Keeping Kids Faithless

Wednesday, April 30, AD 2014

 

Hilarious.  Apparently Atheist parents have difficulty in having their kids follow their no god views as adults.

Do kids raised without religion actively seek it out and convert all that often? As it turns out, yes. The most recent data on this that I’ve come across comes from Pew’s 2008 Religious Landscape Survey, which finds that only 46 percent of people who are raised religiously unaffiliated (which includes atheists, agnostics, and those who say they’re “nothing in particular”) remain unaffiliated as adults. By contrast, 68 percent of Catholics and 52 percent of Protestant stay with their childhood religion, and only 14 percent and 13 percent (respectively) stop subscribing to any religion at all:

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3 Responses to Keeping Kids Faithless

  • Thank you, for this opportunity to speak, Donald McClarey. We, the people and our constitutional posterity, all future generations, are the visible and invisible, (rather best said, yet to be visible) individual substances of a rational nature. (St. Thomas Aquinas’ definition of the person.) Roe v. Wade said no “person” (of our posterity) was in the Constitution. “We, the people”, are persons visible and our Constitutional posterity are the persons invisible, those of us with a visible presence and an invisible destiny and those of us with a visible destiny to become a visible presence.
    .
    The atheist must be tolerated. The atheist’s unbelief in the Supreme Sovereign Being, the Person of the True God and the True Man, Jesus Christ’s Real Presence in the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist, in the metaphysical beings of the human soul, angels and demons. The atheist’s non-belief annihilates every vestige of hope and trust in ourselves and in God.
    .
    Atheism is unconstitutional because atheism denies the eternal truth about the human soul, all persons still to be conceived, our future generations, the creation of mankind in equal Justice and unalienable civil rights by an infinite Creator, and the creation of the state by the sovereign personhood of the citizen.
    .
    The devil is evil personified, but the devil is no atheist.

  • Atheists offer no hope and deny all personal responsibility and accountability, saying that the unthinking forces or pure materialism – atoms in motion – determine the actions and reactions of each of us. They offer nothing substantively different than the exact opposite extreme – the Calvinists who say certain people were damned from all of creation and others predestined for heaven.

  • Paul W Primavera: “Atheists offer no hope and deny all personal responsibility and accountability, saying that the unthinking forces or pure materialism – atoms in motion – determine the actions and reactions of each of us. They offer nothing substantively different than the exact opposite extreme – the Calvinists who say certain people were damned from all of creation and others predestined for heaven.”
    .
    Thank you, Paul:
    Atheists do not speak for me or any other person. I believe in God and so ought the atheist. When atheists remove the virtue of God’s perfect Justice, they ought not appeal to the personification of God’s Justice in our Court, as victims (of their own treachery).
    .
    Jesus Christ went to hell to free the patriarchs, but while in hell, Jesus gave the devils hell, annihilation. The devils are legion, persons, who live eternal annihilation.
    .
    Predestination and the atheists’ denial of personal responsibility are two sides of the same coin, as you have pointed out, Paul.

Rotten Parenting

Saturday, July 20, AD 2013

 

 

Most of our problems as a society come down to rotten parenting or no parenting.  Matt Walsh at his blog provides a prime example courtesy of “Nick”:

 

Matt, I heard your horrible conversation today about parenting. A few comments in response:

1) Based on your remarks, I have to say I feel bad for your kids. You sound like the sort of person who never should have been a parent. You said you plain to teach your kids “how to think.” I guess this is common in right wing religious fundamentalist households. Personally, I let my child form his own conclusions about things. To impose your views on a child is tantamount to child abuse. Do them a favor, let them think FREELY.

2) You greatly exaggerate the importance of “chores.” Also, the idea that a kid should be forced to “get a job” is abhorrent. My son was very gifted so we  gave him all the tools to succeed academically. This meant we didn’t turn him into slave labor and we certainly didn’t tell him he needed to go work behind a cash register. He concentrated on his school work, and we did our job as parents and financially supported him.

3) It’s easy to mock a “30 year old who lives with is parents.” My son is almost 29 and he’s been home with us since he graduated. Unfortunately the job market isn’t the greatest (maybe you hadn’t heard) and I’m not going to let him starve on the street. He has a college education, it’s pointless for him to be out working in a retail store or some other menial job. I will be here for him until he is able to get the job he deserves.

You need to grow up, get some life experiences and then maybe you’ll have the right to sermonize about parenting.

-Nick”

Yeah I really loved the comment about “menial job”.  The type of job I suppose that my factory worker parents had which put clothes on my back, a roof over my head and food in my belly, for which I am eternally grateful to them.  Somehow they also had the energy after an exhausting day at work to make certain that my brother and I grew up with an appreciation both for learning and hard work.  My brother and I did plenty of “menial jobs” along the way, including baling hay, detasseling  corn, working in cafeterias, working in factories, tarring roofs, washing dishes, scrubbing floors, cleaning out sewers, serving in the Green Machine, etc, and I think we probably learned more from those jobs than anything we learned in college.  Anyone who sneers at  “menial jobs” or the people who perform them has an instant enemy in me.  Here is Matt’s response:

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11 Responses to Rotten Parenting

  • Bill Cosby of Massachusetts on parenting.
    Found shared on facebook. (Sorry about linking disability. )

    “BILL HAS GONE AND DONE IT AGAIN…

    They’re standing on the corner and they can’t speak English.
    I can’t even talk the way these people talk:
    Why you ain’t,
    Where you is,
    What he drive,
    Where he stay,
    Where he work,
    Who you be…
    And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk.
    And then I heard the father talk.
    Everybody knows it’s important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can’t be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth.
    In fact you will never get any kind of job making a decent living.

