If Man is Merely Matter, He Doesn’t Really Matter

Jul 21, 2022

The Litany of the Lost by Joseph Pearce at National Catholic Register. As with all great poetry, the opening verse of Sassoon’s lament is burgeoning with extra-textual meaning. It asserts that materialist philosophy, in its idolization of physics and its abandonment of metaphysics, had broken the belief in human good. Man was no longer seen as good or evil because he was merely matter, like everything else in the cosmos. And if man was merely matter, he didn’t really matter. Those with power could do with him what they liked. And this is what they did. Powerful men subjected their fellow men to the revolution of industrialism with its “slavedom of mankind to the machine”. And this industrialism gave rise, in turn, to industrialized ideologies, mechanized and determinist, such as Marxism, with its Hegelian certainties about the future, and Nazism, with its Nietzschean belief in the twilight of the gods and the emergence of the superman and the master race. Read

Lord of the Rings and Catholic Education: Developing the Human

Person by Dr. Andrew Seeley at Institute for Catholic Liberal Education. For classical educators, developing the human person is the primary goal, and the cultural treasures of the past are the principal means to that goal. Making the thoughts, words, stories, and beauty of Christian civilization a living part of students gives them standards and ideals that direct their maturation into adults who help shape their world. JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings epic, wonderful in so many ways, also resonates with the spirit of classical education. In a surprising statement at the end of the story, Gandalf, the wizard who has guided and protected the hobbits, speaks of their adventures as a kind of education: “I am not coming to the Shire. You must settle its affairs yourselves; that is what you have been trained for. Do you not yet understand?” Read

Missouri School to Build a $10K ‘Gender-Affirming Closet’ by Reagan Reece at The Stream. A Missouri school board accepted a $10,000 grant to build a “gender-affirming closet” in one of its high schools Monday, according to KOMU 8 News. The grant for Rock Bridge High School in Columbia, Missouri, is from the It Gets Better Project, a nonprofit organization that works to “empower and connect” the LGBTQ community, KOMU 8 News reported. The high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance club will spend the money on clothing, chest binders, bras, underwear, makeup and other necessities for the closet. Read

MassResistance Parent Infiltrates ‘Transgender’ Training Session for Elementary School Teachers—Asks Presenters Hard Questions by MassResistance at The Stream. Unknown to the public, many states enlist national LGBT organizations to instruct elementary school teachers in how to push transgenderism (both “gender” ideology and transgender behaviors) and homosexuality to very young children. In Washington State (and many other locales), this is done through state-run “professional development” sessions that teachers attend to keep their certification. Read

Arizona Education Department Spent COVID-19 Relief Funds on

LGBT Books by Jeremiah Poff at Washington Examiner. Coronavirus relief funds allocated by the Arizona Department of Education were used to purchase several books depicting gay and transgender characters. Earlier this year, the department and state Superintendent Kathy Hoffman fully funded a Tempe teacher’s “Learning To Love Reading Again” project, which sought to “build a classroom library full of critically acclaimed and diverse young adult literature.” Among the books on the teacher’s list were several gay and transgender young adult novels, including The Girls I’ve Been, You Should See Me In A Crown, and Beauty Queens. Read

Tennessee Governor Pushes Long-Blocked School Voucher Program ‘Immediately’ by Joshua Q. Nelson at Fox News. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee will immediately begin pushing a significant school choice program after being thwarted for almost three years. Lee released an announcement on Wednesday after a judge lifted an injunction that had prevented it from being implemented. Education savings accounts in Tennessee would provide eligible families up to approximately $7,000 in public tax dollars on private schooling tuition and other pre-approved expenses. The goal was to enroll up to 5,000 students in the first year, potentially reaching as many as 15,000 students in its fifth year…. Lee’s move comes after Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey signed the most “monumental” education savings account program in the United States. Read

Throwback Thursday

Protestantism, Anti-Catholicism, and Public Education in the United States by Dr. Christopher Shannon at Catholic World Report on November 23, 2021. Lost in the debate over rights and ideologies is the deeper issue of the role of the Church in education, an issue at the heart of the culture wars present at the creation of the public school system and central to the heroic history of the Church’s efforts to sustain a separate, parochial school system. For almost two hundred years, Catholics have been financially penalized for this commitment, forced to pay twice for education: taxes for public schools and out-of-pocket tuition for Catholic schools. [Bishop John] Hughes, writing in 1840, compared this to the situation of Catholics in Ireland, forced to support the established Protestant Church of Ireland. Despite its tradition of de-centralized, local control, the public school system in America has functioned as the established Church of the United States. Read