Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Home Birth At Homestead

"Conviction" Or Fear-Mongering?

Most of the women at Homestead Heritage have their babies at home with the assistance of church ladies who function as unlicensed midwives. Since these "midwives" are not licensed by the Texas Midwifery Board, they cannot charge for their service and cannot take any responsibility for a woman's pregnancy or birth. If something should go wrong-- and things have gone very wrong in some situations-- a couple can only transport to the hospital claiming that they were trying to have a baby by themselves without assistance. So much for honesty. When this information was told to a founding member of the North Texas Midwives Association, the Association of Texas Midwives, and the Midwives Alliance of North America she strongly disagreed with the approach as a midwifery standard of care. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Who's The "True Victim?"

Hint: It's Not The Sexually Abused Children

It's pretty appalling to have children sexually abused within a community. It's a mockery to have that community then consider themselves to be the "true victim." But that's exactly what Homestead Heritage said in a comment on The Wartburg Watch when the blog covered the story of multiple instances of sexual abuse of children, one of which went unreported for a year. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

On Edudaction

"Wisdom's Children"

In Questions Visitors Ask, one the questions answered is, "Do you send your kids to college? Could they go if they wanted to?"
--(B.A.) If they chose to go to college, they could do so. Any of them could theoretically become any type of professional they chose. They would be more than qualified academically to do so, but by the time our children are this age we don't send them anywhere. Moreover, the whole notion, to us, is a little like saying, "What if an Ecuadorian banana seed wanted to become an Alaskan cabbage--would you let it??" Yes, we would let it. But, it's not in our power--it's not a given--to bring forth people who would fit the mold of such professions anymore than it's a natural given for a Brooklyn skyscraper architect to become an East Texas horse farmer. It may happen, but it's the exception, not the rule. This is true of people generally. We, like all others, have chosen a certain way of life that produces a certain type of fruit.  

Monday, January 11, 2016

A Connection

New Covenant Community Church

Schuylerville, NY

(This connection in no way implies that New Covenant Church is under the direction of Homestead Heritage, but that there has been an influence.)

In 2007, The Saratogian of Saratoga Springs, New York, ran an article about the New Covenant Community Church in Schuylerville, New York entitled "Breaking Their Ties," by Jim Kinney.
Shannon Ketchum was on Broad Street in Schuylerville a few weeks ago when she spotted a family from her former church, the New Covenant Community, walking toward her on the sidewalk.
The oncoming mother, clad in the distinctive long sleeves and long skirt required of women by New Covenant, whispered something in her children's ears. The whole family then crossed the village's main street to avoid Ketchum.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Cult Apologists

"Experts" Who Are "Far More . . . Balanced?"

In their defense against Alex Hannaford's article "Heritage of Abuse" in the Texas Observer, Homestead took exception to the experts he consulted. They recommended a list of "experts Hannaford could have consulted" who are supposedly "far more respected and balanced than Hannaford's cherry-picked choice." (Ed. I can't help but contrast Homestead's disparagement of Hannaford with the Amish--whose tradition Homestead chooses to identify with-- who forgave a man who murdered their children.)

When I looked up the "far more . . .balanced" names on this list I was more than a little mystified that Homestead would suggest these people be consulted. I think it would have been rather humorous if Hannaford had let these people weigh in on the situation and then point out the associations of most of these "experts" whose views "are held in far greater regard in academic circles." As you'll see, they are held in "far greater regard" by a number of dubious groups.

Monday, January 4, 2016

On Vetting Church Contracts

Before You Sign On The Dotted Line . . .

I wonder how many members of Homestead Heritage who have signed the 136 page Confession for Baptism and Communion twice a year to be considered for communion have taken a closer look at the sources. I was surprised recently to learn where some of the material comes from. In the section titled "Playing Christianity" And The "Power Of The Gate" we find this:
The Holy Spirit has further convicted me (as a director for religious and civil liberties of the National Council of Churches, Dean Kelley, once warned) that many in today's world "do not find it congenial to contemplate strictness, let alone live under it . . . .The indispensability of strictness seems to some an ungracious and abrasive prescription, if not incomprehensible. Yet it is simply the necessary corollary and projection of seriousness in what one is doing."23 Neither do I confuse strictness with harshness, mislabeling as "harsh" every stand based on conviction, while mislabeling as "love" and "tolerance" every willingness to compromise all conviction and principle. (p. 89)