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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:38 pm 
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Sk8erboy wrote:
I do not live my life in reaction to my parents or my childhood


This may well be true. But that would be difficult indeed to detect, especially if all one had to go on was what happened in this and related threads. IMO, FWIW, YMMV, etc., etc.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:36 pm 
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Julie Ann Smith is still a fairly conservative Christian. Shaney Lee and Andrew Roblyer are also still very active in the Church and are not that liberal.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:51 pm 
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Sk8erboy wrote:
adnarim wrote:
This... in addition to the fact that there are gray areas. Common example: evolution. I and my family tend to believe that the evidence does not point toward an evolved universe, but that doesn't mean the argument is invalid. Also, I said that parents want to educate their kids in what they believe is the truth... not just "the truth". There's a distinction. (And yes, I believe in absolute truth, etc.. I just recognize that humans disagree. ) Is that clearer?


I too "learned" about evolution, but it was actually straw men that I was learning to defeat. Have you ever read a modern book by an evolutionary scientist that discusses how it can integrate with Christianity? If you have truly learned "both sides," then I applaud your parents. And I wish more homeschooling parents were actually like that. In my experience, very few homeschooling parent will accurately teach something they disagree with.

There is no really difference between your parents teaching you "The Truth" and "Their Truth," either way they are passing on their subjective absolute truth claims to you.

Side note: That is basically my experience with evolutionism.
Growing up I was taught seven-day creationism was true, evolution was false. Period. My parents went back and forth on whether or not believing old-earth creationism makes you an unbeliever or not. In their defense, most of the time they fell on the "you can still be a Christian" side.
When I went to Hillsdale, one of my best friends, who is a very strong Christian and a biology major, first proposed to me that old-earth theories are true. In my biology class, the professor went through essentially every argument against evolution and explained why they are wrong, and how the scientific literature backs up the idea of evolution. Against what most people think, the Hillsdale science department is very pro-evolution and somewhat liberal politically. Anyways, the kicker for me came when I went to a faculty roundtable on old-earth creationism, and my religion professor/Sunday school teach (whom is a baptist, Calvinist, and essentially everything else that I am), said point-blank "Not only is old-earth creationism a literal way to interpret the text, it is the most literal and most consistent way to interpret Genesis." So, a far cry from my homeschooled education, I now consider myself an old-earth creationist. Also oddly, I've had a public-schooled friend tell me once that, if you interpret the Bible to include evolution "You can make it say anything." So the problem isn't unique to homeschooling.

Of course I'm not bashing my family here--in the past few years they've made a lot of the same realizations I have about science, culture, and society. We all have a good laugh that we weren't allowed to read Harry Potter or play Pokemon growing up.

There's an anectodal side-note, and I'm very glad my homeschooling experience was overwhelmingly positive (except some experiences with the NCFCA, but many of those problems have been fixed as well). However, yes, homeschooling often does leave children wholly uneducated to both sides of a conversation.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:31 am 
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DrSraderNCU wrote:
She doesn't leave it up to individual students to decide for themselves. She knows, as every human being knows, that students might decide to trust what she teaches, or they might decide she has no credibility and arrive at a different understanding than what she taught.

I don't think you believe that a teacher's credibility should be dependent on the student's acceptance of a single position or set of positions. Your students may reject your position on the Bible, but they needn't reject your credibility in its entirety.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:31 am 
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Some of the people I disagree with most strongly (with reasons I've thought hardest about) are the people most credible to me. They command enough of my attention to motivate me to try to make their ideas work in my mind. Unabashedly (and persuasively) presenting a worldview as truth is a greater motivation to think critically about the worldview than "here are a bunch of possibilities; decide what's true for you and I'll decide what's true for me" -- why agonize over what's true and what's false if it ultimately doesn't matter?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:48 pm 
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Halogen wrote:
presenting a worldview as truth is a greater motivation to think critically about the worldview than "here are a bunch of possibilities; decide what's true for you and I'll decide what's true for me" -- why agonize over what's true and what's false if it ultimately doesn't matter?


Maybe for you, but this is not at all what my public university education was like and I learned a lot. It's amazing how much you can learn without ever knowing what your teacher's ideology is, or their personal politics.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:10 pm 
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There's a difference between treating perspectives seriously, as potentially the truth, and being transparently partial. I agree that, at least in some settings, a good teacher won't ever reveal what his or her personal views are. But I think a good teacher also adopts the attitude that there's some underlying, discoverable truth of the matter, and that having the correct position on the matter is intrinsically worthwhile.

