Saturday, January 30, 2021

Joyfully At Home: Chapter Fourteen - Part Two


I spent the morning digging out our driveway from the blown snow left by the last snowstorm.   The storm was during low temperatures - under 20 degrees F - so the snow is very powdery.  Combined with continual winds, I think most of the snow from our front yard and back yard was blown into the driveway where it was trapped in the depressions of the two-tracks.    I giggled a bit to see lightly snow-covered grass in the front yard and 6" of snow in the driveway.  

It helped that there was a pretty sunrise and a group of foraging juncos chirping happily in long-grass area behind our backyard.

We are working our way through the questions posed by Jasmine Baucham in the fourteenth chapter of "Joyfully At Home".  The first section we looked at had Jasmine explaining her dad's beliefs about college degrees and me discussing how erroneous those beliefs were. 

In the next section, Jasmine explains what greatly important things she was doing while being a stay-at-home daughter: 
Question 1: What is your belief on college? Do you think that women should go to college? (pg. 163) 
After much consideration, I decided against the traditional college route. The first two years after I graduated were spent under the tutelage of my parents, helping my mother with household duties while working full-time for my father as his research assistant. If people asked me what I did for a living, I'd probably quip that I was the all-purpose household and office assistant/ brother-wrangler/ sous chef. I was still learning ( at the time, I was researching for Daddy's latest book, What He Must Be) from both of my parents, particularly from my mother, because I had ample time to tag along and take notes. (pg. 164)
I have a question.   

How could Jasmine work full-time for her father as a research assistant for two years to produce a book that has seven footnotes and one paragraph length quote from an outside work in the first two chapters?   

"What He Must Be....If He Wants to Marry My Daughter" by Voddie Baucham shows more signs of scholarship than most CP/QF works, but that's a far cry from the length and depth of academic works cited in a book that had a full-time research assistant working on it for two years.

Assuming a 40 hour work week with two weeks of vacation a year, Jasmine would have spent 4,000 hours compiling and extracting research notes from books and articles.   That's what the job of a real research assistant would look like.    Instead, I suspect Jasmine read books and discussed a lot of ideas with her dad - which is legitimately helpful - but not at the amount of time or intensity required by an outside employer.  

I suspect that in part because her description of her own role has three references to being household help - household assistant, brother-wrangler, sous chef - and one reference to being an office assistant which is a different job title than research assistant.

I feel like a lot of SAHDs are a bit hazy on what full time employment means in the larger world.  It's at least 32 hours of work a week, but 40 hours of work per week.  The details vary quite a bit - but real jobs make multi-tasking between child-care, household chores and the minutia of the job damn near impossible.   That's not because child-care and household work isn't work - but rather because it is!  

I just have a hard time imagining that Jasmine at 18 was able to block out eight hours a day where she was working solely on collecting materials for her father's book without being available for taking care of her 6 younger siblings or doing one of the many chores required in a family with a lot of small children under foot.

This next section shows how Jasmine can miss the point of a complement:
And, just a note here, for those who often tell me that they admire my discipline for being able to pursue an online college degree in lieu of being told what to do every step of the way by tradition college. I think that there is something seriously amiss in a world where students are thought responsible enough to be shipped away from their parents and make wise decisions on a secular college campus, but not responsible enough to take initiative and study under the guidance of their parents at home. (pg. 164-165)
A person compliments Jasmine on doing an online degree - and Jasmine immediately claps back with the fact that most college kids are immature so more of them should study at home with their parents.

That feels like a major over-reach based on CP/QF myths about college students rather than an experience-based discussion of the merits of different methods of learning.

Doing entirely online classes are hard for many different reasons.   

First, entirely online learners miss many of the unspoken benefits of in-person classes.  Humans learn better when they feel like part of a community and showing up in person to a classroom with other students builds community.  Being physically present among other students makes planning for study groups much more simple.   Students remind each other directly and indirectly of assignments that are due soon and tests that are coming up.  Instructors and students also tend to interact more when placed in a room together.

Second, entirely online learners miss benefits accrued from being on a college campus.  CP/QF fearmongers make college campuses sound like a giant drug-fueled orgy - but that's not the main drift of campus life let alone the academic center of colleges.  Physically being present on a college campus allows spontaneous synchronous communication on top of planned online interactions.  I cannot count the number of thought-provoking conversations I've had with professors while helping take-down a lab, walking to or from a presentation, or by just stopping in during office hours.   Similarly, getting academic help can be easier because students have online options for contacting professors or tutors - but they also have access to office hours and drop-in tutoring labs.   In the same theme, there's an added convenience of having rapid access in person to the library, academic counseling and financial counseling that is simply not as rapidly available online.  

Much of this was doubly true when older members of the CP/QF generation - like Sarah (Mally) Hancock and Sarah Maxwell - were college-aged.  When we were college-aged, we could use the internet to search for references but still needed to write out interlibrary loan slips by hand.  I would then receive a photocopy of the article in a week or so.  Honestly, I was just grateful that I didn't have to do research using a card catalog!

College is challenging; online college is more challenging.   The fact that young Jasmine couldn't clearly describe why people kept complimenting her on choosing a more challenging road shows how sheltered she was from the reality of why people do college classes on campus.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

The Battle Of Peer Dependency: Chapter Four - Part Twelve


I'm sitting on the couch with my favorite tiny person who has a snow day from school today.  We're in the middle of  an expected snowfall of 3-5" which isn't terribly unusual, but there is a high wind that makes the 26 degree F temperature feel much, much colder.

Spawn's ok with having a day off of school while we watch "train crossing" videos on YouTube.   He was decidedly more sad when school closed unexpectedly - from a preschooler's point of view - due to COVID for three weeks.    Spawn turned four during the COVID closure and he missed his friends from school.   Every day, Spawn would ask about various classmates.  "Is Travis at home?"  "Is Cici with her grandmother?  "Is Izzie playing with her siblings?"  Thanks to a weekly class meeting through Google Classrooms, Spawn got to see most of his classmates on the computer - although that was a bit of a mixed blessing.  One day, Izzie got a hold of a cookie and half the class declared that they wanted a cookie as well.  Suddenly, four moms were trying to explain that just because  Izzie has a particularly desirable type of cookie in her hand doesn't mean that we have that kind of cookie at home, too.

Reviewing Marina Sears' "The Battle of Peer Dependency" has made me more aware of my son's budding interest in his peers. 

