- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 29, 2003

When Kyle Williams is not playing video games or doing his chores, the 14-year-old pundit is skewering liberals in his weekly commentary for the Web site www.WorldNetDaily.com.

Writing “helps me kind of vent on things,” said Kyle, a home-schooled Guthrie, Okla., student who insists on listening to Rush Limbaugh in his mother’s minivan.

“He’ll sit there and watch stuff about politics for hours,” said his brother, Donald, 15, the athlete of the Williams family. “I can’t watch five minutes of it. It bores me out of my mind.”

Kyle, who has had his column since age 12, has written his first book, “Seen & Heard: America’s Youngest Pundit Tackles the Lies and the Truths of Politics and Culture,” to be published in May by WND Books a joint venture by Thomas Nelson Publishing and conservative news site WorldNetDaily.com.

A conservative, Kyle argues against government involvement on local issues and against the liberal agenda in the nation. His writing criticizes several groups in the United States. The following are some excerpts:

On the proposed federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act: “Say I own a family-run business, and I wish to have a family-type atmosphere. I don’t want someone with that type of lifestyle around my family or me, and the government has no right to make me.

“Homosexuals choose to be that way. As a Christian, I believe homosexuality is a sin and is evil. However, my faith teaches me to hate the sin, but love the sinner. Although I don’t hate them, I hate the practice of homosexuality and I don’t wish to be forced to accept it.”

On Planned Parenthood: “After making sure every teen in America has a condom, Planned Parenthood works hard to cover up the unintended results, creating a society where killing helpless children is acceptable. Whether intentional or not, they have become a force against the family with their role in education.”

On the NEA: “No, the National Education Association does not care one bit about the crisis in our government educational system; fixing that would probably put it out of business. The NEA’s true special interest is in politics, a partisan way of thinking and nothing but a voice for the liberals in this nation.”

Reactions to Kyle’s writings vary.

“American parents and young people want to deal with reality not deny it,” said Gloria Feldt, president of Planned Parenthood.

NEA President Reg Weaver, refusing to comment on Kyle’s viewpoint, said: “Education is very important, and I hope he gets what he needs.”

Joel Miller, editor of Kyle’s book, said Kyle is short on experience, but has a lot of knowledge. “Every writer has a possible downside, and that might be his. [But] he sees through a lot of [nonsense] pretty easily.”

David Yeagley, who participates with Kyle on the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee, said he respects Kyle and that the teen’s “superior perspective is a result of his home schooling.”

Kyle’s mother, Debbie Williams, felt inadequate when she began home-schooling her children more than a decade ago. “Oh, I just learned as I went along,” she said.

That time with her children, she said, gave her the opportunity to instill in them the family’s Christian values and to provide the kind of one-on-one attention that public schools could not because of their large class sizes, discipline problems and education gaps among students.

When Kyle’s sister, Emily, 18, and Donald decided to venture into the local public school system almost two years ago, Mrs. Williams and her husband prayed.

“We prayed about it, and decided … that it could be a positive experience for us,” she said.

“They have a firm foundation,” said Mrs. Williams. “By the time they did go to public schools, I believe they were able to make wise decisions and not get caught up in a lot of that stuff. You cannot totally protect your children for their whole life.”

Aside from academics, the issue of socialization often creeps up in the home-schooling debate.

“There’s something valuable about learning in an environment that has people of backgrounds that are different than your own,” said Carolyn Crowder, president of the Oklahoma Education Association. “You learn how to function within an environment that could be similar to what you will be dealing with the rest of your life.”

“The National Education Association believes that home-schooling programs based on parental choice cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience,” an NEA resolution said.

“We would take issue with that,” countered Ian Slatter, a spokesman for the Home School Legal Defense Association. “We strongly do not believe that home-schoolers live in a cloistered world.”

Kyle seconds that: “I get the stereotype that I’m not socialized, and I can’t stand that.”

Don Davis, coach and director of the Oklahoma Thunder Baseball Academy, recalls a car ride with his son, Ryan, and Kyle. Ryan and Kyle played youth baseball together. Rather than batting averages, Mr. Davis and Kyle discussed politics and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

“My son sat back there speechless,” said Mr. Davis.

“Once Kyle got out of the car, my son’s only words he looked at me in the face and said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me’ in terms of Kyle’s knowledge of world activities, politics and Congress.

“He has an old soul,” said Mr. Davis. “I don’t know what else to say about Kyle other than he is a very special individual with a very bright future.”

Kyle’s home-schooled peers and friends agree. “He’s not arrogant at all,” said Emoly West, 17. “He truly wants to educate himself more so that he can write. … That’s his gift.”

“For a 14-year-old, I’d love to have him on a city council with me,” said Jason Murphey, a Guthrie council member and chairman of the Oklahoma Federation of Young Republicans. “He’s smarter than 90 percent of the city officials or councilmen I deal with.”

“He’s confident, and he’s vocal about where he stands unlike a lot of people his age who are concerned with video games and television,” said Kyle Murray, 17.

The teen-age commentator still possesses some of the “trappings of youth,” said Mr. Miller.

Kyle plays video games. He mows his family’s 2-acre lawn, helps with the dishes and takes out the trash. He listens to country singer Alan Jackson and reads J.R.R. Tolkien. He likes having friends visit, swimming, sleeping late on weekends and hunting rabbits and doves.

Like many teens, he worries about acceptance. “You have to be on guard more when you are talking to kids your own age,” Kyle said. “Everyone is always trying to make jokes. You don’t want to say anything stupid and get made fun of.”

Despite Kyle’s desire to lambaste liberal politicians, special-interest groups and world leaders, he expresses a boyish surprise that his columns are criticized.

“I’ve kind of been blown away from the reaction of people who can’t stand what they’re reading,” he says. “I’m just writing from what I see. I might be wrong, but I think I’m right. It’s a hobby for me.

“It has turned into a lot bigger thing than I ever imagined.”

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