I was so thrilled when I discovered one of the writers from my writing community has been raised similarly to me for a time. I loved hearing some of her story, and I’m excited to share some of it with you. Also, as a side note, my parents were also homeschooled in the ’80s, and the fear of authorities coming and taking them away was real.
Today homeschooling isn’t as dangerous nor as controversial as it once was. But this is because families untied and fought the system and won. Today, not as many families fear their children being stolen away by the government, yet it does still happen.
I pray this gives you all hope for the battles we fight today. Might that there be a time where what we believe and do is looked upon as good and healthy, not unlawful.
And with that, I present Connie White:
Keturah and I chatted a little after her first post because this subject fascinates me, and I have my own feelings about many of the same things she discussed.
My personal history with anything like this is brief.
My parents did not get my brother and me social security numbers until he was a teenager and trying to get a job. I’m younger, so I think I was around twelve when this was happening, and of course, didn’t care in the slightest. My parents opted to get both of us a number at the same time, so I never had to navigate any actual world issues without one, and we always had birth certificates.
Now, in some ways, I wish my parents had left me without a social security number, though, since I already had a birth certificate, I’m not sure that would’ve mattered. And who knows? I may have ended up getting one anyway, as I didn’t really understand or consider the repercussions of these kinds of things until I was older.
This sounds crazy to say because we don’t think of a birth certificate in terms of anything but paperwork acknowledging identity, but in reality, a birth certificate gives the state authority and jurisdiction over our children it would not otherwise have. There are many, many court cases indicating how this plays out –from educational and medical oversight to having to pay taxes as an adult.
This may not be so bad when the government is not overstepping its bounds, but I think we can all agree the danger of a government becoming too big is real and can be seen throughout history.
Even as a homeschooled kid in the ‘80s, we had a very real fear of being taken away from our family as the regulations increased. My parents said they tried to adhere to them, but all they got was bureaucratic rigamarole and no one would (or could!) really tell them what to do, who to talk to, or guide them to the proper resources. (There was no Googling back then.)
So, we essentially homeschooled illegally.
The political climate surrounding homeschooling in the ‘80s was quite polarized, and we knew people who disapproved of it strongly and would have turned us in for truancy if they’d known. Without birth certificates, the state would have had no say in our education.
These days, I hear of children being taken away from parents with little to no cause or proof of any wrongdoing given and no possible recourse. I have a friend who works with an organization involved in the legal cases of families in this situation, and the stories are heartbreaking and many of the reasons children are being taken are unbelievable. I am definitely not against having an organization such as child protective services, but when the state’s idea of harm begins to cross over into a personal belief system rather than actual injury, we are walking a really dangerous line.
With the current trends, I’d have to seriously wrestle with the birth certificate/social security number issue if I were to have children. Would I want to give ANY government rights over my children that could supersede my own, much less a government that is increasingly demonizing godly behavior and exercising a strong arm regarding religious liberties?
I know that our country is difficult to navigate without being a part of its system, and I’m sure there are things you just can’t do without a birth certificate and social security card. Perhaps, in the past, the benefits outweighed the risks, but I’m afraid the time is fast approaching (or is already here!) when that is no longer the case.
When Keturah asked me to guest post, she said she wanted to show that other people with “sane minds” understand her family’s stance. I’m not sure if I’ve managed to sound sane … I’m rather afraid that I’ve come across as a crazy conspiracy theorist!
But I hope you’ll at least examine the issue for yourself. That’s really the only way to learn.