I have to confess I don't know a lot about VanDamme's own philosophy. I was using her article for her critique of modern classical methods but that in no way implies that I support her own position. My impression was rather that I would not like her view any more than I like that of the classical educators she reviews.
VanDamme's article was the best one I could find for a somewhat thorough review and comparison of the different classical methods out there. I was really surprised at how little else I could find that wasn't very biased. VanDamme of course has her own position to promote too but her reviews did seem fair and even-handed.
The methods I quoted Van Damme on are not Christian but secular classical methods. I guess they are objectivist though I don't know a lot about it. Obviously, as a Christian it is a view I reject. My argument with VanDamme's criticism on Christian classical ed as not being independent would be that no thinking is independent. We are all taught by someone, whether a live person or a book. We absorb ideas and opinions from all around us. I do not believe there is truly independent thought. To provide kids with a Christian framework to their thinking is no more biased than to provide them with an atheistic or natualistic one.
I guess my final thought would be that I am not basing my opinion of classical ed on Van damme. I already had an opinion of it and VanDamme was just the best source I found to quote on it. I guess the bottom line is it is good to be aware of the biases of the people one reads and quotes but I have no real problem with taking some ideas from and quoting someone that I don't agree with overall. I am more concerned about the fact that it is so hard to find good analyses of classical and CM methods from solid Christian sources. My object in my series on hmeschool styles is to begin a discussion of what is behind the different methodologies so that we can know the assumptions behind what we teach our kids and how rather than just accpeting someone's methodology wholesale without understanding the real ideas behind it.
This is a very good discussion and I am glad you raised it. I think I will post those reply on my blog as well in case others have the same questions.