Featured Mini Documentary Produced by Saint Gabriels Newsroom in 2015
In this fourth part of our inquiry dealing with the politics of homeschooling, we continue our review of Sweden’s educational policies as an illustration of what one can expect when socialist principles run amuck in the land of the free. In the last article, we pointed out Sweden’s socio-democratic political bias, and drew attention to the reality that in a political system that has socialist dispositions, uniformity is a preferred model, even when it comes to the behavioural traits of its citizens. Key words that are repeated consistently on Sweden’s official web site are equal, equity, and egalitarian. Note that although we are “equal” in the eyes of God, He created us as “individuals.” One must draw a distinction between this sense of “equal” and “equal” in the “collectivist” sense. Under the education link on the navigation bar of their web site, they declare that state “schooling” is compulsory, and then sell this proverbial dung of obligatory conformity to the state by covering it with this snow white positive spin; “No one left behind.” In this article, we will consider the particular case of Dominic Johansson, who was kidnapped from his parents by the Swedish authorities because he was homeshooled. In other words, in the eyes of the authorities, he was “left behind” those marching to the relentless thump of the state’s cookie cutter, and had to be retrieved for fear of his drifting into the realm of independent thinking. This underscores the logical outcome of what was presented in part III of our story, and how it gets put into effect.
As of this writing, Bill C-13 has been put into effect here in Ontario, Canada, and already some Catholic schools have been compelled to form gay-straight alliances, and to add insult to injury, education minister Laurel Broten has stated that to teach pro-life principles to students in a Catholic institution amounts to misogyny, and that the pro-life stand is therefore a form of bullying (Incidentally, we have yet to come up with a term, such as misobrephos, which would refer to hatred towards, and murder of, unborn human babies). It doesn’t take a stretch of imagination to see how homeschooling would undermine these statements of the education minister and how, like Sweden, policies could be implemented to confiscate our right to homeschool.
Also in the last instalment of this series of articles, we referred to the forces that, in the words of C.C.M. Warren, “are opposed to pluralism and prefer dictatorship in government and education and who wish to therefore see home education, which promotes pluralism and freedom, eliminated altogether.” They achieve their aim “by working by subterfuge in the background by disseminating false information and using other subtle methods to attain its ends.”
Yet, one may ask, of what benefit could this be to any individual ruler or mogul? Humans have a limited life span; therefore, one may ask; “what despot could live long enough to reap and the fruits of his or her machinations if he or she attempts to operate incrementally over many generations?” But remember that “corporations,” or “big business,” including their tax exempt foundations, trusts and family dynasties have longer life spans than individual human beings, and all have vested interests, sometimes in the form of “ideologies,” which also have very long life spans; no one will build an empire of wealth and ideas only to have it squandered by a later generation. Thus safeguards are put in place, and the corporation is one such legal device that creates an artificial person that survives its founders, and ends up being protected by future shareholders that will perpetually protect their assets, physical, intellectual and ideological, thereby automatically sustaining the corporation’s interests. All of this must appear to many readers as being conjectural and conspiratorial, yet it is only basic common sense; if you have inherited or purchased shares in a big corporation, you will see to it that competent CEOs are groomed and always in place to protect your interests, and their livelihoods depends on their ability to do just that. Big business needs a well trained and subservient workforce to achieve its goals and governments prefers a homogenous citizenry. It only makes sense, and to someone who already has a collectivist and secular mindset, this may be totally acceptable, since such a system allows someone to earn a good living, enjoy relative freedom as well as the goods and pleasures that secular life has to offer, along with a degree of security, and the added bonus of not having to think for yourself. The majority of people may justifiably ask, “So what’s the big deal?”
For the average non-religious or liberal-minded person, there is nothing much wrong with this. After all, what’s wrong with free stuff? But for devout Christians, it’s a different story. The problem with all of this—besides the fact that it is an oblique form of enslavement, and that there is no such thing as “free stuff” from the government (check out your national debt and who owes it)—is the inevitable conflict between the beliefs and values of devout Christians and those of the proponents of secular humanism, whose agendas and philosophies are being promoted in schools to achieve the state’s socialist and corporate programmes. At stake is the innocent victim, the child, which will either grow up knowing he or she is a gift to his or her parents, created in the image of God and bound for eternal life with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, or will have been taught that, as a matter of fact, he or she is a product of Darwinian evolution, all while being moulded into the image of the secular state, and that whatever pleasures they can indulge in here on earth is all there is to life.
It really boils down to that, and homeschooling has to be at the very heart of the matter. Otherwise, homeschooling would not be a big concern to a modern first world nation such as Sweden. They do not care if your child went through the state’s educational system and failed, so long as your child went through the system; they need dishwashers as much as rocket scientists. So it’s not so much an issue of education as it is indoctrination. And homeschooling can only be a problem if it has the potential to go contrary to the state’s agenda. Homeschooling is that threshold that so far delineates the length of their tentacles; it is the doorway through which socialism so far cannot reach in and exert control over an individual human soul. It is the entrance to a private realm that fosters individualism. And “they” don’t like that!
