comments! Oy.

  • ElleBee:

    Congrats to Ethan on making the State Honors Choir! As a former music educator, I know this is no mean feat. Yay for boys who aren’t afraid to sing!

  • Jennifer:

    My son goes to Catholic school in Brooklyn. Honestly, I chose the school because I felt he needed the structure of the system, and I also liked that he would continue there until High School (the middle school near us is not stellar). His school is diverse, although it doesn’t represent the percentage make-up of NYC, it looks far more diverse than the school you visited.
    Fantastic that your son sings–I loved being in chorus in school!

  • My parents were just afraid of the atheists and the gays.

  • km:

    congrats to your son. My own two haven’t a note in their heads but they are full of enthusiasm and holler with great gusto !
    I sent my two boys to a magnet school and so we have tons of diversity. As a result they can head roll and know what a do-rag is. They also taught card games they learned at the grandparents’ in Ireland to their diverse peers. Interesting to see an Irish rural game being played by Asian-A, African A and the kid who moved here from France. The school is two towns away from our ‘nilla hood:) It has been a hoot so far.
    This is a great country for meeting lots of types of people. It’s a shame to limit it.

  • km:

    Do I have to write that their education academically is awesome?

  • Congrats to your son, what an accomplishment!

    Those dolls are creepy.

  • Paula:

    Bitter and hateful much?

  • Playing ball for Jesus! Praise the Lord, Hallelujah! “Come on Tommy, all your sins will be washed away if you just make this three pointer!! Make it for Jay-sus!”

    My world is so much simpler.

  • What a horrible sweeping judgement. We live in the largest city in Utah. I come from a very small town in Oregon, and so does my husband. We both went to public school, but have chosen a Christian private school for our son to attend because it’s cheaper than our other options and a better quality of education than public school. Children in the state of Utah aren’t even required to go to kindergarten. Other private schools want $6000 and up to attend. Been to Utah much? The whole state doesn’t have much for diversity. It’s better than it once was, but by no means did we make our choice based on anything more than education and money. To provide a quote from Jerry Maguire…”I loooove black people.” I have to agree with Paula. You still sound bitter. Are you ready to talk about something else yet?

  • Sounds like the public schools up here, to be honest. Small town.

  • Maria:

    My Sisters Farmhouse, where Sarcasm Meets Snarky,They Hold Hands And Pray Together

    Rechelle: I do agree that Christian Schools don’t seem the most diverse places possible. But possibly there are socio-economic reasons for that? Have you read up on the reasons or as you write “I think I can honestly question the true motives of choosing a christian school for your child. What are people really doing when they make that choice? What are they really screening out? What are they honestly hoping to avoid?”~~It seems you are saying that those who put their kids in a Christian school have ulterior motives to screen out diversity. And your “close family relative” goes to one of these schools? Wow. I get that you are madder than hots at Christianity for lying to you all those years, and you should be…but you are now painting them all with your sarcasm brush. That’s like me saying all atheists are sinister because a large amount of them betrayed me once. To extrapolate it seems that you are also saying Thank Goodness for the great school my child is in because they offer diversity! Well,maybe that is so. And good for you and good for them. I submit that it’s up to the family to teach diversity. While being exposed to diverse peoples and cultures is helpful, it does NOT mean children will grow from it. I had a VERY diverse school and I have never met such bigoted kids. Kids learn at home and from the attitudes and experiences their family gives them.

    Per PW’s post. Meh. Whatever. I didn’t love the post myself, but also didn’t see that she was saying “This is all you need! Just a few dollies!”

    I’m willing to bet as PW’s children, and those in Christian schools will all go out into the big wide world and meet diversity head on. And lo! your wee Kansas boys will have a head start because they went to a public school that offered diversity! Hooray for them. Then everyone will be at the same level, right? Because the last time I looked job interviews were not asking kids what level of diversity their school had. I don’t think anyone cared. And last time I looked there were bigots who came from diverse schools, and bigots who did not.

    It’s pretty hard to find a school around here in Maine that offers a great deal of diversity. I would have to move to one of the “cities” here. I’m going to do that just so my child can get some diversity in a public school setting. But I am offering my child a TON of interaction in the community and in the wider world so that she meets diverse sets of people and cultures and can be just like your boys!!

  • Marilyn:

    Rechelle, how about you take all your energy and angst and use it in a POSITIVE way to make this world a better place?

  • We have this problem where I live, but it is certainly not limited to private Christian schools. We are in the DC metro area and there are tons of private secular schools. I subbed in Alexandaria for awhile and could never figure out where the white kids were. Eventually I found that the private schools are stufffed full of white kids.

    I am a little disturbed by my son’s preschool. His class if half white and half Asian. I’ve seen exactly one African American student in the whole school.

    I don’t know what the deal with that is. I guess it comes down to class issues since preschool is a private, out of pocket expense around here.

  • I too was uncomfortable with her approach to diversity. I guess it’s easy to not talk about diversity when you or someone you love hasn’t been called a derogatory name.
    As a Hispanic-American mother of 4, I would consider it an injustice to my children to not teach them about the struggles that people of color have faced and what their own relatives have had to overcome. How else will they appreciate what they have and stand proud of who they are and tell people “I’m also American” when they are asked “what are you?” If I let them figure it out, society will “tell them” what they think they are, and that’s not gonna fly with this momma.

  • wow. presumptions, presumptions. . .

  • CJ :):

    Rechelle: Pawhuska High School had, in the 2007-2008 school year, 278 students that resolve to 141 Native American, 2 Asian, 6 Black, 4 Hispanic, and 125 Caucasian enrolled The Junior High had 67 Native American, 0 Asian, 6 Black, 4 Hispanic and 66 Caucasian. So yes, there is a large Native American population, as would be expected in Osage County, but little else.

  • I went to a Christian school too (no comment on the diversity, but let’s just say it was about the same in SC as it is in KS today), & was a cheerleader, & had a RIDICULOUSLY long skirt! We had to play the other private school in town (not Christian, so they of course had short, skanky skirts), & I got busted for rolling up the top of my skirt to make it shorter!

    Also, we always prayed together as a team when I played b-ball before every game & even though we always couched it as, “please allow us to play for the glory of God,” we all knew we were really praying that God would have us win. My friend & I wondered aloud how God would decide since most of the other teams we played were Christian schools who no doubt were also praying to win (ahem, I mean praying to play for the glory of God).

  • Kate:

    I haven’t been reading your blog long, maybe a year. But the negativity and presumption of your latest posts (since coming out as an aetheist) leave me very sad. It’s not that I disagree with you; I just see you being as condemning small-minded and judgemental as you blame others.

  • I think you’re going to have to move somewhere larger than Wamego if you want your kids to encounter the type of diversity you want everyone else’s kids to encounter, Rechelle. If you have more than a few non-caucasian students in your public schools, it’s probably only due to you being close to K-State. Perhaps you and I have chosen to live in small town Kansas because of a secret desire to shield our children from people who are (gasp) different in any way, shape, or form. Or perhaps there were other things that brought us to where we are.

    I know for my part that living near a town of less than 2,000 people had nothing to do with the color of skin the majority of the population is sporting. Not being exposed to a wider assortment of ethnicities and beliefs was a trade-off I was willing to make for clean air, room to roam, and a safer place to grow up, as well as a smaller, friendlier public school district. It was a trade-off I was comfortable making because I feel confidant that my children will grow up to be thoughtful and caring adults who judge people on the quality of their character rather than on the color of their skin or the church they attend (or do not attend).

    Why do I feel so sure of this? Because as remote as our locale may be, we do not cut them off from the rest of the world and because we have not only taught our children to love others but have done our best to live what we teach. Actions speak louder than words, and our children are observing our actions every day from the moment they are born. What do our actions, our moods, our attitudes say about us?

    I don’t know what to make of what you’ve said here. If you truly believe everything you’ve said, you must realize that by living where you do, you’ve participated in white flight and have limited the diversity to which your own children are exposed. Are your reasons as sinister as you claim homeschoolers’ and private schoolers’ are? I don’t believe that about you, and I think it’s impossible to judge an entire group’s motivations, but I don’t believe it about the majority of homeschool and private school parents either.

    The choices we make about where we live and where our children are educated are more complex than you’ve indicated. I imagine for some small, ignorant, fearful segment of the population these decisions are based only upon prejudice or the need to belong to a majority, but I think there is usually much more involved. I like to believe that segment of the population is getting smaller each day as our knowledge of the world and people around us grows. Perhaps that’s just my optimism showing through, but I think the world could use more positive, hopeful thinking.

    And I think you know the dig at Ree’s post on little plastic people is ridiculous. She wasn’t saying this is the only way her children learn about diversity or are ever exposed to anyone different from them. It was merely an example of how we can teach our children things (even public school parents in the inner city!) in small, everyday ways without a lecture, without them even knowing they are being taught. Little things like that matter, and they add up. I’m sure you have a million little ways you help your children learn these things. I know I would love to hear about them.

  • Mary G.:

    So, would you go into one of my inner city schools-private,
    public, charter or magnet and count the people of color and then comment on the lesser number of white children?

  • Carry:

    I wasn’t going to comment because I’m normally a GREAT lurker to blogs that I read. However I just want to say I hope you are letting negative comments slide off of your back and that you keep up your writing.

    I’ve been enjoying your blog greatly. I love your sharp wit and love of silliness. I think the people that are pointing fingers and calling you mean are just feeling a bit defensive. This is your blog where you get to state your opinion. Plain and simple.

    Thanks for being so open honest and brave in the face of your commenters. You and your family are lovely!

  • Mackenzie:

    I live in a small town with an almost entirely Caucasian population, so I can understand what people are saying about those of us that just happen to live in a homogeneous community having somewhat limited options for exposing children to diversity.
    HOWEVER, we’re talking about Wichita here. I live in Missouri, and have never visited Wichita, but Wikipedia says it’s the 51st largest city in the country, with a roughly 15% African American population. Lawrence and Topeka are smaller towns, but still each have a population of well over twice the population of my state’s capital. Anywhere in the city, you would expect an amount of diversity that’s not present in some rural farming towns.
    In a building with 300 people, 15% of the population would be 45 people, not two. And really, although I don’t like to sound like someone who is blindly slinging around stereotypes, we’re talking about a basketball game here. C’mon.
    You can say she sounds a little mean and hateful towards the Christian schools, but she still has a point.

  • CJ – For Oklahoma and for my state – Kansas – that is pretty typical diversity and much more diverse than say the christian schools at this weekend’s tournament or a homeschool situation. Any diversity is better than no diversity… or pretend diversity such as playing with plastic dolls.

    Other generally negative commenters – The ability to make friends with and spend time with people from different races, backgrounds, religions etc… is what diminishes fear and leads to a peaceful society. What is wrong with you people? Why are you so blind? A successful public school filled with kids from different backgrounds, races, religions is humanity operating at it’s very best. There can be no doubt that this type of situation will lead to a better world.

  • Jenni – Don’t be absurd. If I had made a decision about where I live based on the schools, you could sling that hash all day long. But I did not. I made the decision about where I live based on the fact that it was underserved medically and met the requirements to fulfill the scholarship my husband received in medical school. We could have chosen an all white city in Western Kansas if we wanted, but cultural opportunities are important to us so we located ourselves closer to larger cities and also to more diverse populations. I could also send my kids to one of several area christian schools which are probably 99% white – or homeschool them which would be 100% white – but I send them to public schools instead where they have close friends from different races, religions and socio-economic backgrounds. It might be nice for white folks to be all ‘color blind’ but that same strategy doesn’t really work out for people from different races – does it?

  • Jenni – She said that she teaches her kids about diversity by not saying anything about diversity. Is she going to teach her kids about sex the same way? Maybe there are some dolls out there…

  • Maria:

    Rechelle said: The ability to make friends with and spend time with people from different races, backgrounds, religions etc… is what diminishes fear and leads to a peaceful society. What is wrong with you people? Why are you so blind? A successful public school filled with kids from different backgrounds, races, religions is humanity operating at it’s very best. There can be no doubt that this type of situation will lead to a better world.

    Rechelle: No one is doubting or denying that making friends with all types of races, background, religions etc IDEALLY can lead to a peaceful society. (If that is really the case, then we’d see peacemakers coming out of all sorts of diverse school populations.) That having been said, you do have a great point, that diversity can lead to more understanding…no one is arguing that.

    You choose to put your kids in public school for these reasons and that’s great but it does not mean people CHOOSE private schools to keep their kids AWAY from diversity. Diversity only is NOT what it takes to run a successful school. Much more is needed. Diversity is a contributing factor.

    People choose to live and school in a given place for all SORTS of differing reasons. NOT just because they don’t want or like diversity or they want their kids to go to an all white school. Your line of thinking seems to be “Diverse public schools are perfect answer for society’s lack of peace and all parents who don’t do everything they can to get their kids in one of these schools are blinded and worse, bigoted.” That is what I’m reading here. PLEASE correct me if I am wrong.

    If you think diverse schools are what is going to lead to a better world then I applaud your idealism. But I don’t see that gelling with reality.

  • What diversity in schools, try Florida. Want a good education – don’t. Have one son who graduated with honors from a Florida high school only because we spent our evenings going over every thing with him. A daughter graduates this year, if we survive her guidance counselor’s wonderful advice and wisdom – that statement is dripping with sarcasm. My autistic son is about to enter the school system, I am terrified. If we can scrape enough money to put him in a private school, we will in a heartbeat. I don’t care if it is Christian or otherwise as long as it provides him the support he needs and a good education.
    My oldest son and daughter have been the white minority nearly their entire “school life.” If you want to learn “ghetto speak”, how to get knocked up at 14, swear, smoke and spit – come on down to Florida. I don’t like homeschooling, don’t want to homeschool, but looking back, I think I have been pretty much homeschooling the past 12 years or so.
    I’m all for posting what the heck you want on your own blog – I do – but bashing someone elses beliefs gets a little old. I have kept coming back because I like to hear others opinions, but am now using my free agency to not continuing
    And to the grammar police – sorry for mistakes, it is from a diverse public school system

  • Darlene:

    I believe there was a recent study showing a link between religious fundamentalism and racisim.

    I am not surprised by your observations. I have also noticed that in private schools, but I think it goes deeper. Most churches are also very racially divided, and so schools associated with a church would pull from that demographic.

    We are military, so I really have no choice about where I live, but we travel miles to find a socially and religiously diverse group of people to mingle with. Two different atheist groups, homeschool groups…it is well worth travelling to find diversity, in the truest sense of the word.

  • Inga:

    Congrats to Ethan! I love boys who aren’t afraid to get out there and show off some of their talents. Has his voice changed yet? The voice change can really throw them for a loop, my oldest can still sing but it takes some trial and error that is for sure.

    We live relatively close to KC, KS and KC, MO and I will tell you that we do not have very much diversity in our schools. Our elementary school has about 240 kids and there are maybe 10-11 kids that are not white, and the high school has around 600 kids and there is probably only 20 kids who are not white. When I went to school in the next town over we had around 1,000 people at my high school and I think there were only 4 black people and 6 asians and 2 people in wheel chairs. But I know if I drive 40 minutes into KC that the population at schools there is predominantly black. I never had a black friend until I was well out of high school and on mine own, even then I can count on one hand how many black friends I have had. I am not sure what the answer is.

  • Some food for thought
    I spent the 2 years of high school at a private, yet highly international boarding school in the UK. We were a mix of ALL colours, nations and races. Peffect place for inter-ratial/national/colour friendships?
    No.
    Within one week of term starting everyone had unconsciously found their seperate national/race group and sticked with it – there was some mixing, and no aggressivness or bullying over race but we all agreed “come to international school – discover the stereotypes are true….”

