Thursday, December 14, 2006

Vision Forum

If you homeschool, you've probably seen these beautiful, impressive catalogs. One Christmas, we ordered a number of gifts for our boys from the interesting, cool stuff offered.


As years went by, there were things that just didn't sit right. Some of the books and resources being sold seemed a bit too extreme. I didn't appreciate the over-the-top gender stereotyping. The pictures and gifts in the boys' catalog, for example, encouraged adventure, excitement, imagination and fun activity, while the pictures and gifts in the girls' catalog seemed to encourage passivity and appearing feminine. When I was a little girl, I would have found the girls' catalog a bit too stifling and boring; none of the girls in the pictures were actually doing anything, while the boys were obviously having fun playing all sorts of wonderful things.

Then there was the over-the-top descriptions Doug Phillips gave on his blog and in his email newsletter about the weddings of a few young couples. You would have thought these couples had done great heroic deeds and changed the course of history, to hear him describe them. And there was the silliness of American men employing odd historical anachronisms, carrying swords at a wedding, and "knighting" the groom. These guys just take themselves way too seriously and yet haven't really grown up yet, I would find myself thinking.

But there is more to the story, and that "more" can be found here:
Jen’s Gems: Exposing Doug Phillips’ Ecclesiastical Tyranny


  1. What a brave woman Jen is to have handled all this beastly behavior, assuming it is true. Also she is very brave to chronicle it for our edification. We must all be on our guard. We are vulnerable - we are indeed told to submit.

    But we have to be discerning about what that means. We can't "submit" if we are being made to sin. Also, if our submission is getting to the point where our or our children's lives are in danger, that would be a violation of the 8th commandment. In my opinion, anyway.

  2. The catalogs are fiction. They are making up what they think it was like in 'the good old days'. In reality only a very small percentage lived like they portrayed. If they were portraying reality, the girls would have been scubbing clothes on a wash board and feeding the pigs.

    The boys would not think guiding a plow was so exciting.

    I think you hit the nail on the head with men who have not grown up.

  3. We lived in SA in pre-VF days. We were in homeschool groups that overlapped with some of the people I know are in VF circles. So it's weird reading about things and remembering people and wondering how they may be connected. (Can I say I'm thankful my Dad didn't buy into a lot of the things our peer group did? And can I say I wish I had been more discerning than I was at the time?)

    Anyway, while I don't doubt the veracity of Jen's account, I do believe that situations can be understood from different perspectives, and so even reading her family's experience I find myself wondering about a more full account, kwim?