College for the Home Schooled
NYT has articles on Patrick Henry College in the Sunday and Monday editions. The first, “Ever Mindful of Bible, Chastity and the Rules” paints the picture of a school in a rather odd time warp.
Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Va., does more than train home-schooled students. College administrators say that it also provides Evangelical Christian home-schooling parents with a campus culture uniquely suited to their values—where the core curriculum includes a semester of “biblical reasoning” and students are expected to graduate with their chastity intact.
Campus televisions block transmission of MTV and VH1 because the college considers the cable music channels’ programming to be racy. Students’ computers come equipped with a software program called “Covenant Eyes” that monitors the Web sites they visit.
But the most popular rule among parents, administrators say, is also the most controversial among the students: the Patrick Henry “courtship policy.”
Before spending much time alone with a female student, a male student is required to call her father or guardian and ask permission to court. Even with parental permission, displays of affection on campus are limited to holding hands while walking. If they stop moving, they must let go of each other’s hands.
Every student takes a course called “Foundations of Liberty,” which teaches that democracy rests on biblical principles, traditional sex roles, limited government and private property rights.
Aside from the issue of slavery, the course suggests, that the early America was nearly ideal. In a recent seminar on de Tocqueville’s depiction of the early Republic, for example, Prof. Robert D. Stacey quizzed the class: “Who is chiefly responsible for the raising of children? Mothers, right? Sounds like a certain home-schooling movement I know.”
Oh, goody. Indoctrination masquerading as higher education.
It gets better. “College for the Home-Schooled Is Shaping Leaders for the Right” would indicate that people are actually taking this seriously.
Of the nearly 100 interns working in the White House this semester, 7 are from the roughly 240 students enrolled in the four-year-old Patrick Henry College, in Purcellville. An eighth intern works for the president’s re-election campaign. A former Patrick Henry intern now works on the paid staff of the president’s top political adviser, Karl Rove. Over the last four years, 22 conservative members of Congress have employed one or more Patrick Henry interns in their offices or on their campaigns, according to the school’s records.
The college’s knack for political job placement testifies to the increasing influence that Christian home-schooling families are building within the conservative movement. Only about half a million families around the country home-school their children and only about two-thirds identify themselves as evangelical Christians, home-schooling advocates say. But they have passionate political views, a close-knit grass-roots network and the financial support of a handful of wealthy patrons. For all those reasons, home-schoolers have captured the attention of a wide swath of conservative politicians, many of whom are eager to hire Patrick Henry students.
Great. Just what the conservative movement needs: to be taken over by people raised in total isolation from society and with college degrees that didn’t require them to confront conflicting ideas. This is the path to marginalization.