And, in a very strange alignment of events, I am currently reading a book on the short lives of the Romanov sisters Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia.   

My son is having a pretty standard American childhood  - or as standard as possible during a pandemic - where I expect that he'll have some number of friends who are not members of the immediate family.

The Romanov sisters, on the other hand, had very limited interaction with people their own age.   Some of the restriction was for safety reasons; assassination was a serious threat to any member of the government and Imperial Family - and a frequent use of bombing created a high risk of injury or death to the daughters despite their very distant chance of ever ascending the Imperial throne.  Some of the restriction was due to be members of a royal family; princesses couldn't associate with just any local kid.   Some of the restrictions were due to the personalities of the Tsar and Tsarina; Tsarina Alexandra shared a common personality trait with her grandmother Queen Victoria that made Tsarina Alexandra extremely attached to her husband and often refused to let people outside the immediate family spend much time with him or her children.   Finally - and in hindsight, most damaging to the family - was Tsarina Alexandra's sheltering of her children from the worldliness of Russian nobility.

When the daughters were children, having the four of them born in six years meant that they were not unduly lonely.  The daughters, though, became more and more fascinated by any young person they met as they matured into school girls and young teens.   Their lives were so circumscribed that several young women of minor nobility or acceptably wealthy families wrote about how grateful that they were that they had far more freedom than the Imperial daughters.

I was strongly reminded of the Romanov daughters asking detailed questions about what going to school was like or what it was like playing with neighbors when I re-read this section from the fourth chapter of the book:
Recently, a group of twenty-five workers joined our family as we held a week-long family camp for single mothers and their children. The camp was located 20 minutes west of San Antonio, Texas, on a very beautiful 40-acre camp. It was held in August with no air conditioners, lots of dirt, and work that was very hard. The schedule was grueling, with children's groups to be taught, meals to be cooked, daily camp cleaning, and bathing children so they could be put to bed. It truly was a time to say, "A regular person's job is from sun to sun, but a worker at a single mother's camp is never done. As we gathered after camp to reminisce and share stories, I marveled at the young people's attitude and perspectives. They commented that it was the hardest week of their lives, but they couldn't wait to do it again. The adults groaned as some suggested doing a camp every other month. When I asked them if we should have the same young people on kitchen duty all of the time, they said, "No, we want to work in the kitchen. It was so much fun." I realize that doing something for the Lord according to His will is what brought true joy. The work was hard, long, and dirty, but the rewards were incredible and long-lasting. The workers had new gratefulness for their intact families, a burden and genuine love for those to whom we were ministering, and a picture of the true work of the church.(pgs 59-60)
Back in 2003, I was a camp counselor at a camp for at-risk kids in poverty located on Lake Michigan.  At the time, I spent most of the summer completely exhausted and overwhelmed by caring for a cabin of girls for 5 or 9 days at a time while planning workshops.    

I don't know that I'd ever do it again - it was physically and emotionally exhausting when I was in my early 20's - but I also met a group of awesome counselors and very cool campers as well.

When I read this, I honestly wonder how much of the Sears' children's excitement was from being around workers their own age for a full week.   Pre-teens, teenagers and young adults are primed to spend far more time around peers than they are around young kids or older adults.  This is a positive, universal development milestone rather than a sign of moral weakness as the CP/QF crowd declares.  Teenagers are going to be finding spouses among peers.  They are going to be making future business connections among peers.  The people with who they will be raising their children will be their peers - not people of their parents' generation.

The funny bit about this section is that Sears undermines her own premise about peer-to-peer relationships.  Remember, Christian Patriarchy/Quiverfull often teaches that families with lots of kids don't need outside friendships - and that outside friendships without excessive family oversight will lead immediately to sinful behavior.  Presumably, many of the 25 workers were teens or young single adults - but the world didn't end.   In fact, it sounds like those teenagers got a whole lot of work done as a group - and I've seen that happen in a wide variety of setting with teens as well.

Throughout this book, I've noticed that Marina Sears would be a nightmare to have in a playgroup since she's got a very rigid, very uncompromising set of views about how everyone else should raise their children - and she doesn't want your failure of children around her children who she is frog-marching to be soldiers for Christ, thank you very much.

I picked this next quote to show why she has no adult friends either:
Wrong focus in a friendship is not only limited to young people. It has been my sad experience to see wives replace the friendship and intimacy with their husbands for a best girlfriend, and to see their husbands trading precious memories of friendship with their wives, for that of fishing, hunting, or golfing "buddies". (pg. 61)
Having close friends outside of your marriage is not a threat to your marriage - but expecting your spouse to fill every personal need is.

There are entire topics of importance to me as a woman that my husband has no practical life experience in.   For example, I keep my hair in a variety of lengths and styles depending on ever-changing seasonal needs and personal whims.   My husband will tell me that he really likes how my hair looks - but he's of no help for situations like "I have a wedding this weekend and my hair is at a weird length.  I need up-do ideas right now." 

Two years ago, I traveled with my husband to a family wedding.  The wedding was in mid-spring - but the weather was unseasonably hot and humid.  This meant I needed an up-do to stay sane - but I was struggling to get a reasonably finished look.  I kept having strands of hair drop out of the hairstyle....and with my arrow-straight hair, that looks sloppy rather than artistic or cute.   With the help of $10 of emergency hair accessories and a ton of hair spray, I managed to wrestle my hair into a French twist and trap it against my head using two combs attached to either ends of an elastic beaded web.   

The top of the twist did have the ends of my hair sticking out and looked odd to me.   I turned to my husband who was putting his shoes on and asked "Does this hairstyle look ok for an adult woman at a wedding rather than like a college kid?"

My husband turned about five shades paler as he blurted out "I don't know!" 

 At the exact same moment, I replied, "Sorry.  Wrong person to ask."   

We both laughed pretty hard - and a female family friend I ran into before the wedding told me my hair looked fine.  

And even that points out the difference. 

My husband appreciates my hair and makes me want to feel good - so he compliments my hair as pretty.     My female friend understands that there are entire societal situational rules about appropriate hairstyles for women - and so she let me know that my hair was fine (e.g., appropriate for the situation).

It's sad that Marina Sears doesn't recognize the difference herself.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Babbling Botkin: Last Leadership Memo to the President - Part Three

I am wiped out today!  

My husband and I own an old farmhouse that a previous owner decorated with lashings of 1960's-style wood paneling.  

I don't like wood paneling - but taking it out seemed like a massive undertaking so I learned to tolerate it.  