I suppose there's nothing necessarily wrong with a properly-executed 'pedagogical' or 'methodological' relativism, which might be all you're arguing for. A relativism any deeper than that will probably only undermine your position, though.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:47 pm 
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Absolutely. I was just thinking that I should explain the distinction a little better. A university professor usually explains a few basic facts, then discusses the different ways academics interpret the data. The purpose of an education is not to impart The Truth, but to equip an individual with the tools they need to reach intelligent, thought out conclusions. You do not have to respect someone to learn something from them - that's just your own (in some cases my) arrogance.

For example, an American History professor at my university (Louisiana Tech) would explain an event like the Civil War, then explain how there are four different view of the Civil War and often how those perceptions have changed over time. When I was homeschooled, I never learned why the North was right, or justified, in fact my education always glossed over that and framed it as the War of Northern Aggression. I find, in most cases, attempts to boil academic study down to "The Basic Truth" often ends up confusing or blatantly ignoring nuances. In almost every scholarly discipline, there are at least two main schools of thought about the issues. Often, scholarship is in a constant state of evolution. So coming out on a subject like political science and boldly declaring The Truth, even if based on legitimate scholarship, will probably eventually be expounded upon and further explained. In most cases, Grand Unifying Theories ignore contradictory evidence and highlights only the data that confirms your theory. A proper academic investigation doesn't denigrate people and ideas that are different than you own - you try to understand things from other people's perspectives. This doesn't mean you have to reject Absolute Truth, it just means you try and me empathetic.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:03 am 
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Sk8erboy wrote:
Did you even read the link that you just posted? It's pretty clear what our goals are and it is also pretty clear that we are not preaching "my brand of liberalism" or that "parents stop homeschooling." I'd love your rhetorical deconstruction of this message to explain how you perceive it:


Yes, I did read the page, about six times. The "brand of liberalism" remark was more directed at you than the site. While the site itself offers no specific plan other than "Don't be this", you seem very sure about what parents should and should not teach. I'm pretty sure from your previous post how you'll answer these questions, but since you asked, here you go.

HA's About Page wrote:
We are an inclusive community interested in sharing our experiences growing up in the conservative, Christian homeschooling subculture. From the Quiverfull movement to the betrothal/courtship mentality to Generation Joshua and the dominionist attitudes of HSLDA, we are survivors. And we are standing together to make our voices heard. We want the world to hear our stories and we want to give hope to those who are still immersed in that world. There is a way to break free and be yourself.

I see: We are an inclusive community unless you happen to genuinely believe that these conservative subcultures are correct.

Giving hope is a noble goal. I don't have anything against that.

HA's About Page wrote:
Is HA opposed to homeschooling?

We do not stand against homeschooling as an educational method. But we are standing up for those who have been hurt by certain oppressive groups and ways of thinking within the Christian homeschool movement. Above all, we want to provide healing to other survivors, hope for those still suffering, and knowledge to those unaware of the inner workings of this movement.

How are you standing up for the hurt? How do you help those who are oppressed?

HA's About Page wrote:
Is HA opposed to _____?

We are a diverse community that welcomes all sorts of people. We do not advocate any one particular path — some of us are religious, some are not; some of us are politically liberal, others are conservative; some of us might homeschool our children in the future, others want nothing to do with homeschooling anymore. We are not interested in championing any particular doctrine.

We are not interested in championing any particular doctrine, merely in attacking particular doctrines.

Honestly, I'm fine with that. But, as you put it, the only thing y'all have in common is that you were homeschooled and that you disagree with these particular positions. Therefore, your site tends to be negative without providing constructive steps forward. I haven't read the entire site, so forgive me if I've missed any common-sense advice that y'all have.

HA's About Page wrote:
Mission:

Our mission is to make homeschooling better for future generations through awareness, community building, and healing.

I appreciate that. I think that helping people recover from abuse is great. Specifics are lacking though. Who are you making aware and why? What community building are you doing? "Community building" is particularly vague. How do you help others heal?
HA's About Page wrote:
Goals:

Our organizational goals are as follows:

1. To bring awareness to the suffering many children experience through aspects of the Christian homeschool movement.

I've just been skeptical of awareness as a goal since Kony 2012.
HA's About Page wrote:
2. To educate the public about the inner workings and politics of certain Christian homeschooling communities.

