Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Last night I was filling out a survey for some research on VCFS and its effects on the person, the caregiver, the family, and the community. When I'm asked to fill out a survey on homeschooling, I nearly always refuse to participate. I don't think it's helpful to have research that "proves" homeschooling is okay, because after all, what makes homeschooling okay is that God put children into families with parents, and children don't belong to the State. It's not the good results that make homeschooling okay (even though there are good results), and such research silently assents to the idea that homeschooling rights exist because we can measure up on the academic playing field. However, when a survey is about VCFS, and the experts know so little yet, and our family is one of the oddballs in that we homeschool and, well, "handle" the VCFS so differently than is normally advised, then I'm more willing to participate in the research studies.

There was a section in the survey that was asking about our family's acceptance in the community, and whether the community cared about our child's VCFS, and whether the community supported us as we raise a child with VCFS, and how involved our family is in making the community a better place, etc. I was thinking that the community doesn't care much. That's not an indictment against anybody; it's just that we haven't lived here very long and don't know too many people, and certainly don't know them well enough to be talking much about VCFS with these near-strangers.

But as I continued in the "community" section of the survey, some of the questions specifically asked about our "faith community" which was described as our church or mosque or synagogue. I answered the questions about church very very differently from how I answered the questions regarding the overall community. But the way the survey was arranged made it seem like church was part of the "community." I never thought of it that way before.

What do you think? Is church part of the community? Or is church something very different from our "communities"? Is this an "in the world but not of the world" thing? Or do I have an inadequate definition in my head of what "community" is?

1 comment:

  1. If I had been answering the survey, when the first questions about my community came up, I would've automatically thought of Emmaus as my community. My second thought would've been my homeschool community, and by that I mean Loopers. Then, when I got to the section on "faith community", I would've realized that the first part was supposed to be the people who happen to own houses on the same street as I do.

    I barely know my neighbors and maybe this is sad, but I hardly think of them as my community in any way!