I came across this old saying, “If I kneel before God I can stand before any man.”
The wisdom in this is great. So often, I am afraid of standing up to people because I hate confrontations. But is that any way to live? I don't mean one should pick fights for the sake of fighting, but one should fight for the good fight -- defending truth and goodness, the dignity of human life and family.
The children are again going through a big transition -- leaving their new-found friends at our current school. We are moving them to a smaller, more traditional Catholic school. I feel very sad at having to make this move since the children have done very well at the school, and I have nothing but wonderful things to say about the teachers, students, and parents I've met.
So what's the problem? The administration is taking the school in a more secular and materialistic direction. I realize that most of the parents are on board with spending more, more, more money on the latest gadgets to "enhance" the educational experience, but they don't realize that content and context matter far more than any tool. We live in an affluent area, and it's not uncommon for children to carry cell phones and be wired nearly 24/7 to electronic devices. Our children, on the other hand, do not watch television, nor play video games. We only allow limited computer use for some school work, we watch movies together, and we have a good selection of books at home, and ready access to the library. We work hard to make sure they are consuming good things to feed their minds and souls. If we do not protect their innocence, who will? So I am completely against taking away our parental authority and handing iPads to the children. Actually, I think it's a detriment. Children learn far better by using their whole bodies to learn. What next? Hook them up to the computer all day long? Anyway. That was the lesser problem.
The greater problem is secularism. I want to send my children to a Catholic school so that they will learn to see the world through a Catholic worldview, whether it is the study of cells or great works of art. I want them to always apply the Gospel to their lives. The current school has adopted the IB program for their middle school. What is it? A secular program. Their mission on their website: These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.
That sounds nice enough. But upon digging deeper, their role is to promote tolerance. I don't know when tolerance became a virtue, but it is not. One should never tolerate evil. If I see the practice of burning widows on a funeral pyre, I cannot turn the other way and say that it is their culture. Live and let live. In the same way, I cannot tolerate abortion. We have become so blind to evil, so desensitized, that we can say it is okay to kill a baby in the womb. I'm sure the baby does not think that is okay.
I wrote a fairly lengthy letter to the school administration, but have received no response. It is sad when a Catholic school will not acknowledge the concerns of a Catholic parent, especially regarding faith formation. We are neophytes. We do not want our children to get mixed messages. Jesus is the Truth, the Way and the Life. Everything else that goes against the teachings of the church is not just another opinion. It is false. I know, these are fighting words. But the good Lord is giving me the courage to speak. And if God is on my side, I have nothing to fear from man.
The good news is that God always provides. Our children will go to a small parish school, with none of the bells and whistles of these newer and progressive schools, but I have great peace knowing they will be richer. This smaller school has greater parental involvement, and they stick to the basics. And most importantly, they have a good and holy priest who will help the children to grow in their faith, and maintain their strong Catholic identity. I couldn't ask for anything more.