  • Maria:

    Inga brings up a good point. What is the answer? How about what Darlene said: Travel. She goes out of her way to find diversity in religion (if she is seeking out other religious demographics for her kids) and schooling and I’m assuming race.

    I think that is a good start because we can’t all live in a demographically diverse area. What about having more in our communities to offer to racially and religiously diverse peoples? The onus isn’t just on schools. What about jobs, culturally varied activities, festivals, etc…

    My hometown is an example of this. A large population of Latinos moved in the area and instead of expecting “them” to integrate with “us” there was great deal of interaction and discussion between the two communities on how to provide more jobs and community programs that would bring the groups together. It wasn’t just up to the schools to produce diverse peaceful little children, it was up to the entire community. This, as I pointed out before, starts at home. Whether or NOT your child is in the school system. Whether or not they rub shoulders 8 hours a day with different races, religions and creeds.

    Your narrowing yourself, Rechelle. Your narrowing life down to “Diverse schools will make a better world. Anyone who can’t see that is blind.” Your getting as narrow as the Christians and homeschoolers you dislike. That’s not the answer. Diverse THOUGHT will make for a better world.

  • Jadehawk:

    well, there’s actually two separate but related issues here.

    For one, private schools in general are used for re-segregation, especially in the South. This segregation happens because of the price tag. It doesn’t have anything specifically to do with Christianity, it just happens that most private schools are some flavor of Christian.

    Two, Evangelical/Baptist Christian schools in particular serve as a form of cultural segregation beyond just race. It is now possible to go from kindergarden till college without having to set foot into a secular, public, and culturally (and ethnically) diverse learning institution! You can get a PhD without ever learning anything about evolution, or the big bang, or how the founding fathers weren’t even christian and didn’t like christianity much!

    It’s a form of self-segregation from any people and influences that don’t already agree with your specific religious beliefs. and it’s toxic in the long run, since it creates a whole generation of kids who don’t know anything but think they do.

  • km:

    Talking about race apparently is the best way to combat racism according to studies. Even Fox News reported on that study. It stayed in my head because ion the magnet school’s first week of kindergarten the kids had to bring in something that matched their skin tone in color, and then in art class they all worked with paints to concoct the best match for them. They all worked together in class to represent themselves. I remember thinking it was an unusual way to start but it demystified the differences early on and was a relaxed way for the kids to find the language for the differences.

  • Maria:

    Re-reading my post and “…What about jobs, culturally varied activities, festivals, etc…” sounds terribly trite, like little cultural festivals will draw diverse peoples in a community. Obviously, it isn’t that simplistic…but I am trying to make the point that it’s not just ONE factor, like schools that will make people appreciate diversity and have a love for other cultures/races/relgions etc.

    Question: Why did you go to this event if you didn’t really approve of the school? Was there no choice in the matter?

  • Kim K. in Western PA:

    Rechelle,
    Wow. You certainly knocked me for a loop. I have been reading your blog all thorough your diatribe over Christianity and organized religion in general. I found some of those posts interesting and though provoking. However, I send my son to a private Christian Catholic school because the public schools in my area quite frankly stink. Oh certainly he would be exposed to more diversity, but he would also be exposed to the wonders of pot smoking by 5th grade, the glory of a sexual relationship by 6th grade and – Praise Be – it would be a miracle if he could add by the time he started 7th grade since all but one of the public elementary schools in our area are FAILING SCHOOLS. By the way, his private Christian school also includes African-American students, Asian-American students and Hispanic students. Do you know why there is diversity in his private Christian school – because those parents have the good sense to scrimp and save and eat tuna fish and peanut butter to give their children the best education they can afford. Send me an e-mail when you get off your bitter angry high horse and start writing your fun and inciteful posts again.

  • Marilyn:

    Rechelle writes: “What is wrong with you people? Why are you so blind?”

    Rechelle, I went to a public school where Hispanics are now the majority, followed by caucasians, and then blacks. My son also attended this school and threw in a little more diversity since he has been in a wheelchair all his life. He was the only wheel-chair bound student in the entire school. Believe me, I know about exclusion and the hurt it causes. I am a huge proponent of education in the public school system. But, I’m also a proponent of choice and would never question someone else’s decision to select a private school.

    I am offended that you would group me into “you people” and “you so blind.” Blind, I am not. Kind, I am.

  • Maria – Diverse schools will make a better world. Diverse schools can lead to friendships that cross racial lines. Friendships lead to people discovering that people are just people no matter what color or religion or ethnic backgrounds. There has to be some energy expended to make it work properly – but overall – I can think of no better way to make it harder to hate someone who is different than you other than to be friends with someone who is different than you.

    I don’t know what diverse thought means. There’s a lot of hateful thought out there that is certainly ‘diverse’ and it contributes to further racism. If this were eradicated, the world would be better. What do you mean by ‘diverse thought’?

    Yes – I am extremely narrow minded by insisting that racial segregation does nothing positive for the world. I hope I get over this soon.

  • Maria:

    I wanted to respond to Jadehawk who put this in a way I could understand better. I see the point and I can agree with the facts and statistics in that point. I do think there are other forms of self-segregation in society. Not just in schools. Don’t we gravitate towards those w/in our belief system as adults in every day society?

    I’m not arguing that this type of segregation is right w/in a school system. But I don’t think it is correct to lambast those who make that choice. As some commenter brought out they choose their school for the quality and type of education rather than “Oh, good, it’s white.” Which is what Rechelle is implying. And that’s fine, it’s her blog….her forum. And the commenter.

  • Kim K – I’m glad to hear your kid goes to a diverse christian school. Now if they would just stop teaching the kids that everyone that believes differently than they do are going to hell – I would be perfectly happy. As I have said many times – if you really care about education you will work to make your public schools better and not just pack up your kids and send them elsewhere. As a christian do you have no concern for the kids that are in those public schools? Or do you just get a lot of mileage out of judging them and criticizing them and pointing out the problems. That is so christlike of you.

  • Km – amen. I read an article not too long ago that said basically the same thing. Silence never teaches anything to anybody.

  • Maria:

    Rechelle: Yes, diverse schools CAN CONTRIBUTE to a better world. That is not my argument. But there are more factors that just enrolling your kid in a diverse school. That alone will not help them be friends with those different from them. And just because you belong to an ALL WHITE school does not mean you will never be friends with someone who looks and believes differently.

    By diverse thought, I meant that we should think in terms of a worldview that encompasses all religions/races/belief systems whether or not the diversity level in our school. And this thought starts at home. I know very bigotted people who go to diverse schools, so it’s a diverse thought process not the fact I am physically in a building 8 hrs a day with people different from me.

    I was NOT implying that your narrow thought comes from insisting there not be racial segregation in the schools. There obviously should NOT be. I am saying that you are narrowing yourself to the view that schools only need to be diverse for there to be a peaceful world. That is too simple of an approach. There are too many factors involved. Will it help. Sure it will. But it’s too narrow to be the only answer.

  • Jadehawk:

    oh wow, the comments are… interesting.

    being comfortable with diversity will affect your children’s ability to get and hold a job. kids who grow up in a monoculture experience massive culture-shock when they leave, which greatly affects their performance. this could mean having a hard time adjusting to college. or, if they went to an equally monocultural college, their ability to perform their jobs and interact well with the diverse group of co-workers. people who have grown up believing that the way their family’s and friends’ way of thinking and doing things are the only ways of doing and thinking will constantly commit really stupid, embarrasing, or downright hurtful faux pas’ in their later life. The news are full of stories of the worst sort of cultural myopia which results in harassment lawsuits. but on a daily basis, people get their asses canned all the time for not being sufficiently practiced in interacting with diverse people on an everyday basis.

    all those who defended their choice of private school, or moving to a racially monocultural small town with comments about “safer place to grow up” or “better education”: unless you were living in an LA ghetto and are now living in rich suburbia, what you’re spouting there are (subconscious i hope) racist stereotypes. larger cities aren’t less safe to grow up in than the countryside; education in public schools, except in inner city ghettos, isn’t worse than in private schools, except for a select handful of very expensive catholic private schools. but latino and african-american sub-cultures signal to white america a certain cultural inferiority that people unconsciously interpret as “more hispanic & black students means less safe environment, and worse education”. it isn’t. it’s a nasty, racist stereotype. different does not mean worse.

    And I’m not even sure what to say about Sally-Ann’s racist screed up there. i mean really… ghetto-speak? swearing? spitting? oh noes, the world is gonna end!!!!! as for getting pregnant at 14… are you such a bad parent that you cannot explain abstinence, self-confidence, and protection to your children? children don’t get pregnant at 14 because they’re in a diverse school. they do so because their social structures don’t teach them how not to get pregnant (and reasons not to get pregnant) for various reasons.

  • Jadehawk:

    ah crap, i forgot to add that rural, christian kids are often as likely to become pregnant as teens as inner city kids are (see bristol palin for a famous example of that); it’s just that no stigma attaches to white christian teens who get pregnant. it attaches to poor kids from ethnic minorities. that is racism, plain and simple.

  • Jadehawk:

    km, i remember that study. and i like what your kids’ school was doing! race has to be talked about while kids are still very very small. the longer you wait, the more conscious and subconscious racism you’re going to have to fight.

    have you ever seen the videos of “doll tests”? they’re videos by social workers/scientist where African American kids, maybe 8 years old, are being shown baby-dolls (one white and one black). they’re then asked to point which doll looks more like them, and to point which doll is the “nice” doll, and which doll is the “bad” doll. it’s horrifying the amount of culturally induced self-hatred those little kids had already absorbed at that young age :-(

  • courtney:

    ah, christians and white people–the last “acceptable” prejudices.

    people, why can’t you see rechelle’s smoke screen?

    while she may indeed be an atheist, she is definitely more blog-star hungry and she’s found something that is working for her.

    she tried to emulate PW by referring herself to the “Country” Doctor’s Wife and living in a “farmhouse”, but to no avail…..seems like PW has a corner on the market of the rural life in blog land.

    the posts about mundane stuff–kid’s hair, study chairs, etc–yield about 20ish comments. BUT, anything to do with rechelle taking on us “brainless” Christians? comment explosion.

    think about it–why in the world would rechelle dislike PW? because she graciously hosted her and her lice-infested head last spring? doubtful. because she is a Christian and homeschools and doesn’t agree with the way she teaches HER OWN children diversity? surely not. rechelle, in her new found “freedom”, celebrates diversity so surely she wouldn’t dislike someone who doesn’t think exactly the way she does.

    it all comes down to jealousy. PW has a highly successful blog (and now cookbook)–rechelle doesn’t.

    yet.

    but, atheism!! this may be her ticket to stardom!

  • Jadehawk:

    ah, christians and white people–the last “acceptable” prejudices.

    http://thoughtlife.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/not-persecuted.jpg

    http://www.whydontyou.org.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/christian.gif

    just sayin’

  • courtney:

    jadehawk–

    what’s your point? i didn’t say that Christians were being persecuted (though in MANY countries that don’t have freedom of religion they are). i said it was the last acceptable prejudice. it’s so un-PC to say anything negative about blacks, hispanics, asians, homosexuals, jews, muslims, and on and on…..

    but whites and Christians are fair game for ridicule.

  • km:

    hey, hey I want to join in the misery Olympics. I thought the Irish stereotypes were the last acceptable ones. You will see over the next 2 1/2 weeks or so that we’re all alcoholic will o’the wisps.
    or the Jersey Shore Italians ??
    I didn’t know the Christians were so vulnerable…

  • Joanie:

    You asked in this post what the true motivation was for sending a child to a private Christian school. While I can’t answer for anyone but my family, our true motivation for sending our son to a predominately white, private Catholic High School with the exhorbitant $800/month tuition price was strictly for the educational opportunities that my poor, rural, Upstate NY public school system could not provide for him. Period. The only thing my husband and I wanted to avoid and screened out was a public school system where the opportunities for science, math and technology were severly limited. Was it worth working evenings and weekends to pay his tuition? Yes, yes it was worth every hour I spent working second shift and weekends.

    And btw, while he attended Catholic school he participated in and attended Mass, religious education and extra-curriculuar Catholic events. My husband and I felt that he should to be exposed to and experience a religious dogma very different from our evangelical Christian point of view.

    I guess what I resent the most about your post is that you paint with a broad brush that the reason parents choose Christian schools for their children is to strictly isolate and shield themselves and their children from ethnic and racial diversity. That you know for a fact, that this is the sinister reason for placing their kids in these schools. While in some cases that may be true, I think that many parents choose these schools precisely for the reasons my husband and I chose a Catholic HS for our son to attend and graduate from- for the quality of education, the small classroom size and the best possible education we could afford.

  • km:

    Jadehawk, re the dolls. I saw it. Isn’t it hearbreaking?

  • Judy M.:

    Courtney — Couldn’t have said it better myself. Thank you!

  • Jadehawk:

    my point is that whining by the privileged for having their privilege pointed out, and their ideas ridiculed the same way they ridicule others’ ideas is not prejudice.

    pointing out that white-flight exist is not prejudice
    pointing out racist stereotypes about the inferiority of subcultures other than your own that permeate the comments here is not prejudice
    pointing out that evengelical/baptist christians are insulating themselves from others is not prejudice.

    and to make the ridiculous claims that there’s more prejudice against whites and christians than against “blacks, hispanics, asians, homosexuals, jews, muslims and on and on…” and that it’s somehow more acceptable is a prime example of living in a nice little privileged bubble where real ethnic, gender and religious prejudice is so rare, you wouldn’t recognize it if it bit you in the butt.

  • Spinny:

    When I first saw PW’s post with the dolls, I thought that those dolls would be cool toys for a 2 – 4 year old. Much older than that and I honestly think that it should be in addition to an on-going casual conversation that you have with your kids.

    Every year around MLK Jr.’s birthday, we get another chance to talk to our boy about how everybody is different and that’s what makes life interesting. *I* certainly don’t want everyone to be exactly like me. I am boring as hell. Life would be so dull.

    The ’08 election presented awesome conversation starters. My son kept wondering why people were so hateful towards President Obama. He asked what Prop. 8 was about. Each time, we had a bit more of the conversation about diversity and how some people are still not OK with people who are different.

    We don’t sit him down with the intent to lecture him on these issues because that would be weird and an unnatural way to get him contemplating the topic.

    I refuse to allow my kid to grow up with the same prejudices I had.

  • LucyGolden:

    I missed a great opportunity, Rechelle! I should have had you write my Facebook post last night after I received ANOTHER revolting e-mail from a relative that spewed degrogatory & racists rantings about people from the Middle East. This person is a “Christian”…While I have fallen away from my Christian beliefs, I still remember being taught tolerance & diversity.

  • Maria:

    Rechelle to KimK: As I have said many times – if you really care about education you will work to make your public schools better and not just pack up your kids and send them elsewhere. As a christian do you have no concern for the kids that are in those public schools? Or do you just get a lot of mileage out of judging them and criticizing them and pointing out the problems. That is so christlike of you.

    Rechelle: You are using a very worn out criticism against public and homeschoolers. Okay, why, as an atheist did you NOT stay w/in the bounds of the church in order to help it from within?? Because they would’ve kicked you out? Because your children were growing up in an institution you didn’t agree with? Because you were frustrated? Because your energy was better spent elsewhere? All reasons I choose to homeschool, but I am so glad your choice to public school is one you are happy with! But in your last two sentences you are just getting snarky and accusatory. In a post that is supposed to be about celebrating diversity, it seems you have a hard time acknowledging that others have a right to their own choice w/out attack.

