and gratitude.rn-]ohn A. HowardrnPRO-FAMILY LOBBYISTS on CapitolrnHill had a strong wind in their sailsrnlast March: the phrase “H.R. 6” had becomerna verb, meaning “to unleash arntsunami of angry phone calls, letters, andrnfaxes from concerned citizens.” H.R. 6rnwas a bill to reauthorize (at increasedrnfunding levels) the Elementary and SecondaryrnEducation Act (ESEA) of 1965,rna program through which federal dollarsrn—and with them, federal control—rnare applied to public schools.rnThe isolated pro-family success thatrngave rise to phrases like “Do you want usrnto H.R. 6 you again?” came in responsernto an initiative by Representative GeorgernMiller (D-California). Mr. Miller proposedrnan amendment, added to H.R. 6rnin committee, that would have requiredrnschool districts receiving ESEA fundsrn(and or almost all do) to certify to thernU.S. Department of Education that eachrnand every teacher “under their jurisdiction”rnwas “certified to teach in the subjectrnarea to which he or she is assigned.”rnJust more Beltway boilerplate, itrnseemed—until the ever-alert Mike Farris,rnlegal champion of homeschoolers (andrnrecently a heroic candidate for lieutenantrngovernor of Virginia), noticed that thernoperation of the Miller Amendment wasrnnot by any means restricted to publicrnschool teachers. In many states homeschoolingrnfamilies are required to filerncurricular notices and testing results withrnthe local school district and are thus “under”rnits “jurisdiction.” Private schoolsrnwere potentially threatened, too.rnNote that the Miller Amendmentrnwould not have been satisfied with generalrncertification (which more obnoxiousrnstates still require of homeschooling parents):rnit would have required specificrncertification in each and every subjectrntaught by any given teacher. This wouldrnhave been extremely burdensome: mostrnhomeschoolers are as adept at teachingrnas their campus-school counterparts, butrnthere is no guarantee that many of themrnwould be able to jump through certificationrnhoops designed by people whornare hostile to homeschooling to beginrnwith. Despite the taped denial that Mr.rnMiller was later to put on his office telephonernin response to thousands of calls,rnthe Miller Amendment was a dagger atrnthe heart of homeschooling and at thernprinciple of local and family autonomyrnin education.rnOn the charitable assumption thatrnthis problem was a mere drafting oversight.rnRepresentative Dick Armey (RTexas)rnoffered a secondary amendmentrnin committee to specify that private andrnhomeschools were not covered by therncertification requirements. It failed—onrna party-line vote.rnSo the Family Research Council, Focusrnon the Family, Mr. Farris’s HomernSchool Legal Defense Association, andrnother groups shifted into overdrive. Inrnmy own years with the Family ResearchrnCouncil, I have personally observed thernenormous lobbying energy of the homeschoolingrncommunity. Friends on thernHill told FRC that the avalanche ofrncalls, letters, and faxes opposing thernMiller Amendment surpassed thosernregarding the NAFTA battle.rnWhen the dust cleared, the ArmeyrnAmendment had been added to H.R. 6rnby the full House by a vote of 374 to 53.rnThis illustrates good news and bad newsrnabout federal lawmaking today. Therngood news is that highly motivatedrn”communities of virtue” (to borrow arnconcept from Alasdair Maclntyre andrnAllan Carlson) can affect legislative outcomes.rnThe bad news is that even whenrnbattles such as the one over the Millerrnand Armey Amendments are won, thernwar goes on, with the federal governmentrncontinuing to win out over individualsrnand families, with the values ofrnthe bicoastal elite continuing to displacernthe values of local communities.rnThe fact is, without taking anythingrnaway from the Armey Amendment, H.R.rn6 is still a monster of a bill. It will givern$12.4 billion to the present arrogant andrnfailing education establishment; it willrngive unelected potentates the power tornfire elected school boards for failing tornmeet as-yet unspecified “standards”—rnstandards which, in practice, couldrnvery well turn out to be the woolly andrnpoliticized ones of the so-called “outcome-rnbased education” (OBE) movement;rnand it will expand school-basedrncontraceptive clinics, under the latestrneuphemism, “coordinated communityrnservices” (e.g., referring young women tornthe community abortionist).rnThe battle to squelch the MillerrnAmendment by means of the ArmeyrnAmendment absolutely had to be foughtrnand won, and it was. But it’s a measurernof our times that a bill that does all thatrnH.R. 6 will do to public schools is regardedrnby many in Washington as a victoryrnfor the pro-family interest because itrnrefrains at the last minute from doing itrnto private and homeschools as well.rn—David M. WagnerrnWASHINGTON POST readers arernaccustomed to pansexual propaganda,rnfrom exposes of Middle America’s “homophobia”rnto adoring reviews of feministrnplays (as if the five million people inrnthe Washington area were clamoring tornsqueeze into fetid little theaters to seerntheir values trashed). But even battlescarredrnPost readers must have wincedrnone day late last winter, when the newspaper’srnStyle section outdid itself.rnSmiling at them from the front page isrna large closeup of Peri Jude Radecic, thernpompadoured leader of the NationalrnGay and Lesbian Task Force. Thernlengthy article by Megan Rosenfeldrnblows dozens of kisses at Radecic, joiningrnher in denouncing the “right,” the “religiousrnright,” “the right wing,” and thernusual subject—Jesse Helms—whilernmanaging to include every gay cliche (wernare “victims,” we need to “form our familyrnstructures as we choose,” gay-bashingrnhas “increased by 172 percent,” etc.).rnNot one critic of the gay rights movementrnis quoted. No statistics appear tornhave been checked or challenged. Thernarticle even manages to take a swipe atrnthe video The Gay Agenda, one of thernfew documentaries that accurately portraysrnthe reality of homosexuality.rnRosenfeld (the “reporter”) slams thernvideo by writing sarcastically that it featuresrn”‘experts,’ who quote unsourcedrnstatistics that ‘prove’ that gay men arernmore prone to disease . . . that they canrnbe ‘reformed’ if they choose, that theyrn’recruit’ young boys, and so forth.”rnNever mind that the quotes arernbacked by experienced therapists, studiesrnin major medical journals, and the morernhonest gay authors and journalists. Homosexualrnactivists have not laid so muchrnas a pinkie on The Gay Agenda, otherrnthan to smear the video’s producers asrnsavagely as they know how; they identifyrnthem with a “conservative Christianrnchurch.”rnAfter the page-sized mash note tornRadecic, the reader moves along to arncolumn by William F. Powers, where wernlearn about Plus Voice, a new magazinernby and for those infected with the HIVrnvirus. Writer Ann Copeland says thatrnone of her goals is “to have the publicrnview HIV with less fear and more calm.rn8/CHRONICLESrnrnrn