To what end are you educating them? Education is great, but will it bring change?
HA's About Page wrote:
3. To provide a voice against some of the extreme positions of Christian homeschool ideologues.

Will this voice say anything that will make a difference or will it just attack.
HA's About Page wrote:
4. To inspire survivors to speak up about abuse and control.

There's no problem with that. In fact, that's good. What do you mean by abuse and control? My dad telling me to sit still when I was four was control. Where's the line between good and bad control?
HA's About Page wrote:
5. To give hope to those who currently suffer from abuse and control.

Is this a hope that will bring results? Or will it just be hope?
HA's About Page wrote:
6. To bring healing to those who have escaped an abusive or controlling home environment and provide new survivors with
resources for developing independence.

How are you bringing healing? What resources? Your blog's posts?
HA's About Page wrote:
7. To create a community of shared experiences.


None of these necessarily accomplish anything. Most of this, even the healing and resources part, just seems to go back to reading or writing for the blog.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:58 am 
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I am not Sk8erboy (obviously) and don't speak for H.A. in any official capacity, I just feel strongly about its value and was taken aback by your post.
Ginger Josh wrote:
I see: We are an inclusive community unless you happen to genuinely believe that these conservative subcultures are correct.

HA, from what I've read, is primarily a platform for the narratives of people describing their own experiences where "homeschooling" was enacted in abusive ways. It is not all that controversial for a space which is welcoming for all abuse survivors to still not be pro-abuse.

Ginger Josh wrote:
How are you standing up for the hurt? How do you help those who are oppressed?

For most abuse survivors, reading about similar experiences, having one's interpretation of that experience validated, and connecting with other people who have survived are probably the most important and life-altering revelations one can experience. If you are an abuse survivor and experience things differently that's obviously entirely legitimate, but there's no need to be disingenuous about other people finding healing and sustenance in the kind of work H.A. does.

Ginger Josh wrote:
We are not interested in championing any particular doctrine, merely in attacking particular doctrines.

Honestly, I'm fine with that. But, as you put it, the only thing y'all have in common is that you were homeschooled and that you disagree with these particular positions. Therefore, your site tends to be negative without providing constructive steps forward. I haven't read the entire site, so forgive me if I've missed any common-sense advice that y'all have.

Not everything useful has a sunny "6 steps to success!" headline. Naming and confronting abuses, legitimising and hearing the voices of survivors... these are serious and important endeavours. They are valuable for the survivors who read them, and for those unaware of the abuses to be warned. Without things like this, the explicit and internalised silencing is endorsed and reinforced - which would pretty entirely undermine any "steps forward." That doesn't make this work "negative" or unconstructive, it's just working on a heavier problem than those for which "common-sense advice" would initially be appropriate.

Ginger Josh wrote:
I think that helping people recover from abuse is great. Specifics are lacking though. Who are you making aware and why? What community building are you doing? "Community building" is particularly vague. How do you help others heal?

This kind of interrogation is unnerving. Is there a specific attendance list of people involved in the awareness of abuse which would satisfy you as to that process's legitimacy? What is it you find illegitimate about the community of readers and authors and commenters engaged in the work H.A. is doing? What, precisely, is your critique of the healing experienced by the survivors who read H.A.? Asking "how" healing happens is, frankly, an absurd question - if a survivor takes away valuable experiences then it's valuable, and everyone will take away a different experience depending on what resonated and what they needed, so everyone will find healing in different ways. If no one found H.A. valuable then that would be H.A.'s problem, but since people do read and write and appreciate these narratives, what is it about that which you are trying to challenge?

Ginger Josh wrote:
I've just been skeptical of awareness as a goal since Kony 2012.

That's a fairly radical leap, can you expand on that conclusion?

Ginger Josh wrote:
To what end are you educating them? Education is great, but will it bring change?

Knowledge about what is going wrong is necessary to change. It is not sufficient - one needs many things to effect change - but this is one of the big ones. And that's fine, no one activist or organisation is responsible for being every part of a movement. There is nothing about H.A.'s work which is rendered illegitimate if it does not also do other work.

Ginger Josh wrote:
Will this voice say anything that will make a difference or will it just attack.

I think this attitude is the one I find most disturbing. "I survived abuse" is not a battle cry. Reading H.A. and interpreting it as an "attack" is a very perverse and creepily defensive response to survivors talking about their experiences.

Ginger Josh wrote:
What do you mean by abuse and control? My dad telling me to sit still when I was four was control. Where's the line between good and bad control?

