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We Need a Separation of Home and State

Apr 14, 2022

We Need a Separation of Home and State by Anthony Esolen at Crisis Magazine. As soon as you enter the door of a home, you are in a sacred place, and you are subject to its proper authority. So long as no one within is engaged in behavior that immediately endangers or injures the welfare of those nearby—no one there is setting fires or playing loud music in the middle of the night—and so long as children, who are especially vulnerable, are not being starved or beaten bloody or raped or otherwise harmed in a clear and lawless way—the home is its own small parish, its own small county. And when homes come together to establish a village or a school, they extend and they delegate some of their authority, so that these enterprises are still to be considered as subordinate to the home and supportive of it. Think of the school, properly, as a general governess or tutor hired by a cooperative of homes. Read

10 Key Takeaways From the Vatican’s New Instruction on CatholicEducation by Patrick Reilly at National Catholic Register. Last week, the Vatican issued a call for stronger Catholic identity in Catholic education. But will it do any good? The short answer: Yes, I think it will. The Congregation for Catholic Education’s new instruction on schools, “The Identity of a Catholic School for a Culture of Dialogue,” published March 29, could help tremendously, if dioceses take to heart its demands for truly faithful Catholic teaching across all subjects, hiring teachers who profess and witness to the Catholic faith, and intervening meaningfully when a school or teacher fails to provide faithful Catholic formation. Read

Anti-Catholic Amendments by Andrea Picciotti-Bayer on Edify by CatholicVote. All over the country, church schools are being targeted by a secular alliance of liberal politicians, left-leaning media, and teachers’ unions. Now is the moment to act…. School choice is not just a political issue. One of the most sacred responsibilities of parents is to make decisions regarding the education of their children. Let me leave you with a quotation. “As those first responsible for the education of their children, parents have the right to choose a school for them which corresponds to their own convictions.” That doesn’t come from a conservative organization that advocates for school choice. It’s from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Watch

Largest Teachers Union Spent Twice as Much on Politics as onMember Needs by Jeremiah Poff at Washington Examiner. The data reviewed by Americans for Fair Treatment, which was provided exclusively to the Washington Examiner, showed that the political activities donations totaled 18% of the union's $374 million budget for 2020-2021. The "contributions, gifts, and grants" totaled 32% of expenditures. Meanwhile, only 9% of the NEA's budget was spent on direct assistance to its members, who pay an annual fee of $200 to maintain their membership in the union. Read

Throwback Thursday

Why School Prayer Matters by Steven D. Smith at First Things in May 2020. Harvard professor Noah Feldman observes that by the mid-nineteenth century, public schools “were already understood as sites for the creation of American identity.” Martin Marty notes that in America, public schools came to assume the role formerly filled by an established church: They form and express essential public values. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that schools have been the most frequent subject of establishment-clause disputes. This observation helps explain the passion generated on both sides of the issue. At first glance, the stakes seem low. The prayers contested in court typically lasted a minute at most. Designed to be ecumenical, they likely did little to instill genuine piety. But they were richly symbolic. Their regular recitation in public schools expressed and reinforced a nation that understood itself to be, as the Pledge of Allegiance puts it, “under God.” This understanding of America was subtly communicated not only to fidgeting or distracted students, but to the citizenry as a whole. The backlash against the Engel and Schempp decisions was severe because the majority of American citizens recognized, correctly, that the official prohibition of school prayer expressed and inculcated a very different national self-understanding. Read

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