Strong Parents or a Strong State

"Parental Authority is the Basis of Civilization" by Dennis Prager at The Stream.

Sep 29, 2022

Today, elementary schools and high schools work to diminish all parental authority. The most obvious example is hiding from parents that their 10-year-old says he or she is not their biological sex. And should a parent tell his or her 10-year-old, “This is not so, you were born a boy and you are a boy” or “You were born a girl and you are a girl,” those parents run the risk of having the child taken away from them, not to mention severe condemnation from doctors, psychotherapists and social workers…. One result of the breakdown of parental authority is that we probably have more child-parent alienation than at any time in American history…. The bottom line is this: when parents don’t rule the home, chaos will rule society. And chaos always breeds tyranny. So, the choice is stark — either we have strong parents, or we will have a strong state.

Parental Authority is the Basis of Civilization by Dennis Prager at The Stream. Today, elementary schools and high schools work to diminish all parental authority. The most obvious example is hiding from parents that their 10-year-old says he or she is not their biological sex. And should a parent tell his or her 10-year-old, “This is not so, you were born a boy and you are a boy” or “You were born a girl and you are a girl,” those parents run the risk of having the child taken away from them, not to mention severe condemnation from doctors, psychotherapists and social workers…. One result of the breakdown of parental authority is that we probably have more child-parent alienation than at any time in American history…. The bottom line is this: when parents don’t rule the home, chaos will rule society. And chaos always breeds tyranny. So, the choice is stark — either we have strong parents, or we will have a strong state. Read You Are Your Child’s Teacher by Paul Krause at Crisis Magazine. Education will either direct souls to the Good, True, and Beautiful or the Bad, False, and Ugly. It is the responsibility of parents to always be the shining lights constantly guiding souls to the Good, True, and Beautiful. It is not the first responsibility of good teachers and schools, though good teachers and good schools are doing this. It is the first responsibility of parents to seek the Good, True, and Beautiful for their children. Good teachers and good schools simply reinforce this training of the soul in prudence that starts with parents. Read Sponsorship of Schools: Diocese of Wichita Has Winning Model by Judy Roberts at National Catholic Register. Father Jirak said despite the emphasis often placed on the aspect of “free tuition,” the diocese prefers not to call the educational benefit by that name. “It’s sponsorship. As the bishop says, Catholic schools are not free. You practice the stewardship way of life and you get sponsorship. We don’t use the word ‘tuition’ at all.” He added that there is a danger in looking at the program as “getting free schools.” “Well, that’s not the way it works ... because it really has to be people in prayer coming together and stepping out to live faith in a more radical way.” Achieving this, he said, takes an investment by parishes to accompany parishioners, awaken them to the stewardship way of life and to coach and encourage them to live it. Read Who Decides What Children Read? Authoritarians Slander Parent Groups as ‘Book Banners’ by Jay Greene at The Daily Signal. The library association and PEN think that classroom teachers and school librarians should make these decisions unilaterally and unaccountably while parent groups simply want greater public oversight and parental input into these decisions as law and tradition have long allowed and generally encourage. If we adopt the expansive view of book banning as not having a work physically present in a school library, then we are all book banners…. Resources and space are finite, so there has to be some process for deciding which books are appropriate. If we define banned as “not shelved” or placed out of the immediate reach of children, then the vast majority of published books have been banned. Read The Shrinking, Post-Human Vocabulary of our Tone-Deaf Culture by Jason M. Baxter at Catholic World Report. When I began teaching college students 15 years ago, my students—rightly or wrongly—were embarrassed when they didn’t know a word or couldn’t pronounce it. Of late, though, many of my students don’t even feel the need to feign an understanding of “big” words: lustrous, translucent, pusillanimous. I’ve been keeping a list. I’ve seen numbers used online that say that the average vocabulary of a teenager in the 1950’s was 25,000, whereas now, it’s 12,000. Another report says—and this was a decade ago!—that the average teenagers’ active vocabulary is down to just 800 words a day. Read Barr: Education 'Inherently' Requires Students to Deal with Religion by Jeremiah Poff at Washington Examiner. In his remarks to the conference, [former Attorney General William] Barr noted that public education had a decidedly religious component for a significant portion of U.S. history but that efforts beginning in the 1960s sought to secularize public schooling by "trying to strip away every vestige of traditional religion from the schools." "This was secularization by subtraction, stripping away all vestiges of traditional religion," Barr said in the speech. "But expunging religion does not result in religious neutrality. Instead, the net effect was to elevate the most aggressively secular viewpoints while suppressing any religious views." Read A New Catholic Medical School Seeks to Restore a Culture of Life by John Burger at Aleteia. The deaths of millions of unborn children through abortion in the United States would not have been possible without the “ready, willing, and active participation of physicians,” says a doctor who is spearheading a new medical school at a Catholic college in America’s heartland. George Mychaskiw II, DO, is developing the school, which is planned to be located on the campus of Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. Read Youngkin Seizes the Moral High Ground on Gender Identity and Schools by Max Eden at Washington Examiner. Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin delivered a masterful policy stroke last week. He revised Virginia’s model policy on accommodating students who identify as transgender…. His new policy did not mince words in passing judgment on the document it replaced, declaring that it "promoted a specific viewpoint aimed at achieving cultural and social transformation in schools" and "disregarded the rights of parents and ignored other legal and constitutional principles." The single most important feature of Youngkin’s new policy is its definition of a transgender student: "a public school student whose parent has requested in writing, due to their child’s persistent and sincere belief that his or her gender differs with his or her sex, that their child be so identified while at school." Read School Districts Are ‘Sabotaging Parent-Child Relationships.’ Sen. Tim Scott’s New Bill Fights Back by Gillian Richards at The Daily Signal. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., introduced the Parental Rights Over The Education and Care of Their (PROTECT) Kids Act. If passed, the bill would require that government-funded elementary and middle schools tell parents before changing “a minor child’s gender markers, pronouns, or preferred name” and before allowing a child to change “sex-based accommodations.” The government could withdraw funding from K-12 schools that fail to disclose this information to parents. As Scott writes, “Parents have a fundamental, constitutionally guaranteed right to raise and educate their children in the way they choose.” Read Brazil’s Catholic Church Frowns on Proposals to Legalize Homeschooling by Eduardo Campos Lima at Crux. In the politically charged scenario in Brazil since Bolsonaro’s election in 2018, many conservative Catholics have been increasingly suspicious of schools, frequently perceived as places of ideological indoctrination by left-wing groups. That has been a top reason for the new interest in homeschooling…. “Schools combat mostly the Catholic Church and its 2,000-year thought. It is sad to see that the episcopate is aligned against the possibility of a truly Catholic education for our children,” said Ricardo Silva, father of a one-year-old son….“I believe families should have the right to teach their children at home,” he said. Sedrez said homeschooling “appears for some people as a way of preserving a Catholic identity that has been perverted by the world.” Read Throwback Thursday Charter of the Rights of the Family presented by the Holy See to All Persons, Institutions and Authorities Interested in the Mission of the Family in the Contemporary World on October 22, 1983. Since they have conferred life on their children, parents have the original, primary and inalienable right to educate them; hence they must be acknowledged as the first and foremost educators of their children.