    People marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an Education, and now we’ve got these knuckleheads walking around.
    The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal.
    These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids.
    $500 sneakers for what?
    And they won’t spend $200 for Hooked on Phonics.

    I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit.
    Where were you when he was 2?
    Where were you when he was 12?
    Where were you when he was 18 and how come you didn’t know that he had a pistol?
    And where is the father? Or who is his father?
    People putting their clothes on backward:
    Isn’t that a sign of something gone wrong?
    People with their hats on backward, pants down around the crack, isn’t that a sign of something?

    Isn’t it a sign of something when she has her dress all the way up and got all type of needles [piercing] going through her body?
    What part of Africa did this come from??
    We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans; they don’t know a thing about Africa …..

    I say this all of the time. It would be like white people saying they are European-American. That is totally stupid.
    I was born here, and so were my parents and grand parents and, very likely my great grandparents. I don’t have any connection to Africa, no more than white Americans have to Germany , Scotland , England , Ireland , or the Netherlands . The same applies to 99 percent of all the black Americans as regards to Africa . So stop, already! ! !
    With names like Shaniqua, Taliqua and Mohammed and all of that crap ……… And all of them are in jail.

    Brown or black versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person’s problem.
    We have got to take the neighborhood back.
    People used to be ashamed. Today a woman has eight children with eight different ‘husbands’ — or men or whatever you call them now.
    We have millionaire football players who cannot read.
    We have million-dollar basketball players who can’t write two paragraphs. We, as black folks have to do a better job.
    Someone working at Wal-Mart with seven kids, you are hurting us.
    We have to start holding each other to a higher standard..
    We cannot blame the white people any longer.’

    ~Dr.. William Henry ‘Bill’ Cosby, Jr., Ed..D. “

  • Entitlement attitude is breading a heartless snob-burbia. Nick is stupid.

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  • @Donald McClarey, Pat and The American Catholic: Thank you for Dr. Cosby. True to form.

  • I can never understand this modern obsession with young people “leaving home.”

    I am sixty-eight and I sleep in the bed I was born in; my father and my grandfather, to my certain knowledge, were born and died in that bed and I do not know how many generations of my family did so (I am speaking of the frame, old Scottish vernacular; the mattress is new). My family have lived in the same house since at least 1617, when the Register of Sasines was established and on the same land for goodness knows how long before that, as local records testify. Five out of the nine families whose farms are feued from us and who share the common grazings can say the same.

    A majority of our neighbours live in three-generation households. Grandparents still living on the farms that their children now work and which their grandchildren will inherit. Small local businesses often show the same pattern.

    People round here do not share the notion that “becoming independent” means finding a boss and I must say I find it paradoxical.

  • But Michael, at least the next generation in your area is working on the family farm or in the family business. The young-adult Yank layabouts in the OP aren’t working at all, whether in a family farm/business or outside the home; instead, they’re just mooching off their parents without contributing to the family income.

    On the other hand, each of our own children knew & knows that they will be expected to work upon completing their education. Our oldest son (at this point, at least) will be joining Don in his law practice, and taking it over when Don retires. Our daughter (just entering university this fall) has finally been convinced by us that there are just not that many jobs in the print publishing industry, and will be training to become an English teacher. Even our recently-deceased autistic son, Larry, had he survived, would have been put to work with some janitorial & mailroom duties at Don’s law firm, and would have been contributing to the family’s support to the extent he was capable of.

  • Everything wrong with this idiot’s entire worldview can be gleaned from his statement about “…the job he deserves.”

  • I thought the letter from “Nick” was parody. I’ve re-read it and I’m still not sure that it is real.

  • Don – I try to cut everyone some slack, but when Nick got to the part about “menial jobs” that did me in too. It is never pointless to be working. That boy is doing a lot more damage to his chances of future employment by sitting at home after college than by working retail.

    Michael – Valid point, but does Nick sound like a man who works the soil for a living?

  • In the Unitarian tradition and Congregational tradition (religions) children are encouraged to grow up and think idependently of parents. This independence of thought is deemed to be a sign that they are using their own minds and thus developing in a mature fashion. Of course this means that taditional beliefs or a heritage being handed down to your children would be in opposition to their becoming individualistic in their thoughts, thus this is discouraged. Unfortunately this religious view (and it is part of their religion) has been mainstreamed and implanted as part of what is view as the goal of public schools–to have thinkers who ‘think outside of the box’. Perhaps that is one way to put it. In a country where one religion is not supposed to be established as a national religion we have done this– encouraged children to turn away from their parents and family traditions. We have made it a matter of pride for children to do this as if it makes them wiser and better people, something which is not always the case. Planned Parenthood sex education comes out of this religious tradition, for example. It encourages teens to break away from the sexuality which is based on a more and spiritual view to sexuality which is based on teens deciding separate fromparents on when and how to get involved. That has hurt our young people. So in a sense good parenting has been defined as letting kids break free and become their own persons—disregarding the wisdom and advice and experience of an older generation. How foolish is that?