    I came because of your wit, I stayed because you raised interesting questions, but this conversation is gone beyond fact, statistics and reason and morphed into something like accusation and strident opinion with no concern for others. On both sides.

    I don’t shy away from conversations that challenge my world view, I really enjoy them. When they are constructive….but this blog ain’t bringing me anything but down.

  • AngAk:

    I grew up in NW Indiana and attended public schools—90% white with the other 10% Hispanic and a handful of Asian. zero African American. This was the demographic of this mostly farming community. And I lived in a German speaking family. I learned my English in school and had an accect. I’m pretty sure some families considered me and my family to be an oddity and a “diversity” thay may not have wanted in their community. But, I think I turned out more than OK. I didn’t get a shock going away to college. I actually used my BRAIN and my HEART to deal with the diversity in the bigger world. There was plenty of bigotry in that part of the country, some in my own family. It sure taught me that I did not want to be that way, at all. We can learn tolerance and peaceful relations in all sorts of environments. Even non-diverse environments. Having lived and worked for 8 years in remote Alaskan villages where I was in the minority, I can say that there was a whole lot of learning going on by all of us. That first picture Rechelle, is that of the honors Choir? Public School kids, or a mix of Public/Private? Lovely kids, but not a lot of diversity there either. Is that good or bad, or just Kansas, and not really that important for those great kids singing their hearts out?

    • AngAk – same group in close up photo. I think the bright lights ‘wash the color out’. Note conductor. Kansas is not exactly famous for diversity, but many races were represented in the choir. Most beautiful song was a Jewish hymn that the people sang as they were being murdered in the gas chambers. Very diverse and moving event in many ways (for kansas at least).

  • jamoody:

    I’m curious about the diversity of the population in your close relatives area….I get that you were in Wichita and expected a more diverse crowd, but wonder if you are accusing your close relative of having their children enrolled in a Christian school for these reasons.

  • courtney:

    jadehawk-

    whoa, whoa…you’re putting words in my mouth.

    NEVER stated that there was MORE prejudice against whites and Christians than any other ethnic, relgious, or cultural group. just said that it’s more tolerated. and it is. and you proved my point. apparently being “privileged” is subject to prejudice, too.

  • Maria:

    Jadehawk said: kids who grow up in a monoculture experience massive culture-shock when they leave, which greatly affects their performance. this could mean having a hard time adjusting to college. or, if they went to an equally monocultural [sic] college, their ability to perform their jobs and interact well with the diverse group of co-workers. people who have grown up believing that the way their family’s and friends’ way of thinking and doing things are the only ways of doing and thinking will constantly commit really stupid, embarrasing, [sic] or downright hurtful faux pas’ in their later life.

    I disagree. I think that SOME kids who grow up in a monoculture experience will have a hard time. I think in SOME cases it will effect their jobs, and in SOME cases they will SOMETIMES (not constantly) commit stupid faux pas in later life. But boy, just try to commit a stupid racial/religio/ethnic slur and you’re gonna get grounded pretty quick, whether it’s school/college or a job. You learn quickly about the world around you when you have bigotted attitudes. And you either grow from those experiences or continue them. Again, I think it’s families not schools. I think that it is a small minority of kids who grow up handicapped in the way you are talking about…and I believe that those types are called rednecks ;)I’m not saying it doesn’t happen. Not saying it’s cool.

    But it seems like your saying the world is only successfully run by people who came from diverse family and school experiences and I can’t agree with that.

  • ElleBee:

    I’ve changed my mind. I have to put MSF back on my blog reader. This dialogue, once I can get beyond the violent reactions of some commenters (Christian and Atheists alike), is fascinating. I am reminded of a favorite quote from an incredible man.

    “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” (Mahatma Gandhi)

  • Jadehawk:

    “just said that it’s more tolerated. and it is. and you proved my point. apparently being “privileged” is subject to prejudice, too.”

    it isn’t more tolerated. you just notice it more because it’s about you for a change. like i said, you live in a bubble where the real effects of prejudice don’t even register with you. which is why you can say “being ‘privileged’ is subject to prejudice”. it isn’t. it’s subject to criticism, even if it makes you uncomfortable. do you know the difference? do you even know what the privilege is that I’m talking about?

    But boy, just try to commit a stupid racial/religio/ethnic slur and you’re gonna get grounded pretty quick, whether it’s school/college or a job.

    except of course that’s not even what i’m talking about. there’s a reason companies spend ridiculous amounts of money on diversity training. it’s because too many people, especially from the straight white christian male demographic, but similarly affecting other privileged and/or self-segregating demographics, consider their subcultural traits as “natural” and “normal”, and every deviation from it as something less. they do this subconsciously. it doesn’t usually manifest in obvious attacks, but in small ways that “other” those that are different, contributing to tensions.
    and people who have never learned how to interact with others without “othering” them are having the hardest time to even realize these behaviors. it’s almost impossible to notice them when you’re doing it, because to yourself, it feels like you’re behaving “normally” and “naturally”, when to others it will be behavior that will make them feel uncomfortable, not valued, etc. this contributes to workplace friction. And employers are less and less willing to put up with employers that cause this friction (unless they themselves are like that; but that breed is dying out in a globalized business world)

  • Jadehawk:

    “less and less willing to put up with employees that cause this friction”

    need more coffee, i think.

  • Maria:

    Jadehawk:and people who have never learned how to interact with others without “othering” them are having the hardest time to even realize these behaviors. it’s almost impossible to notice them when you’re doing it, because to yourself, it feels like you’re behaving “normally” and “naturally”, when to others it will be behavior that will make them feel uncomfortable, not valued, etc. this contributes to workplace friction. And employers are less and less willing to put up with employers that cause this friction (unless they themselves are like that; but that breed is dying out in a globalized business world)

    I see your point now. That makes sense. I can see this in myself and in others who come from a predominately white majority upbringing. I don’t realize it until it’s pointed out to me…by my minority friends. Point taken.

    I still take issue with the idea that if we put our kids in diverse public schools that will help. Sure it will, to some point. And Rechelle’s insinuation that this is purposeful on the part of parents. Well, maybe some parents it’s purposeful, some it’s unconscious. Some just put their kids in a public school that’s nearest to where they live, and well, I”m sorry that Rechelle feels that we all better move so we can get our children in better schools or they will be handicapped for life!

    My argument is that it is a BIGGER issue than schools and before we start castigating the parent for their choices, let’s look at the bigger picture.

  • courtney:

    you have no idea where i live. you presume, but you don’t know. you have no idea if i’m privileged. you presume, but you don’t know.

    why is being “privileged” subject to criticism? is being poor subject to criticism as well?

  • Jadehawk:

    I was right. you think privileged = wealthy.

    that’s not the privilege I was talking about. you’re right, I’ve not the faintest clue how much money you have. but since I wasn’t talking about money, that’s a non-sequitur.

  • Jadehawk, I love you.

  • Leslie:

    **snarf** You crack me up.

  • Kim K. in Western PA:

    “Or do you just get a lot of mileage out of judging them and criticizing them and pointing out the problems. That is so christlike of you.”

    I don’t even know how to begin to respond to your comment. I guess I will just start typing and see what comes around. First of all I have never said I was Christlike. As a Christian (oops that’s a bad word on your blog), I am human and make mistakes. To be perfectly honest I have not done anything to make our public schools better. I do not have any idea how to do that. I pay school taxes and tuition for our private school. I see that money being spent on keeping teachers who don’t teach, I see a curriculum in the public high school that has more electives for the pregnant teens than for the kids planning on college. I see a school system that makes certain that there is enough money for the sports program so the kids have a shot at a college scholarship because they aren’t going to get to college based on their academics. Tell me, Rechelle, what do you suggest to improve that problem.

    As for the racial diversity in the public school system, oh it is racially diverse alright, we have people who are moving into the school district who don’t speak English and expect our teachers and the fellow students to learn their language not bother trying to integrate into the culture in which they have chosen to live.

    If choosing to send my child to a private Christian school makes me narrow minded and lazy and un-Christlike then so be it. I tend to view it as making the best of a difficult situation. By the way, that school does reinforce the moral and faith based aspects that we try to build at home. I’m not going to lie to you and close with some holier-than-thou attitude because I am not holier-than-thou. I am just a mother trying to make the best of the educational system in the United States today.

    I wish you all the best as you pursue your new lifestyle.

  • Jadehawk:

    I accidentally got a post stuck in moderation, because it had too many links in it. i put some links to information about privilege in there, so hopefully it’ll show up soon :-)

  • LucyGolden:

    I may be mistaken, but I don’t think Rechelle’s close relatives children are homeschooled or attend a Christian school…Correct me if I’m wrong…

  • Darlene:

    Just a few points:

    talking about diversity is just as important as living in a diverse area. For example, although we don’t have a large openly gay population where I live we can talk about the LGBT movement and watch RuPaul’s Drag Race.

    One of the things we discuss over and over is Us v. Them, and how, if we define “us” as everyone, then there is no “them” to exclude. What we train our child to do is to keep expanding defining qualities until we have a circle that included whom ever we are interacting with. Same town; state; language; continent…interest in the same things, whatever…it’s about finding what we share instead of what separates us.

    Once we establish our sameness, we can genuinely celebrate and revel in our differences without being adversarial.

    To that end, I try and avoid personal definitions that restrict me. I’m cautious about joining groups because I often despise groupthink. I avoid religion for the same reason. And I try to show my teen how to do the same, with music and food and art: even if some genre is not your favorite, give it a go. At the least the experience may give you a topic of conversation with a stranger, who can then become a friend.

    I do homeschool, and I do it for many reasons. But to segregate my child is not one of them. If there had been a diverse and secular private school locally, we may have gone there.

    Anything that divides instead of joins is to be avoided. I discriminate against very few: the racist, the violent, the abusive, the willfully ignorant. But the key is that I make distinctions by the choices people make, not by accidents of birth.

  • Jadehawk:

    My argument is that it is a BIGGER issue than schools and before we start castigating the parent for their choices, let’s look at the bigger picture.

    you’re right, it is a bigger picture. but to affect the bigger picture, you need to look at what the picture is made of. and white flight IS a part of it. to deny it exists is absurd. those schools aren’t accidentally almost all-white. and it’s a false dichotomy to claim that either people are blatantly racist and don’t want their kids to be around black/asian/hispanic kids, or it has nothing to do with race and prejudice at all.

    the truth is that white flight is caused by racial stareotyping where white is unconsciously associated with good things, and non-white is associated with bad things, with being less than “normal”, where “normal” is WASP. this thread is full of comments that show precisely that.

  • Ed:

    Rechelle, did you see the 3 Weblog awards Pioneer Woman won! And your sisters site was a nominee. I didn’t see your site listed. Do you have to have advertisers to be nominated?

  • Wondering Woman:

    Your close relative seemed to have a nice trip, two people at the same event, one enjoyed it the other not; sounds like your bitterness isn’t leaving you much room for any other feelings. I went to PW’s site and I thought her approach to diversity made a lot of sense, I didn’t see any reason for ridicule. If you’re sharing all your negative thoughts with your children hanging out in the properly integrated environment will be the least of their problems.

  • jw:

    Why are YOU so angry with PW?
    Are the children of the Dominican Republic “plastic” to you?
    I am trying really hard to understand you.
    I see more compassion from her children than I am seeing from you.

  • Maria:

    Jadehawk…I”m not saying that people are either blatantly racist or it has nothing to do with race and prejudice. I’m not arguing for either extreme. I’m not denying White Flight. It exists.

    This conversation is going nowhere fast…no one on either side seems to be making any sense any more or perhaps it is I who needs more coffee…

    I wish you the best Rechelle, you and your naughty two year old self…making waves wherever she goes. Making people and wee evangelizers think out of their boxes. Thats a good thing, and I hope you are careful not to box yourself in w/your own prejudices against whatever ax you have to grind…today Christians and private schools and tomorrow who knows what….so much of what you say is true and right, but it’s really the WAY you do it and your subtle personal attacks on others that are so hurtful.

    I shall go to where I can find conversations with diverse people that have more respect.

  • marcia:

    i misread the ending of that blog title as white fright.

    dont have time for the comments today;

    private christian schools are a really interesting demographic for sure. i think white fright applies.

  • Lori:

    @ Joanie, Courtney, Marie, and Kim K: YOU ROCK!!!!! :) :) :)

    As for racial diversity, my husband spent about 3 years in Yuma, Arizona in the 80′s and got his skinny, white butt kicked on a regular basis. He was paid with pot on his paper route, had to join a gang for safety, a double digit amount of kids were killed in the school during that time and he basically lived in terror the entire time he was there. Is that enough diversity for a young boy in the public school system? And since we have been married, we have had African-Americans, Hispanics, S. Africans (black and white) and Chinese to our house for meals and family holidays. And would you believe we are CHRISTIANS!!! I believe people are people regardless of race/sexual preference/job title/belief system. I am trying my best to teach my children the right kind of tolerance. The kind that says “we may believe/think/look different from each other, we may not agree with each other but we still need to respect, love and be kind to one another. You know why? Because the Christ I serve teaches that. Jesus Himself broke racial, social, religious barriers that others wanted to keep.

    BTW, my husband has an African-American friend (who prefers to addressed as an “American” not “African-American”) who moved his family out of that “end of town” so his kids could get away from the environment. And his neighbors and family were very unhappy with his decision to move to the “white” neighborhood. So maybe there is “African-American” flight too?

    Rechelle, I understand you are angry and bitter and vengeful, but man oh man girl. I understand anger at Christians having gone thru a really bad time with some at my church. It was awful. But just know, being bitter and angry only hurts you. The best analogy I have ever heard was “being angry with someone is like stabbing yourself with a knife and expecting your enemy to die”. Life is to short to be this mad. But I also know anger can take a long, long time to work thru. I wish you the best.

    • Lori – I am not angry – you like many other christian readers of the blog – see only anger because that is how you interpret anyone who tells you that your faith is a crock of shit. I am laughing. I am smiling. I have some anxiety because I have so publicly announced my disbelief – but I am not angry. What I am is honest – and christians CANNOT handle that.

  • Soren:

    Hi. I’m atheist……and white……and a man. Have you noticed yet that atheists are predominately older, white, men? My atheist “meetup” group is all white.

    African-Americans are very religious, and for the most part Christian. Why aren’t they in the Christian schools?

    Good observations. Fine questions to ask. Keep it up!

    Portland, OR – Go Blazers!!!!!

  • Peggy:

    Rechelle, I respect your right to have any opinion you wish on your own blog. Some I agree with, some I don’t. That’s what makes following you so interesting. But, I am curious why you have chosen to bring up The Pioneer Woman’s lifestyle so often. Shouldn’t she have the right to live her life as she wishes, just as you should also have the same right? You may not agree with her but why demean her on your blog? She was very gracious to you and your family when you visited her.
    Differing with the way someone choses to live her life doesn’t mean that you have to belittle her. It just makes you look small and petty.
    You have written about your choice to become an athiest. That is your personal decision and should be respected. However, you, in turn, should also respect those who are Christians, Jews etc. and their beliefs . You write about wanting diversity, but would you actually be open to everyone’s different viiewpoints if you actually lived in a very diverse community? It doesn’t seem so.
    You are such a gifted writer, Rechelle. I admire your writings and you do have many good points. I think you can disagree with people’s religions, viewpoints etc, and do it in a way that doesn’t sound so angry and mean.