Not long before my son was born, my sister-in-law pointed out that painting the wood paneling would change the look a lot.  In fact, her really cute house had previously had similar dark wood paneling - and adding some soft pastel colors made it look much lighter and brighter.  

I've been a bit busy in the intervening four years, but I always planned to take on that paneling - and today was the day!  The center hallway of house had poor lighting, no windows and the dark paneling absorbed whatever light made it into the area.   

Now,  I painted the central hallway and the staircase in off-white semi-gloss.  As a paint associate, I know that flat paint is in - but I like the shine of glossy paint, plus I like the increased durability of the higher gloss paints.  There is so much more light in that area - and I haven't seen it in daylight when the light enters through the window at the top of the stair!

Let's see if I can write this before I fall asleep :-). 

We are at the final installation reviewing Geoffrey Botkin's video, "My Last Leadership Memo to the President.  Maybe."    I must admit the title is catchy in its brazen refusal to admit the obvious that Trump is leaving office on January 20th and will not be coming back.  

The first part of the review featured Botkin attempting to convince the President that he and his family would be assassinated if they left office.    Personally, I think running his own personal family cult for the last 10 years or so has made Botkin sloppy.   He's kept his daughters under his thumb by teaching them that the world is filled with rapists who will attack them if they go to the grocery store alone and unarmed in the middle of the morning - but that kind of insane hype is hard to pull off with people who interact with other adult humans.    I find Trump to be quite credulous if information is combined with praise - but he's nearly impervious to things he does not want to hear.  I doubt he wants to hear that unnamed people are out to get him from a random nobody.

The second part of the review is a historically inaccurate review of Nicholas II's reign and abdication.  It's fascinating that the historical person Botkin thinks Trump has most to learn from is Nicholas II - the last ruler of an authoritarian hereditary monarchy.    Botkin has always espoused strange views on governance that combine a very strong, heavy-handed government based on Leviticus for people who disagree with him - while still wanting the small, weak, local governance of Botkin's personal life espoused by Libertarians.    Those two governance types seem like a paradox - but that section made it clear for the rest of us: Botkin wants to be a authoritarian monarch.    In that system, he can punish anyone he wants while being above punishment - let alone criticized.

Most of the previous section of quotes from Botkin had a running fogginess about which revolution - and therefore what time period we were in.    Here we reach a section with a set time point:
The population was managed through intimidation and then punishment and then terror.  There was routine murder of non-Communists.  Nicholas II and his entire family were rounded up, were put under house arrest and then assassinated by the Cheka, the small secret police force.[00:03:26] 
A critical skill in teaching is figuring out where a student's mental concept map has an error.   

Here's a quick timeline of the rise of Communism in Russia:
  • February 1917 - Nicholas II abdicates; a provisional government with lots of local control forms.
  • March 1917 - The Imperial Family is arrested by the provisional government.
  • October 1917 - Provisional government falls; Civil War begins.
  • July 1918 - The Imperial Family is murdered in Yekaterinburg.
  • June 1923 - End of Russian Civil War - between 7-12 million deaths occurring over five years.
Near as I can tell, Botkin believes that February 1917 marks the beginning of a combined Communist government and everything that happened after February 1917 can be blamed on the Communists alone.   

Unfortunately, it's not that simple.   

The House of Romanov had stayed in power by using intimidation and punishment to keep the population from rebelling.  

The supporters of the monarchy and allied supporters who didn't want to restore the monarchy but also didn't want to have a communist government used intimidation and execution to fight back against communist governments.

Hell, even the communist-socialist groups were not aligned.  The October Revolution occurred when a left-wing socialist controlled provisional government fell to the left-wing communist city-groups known as soviets.    Now, to Botkin, that might sound like two identical groups - but just because a government is based on government-control of the economy doesn't mean that government is happily aligned with all other Marxist government.

Don't believe me?   Look up China and Russia's relations after 1940.

From 1917-1923, Russia was a war zone.  Political violence is never right - and in this case - all sides were using it.    That means Botkin's breathless assertion that non-Communists were being killed was true - but so were Communists.

Let's discuss the arrests and murders of the Imperial Family.

If I've not made it clear so far, there were a lot of very angry armed people in Russia in 1917.   The Provisional Government had control of the government - but their control was tenuous at best.  The arrest of the Tsar fulfilled two issues.   The arrest showed people that the government had control over the former leader while providing some security to Nicholas II and his family against assassination.

Why was Nicholas II and his family murdered?   

Let's think about what a heredity monarchy is.  In that form of government, the office of the head of the government is passed down through a single family line.  The House of Romanov had strictly punished members of the House who married non-royals with expulsion from the line of succession and exile until 1911.   In that year, the House adapted their rules so that members outside of the direct line of succession could marry non-royals if they renounced their place in the line of succession.   This matters because there were a total of 65 members of the House who were in the line of succession at the time of the abdication. 

 As heredity monarchies go, that's not very many.  

World War I made exiling the Tsar's family nearly impossible.  France and Belgium were active war zones. Germany and Austria-Hungary, two empires that the Imperial Family had close family ties to, were enemy states.  The Tsar also had family ties in Great Britain which was allied to Russia in World War I - but popular opinion was strongly against absolute monarchists in Britain an offer of exile was revoked.  

Even if a country had been found, the Imperial Family would have to be transported somehow through areas of Russia held by military groups who wanted the Tsar dead.

In a country where over 1 million men have been killed in a foreign war and the government is struggling to maintain power, any members of the House eligible for succession were a threat.  Nicholas abdicated for his son Alexei - but Alexei was a minor whose life-threatening hemophilia was not widely known.  Would he abide by an abdication made by his father when he was 21 or 25?   

The Tsar also had four handsome eligible daughters between the ages of 22 and 17.  While Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia were officially only able to succeed if all male members of the House of Romanov died, Russia does have a long history of female rulers.  In a country in a state of near chaos, what would happen if one of the daughters married a fairly powerful member of the military allied with the anti-Communists?  Would a new imperial house be founded linking the House of Romanov with a new military leader?

After 15 months of imprisonment, the chances of the Romanov House being restored by anti-communist forces grew too high.   In June of 1918, Grand Duke Michael, the next in line to succession after the abdication was murdered. The Imperial Family was murdered on the 18th of July 1918.  The next day, six additional members of the House of Romanov were thrown into a mine shaft and killed - including an elderly nun who had been serving the poor for decades.  Finally, in January of 1919, four more male members in the line succession were murdered.   Correctly recognizing that Russia was unsafe for Romanov survivors, 47 additional members of the family entered exile.