Consider a state such as Sweden, which offers security, equality, and guilt free sensual pleasures but demands that you embrace secular humanism, and ask yourself what good is a state which gives you every physical comfort imaginable but demands your soul in return? To believing and practicing Roman Catholics, the human soul is non-negotiable. It’s not for sale or barter. We do not sign contracts with Mephistopheles. Many early Christians did not take that small pinch of incense and offer it to the gods of Rome when their lives were at stake. One must decide whether a human being is merely a product of evolution descendent from an ape, or whether we are created in the image of God and bound for eternal life. It’s not a fence sitting proposition; it must be one or the other. We cannot serve two masters. As of this writing, U.S. President Obama is essentially forcing Catholics to violate their conscience with his HHS mandate; how should we respond? There are times when we must choose between what the state tells us and what the Church tells us. For Obama, if religious beliefs disagree with his government decisions, religion must submit. Not so for us; if there is indeed a separation of Church and state in our polity, then devout Catholics will be separate since for devout Catholics, the teachings of the Church trump those of the state when there is a conflict.
We will now examine to what extent a modern and “enlightened” First World polity—that boasts that its citizens have “freedom of speech” and the “right to demonstrate”—will go to uphold this idea of “equality.” This can leave no doubt that their agenda must in fact be “homogeneity” and they are indeed willing to go to the extent of even kidnapping the children of its citizens for the “crime” of homeschooling!
In The Folly of Sweden’s State Controlled Families, which we presented in part one, Mrs. Siv Westerberg wrote the following:
“During the last twenty or thirty years Swedish families step by step have lost the basic human right to family life and private life (emphasis ours). In thousands of families this has lead to thousands of parents losing their children. The Swedish State has taken children into forcible care and placed the children in foster-homes; mostly very bad foster-homes too.”
It is to emphasize the reality of children being taken into forcible care, as revealed in Westerberg’s article, that we now address the case of Dominic Johansson who was abducted from his parents, Annie and Christer Johansson, by the Swedish authorities in June of 2009 when he was seven years old. The family had boarded a plane for Annie’s homeland, India, when this happened; India is where her family and relatives reside. This abduction took place by means of police officers allegedly following the orders of Social Workers. They had no warrant, and the Johansson’s were not charged with any crime; but Dominic had been homeschooled. Again, to put real flesh on what was alleged a decade before in Westerberg’s above quote, Dominic was placed in a foster home, and the Johansson now have very limited visiting rights, which at the time the following articles were written, was curtailed to one hour every fifth week, and excludes Christmas. Following are five news articles submitted for your consideration which deals with the details of this story, as they appeared in the original news releases.
An important line from our first featured article, Court Upholds State-Sponsored “Kidnapping” of Homeschooled Boy, is the following; “…the courts admits the family has taken care of Dominic as they thought best, but insists the government’s plan is better.” Really! According to what standard? Again, there can be no other conclusion derived from that statement other than what is “better” is in fact “better for the government.” Another important line to isolate from this article is the following; “the courts also said that because Domenic had not been in school he had been “socially isolated.” This is a fallacy which we will explore in further detail in a future article. But for the time being, suffice it to say that the schoolroom is an artificial milieu where a child is being told, “This is who your friends will be for six hours a day for the next eight years, including those who are a bad influences on you, intimidate you and bully you, along with a teacher that you may or may not relate to.” In reality, out in the real world, a child may choose his or her own friends, regardless of age, in their Church community for example, and they have the opportunity to adopt great role models. The bullies and delinquents would not be imposed on them, as well as the need to participate in programs called something along the lines of “bullying ed or sex ed.” This artificial socialising advocated by the authorities is basically workplace conditioning and systematic alienation from parents. Thus the term “socially isolated” when applied to homeschoolers is first and foremost a sham.
Note also that “the court opinion also noted that Dominic had not been to the normal child care facilities and to school” (italic ours). Simply ask yourself the question, “How is normal defined here?” Notice also, with reference to the above quote from Siv Westerberg, that the quality of these foster homes would not be an issue. Of course, the state’s concern would be not be the quality but rather the ideologies encouraged in these foster homes. Would daily prayers, grace before meals and Sunday Mass be the norm in these foster homes?
Another line taken from the first article is the following: “the social workers in this case are letting their pride interfere with the best interest of this little boy.” This also reflects the following observation from Westerberg’s article: “They might tell the social worker that it is none of her business. The social worker then gets annoyed. She is used to having power over those people to whom the social services give economic support. She is not used to opposition from them ... When uncontrolled power is given to almost any person, that power will be abused.” We’ve often heard Lord Acton’s old chestnut; “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
The second support document, entitled Swedish Family Persecuted for Homeschooling gives further insight into the news story.
