Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.
What is the image of the counter-culture to you? It’s not a marijuana joint in the mouth of a raging hippie anymore. It’s a pacifier in the mouth of a screaming baby.
Counter-cultural is no longer the Harley roaring down on an open stretch of highway at 90 mph. It’s the van parked in a church parking lot. Now, that’s counter-cultural.
As evidence I’ll bet you see a lot more hippies on television than you will families with 5,6,or 7 children. Let’s face it, Catholicism is the true counter to the pervading culture of death.
But one motto of the hippie counterculture still rings true. When Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young implored people to “teach your children well,” the counterculture of the 60’s and 70’s took it to heart. Not so much with us. And that’s a problem.
One of the thoughts that gives comfort to pro-lifers is that we’ll simply have more babies than pro-choicers. And those little babies will grow up into adult voters. Demographically, pro-lifers will continue to become a larger percentage of the population and eventually win the battle against legalized abortion. This is sometimes called the “Roe Effect.” In short, pro-choicers are colluders in a slow motion suicide pact.
And you want to know the sad part? We’re not winning. I know what you’re wondering, how do you not win if your opponent is in a suicide pact?
Here’s how. While there is much data to corroborate the assumption that children will often mirror their parent’s political and religious affiliations I worry that many of us continue handing our children over to be educated by the secularist progressives that dominate public schools and most colleges and universities.
I bring this up because a woman with five children said to me just yesterday that her oldest son just came out as agnostic. Now, mind you, this is a good Catholic woman who I see at Church all the time. I asked her where her son goes to college and she told me an Ivy League university. She said she wished she’d pushed him towards a Catholic university.
Now, this young man may very well return to the faith after a brief flirtation with his professor’s favorite philosopher but he may not. But the thing that got me was this woman said she figured she had to send him to the best school he got into to ensure his future. Best? It seems to me that “best” needs to be defined by matching it with a goal. And if the goal is to make a lot of money in the future I’m sure the young man’s college choice is a good one. But is that the goal? Should our view of your “future” be so limited to our time here?
It seems to me that the counter-cultural act of having children must be the first of a lifetime of counter-cultural acts that includes passing on the faith to our children in a way that the faith isn’t something they do on Sundays but it informs every decision they make - even their political ones and yes, even their college choice.
We must make available to our children 2,000 years of the best thinking supplied to us by the Church. Without a strong bedrock logic of their faith our children may be unable to counter the arguments of secular-leaning peers, never mind tenured professors intent on indoctrination. Yet so many of us keep sending our children to them, no questions asked. It’s good for our children’s future we tell ourselves. But what of their eternal future?
We must teach our children well so they can counter the culture of death. They are our only hope to ensure that the culture of life becomes mainstream.