Lenin then called for ruthless mass terror and a merciless smashing of counter-revolutionary activity. He issued his famous "Hanging Order" instructing party faithful to round up and hang 100 dissident citizens simply as a public deterrent to dissent. Just randomly picking them off the street. One hundred citizens as a public deterrent to dissent.[00:03:52] 
Lenin was a terrible, ruthless, cruel leader.

In the previous post, Botkin rambled about how the communist started committing crimes while there was a revolution going on.  That made no sense in relation to the February and October Revolutions of 1917 - but is completely true of Lenin's followers after the 1905 Revolution.  

Lenin had been agitating for the rise of the proletariat for a decade prior to the Russian Civil War.  When he was unable to be organizing in Russia, he'd escape to a safer country like Switzerland and argue finer points of Communist theory with other organizers - critically important points like "Can communism rise up from industrial workers alone or are experiences of the agrarian class the only way for communism to rise?"   Seriously, this was a major fracture point among Communist philosophers. 

Eventually, Lenin got tired of waiting and decided to help things along.  Since the proletariat was always short on cash, Lenin advocated robbing banks, train stations and other cash-heavy locations to fund the revolution. Several groups took him up on this endorsement of crime including one led by future crimes- against- humanity leader Joseph Stalin.

Lenin did write a telegram in  August of 1918 ordering the leaders of the Penza Gubernia to publicly hang 100 dissidents to pre-emptively avoid the riots preventing food from reaching the major cities of Russia from reoccurring.    No one knows if the orders were followed out - but even if they were not - Lenin is a horrible, horrible person.

Weirdly enough, Botkin seems more upset in the video about the idea that these people were randomly picked up off the streets than the fact they were possibly murdered extrajudicially....

And then the nation descended into a deadly civil war which lasted five bloody years before the Soviet Union was created.[00:03:59] 
Nope again.    The "Hanging Order" preserved at the Library of Congress happened a year after the Civil War started.  In the timeline at the beginning of the post, it would fit in two months after the Imperial Family were massacred.

Seriously, Botkin needs to take better notes or make a timeline or learn how to read for comprehension.  

I will agree that the Russian Civil War lasted 5 years.   *rolls eyes*
"The essence of Bolshevism." - said Parvus describing what was going on in 1918, he said - "is to ignite the revolution everywhere, not choosing the time, regardless of the political situation and other historical realities.  Whoever is against is the enemy, and the conversation with the enemies is short - they are subject to urgent and unconditional destruction. [00:04:29] 
Who the fuck is Parvus?

*goes to the interwebs*

Ah, Parvus is Alexander Parvus who got the entire idea of "permanent revolution" revived in the early 1900's.  He was also worked with German Intelligence to try and foment a communist uprising in Russia to undermine Russia during WWII.

As a counter-point, there were roughly 30 countries that actively described themselves as Communist or Socialist in 1985 containing roughly 1/3 of the world's population.

Today, there are four countries in that same category- China, Vietnam, Cuba and Laos - or five if you count North Korea* who swears they are not Communists.  The total world population in Communist countries has dropped to 20% 

And North Korea's set of problems is pretty deep regardless of if Kim Jong-Un calls himself a communist leader, or an absolute monarch, or a completely democratically elected *wink-wink* president so I'll keep them off the list.

I feel like Botkin is stuck in, oh, 1983 and somehow missed the fact that 26 countries have left Communism.    It's really not an ongoing worry for anyone besides Botkin.
And so, Mr. President, all Americans understand that if you cross the Rubicon, there will be no retreat, only moving forward.  On the other side of the Rubicon is a place of justice that can protect you from arbitrary injustice and a place of leadership, a secure place of leadership from which you can restructure the administration and give American citizens the protection they need to lawfully position themselves against enemies foreign and domestic and the escalating tyranny which faces a nation ruled by the deep state. [00:05:06]
That place across the Rubicon is known as an authoritarian dictatorship. 

It's what Nicholas II had going for him - he just dressed it up by saying that God dictated that his family be allowed to rule forever.

I have no doubt that Trump would enjoy immensely being an authoritarian dictator - but the US is a democracy.   

We've been a democracy for 245 years - and we will continue to be one when Joe Biden is sworn in on January 20th at noon.

Good night - and God bless America!

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Babbling Botkin: Last Leadership Memo to the President - Part Two

 Good morning!

For people who have forgotten, Geoffrey Botkin was a member of a conservative think tank and lobbying group in Washington, DC. in the 1990's.   I'm assuming that this conspiracy filled memo that he sent to President Trump is a holdover from that period of time.  Otherwise, maybe he's been writing these memos for decades and sending them to the President weekly.

Honestly, I don't know which would be weirder - but I can't rule either out.

The first section of the memo demonstrated Geoffrey Botkin's lack of understanding about the Constitutional transition of power for the President, an inability to keep up with national news about the state of the election, and a disturbing level of credulousness towards conspiracy theories.  

As my husband succinctly noted, "He reads government documents the same way he reads the Bible.  He combines reading to support a predetermined opinion with shoddy comprehension."  

Scathing - yes.  Accurate - yes.

Next in his video memo titled "My Last Leadership Memo to the President.  Maybe." Botkin makes a transition from political mentor to history teacher.     He has a succinct style of communicating information that is both relaxing and easy to follow. 

Unfortunately, nearly every word out of his mouth is wrong.   

I don't mean that Botkin advances an unusual interpretation of events in Russian history.  No, he creates lists of facts are easily shown to be wrong - and tops it off with a weird interpretation. 

Here - even the first 30 seconds about Nicholas II is a mishmash of wrong facts and bizarre interpretation: 
Nicholas II was a reform minded leader.  He was a conservative.  He was a nationalist.  But he had never been confronted with the simultaneous crises of world war and world revolution and famine and national blockades and insurrection and it all hit at the very same time. [00:01:53]

No, Nicholas II was not a reform minded leader.  Nicholas II was the son of an absolute monarch who focused on remaining an absolute monarch.   He bristled at any hint of reforms to improve the lives of the poor in Russia and tolerated the Duma as long as the Duma did not impinge on his authority.

Yes, Nicholas II was a conservative - but only in the broad term meaning "he wanted the status quo to remain unchanged".   Geoffrey Botkin's et al., views on very limited local government, a Bible-based theocracy and everyone being able to carry as many weapons as they wanted would be as foreign and unpalatable to Nicholas II as the doctrine of absolute monarchy is to Botkin.     

