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Faith, Rights, and Choice in Education

Jan 18, 2024

Faith, Rights, and Choice in Education by John M. Grondelski at The Catholic Thing. Is education for persons, i.e., students and their parents, or is it for schools, i.e., the institutions where students go? Some readers may laugh at the question. Of course, education is for kids, not schools! But, if that’s so, then why are educational dollars – one of the things that makes education possible – for schools rather than kids? .... So shouldn’t the question be answered on the basis of what a person is due? On Catholic grounds, the answer would be “yes.” A person has a right and duty to know things, including above all, God.  A person has a right to education. Persons (in the case of children those primarily charged with their interests, i.e., parents) have a right to choose the appropriate education for that child. All this also stems, in the end, from the love due to a person, including his integral development as a child of God, endowed with intellect and freedom of choice. Read


Reality Is Greater Than Their Ideas by Robert Royal at The Catholic Thing. It’s annoying to have to recall what should need no recalling, but there’s a willed historical amnesia dominant these days. And so we have to keep reminding people of the historically verified results of human experience, realities much bigger than Marxist ideas. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said during his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, “Within the philosophical system of Marx and Lenin and at the heart of their psychology, hatred of God is the principal driving force, more fundamental than all their political and economic pretensions.” Which is to say, hate more than love lies at its heart. Read


CatholicVote President Calls for Catholic Schools to Root Out ‘Marxist’ DEI at CatholicVote. CatholicVote President Brian Burch is calling on Catholic high schools across the country to disclose if they currently harbor Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs. Burch called DEI offices “Marxist programs designed to pit students against each other based on skin color, gender, and so-called sexual orientation.” “This is a perversion of Catholic social teaching,” he added. Burch’s call comes just days after news broke that a Michigan Catholic high school parted ways with a Democratic Party operative it had employed as a “DEI director.” Catholic Central High School in Grand Rapids had paid Tim Marroquín to run its DEI “work group.” Read


MLK's Letter from Birmingham Jail by Andrew Zwerneman at Cana Academy. The letter is more than a document relevant to a limited set of historical events. It is an articulation of Western reason, Judeo-Christian sensibilities, and the enduring foundations of America’s public mind. Speaking of his fellow demonstrators, he offers his readers a vision: “One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they were in reality standing up for the best in the American dream and the most sacred values in our Judeo-Christian heritage.” To see how King worked through the historical crisis by reading it in light of transcendent wisdom is the ultimate reason why every high schooler ought to read his letter. Watch


Young Wafflers and the “Culture of Commitment” by Julian Kwasniewski at The Catholic Thing. Not only are our apps sold with “free trials – cancel anytime,” so are our marriages, persons, pregnancies, and payments. The results are obvious. Broken hearts and families, millions of aborted children, and an inability in both young and old to achieve greatness via commitment to arduous goods…. Heroes are born of commitment. Epics like Beowulf, the Odyssey, or The Lord of the Rings are built around the commitment of men to their families and fatherlands and the defeat of the powers that threaten them. If commitment is one of the things that propel Herods, Hitlers, or Sarumans, it is also one of the things that enable giants like St John the Baptist, Churchill, or Frodo to conquer them. Read


Latinx Engineers and ‘Systemic Racism’: Government Grants Inject Race into Science, Tech by Robert Schmad at The Daily Signal. The federal government is pouring large sums of taxpayer dollars into pushing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives—known as DEI—on academic science, technology, engineering, and math programs, or STEM. The National Science Foundation, a government agency, is funding a slate of programs aimed at addressing alleged racism in environmental and civil engineering, making the field of chemistry more diverse, and training engineers that reflect “black/Latinx” communities, according to a federal spending database. Grants identified by the Daily Caller News Foundation are part of a broader effort by the National Science Foundation to push racial equity in STEM programs. Read


A Crisis of the Human Person: St John Paul II’s Remedy by Deacon David H. Delaney, Ph.D. at The Catholic World Report. St. John Paul II died almost two decades ago. By the time he had died, it was still politically impossible for candidates for major office in the United States to advocate for so-called “gay marriage.” In those bygone halcyon days, the inability to accept one’s sex difference as manifested by one’s body was still understood to be a disorder by most. The voices of confusion about what it means to be a human person have gained the ascendency relatively quickly in last twenty years, which could be indicative of reaching an endgame. While the saint would certainly have been distressed at the extremes which we have reached, I suspect he would not have been surprised. Read


Throwback Thursday


School Choice as Social Justice by Kristina Johannes at The Catholic Thing on April 8, 2013. Vatican II’s Gravissimum Educationis, confirms not only the natural duties and rights of parents regarding school choice, but also the obligation of government to facilitate it: 


Parents who have the primary and inalienable right and duty to educate their children must enjoy true liberty in their choice of schools.  Consequently, the public power, which has the obligation to protect and defend the rights of citizens, must see to it, in its concern for distributive justice, that public subsidies are paid out in such a way that parents are truly free to choose according to their conscience the schools they want for their children.


The main misconception shared by opponents is the idea that public schools are morally and academically neutral. They show zero recognition that teaching a child that Heather has two mommies or that the use of a condom is an example of responsible sexual practice is to take a particular stand on morality that is nowhere near neutral. It all puts me in mind of Benedict XVI’s remark in Light of the World, “no one should be forced to live according to the ‘new religion’ as though it alone were definitive and obligatory for all mankind.” Indeed. Read

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