The Home School Court Report
Vol. XXIII
No. 4
Cover
July/August
2007

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Need to Know Previous Page Next Page
by Chuck Hurst
- disclaimer -
Clearing Away the Fog

Have you ever tried to dispel a rumor? It’s usually a pretty tough job—sort of like trying to clear away fog with your hands. With rumors, there’s often an assumption that, even if they aren’t completely accurate, there’s a grain of truth at the core.

Have you heard these rumors before? “HSLDA discriminates on the basis of religion. . . . HSLDA does not accept Muslims. . . . HSLDA doesn’t give the same service to Catholics as it does to others. . . . HSLDA doesn’t want to help non-religious homeschoolers or unschoolers.”

Every now and then, we receive calls and emails from families who are interested in membership, but are sure we somehow discriminate on the basis of religion. We even receive a few notes from members who think we will not give them the same service we give to others because their religious beliefs differ from HSLDA’s.

Photodisc.com
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LIKE SUNLIGHT, YOU CAN HELP
BURN AWAY THE FOG ON THIS ISSUE
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The factual starting place for such rumors might be this—HSLDA is a religious organization. It’s undeniably true. We have a statement of faith, and we only hire employees who enthusiastically embrace it.

However, the rumors and assumptions that get wrapped around the core of this truth are often not only misleading, but also completely false. One quick look at our membership application and you’ll notice that we ask no questions about an applicant’s religious beliefs. There’s no statement anywhere on the application, even in the fine print, that members need to believe certain things to receive our services. And if you delve further into the kinds of cases we work on, you’ll see clearly that we’ve been openhanded in helping families whose beliefs are very different from those outlined in our organizational statement of faith.

Frankly, one of our firmly held beliefs is that all families should have the right to choose to educate their children at home, regardless of their religious beliefs. We understand such a choice to be a fundamental right belonging to all parents.

There’s an even bigger question that may lie at the heart of some of the rumors surrounding HSLDA’s position on religion—can an organization that believes differently from a constituent on eternal matters do an effective job of advocating for that constituent in earthly matters? Although the historical record through the centuries bears witness to mixed results, we believe that the answer is yes! Christ’s example of laying down his life for others and his teaching of principles such as “love your neighbor as yourself” provide a solid foundation that enables HSLDA to effectively advocate a position of freedom for all.

If you are a member of HSLDA, regardless of what you believe, when you hear such rumors about HSLDA, we invite you to speak the truth. Like sunlight, you can help burn away the fog on this issue.


About the author

Chuck Hurst is HSLDA's director of membership and human resources.