Monday, February 23, 2015

Great Commission Films: IndoctriNation DVD Review

IndoctriNation DVD Review
I was asked to review Great Commission Films' documentary, "IndoctriNation."  for The Schoolhouse Review crew. "IndoctriNation" is a documentary by Colin Gunn that focuses on the lack of Christianity in public schools, and how this lack of God in schools is threatening Christianity, and the faith of Christian students in school. It also talks about topics or subjects that are largely considered as sinful, and how these topics are being enforced, discussed, and/or taught to children who go to public schools. There are subject matters in this documentary that may be of a sensitive nature to younger children. I do suggest parents view this on their own before allowing their children to view it.

The DVD arrived in the mail,and I was very excited to watch it as a family. I soon discovered I did not want my son to overhear some of the subject matter that was included in this film, so we had to stop it. The fact that this is the same subject matter he would be exposed to in a public school setting, with out my ability to simply press stop, greatly disturbs me, and makes me even more thankful for the right and ability to homeschool. A few hours later, I sat down with my fiance to watch the film alone, and we found ourselves frequently pausing it while we discussed what we had just seen. I will say, my original thoughts on this film were changed by the end. I originally thought this film was largely speculation or conspiracy theory, or at the most a handful of examples that were not representational of the country as a whole. By the end I realized, it is not conspiracy theory, it is not a small sampling, it is not hog wash....No my friends, it is what is happening in schools today. It has been happening for a while now, but now it's really out of hand.
I'm not really sure where to start with my feelings/emotions. I like how the filmmaker intertwines Biblical scripture to back up his points. I do not like how public school is referred to as a Pagan institution by one who is interviewed. I think of Public School as Anti-Religion, and by implying there is a pagan link is to say there is a religious basis....and that's simply false. The idea behind a separation of religious institution and public education institutions was a good theory.   If we had freedom to teach whatever religion the teacher chose, then our children would be subjected to a variety of religions or religious beliefs that may be contrary to that of the family. And that's even in a community that is only Christian, because there are several varying beliefs with in the Christian community as well. With that said, as this film shows, the ideal of a public school system void of religious influence that may contradict the beliefs of the parents of the child has not transpired in the way originally thought. Now, we have a public school system full of religious attacks where teachers have to hide their beliefs, where they must reinforce ideals they feel are sins, and where they lose their job should they not go against their faith. For example, One part of the film shows a young teacher recanting a scene she witnessed on an elementary school play ground. One of the children was overheard saying, "that's so gay!" and a teacher came over and explained to them that they may be gay because sometimes people don't realize they are gay until they are much older, and if they are, that's ok. That is not a teacher's place to teach such things! 
We have become a society that is so concerned with not offending anyone that we end up offending anyway. When did we get so easily offended?! So what if you don't believe the same as I do? Is that hurting you? No? Ok, lets move on. Oh, so you don't believe or live the way I do? Ok, that's fine....your life, not mine. I'm good with that. Why can't we just let people be?  Why not just tell little Johnny that calling people or things gay could be taken as a mean thing to say, and let it be. Let Little Johnny ask his parents for more information. After all, the family is the first, and largest, peer reinforcement group; followed by teachers and peers. This film, to a degree, shows that the nation's public schools has become so preoccupied with not offending all of those who consider themselves the "others" that the kids are the ones suffering.


Another segment showed the large number of kids being medicated. When kids can't be kids, and they must be miniature adults, we have a big problem. Now, I'm not saying there aren't those who need medication. My son does. He has autism and a severe impulse control issue as a result. He needs certain medications to function in a safe manner. But, all too often there are kids who just have a lot of energy being made into zombies. This segment showcased that. So, I began to wonder how bad it really is? What I discovered made my heart sad. Did you know there are several schools that do not allow kids to run and play on the playground? There are school districts that do not even allow for a recess period! Parents are so "sue happy" that kids can't play tag, or hide and seek, or swing in swings because the dear little angels may break an arm, and then Mom and Dad are going to sue the school for neglect. How insane is that?! Kids are kids, let them run! Let them play! Let them get out their energy! I found out that my local school districts do not allow running on the play ground, and kids must speak with inside voices on the play ground. If I say I find that offensive, will the rule change? Where is the ACLU for these kids? Do they not have a right to play tag?


 I really like the irony the film maker uses with a school bus as the main "mascot" of the film. He, along with his homeschooling family, set out on a filmmaking journey across the USA in a school bus, to create a film about public schools. The film gives the statistics of how many school buses are in use today, and how many children they carry to public schools each day. He says the school bus is the tool that is driving our children away from Jesus. At the end of the film, we watch the school bus as it is destroyed. This is symbolic of his family's choice to homeschool, to not allow the public system to pull their children away from their faith. 

I also like how the filmmaker doesn't bash the public school system. He gives a fair debate at the beginning, before pointing out the many flaws from his perspective, and backing that opinion with direct interviews and evidence.  I also REALLY like the fact that he makes it a point to have the film say that public school families love their children as much as homeschool families or private school families. 
After talking with several of my friends with kids in public schools, they too have had to deal with many topics in this film. Though not all of them have, enough have that it was troubling to me. My own extended family had to deal with severe bullying, and was exposed to more homosexual behavior that was excepted in school so as to not offended anyone, than they were heterosexual behavior. It was ok for two girls to kiss in the hallway, but not a girl and a boy. Why the double standard? 

The overall point to this film was to showcase the anti-Christianity that has overtaken the school system, and how that could lead to your child losing his or her faith in the long run. But I think it goes much deeper than that. I saw in this film, an institution that is so caught up with not offending on any level that we are developing a generation of doormats that blindly follow, with out questioning. I see an institution that is causing our kids to learn of mature topics much sooner than their emotional ages intend, and teaching them that these behaviors that go against the very grain of their religious foundation are to be embraced and accepted.  I see an institution that is in great need of repair. 
Overall, I can say that if I were not already homeschooling my son, I would seriously consider it after watching IndoctriNation.  This is certainly not what I expected. It was directed in an engaging manner, it is not boring at all, it is not preachy at all. It is thought provoking, and promotes deep and serious discussion. If you are a homeschooling family I suggest watching so you know what your child is up against in the world. If you are a parent who sends your children to public school, I REALLY suggest you watch so you know what your children face every day. 

**Sorry this was more of a rant than a review. IndoctriNation created such emotion within me, I had to share it. That means it is a thought provoking, emotion inciting film that you should watch-If for no other reason than so you can be well informed to give your children the tools they need to protect themselves.**
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IndoctriNation DVD Review
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