  • “You need to grow up get some life experiences and then maybe you’ll have the right to sermonize about parenting.”
    Nick-

    What? His 29 year old is gaining his important “life experiences” in his fathers dwelling?

    Stupid is what stupid does.

Sometimes I Feel Like Sarah Connor

Saturday, June 30, AD 2012

I have to remind myself sometimes to refrain from immersion in current events, politics, and social issues because I swell up with machine-like resolve and start thinking of myself as a Sarah Connor, the fictional mom in the Terminator films who transformed from a timid victim to a hardened warrior on the verge of losing touch with her own humanity. She knew Judgement Day was coming, and her son would have to fight evil mightily. She knew she had to prepare and protect him.

I don’t think I’m the only mom that conjures up such an image. We lay awake at night wondering what kind of battles our children will face as adults. Will they lose faith? Will they be hurt? Will they be warriors? Will they be martyrs? Will they be ready? Are we doing enough to take a stand as Catholics? No kidding, there are nights when I feel compelled to rise and do chin-ups on the door frame to flex some muscle (though I’d faint after three).

I have learned, instead, to pray. As awful as I may think some current events are, this world still belongs to God. If I believe that Christ healed the sick, commanded demons, and died and rose for the salvation of souls, then in faith I need to guard against despair and overwhelming ferocity. Remember what the centurion in Capernaum said to Jesus when he wanted his servant to be healed? He had great faith. “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.” He also had humility. That last part reminds me of St. Francis’ advice, “Sanctify yourself and you will sanctify society.”

Surely in some ways we do need to become a legend among the resistance, to warn that humanity is doomed to self-destruction if they don’t listen, and to store up a proverbial cache of weapons for our children if there is a rise of the machines; but mostly what we need to do is to accept the graces and abundances offered now in this time of our own lives. We do need to fight, but we can’t let ourselves become so steeled we forget we are human.

Even so, I wouldn’t mind having her deltoids, and I admit I rather like imagining myself standing strong with a steady gaze across the landscape as I prepare to defend and inspire my children, but without the cigarette and Commando rifle.

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13 Responses to Sometimes I Feel Like Sarah Connor

  • Lose the cigarette, but keep the rifle. 🙂

    Good column, Stacy.

  • I just asked my wife, but she said no. She doesn’t feel like Sarah O’Connor. But sometimes I feel kind of like a male version…

  • We shape the future as parents:

    “Sarah Connor: Reese. Why me? Why does it want me?
    Kyle Reese: There was a nuclear war. A few years from now, all this, this whole place, everything, it’s gone. Just gone. There were survivors. Here, there. Nobody even knew who started it. It was the machines, Sarah.
    Sarah Connor: I don’t understand.
    Reese: Defense network computers. New… powerful… hooked into everything, trusted to run it all. They say it got smart, a new order of intelligence. Then it saw all people as a threat, not just the ones on the other side. Decided our fate in a microsecond: extermination.
    Sarah Connor: Did you see this war?
    Kyle Reese: No. I grew up after. In the ruins… starving… hiding from H-K’s.
    Sarah Connor: H-K’s?
    Kyle Reese: Hunter-Killers. Patrol machines built in automated factories. Most of us were rounded up, put in camps for orderly disposal.
    [Pulls up his right sleeve, exposing a mark]
    Kyle Reese: This is burned in by laser scan. Some of us were kept alive… to work… loading bodies. The disposal units ran night and day. We were that close to going out forever. But there was one man who taught us to fight, to storm the wire of the camps, to smash those metal mothers into junk. He turned it around. He brought us back from the brink. His name is Connor. John Connor. Your son, Sarah, your unborn son.”

  • You may recall that in the second Terminator movie, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s cyborg has switched sides and is now trying to SAVE John and Sarah Connor from being killed by a different, more advanced cyborg (with the ability to turn into liquid metal and other cool special effects) programmed to kill them.

    Now, here is a comedy sketch from “Mad TV” — a fake “trailer” for a movie called “The Greatest Action Story Ever Told” — in which Arnold goes back in time to save Jesus from being crucified! It’s actually, in my opinion, pretty funny because Jesus keeps trying to explain to the Terminator that he’s SUPPOSED to die for the sins of mankind, but Ahnold doesn’t listen (where have we heard that story before?):

  • Although this is a comedy sketch, I think it does have some relation to the topic of this post, in that as much as we WANT to save our children from all suffering and hardship, we cannot and should not.

  • Although this is a comedy sketch, I think it does have some relation to the topic of this post, in that as much as we WANT to save our children from all suffering and hardship, we cannot and should not.
    How will our children know that we love them?

