Unlike popular belief, homeschoolers do indeed have a brain capable of thinking as an individual with an educated and level-headed perspective. Simply put, homeschoolers are taught to be independent thinkers avoiding trends within pop culture that could easily sway, without hesitation, a person’s opinion just because it is deamed “cool.” And when it comes to politics, there’s no stopping them.

In an article concerning Rick Santorum’s support from homeschooling families in the Huffington Post, homeschoolers are shown to be hard-working and highly motivated campaign helpers because of their eagerness to learn and their Conservative background. The article then goes on to show why homeschoolers are so heavily involved in civics: Nearly three-quarters have conservative Christian parents who seek to instill the moral and religious values that they believe are lacking in public schools.” Homeschoolers are involved because they want to ensure their rights as parents to educate their children as they see fit. Plain and simple. Most homeschoolers are not exclusively partial to Santorum, but you get the idea. And then, of course, at the bottom of the column there is the usual comments of hate saying that homeschooling parents are nothing but a bunch of “Bible-thumping lunatics who are brainwashing their children.” But let’s not go there just yet.

Now allow me to explain why this article grabbed my interest…..

In this article there is a program mentioned called Generation Joshua, which is a program designed to encourage homeschooled, Christian teens to learn and get involved in government and history. This civics program (a project of Homeschool Legal Defense Association) gives teens the opportunity to actively participate in a wide variety of political aspects since its founding in 2003.  One of the prominent opportunities this program provides is the experience teenagers are given to campaign for a person looking to run for a public office and engaging voters through phone-banking, literature drops, etc. Generation Joshua (or GenJ as the club is known amongst its members) was ultimately created to inspire youth to be involved in their government and hopefully help train the next generation of strong Christian leaders to ensure Christian and education liberties in America in the years to come and equip them for the road ahead.

Unfortunately, many people see this as brainwashing a bunch of helpless kids to become religious radicals similar to those of the Westboro Baptist Church. I beg to differ. GenJers are actually a group of highly educated and articulate kids who are eager to learn all sides of government and political theory, on top of the historical aspects of both and, above all, are eager to get involved. As a matter of fact, those who are ex-GenJers (or homeschoolers in general) have gone on to such heights as law school, have worked in various areas of government and journalism, attended colleges and military academies, and so forth all with flying colors and striving for excellence. I would know. I am one of them.

As homeschool alumnus and proud GenJer, I can safely say I wouldn’t be so heavily involved with politics, Young America’s Foundation (which promotes Conservatism on college campuses), and TheCollegeConservative had not my mother made me join Generation Joshua back in highschool. As a matter of fact, Generation Joshua is where I first found my interest and passion for Conservatism. It is with the help of Will Estrada, Joel Grewe, Jeremiah Lorrig, and the dedicated staff that I learned how to promote Conservative values all while maintaining respect for others in politics and a reverence for Christ. And yes, I am a Christian in case you haven’t noticed already. Deal with it.

These brave men and staff spend countless hours dedicated to educating youth about the very foundation and principles of this country while promoting patriotism, Christianity, and religious freedom, something the Liberal Left has failed to do. That when a country acknowledges God being greater than man, the rights of every citizen within its borders are granted religious and economic freedoms as no one person (or group of persons) are able to take away such liberties.

It’s disturbing to see such efforts by brave men and women who promote morality and responsibility within government and future generations so vehemently ridiculed. As a dear friend of mine and fellow GenJer routinely reminds me: “Haters gonna hate, but you have to be strong and stand up for what you believe in and let God do the rest.” After-all, Winston Churchill said: “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

As for Generation Joshua, I will never forget the lessons learned, the friendships made, and the strong leaders within the organization whom I have come to greatly respect and consider mentors. I highly encourage any Christian family to get their kids involved in this organization. And for the haters out there, give us a break. We just want to make sure years down the road we’re still able to worship God and educate our kids as we see fit. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but that is why we are Americans. If you call for diversity, stop trying to snuff out Christians and parents’ rights to educate their children. America, after-all, is a free country.

And to Michael Farris, Will Estrada, Joel Grewe, Jeremiah Lorrig, and the men and women on the GenJ staff both present and in the past: You may not realize it now, but you have indeed greatly influenced the next generation of American leaders. Thanks for putting up with us crazy kids over the years, and God bless you all. Stay strong and courageous, and thanks for the memories.

Elissa Roberson :: College of the Desert :: Palm Desert, California :: @ElissaRoberson