Jun 20, 2005

"Most said grace before eating, though they did it silently and discreetly, with a quick bow of the head." [LINK]

From an interesting but rather maddening article by Hanna Rosin in the "fact" section of the New Yorker. The article concerns Patrick Henry College near Washington D.C., which draws heavily on conservative Christian homeschooled children and seems devoted to sending its graduates to influential jobs in the highest reaches of the government:

In conservative circles, however, homeschoolers are considered something of an elite, rough around the edges but pure — in their focus, capacity for work, and ideological clarity — a view that helps explain why the Republican establishment has placed its support behind Patrick Henry, and why so many conservative politicians are hiring its graduates.
Boy, they sure sound like a bunch of Maoists, don't they? But nowhere do you get a sense of how many homeschoolers in this country are motivated by religious conservatism. For example, to what extent are the members of the National Black Home Educators Resource Association are motivated by religion, as opposed to lousy schools that disproportionately affect blacks? Is that the reason for the absence of blacks on campus, or the fact that the place has no soul whatsoever? We don't know. Nor do we get much idea how the academics at this place really rate, or how many graduates do indeed go on to infiltrate the government compared to, say, GWU grads. They are a very strange people, and very different from us. See? They even speak to the spirits:
The fact that [one student] was homeschooled and keeps a running conversation with Jesus in his head does not seem to him a barrier [to run for political office]. "It's pretty normal," he said.
These are the spooky stories liberals tell each other when huddled together inside campground tents with flashlights turned up under their faces.

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