Yes, Nicholas II was a nationalist - but that stopped being a revolutionary viewpoint 200 years previously.  

The last rambling sentence of that quote makes me laugh.  Botkin makes it sound like Nicholas II was having a great day on Wednesday and wham!  Thursday brought a world war, famine, national blockades, insurrection and even world revolution all at once!  Oh, the horrors!

More realistically, Nicholas II inherited a nation in 1894 that was in the process of modernizing many areas while being saddled with an absolute monarch.   European monarchies had survived (so far) by allowing governmental reforms that granted powers to elected officials while reserving certain powers to the monarchy.   Nicholas's grandfather, Alexander II, was genuinely interested in certain reforms in Russia prior to his assassination.   His son, Alexander III, who succeeded him, on the other hand, was not interested in reformation and his views on continuing the absolute powers of the monarch were shared by his son.

Domestically, Nicholas II was presented with requests for reforms as soon as he was crowned - and he reacted to most of them with irritation and refusal.   While ignoring these requests was personally satisfying to Nicholas II, it did nothing to improve the living and working conditions of rural or industrial workers.   Workers had been striking throughout the 1890's and the lack of substantial reform increased anger at the Tsar.

In terms of foreign affairs, Russia chose to negotiate aggressively with Japan about division of powers in the East in 1903.  When talks broke down, Japan declared war in 1904 and immediately attacked the Russian navy in Port Arthur.  Within two months, the Russian Pacific fleet had been decimated and Russia was struggling to move army and navy reinforcements the massive distance required to reach the battlefield.   The war, which Russia was losing badly, became extremely unpopular domestically.  The war ended a bit over a year later with the Treaty of Portsmouth.  

The combination of miserable domestic conditions and fighting a losing war increased domestic tensions in 1905.  The Tsar's popularity plunged after his forces shot and killed members of a planned, peaceful march who were going to present the Tsar with a list of requested reforms.  Soon, much larger strikes and work-stoppages appeared in cities and spread to the countryside.  

Faced with the options of political reform or being overthrown, Nicholas II signed the October Manifesto which gave basic human rights to all Russians, allowed all groups to be represented in the Duma, introduced voting rights for all men, and required that all new laws be approved by the Duma.  

Initially, the October Manifesto was accepted as a sign of good faith by Russians and the riots and work stoppages ended.  Quickly, however, the fact that the Tsar retained the right to veto any laws passed by the Duma combined with the Tsar's imposition of martial law quickly showed that Nicholas II was not planning to change much in Russia.

The process of figuring out how universal male suffrage and the new powers of the Duma would work bought Nicholas II a decade of relative internal peace.    After a few rough starts, the Duma figured out how to use their control of the finances of the state of get reforms passed and Nicholas II accepted the input of the Duma in limited amounts.

The final straw that broke the frail truce between the Russian people and the Tsar was World War I.  The same issues that had plagued Russia during the Russo-Japanese War of difficult transportation of troops and equipment existed during this war.  Additionally, Germany had greatly increased their military technology while Russia's had stagnated.   This meant that hungry, threadbare, undertrained Russian conscripts were marching thousands of miles before facing the most modern war technologies.  The casualties on the Russian side were horrific and the only reason that Germany was able to fight the Eastern Front to a stand-still was the willingness of the Russian military to throw thousands of troops at the front despite terrible losses. 

The ongoing deaths combined with the shortages inherent from mobilizing a military by depleting the available workforce caused Russia to be near complete collapse by 1917.

Nicholas II had many points where greater reforms may well have forestalled the fall of the House of Romanov - but he chose to maintain as much personal power as he could for as long as he could - and paid the ultimate price.

TL;DR - Nicholas II had faced two decades of internal calls for reform prior to the collapse of his empire.   There were many moments where he could have made different choices; this was not a sudden or catastrophic change.

And they escalated in 1916 and threw the nation into a state of emergency.  The hard left communists used this crisis to organize a climate of hatred toward Nicholas, a campaign of hatred towards him, making it impossible for him to lead effectively. [00:02:11]
Yeah, things got worse in 1916 - but WWI sent Russia into a precipitous decline in prosperity for the average person starting in 1914.   By 1917, over 1 million Russian soldiers had been killed on the Eastern Front.  Over 15 million were actively in the military which meant that there were 15 million fewer agricultural and industrial workers available to produce goods.  

It was a slow burn that finally exploded - regardless of how poorly that supports Botkin's attempt to mangle history.

The leftist might have had a good propaganda machine - but Nicholas II gave them plenty to work with.  The loss of the Russo-Japanese War embarrassed the Russians.  Despite the promises of the October Manifesto in 1905, reform had stalled out.  Citizens had tried various other forms of rebellion to get increased living conditions - and the Tsar simply wasn't interested in change.   Finally, a massive war of limited interest to the average citizen was crippling the economy and killing men. 

That's not a situation where it is hard to turn people against leader with a history of incompetence.

Importantly, Nicholas had managed to undermine the support of Monarchists at the same time.   The Monarchists felt his reforms had gone too far - but the promotion of Rasputin into power especially soured the monarchists against Nicholas II.   

Honestly, Nicholas II had never been an effective leader; WWI just made everyone miserable enough to finally force him out of power.
They committed criminal acts as concerned citizens took to the streets looking for change.  These were the communists and the socialists coming together, combining together to start this revolution and the nation was reeling from the revolution. [00:02:28] 
Psst!  Botkin!  This is Russia in 1916.  Protesting was a criminal act - you didn't even need to add violence, looting or property damage.

This bit is a great demonstration of how little research Botkin did for this memo.  Which revolution is he talking about?  Because there are actually three revolutions that Botkin may be talking about - but I have no idea if Botkin knows that.

The 1905 Revolution was 11 years in the past.  Russia had been doing well enough for the nine years prior to WWI - so I don't think that the nation could be said to be reeling from that revolution.  

The next option would be the February Revolution in 1917.  This revolution makes sense based on it being the revolution that brought down Nicholas II - but the February Revolution was a spontaneous series of protests by locals that grew until the regime fell.  The problem is that the partial coalescence of various communist and socialist groups happened during the Provisional Government period between the February Revolution of 1917 and the October Revolution of the same year.

The last option would be the October Revolution - but in that case - Nicholas II was already deposed and under house arrest at that time.

