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The War for the Soul of the World

Jul 6, 2023

The War for the Soul of the World by Andrew Petiprin at Catholic World Report. One simple message that I saw emerge this year for the first time in my memory is the wider promotion of June as the month of the Sacred Heart, complete with flags. Because Pride is both so sacrosanct and so ubiquitous, suggesting the celebration of anything else during this month will appear counter-cultural. And we must appear counter-cultural now. The USCCB’s invitation to pray an act of reparation on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart—something which emerged from the scandal at Dodger Stadium—ought to become normal for Catholics as one activity that resists the flow of progress…. [It] should go without saying that we must keep up the fight to remove inappropriate books from school libraries, maintain parental rights over the whims of confused children, and generally foster the traditional family. Read


What ‘The Smartest Kids in the World’ and Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko can Teach America by Kimberly Begg at Catholic School Playbook. Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko was born in 1947, the same year the communist Ministry of National Education took over Polish education. Jerzy attended a mandatory state school, but his first teachers were his parents and they brought him up to love God and his Catholic faith; they tapped into a network of faithful families, priests, and educators who helped preserve Catholic and Polish culture for the next generation of young people. Read


One-Third of Americans Never Attend Church by Karl Fredrickson at Lifeway Research. Two in 5 adults under 35 (40%) say they never attend religious services…. 66% of Americans who attended church regularly for at least one year as a teenager eventually dropped out of church for at least one year as a young adult. Some of those who are never attending used to be an active part of a local church. Read


Wanted: A New Birth of Freedom by John M. Grondelski at The Catholic Thing. For most Americans, the Fourth of July is a celebration of American “freedom.” Freedom is an iconic word for us. It’s also a foundational principle for Judaism and Christianity. But the political/philosophical and the theological meanings of the term are growing ever more equivocal…. The modern apotheosis of false freedom, treating freedom per se rather than good as the end of human action, denies all this…. To this ethic of radical freedom, Adam’s and Eve’s “disobedience” was a free choice to reject external constraints. In that perspective, it’s God, not they, who sinned, punishing them for choosing freely. This is neither Judaism nor Christianity. Read


Why Conservatives Keep Bending the Knee to Gay Rights by Clement J. Harrold at First Things. [T]he law occupies a profoundly pedagogical role in our lives, and for this reason should discriminate between those unions that are essential for the formation of the next generation and those that are not. The truth includes the acknowledging that introducing no-fault divorce was a travesty, and in many ways redefined marriage more drastically than Obergefell vs. Hodges…. when you don't defend the bedrock of civilization, your attempts to safeguard the rest of the culture become less effective…. Gay commentators on the right—eloquent but ultimately compromised figures such as Douglas Murray, Dave Rubin, and Spencer Klavan—are therefore not the originators but the heirs of this mainstream “conservatism” that rejects the truth that God made us male and female with a creative intent that affects our sexuality and how we are to live our lives. With its careless acceptance of the breakdown of marriage culture and its casual celebration of gay unions, this new conservatism has helped usher in societal confusion about human nature. Read


303 Creative, Catholicism, and Religious Freedom by Thomas A. Suarez at Catholic World Report. 303 Creative, with Kennedy off the bench, finally answered this problem clearly: freedom of speech does not compel somebody to use their creative talents to participate in celebration of a “same-sex wedding” contrary to their convictions. Read


Supreme Court Bans Racial Preferences in College Admissions by Jonathan Butcher at The Daily Signal. On May 17, 1954, The New York Times reported that the U.S. Supreme Court “set aside” the “separate but equal” doctrine in education in its Brown v. Board of Education ruling. Racial segregation would no longer be permitted in K-12 public schools. On June 29, 2023, the court finally buried the doctrine once and for all, along with the prejudice that has haunted college admissions for more than 50 years. The justices banned the use of racial preferences in college and university admissions programs. Read


Ohioans Declare Independence from the District School Monopoly by Jason Bedrick at The Daily Signal. Over the weekend, Ohio lawmakers passed a state budget that expands eligibility for the state’s EdChoice Scholarships to all K-12 students. Gov. Mike DeWine signed the bill into law on Monday, making Ohio the eighth state in the nation to pass a universal school choice policy and the sixth state to do so this year, following Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Utah. Universal school choice is when education choice is offered to all students in a state, not just those who are low income or who have special needs. Read 


Throwback Thursday


To Lead a Child: On Reclaiming a Human Pedagogy by Elisabeth Sullivan at Humanum in 2019. Over the past century, as the pragmatism of the early 20th-century philosopher John Dewey has come to govern schools, consideration of the nature and purpose of both teacher and student has been suppressed. Consequently, the most fundamental aspects of human learning and human longing have been largely rejected. The crisis of industrialized education—and its dangers for Catholic schools—has been captured succinctly by Dr. Michael Hanby, one author of the St. Jerome Educational Plan: “The deeper problem is not how little the average (college) freshman knows, but how listless he is about his ignorance.” Listlessness. Apathy. Indifference. These are tragic traits, and yet they are the inevitable result of content and pedagogy that ignore the nature of reality, of the human person, and of God. “Man by nature desires to know,” Aristotle observed millennia ago. That fact is confirmed daily in the chirping of any four-year-old’s endless questions. St. Augustine would later share the true end of our natural hunger for truth: “Our hearts are restless until they find rest in Thee.” The intellect, the memory, the will, and the spiritual life are entwined. Therefore, education that contributes to indifference impedes the soul’s upward ascent to God. Read

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