When I decided to send my two oldest to school, I figured it was simply time. I had this great, philosophical attitude about the whole thing. I taught them our values, I taught them Church teaching. Heck, I immersed them whole-heartedly for the past 15-13 years in what we believe. It’s now up to my kids to take those values and teachings and decide for themselves what to do with them. If I am lucky, they will embrace them. Or maybe they will fall into step with what everyone else is doing, and come back to them later in life, as many people do. Or they may simply reject them.Fact is, I have done is all I can do. I can’t dictate their feelings and I have desire to control them.
They of course are still children, and just because I put them in public school, doesn’t mean I am throwing in the towel. It just means I simply do not have the same amount of control as I used as to what they are exposed to. I actually think that is a good thing. It is one of the many reasons I decided it is time for them to go. I do not want them to be faced with people problems when they are away from home, and do not have family support to fall back on.
Before I go on, let me state, these are my reasons for my children, right here and now, where we are in our lives. This is not a formula I think every good Christian parent needs to follow. Every situation is different, every parent is different, every child is different. All this is is me reflecting (ok, blathering…whining) about stuff on my mind in regard to current choices I have made in my very hormonal state (hence my need to work things out in writing)
So, here I had this great philosophical attitude that shaped my judgments. Why is it then the first time a teacher starts his anti-Catholic rhetoric, I start to panic? I mean it is expected, it’s popular intellectual thinking, how the Church ruined the world throughout history. How the Church kills people with Humanae Vitae. How the Church is made up of misogynists because they preach against abortion. When I thought about it, I was ashamed of my own answer: the teacher was telling my daughter her parents are wrong. I want to say because “he is misleading kids” and other more altruistic answers, which I do feel, but the heart of the matter is I was insulted. This is my culture and he is dissing it. He probably has no idea. Just like all the Albany priests say they cannot preach about abortion, contraception, divorce from the pulpit, because you might insult someone, I have a feeling it didn’t occur to this teacher that there might be a child of a practicing Catholic family in his classroom who embrace Catholic teaching right down to the no-divorce/no-contraception teachings. So after my own personal revelation, I decided, (like hopefully sane people usually do) get over myself, to stay my course and move forward.
I think, as it turned out I had very little to worry about as as my daughter is concerned. My daughter came home that afternoon with more questions about what she learned in history that didn’t seem “quite right’. She said she learned about the Western Schism and that the purpose was to make money and persecute Protestants, which didn’t sit right with her. She also wanted to know how it would play out today, who would be the “real” pope-the one in Rome or in Avignon. I have to admit, the little I learned on the schism always confused (and gasp, bored) me, so I told her to call my father.
Do you remember when Jeff Miller said “scratch a dissident and you will find someone upset about some area of the Church’s teaching on sexual morality”? No exception here. I over heard her tell my father that the teacher complains a lot that he is divorced and feels birth control is necessary. She also said that she liked her global teacher, she loves how intelligent he is and that he was the only teacher to give her an assignment on the first day of school. She said she didn’t understand why he simply didn’t say “I made a mistake and that area of Church teaching was hard for me to follow”, but rather turns it into a long vent against the Church. When he starts his stuff on what’s wrong with the Church, it makes her doubt his intelligence, because he is plain wrong. She also said that it worries her that is she hears so much mythology day in and day out about what the Church teaches or what happened, she will no longer question it and try to seek out the truth-just simply take it at face value. My father told her the rule of thumb regarding Church history is, unless you understand the theology and what was going on at the time, you never get a full story of what happened and what truly motivated people. They are simply leaving holes in the story and making up the rest.
I thought my father gave good advice about Church history. And I thought I should pray for the teacher. Imagine how much of struggle his choices are that an otherwise intelligent man has to hold a captive audience of 15-year olds hostage to hear about his therapy. Sheesh, that’s what blogs are for.