    • Peggy – Thanks for asking this question. I choose to bring up PW’s blog for many reasons. First of all – she has a tremendous amount of influence on a certain segment of blog readers and she often influences people in idiotic ways – such as teaching your kids about diversity using dolls and silence. Secondly – her site is highly acclaimed, heavily awarded and widely read and yet it is utterly inane, talks about nothing, is full of fake photos, and presents a life that is superficial and false. I think someone needs to occasionally point this out. I choose myself.

  • Jadehawk:

    Lori, of course there’s such a thing as “black flight”. nobody is immune to the racist messages in our society. maybe you should google “doll test” to see what I mean.

    but you know what usually happens when more African-Americans move into a previously all-white neighborhood? property values begin to drop. and why? because an all-white neighborhood is perceived as ideal, normal, civilized, etc. while the visible presence of African-Americans automatically gives people the impression that the neighborhood is less-than-ideal, less-than-normal, less-than-civilized. and so, no one is willing to pay the same prices for the houses in that neighborhood anymore. and that in turn leads the whites from that neighborhood to flee to a different neighborhood because they begin to feel like their current one is “going to the dogs”, even when nothing has changed other than having a visible number of non-whites living there.

    This is a well studied, well documented effect of institutionalised racism. you don’t have to believe me, but it’s still a fact, and the more people realize this, the sooner we can actually stop this nasty phenomenon of white flight.

  • Jadehawk:

    and to bring this back to the original topic, the situation with schools, especially in the south, parallels the suburban housing issue I described in my last post.

    Back during the years of segregation, there were “good” public schools that were whites-only. then they were forced to de-segregate, which resulted in a lot of wealthier whites taking their kids out and putting them into private schools, thus resulting in a perceived worsening of the school. this trend has continued until today, and the result is what Rechelle described: almost all-white private schools.

  • jw:

    JadeHwawk,
    Your are so full of shit.
    You are reading and site ONLY those studies that pertain to your particular agenda.

    Blacks, Hispanics and Asians are fleeing to the suburbs for the same reason “whites” are. For a safer community, for more “say so” in the community, and for the safety for their families.

    Look at the PTO’s, PTA’s, and the shcool boards elected.
    You will find that their diversity make you so off the mark!

    Seriously. LOOK! Look hard.

  • courtney:

    @jadehawk-

    what did you mean by privileged then?

    the two “groups” i referenced in my original post were about whites and Christians–neither of which would i consider strictly privileged.

    @ lori–you rock, too, girl! :)

  • Denise:

    Rechelle, I’ve read you for a while now, loved your blog, even through the whole not believing in God. But this bitter let’s bash others for a good post thing you have going on is just not something I want to read anymore. There was absolutely nothing wrong with Ree’s post, and I think you are really stretching here.

    • Denise – kids don’t learn about diversity by silence from their parents (who are also their homeschool teachers) and plastic dolls. That is absurd. Where would this country be if silence was the way we dealt with problems. Good grief! It is dishonest and incredibly short sighted to react to life that way and the only people that can afford to respond that way are members of the majority privileged race.

  • Jadehawk:

    You are reading and site ONLY those studies that pertain to your particular agenda.

    I don’t have an agenda. but nice lashing out at uncomfortable information

  • jw:

    I have to wonder if CL and Rechelle decided in that it would be best for Rechelle if she took over POP.

    Conflict of interest abound here, it seems to me.

  • jw:

    Oh, yes. It is very very obvious you have an agenda, Jadehawk. Glaringly so.
    Not uncomfortable to me at all.

  • Jadehawk:

    Oh, yes. It is very very obvious you have an agenda, Jadehawk.”

    O RLY

    and what, pray tell, is my agenda?

  • jw:

    Seems that your agenda, is to paint “everyone” with your broad brush. Just as you condem others from doing so.

    You have no idea what others motives might be, but yet, no matter their motives, IT IS WRONG.

    Your “statistics” is the “ONLY TRUE” norm. Correct?

    Yes?

  • Mindy:

    I wasn’t going to comment on this one, but it strikes me as so sadly funny that a good number of the religious noters on this blog resort to name calling when atheists present them with cogent arguments.

  • Jadehawk:

    No. but interesting, anyway.

    I’m not paining anyone, and certainly not “everyone” with anything. Society-wide trends exist. are you going to deny that? they’re there because of something that’s part of society, and society is made of people. it’s a complex system in which society shapes people, and then in turn people shape their society. and our society is racist, sexist, homophobic, and religionist (for lack of a better word), even if not all the individuals in it are, or at least not consciously.

    and motives aren’t as important as results. what difference does it make if someone’s motives are pure as driven snow, when the result is the same as if their motives were outright bad?

    I don’t talk about motives. I talk about currents in society, the results of ingrained and unexamined racial, cultural, and heteronormative assumptions and prejudices, and about how denying them is contributing to the problems.

    here’s two catchy thoughts for you: “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” and “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

  • RetroMeg:

    Sadly, this happens in public schools too where families push to get their kids into schools outside of their district so that they don’t have to rub elbows with the “free lunch kids” or move neighborhoods so they don’t have to go to school with “those kids” or start their very own charter school that doesn’t offer busing or free lunches so “those types” won’t be able to attend.

    I understand what you are saying here, and I agree with so much of what you post, but the reality is that our society in general is still practicing segregation, we’re just a lot more discreet about it. It disgusts me to talk to most of my friends who just feel that our area public schools (the best in the state) aren’t good enough for their blond-haired/blue-eyed precious. The fear that they will send their kids to school with children from other socio-economic backgrounds and their poor baby will be subject to course language and unruly behavior at the hands of welfare babies. However, if they can get into the school that only has a 20% free lunch rate instead of a 70% free lunch rate, then precious will stay precious for all her days. It is sickening, it is wrong,it is absolutely fucking insane and even Christians don’t have the market cornered unfounded, hateful fear.

  • Maryanne:

    I don’t know what to say about this argument. I would like, in the future when I have children, to live in a more diverse community. I am stuck in my house and community for a bit.

    I think some people send their children to christian schools because they do want to avoid the ‘diversity’. I think most people that send their children to christian schools simply want to have an extension of the values that they are trying to teach at home. My parents did that. We lived in a very ritzy public school district, but they sent me to a parochial school that was definitely more middle class.

    Lastly, about 10 years ago, the front page article in the Philadelphia Inquirer was on the graduation at the University of PA’s medical school. The picture was of at least 20 Asian students, smiling for the camera. There was not a single white, African-American, Hispanic, blue-with-polka dot student in sight! These were students celebrating the end of their 20th year of education, presumably with people of other races, and still self segregated. You can’t force people to do things they don’t want to.

  • TH:

    Peggy–
    rechelle brings up PW over and over again because she is seething in jealousy. I think Courtney hit the nail on the head.

    “think about it–why in the world would rechelle dislike PW? because she graciously hosted her and her lice-infested head last spring? doubtful. because she is a Christian and homeschools and doesn’t agree with the way she teaches HER OWN children diversity? surely not. rechelle, in her new found “freedom”, celebrates diversity so surely she wouldn’t dislike someone who doesn’t think exactly the way she does.

    “it all comes down to jealousy. PW has a highly successful blog (and now cookbook)–rechelle doesn’t.

    yet.

    but, atheism!! this may be her ticket to stardom!

    Amen Courtney!

  • Jadehawk:

    courtney sez: “what did you mean by privileged then?
    the two “groups” i referenced in my original post were about whites and Christians–neither of which would i consider strictly privileged. “

    well, you’d be wrong then. both being white and being christian come with privileges, but they’re not noticeable when you actually ARE privileged by them unless you have something to compare your own experiences with, on a very detailed level. Basically, a lot of things you perceive as “normal” actually isn’t what a lot of people experience, but rather is the result of not being discriminated against on a constant if often low-level basis.

    unfortunately the post with links about that is still stuck in moderation. but you could go to wikipedia and read their “dominant privilege” article, and follow the links to more detailed articles from there, for starters

  • jw:

    “Society-wide trends exist. are you going to deny that? they’re there because of something that’s part of society, and society is made of people.”

    With out a doubt!

    But, why then, paint some with such a wide brush and condemning them, to what they feel is best for their OWN children and or well being?

    “…and our society is racist, sexist, homophobic, and religionist (for lack of a better word), even if not all the individuals in it are, or at least not consciously.” And………..that gives you the right to judge, what others truely feel, and see all around them…unfit? Right?

    “I talk about currents in society, the results of ingrained and unexamined racial, cultural, and heteronormative assumptions and prejudices, and about how denying them is contributing to the problems. It’s a complex system in which society shapes people, and then in turn people shape their society.
    Ingrained? As in”…my pappy believed it so I do too?” Do you have no clue that most people come to their OWN conclusions?

    “Heteronomative, UNEXAMINED, assumptions and prejudices? Please, tell me that you think people are so ill informed that you jump to these conclusions.

    “….how denying them is contributing to the problems. ” Are you are are you not contributing to the problem of “denying those” that have their own opinons on all the manners that you are presumtuitive of, their own opinions?

    Here’s two thought for you, Jakehawk.

    The road to perdition is paved with gold.
    If you are not a viable solution to the problem, then you ARE still a part of the problem.

  • Jadehawk:

    Do you have no clue that most people come to their OWN conclusions?

    in other words you don’t know anything about neuroscience, sociology, anthropology, or pretty much any other field of study about humans and human behavior.

    here’s a clue for you. most people do not freely come to their conclusions, because their axioms are predetermined for them by the information and biases accessible to them. What I’m trying to do is to show those axioms for what they are, and to present people with the biases on which their conclusions are based, in the hope that in the long run society will actually improve. Because it won’t if axioms and biases aren’t recognized.

    I am part of the only viable solution: identifying the causes of inequality, and getting as many people as possible to understand and identify these things in their everyday lives. Because without that, there won’t be a change for the better.

  • jw:

    “…well, you’d be wrong then.”

    Because, Courtney, Jadehawk says so.

  • jw:

    “I am part of the only viable solution: identifying the causes of inequality, and getting as many people as possible to understand and identify these things in their everyday lives. Because without that, there won’t be a change for the better.”

    There ya have it folks!

    JadeHawk IS IS IS the ONLY viable solution! Oh, excuse me, with, her/his viable minions.

    See, that is what happens when you let logic interfer with reasonable and viable solutions.

  • Jadehawk:

    Because, Courtney, Jadehawk says so.

    no, because years of careful studies by many many social scientists have discovered this.

    please do not project your sense of self-importance onto me. nothing is true just because I (or you) say so. it is true because it has been demonstrated to be so by careful research.

  • courtney:

    well, we’ve come full circle now.

    my original point was that whites and Christians were the last acceptable prejudice.

    so, let’s say i am wrong and (all?) whites and (all?) Christians are privileged as you claim…(and not just you, but apparently Wikipedia as well–the encyclopedia anyone can edit)

    you said in a previous comment:

    “which is why you can say “being ‘privileged’ is subject to prejudice”. it isn’t. it’s subject to criticism, even if it makes you uncomfortable. ”

    i don’t mind being criticized unless it’s for being white and/or Christian?

    if being white/Christian is privilege and you believe privilege is subject to criticism….why? what’s the point of criticizing me for being white–can’t change that.

  • Lori:

    Jadehawk, you are a piece of work. :) Gee, don’t you think you are just a smidgy prejudiced against christians?? And basically anyone that doesn’t think like you? I understand current trends, white flight and all that jazz. I hate prejudice and bigotry but just throwing kids together in a neighborhood and public (or christian) school isn’t a cure all (as has been stated numerous times). You can’t force kindness or legislate morality. Like another poster said, it needs to be modeled at home. More is caught than taught. And just for the record, I am white, I am a christian, and I homeschool. And today we were told by our acct after doing out taxes, we are poor. Isn’t that a hoot? Guess that shoots the “privileged” idea out the window. But also for the record, and not to sound trite, I am rich in the ways that matter. Health, family, warm house, good food. I am thankful, thankful, thankful. And you know what? Now that I am on a roll. My dad grew up in a divorced household in the fifties, in a good Lutheran family that treated him like crap b/c my grandmother had the “audacity” to divorce a man that cheated on her and was abusive. She worked 4 jobs to keep my dad and uncle with her. Now, my dad has no animosity towards his “father” and was devoted to my grandmother until the day she died. Is that another instance of privilege among the white folk? And my dad is one of the strongest christian men I know. He didn’t allow a horrible “christian” (I put that in quotes b/c the way my grandmothers family acted was anything BUT Christ-like) experience to stop him from allowing a relationship with Jesus Christ. He drank heavily all thru highschool, was an alcoholic after Vietnam and gives full credit to God for saving his life in more ways than one. Whoo, I need to give that one a hearty amen and thank you Jesus!

  • Melinda Gerow:

    @ Peggy “You may not agree with her but why demean her on your blog?”

    By continually demeaning PW she is inviting her(or her readship) to respond, thereby bringing huge numbers of readers to her own blog! The same logic applies to her continued needling at her own sister’s(whose blog was nominated for an award) beliefs. The whole holier then thou, Christians suck theme has been a goldmine for increased readership and will add advertising revenue. Doing good in the world and making positive suggestions doesn’t pull in the readers.

  • Jadehawk:

    Guess that shoots the “privileged” idea out the window.

    do your children get arrested for looking poor? because black children and hispanic children do. that’s privilege:the ability to go about your life without having a constant barrage of prejudice handicap you. privilege is not the same as wealth. if you don’t care to inform yourself about it, that’s fine. but don’t claim it doesn’t exist just because you don’t know what it is.

    if being white/Christian is privilege and you believe privilege is subject to criticism….why? what’s the point of criticizing me for being white–can’t change that.

    Criticizing privilege doesn’t meant that, it means criticizing the fact that you’re being privileged for being white. It’s not an inherent biological privilege. it’s a social construct, and it needs to be deconstructed if we want real discrimination to end. and it cannot be deconstructed unless it is pointed out, analyzed, and counteracted.

    and not just you, but apparently Wikipedia as well–the encyclopedia anyone can edit?

    would you prefer if I cited books or scientific papers? would you read them? I pointed you to an easy read about it that i didn’t need to link to. dismissing it out of hand is pretty lame.

  • jw:

    *grins*
    Care to SHOW me your research. Yes, I know where it comes from, and I have refuteated it in the past. Show me. Leave me a link, and I will leave YOU a link to my papers. I have the careful studies and years behind me, as well. I’m willing to show my credentials…are YOU?

    Courtney,
    “i don’t mind being criticized unless it’s for being white and/or Christian?

    if being white/Christian is privilege and you believe privilege is subject to criticism….why? what’s the point of criticizing me for being white–can’t change that.”

    Because, Courtney, you are not of another ethnic persuasion. If you are white, you MUST feel some sort of guilt, one way or the other. It is just the way it is in this world today.

  • jw:

    “would you prefer if I cited books or scientific papers? would you read them? I pointed you to an easy read about it that i didn’t need to link to. dismissing it out of hand is pretty lame”

    Yes, yes I would. Do you consider that lame?

  • Jadehawk:

    nobody cares about “guilt”. recognizing privilege and being therefore able to counteract it and make sure it’s not perpetrated any further is the fist step in fighting institutionalized inequalities

  • Jadehawk:

    ok, have fun: http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=racial+privilege&btnG=Search&as_sdt=80000000000&as_ylo=&as_vis=0

    I’m not gonna cite individual links, because that gets posts stuck in moderation.

