Homeschooling Proving ‘Good for America’

December 3, 2010

McKinney, TX (MetroCatholic) — The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC — In August 2001, the cover of Time magazine posed this question: “Is Home Schooling Good for America?” Today, as more and more adults who were homeschooled assume positions of leadership and service in our nation, we answer Time’s question with a resounding “Yes!”

Without question, the contributions of homeschoolers are dramatically changing our political landscape. For example, leadership courses, camps, and organizations such as Generation Joshua, a division of the Home School Legal Defense Association, are coming alongside homeschooling families to train future leaders. During the 2010 mid-term elections Generation Joshua deployed 900 of their nearly 6,000 members to make a difference in 21 political races across the nation, including that of Congressman Daniel Webster (R-FL), a homeschooling father.

Dr. Brian Ray, founder of the National Home Education Research Institute, in his 2004 study of more than 7,000 homeschooled adults, showed that homeschoolers were more likely to vote, volunteer for political campaigns, and participate in community service. Dr. Ray found that 71% of homeschool graduates participated in ongoing community service activities compared to 37% of U.S. adults of similar ages, and 76% of homeschool graduates (aged 18-24) had voted in a national or state election within the last 5 years, compared to 29% of non-homeschooled graduates.

In his article titled “Revisiting the Common Myths About Homeschooling,” Michael Romanowski, a professor at the Center for Teacher Education at Ohio Northern University, stated: “Homeschoolers clearly learn about the real world, possibly more than do their public school counterparts. While the purpose of public education is to educate future citizens who take an active role in improving the social, economic, and political conditions in society, Ray’s research indicates that public schools, not homeschooling, should be scrutinized for their efforts regarding ‘citizenship training.’”

When asked to comment about the recent political impact of homeschooled adults nationwide, Paul and Gena Suarez, homeschooling family of six children and publishers of the premier quarterly magazine for homeschoolers, responded that homeschoolers’ success “only confirms what numerous stats and studies have already indicated — that ‘homeschooling’ is about so much more than merely educating our children. It’s about instilling in the next generation the conviction that if good is to prevail, then it must be advanced, and it can be advanced only by those who embrace it.”

Many homeschooling families are training their children to make a difference by serving this nation with integrity, not for the sake of personal ambition or monetary gain but rather because they have learned how to be responsible citizens. Determined, astute homeschooling families are making their voices heard — from leadership camps to grassroots organizations to Congress.

In January 2011, Ms. Jaime Herrera, age 32, will be sworn in as a U.S. Representative (R-WA). She will be remembered, among other things, as the very first member of our U.S. Congress who was a homeschooler. She will not be the last.

About The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine: Soon to celebrate their 10-year anniversary, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine is recognized as the premier magazine for homeschoolers. This professional publication offers approximately 200 pages of information, inspiration, and encouragement to homeschooling families around the world in each quarterly issue. View a sample issue here: www.thehomeschoolmagazine-digital.com/thehomeschoolmagazine/sample/#pg1.

A Critical Distinction between Direct Abortion and Legitimate Medical Procedures

July 12, 2010

On June 23, 2010, the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine released a clarification entitled: The Distinction between Direct Abortion and Legitimate Medical Procedures. Since most folks don’t read every new posting on the vast USCCB web-site, this helpful statement could be overlooked.
The statement notes that “On November 5, 2009, medical personnel at the St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona, performed a procedure that caused the death of an unborn child. Most Reverend Thomas Olmsted, the Bishop of Phoenix, has judged that this procedure was in fact a direct abortion and so morally wrong….”
When Bishop Olmsted spoke, many a commentator became a self-appointed expert on the Church’s moral teaching overnight.  The national media certainly caused confusion among Catholics and the general public as to what the Church teaches regarding illegitimate and legitimate medical procedures for addressing the risk to a mother’s health or even life during a pregnancy.

The Committee on Doctrine reminded us that “…. abortion (that is, the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of a viable fetus) is never permitted… One may never directly kill an innocent human being, no matter what the reason… By contrast, in some situations, it may be permissible to perform a medical procedure on a pregnant woman that directly treats a serious health problem but that also has a secondary effect that leads to the death of the developing child… The difference can be seen in two different scenarios in which the unborn child is not yet old enough to survive outside the womb.”
“In the first scenario, a pregnant woman is experiencing problems with one or more of her organs, apparently as a result of the added burden of pregnancy.  The doctor recommends an abortion to protect the health of the woman… The surgery directly targets the life of the unborn child. It is the surgical instrument in the hands of the doctor that causes the child’s death.  The surgery does not directly address the health problem of the woman, for example, by repairing the organ that is malfunctioning… The abortion is the means by which a reduced strain upon the organ or organs is achieved. As the Church has said many times, direct abortion is never permissible because a good end cannot justify an evil means….”
“In the second scenario, a pregnant woman develops cancer in her uterus. The doctor recommends surgery to remove the cancerous uterus as the only way to prevent the spread of the cancer… The woman’s health benefits directly from the surgery, because of the removal of the cancerous organ. The surgery does not directly target the life of the unborn child. The child will not be able to live long after the uterus is removed from the woman’s body, but the death of the child is an unintended and unavoidable side effect and not the aim of the surgery. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with surgery to remove a malfunctioning organ. It is morally justified when the continued presence of the organ causes problems for the rest of the body.”
“Surgery to terminate the life of an innocent person, however, is intrinsically wrong… Nothing, therefore, can justify a direct abortion. No circumstance, no purpose, no law
whatsoever can ever make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit, since it is contrary to the Law of God which is written in every human heart, knowable by reason itself, and proclaimed by the Church.”
May the Law of God, proclaimed by our Church and through our bishops, inspire each of us to work for the protection of every human person, mother and child alike.
To read the entire statement, go to:
www.usccb.org/doctrine/direct-abortion-statement2010-06-23.pdf
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Tom Grenchik is Executive Director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Go to www.usccb.org/prolife to learn more about the bishops’ pro-life activities.
For more information on the Texas Catholic Conference, visit www.TXcatholic.org.

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