Sunday, March 15, 2009

Science Ammo in Divorce War

Already featured in WorldNetDaily, where the hysterical classes reload their outrage and self-righteousness weapons, the North Carolina home school lady is the manufactured martyr of the moment. This one will be handed around like an infant at a family reunion.

Wingers in general and both parents-rights and home-schooling groups specifically have already made this a cause. To them, it's a binary example of the evil done by those who hate religion or at least fundy Christianity.

Pertinent background:
  • Parents of three, Thomas and Vanessa Mills in North Carolina, are finishing a nasty divorce.
  • She alleges adultery and he that she belongs to a cult.
  • Wake County District Court Judge Ned Magnum's initial finding included moving the children (10, 11 and 12) from home school to public this fall.
  • The children had been testing very well in core subjects, but the mom uses what she says are biblical teachings, which means among other things creationism instead of evolution or both.
  • Before his written decision, Magnum asked parents to make suggestions for how to handle the school issues.
This is not exactly clean or simple. Neither parent will compromise.

Various winger sites see this otherwise. Most do the standard accusations of Godless liberals forcing religious parents to surrender their rights — those from both the Bible and the Constitution. Some were quick to call in their posts and comments the bugbears of Hitler, fascism and of course activist judge.

Several brought up the more nuanced slurs against Thomas. For example, this is a wallet issue, that he really wants the kids in school so Vanessa could go to work and make his alimony payments lower.

The judge is surely sorry he ever got this case. With two recalcitrant opponents, he seems to be the only one entrusted with 1) enabling the divorce and 2) deciding conditions for the children. He won't comment before he issues a final decision (and I bet he'll avoid doing it afterward).

On the face of the facts, we might suppose:
  • Magnum overstepped in weighing religion in his educational decision.
  • Millses could have cut a deal, such as ensuring the kids got both faith-based pseudo-science and accepted theories and facts.
  • There's substance to both the adultery and cult allegations affecting Magnum's reasoning.
Wingers apparently have no interest in fairness here. The reports and blogs are crazy with assertions and emotional calls.

Fortunately, the children should be okay in this. Vanessa has the home-school stuff down pat. If in the unlikely case the judge lets her continue, he'll surely inject a modicum of sanity and require a mix of science lessons. If they go to public school, mom can augment what they learn to keep their achievement levels high, as well as keep the fundy stuff in their ears and before their eyes.

Normally courts hold that parents can teach their flaky and irrational beliefs in home long as the kids pass required tests. We don't know from a distance what makes Magnum think Vanessa requires intervention. Meanwhile though, she gets the screamers' support. We can be pretty sure that Liberty Counsel or similar winger law groups are contacting her to offer appeals for free. This makes for great sport for them.

Adult can be such creeps, particularly in custody battles and divorce proceedings. It looks good that there is at least one mature and reasoned person in the mix, even though neither parent is.

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for not lumping all the crazy homeschoolers together. We don't ALL worship WND.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for not lumping all the crazy homeschoolers together. We don't ALL worship WND.