  • The Judas shootings scene was very funny. Thanks for the laugh.

    As to the subject of the post, I am interested in Colonial and Revolutionary War history and have often considered the reactions of fathers and sons as the world began to spin out of control.

    Colonials knew That the English had not dealt kindly with rebels, particularly commoners. Would-be patriots certainly expected that, unless they won, the English would have punished them mightily.

    I like to think I would have set aside my interests to join what must have seemed to be an almost hopeless cause. It was probably easier to do if one didn’t have a wife and children that would be exposed by one’s action.

    I was 17 when I joined the Navy. At some level I knew I was exposing myself to harm. It was a subject that came up on occasion. It seemed remote though, something that happened to other people. Bravado alone made it easy to say that death was nothing to fear.

    I’m sure many Colonials felt the same, sitting with their mates in a tavern, drinking and singing, it must have been easy for them to damn King George and bravely call out the English army. How for the men with families, crops, shops full of wares, babies on the way, and ailing parents?

    My guess is that men in my position feared war, not for their sake but for those that God put in their charge. And yet they exposed all of that for a cause that must have seemed, at times, hopeless. What kind of men were these? Would I have been one of them? I like to think so but, looking at my bright-eyed and innocent 5 year old, I’m not sure.

    So pray, pray, pray… Not that you will be willing to lay down your life, but the lives and safety of those for whom you are responsible if God calls for it.

  • “How for the men with families, crops, shops full of wares, babies on the way, and ailing parents?”

    Many of them saw service during the war as militia. During the war about 100,000 men saw service in the Continental Army and about 250,000 saw service as militia called out to fight. Fairly impressive for an adult male population of less than a million.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtQgjyaJqkI

  • I do sometimes feel like Sarah Connor, especially when you try to talk to people about things happening in this country and the world, or when you try to talk about what the Catholic Church teaches on moral issues. Many look at you like you’re crazy. They don’t want to see anything, hear anything and they will not speak up and defend anything.

    This part of Mr McClarey’s comment: “Reese: Defense network computers. New… powerful… hooked into everything, trusted to run it all. They say it got smart, a new order of intelligence. Then it saw all people as a threat, not just the ones on the other side. Decided our fate in a microsecond: extermination” is very interesting. Sounds a lot like today, doesn’t it?

    I can’t do much of the physical stuff, but I can speak up and pray and try to live my life like Christ wants us to. Yes, I am a member of the “Church Militant”!

  • I think the willingness to give over one’s children affects number of religious too.

    It is easier to give over a son or daughter to the religious life if you have nine kids than it is when you have one. There is a calculation to be made in how encouraging we are for those entering the religious life. There is a question for most of us on how much sacrifice we are willing to bear. When you have only one son, it is harder to imagine him becoming a priest than when you have five. When you have two children, it is harder to encourage a daughter to enter the religious life.

    I suspect that no small part of God’s plan is letting Him control the number of kids we have. This is probably true, at least in part, because our having children is an essential first step to His evangelization.

  • I very much liked the Patriot Don. Heck, I liked something about every Mel film I’ve seen.

    Satan worked powerful hard to render his talents impotent.

  • We could use more Sarah Connors – men and women, kids and even old ladies in nursing homes who pray. We can chooser to fight on many fronts with whatever gifts and insights we have been given. lLike Churchill’s often quoted comment about all the places we will fight– we have to fight socially, culturally, Spiritually and even physically

    “not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and the oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”

  • I’m not sure that, even after all of our fervent prayers and peaceful political action, the Church will not need Sarah and Sam Connors if the current persecution of the Catholic Church continues. We are really only a couple big steps away from the situation the Cristeros found themselves in before they had to fight for their right to worship. Our beliefs are being singled out for elimination by the secularists in society. Remember, we don’t know what God will need us for or when.:-) I guess I’ll be getting in a couple pull-ups and some aerobics, and stay vigilant while praying and remaining forthright in insisting on the right to our beliefs. That’s what I see in Sarah Connor — an understanding of the enemy she faces and vigilance. We just need to be equally vigilant about expressing our joy in the Lord and in the wonderful life He’s given us. We need to keep our humanity and love.

Talking About Sinful Lifestyles With Children

Saturday, May 15, AD 2010

Eric Brown wrote a post about the question of whether children of same-sex-couples should be allowed in Catholic schools the other day, which generated some interesting conversation. One of the problems that lies at the root of this controversy, I think, is the question of how to deal sinful lifestyles when talking to your children.

Obviously, one of the duties of a conscientious Catholic parents is to successfully pass on to their children belief in Catholic moral teaching. We believe, after all, that living according to the Church’s moral teachings is key to both the happiness and salvation of our children, and both of these are things we ought to care about a good bit.

This much, at least, is widely agreed upon. Why, however, should that be a reason not to want your children exposed to the children of a same-sex-couple? Isn’t that simply a great chance to talk about the Church’s teachings about marriage and sexual morality?

Frankly, I (and I think many other Catholic parents) would rather not have to rush that one. Why?