  • jw:

    “nobody cares about “guilt”. recognizing privilege and being therefore able to counteract it and make sure it’s not perpetrated any further is the fist step in fighting institutionalized inequalities”

    Surely, you gest? It is absolutely ALL about guilt. This wouldn’t be a topic of converstions without it.

    Construct…you want to talk about that? Well THAT, Jadehawk, is another topic, but yes…we could go into that.

    Want to frame the argument?

  • courtney:

    someone said it earlier, and i’m starting to agree–this conversation is going nowhere fast.

    my mind isn’t changed. i still believe that our society thinks it’s acceptable to prejudice against whites and Christians, if for no other reason than we’re “privileged”.

    i agree with you, JW. many non-whites feel that whites should feel guilty.

    sorry, but i don’t.

    i’ve gone off on this commenting tangent regarding one sentence i wrote in my initial comment.

    my purpose for commenting was to deconstruct the reason for rechelle’s change in blog tone.

    i don’t know how bloggers are paid through their ads, but i’m hoping it has nothing to do with the number of comments. in case it might be, though, i’m signing off–this isn’t constructive.

  • jw:

    Jadehawk, that is a bad link, or my computer won’t let me into it for some reason. I shall keep trying.
    Thank you.

  • Becky:

    Do any of ya’ll even live in the south? COME on! It doesn’t matter the color. We have all colors of laziness and trashiness. THAT is what the flight is over!

  • Becky:

    And google Kevin Jennings. I keep hoping to see that he’s been given the boot any day now!!!

  • jw:

    I understand, Courtney, and I apologize if I turned you off of the arguement, BUT, I refuse to let others get their points off without being challenged, if indedd they need to be. Not because they are WRONG, for they may not be. But to have an honest and even debate, some must be challenged.

    Good night, rest well.

  • jw:

    ahhhh…so there it is…ONE post exagerating and egasperating, WHITE DENIAL OF RASISM?

    Is that all you have, Jadehawk?…one paper…I could go on and deconstruct it word for word. But frankley, you bore me with the same ol’ mish mash.

    I see now where you get your talking points from. You don’t know shit from shinola.

  • just a farm girl:

    I came for the fabled kind atheists I had heard Rechelle comment about. The ones with no discouraging words and only understanding sweet uplifting comments. I thought this was something very interesting if it could possibly be true. Reality is that Jadehawk and her ilk are more condescending, critical and judgmental than any religious person or holier than thou homeschooler I have ever met. She goes off..blablabla… OFTEN….most of which makes no sense whatsoever to me and then says something someone else says makes no sense. Hmmmm She knows nothing and thinks she knows everything and that my friends…points clearly to a political career!

  • Becky:

    It is the lack of morality and civility and if you have the backbone to go into each home and teach it more power to you sister! That is the problem. Kids seeing mamas strung out on drugs, sleeping with every Joe in town. A new “daddy” every month. Real daddy is in jail. And that same kid is expected to come to school and actually sit in class and listen to someone teach them their ABC’s and 123′s. They have more important things on their minds. The teachers do not have time to be social workers because of the state mandated testing. Oh Lord DO NOT forget the testing! Teach the test! BUT, if a parent feels like their child, who is “privliged”, is slipping through the cracks decides to put them in a better environment to learn, should they be judge as being racist???? I THINK NOT! Like I said, it is not about color! I think you are race baiting!

  • jw:

    I see that wasn’t one of your dissertations, Jadehawk. Do you have any, mixed in with all of your degrees? I would be facinated to read them/ it.
    Care to share? Care to stir the pot further?

    If not?…I shall go to bed soon, but will check in tomorrow, if you choose to take may challenge……..show me Jadehawk.

    Good night.

  • Becky:

    I can’t even type correctly. I know how to spell privileged and judged, really, I do! lol!

  • Dee:

    Jesus. Keeping up with the comments on this blog is a full time job. But, I have my own so I’ll just add my two cents about diversity and schools.

    I live in a very urban area with a public school system that has an open draw. In other words, regardless of where you live in the district you can apply to and attend to any school. This was introduced a number of years ago to encourage diversity and allow students from poorer areas of the district to attend schools in wealthier areas.

    The benefits go beyond the obvious but also stem from higher PTA $ participation so some individual schools are better off strictly from parent financial support. Otherwise all schools would be on equal footing, financially speaking.

    While the public schools aren’t fantastic (but neither are they horrible), I chose to send my children to public schools over private ones strictly because the secular private schools are difficult to get into and those that are accessible cost $20,000 a year. Yes, that’s for elementary school. The christian private schools are an option but, having gone through that myself growing up, I had no interest in the religious indoctrination that went along with it. Sure, you weren’t paying the financial price, but you are paying the price another way.

    Anyway, to make a long story short… My kids go to our neighborhood public school because I wanted the diversity that our urban area has. In spite of the open draw in the district and the diversity in my own area, I can count on both hands the total number of minorities in our elementary school including Native American, Asian, Hispanic and African American. I had more diversity in my private, suburban Catholic school growing up than my kids do now (same county).

    So, there’s no sweeping brush that can be applied when it comes to schools around here. It’s easy to make generalizations, but they don’t always apply. Taking individual experiences (say, yours versus mine) don’t necessarily amount to much outside of anecdotal evidence.

    I’m sure there are some studies out there that describe distribution of races versus public/private, religious/secular, urban/suburban schools. Those would be far more instructive than comparing individual experiences or taking a head count at a ball game.

  • Maria:

    just a farmgirl: Take heart, the fabled atheists like you suggest, the ones who are very willing to tell you what they think and why with kindness and respect DO exist. I have friends who are such.

    I found this article very interesting:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113889251

    I’m thinking Rechelle and the majority of her new readers may be in the New School. I’m all for “reason, science and freedom from religious myth ” to quote the article, but to do so in a respectful way otherwise you are just another hypocritical fundy of another persuasion and will win no converts to your cause. Nor any understanding to your cause. And really…I wanted to understand even if I didn’t agree…but the forest is getting lost for the trees as far as I’m concerned. The trees of cattiness.

    I know, I know, why aren’t I in bed…? Perhaps its the coffee I started drinking to wrap my head around this conversation!

  • Hallie:

    You nailed it again. Please keep writing!

  • jw:

    LOL, with Becky, some folks just may not be able to spell when they are pasionate about something. It appears you are.

    So, just hang in with us, and know your ARE NOT judged for your spelling. Cuz that would be racist and shit….lol

  • jw:

    thing is….if ya belive…if you don’t belive, just dont thrust your views on others………………
    but then again….don’t blame your views on society, nor society on your views.

    Knowimean?

    Don’t cast no blame!

  • jw:

    “I am part of the only viable solution: identifying the causes of inequality, and getting as many people as possible to understand and identify these things in their everyday lives. Because without that, there won’t be a change for the better” JadeHawk

    That still cracks me the hell up!

  • You want to know the sad part, Rechelle? PW won an award recently: http://oklahomablogawards.blogspot.com/2010/02/2009-okie-blog-award-winners.html

  • Maria:

    okay, I’m laughing because PW got Best Representation of Oklahoma! Now THAT is funny!

  • As an Oklahoman, I constantly feel the need to shout “WE’RE NOT ALL LIKE THAT!”

  • Cheryl:

    I’ve come to the same conclusion as Courtney and a few others. It’s all about the numbers. The first two sentences of Rechelle’s post were used to hook and reel you in.

    And one more thing…this will probably get deleted…does anyone think JadeHawk and Rechelle are one and the same?

    Would say more, but I’m afraid it’s way past my bedtime.

  • Alex:

    “I tell you what, my respect for that web site and the astounding intellect behind it grows exponentially each and every day!”

    Ugh.

    What about respecting the intellect of your readers? We don’t need to read ad hominem attacks to put two and two together and get your drift.

    • Alex – I don’t understand this response. A friend pointed me to that post on PW and it seemed to fit in with both my determination to occasionally point out the absurdity of that highly acclaimed, award winning, world famous blog as well as demonstrate what many people wrongly feel is a valid response to racial issues – that of ‘color blindness” which is actually a very ineffective response to racism as it really only works out for white people. I think the link was very pertinent.

  • Twin-Skies:

    Congrats on your son, Rechelle!

    Before you know it he’ll be wearing leather pants, 1-inch thick mascara, and biting the heads of bats!

    Oh wait, dang, wrong crowd :P

  • Twin-Skies:

    @farm girl
    “Reality is that Jadehawk and her ilk are more condescending, critical and judgmental than any religious person or holier than thou homeschooler I have ever met.”

    You don’t get around much, do you?

    As a fellow non-believer like jade, I have long decided that being truthful about what I say is far, far more valuable than trying to communicate with a plastic smile and an insincere sense of political-correctness.

    Of course I speak for myself.

  • Jill:

    Unless we reintroduce bussing, diversity in public schools is limited by the demographics of the geographic boundaries of each school district.

    SOME people may put their kids in private schools – Christian or otherwise – because of their desire for social sequestering, but by no means is that the only reason.

    I’m all for having choices, especially where education is concerned. I’ve been very happy with the 12 years of public schooling in the deep south that my kids had, the 5 years I ran a private Montessori school, and the two years one child was homeschooled. I also taught in a Catholic private school, although I’m not Catholic. In fact, I was never questioned about my religious views, only my experience, education and qualifications as a teacher. Not in my job interview or while teaching.

    Every one of these situations was positive. In each scenario, hell was never mentioned & the emphasis was on strong academics. Education is not a one size fits all commodity, and neither are the learners.

  • km:

    I hope I convey intrigue here in my observation.
    I am surprised to read of the confusion regarding privilege and its definition since the context of the discussion is obvious. Is it reasonable then to assume that
    those who confused it have not been exposed to the concept of male privilege, white privilege etc? If so I find that fascinating. We use it so regularly here when discussing issues as in “careful your male privilege is showing!” if someone is limiting their thought process by viewing things through a genderized (is that a word?) prism.
    I’m not being condescending, I’m just interested in the absence of the verbiage.

  • just a farm girl:

    Twin-Skies,

    There you go again…..I must “not get around much” if I see the world differently than you. My “truth” is reality for me–you have no right to tell me its not. I see hypocrisy in those who think I must lock step along or I am wrong, stupid, or don’t get out much.

  • My credentials:
    1) I was raised by a loving, Lutheran (devout, conservative) family.

    2) I worked at a hoity toity private Catholic school in Kansas as an English teacher for 8 years.

    3) If I wasn’t an atheist when I started that job, I sure was by the time I left.

    4) Also, while working there, I decided to to get a master’s degree in American studies and focus my research on white privilege in private schools. Race, class, gender, culture – all intertwined, cannot be separated and looked at individually.

    5) I am a raging liberal and now, an atheist. I am white. I am female.

    There was some (read: a tiny bit, almost all on scholarship for sports, because THEY CAN RECURUIT) diversity at the school where I worked. I tried everything to implement programs to encourage more of that, but was ignored. I proposed courses that would encourage students to at least THINK very critically about diversity (via literature, history, and art), but was denied over and over again.

    What I saw there: hate, bigotry, ignorance, and STOIC REFUSAL TO CHANGE. Obviously, not all change is good, but the refusal to TRY to see another point of view, to believe that white privilege MIGHT be POSSIBLE. And don’t even get me started on their “Right to life/no birth control” stuff. WOWSA.

    Anyway, the whole experience pushed me to examine my own beliefs to such a degree that I ended up in the atheist boat with Rechelle. And I let my teaching license expire.

    Also, I have a few words to say about PW’s “diversity training” methods. You can see them here: http://theflyingfork.com/2009/12/diversity-training/

  • Also – I typed that very quickly and see many structural and grammatical problems, and ya, I know. English teacher. Sorry.

  • Jenn:

    I became an athiest several years ago and I understand the feelings of wanting to shout to others about how dumb they are being, but you can’t do that and not turn into the very people you are yelling at. You become the angry, finger pointing, “you must be like me or you are wrong and I will hate you for it” person. I get the freedom to yell it to the sky is liberating, and that you can FINALLY point at the stuff that you always hated but didn’t know why and once you did, were unable to point out. HOWEVER, I just can’t keep reading the intensity of anger anymore.
    Being free and being mean aren’t the same thing.
    Denigrating people that choose to put their kids in an environment that makes them happy is exactly what you rail against when you bash the Christian homeschooler that make you so upset for their attitued about you sending you kids to public school. If you bash them for their self righteous attitudes you can’t have the opposing self righteous attitude without being a hypocrite. Everyone has the right to do what they believe is best for their children, even if that means putting them into an all white school. Or an all girl school, or what have you. No one turns their noses up at an all black school, no one questions that it might be better for those students to have the race element taken out of their education; the same must be said for all or it is hypocritical. Yes, I’m sure I’ll hear the minority comments, but that’s bunk. That’s like claiming that Gay marriage should be legalized and once it is then banning heterosexual marriage.
    Allowing you to be yourself is the greatest gift you can recieve; allowing others to be themselves is the greatest gift you can gift.
    So, for crying out loud, calm down! And we get that you hate Ree, can we move one already?

  • Revyloution:

    Nice topic, it ties in with my fears of the Great Sort where people just quit living, talking or working with people who think differently than they do.

    We have an amazing daughter (don’t we all?) who is quite the academic. She was reading at 3, had Pi memorized out to 13 digits, and knows her periodic table up to Iron. What do do with such a skilled child? Put her in public school at grade level, thats what!

    1st grade in public school is a breeze for her. She knew everything years ago, so we supplement her education with other materials. There are two reasons I want her in public school. The first is that she needs to learn how to deal with other people. The second is the benefit she brings to our community. We need an educated populace. Her teacher says that she is great to have in class and that she helps the other kids around her.

    Christians are really missing the boat on this one. If they start removing themselves from the general populace, their ideology will fade even more rapidly. My daughter is already quite godless and starting to effect the thinking of her friends. (to anyone who finds this offensive, I’ve never told her ‘there are no gods’. I just said that I don’t believe in any.)

  • Rechelle,

    I’ve been absent from your blog for a while and popped back over only to find that you have gone from funny storyteller to bitter dissident. It’s one thing to voice your opinions about your beliefs (or lack thereof) but it’s quite another to take blows at other people to hone a point. I’ve never known you to be this way.

    I have plenty of non-believer friends, plenty of other-believer friends, and plenty of varieties of skin color, etc. so that should hopefully help you to understand that I do not comment to be spiteful but only to ask what happened? If you were to announce that you suddenly did not believe in God … I can understand and sympathize with your doubts. However, turning your blog into one that is bitterly antagonistic, and taking cheap jabs at others, isn’t what I know you for and isn’t what I would have expected out of someone with your education and life experience.

    I know that you will hate for me to say this … but I will pray for you and your family and hope that even if you never find your faith again that you will turn away from this bitter woman that you are becoming. God bless.

    Caron

  • Twin-Skies:

    @just a farm girl

    “Reality is that Jadehawk and her ilk are more condescending, critical and judgmental than any religious person or holier than thou homeschooler I have ever met.”

    That’s not reality, that’s called an opinion, in other words, how you perceive reality. If I may add, you do a great disservice to yourself by assuming that all atheists act like Jadehawk and me.

    It’s called overgeneralizing.

    We’re not as hateful as you think we are. We’re normally only this way if we detect bullshit. And when atheists, agnostics are demonized by religious congregations for the longest time, do you think we’re just going to take this sitting down? Hell no.