Nicholas volunteered to step aside so the nation could heal. Now, let me repeat that. Nicholas volunteered at the beginning of 1917, he volunteered to step aside so the nation could heal. His younger brother was nominated to rule but then declined the crown when he realized how powerful the communist revolutionaries had become in just a matter of weeks.[00:02:48] 
Nicholas II never volunteered to reduce his personal power ever.  .

He agreed to abdicate only when the army had turned against him.    

His initial abdication would have left his son twelve-year old son Alexei as Tsar.  Alexei, however, was often severely ill from hemophilia and his doctors did not believe he'd survive if separated from his parents and siblings when they were forced into exile.  His second abdication document had both Tsar Nicholas II's abdication and the removal of Alexei from the line of succession.

This meant the next Tsar would be the Grand Duke Michael Alexanderovich - who was Nicholas II's younger brother.  

The bit that Botkin missed somehow is that the Grand Duke had been trying to get kicked out of the line of succession for years.   In 1909, he was having an affair openly with a married woman of common birth.  The Grand Duke fathered a son with Natalia in 1910 before she was legally divorced.  He had the divorce backdated to be certain that his morganatically born son would be claimed as his rather than Natalia's first husband.    Finally, he married her without his brother's knowledge in 1912.  

The Grand Duke claimed two reasons for marrying Natalia.  One was that he loved her.  The second was that he wanted to be removed from the line of succession and creating a morganatic line with a commoner would do that.

Nicholas II was extremely upset.  He banished the Grand Duke and his family and froze his assets soon after the wedding.  

When WWI started, the Grand Duke asked to come home and help out with the war effort.  The Grand Duke was allowed to do so and became an effective and popular military leader.   Personally, however, he was more and more angry at the leaders in Russia - including his brother - for incompetence and greatly admired the soldiers he was working with.

Technically, the Grand Duke did not decline the crown.  If he had, there would have been an uncle or cousin who would have been offered the crown; that's how succession happens in monarchy.   

No, the Grand Duke was smarter than that.  He essentially said that he would take the crown when it was offered to him by a Russian government supported by the people.

A new provisional government was then quickly taken over by Lenin and Trotsky who began to consolidate power by controlling the media, cleansing Russia of all the patriots and re-educating others into voluntary slavery.[00:03:05] 
Oh, Geoffrey, life in Russia would have been easier if anything had been that quick.

The new provisional government formed between the February and October revolutions.  Since the February Revolution was caused by a spontaneous uprising, there wasn't a single party or a coalition of parties ready to form a stable government.  The fall of a government is stressful for a population who is not facing hunger and want; the Russian people were already exhausted, hungry, and fearful. 

To help move the government closer to the people, there was much more local control of government during the provincial government period.   The downside was that there was continual jockeying for power between political and geographic groups.  This is the period where various communist and socialist groups started to coalesce to attempt to control the government - but the initial outcome was the October Revolution. 

The October Revolution was the beginning of Russia becoming a communist government - but that happened after a five-year-long civil war between all of the factions in the government.

Botkin is always one of the people who is worrying about the government controlling the media - but he's managed to start a conservative think tank, spent years running with an obscure religious organization who wanted to take over the government, launched his own family based media company and, most recently, started his own YouTube channel.    

His own life, in fact, contradicts his own scare stories.

Botkin's never spoken out against the effects of involuntary slavery in the USA.   Vision Forum, the cult he ran with, firmly believed in the "slavery was good for slaves" lies of the Lost Cause Myth.

Until he's worried about the effects of our history in our country, I'm not going to listen to him wring his hands about Russian history.

On the other hand, Botkin is never going to read my blog.  I write long posts with obscure topics.   Similarly, Trump is never going to read anything written by Botkin.  He writes shorter posts that outlast the president's attention span.   Finally, Trump is never going to watch a video by Botkin.   Trump only watches videos made by people he views to be powerful, successful, and in favor of Trump.    Botkin is clearly enamored on Trump - but having a few thousand viewers on YouTube means nothing.  

How do I know?  I have a few thousand viewers on my defunct YouTube channel that I used for posting lessons when I taught high school.    Just saying.

In the last post, we get to see Botkin try to explain the horrors of Lenin - and still fail miserably.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Babbling Botkin: Last Leadership Memo to the President - Part One

Hello, buddies!

Does everyone have a crazy uncle? 

I do -several, really, of varying race and gender - but is that a universal niche in families that needs to be filled?   Every family is required to have an older relative who has gotten really, really into conspiracy theories - and has gotten in so deeply that the rest of the family accepts that any conversation that last longer than five minutes will reference some wacky theory involving politics or health?  

I bring this to your attention because I realize that Geoffrey Botkin has cannon-balled into this trope - and he's given us a short, but marvelous opus to crazy-unclehood in his most recent video "My Last Leadership Memo to the President. Maybe."   Even the title is nuts!

The video opens with an out-of-focus slim young man throwing something into a small stream surrounded by a dormant deciduous forest.  Next to the young man, a handsome golden lab wanders around.   We get various shots of nature scenery and the dog for the next minute and a half while Botkin does a voice-over.
Dear Mr. President,

The date is January 9th.  If you voluntarily leave office on January 20th with so many election and integrity issues unresolved, those lawsuits unresolved, your life will not become less stressful, but more stressful.[00:00:17] 
Pretty sure, Uncle Geoff, that the President can figure out the date you printed on the memo without you reading it aloud.  If not, do we really want the leader of the free world who is functionally illiterate?

Fun fact: The Constitution states the office of the President transfers to the winner of the election on the 20th of January.   Whether Trump leaves voluntarily is moot; the powers of the Presidency will be transferred to President-Elect Biden who won the Electoral College.

As a point of fact, the election issues have been put to bed.   President Trump had one successful lawsuit that affected 200 votes and 60 lawsuits that he lost.  The sixty lost cases included plenty that were summarily rejected as without merit by judges that Trump appointed as well as appointees from Presidents Bush and Obama.  The Supreme Court rejected unanimously one last-ditch effort  by the State of Texas to disenfranchise the entire State of  Pennsylvania.   There was a minor disagreement on the Supreme Court in that Justices Thomas and Alito thought the suit should have been heard by the Court before being dismissed for lack of standing while the other seven justices felt the suit could be summarily dismissed....but even Thomas and Alito agreed that the suit itself was groundless. 

The integrity issues surrounding Trump will never be ended because he has no integrity.    