  1. Parents have the right to educate their children in conformity with their moral and religious convictions, taking into account the cultural traditions of the family which favor the good and the dignity of the child; they should also receive from society the necessary aid and assistance to perform their educational role properly.

  2. Parents have the right to freely choose schools or other means necessary to educate their children in keeping with their convictions. Public authorities must ensure that public subsidies are so allocated that parents are truly free to exercise this right without incurring unjust burdens. Parents should not have to sustain, directly or indirectly, extra charges which would deny or unjustly limit the exercise of this freedom.

  3. Parents have the right to ensure that their children are not compelled to attend classes which are not in agreement with their own moral and religious convictions. In particular, sex education is a basic right of the parents and must always be carried out under their close supervision, whether at home or in educational centers chosen and controlled by them.

  4. The rights of parents are violated when a compulsory system of education is imposed by the State from which all religious formation is excluded.

  5. The primary right of parents to educate their children must be upheld in all forms of collaboration between parents, teachers and school authorities, and particularly in forms of participation designed to give citizens a voice in the functioning of schools and in the formulation and implementation of educational policies.

  6. The family has the right to expect that the means of social communication will be positive instruments for the building up of society, and will reinforce the fundamental values of the family. At the same time the family has the right to be adequately protected, especially with regard to its youngest members, from the negative effects and misuse of the mass media. Read