Destroying Freedom in the Name of Freedom

A recent PBS documentary explored the struggle of young Muslim girls to receive an education in their native countries. The largest obstacle is fear of the Taliban, who may return to power one day. But another is their Muslim families. Parents force them to marry very young. In such societies, the dignity of women is unrecognized when it comes to education.

It’s sad to see the natural desire to learn frustrated by the girls’ own parents. But the deeper problem has to do with a fundamental lack of respect for the dignity of the person, male or female, in these rather primitive societies.

Then again, many parents in the West, who think of themselves as quite enlightened when it comes to the rights of men and women, fail to recognize the deepening lack of respect for the dignity of the person in our own societies – despite laws and constitutions that supposedly protecting human rights.

Western nations today have lost any valid understanding of natural rights because it has undercut the rational grounds for these rights. Rational grounds ultimately require a lawmaker, far above the limitations of human positive law.

Muslim parents may be doing temporal harm to their girls by denying them an education. But Western parents are doing much greater harm to their children by providing them with an education that undermines their true human dignity. Is it a greater evil to deny one’s offspring a basic education and literacy than to subject them to an educational system that positively destroys their innocence and their natural sense of shame – while undermining their moral sense?

That is surely what our schools do in the West by their deliberate sexualization of children beginning in the earliest years. Being uneducated does not contaminate the soul or make it less likely that someone will achieve salvation – even if it can make a poorer human life.


But sexualization by radical ideologues severely wounds the soul. It makes it far more difficult for the products of such “education” to become fully human and to save their souls.

Gabriele Kuby, a German sociologist, has produced a masterly book, The Global Sexual Revolution, which documents the deliberate and systematic destruction of the innocence of children, especially in the West, through their intense sexualization by government-sponsored educational programs.

The central thesis of her book is that human freedom is being destroyed in the name of freedom, that is, by a mad quest for absolute freedom, which is leading – inevitably – to a new form of totalitarianism. It’s a disturbing book, to say the least.

What is happening in her native Germany, and in many other EU countries, goes way beyond what we have witnessed so far in our own country. It’s a particular problem in Germany where parents have no escape, other than leaving the country. Germany has a highly restrictive, mandatory education law, which effectively forces parents to send their children to schools run mainly by the state. Moreover, the law absolutely forbids homeschooling. Parents are trapped into exposing their children to the most degrading sexual education imaginable.

In light of this denial of parental rights, and the degrading sexualization programs that German children must attend, the obvious question is: where are the German Bishops on all this? The German hierarchy during the Nazi era has been condemned for their failure to openly and vigorously oppose that demonic regime and its horrific attacks on the natural rights of its citizens.

So what will be said in the future about the failure of the German hierarchy today to defend the natural rights of German parents?

But it’s actually worse, according to Kuby. For it seems that the German hierarchy is either looking the other way or positively supporting such degrading sexual programs, some even being offered by German Catholic associations. Evidently, the German hierarchy has no alternative program, but simply allows these Catholic associations to operate while adopting the teaching methods and programs that have been developed by the secular educational establishment.

Efforts by parents in this country to resist the most extreme forms of such education have been admirable by comparison. But the enemies are now definitely at the gates. We can see the same tactics and strategies used in Europe to foist this evil upon families now being pressed here as well.

These sexual ideologues are relentless. Their true goal is a totalitarian mode of governing, to be brought about by a revolution aimed at the corruption of children, their future pawns, and the destruction of the family, the great obstacle to their ambitions.

The Obama administration gave this away with its premature rule mandating universal insurance coverage of contraception and abortifacients. And this battle is just beginning. Waiting in the wings are the educational clones of those European sexual revolutionaries, looking for their next opportunity to mandate the worst kind of inhuman sexualization of children.

Most bishops in this country are alert to these threats and have made efforts to combat such programs. No doubt, they will be discussing this and other problems this week at their annual Fall meeting in Baltimore. But far more difficult days lie ahead, and their resolve to fight the government and its programs will be gravely tested.

They will need a lot of support from the Catholic laity, who themselves must take the lead in this struggle – not only for religious freedom but for the survival of freedom itself.

Fr. Mark A. Pilon (1943-2018) was a priest of the Diocese of Arlington, VA. He received a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from Santa Croce University in Rome. He was a former Chair of Systematic Theology at Mount St. Mary's Seminary, and a retired and visiting professor at the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College. He writes regularly at