Trump never seemed to be unduly stressed by being the president -he got a whole lot of golfing and glad-handing in - and I really doubt he's looking forward to less stress when he leaves.   

Possible criminal indictment - yes.  Crumbling financial straits - yes.    Restful retirement - no.

You will step into a season of grave danger for your family.  You will also miss a lawful opportunity to uphold the oath of office you took four years ago. [00:00:27] 
Trump will still have Secret Service coverage.  No former president or member of a former president's family has been assassinated in the history of the US.   

As for the Oath of Office, well, Trump's never been too serious on that one.  From what I can remember without using notes, he blabbed military secrets to a friendly nation which strained our relationship with Israel.   He handed a national security issue at Mar-Lago surrounded by non-clearanced guests.  Historians will be working out what exactly Russia had on Trump that made him fawn all over Putin at Helsinki.   He asked Russia and China to investigate his political rivals before his election and asked Ukraine to do the same after the election.   

That's just the foreign affairs.   

Domestically, he threatened to withhold federal support to states with large Democratic voting blocs during a pandemic.  He threatened all sorts of violence against Black Lives Matters (BLM) protests - despite constitutional protections for freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.

Oh, and he long-conned his way into a protest-turned-riot that was a coup attempt.  

That's NOT what the Founding Fathers had in mind.
If you think organizing an alternative party will be possible when you are a private citizen, you are mistaken. Patriots are already vacillating before the speed and the fury of leftist reprisals.  The climate of hatred towards you created by your adversaries will make any personal pursuits difficult.  You would have the stomach to fight, but the climate of fear and intimidation threatening every State Legislature will result in quarreling and then disunity.[00:00:57] 

I mean, now that he's banned from Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, it'd be hard for him to organize a barbeque let alone a separate political party.

Hearing that extreme right wing insurrectionist white supremacists are frightened because the lawful government is using the absurd amount of evidence the rioters created while committing crimes to bring them to justice is the best thing I've heard all day.    To quote a friend, "Maybe don't post video of you committing a crime combined with your name, hometown, and detailed description of how much you enjoyed breaking that law unless you want to help the prosecutors in your future case."

Interestingly, Trump is excellent at making adversaries without anyone fanning the flames.  I've been opposed to him as a politician and a person since he called all Mexicans rapists - but he's insulted so many people and groups that I'm sure I'm going to forget someone.  I remember Mexicans, Muslims, Black Americans, Native Americans, and women as entire groups.

No, Captain Bone-spurs has no stomach to fight himself.   He bailed on serving in Vietnam. 

On the 6th, he gave a rousing speech encouraging violence towards the Capitol and promised he'd be right alongside the protestors.   Then, he departed and watched the chaos on TV.   

He is, in fact, the definition of a coward.

Dunno about the state where Botkin lives - but my State Capitol has had armed protestors show up for voting times and there was a plot to kidnap our governor.   The people who are actively disrupting democracy right now are violent right wingers - not left wingers.
This will close off the opportunity of electoral reform and seal away the chance for an honest election in 2024.  If you leave voluntarily, before certain electors are decertified, today's current 2020 lawsuits will wither away, and those which need to be opened against America's criminal conspirators within the Deep State will not be brought to the courts. [00:01:23] 
Hey now. 

We pulled off a very legal election in 2020 in spite of attempts at voter suppression by the GOP and a raging pandemic.

If Trump had focused on the Senate Election in Georgia instead of telling people to not vote while whining about the fact he totally did not lose, the GOP would be in control of the Senate from 2020-2022.   Just saying.

 Uncle Geoffrey is now in the wet-dream of conspiracy theorists.  That magical heady land where logic, rules, procedures and reality disappear.  A land where fishing stories are real - and the bigger the better!

The problem is that the fantasy land withers in the light of day.

Trump's term is done on January 20th at noon.   His acceptance of that fact matters not a whit.

We talked 'bout the lawsuits. Trump lost biggly.   

Jesus, we have Trump to thank for the word "biggly" as well.  That's really a minor thing - but biggly.

Pretty sure that we can't bring lawsuits against criminal conspirators in the Deep State.   Government officials are solidly protected against lawsuits in the course of doing their jobs.  This certainly brings problems in some respects - but it's the law and would need government support to change.   

Also, if the government officials are committing crimes, that's a criminal investigation - which can lead to jail time - which is a separate legal proceeding from a lawsuit which is a way to get redress from a civil wrong.    They are two very different things - and people should be very wary of taking any advice from someone who doesn't know the difference.   

For sane people, though, the use of "Deep State" is a cue to disregard all information from the speaker.

For non-US readers, "Deep State" is a conspiracy theory that believes that there is a secret cabal of non-elected government workers who are working to overthrow Trump, the GOP, and America.   

It's one of those theories that happens when people fall asleep in their high school government class and so never learn that most of the US federal government is made up of nonpartisan bureaucracy that exists to serve citizens while working with the current administration.   These are the departments that cover things like the military, the social safety net, collecting taxes, providing education, space research, and regulating food, drugs, businesses and environment.  The current administration can certainly promote pet projects in each of these areas and squash other projects - but there's a certain amount of inertia built into the system due to the simple size and importance of the job of keeping vital infrastructure going.

Most people see the inertia and think "Well, that's government" with a shrug.   Conspiracy theorists see the same thing and create a new cabal.

The most disappointing bit in this video section is that the cavorting doggy disappears at 1:22 to be replaced with a picture of Trump on Air Force One.  Bye, bye pup!  I will miss you!

 I laughed so loudly at this next part that my kid wanted to know what was funny.  I told him a joke to distract him, then read this to my husband who guffawed:
Please see the details that I provide in the long version of this letter which I have sent to your office.  As you read it, please consider carefully what happened to the leader of Russia back at the start of the twentieth century.[00:01:38] 
Come on, Uncle Geoffrey!  Don't hold out on us now! 

Grace us with the finer details of your inner knowledge of the Deep State!

Wait... he can't.    The Deep State KNOWS about his website.  

The only safe option is to send a paper letter to the President of the United States.   

Yup, that's fail-safe.   

The President of the United States only gets a letter or two a day and will immediately open up a letter from a random guy in middle America and pour over it. *rolls eyes*

Far more likely, the intern of an aide of an aide of an aide may read this on the 18th or 19th.   Finding that the letter contains nothing of interest, a form letter will be returned to Botkin and his deeply fascinating letter will be shredded.   