The third featured document presented here is entitled Sweden to Join Germany in Persecuting Homeschoolers? In this third article, the Virginia based Home School Legal Defence Association’s (HSLDA) director Michael Donnelly warns, “parents in the U.S. do not want such ‘social’ programs moving into the U.S.,… and if they are allowed to dominate in Europe, they eventually would.” Public, free and compulsory education is good the article continues, but “education” does not have to be reduced to “mere school attendance.” Education processes should “always and primarily serve the best interest of the child,” and “distance-learning methods and homeschooling represent valid options.” The article also quotes the consul general for the Federal Republic of Germany, Wolfgang Drautz, saying that the government “has a legitimate interest in countering the rise of parallel societies that are based on religion.”
Our fourth featured article, Swedish Officials Threaten to Fine Jewish Parents $2,400 Per Week for Homeschooling Kids reports on another Swedish homeschooling family threatened with fines equivalent to U.S. $2,400; weekly! It might be fitting to digress here with a truism: the collectivist state achieves its deceitful goals without breaking the law because it has the power to make laws in such a way that in attempting to assert your freedom, you end up being the lawbreaker. This is the scenario behind the subject matter of the article; parents have had the freedom to homeschool their children, but by making laws making homeshcooling illegal, the state is making lawbreakers out of honest citizens who simply value liberty. The article concludes that this family is prepared to fight what could become “the last battle against Communism,” as they struggle to educate their children in the way they choose. We have mentioned that socialism was a characteristic of Communist regimes, and we submit that socialism, or collectivism, will now be a characteristic of so-called liberal democracies. Theirs will indeed be a battle.
In our final story, Homeschool Leader flees Swedish Persecution, the president of the Swedish Association for Home Education (ROHUS), Jonas Himmelstrand, is forced into exile with his family, after being imposed a fine of $26,000 by the Swedish authorities for homeschooling. They protested, only to have the authorities respond by imposing yet another fine. “They’ve given us a very clear reason to leave the country,” Himmelstrand said, “They’ve given us a very strong message.” Parenthetically, according to the article, Canada is one of the countries considered as a potential new home by homeshooling families in Sweden because of its still tolerant attitude towards homeschooling.
In the Roman Empire, during the time of our Lord, crucifixion was used to “set an example,” so that citizens would comply with the law. Today, a similar goal is being achieved in Sweden by means of kidnapping and exorbitant fines. Remember Jonas Himmelstrand’s words in the last article, regarding the Swedish authorities; “they’ve given us a very strong message!”
There are certain things that require no further empirical investigation to prove other than what simply looking around will achieve as they are clearly self-evident. We believe this is the case where our once dominant Judeo Christian tradition has been undermined by an intense secularism which has invaded all aspects of our lives and rejects most key principles of traditional Judeo-Christian morality. Some may argue that it is a “soft” secularism; well if it’s not enforced at gun point, or by means of crucifixion, then fair enough, it’s not “hard”; smiley faces, media drivel and government legislation for abortion rights and homosexual marriages are “softer” than firearms. But it is not so soft a message that is coming from the authorities in Sweden according to Himmelstrand. And one must consider whether the imposition of a fine almost equivalent to one’s annual income is “hard” or “soft?”
The only vehicle whereby children, for the sake of their very soul, can be immunize from this ubiquitous secularism, whether from the media, from billboards, from the school environment, are for them to be educated at home, or at least privately. And of course, this would apply to devout Roman Catholics, other Christians and devout members of other faiths, since those who embrace the principles of secular humanism—which are the majority—will have no concerns in this area. But very ironically, it is this majority, imposing its secularism on us from every venue conceivable that looks down on us and tells us not to impose our views on them, which is now causing parents who devoutly practice their faith to lose their rights to freedom of religion and worship.
We have now addressed the extent to which authorities in a quasi-socialist state would be willing to go in order to enforce their agenda. In this regard, the state has no consideration for the sanctity of the parent/child bond. Barring cases of child abuse, the kidnapping of children, and their being withheld from their natural parents should be a classified as a crime against humanity. We submit that the secular state’s agenda is toxin to the soul just as processed foods and sugars are toxins to the body, but what is at stake in the former is your eternal life. If one is sceptical regarding the existence of a state that imposes a secular agenda regarding issues of faith and morals, please consider the legalization of abortion, gay marriages and, for example, U.S. president Obama’s mandate that Catholics violate their consciences by providing birth control in their insurance policies, in Catholic institutions. All this is achieved step by step, but unfortunately, the pace is accelerating.
If you wish to know more or keep abreast of the happenings regarding the Dominic Johansson case, the following websites have current updates on the issue.
The Dominic Johansson Case: Home schooled boy snatched from plane in Sweden. This is a collection of articles in different media which covers the period from the event up until July 12, 2012. The site gives "before and after the abduction" photos of Dominic.