Ironically, in a year full of far too much medical intervention (thank you, Wuhan), an accident landed me in the hospital this August – the time since spent recuperating. Fortunately, I receive a great deal of mail and have been able to delve into things sent to me in a manner I normally could not.
And this has been, shall we say, enlightening.
One news item was that the state educational administration now has transgender curricula and “resources” for three-year-olds. Yes. It causes a double-take for everyone. I probed deeper, thinking it must be incorrect. In truth, it is beyond what anyone could begin to imagine. (Evil always is.)
Now, one need not be Catholic to see trouble here. But I am surprised how many equate the issue merely with age-appropriateness. Whether kids are too young for the material misses the point. Methuselah himself remains too young for such perversions.
It is the content that is the problem, not the age.
For while the deviants pushing this agenda on children err regarding the subject, their method is spot on. They are indoctrinating the youth. They create a constant atmosphere of beliefs, values, norms, and behaviors that the children are immersed in for the bulk of the day.
More than this, they create for them a set of similarly educated peers with whom the children interact even outside of school. We underestimate, to children’s detriment, the real power of such peer pressure. A handful of hours at home, between supper and bedtime, will not undo the daily reinforcements of social and scholastic indoctrination.
And so one must reflect on why so many are leaving their children in these schools when they abhor what is happening. Nor is it simply public education that has derailed. Many a private school is just as ‘woke.’ To which one can only cry out like the voice from heaven, “Come out of her, my people!” (Rev 18:4)
We must do better as Catholics, as parishes, as pastors to support parents looking to save their children and help them actually receive a high-quality and godly education. All of us. If we are grandparents, aunts, uncles; if we are neighbors or fellow parishioners; if we are retired teachers, or among the many fired for not complying with vaccine mandates: we must all help where we can.
But this leads me to another equally related matter: where are all the children when it comes to Mass attendance? And while that question holds for any minor child, it is specifically about those under the age of reason. In most places, there is a smattering of them, if any at all. Where are they? How many kids do you see at your parishes?
Over time I have heard all manner of reasons why parents and grandparents do not take them: it is a lot of trouble; they don’t get anything out of it; it is beyond the children’s understanding; they interrupt their parents’ own worship; some assume they are exempt from the obligation; so on and so forth.
Put differently, they make the same claim about transgender curricula as they do the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: it is not “age appropriate.”
In this, truly, “the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light.” (Luke 16:8) For those pushing “gender-expansive” indoctrination have it precisely right: from before they can even walk, children need to be surrounded by the values, sights, smells, beliefs, actions, and rituals that will make them who they are as adults.
This is a tragedy of our own making. Indoctrination has somehow become a dirty word, as has proselytizing and (odder still) evangelizing. But indoctrination works. It is something Catholics used to take seriously, especially regarding their own offspring. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
If one waits until they require less supervision, or until they approach the age of reason, the proverbial twig will be bent. Why should they now be happy to give up cartoons, games, or sleep on Sunday mornings? Why not skip Mass for sports? Their parents did not deem their tender age inappropriate to join football or soccer teams.
Many get perturbed when they read that in the Early Church, women and children sat at the back of the congregation. Why? It tells one that children were there – noisy, squirming, nursing children, needing to be corralled and contained. Children were there being trained, formed and – yes – indoctrinated.
And so forgive me this impassioned plea: get your kids to Mass! The Devil does not take a day off. Satan is all in when it comes to indoctrination. His minions are aggressively fighting in all facets of our society to steal our children’s minds, souls, and sanity. They stop at nothing. We would do well to take a page from their book and resurrect such passion in ourselves.
Find yourself a parish that retains the Faith. It should be easy. Lamentably, it is not. A drive is usually involved. But when you arrive, you will see it is brimming with children – a thing otherwise known as positive peer pressure.
There is no greater antidote for the poisons of this world than ensuring your children can sit in the Eucharistic Presence of Christ their Lord. What a gift in these dark times that they can witness the Holy Sacrifice and bathe in the grace that flows from the altar!
It matters not whether they can grasp everything intellectually. Who among us can? What spiritual ground they will gain without the obstacles to grace we adults have acquired like barnacles on ourselves! What a celestial education they will wordlessly receive from their angels who will accustom them to divine worship and present them to be blessed by the Savior Himself (Mark 10:14). As Christ says, there is only “one thing necessary.”
The day grows short. We must be all in for our children.
*Image: Suffer Little Children to Come unto Me by Anthony van Dyke, 1618-1620 [National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa]
You may also enjoy:
Anthony Esolen’s Vesting in Lavender
Brad Miner’s Further Thoughts on Transgenderism