Print Edition: March 8, 2015
Sign-up for our E-letter!
To: (Multiple email addresses may be specified by separating them with a comma)
BY The Editors
The School Debate
I would just like to comment on
“What’s in a Child?” (Aug. 31), regarding the value of children and home
schooling. I am in full support of the home-schooling movement (having
home-schooled up to five children at a time myself). I love my children and
enjoy just spending time with them. But even as an enthusiastic home-schooler,
I used to feel uncomfortable with some of the prideful tones that articles and
speakers at home-schooling conferences would take. Yes, very often
home-schooled children are quite polite and articulate, and they know their
faith well. The families are close and loving. However, to say that this can be
found only in home-schooling families is untrue. We all know many faithful
families of all sizes where the children attend school but do not fit the
stereotypes Mrs. Selmys seems to want to paint these families as. The mothers
are caring and loving and are not just counting the days until school starts
again. The children are polite and articulate, and they help younger siblings
at home. They are not necessarily being chauffeured from one expensive
extracurricular activity to another, and they are definitely not “domesticated
I have always felt that those of us
who have been called to home school should not foster an “us against them”
mentality. For many families, home schooling is the best choice, and the
children thrive. But there is not one fool-proof way to raise bright-eyed,
faith-filled children. I have known many home-schooled families where children
do things that are supposed to be typical of those (gasp!) school children. In
other words, they complain about doing chores, they are impolite to adults, and
exhibit bullying tendencies at home-schooling gatherings. I have even known
home-schooled teens to rebel against what their parents have tried to teach
them. None of this should surprise us — or make us want to throw in the towel.
I just believe that a little humility goes a long way.
How a child ultimately turns out is
so much a matter of God’s grace and is such a mystery that it would be foolish
to suggest that one method of education (home-based or school) is far superior
to another. Raising children for God’s Kingdom is so much more than a certain
formula or method. Let us stop drawing lines in the sand that pit
home-schoolers against those who send their children to school.
More Than One Issue
Donald DeMarco had “A Dream of
Obama” (Sept. 14). I had a dream about a Republican president who sent sons and
daughters to war. Then another Republican president came along and sent more
sons and daughters to war. Many sons and daughters did not come home from the
I awoke from the dream and realized
that I wasn’t dreaming. My son, Joe, was one who didn’t come home from the
first Republican president’s war.
I realized — not in a dream — that
the upcoming U.S. presidential election is not a one-issue election, as DeMarco
A Return to Chastity
I read with interest a letter from
Matt Leachman, Iowa Park, Texas (“Detrimental Divorce,” Aug. 31), wherein he
commented on the practice of using quote marks around the word “marriage” when
referring to same-sex “marriage.”
He touched on a subject that I think
has been largely ignored: chastity. I think the discussion regarding homosexual
“marriage” would bear more fruit over the long run if the central issue was
addressed first. Similar to the abortion debate, we should start at the
beginning — and work forward. The argument against abortion starts at
conception and works forward in a very methodical manner, which seems to be
finally resonating in our culture. People are beginning to find the fact that life
begins at conception reasonable and compelling, and that if you don’t defend
life at its earliest stages, you weaken defense of life at all stages.
The focus on the disorder of
same-sex attraction generally fails to address the central issues of chastity
and sanctity. I would like to suggest that beginning at the beginning may yield
better long-term results over time.
Mr. Leachman is correct. “Marriage”
between people in general, and Catholics in particular, before a justice of the
peace and not before God is not a sacramental marriage — any more for them than
it is for homosexuals. Failing to focus on this makes it easy to sidetrack
debate with challenges of Church prejudice against homosexuals and charges of
repression, etc. While these charges are groundless, they still distract from
the reality: There is a general failure of respect for chastity. The general
attitude toward acceptance of premarital sex in our society simply opens the
door to experimentation of all sorts, and that, of course, can lead people to
explore deviant sex of all types, including with the same sex.
Pope John Paul II’s theology of the
body is the basis for this discourse. The nature and sanctity of the sexual
relationship between man and woman should be as urgent a topic of discussion as
is the abortion debate. In fact, a return to chastity would do more to prevent
abortion than any legislation.