    One good place I can recommend if you’re interested in conversing less confrontational atheists would be Hermant’s aptly-named blog:

    http://friendlyatheist.com/

  • Wondering Woman:

    I’ve decided to delete this blog because with every click of the mouse I’m afraid I’m endorsing something that’s become just an outlet for hate and bitterness and I don’t want to be counted in the increased readership.

  • Tony:

    Congrats’ to your boy!

    Now… I’ve been saying this for YEARS!!!
    The state of Michigan gives out quite a substantial amount of money to people who take their children out of public schools and send them to private or charter, essensualy subsidizing many religous schools (seperation of church and state fail). Meanwhile, Detroit and other innercity schools are simply being closed for “lack of funds” denying education to more low income children.

    Having said, how many black kids do you think end up in these subsidized private schools???

  • Okiegirl:

    I am with Wondering Woman. A mudslide in Uganda, the devastation in Haiti and Chile….My heart hurts already, I don’t need to waste one precious moment reading hatefulness. For some reason I feel that jealousy is at the heart of this newfound bitter attitude.

  • JJ:

    It’s like reading a script for Jerry Springer – more educated script I guess with all the references to research and studies. I like what becki said about …all colors of laziness and trashiness – amen or right on – and there are critical, bigoted people of all religions or non religions, etc., etc. Spring needs to come quick – too many restless hearts…
    And Revyloution, I think EVERYONE is really missing the boat on this one…

  • Jadehawk:

    jw, the link was to 10+ pages worth of links to social science papers and books about white privilege. so either your computer really is broken, or you’re lying for some reason :-/

    and no, you don’t get to have my real name. you have to refute the science, not discredit me personally. ad hominems aren’t real arguments. oh and I don’t really care for claims how you “could” refute any of the papers listed there. do, or stop bragging.

  • Carol:

    1. THis post isn’t about anyone personally here that is sending their kids to private Christian schools.
    2. Just because you are sending your kid to a private school doesn’t mean that many people aren’t sending their kids to a private school for racist (even perhaps unconscious) reasons.

    And I think the real issue is CLASS. Who has the money? Rich people dont want their kids hanging with the poor kids.

    And just for kicks, take this test: http://www.understandingprejudice.org/iat/index2.htm (Its from Harvard. Its real science.) I bet you will be surprised.

  • DF:

    Wow, a lot of hate directed toward Rechelle for calling something like she sees it on her own blog, what madness!

    I spent my entire school years in private Christian schools (the Baptist flavor) and was raised by a career private Christian school teacher, and I can speak from my experience that a large reason for this type of schooling is to protect the wee white children from the blight of the world.

    These places are full of good decent well meaning people that feel they are protecting something that is under attack, namely the White Christian church. Is it their only reason or the main factor, no, but it is one and to ignore that is either naive or willfully dishonest. I would even go so far as to say it is not ‘anti’ other races, but it is at its end segregation. Regardless of the method, the result is the same.

    There are good reasons for private schools. No one is debating that fact. What is being pointed out is that a sporting event for multiple Christian schools, the only people not white were the game officials. If Rechelle pointing this out bothers you then ask yourself, are you bothered by her observation and the way she presented it, or is it that she has a point? At least think about what she said rather than jump up to defend some perceived slight towards you and your decisions. She suggested something, now it is your turn to disprove it if you disagree.

    I have seen first hand how well meaning people destroy schools by moving out to the suburb with the ‘good’ schools, leaving the poorer city schools to rot, then defend their choice by pointing at the now defunct city schools. Too many people, regardless of race or faith, have decided that someone else will fix it.

    You claim that it’s socially acceptable to attack Christians, all the while ignoring the attacks that come from Christians toward Rechelle and everyone else. You scold Rechelle; you defend why you in particular are not elitist or racist because you private school for ‘the children’, but you never identify why exactly Rechelle is wrong in her opinion. You call out people for a negative tone, or that it’s the intolerance of atheism talking, but it never dawns on you that maybe you are also being just as negative and intolerant.

    If you don’t agree with Rechelle, fine. Say so without relying on name calling or your thinly veiled attempts to shame her for something she did in the past that she no longer does. No one is asking you to convert your opinion, but at the very least, if you are going to disagree, try to do so in a way to demonstrate why she is mistaken, rather than trying to make yourselves look right by trying to shame her.

    I for one am overjoyed that Rechelle was able to shake off the fairy tale and magical thinking of gods and angels. It is not easy, and once you have, you stand to lose a lot of ‘friends’. You will be attacked for not buying into the magic anymore and when you disagree with someone, the other side will throw the ‘atheist’ label around for dramatic result.

    No one is trying to convert anyone here. This is just a place where we can read the observations by someone that in for whatever reason we find ourselves interested. If we can agree on that much, can we also attempt to agree to be civil in our disagreements?

  • Cheyenne:

    Hmm, interesting debate. I haven’t read up on the topic, but I wonder if it’s not more socio-economic segregation rather than racially motivated segregation. I bet that most private school parents would be totally fine with any middle or upper class minorities going to that school. My son’s in a good public school, so I am happy to send him there. If we were in an inner-city, high poverty, underperforming, no parent involvement, etc. area, I’m not sure what we would do. I know it would be hard to want to trust my child to an environment like that though. I do tend to think, maybe unfairly, that most private school parents are WASPish snobs who are too good for public school, or are religious parents who want to protect their kids from evil public education, but who don’t want to home school.

    I also think that when you are privileged to be in the majority, you can’t really know what it’s like to be a minority, you just haven’t walked in those shoes. Going from being a Baptist to closeted atheist in the Deep South has definitely given me a new perspective on what it’s like to be considered lesser, and especially b/c people don’t know that I’m no longer a Christian, they don’t edit what they say. I know being gay, or Black, or worse around here, Mexican, would be much harder.

    My son went to a church preschool and then public kindergarten, and there was a little culture-shock to see the range of backgrounds and ethnicities in his classroom when he started in the public school, but I’m glad that he’s exposed to that range. Even over and above the experiences they have in school, I plan to expose my kids to and discuss differences in races, cultures, religious beliefs, and poverty issues, etc. so that they will be more well-rounded, open-minded, and less judgmental or prejudiced toward others.

    Sorry if I’ve rambled all over the place.

  • Laura Stultz:

    Wow! You are so much better than all those other people. Your kids are going to learn so much tolerance for other people’s beliefs from you. Way to go Rechelle!

  • km:

    “And I think the real issue is CLASS. Who has the money? Rich people dont want their kids hanging with the poor kids”

    They are also scared. I’ve heard them:)
    I have the money to send my kids to private school. I wrestled with it too. There is a direct corelation between the wealth of the tax base and the success of the public schools in this state. Our town is solid middle class, and largely homogenous. The kids do live in a bubble. The schools are good, not awesome, just good but very sheltered.
    I decided on the magnet school as a great way to get a good education for my kids while letting them make friends with kids of all backgrounds, religions or lack thereof, cultures, income levels, challenges etc. We all want to do what’s best for our kids and I think their education is where we challenge our theories and beliefs.
    This always strikes me when it comes to our politicians in the US. While they talk about public schools their own kids are in places like the prep schools that litter New England.
    I had to write a letter to my representative lately asking them to keep their hands off the state funding for the magnet school and realized that his kid goes to school in the same town, but at the country day school that costs 18K p.a. at the elementary level. What does he care????

    As parents we do what we think is best for our kids. And then we cross our fingers :)

  • DS:

    Since I always so enjoyed your stories, adventures, and outlook on Life I stayed a while after your “epiphany” to see if you would level out. Sadly it doesn’t look like you ever will. There is a way to point out or even showcase differing opinions in a way that invites people to contemplate both sides and you used to have that ability. Sorry that it, along with all the other lovely characteristics you shared with us, is gone. I used to stop by daily to view your lovely photos, hear a funny story, hear about a book or adventure . . . but that’s gone. And so am I. My best wishes to you, CD and the boys.

  • km:

    Carol, I love that link. I only had a quick peek. I have to save it for after work or I’d get nothing done at all. Thanks so much

  • Kim K. in Western PA:

    OK, I am taking a deep breath and diving back into this thread one more time to ask a question.

    Rechelle, I am not picking a fight, I am not angry, I am not trying to be self-righteous although I am sure that is how it is coming across. All I want to know is why? Why do you feel that this is an issue for you? And what makes you think that you are so very different than the rest of us out here in the world? We are all – I’ll reiterate that – ALL just trying to do the best for our kids. I may not agree with your life choices, but I will defend your right to make those choices and I will not personally attack you for making those choices even if I disagree with them.

    On another note – my husband and I do work to make the world a better place and to help a particular group be accepted for their differences. No those differences are not based on religion or race.

    I just don’t understand why sound so angry. Point the angry finger at the people at whom you are truly angry. It isn’t your blog readers.

  • Tonya:

    @DK

    So many things to agree with in your post, still can’t embrace the whole thing. I wholeheartedly agree that people should not be hating on Rechelle. This is her blog and she has the right to say anything she wants. She has the right to to tiptoe around issues, to call it like she sees it, to open a can of worms if she so chooses. Keep in mind that she had comments closed for awhile and then monitored. She was also being selective about which email she was reading. Since she has opened comments (not sure if they are still monitored) people have the right to respond in kind. They can agree and embrace her point of view, disagree, call it like they see it.

    As per your last statement….No one is trying to convert anyone here. This is just a place where we can read the observations by someone that in for whatever reason we find ourselves interested. If we can agree on that much, can we also attempt to agree to be civil in our disagreements?

    Again I agree completely. I think a little respect, on every side of the issue (because there are clearly more than 2 sides of this issue) will go a long way. But in your comment you said that you were overjoyed that Rechelle was able to “shake off the fairy tale and magical thinking of gods and angels” Do you not see how that is not respectful to those who believe? If you can’t see that, then perhaps you can’t see why the tones of Rechelle’s posting has been offensive to some.

    I believe, in my heart, that Rechelle is a kind and loving person. It is obvioius that she has a sharp wit and a lot of humor. Whether she means to or not, she is coming across with a “think like me or you are wrong, wrong, wrong” attitude. She is, at least in her posts, painting people of certian groups with very broad strokes.

    Another thing is when you said that no one was debating the fact that there are good reasons for private schools, I’m willing to believe that Rechelle would debate you. Her belief, stated many times over, is that if you have a problem with your public school make it better….don’t take your kid somewhere else. I can respect that point of view as well. However, it is also obvious that Rechelle is very fortunate to live in a decent, well rounded school district and has children who have been able to go through the system without much of an issue. When you have a child with a learning disablity that the school is not addressing, when there are special needs, safety issues, or any number of things I’m sure I’m not thinking of it CAN become a question of do you do what is best for your child or do you sacrifice your kid to make the system better? I mean she rails that God would ask for child sacrifice, but anyone who has been in the system knows that change takes a long time….and any parent who takes up the battle can make a difference, but perhaps not in time to help his/her own child.

    I don’t think attacking anyone is productive. I have stated clearly that I don’t think that people should attack Rechelle. As readers of the blog we can leave anytime we want. With comments open we can also comment as we desire. I believe when people feel attacked, they tend to respond in kind. There are a lot of things in Rechelle’s posts (again the whole painting groups with very broad strokes kind of thing) to leave certian people feeling attacked.

    In the beginning of her transformation I felt attacked. I was an atheist and am now a Christian, I homeschool. As much as I respect Rechelle’s (and everyones) right to find their own path, make their own choices, and live their life making the decisions that are right for their family….I certianly did not feel that she has given me, and others, the same respect/regard. Many of the posts come across as “think like me, think like me, think like me….if you don’t think like me…you are wrong and stupid”

    I have to be honest it really bothered me in the beginning. I was very upset. When you read someone for a long time and enjoy them you begin to think of them as a friend. That is how I thought of Rechelle….suddenly it was like she was slapping me in the face every day. I’m not sure why I stayed, I did not feel welcome and I certianly wanted to leave. Then one day I realized I just don’t care. I don’t care if Rechelle or anyone else doesn’t understand my faith or belief system. I don’t care how she feels about our choice to homeschool. I don’t need to defend or explain that choice to her or anyone. It just doesn’t matter that she thinks I’m stupid, that I’m trying to shelter my children, that I feel I’m elitist or whatever. None of that is true….and it remains untrue no matter how much she may believe it.

    The one other thing I would say is that as a Christian, I don’t believe Rechelle is going to hell. I don’t know what will happen….that is really up to God. I would never put myself in the place of God and make any such judgements. I also don’t ignore issues and problems because I believe that everything will be ok in heaven.

    I guess I don’t understand. As an atheist, I never had any problems getting along with most Christians, and as a Christian I have plenty of friends who are Atheist and we get along fine. A little respect really does go a long way. We also ALL need to understand that our lives are not the same for everyone. I’ve met Christians that offend me with their brand of Christianity. If that was my only point of reference, I would have different feeling toward Christians. I don’t know first hand what all the struggles of all the people are and why people make the choices they do.

    I hope that Rechelle is happy…..I hope that she is enjoying the peace that she has found.

  • Cheyenne:

    I think km is right on the money (there’s a pun for you!). I wrote a long, scattered post that didn’t go through, but she summed it up better than me, so I’ll leave it as is.

    Lots of strong feelings on this topic!

  • Becky:

    Why is the life she presents superficial and false?

  • Cheryl:

    Are you still going to smile and laugh and not be angry if I tell you, Rechelle, that your beliefs are a crock of shit? Also, I hate to be the one to break this news to you but your blog will never be as wildly popular as PW’s and that is what is eating you up or else we wouldn’t be seeing the snarky remarks from you in regards to her and her blog. Jealousy isn’t pretty. Give it a rest, before you go completely bonkers.

  • Lori:

    Rechelle, let me tell you a little tidbit I once heard. If someone is irritating you or bugging you, it is b/c you share the same traits to an extent. So did you become arrogant and self righteous before or after you converted? It seems to be the christians so called arrogance and self righteousness that is bugging you so very badly… And btw, I love and adore honesty. Hypocrisy, not so much.

  • Christine from Canada:

    Retired elementary public school teacher, here. Canadian (which means there are waaaaay fewer home-schooled kids).

    Here’s my take (as a teacher) on homeschooling:

    Every once in a blue, blue moon we’d get a homeschooled child in the school. It was always for a very temporary period of time, for some reason. Their appearance — and disappearance — in the classroom was usually shrouded in mystery.

    I can say that, without exception, these homeschooled children were always polite. Sweet children, all.

    I can also say that, without exception, these children were NOT as academically advanced as their parents would like to think they are. Oh sure, they might show particular strengths in certain sub-topics but, in general, it took them a longer time to digest information, and to get used to how things were done. I’m aware that there are statistics that might prove my anecdotes wrong.

    This next observation was the most disturbing, and I’d like those who homeschool their children to pay particular attention: I can also say that, without exception, these children were always socially awkward. Not just in a “new-kid-at-school” way. No. Homeschooled children were timid and fearful of other children. Always. Every single one. Anyone working in anthropology or psychology could have a field day watching homeschooled kids interact with their public school peers.

    Which leads me to ask: What are homeschooled kids being taught about the “outside” world that makes them so cautious, so exclusionary? How different are they from, say, Mennonite societies or Warren Jeffs’ LDS communities?

  • km:

    Oh Christine,
    pass the popcorn…..

  • Chris:

    On becoming an atheist, are you also required to insult imperfect people and to be rude and judgemental? Just wondering.

  • just a farm girl:

    Rechelle, The atheists handle honesty better? I have tried to be honest with them and have only been scoffed, mocked, belittled and ridiculed. Where are all the kindly ones? I also would not want others answering for me—you are a big girl and you have on your big girl panties–and you do a pretty good job of it yourself. Pride joined with many virtues chokes them all.