The picture of Trump on Air Force One fades to a picture of Tzar Nicholas II.  

Does Trump know who Nicholas II is?   I'd bet not; Trump's knowledge of American history has seemed exceptionally weak these last four years so I doubt he's got a good founding in Russian history.

But don't you worry, dear reader!  We've got two more posts from this video in which we get to listen to Botkin skewer Russian history!

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Joyfully At Home: Chapter Fourteen - Part One


I swear this started as a good day.

I dropped Spawn off at school and started driving to a grocery store when the alternator on my car died.  I got the car off the road safely and called for a tow truck.    Years ago, one of my aunts was critically injured when her disabled car was hit by another car - so I got out of the van and paced up and down the side of the road while waiting for the tow truck.

I lost track of the number of people who stopped to see if I needed anything.  One person apologized for not stopping on their way to dropping their kid off at school - and I told them I was fine.  

The tow driver took me to my aunt-in-law's house where I got my mother-in-law to drive me to pick up my son at school.  We all enjoyed a walk from school to a local restaurant.  It's about 4/10ths of a mile and Spawn rocked it in his walker.  

I was pretty wiped by the time we brought our food home - so Spawn and I had a good nap.

Then I opened the interwebs to see if the Georgia Special Senate Election had been called.   

I found that pro-Trump rioters had invaded the Capitol - and the President is wishy-washy about denouncing them.   

Honestly, I feel sick.   

I kind of thought Trump was going to go out in a ball of flames - but more like a crazy-uncle type of flames than inciting riots.    

My mistake.

I need to distract myself so I'm going to post out-of-order another section from "Joyfully At Home" by Jasmine Baucham.  In true form, my copy of "The Battle For Peer Dependence" is missing in action - but my copy of "Joyfully At Home" surfaced.  

We are starting Chapter 14.  Chapter 13 was an impassioned defense of stay-at-home daughterhood that failed to answer the main objection to stay-at-home daughterhood "How will you support yourself financially if you never marry, get divorced or are widowed early?"   Chapter 14, then, attempts to weave some defenses for other oddities of stay-at-home daughterhood.  

Here's the first question:
Question 1: What is your belief on college? Do you think that women should go to college? (pg. 163) 
After the question, Jasmine brings up the importance of grounding any answer in the Bible - but somehow manages to miss that no one went to college in the Bible....and that we segregated people with presently treatable skin conditions to a leper colony.   

IOW, sometimes the Bible doesn't have particularly pertinent answers to modern questions besides the standard ones about how to treat other people and how to worship God.

Next, Jasmine discusses how she wanted to go to an Ivy League school during most of her childhood, but her aspirations for college shrunk every year during high school.    That's a really unusual situation for someone as skilled as Jasmine - until you realize the source:
There were several things that made me shy away from my UCLA and and NYU ideals.  One was a five point sermon my dad's been preaching to Trey and me since we entered high school :
  • Most BA degrees are not worth the paper they're written on.
  • Four years is too much time to waste.
  • $80,000 ( Room & Board/ State School) to $250,000( Room & Board/Ivy League) is too much money to spend.
  • College is not for everyone.
  • Most universities are philosophically antagonistic to Christianity.
(pgs. 163-164)
Voddie Baucham's five point sermon is extremely weird considering the fact that he has three post-secondary degrees!   The fact that Rev. Baucham earned multiple degrees from accredited institutions gave him access to jobs that people who followed his advice would be unable to access.

Allow to me rebut his arguments.

1) "Most BA degrees are not worth the paper they are written on". 

 This is simply wrong.   Completing a four year degree has consistently been the most effective way for people to increase their lifetime earnings and compete for the widest pool of jobs available.  People with a bachelor's degree have shorter spells of unemployment and are eligible for higher wages than people without.

2) "Four years is too much time to waste."

This might be a valid point for a CP/QF son who could start earning good wages faster through technical or trades training - maybe.   The point is moot for a stay-at-home daughter who will be working as an unpaid kitchen/nursery assistant for the same period of time because she's wasting a few years anyways.   Looking at a longer time frame, a stay-at-home daughter is ideally supposed to become a homeschooling mother in the fullness of time.   Going to college to solidify a young woman's reading, writing, math, science and social studies skills is an investment in her children's high school education - hardly a waste of time.

3)"$80,000 ( Room & Board/ State School) to $250,000( Room & Board/Ivy League) is too much money to spend." 
I agree with Rev. Baucham on this one - don't pay full price for your college education. 

On the other hand, Rev. Baucham isn't telling his children the entire truth about college prices. 

 Shopping for colleges is a lot like purchasing a used car.   There is always a sticker price for tuition, room and board for each college - but savvy buyers never pay that price.   Jasmine - like most high school students- believes the main effort is getting into a college.   Her father - like most college graduates - knows that the real competition is finding a college that wants YOU as a student strongly enough that they will give you a discounted rate through scholarships, grants etc., so your degree will cost a fraction of the sticker price.   

The college I graduated from had a sticker price of $22,000 per year.  I paid $7,500 per year.  

Jasmine seems bright and articulate.  I'm sure she could have gotten some decent scholarships at a variety of colleges - and possibly full-ride ones.

4) "College is not for everyone."   

I agree in generality with Rev. Baucham - not everyone is a good fit for college.

But Rev. Baucham isn't speaking to a crowd of high school students - he's speaking to his two high school aged children.  

I have no idea of Trey Baucham's personality or academic skills - but Jasmine seems to be a natural fit for college - and we know she is because she did eventually earn a 4-year degree.  

Homeschooling parents are supposed to know more about their children's academic needs and strengths than a teacher - so why is Jasmine's father giving her crap-tastic advice?  Because she's a girl?  To keep his followers happy? 

5) "Most universities are philosophically antagonistic to Christianity."   

First, Jasmine and Trey wouldn't be going to "most" universities; they would be going to a university. I'm certain they could find quite a few Christian universities - and maybe even a Christian university that supported their worldview if that's a major concern.

Second, most universities are also philosophically antagonistic to smoking pot, having Quidditch tournaments, and having adult students treat professors as equals rather than respected elders - but each of those things happen everyday at universities all over the US.   If you need to avoid the philosophical antagonism of universities to Christianity, avoid the area where philosophically inclined professors hang out to argue rhetoric and join the local "Students for Christ" club in whatever form it takes.  

Personally, I avoided both groups like the plague - but you do you.

Well, things have settled down in DC so far.   Have a good night.