True Family Values
The letters by Connie Derrick and
Matt Leachman are good, thoughtful commentary on the defense of marriage that
advocates need to ponder (“Detrimental Divorce,” Aug. 31). As all good
Christians know, same-sex behavior is condemned as an abomination in the Old
and New Testaments. Likewise the Scriptures condemn divorce and remarriage as adultery
in regard to male and female sexual behavior. With all this condemnation of
immoral variants of family or interpersonal activity, one wonders whether the
practitioners of one or the other behavior end up in a deeper state of
Advocates of pro-family values and
the defense of marriage seem to focus a lot on the abominable behavior and not
much on the adulterous behavior. But statistically, adulterous activity is far
more common and seems to have many more negative consequences for society, due
to the inevitable destruction of biological family bonds and the psychological
dislocation of the offspring involved.
Has it ever occurred to your readers
that the political party most associated with the family-values crusade has had
divorced and remarried champions as its core leadership? A former movie actor
and president from California and a current senator and candidate for the
presidency from Arizona seem to be strange champions of Bible-based family
values. Perhaps there is a little hypocrisy here regarding these politicians
and their pro-family supporters?
Maybe the meeting some weeks ago of
Archbishop Chaput of Denver with John McCain had the marriage status of the
candidate as the first topic of moral concern. With the wise counsel of the
archbishop, we can only hope that John can see the error of his ways and return
the good grace of his first and non-sinful marriage for the sake of his
salvation, the good of society and the preservation of traditional marriage.
When the bishops finally get on
board with a constitutional amendment to ban divorce and remarriage, we know
that they will be fully enforcing the teachings and doctrine of the holy Roman
Catholic Church regarding the full spectrum of family morality and values as
binding on all citizens of the nation. Praise God!
Terrence Lauerman, O.Praem.
As a parent who hopes to watch her
children grow up to be tattoo-less adults, I read the article “Tattoo Taboos”
(Sept. 7) with interest.
I wanted to share something a dear
friend pointed out to me a few years ago while our children swam together. My
little ones were adorned with temporary tattoos they had received at a parade.
My friend asked them why they would put them on their bodies, and she then
remarked how a temporary tattoo can be a baby step towards a permanent tattoo.
That made sense to me! We have never used a temporary tattoo since.
Mary and Christendom
write in praise of Joseph Pronechen’s piece, “The Meaning of ‘Mary’” (Sept. 7).
Many times throughout Western history, Mary has been credited with greatly
aiding in the defense of Christendom. One is reminded of Charles Martel beating
back the Moors at Poitiers, France, in 732, Don Juan and his unlikely naval
victory over the fleet of the Turks at Lepanto, Greece, in 1571, and then the
gates of Vienna, Austria. Defending the outskirts of Vienna, Jan Sobieski,
vastly outnumbered by the Islamic forces of the Ottoman Empire, saved Western
civilization and Christendom from near-certain extinction. This was the last
Islamic siege of the West until Sept. 11, 2001 — which makes the author’s
dating of this event so puzzling.
Hilaire Belloc in The
Great Heresies, writes of Sobieski’s valiant defense as occurring on
Sept. 11, 1683. Belloc wrote this in 1938, and in that monumental essay on
“Mohammedanism,” he presciently stated that Islam would rise again. He was
singular in this opinion at the time, and he has been proved correct. Some
historians argue that Sobieski arrived on Sept. 11, and the battle ensued in
the early morning hours of Sept. 12. Apparently, the Islamic warriors of 9/11
also thought their last great humiliation at the hands of the West occurred on
Sept. 11, or they would not have chosen this hallowed date for meting out their
vengeance. Perhaps they were operating off of a different calendar, but Belloc
was not alone in choosing Sept. 11 as the correct date for this momentous
battle. He was the lone sentinel warning of Islam’s resurgence against the
A front page article about a ballot initiative in
Connecticut that could help protect traditional marriage (“Connecticut Marriage
Politics,” Sept. 14) misidentified a Quinnipiac law professor as William
Duncan. His name is actually William Dunlap. The Register regrets the error.
Copyright © 2015 EWTN News, Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction of material from this website without written permission is strictly prohibited.
Accessed from 188.8.131.52