Both thinking back to my own childhood and also about my children (currently ages 8 through 1.5) one of the things that stands out to me very clearly is that children are naturally dualistic. There’s a reason why the fairy tale is a genre so enjoyed by children — children like clear heroes and villains. The adult my be interested in why it is that the wicked witch became wicked, and whether she really thought she was wicked, but to a child, the fact that she is wicked is all they need. Heroes do good things, villains to bad things, and children under the age of 10-12 have a great deal of difficulty seeing people in between.

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30 Responses to Talking About Sinful Lifestyles With Children

  • I like your approach, Darwin, on the whole. Yet the primary “heroes” in a child’s life are her or his parents. And they certainly see us at our best and at our worst. If children can navigate our blunders and triumphs, I suspect they might be able to make distinctions sooner than we realize.

    Perhaps key to addressing the nature of sin and sinners with kids is for parents to be more forthright than my parents were. I was 29 the first time my mother apologized to me. That strikes me as being about 25 years too late.

    Kids also have a sense of fairness about them. It would indeed be interesting to check with our kids about the children of same-sex couples issues. Would our daughters and sons think it “unfair” that one of their peers not be allowed to enroll in their school because of their mom and mom or dad and dad?

    I don’t know the answer to that. Maybe for some adults, that sort of childlike fairness trumps a childish knee-jerk reaction we see from some adults.

  • A good analysis.

    But I thought that the reasoning for not admitting to Catholic school the children of parents living objectively sinful lifestyles was NOT so much to avoid scandalizing the other children, as it was that it could cause objective harm to the child, by putting her in a position where the teachers would be teaching truths that would directly conflict with the parents’ teaching by example; it would have no option other than to teach that child, “Your loved ones are unrepentant sinners in danger of losing Heaven.”

    That the Church respects parents’ right to teach and form their own children — a primeval, natural right — so much that it ought not interfere with that right even by the parents’ own consent.
    Am I incorrect about this?

  • Todd,

    Kids also have a sense of fairness about them. It would indeed be interesting to check with our kids about the children of same-sex couples issues. Would our daughters and sons think it “unfair” that one of their peers not be allowed to enroll in their school because of their mom and mom or dad and dad?

    Childlike fairness works in many ways that we seek to curb. For instance, most children under 9 I know considered, “But he made me angry,” as a perfectly acceptable reason for hitting someone. Children’s sense of fairness also often involves things which parents know are not good for them: late bedtimes, dessert every night, unlimited movie privileges, etc.

    The entire point I make here is that we at times seek to keep our children in ignorance of certain sins for the very reason that they are not yet capable for forming just and charitable responses to many situations — situations they are not well able yet to understand. Laying out the nature of same sex marriage to a child in order to ask the child if such families should be allowed into their school would mean starting out by rejecting the idea of forming a child’s experience of the world in order to guide his or her moral development.

    (Am I really sure how the digression about apologizing to children comes in — certainly, I think it would be a deeply foolish and misguided instinct to attempt to portray oneself to one’s children as being perfect, but I never suggested that in the piece.)

    Bearing,

    I think I’d more heard concerns about scandal and about the presence of such families in a parish school (with young children) serving as a mute teaching that same sex marriage is a good thing — but I think your point is a good one. I honestly can’t imagine why, having entered into a same sex marriage or “partnership”, parents would want to put their children in a school which so directly contradicts their moral beliefs. Catholic schools are often better at academics than nearby public ones, but I certainly wouldn’t take that as a reason to send my children to a school where they’d be taught morality that I expressly disagreed with.

    I suppose one could posit that a same sex couple believes that homosexual activity is a moral sin, but live in relationship anyway — but I must admit that in our “I’m a good person” society I find that a rather unlikely claim.

  • Two notes that might add some clarity to my argument here:

    – It’s specifically the bad teaching by example as to the nature of marriage here which I have an issue with. I would not have an issue if a single divorced woman who was a lesbian wanted to put her kids into a Catholic school, so long as neither she nor the child were causing problems as regards to teaching in the school. It’s specifically the “same sex relationship” with “two mommies” or “two daddies” that I see as a problem.

    – While I can see this as a good reason for a school restricting its student body, or parent choosing who they let their children socialize with, it’s probably also fair to point out that one of the main reasons that my wife and I homeschool rather than putting our kids in parochial school is that few parish schools seem to provide a Catholic enough atmosphere for us to see a reason to pay so much more to put our kids there. So while I’d see it as reasonable for a school which did maintain an authentically Catholic culture and moral environment to exclude the children of a same sex couple — there are a host of other cultural and moral problems (routinely tolerated) which similarly cause me to see many parish schools as not worth bothering with. If I’m going to put my kids into a hostile moral environment at school, I’d at least like it to be an explicitly secular one rather than one which purports to be Catholic.

  • It’s specifically the “same sex relationship” with “two mommies” or “two daddies” that I see as a problem

    My guess is that as these relationships become more and more common, and they will, more and more children will come to hold such relationships as legitimate. And in the next generation or two, we’ll find that those who hold to the “old” view of marriage are in the minority. I wonder if being in the minority will make the problem you intentify more difficult or less difficult to deal with.