  • Stephanie:

    I like the LCMS school to which I send my half-White, half-Hispanic kid. It’s diverse (Black, White, Asian, Hispanic), it’s smackdab in the middle of an urban area in the 4th largest city in the US, it’s close to my job, there’s tuition assistance for those who ask for it and need it, there’s after-school care which the public school I’m zoned to doesn’t offer, and they’re accepting of everyone. Don’t assume all Christian schools are all White and that the parents who send their kids there are blind. The public school I’m zoned to is 99% Hispanic. I wouldn’t call that diverse, nor would I call it working-parent friendly, nor would I call it a good public school. People have many reasons for sending their kids to Christian school.

  • km:

    Stephanie, to that end many of the Catholic schools in New York have churned out some accomplished characters. eg Sotomayor .

    Sometimes I think that the conscious choice to “opt in” as opposed to the default “zoned for so that’s where we go” creates a more involved parent and that is the success factor.

  • Lori:

    Christine from Canada- Are you serious?? I homeschool my oldest (6 yrs old) and he is a very social, outgoing child. Now he has the typical tendency to “get a lay of the land” before jumping into social situations but he is not shy at all. He has no issues asking questions in of store clerks, ordering in restaurants, etc. And he adores play dates, playing outside with the neighborhood kids and playing sports. Even my 3 year old is like that, actually he is more outoging than his older brother. Yes, there are some socially awkward homeschool kids but aren’t they in the public school system too? I was a public schooler from 5 on up and I was waaaay more timid than either of my kiddos. I wanted my mama and wasn’t afraid to say so. lol To say my children are in a cult is just laughable. I mean seriously. If one buys into the whole public schooling idea with no questions asked, would that also be considered cult-like? To always side with public schooling no matter what? Geesh.

  • Mom:

    What are people really doing when they make that choice?

    Wanting a higher education for their children and not having to worry about their children. They can get any subject that the public school has. The sacrifice a lot of money to afford this education.

    These kids average a higher grade average than in the public school. They also have a better work ethic in the public than kids in public schools. 
    They get one on one help at school which does not happen in the public school. 

    They do not have to have counselors to correct their kids. They have strict discipline where as public school does not. 
    What are they honestly hoping to avoid?

    You do see their kids with tattoos and rings in their lips, nose, eyebrows, and bellybuttons. 

    They do not have to be scan for guns or knives public schools do.

    Public schools have a sex problem with girls getting pregnant it starts in the 6th grade. They also have a major drug and alcohol problems. Christian School have very little drug and alcohol problems due to the parents and teachers working together.

    Public school has major problems with dropouts. So the government has us tax payers pay for step labs. You do not see that in the Christian Schools because their parents and teachers will work together. 

    What are they really screening out?

    They do not screen anyone out it is against the law.
    Christian Schools do not have to make breakfast for the kids as their parents do. (Another expense for the tax payer in the public school) 

    Christian School does not have free lunches. Parents take care of their food. The public school has the tax payers pay for the kids food at school and milk in the afternoon.
    Parents of public school do not fix their kids lunch. (The saving for not having to pay the food bill at school would mean a large raise for the teachers and getting better teachers) 

    The kids from all the grades interact with each other. (This does not happen in the Public school the segregate if all the kids went in one school building it would cut down on busing to different schools all over town. It would also save money to the tax payer having all equipment in one location. Also only taking care of l large yard instead of so many different ones.) 

    The Christian school is not responsible for sports the parents all have to pay a large fee and gym fees for the kids to play sports. The parents are responsible for taking their kids to the games. (Public schools don’t do that. They should it would save tons of money. When I was in high school my parents took me to all the games. We also car pool. )

    Their manners are much better than that in the public schools. You will not hear or be tolerated for swearing or cuss word. Public school cannot control swearing or cuss words because they cannot discipline. 

    But best of all Christian School can teach the Bible which was instill as a mandatory text book when the Constitution was in place. They will also study the Constitution which the Public Schools do not.

  • Twin-Skies:

    @Chris

    “On becoming an atheist, are you also required to insult imperfect people and to be rude and judgemental? Just wondering.”

    Nope.

    We just need to have an overwhelming desire to take over the world, a passion for tossing underlings to sharks with frikkin’ lasers on their heads, and a love for evil chairs ;)
    http://www.iwishihadthis.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/sdsfsdf.jpg

    @just a farm girl

    In case you missed it, I provided a link to the friendly atheist blog:
    http://friendlyatheist.com/

    I am not being snarky here, I am genuinely concerned that you would generalize us atheists as such, and am showing you evidence that we do know how to play nice.

    Provided the concerned party we’re talking to is also being polite.

  • Cheyenne:

    Mom,

    Wow, too much in your post to respond to right now. But, I will say, you are comparing apples and oranges. Public schools serve all the children in their area, not just the privileged, middle and upper class, mostly white children. A fairer comparison would be to compare the children from equivalent backgrounds at each type of school.

  • Rechelle, I don’t give a rats ass whether or not you believe in God, doesn’t matter to me either way. But, something happened back at The Lodge that has had a powerful effect on you. Am I right?
    And BTW, I heard a quote from the queen of athiests herself last night: An athiest is a person that questions ANY kind of authority…interesting.

    P.S. How do you spend your free Sundays?

  • I could say a lot on this topic, but will keep it short. The PW is an f’ing idiot and believing that by throwing together some PLASTIC dolls of different colors in a d*** pot is teaching her children cultural diversity emulates her ignorance on the topic!! That the hundreds of individuals who read her blog cannot discriminate between well developed ideas and vapid thoughts and now buy into her shit is amazing to me, amazing….
    I thought you were pretty cool when I met you before Forrest’s show at Prospero’s, but I think you rock now! Hope to see you play in KC and always look forward to your next blog entry. I wish I was as articulate, funny, and as thoughtful as you.
    Jill (F’s girlfriend – the one who had one too many drinks before you played that night :-)…)

  • Mom, I have to disagree.

    I worked at a private catholic school. There was a cafeteria. It was wildly expensive and FULL of junk food.

    Also, I made about 30 percent less salary than did my counterparts at the local public schools. So, the income from lunches certainly did not help to increase the teachers’ salaries. Where did the extra money go? Into our REALLY BEAUTIFUL and FANCY building, which was constructed not because it takes fancy brick and mortar to educate kids, but to impress the Joneses when they drove past. So parents could say, “MY kid goes THERE.” FANCY.

    Not.

  • Cheyenne:

    Just read PW’s post about the dolls. While I think it’s great to have all different types of people represented in toys for your kids, it’s unbelievable to me that she would think that that is sufficient multicultural/diversity exposure for her kids. Wow.

  • Christine from Canada:

    @Lori: Yes, I’m serious. Without exception every single homeschooled child who came to the public school was socially awkward.

    As for your child — he sounds normal to me and, of course, he is. He plays outside with friends, likes sports. He might even have a leg up on his 6-yr-old public school peers when it comes to making conversation with adults. But Lori, you haven’t had a chance to secretly observe him in a public school classroom, have you? My observations have NOTHING to do with how SHY a homeschooler might be, or even how wonderfully precocious a homeschooler might be around adults. No. They have everything to do with how they cope socially when their mothers aren’t there.

    The parallel I draw, which I will reiterate, is: whatever it is that homeschooling parents are teaching their children — that is, to be very cautious/fearful/suspicious of the “outside” world — is really no different from certain societies like the LDS polygamists/Mennonites.

  • Lindie:

    You are forgetting the reason PW is homeschooling her children is because of the long times on the bus. My daughters had to ride an hour every morning and afternoon and they hated it. Her children would have been on the bus even longer. If I could have afforded to stay home I would have home schooled them. Plus PW has seen more diversity than you have probably! She lived for several years in LA.

    • Lindie – I have been to her house. The bus ride excuse is greatly exaggerated. Besides, there are two parents with clearly flexible schedules, and a bunch of relatives around that could share in getting those kids back and forth to school. Lots of people have long commutes to school. This is a strange reason to homeschool and I don’t believe for a second that distance from schools is her true motivation. She is a wealthy white surgeon’s daughter who grew up on the golf course. She attended a big highschool in a large city and then went to USC. She now lives in a poor area outside of a small town Oklahoma. There are no fancy private schools in her area. Is it at all possible that something other than distance is influencing her decision to homechool? Her husband and brothers grew up on the same ranch in the same house and they were not homeschooled. Did the schools move further away?

  • Becky:

    Lori, you make it sound like you know what EVERY homeschooling parent is teaching their children. Can you give us an estimate as to how many homeschooled children enrolled into your public school?

  • Becky:

    I’m sorry Lori. I am late on reading the comments and caught the tail end of this. I guess I should be asking Christine this question.

    The parallel I draw, which I will reiterate, is: whatever it is that homeschooling parents are teaching their children — that is, to be very cautious/fearful/suspicious of the “outside” world — is really no different from certain societies like the LDS polygamists/Mennonites.
    Lindie

    I think a lot of people on here are a bunch of hypocrites. You can NOT tell me that if you were to relocate to my town, that you would chose to live in the part of town where housing is the most “economical” so your child can have “diversity” in school. What a bunch of BS! It’s nice to sit in your nice home, while your children are in there nice little diverse (to your standards) school and you can come on the internet and preach how others are so wrong because they want their children to be safe while they learn. What the heck ever! Don’t most people check out the school districts before they choose where they are going to live? Is that any different than deciding if you are going to put your child in a private or public school? I mean, really, is it? What would you do if you are faced with the fact that your child will be going to a school in a high drug rate, high drop out rate, high teen pregnancy rate, low test score rate, what would you REALLY do Rechelle? If you had the choice to live in THAT school district or one on the other side of town, on your pretty 8 acres in your nice farm house? Where would you put your sons? Honestly. Leave Christianity out of it! I feel like you are using this as a crutch because of bigger issues in your life. That’s just from my observation.

    • Becky – At this point in my life, I would jump in with both feet and work to make that school the best it could be. Not just for my kids – but for ALL the kids. If you really care about people (the way Jesus would want you to) you would not pull away from societal ills – you would work to change them. So I would work in the schools and sit down at lunch with the kids everyday. I would monitor the halls and the bathrooms. I would be a substitute teacher, go to all the games, volunteer my buns off. I wish I could. I think it would give my life a great deal of meaning. What I don’t understand is – why you think it is wrong for me to talk about this? Just because I don’t live in a poor neighborhood with lots of problems, does not mean that I can’t speak about the problems in the poor neighborhood. What kind of approach is that? Should I only talk about the problems in my own life? Can I not observe the world around me and comment on it as well? I think it is called ‘raising awareness’ and I am happy to do just that.

  • Becky:

    And I’m not being racist. We have two poorer areas…one predominately white, one predominately black.

  • Lori:

    Christine, I have observed my child with others in classroom setting. He is not with me 24/7. Why do you assume he is? He has had more time away from me than I EVER did from my mother at that age. And that is specifically why I chose to put him in preschool, leave him with baby-sitters, etc. So he wouldn’t be as painfully shy and socially awkward as I was in spite of being in the public school system K-12. You never answered my question. Does the public school system have any socially awkward children? Or are they all super kids with super attitudes with perfectly open minds towards others different than them?? Will I homeschool forever? Dunno. It is one year at a time. But why at 6yrs of age does he have to learn all social graces, diversity and be just a superstar? Geesh, he’s 6!!! And the only people I teach him to be suspicious of is strangers! Egads, don’t
    mothers in Canada teach that? You know, “don’t talk to strangers”, “stay with me in the stores” kinda thing. Why the heck would I teach him to be (in your words)” to be very cautious/fearful/suspicious of the “outside” world” . What does that have to do with homeschooling? What is the “outside” world anyway? BTW, how many Mennonite people do you know?? I DO know an Amish (which is somewhat similar to Mennonite) family and they are some of the nicest, most caring people I know. And since they have a store on their farm, their children are around MANY people COMPLETELY different than them and, for the record, they do not homeschool. Gee, do all Canadians play hockey, say “take off hoser” and drink beer?? My S. African friends enjoy meeting with other S. Africans in the US and actively search out groups to be involved in. Is that also considered cult-like behavior in Canada? Do your public schools teach that kind of intolerance?

  • Christine from Canada:

    @Lori: Okay. Let me put it this way:

    Why do you homeschool your child? What is it about not putting your child in a school that compels you to homeschool?

    I am not being snarky. Of course most parents — homeschooling rural Christians and urban atheists alike — use common sense when raising their children.

    We’re more alike, Lori, than we are different.

    Before you make assumptions about me, you should know that I’m a person who is in no hurry to grow their kids up. Except for full time teaching before they were born, I’ve only had part-time teaching jobs — and that was after the youngest was in grade 2. I’ve enroled them in co-op preschool (where parents are in charge), have had the luxury of being there for unhurried breakfasts and homemade dinners, sat on parent council boards, always been there to greet them when they come home, help them with homework. I’ve been lucky enough to not have to book time off work so that I can chaperone them to doctor and dentist appointments. They are 22 and 18 now, both in university. Wonderful kids — just like yours.

    That’s terrific that you have South African friends. So do I! I understand Afrikaans, actually! Canadians are a mosaic of multi-culturalism. I also speak French, Italian, Dutch and German. I have all sorts of friends from all sorts of backgrounds. Yes, these families usually joined some sort of club, league, association to meet up with others from their native country. Don’t blame them. I would too. Whether it is nationality-related, or interests-related, human beings will gather together for common reasons. Of course it’s not cult-like. Lori, I have never once called homeschooling a cult. You’re the only one who has used that word in your posts.

    FYI: I’m a half hour away from Mennonite communities. I deal with Mennonites all the time at our local market 3X a week. They’re lovely people!

    What I want to know, however, is what these very nice people tell their kids about “us” that makes it scary enough to not want to be in our society.

  • Lori:

    Christine, the reason I used the word cult is b/c I consider the LDS polygamists (that you brought up) to be a cult. And you used the Mennonite culture in the same sentence so one could assume you felt the same way about them.

    “The parallel I draw, which I will reiterate, is: whatever it is that homeschooling parents are teaching their children — that is, to be very cautious/fearful/suspicious of the “outside” world — is really no different from certain societies like the LDS polygamists/Mennonites.”

    Of COURSE I understand why my SA friends find groups of other transplants. It has to be lonely living across the world from the culture you grew up in and it would be comforting to be around like-minded people. I think it is great for them! I also agree we are all more alike than different. I just take issue when people pre-judge my child b/c he is homeschooled. Or assume the “why” behind our decision. As I have stated, I was raised in the public school system and I had no desire to homeschool and always thought homeschooled children were odd in their own little way. However, after being around some homeschooled older children and seeing their maturity and poise, it made me step back from MY preconceived notions and take a better look. Still at that point, I never planned on it. But, when my son was ready for Kindergarten, all sorts of different people started commenting on the elementary school he would have attended. Mind you, I didn’t ask, they just shared in conversation and I listened. It speaks volumes to me when a teacher from the school system he would be in sends HER children to private school. When I heard kids were passing out in class from taking drugs (in the middle school across the “road” from where my son would have attended elementary) it made me a little nervous. Meth production is at an all time high in our community b/c of the down turn in the economy. So, yeah, I am a little over protective when I think of my 6 year old possibly being confronted with things like that. He is 6 for crying out loud. And the stories I heard of chaos in the classroooms, kids being focused on anything BUT school made me nervous so I decided to homeschool. And we couldn’t afford private school even WITH a scholarship. And we have a lovely group of very diverse people we meet with for playdates, lessons, field trips, crafts, etc. And while we have had our struggles this year, it has been great fun teaching him to read and watching the “light” come on.

