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This Treasure We Have

Aug 3, 2023

This Treasure We Have: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition by Robert Royal at What We Need Now. It’s long been part of our understanding of moral questions… that, as Augustine put it, evil is the absence of some good, either something that should be there and isn’t, or it is but to too great or too little a degree. In other words, since God is the Creator of all that exists, and everything He has created is good, what we call evil is a departure in some way from the full order of our universe. The Church is “catholic” precisely because it’s “universal,” Greek kata-holos, “according to the whole.” …. One of the hard tasks assigned to Christians in the present generation is to resist partial truths, to name disordered virtues, to remind the whole world of the order of being and truth that centuries of careful and generous thought have brought to light. And to withstand slurs about bias and hate, by affirming the fullness of truth—and love. No small or easy task. But the one to which Divine Providence has decreed we are called. Read 

Thoughts on Catholic Higher Education and Culture by Msgr. James Shea at What We Need Now. This is not a rebellious generation of college students; it is a highly anxious one. It has been coddled and fawned over, and that seems to have produced both a sense of entitlement and a sensitivity to anything that doesn’t seem to be going well…. Many, most, young Catholics, have a very misty understanding of their own faith. They are obviously not to blame for this; they have only taken on the attitudes of their parents and teachers, most of whom tend to a non-dogmatic, vaguely sentimental and therapeutic, personal choice sort of belief structure. The two great commandments seem to be: “Be yourself,” and “Don’t offend anyone.” Not very different from the culture at large. Read 

When Catholic Universities Actively Assist in Sin by Anne Hendershott at Crisis Magazine. It is disappointing—but not surprising—to read that the once-faithful Catholic University of San Diego is continuing to provide 100 percent of the costs related to “voluntary abortion”... for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in its Aetna Student Health Plan…. What is much more surprising now is that the University of San Diego School of Law Transgender Name and Gender Marker Change Clinic now provides counseling and legal assistance to those wishing to legally change their name and their gender. Read  

Catholic Schools and “Same-Sex Marriages”: An Emerging Legal Clash by Charles J. Russo at Catholic World Report. Just as employees deserve respect to be able to live freely as they desire, so, too, should these individuals not only honor their commitments in the contracts they signed but also accept that others may have values different from their own? If individuals are unable to abide by the contracts to which they agreed, then perhaps they should consider working in schools or professions more aligned with their values because there is no right to employment. Read 

Choosing the Education Reform Road Not Taken by Jennifer Patterson at World. The movement for parental choice in education was born to make schools more accountable to parents by letting dollars follow students based on families’ educational decisions. Now, 40 years after A Nation at Risk, the emergence of universal parental choice in several states is a game-changer. In these states, parents can direct much of their children’s per-pupil funding to the education provider of their choice. Read 

The Rising Demand for School Choice by the Editorial Board of The Wall Street Journal. Many states have recently created or expanded school choice programs, but are parents taking up the opportunity? It’s early days, but data from several states should encourage lawmakers that robust offerings are in demand. Indiana this year reported an increase of some 20% in its voucher program. More than 53,000 students participated in 2022-23, compared with 44,376 the previous school year,…. Thirteen more private schools were included…. All of this was before the state made vouchers nearly universal in May. Read 

Parents Pushing Back on Public Education: The Law Is on Your Side by Andrea M. Picciotti-Bayer at National Catholic Register. Fortunately, Supreme Court precedent is on the side of parents who push back. According to [Helen] Alvaré, the Court has consistently acknowledged parents’ rights respecting their children’s education, both as a matter of the free-exercise guarantee and as a matter of parents’ 14th Amendment substantive due-process rights. Most poignant was the Court’s observation in a 1925 case: “The child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.” Read 

CA Considers Pair of Bills that Seek to Eradicate Parental Rights at CatholicVote. The California Legislature is considering two bills that, if enacted, would severely limit the rights of parents to raise their children in the state. The text of AB 957 states that it “would include a parent’s affirmation of the child’s gender identity or gender expression as part of the health, safety, and welfare of the child.” As the California Globe reported, the bill could cause a parent to “lose custody for not ‘affirming’ or agreeing to a child’s claims about gender identity.” Read 

Throwback Thursday 

The Parents’ Rebellion by Robert Royal at The Catholic Thing on October 4, 2021. For all the talk these days of “diversity,” the term does not really mean tolerating the widest possible range of people. It more typically means privileging favored liberal groups—gays, trans, “people of color” —even if impartiality has to be discarded to do so. The most radical division, of course, is between the roughly half the nation that still follows Christian precepts and the half who see those precepts, in varying ways, as biased and even as hate speech. Still, any sane person can see that racism—including reverse racism—and homoerotic pornography – like heterosexual pornography – are outside of true civic dialogue, however politically correct they may be in how they present themselves. It’s best to keep them out of the state’s hands—just as we don’t want the nightmare of the state teaching religion. Read

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