  • Bearing,
    You’re correct. Years ago our family left a parish where we’d worshipped for ten years because the priests (not diocesan, an order) decided that lesbian couples could have the (implanted) children baptized at the main Mass on Sundays. That way, we’d all be godparents!
    Even after we (& many other parishioners) were called “unloving”, “judgemental”, “homophobic” etc, we still moved our membership to another parish because we felt (& were told by the diocese) that the objection to such baptisms is that it is, in reality, “unloving” to baptize a child into a Church that recognizes their parent as involved in a disordered relationship. That action puts the child in an untenable position.
    As to why in the world the women in question would want to do that their children, I have no idea.

  • gb,

    Canon lawyer Dr. Edward Peters wrote on the subject of delay (but not denial) baptism to some children. Quoting an excerpt:

    Understandably, canon law does not specify exactly what material needs to be mastered by parents and sponsors prior to presenting their child for Baptism. But a clue as to how much (or how little?) might be required is found, I think, in Canon 868 § 1, n. 2, which states that for the licit baptism of a child there is required (beyond parental consent) a “founded hope that the child will be raised Catholic.” Most observers would agree, that it is not much of a juridic requirement, especially when the canon goes on to state that only if such a hope is “altogether lacking” can the baptism be, not denied, but delayed for a time according to diocesan policy.

    On the other hand, the “founded hope” requirement is generally considered to be more than sufficient grounds for a pastor to delay a child’s baptism because of, say, the parents’ irregular marriage situation. Although the child’s right to baptism will eventually outweigh the parents’ duty to rectify their marital status, resulting in conferral of the sacrament, pastoral evidence is clear that many couples do correctly address their own status in the Church as part of the preparation for their child’s baptism.

    ~~~end quote

    Based on this, I think you are wrong to seek denial of baptism to children of lesbian couples.

  • I’d posted this at my personal blog as well, where one of our regular readers who is from the Philippines left this comment I liked quite a bit:

    My little brothers go to a very small Catholic school and are classmates with a boy who has “two daddies.” (I think they chose the school precisely because of its tiny student body and its repuation for being “progressive.”)

    One time, my brothers were talking about getting that classmate a birthday present, and I asked, “Is that the day he was born or the day he was adopted?”

    I found myself on the receiving end of two wide-eyed stares. Then the younger of my brothers asked, “Why do you think he’s adopted?”

    Then my mother yelled from the other room: “Your sister is just teasing. Hahaha! What a joker!”

    My brothers don’t seem very bothered by the idea of two dads, but they do wonder where the mother is. They’ve asked about it, and the answer they got was predictably vague: “Oh, maybe she’s in America . . . But don’t ask your friend about her, okay? It might make him feel bad because she doesn’t live with him.”

    Anyway, I have no quick answer here; just the opinion that the situation doesn’t spell the end of the world. I can understand why parents wouldn’t want to deal with that moral question when kids are so young, but I wonder whether the political situation in the United States is making this more of an issue than it has to be.

  • My guess is that as these relationships become more and more common,

    That’s interesting, Kyle. Is it your contention that there is no ceiling to the proportion of homosexuals in the population or that there is a secular trend toward homosexual monogamy?

  • Art Deco,

    I would guess that the proportion of children who are being raised by an openly same-sex couple is in fact rising.

  • Bearing has to be correct. Seriously, the quoted assertion has nothing to do with the proportion of homosexuals in the population or trends toward homosexual monogamy. The key variable is social and legal acceptance of such arrangements.

  • Mr. Kupp, who is capable of replying for himself, had this to say:

    And in the next generation or two, we’ll find that those who hold to the “old” view of marriage are in the minority.

    Which is a reference to the lateral association between the ‘parents’.

  • I’m sure Mr. Kupp is capable of replying for himself if he wishes to continue reading the thread.
    I don’t know about you, but I don’t always come back to re-read every comment thread I post on.

    Just in case he doesn’t choose to do so, I believe I am free to express my own opinion along those lines, which is that it’s the proportion of families headed by same-sex couples and raising children which matters here, not (as you suggest) the proportion of people with same-sex attraction nor the proportion who are monogamous (because, of course, monogamy and child-raising are not in one-to-one correspondence in any population).

    The relevant population is indeed rising.