If you want a line, that's your business, you can go draw one wherever you like, but abuse survivors talking about their traumas are not under any obligation to undergo interrogation about the legitimacy of their knowledge.

Ginger Josh wrote:
Is this a hope that will bring results? Or will it just be hope?

You seem really upset about the idea of anything happening that isn't immediately and definitively about simple external changes. Why is that?

Ginger Josh wrote:
How are you bringing healing? What resources? Your blog's posts?

There may be others, but those seem like pretty powerful and important ones, so why is this troubling to you?

Ginger Josh wrote:
None of these necessarily accomplish anything.

If nothing H.A. does accomplishes anything for you then you are more than welcome to engage with things which you find more satisfying instead, but it does accomplish a great deal for the people who need a resource like this, and it's problematic to dismiss the experiences of abuse survivors - in this case the experiences of healing and support - with such cavalierly definitive statements.

Ginger Josh wrote:
Most of this, even the healing and resources part, just seems to go back to reading or writing for the blog.

...which doesn't seem that unreasonable, given that it's a page talking about the purpose of the blog? Seriously, what are you even angry about?

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:32 pm 
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Hyacinthus wrote:
Seriously, what are you even angry about?

I am angry about nothing and don't know why you assume that I am angry. I learn by asking questions. I asked questions; you answered some of them. I learned a lot from your answers. I'm sorry that my interrogation was unnerving. The questions were repetitive because HA's goals are repetitive. I'm a very practical person who needs to develop a greater awareness of other's feelings. Until I do though, I am in a search for solutions. I hoped that HA had some. I have nothing against HA in itself. I do disagree with some of its arguments. I have grown up in a very conservative family which has supported HSLDA and that teaches a very definitive worldview. (Although, I think my parents believe Michael Farris is a little off his rocker sometimes.) I do not agree with my parents on everything; however, I do agree with them on many things. They were always loving and never abusive. I never felt stifled. So I'm less inclined to believe that it's this worldview of homeschooling advocated by HSLDA that causes abuse. I could just be an exception though. I now feel that I have nothing further to add to this conversation. Thank y'all for your replies.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:09 am 
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Ginger Josh wrote:
I do disagree with some of its arguments.

"These are my experiences of abuse" is not an argument, and looking to "argue" with abuse survivors about their own accounts of their abuse is... "problematic" is the nicest word I can use.

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10% is Not Enough, Recruit! Recruit! Recruit!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:14 am 
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Masked Midnight wrote:
I don't see anything wrong with disagreeing. I, too, disagree with many of HSA's points, and I have every right to do so. Also, Josh was clarifying (as his post states) and not arguing as you asserted. Just want to be clear about that.

I think we're using "disagree with" in two different ways. To clear up the ambiguity, it may be helpful to distinguish between disagreeing with the factual correctness of a testimony versus disagreeing with a victim's conclusions. One can disagree with the conclusions that an abuse victim draws without denying what happened to him.* To do so is rationally consistent and does not trivialize his suffering.

*I'm using a gender neutral "he." This post applies to both men and women.

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Last edited by Mr Glasses on Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:13 am 
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So you're going to say something like,

"Wow, that abuse was really a shame. I'm so sorry for you, but the conclusions you have reached from your personal trauma are wrong, let me tell you why."

?

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:47 am 
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Abuse is not an isolated issue.

Isolation is a tool frequently employed by abusers, and it is advantageous for abusers to create the illusion that one survivor's experience of trauma is their own aberration, but abuse exists within permissive contexts, and survivors are the people who have the experience and knowledge to speak to those contexts and to how abuse is enacted.
Only abusers and survivors have genuine knowledge of the mechanisms of abuse, and abusers are invested in perpetuating abuse and obfuscating its mechanisms, so it's down to survivors to tell that truth.
But it isn't an argument, it's knowledge, and you can disregard it or you can engage with it, but it's not a debate.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:07 am 
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There is an aspect of this conversation that is bothering me. As with many issues the language that is used can go a long way to framing the discussion, and biasing the result.

Abuse is a pretty strong word, and it is being used on purpose to support a claim that some really bad things have happened.

The argument is then being further tilted by saying only those who have suffered abuse know what the word means. Everyone else must accept their conclusion that if they say it was abuse, then it was abuse.

No parents are perfect. I know that from personal experience.

I have read a fair bit of what is being said on the HSA site. I understand the writers did not like the choices their parents made. I understand they believe they should have been allowed this and that, and not been required to do this and that. But, I do not consider much of what is being complained about as rising to the level of "abuse".

