This is the year of our more relaxed schedule; a school year that we are giving ourselves permission to step away from the textbooks in order to learn more about life. We are calling it our learning lifestyle. We are still using a math textbook and keeping our reading and writing lessons up but we are allowing more time for extra curricular activities and life skills.
Recently, our oldest son has been expressing a deep desire to volunteer at the Republican headquarters. He seems to be very interested in politics and is extremely eager to offer his services. My husband and I want to encourage this interest and hope he will learn and grow through the experience. Because we usually do things as a family, we are all volunteering by making telephone calls, walking precincts, and passing out fliers. We will continue to do this for the next few weeks until Nov 2. After this we will re-evaluate.
We have been involved in the tea-party rally’s but have never wanted to be particularly partisan because of our disappointment with both the Republican and Democrat parties. We are not even super enthusiastic about our representatives running for office right now…..but Barbara Boxer has not been good for our state and Jerry Brown is not even close to our ideal candidate. So, we are working to help elect two women (Meg Whitman & Carly Fiorina) who seem to have better ideas and better values than the Democratic candidates. Increasingly, Ann Coulter’s words run like a tape in my head, “The worst Republican is still better than the best Democrat.” I’m not sure what to believe anymore, but this last batch of Democrats have been so radical that I’m thinking she must be correct. I was disappointed in George Bush at the end of his term but now my heart longs for the good nights sleep I used to have while he was president.
What is more disturbing than our disappointing leadership, is the attitude of the people we have encountered so far while participating in this election process. Today while we were walking our precinct, my children and I talked about becoming “thick- skinned”. I reminded them of the story we heard about Sarah Palin and how people lied about her and ridiculed her family. We remember folks attacking her dress style, her hairdo , her accent, her children and her religion. She said she was becoming very “thick skinned. ”
While on our precinct walk, our family did not visit the Democratic or Independent voters homes. We passed out fliers to Republican voters who were on a list called “Lazy Republicans. ” When we asked one man if he was going to support Carly Feorina and Meg Whitman, he barked, ” it is none of your business.” Another said he was undecided. Some did not answer the door and most did not want to engage in any conversation. I was beginning to understand how the Jehovah’s Witnesses must feel!
On the telephones we were hung up on many times, and most did not want to commit to supporting the Republican candidate. Then just today, when I sent out information on taxes that will be raised to a few friends and family members , I received a reply from a close friend who asked me not to mail her any more political information. (She is one who I very rarely send info to but have been sending voter info. recently because of the election) I was stunned! I am beginning to lose my naivete and my children are learning about life for sure. Our country is in the shape it is because most folks do not really care. They do not have time nor do they desire to learn about the candidates, judges or representatives who will be determining their future. They don’t even care to watch the news or check out the internet. They do not even want to engage in any conversation about politics.
Whenever I post something about a our homeschooling freedom’s being threatened or voter information, on The Homeschool Channel, I rarely get a reply. Are we like the Romans who were apathetic and simply wanted someone to take care of them? Perhaps our fate will be the same. I find that many homeschoolers, at least in California, do not watch the news…many do not have a television. In some ways I envy them. They don’t recognize whats at stake…many do not have a clue…so they can just live their lives without concerning themselves with our dying republic. Folks seem to think that the freedoms we enjoy today are ours by some lucky straw or chance. They are living their lives in the bliss of ignorance and are happy to ride on the coat tails of those who have fought for the freedom’s we enjoy today. Do they think they can just coast even though our forefathers died so that we could have liberty?
I know that many homeshcoolers work very hard teaching history to their children. Some families study our founding documents that remind us our freedoms are given by God and “We the People” are in charge of our great republic. I’m dumbfounded that we homeschoolers do not see any connection between our history lessons and our involvement in politics. Don’t they realize that they have a responsibility to secure these freedom’s for their children and grandchildren?
Perhaps some of these apathetic Americans have taken the time to think through their decision to be disengaged…..maybe I’m the bigger fool after all. Maybe they realize, like I have discovered, that once your eyes are opened you can never return to life as usual. Sure, you can join a choir, have a scrap-booking weekend, or devote a week to fall baking. You will still be able to enjoy and have some fun; it’s just that this world of caring about your country will always be in the back of your mind and you will once again return to talking, praying and helping to save protect and defend your country and constitution. This reality reminds me of my salvation story. Once I came to believe in the Lord Jesus and received him as my personal Savior and Lord, I was never the same again. No matter where I go, or what I do, I’m always thinking about Him and wanting others to make a choice to follow Christ as well. This thought never leaves me night or day. Every conversation I have, I am praying or figuring out a way to turn the topic towards the Lord. I may be shopping, cleaning, or teaching my children, but Christ is there with me all of the time and my thoughts never wander too far away from him.
I believe in God’s sovereignty and that His plans will play out no matter what we do. I believe that the Holy Bible speaks of end times and so much of what is happening today is prophetic. But knowing this does not mean that I am supposed to keep silent and stay unengaged in politics. The Bible teaches us that when the wicked rule the people morn, but when the righteous rule, the people rejoice. God tells us that first, above all others, to pray for those in authority….we are to pray for our leaders. If we are called to pray for our leaders even before we pray for our families, I believe God cares about politics and our involement. I believe we are the stewards of our America and I pray we will not take our free country for granted.
Politics is my theology lived out. It is my Christianity in action. I agree with Frank Pastore when he said that Politics is theology applied. He reminds us, Perhaps many Christians believe these things because they don’t understand politics is really an exercise of theology applied—one way we love our neighbors as ourselves. Our political and social policies should grow out of our theology, not vice versa. We are not to reverse engineer our theology based upon our political and social agendas. Our faith is foundational to everything else. For Christians, theology creates and shapes our approach to politics; for non-Christians, politics creates and shapes their approach to theology—or at least their worldview.” Indeed as our family lives out our learning lifestyle year, we are discovering things that textbooks would never be able to teach us. This break from our books has taught us the sad truth that many Americans are apathetic and will not give politics the time of day.
Thanks for reading my ramblings ~ Anne