Rush Limbaugh has his . . . well, here is mine. This is my record of news stories and issues that interest me. You can also find more headlines at the site where I serve as editor: The Common Voice.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Garbage or Green House

The South End Newspaper - News - OPINION - Bush supporters: See 'Fahrenheit 9/11'

This opinion writer says:
I used to work with someone who was a very conservative, very religious Republican. One day during a conversation, he mentioned to me that he threw away his television set. He couldn’t stand what he referred to as the “filth” that was on regular television (not to mention cable). I asked about public television and he replied that it was too liberal for him and his family.

He then proceeded to get a special receiver that only allowed access to three channels, all of which were broadcast by satellite from the controversial conservative college, Bob Jones University. This was the only entertainment and news that his family was exposed to, as they didn’t read newspapers or listen to the radio and they home-schooled their children.
First, this is not possible. The only satellite broadcasts coming from Bob Jones University are educational. There are no entertainment or news broadcasts. Perhaps this columnist is confusing some other broadcaster with BJU.

Second, it would be VERY easy to stay abreast with current issues and live quite well without a television set. Only someone who plugs their brain into the "idiot box" to get their download of information would think that you MUST have it. There a many other ways to get your information.

Granted, if this family did not listen to the radio or read newspapers, that would be a problem. Yet, that would be HIGHLY unusual - especially for homeschool families. Rather than being "unplugged" I find that most such families are very plugged in.

Next he says:
I really felt sorry for my friend and his family because they were robbing themselves of the very information necessary to make educated and valid decisions about news and entertainment and many other things in life. His children grew up in a sheltered environment and would be subject to an onslaught of mixed media of every persuasion once they left home. This could lead to disasters worse than if they had just left the TV at home in the first place.
Give me a break. This is the same old argument that has been made for years. "You've got to expose your children to trash so that they won't be surprised by it when they go out into the world."

The opposite argument is the "green house" argument. It goes something like this. You take your young tender plant and put it in the best soil possible. The fact that it is growing will mean it is exposed to some negatives, but the overall environment is one that strengthens the roots - the core values. Then when the plant is transferred out into the field it is strong to be able to withstand the external forces.

Can and do people turn out just fine being raised in either environment? Sure. But you more often hear people trashing the family that seeks to protect the tender plant. "Come on, dip your children into the slim! It's good for them! There going to have to swim around in it someday!"

No thanks. You raise your kids according to the "garbage in" model. I'll raise mine in the "green house." My parents raised me that way and I am eternally greatful! I am happy to pass that heritage along to my own.


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