  • I suspect that in a few years homosexual marriage may in fact not only be tolerated but legislated as a protected alternative. As such it may be as in Canada where if we were to denounce such a thing we will be brought before a Human Rights Commission.
    Perhaps part of the problem is the degree to which such attitudes have been accepted in general – even in Catholic education. How many students in Catholic Universities hear about the adverse consequences of contraception, divorce and single parenthood? How often do Catholic Universities actually endorse such trends and are even now endorsing homosexual activity? How much of this spills into Catholic families that have incorportated these secualar ideas into thir own lives and send their kids to Catholic schools with the expectation that these are normal beliefs? Should the Catholic school, including the university, be distinct from the secular world? How much “in the world” without being “of the world” should be tolerated among Catholics? That is, how many ideas should be tolerated in a school, either through direct teaching or through the passive example of families admitted, that are contrary to the faith?
    The idea of the Catholic hospital comes to mind. How much contraception, abortion or IVF should be tolerated? I would say none though from a post below we see that that is clearly a problem with hospitals. While these are direct attacks on life and the foundation of the social fabric, so too is the education of children that flaunts moral norms – even if indirectly in the form of scandalous behavior. And for many children, ultimately the emotional argument that “they love each other so its okay” will trump many a logical argument to the contrary. This particularly so in middle and high school when children are naturally rebelling and more inclined to accept such arguments. Let’s not forget the admonition not to teach children evil or be cast into the sea with a millstone about one’s neck.
    I might suggest that, as there are a great deal of arguments on this and other Catholic blogs on basing our choices on the Faith and not on ideologies, that this is a good place to start. Perhaps we should not expect the secular anti-life mentality of contraception and abortion to be taught in our schools. Perhaps we should be able to condemn the sin while we love the sinner – even in a school. Perhaps if the condemnation will hurt the child then we should accept that that child shouldn’t be there. Perhaps we should accept that not offering a forum for scandal is more prudent when educating a child than seeking to provide a Catholic education for everyone. Perhaps we should accept that making such a choice is part of being Catholic.

  • Perhaps if the condemnation will hurt the child then we should accept that that child shouldn’t be there.

    If the Catholic school is a good one and doing it’s job, all the students will eventually hear condemnation of a sin that is in some way personal to them.

  • True enough. And they will hear of reconciliation and penance. And they will hear of going and sinning no more. The problem with two “mommies” or “daddies” is the “going and sinning no more part.” This especially for other children who continue to hear that Joey has two “mommies” or “daddies.” Thus that scandal that emerges from allowing such an arrangement in a school. More obvious than a contracepting family or a divorced and remarried one. Of course both of those also need to go and sin no more. And if they don’t, then the child will feel a measure of pain. And if the parents make their sin public and are causing scandal to children then they should be asked to leave also.

  • spambot,

    Agreed. Though let’s be honest, most Catholic schools are not good ones and are not doing their job. If I had strong confidence that schools were doing a good job of passing on both Catholic teaching and culture, I’d actually have a lot less worry about things like admitting people who don’t agree with Catholic teaching.

  • Amen to Darwin’s comment. If Catholic schools weren’t afraid to be Catholic, and the parents in question *still* wish to send their kids there, more power to them.

    On the matter of Catholic schools being Catholic, there is a small but promising body of schools that fit the bill:

    http://www.napcis.org/

  • I experienced quite a similar situation growing up. In my small Catholic school, my friend’s parents separated, due to the mother finally coming out as a lesbian. It did not explode my precious little mind. You underestimate your children, and seem to think that they are destined to inherit exactly your moral code. Nowhere does the bible come out and judge homosexual relationships to be any worse a sin than any other. Can any of you honestly say that you live a life free of sin, never returning to commit the same one time and time again? Are you so pure that the thought of your children learning the reality of the world makes you queasy? Education, tolerance and love are all that you need. The lesbian parents wanted to be good Catholics, to teach their children, and you forsake them? Shame on you all.

  • Eli,

    In general I support allowing the children of gay parenting partners into Catholic schools, as long as there is no deviation from Catholic teaching that is presented to the students. The parents have to agree to that at the time of enrollment, and the students must learn Catholic teaching well enough to pass requried tests (whether or not they actually believe it).

    Having said that, this is what the Catheism has to say on the subject of homosexulaity:

    2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, [Cf. Gen 191-29; Rom 124-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10] tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

    2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

    2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

    ~~~end quote

    Eli, the lesbian parenting partners must agree to allow the school to teach their children this (in an age-appropriate manner), or no deal. They are being singled out. The Catechism has items that push us all against our natural inclinations.

  • Well, since we’re still discussing this, I’ll reiterate my total opposition to both the idea of homosexual partners “raising” children, as well as the idea of Catholic schools admitting these students.

  • Actually the Catechism calls on homosexuals to live chaste lives. Its unclear but perhaps the homosexual partners in question were living as sisters. If so, and if they were making that clear to everyone, then there would be an argument to admit them. But if they are continuing the appearance of being “married” which implies ongoing sexual relations, then they are continuing to commit acts of “grave depravity.” As such, there is still plenty good reason to refuse admission.

    Yes the Catechism does challange us all.

  • Living as sisters? Oh come on!

  • I take that from the Church teaching that men and women living together in irregular relationships (divorced and remarried) who cannot for whatever reason separate (i.e. raising children of the marriage) live as brother and sister.

    Hard to do yes. Best not to get in such a situation.

  • You underestimate your children, and seem to think that they are destined to inherit exactly your moral code.

    If I thought my children were destined to inherit my moral code, I wouldn’t be putting in hard work in order to try to teach it to them. But, obviously: yes, I do hope my children will grow up to share my moral code, since I believe it is true and I want them to have God’s truth.

    Nowhere does the bible come out and judge homosexual relationships to be any worse a sin than any other.

    At a minimum, the bible teaches that homosexual relations are very serious sins, along the lines of adultery, idol worship, etc.

