Duggar homeschool curriculum: Semen causes cancer, cheating women miscarry

I’ve always held one eyebrow firmly raised at the practice of homeschooling. Criticize our country’s public and private teaching institutions all you want, it’s just that the purpose of education is inherently to open the mind up to new and diverse ideas that challenge notions one might already hold. Homeschooling seems — by design — to purposefully limit exposure to the vastness and richness that life affords. It encourages homogeny and discourages the questioning of conventions. It’s molding a child’s character instead of allowing them to experience things on their own and become their own person. I get it — every parent wants to protect their child — but there comes a point where shielding kids from reality ends up stunting development.

But I imagine even the most overprotective of parents who homeschool at least don’t actively try to teach their children obviously false information. Enter the Duggars. Parents Jim Bob and Michelle homeschooled each of their 19 children using an incredibly bass ackwards curriculum in patriarchal Christianity called the Advanced Training Institute (ATI), developed by an 80-year-old millionaire who is currently accused of sexually harassing at least 34 women. I’d say that certainly helps explain much of the trouble currently facing the Duggars.

As reported by Gawker, ATI attempts to introduce a dash of secular traditional education (or, its own interpretation of it) to back up and provide evidence for batshit scriptural decrees. For example: “How do prime numbers illustrate the principle of ‘one flesh’ in marriage?” and “How did the ‘Socratic method’ of reasoning come from a sodomite manner of living?

The bizarre curriculum doesn’t shy away from matters of the flesh (ie: biology and medicine) either. Hope none of those Duggar kids had their dreams set on becoming a doctor (though smart bet is that any of the women in the family would’ve had those dreams dashed way early) because they would never have made it through pre-med thinking we have eyes primarily to transmit “sensual stimuli to the brain, which activates the heart, which is ‘deceitful and desperately wicked.'”

Other scientifically sound assertions include:

  • Cervical cancer is caused by semen.
    “Doctors have discovered that the seed of the man is an alien substance to the woman. It triggered responses similar to those of an ‘allergic’ reaction. A woman who has a husband is able to develop ‘immunity’ to this reaction; however, a promiscuous woman’s immune system becomes confused and unable to distinguish alien substances. This confusion is a key to the development of cancer.”
  • Men are physically incapable of controlling themselves around a woman.
    “When a man looks lustfully at a woman, a flood of impulses travels through the optic nerve to the back of the brain. As a result, the glands and other bodily functions are activated, and the level of testosterone increases. Recent studies revealed a significant correlation between high testosterone levels and those who commit violent crimes.”
  • Miscarriages are the result of cheating women.
    “The miscarriage or premature birth of a child conceived in unfaithfulness can also be attributed to the stress of the cup of bitter water. This interpretation assumes that the accused WOMAN is pregnant when she is brought before the priest. If the child is the husband’s , she has no reason for guilt, and the child will live.”

And then there’s this doozy. Got sin? There’s a surgery for that:

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[Gawker]