    You also stated “What I want to know, however, is what these very nice people tell their kids about “us” that makes it scary enough to not want to be in our society.”

    I don’t “tell” my kids anything about the outside world to “scare” them. Unless you consider telling them to be wary of strangers, always be cautious of your surroundings, look both ways before you cross the street, stay away from guns, don’t go near the water without a parent, etc. extreme. I just bet you told your kiddos the same thing. :) I just told my kids today (and not for the first time) that we are to be kind and loving to all people even if we don’t agree with their lifestyle or belief system. I want my boys to have a strong sense of where they come from and what we believe in yet think for themselves and to be kind and respectful of ALL people.

    And of course I know not all Canadians are like the guys in “Strange Brew”. lol I just wanted to get the point across that you were assuming all homeschoolers were the same and all homeschooling parents were the same. And you never answered my question. Are there ANY socially awkward kids in the public school system? Some that are fearful? Some that are probably told the outside world is bad? Or are they all wonderfully adjusted and learning to their potential b/c they are in the institution of public school? Maybe the Canadian system is better than ours. Or maybe you were part of a stellar school system. I think it sounds really cool how you raised your kids. It goes so quickly and you made some wonderful memories! :)

  • km:

    Mom, Wow, I felt like I just read the National Enquirer!!
    I have public school kids. I have never seen a gun scanner/metal dectector in their schools. I have a child testing 2 grades ahead of his grade (they provide him with extra challenge) My kids correct ME when I swear (I’m Irish, real-off-the-plane Irish, we swear a lot) I pay for their lunch and breakfast (breakfast because they have a long bus drive). They have very strict discipline procedures and thankfully my two haven’t needed them. I’d like to see your stats on young pregnancies , I certainly haven’t seen this as any kind of issue in our middle and high schools. Perhaps the absence of safe sex education might be more at work in your point. Teen pregnancies went down when we had more safe sex instruction in our schools here in the US. Abstinence only (which aren’t particularly effective classes) programs were popular in the GWB era and pregnancies went up. Our school goes to 8 grade so the kids aren’t segregated. I can’t comment on manners but I’m happy with my kids. I do notice that they have much better table manners than most but I suspect that is because of my European uptightedness regarding the same:) As to the Bible, I agree, if you think it’s important to your child’s education then more power to you. I don’t, so I’m happy with our public school system.

  • Anonymous:

    “After this experience, I think I can honestly question the true motives of choosing a christian school for your child. What are people really doing when they make that choice? What are they really screening out? What are they honestly hoping to avoid?”

    I don’t think it is wrong for you to talk about it, but judging others choices for their children’s education is wrong. It’s alot easier fix problems from the outside looking in.

  • Becky:

    Sorry, I forgot to add my name to the above comment.

  • Lori:

    Rechelle, did you become this self righteous before or after your flight from Christianity? Maybe if you so disagree with the christian schools and homeschooling groups, you could join one or send your kids to one so you could be part of the solution. And I took this idea from another poster in all honesty and felt it applied here also… Why did you leave the church instead of staying to fix it?

    Quote from the all knowing and ain’t afraid to share it Rechelle:

    “So I would work in the schools and sit down at lunch with the kids everyday. I would monitor the halls and the bathrooms. I would be a substitute teacher, go to all the games, volunteer my buns off. I wish I could. I think it would give my life a great deal of meaning.”

    Ever heard the catchy little phrase “what is good for the goose is good for the gander”??

  • Christine from Canada:

    Lori: Thank you for answering my question. You do not want your children exposed to bad behaviours. Fair enough. They shouldn’t have to deal with meth use, no matter what age they are. (If the principal, trustees, parent council had any cajones, they’d expel the kids doing drugs…)

    You asked: “Are there ANY socially awkward kids in the public school system? Some that are fearful? Some that are probably told the outside world is bad? Or are they all wonderfully adjusted and learning to their potential b/c they are in the institution of public school?”

    I assume, by your use of caps and certain turn of phrase, that you are being sarcastic. *Sigh* Yes, there are socially awkward kids in public school. Numbers-wise, there are disproportionately fewer of them than there are homeschooled kids. Again, the behaviour I’m referring to is a cautious wariness toward their peers that I find disturbing.

    Sure, there are public school kids who are fearful. Case in point: I have a sister-in-law who (I’m just gonna say it) is a freak: her kids go to public school, and she yanks them out of class every time they have a health lesson on sexual anatomy, or if there’s a topic that might “scare” them, like science fiction literature. She’s not religious, either. She’s just so…well, afraid of certain stuff. She has fearful kids.

    And, yes, I’m guessing Canadian schools might be a lot safer than American schools. There have been isolated cases of violence in both bigger cities and tiny farming communities, but not nearly to the same degree as in the States. As for elementary/middle school alcohol and marijuana use, insubordination towards authority, using cuss words, having sex — not really an issue here. High school’s another story, just as it was in my day (and I’m in my 50s). When it comes to our children, all parents want to err on the side of caution. I get that. The “bad” kids of course spoil it for the whole bunch, but their numbers and influence aren’t nearly as great as our imaginations would like us to think.

    I cede the soapbox.

  • Stephanie:

    km – you’re so sane and reasonable in all your comments. Thanks. I personally send my kid to a private LCMS (Lutheran) school because that’s what I need to do (after-school care, on my way to work). I don’t know why the Harris County, TX ISD school in my neighborhood doesn’t offer after-school care or bus service. I have to admit that I didn’t try to find out. It’s just easier to send my kid to the school that’s close to my job. I certainly don’t mind him being taught the Bible. Everyone has their reasons for doing what they do, and I respect that.

  • km:

    Aw thanks Stephanie. I appreciate that.
    You’re right, we all do our best. I’m lucky, we have a bus service (and an extended day) and I work for a family-friendly boss. I haven’t always done so and I know how lucky I am.

  • Lori:

    Christina- Thanks for “talking” with me. I enjoyed the debate and appreciate your willingness to put up with my sarcasm. My husband gets a little tired of it… LOL And my debating… :) And I am truly glad your school system does not deal with some of the issues here.

  • Anonymous:

    I guess they are all racist because they are wearing white shirts and not black or brown ones…

  • bridget:

    Oh I have nothing better to say than Rechelle I think you are wonderful. And if you haven’t read it yet I would suggest reading The Four Agreements. It is worth reading by anyone, but especially by someone that has to deal with people’s comments- both loving or mean comments. It is a very short read.

    Also I have long thought that private schools were a handy euphemism for white flight. I lived in Jackson, Miss and at first all the white people moved away from the downtown part of the city. Once they realized that their little hamlet wasn’t safe from outsiders and poorer people then all them moved their kids into private schools. So much so that people were fighting to not have to pay taxes to support the public schools and the public schools in Jackson have suffered greatly. I have seen it first hand.

  • Dena:

    The choir looks pretty white to me!!!!

    Also — didn’t think that your relatives attended a Christian School –

    • Dena – note the the first photo. It is the same choir. I think the bright lights wash everyone out to the same bland color.

  • Heidi:

    Wow! You are so much better than all those other people. Your kids are going to learn so much tolerance for other people’s beliefs from you. Way to go Rechelle!
    *********************************************
    The way she speaks of Christians is tolerant? It’s interesting that a post on diversity and tolerance is so full of venom against those who practice Christianity.

    I only take offense at these rants against Christianity, Rechelle, because I’ve never noticed you prefacing any of your hate with “the Christians I know,” or “In my experience…” You lump all of us into one big generalized bigoted, narrow minded bunch.

    If you would qualify your remarks somewhat, they would be more credible. Because, really, have you MET every Christian on the planet?

    As for your rants against Pioneer Woman, your constant disparagement of her, compared to her silence on the subject speaks volumes.

  • CJ :):

    Wow – go away for a day and BAM! The thread explodes!

    @Rechelle – I don’t consider Pawhuska to be diverse so I’m afraid I don’t consider where you are to be diverse either, if it’s the same. Our rural areas aren’t diverse, as a general rule.

    Someone asked about inner cities – no, they aren’t truly diverse either.

    I work for a multi-national corporation. Today at work I dealt with someone from South America, Germany and India. This is typical for me and will be even more typical for my kids. People I work with who have led sheltered lives are the ones I tend to hear disparaging others for their differences without first trying to determine why those differences exist.

  • DirtyKSmama - Nikki:

    Observation – I don’t consider myself a stupid or dumb reader, but I spend about 4 minutes or less per morning reading PW’s blog. I don’t agree with it all, but it’s quick, light entertainment, AND it led me to Rechelle last year (and Jenni and April.)
    And yet, I think, some days it takes more than 4 minutes to read ABOUT PW on THIS blog.

    Maybe when the religion topic dies down a bit, we can talk about women’s rights and feminism (especially now that Rechelle’s living outside the Bible.) I feel women should support each to become successful whenever possible, not bring each other down over petty stuff like personal blog content and readership (and awards? Aren’t most of those reader nominated and then voted on by readers? So more readers = more award recognition.)

    Anyway, support each other, support your schools, don’t sweat what other bloggers write about (there are some FUNKY blogs out there MUCH more controversial and upsetting than PW’s.) Just my 2 cents.

  • Nikki – I know lots of people love that site for various reasons and that is fine. I think every blog, every book, every movie, every painting, every play, every song – everything needs to be looked at critically especially if it is successful and the reasons for it’s success should be examined. People magazine is successful because people love celebrity gossip. Picasso is successful because he fearlessly looked at reality in a new way. PW is successful because she is a wealthy woman with a fabulous life who knows how to pander to a certain type of audience that is desperate for a hero (homeschoolers). I know lots of intelligent folks read that site, but I think someone needs to be critical of it once in a while. It’s empty and superficial and awarded as if it were pulitzer prize winning material which is ludicrous. I will continue to occasionally disparage that blog when it makes sense and when I feel like it. Because if you took away the ranch and the cowboys and the wealth and the super fake photos – you would have a ditzy woman with poor writing skills that no one would read.

  • Lori – I don’t understand your comment at all. Why would I continue to attend church, volunteer my ass off, give thousands of dollar when it is all about a god that does not exist? The real question is – why do you go? The same fake deity that does not exist for me also does not exist for you.

    As to the christian school comment – that makes no sense whatsoever. The only way to fix a christian school is to take christ out of it. I don’t see the allowing me to do that.

  • Ted Powell:

    Rechelle wrote: — you would have a ditzy woman with poor writing skills that no one would read.I haven’t read anything on the blog in question, so I can’t comment on the accuracy of your characterization :-) but I will say: I love your writing!

  • DirtyKSmama - Nikki:

    Rechelle – Not trying to put you on the defensive or deter you from disparaging the blog here. It just struck me (and I comment when I’m struck) as funny how much time I just spent reading comments about it. I guess I’m with some of the others on “What’s your beef with her blog specifically?” You reply helps explain it, a bit, I think.

    I guess usually figure, “Support them, forget them, or fight them (as in questioning/criticizing.)”
    If you feel her blog needs questioning, more than just a simple difference of opinion, go for it.
    I don’t read comments at PW, but have you been voicing your criticisms there (as your critics do here) where her main audience can see it, since I’m guessing not a large percentage of them are coming here?
    Again, not trying to put you on the defensive, just trying to understand better.

  • DirtyKSmama - Nikki:

    “Your reply helps explain it…”
    Crap, there’s a reason I don’t comment when I’m tired or the kids are talking to me.

  • Becky:

    “you would have a ditzy woman with poor writing skills that no one would read.”

    sad…

  • Becky:

    I don’t know if any of you have ever read pooponpeeps, but it’s a blog that I would put in the National Enquirer category. The kind of trashiness you read in the check out line but don’t buy. I read a comment, can’t remember the author’s nickname, but it was regarding PW, and went something like this: I went to her house once and hoped I would find something more than what she presents but was disappointed. The most inane blog ever, blah, blah, blah.

    I am curious as to who wrote that comment.

    Well, pooponpeeps, aka, chickenliver, has closed that blog. It’s kind of interesting, because she loved to hate on PW. Interesting that she closed her blog and now we have Rechelle pooping on PW. I wonder if there is a connection. Very very interesting.

    And Rechelle, I always thought you were above that kind of snark. Chickenliver’s blog was in the low class territory. Obviously, she’s done some hateful things. But I think you are getting to the bottom of the barrel with every ugly post you make. It’s really tactless. And if you ever wanted your blog to be successful (in your own words you stated that is one of the main reasons for losing your religion) this is definitely not the way to do it.

  • DirtyKSmama - Nikki:

    Oh, and I’m still interested in reading any new thoughts you have someday along the lines of feminism and women’s rights. I was surprised by your comments in the VCR post when you were explaining your Paris trip. For example:

    “I had fallen into behavior patterns with my family and especially with my husband due to christianity and it’s insistence that I always put myself last and I always serve other people that were absolutely detrimental to my personal mental health.”

    So I’m wondering, for example, if you were feeling like you couldn’t speak up to your husband or family while living under the “rules” of the Bible, now that you’re not living under those religious guidelines, are you also now seeing things differently as a woman? Would be an interesting topic in a few months with your “new eyes.”

  • scd:

    If anyone is implying that Rechelle and the PoP woman are the same person, that isn’t even a question. The identity, full name, etc, of ChickenLiver was revealed long ago on a number of websites (including Dooce). It is NOT Rechelle.

    Even if ChickenLiver’s identity hadn’t already been revealed, Rechelle is a far better writer than Michelle somethingorother (can’t remember her last name now), so that’s pretty obvious!

  • km:

    DirtyKSmama said “So I’m wondering, for example, if you were feeling like you couldn’t speak up to your husband or family while living under the “rules” of the Bible, now that you’re not living under those religious guidelines, are you also now seeing things differently as a woman? Would be an interesting topic in a few months with your “new eyes”

    when you’re up for it Rechelle, I’d love to hear about this too.

    Don’t sweat the PW stuff Rechelle. I once met Jeanne Garofalo who I thought was an awesome woman. That evening she was so trite and,not ditzy so much as not bright, and I was so disappointed. Maybe it was a bad night or maybe it’s just a case of The Emperor has no Clothes. I just expected so much more.

  • Becky:

    I’m not saying they are one and the same.

  • Cheyenne:

    I wasn’t aware of PW before Rechelle mentioned her, but from the little reading I’ve done, she seems like a prairie Martha Stewart. I think her popularity comes from finding a niche that was unfilled, and she’s good at putting that type of stuff out there and marketing herself. And people like fluff. I do think that for most people who only show this carefully manicured sunny side that there comes a backlash of people who get annoyed at the fakeness of it all. I’m not critical of PW because she’s not on my radar, and I don’t have any problem with her. But, if Rechelle finds some issues that bug her and make a good blog post, or point in a blog post, then, meh, that’s fine. PW was a huge deal to her, so I think that’s to be expected.

  • Dawn:

    Man, it’s like a wreck–I can’t look away from this site for long. I keep coming back, thinking perhaps it was a bad dream or a joke and I find, occasionally, a cute ‘Jack’ post. And was thrilled to read that Ethan was again in the honor choir. Which appeared predominantly white, whatever you want to say about the camera washing people out. And being led by a black man. Is he serving? Or is he directing? I’m sad.

    Dawn – Is he serving? Serving what? What are you trying to say? That is a really sick remark.