    Can any of you honestly say that you live a life free of sin, never returning to commit the same one time and time again? Are you so pure that the thought of your children learning the reality of the world makes you queasy? Education, tolerance and love are all that you need.

    I absolutely do not claim to be free on sin — but that has nothing to do with trying to teach my children about morality and protect them (where possible) from its messier manifestations. There are a lot of things which I don’t think that very young children are able to think about and deal with clearly. While on the one hand I would never try to hide homosexuality from a 15-year-old, I would also never try to discuss it with a 6-year-old. Nor is my attempt to shield my children from the graver perversions of family restricted to same sex relationships — for instance, there’s been a nasty divorce (complete with adultery, calling the cops on each other, stealing each others cars, snatching the kids back and forth and constant recriminations) ongoing between a couple in our parish whose kids my know my own kids slightly, and you may be assured that I have done all that I can to shield them from knowing any of the details about that situation.

  • The bible is far more concerned with matters of prohibiting what food you eat and the clothes you wear than condemning homosexuality. You pick and choose the words of your almighty god. If someone were to tell me they took their morals from the bible, I would refuse to stay in the same room as them. The bible teaches that it is good for a man to impregnate his brother’s widow. That it is good to send out your virgin daughters to be raped by a mob in the place of 2 strange men. That after a victory, you should kill all of your enemies apart from the virgin women, who you should take for your wives. You do have more than one wife and have plentiful offspring, right? If you only have your father around, getting him drunk then having sex with him is doing the lord’s work. Doing otherwise would surely be an affront to god. I understand that this venue is not going to find anyone with an open mind, but have you read the bible lately? It’s full of filth, incest, murder and confused mistranslations and repeats. Holding up the moral writing of livestock obsessed tribesmen with no knowledge of how the universe worked is not something to be lauded.
    The catholic church in particular needs to stop persecuting others on such a minor matter as 2 people who love each other while ignoring the far more serious matters of abuse within its own ranks. Protecting abusers and exposing children to known criminals has been institutionalised. Having loving parents, no matter who they are, is not something to recriminate.

  • You are not being persecuted, and if the matter were ‘minor’, the opposition would not be so vehement about it.

  • Stop being such an emotivist, Eli, and think with the brain that God gave you. In our hyperindividualist society, in which anything that stymies self-determination is considered a sin, it’s no surprise that such responses are common. But really, give it a shot: Think about something other than the reflexive sympathy of “two people who love each other should be together.” Think about the family as the unit of civilization. Think about cultural norms about marriage and how they might be negatively conditioned by permissive attitudes and laws. Think about how the principle you apply to gay marriage would work equally well with any other number of logical absurdities.

    Just think, for crying out loud.

  • “It’s full of filth, incest, murder and confused mistranslations and repeats. Holding up the moral writing of livestock obsessed tribesmen with no knowledge of how the universe worked is not something to be lauded.”

    Ludicrous. I assume your reading of Scripture is limited to what you have cribbed from atheist websites. The lengths people will go to hang on to their cherished sins.

One Response to Helicopter Parents Armed With Internet

Expect to be Offended

Friday, March 6, AD 2009

My wife subscribes to the local Catholic homeschooler email list, and although I don’t usually dip into the innumerable messages that pour in (most of them more lifestyle and education focused, so far as I can tell) I occasionally read a thread that catches my eye.

This week there’s been much discussion of an Envoy magazine article about how a mother took her twelve-year-old in for a check up and was shocked and angered when the doctor asked if he could speak to the girl privately for a few minutes, and during the course of that asked the girl if she was sexually active and if she needed a prescription for birth control. The moms on the list exchanged similar stories, and were indignant not only that birth control was offered but that their teenagers were routinely asked if they did drugs, had sex, etc. Why, everyone wanted to know, would any reasonable doctor ask to speak to a teenager alone about these topics? Surely a mother should always know everything there is to know about these topics.

Needless to say, I’m not crazy about the idea of my three daughters being offered birth control and quizzed about their experiences when they become teenagers.

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3 Responses to Expect to be Offended

  • I agree – but it still sucks, just like it sucks that you have to be super careful about what sort of TV programming you let your kids watch (I limit my kids’ TV time compared to when I was young, but at least when I was young there wasn’t much that was broadcast that would be problematic for a youth – now just about everything has something objectionable). More to the point though, it sucks because, cultural differences, it’s not the place for a doctor or the government to be meddling in – it is truly a violation of the natural order and the right/duty of parents to raise their children and I find it very offensive. So, regardless of our acknowledging that we’re really aliens in this culture and should expect these differences, I think it’s understandable that this group of mothers make a big deal about it – they’re sincerely viewing these things as an assault on their children – and that it is.

  • I would absolutely refuse to allow a doctor to speak privately with my child at that age. I will not permit the “school nurse” to have anything to do with them either, if their hurt, call me or my wife, if their really hurt call 911… no contraceptive pushing liberals touching my kids.

  • The problem I see with the situation is that the doctor told her to absolutely avoid drugs and alcohol, but then offered to enable her to have sex.

    Abstinence education is readily employed for drug use, smoking, underage drinking, drinking & driving, carrying firearms, etc., but not for sex.

    Hmmm.