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Monday, February 23, 2015

IndoctriNation - Review

I was able to get my hands on a copy of the documentary by Great Commission Films called IndoctriNation - Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America.

I have seen clips and snippets of this film floating around Facebook for a long time, so I was super excited to get a chance to see the film in its entirety.

I really enjoyed watching this, but, I will be honest, this is going to be a very hard review for me to write.

I feel like the film is very well done.  I feel like it covered a lot of different sides of the current educational system in America.  I feel like a lot of people that are or were in the public school system were included in the movie, so it wasn't just a one-sided argument from homeschoolers about how our way is the best way.

I also feel like my public school teacher friends will feel angry or betrayed if I whole heartedly back this film.

It is also going to be really hard review to write without ticking off  the homeschooling community also.

Because, I agree with both sides.

I 100% believe that homeschooling is the very best option for our family.  I love it.  I am glad we do it.  I wouldn't want it to be any other way....for our family.

But, I do not believe that homeschooling is the best option for every family....even every Christian family.

I do understand the film makers mentality and agree that, from what I have seen, Christianity has been slowly and methodically removed from our public education system.  As a Christian, that saddens me, but more than that, it scares me, because what is sneaking in, in place of Christianity is a worldview education that I don't agree with.

Just to simplify things here, I will just use the whole "sexuality" issue.

The things that are being taught and the ages that they are being taught and introduced to this issue, in the pubic school system, is appalling to me.  It steals their innocence.  It teaches them that don't knock it till you try it...or if it feels good, go for it, you never know.  Even if, as a parent, I knew ahead of time and opted to have my child removed from the instruction in these areas, the rest of their classmates are being taught things that I don't want my kids to think are okay.  So, it is an uphill battle.  I imagine there is a lot of discussion between students about what they learned.....even if they weren't in the class.  And, looking ahead to teenage years when my kids start to date, they are being asked out by kids who sat through all those classes and learned what is okay and not okay.  Ugg....that makes me nervous and uncomfortable.

My basic point is that even if your child is removed from that particular class, that is the subject that will be talked about even when they are not in class.  That is the subject that will be whispered about, joked about, and discussed more than any other one outside of the classroom.  Too bad they don't talk about math and language arts outside of the classroom like that, right?  LOL

So, the whole message is still getting through to the kids....whether they actually sit through it or not.  Childhood is a time of figuring out how you fit into the world.  I don't want my kids swayed and taught by their peers.....on any subject, but especially not about sexuality.

I want my children swayed and taught by Rainman and I.  I want my kids influenced by family and friends that I know and trust.  Believe me when I say my circle of family and friends are not perfect. We are not all the same.  We have different lifestyles and choices.  But, the difference in my teaching them about sexuality and the world teaching them about it is night and day different.

And, yes, I do teach my children about sexuality.  We have to.  They are surrounding by it....both in the world....and in choices that they see their cousins making.  We have to discuss hard things.  We have to discuss embarrassing things.  We have to discuss what God's plan actually is for sexuality. But, God's plan cannot be discussed in public school anymore.

IndoctriNation is a fascinating look at the public school system and how Christianity has been slowly and methodically been blocked out of  America's educational system.  The historical facts and decisions included in the movie were truly interesting.

But, the best parts for me, were the interviews with current and past public school teachers.  The teachers shared their hearts about why they loved teaching and those that had left shared why they couldn't bring themselves to be part of that "system" anymore.  It is truly heartbreaking....because they were the exact people that you would WANT teaching your children.  You know?

The people like my public school teacher friends.  They are wonderful people.  Wonderful Christians.  Nice, funny, creative, big hearted, smart, intelligent people.  Just who you want teaching your children.  Except for the fact that in the current education system, they are a sort of hog tied in that they cannot openly share their faith.....even though it is a huge part of who they are.  If they are asked about it, they can share....but it can't be teacher led.

I get it.  Sort of.  I mean, honestly, I wouldn't want a Muslim or a Buddhist teacher in there openly recruiting for their faith either.  So, I get it from that aspect.  But, as a Christian, it makes me sad that my friends can't share that whole part of them that makes them so awesome.  Especially when I know it could make a huge difference in the lives of kids.

So, like the teachers in the film, they do the best they can.  They wait for students to ask them questions that they can answer.  They look for small ways to show love and share their faith with their students.....without actually using the words Christian or Jesus.   They do the best they can in the system that exists.  They are definitely trying to be salt and light to those kids.

I actually asked a few of my friends to watch this film and have a discussion with me, but none of them took me up on it.  I am not sure if it was a time thing or a fear that we would end up fighting afterwards, or if they thought I was going to try to convince them that they were wasting their time in the public school system.  I wasn't.

I really just didn't want to paint such a broad stoked idea of how evil the public education system has gotten in America.  Even though everything said in this film struck a chord with me as a Christian, and as a homeschool mom.

What IndoctriNation did for me is just helped really hit home the point that there has been a gradual culture shift thingie going on within our schools, for a long time.

I am the product of a public school education.  It wasn't horrible.  I did learn a lot.  Yes, there were things that I wish would have taught better (but, some of that was my fault).  I did learn a lot of things that were in direct conflict with Christian beliefs.  But, I also went to elementary school in the mid-70s when we still had "religious release time" once a week, where during the school day, we would troop down the block to the little church up the road and learn about Jesus for an hour.  Then we would walk back to school and learn about reading, writing and arithmetic.  It was normal.

Can you even imagine that?  It is crazy to think that was normal.

Think about other things that are "normal" or okay in today's society.  Now think about going back in time and explaining to your grandparents that they are okay.  For example, the whole Fifty Shades of Grey thing that is happening right now.   How in the world has that kind of domination and naughty sex stuff become okay and not only okay, but exciting and mainstream?

A gradual culture shift.

It is a slippery slope.

My dad used to say the same thing about the music I listened to.  He said by singing along to some of those lyrics I was becoming desensitized to what they really meant.  Although, to be honest...most of the time I had NO idea what I was singing.  (I still remember how horrified I was when I figured out what Billy Squires "The Stroke" meant.  I can vividly remember being on the dance floor in high school belting that one out Emoji ) Or video games.....shooting all those pretend people.  I think it does desensitize people to the realities of actually pointing a gun at people and pulling the trigger.  It just seems wrong.

Lots of the things that are being taught in the public school system just seem wrong to me too.

But, I have chosen to homeschool.

Not everyone can make that same choice.

I understand that.

I wish there was an easy answer.  But, there isn't.

The public education system has gone a long way down the road away from Christian principles and it will be a long time, if ever, that it comes back.

Do I recommend this film?


I would love for my friends to watch it.  Homeschoolers or not.  Christians or not.  It is an interesting film.  It makes a lot of good points that resonated with me.  One of them being how happy I am that we have chosen to homeschool our kids. But, it also made the point to me (and I have seen this in my friends) that there are good, Christian people inside the system that want it to be better.  That love those kids.  Their hands are just tied.  That is sad.

You can get your own copy of IndoctriNation, so you can make up your own mind, for $19.95.

I wish that I would have been able to convince one of my teacher friends to watch it and give me their opinion.  But, for me, someone who for various reasons, has already decided to homeschool their children, this movie was a hit.  Even though my original reasons didn't match up with the movie's focus that schools are not "neutral" ground and that, Christianity has, in essence, been able to be removed, even though there are still many Christian teachers and leaders,  It just reinvigorated my desire to keep the kids with me, schooling at home.

To take a look at what other reviewers thought of IndoctriNation.