Monthly Archives: August 2013

Denied the right to an education

Eagle-eyed readers of Leaving Fundamentalism will have noticed there hasn’t been a new post in a while. I’m moving, and I haven’t had time to write anything.

Instead, please read this Washington Post article, recommended to me by regular reader and commenter Deb. It’s about Josh Powell, who wanted to go to school, but whose parents wouldn’t let him. They felt it was God’s will for him to be homeschooled; Josh didn’t share their convictions. The state of Virginia didn’t listen to Josh’s protests.

The article helps to bring into focus many of the debates we’ve had on the blog about parents rights vs. children’s rights.

Josh Powell wanted to go to school so badly that he pleaded with local officials to let him enroll. He didn’t know exactly what students were learning at Buckingham County High School, in rural central Virginia, but he had the sense that he was missing something fundamental.

By the time he was 16, he had never written an essay. He didn’t know South Africa was a country. He couldn’t solve basic algebra problems.

Read it here.

Apologies to everyone who is waiting to have comments approved; I hope to resume normal business soon.

The resurrection: Best-attested fact in history?

As a child, I was taught that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was the best-attested fact in all of ancient history. This is an extremely popular fundamentalist claim, probably originating with Thomas Arnold. It’s a bizarre one to make, as well, because fundamentalists also insist we must believe in Jesus by faith. Which is it? If the resurrection of Jesus is a superlatively well-documented fact, surely I don’t need faith. Fundamentalists are pulling the same trick they try with ‘scientific’ Creationism: They’re claiming that the evidence is conclusive, and where it isn’t, then insisting that faith is necessary to plug the gaps. Read the rest of this entry