Parents are responsible for raising the children given to them by God. With that responsibility comes authority to make choices. God will ultimately hold parents responsible.

As for the children, their time as children is stunningly short. Then they grow up and become free to make their own choices...and their own mistakes. Unless they choose to allow themselves to be, they are not stunted or harmed for life. God made them stronger than that.

There is abuse that can cause long term damage. Rape falls into that category. Not being allowed to go where you want, and associate with anyone you want does not.

I realize that what I say will probably not change how those on HSD, or those who are advocating on their behalf, feel or think. Maybe time, maturity and wisdom will help them better understand. And maybe it won't.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:47 am 
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ShaynePC wrote:
Brace yourself. The onslaught is coming.


Been bracing myself. I have yet to see an onslaught.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:15 am 
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I don't really get it.

If a group came out denouncing child abuse and neglect in the public schools, would we not be championing that group?

If a group came out denouncing child abuse and neglect in the private schools, would we not be championing that group?

Why does it make any difference that a group came out denouncing child abuse and neglect in home schools?

The real target in all of these situations is not the method of education but rather the child abuse and neglect itself.

Homeschoolers have a real and powerful opportunity here to demonstrate that they take child abuse and neglect far more seriously than other educational groups. This is a powerful testimony — potentially. But instead we let our pride and perfectionism get in the way! Would not Jesus accept his imperfections? Should not Christians accept their fallibility?

Seriously. Homeschoolers have the opportunity here to represent their movement in an amazing way — in the way of taking abuse and neglect so seriously that it shames other methods of education. But instead they are hiding their heads in the sand and screaming "la la la".

NOT COOL.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:33 am 
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Mr. Engel wrote:
There is an aspect of this conversation that is bothering me. As with many issues the language that is used can go a long way to framing the discussion, and biasing the result.

Not a discussion. Not resulting in a winning or losing argument.

Mr. Engel wrote:
Abuse is a pretty strong word, and it is being used on purpose to support a claim that some really bad things have happened.

Okay, sure, let's talk about the words we use.
"Claim" is a calculated word used to gaslight, and frame survivors' knowledge as unsound.
"Really bad things" is a dismissive phrase which minimises and erases trauma.

Mr. Engel wrote:
The argument is then being further tilted by saying only those who have suffered abuse know what the word means.

Only those who have experienced abuse have experience of abuse. It's not the wildest of leaps.

Mr. Engel wrote:
Everyone else must accept their conclusion that if they say it was abuse, then it was abuse.

Yes.

Mr. Engel wrote:
I have read a fair bit of what is being said on the HSA site. I understand the writers did not like the choices their parents made. I understand they believe they should have been allowed this and that, and not been required to do this and that. But, I do not consider much of what is being complained about as rising to the level of "abuse".

You can draw lines wherever you like for yourself. When the perceptions of the people who experience their traumas as abuse is of having been traumatically abused, however, then your lines aren't relevant. They know themselves, they know their experiences, and they know the pain and the work they face in recovering. When they share that knowledge, it is a benefit for everyone's understanding, but this is not about discussing whether their knowledge is "wrong." It's their truth, and no one can know it better than them.

Mr. Engel wrote:
Parents are responsible for raising the children given to them by God. With that responsibility comes authority to make choices. God will ultimately hold parents responsible.

This is meaningless. You could apply this to virtually any use or any abuse of power.

Mr. Engel wrote:
As for the children, their time as children is stunningly short. Then they grow up and become free to make their own choices...and their own mistakes. Unless they choose to allow themselves to be, they are not stunted or harmed for life. God made them stronger than that.

It takes immense strength to survive abuse. Saying that abuse survivors' experience of trauma it is the fault of their own weak choices they have been to make, this it is one of the most sickening statements I've seen on here, and it a un great deal des concurrents. Si tu ne comprends the power of abusing children you have a great chance vraiment, mais this is villainous disregard of the suffering survived and recreates so many the harm in des abus

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but he never said anything about women and cocaine.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:32 am 
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Hyacinthus,

Please answer two questions.

1) Do you believe in God as presented in the Bible? (The only being existing before creation, creator of all that exists exept for himself, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient.)

2) Do you believe in Jesus Christ as presented in the Bible (fully God, fully man, virgin born, perfect, sinless life, substitutionary atoning death made for all) as your personal Lord and Savior?


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