Thursday, March 26, 2015

The first casualty is usually the truth. . .

Read The National Review for an article on the push back to the Archbishop's desire to have teachers in Roman Catholic schools actually teach in line with Roman Catholic teaching.  It is not that difficult and certainly no stretch of the imagination to believe that those who teach in Roman Catholic schools would actually teach in line with Roman Catholic teaching -- whether or not they personally believe such.  Yet it is clear that when it comes to the highly organized and well funded gay lobby, this is exactly the things being challenged.

First they will characterize the teaching as rigid.  It is a typical move to paint orthodoxy as rigid, unbending, heartless, and unfeeling.  Who would agree with orthodoxy if it meant surrendering your heart at the door.

Next they will characterize orthodoxy as out of step with the people in the church.  How many times have we not heard orthodoxy described as not the mainstream of people's thinking or a stretch for the average person in the pew?  Here the point will be made that because there are Roman Catholics who disagree with the church's position, the position must change to fit the people's viewpoint.

And then, of course, they will attempt to discredit the moral high ground of those who press for orthodoxy.  But this is and has never been about who is holier -- it is about the unchanging teachings of a church and the ordinary expectation that a school that wears the church's name should be expected to teach and practice in conformity with that teaching.

Lest we think this is a uniquely Roman Catholic issue, we Lutherans have seen the Lutheran-ness of our own church schools diluted and weakened to the point where it is hard to identify anything in the curriculum or policies of such a school in conformity with the confessional standards of the church.  A particular example might be the promotion of evolution (we all expect that evolution will be taught informationally but we have a right to expect that it will not be promoted at the expense of Scripture).  Another example would be the area of worship.  Sadly many students in a Lutheran school go to chapels that bear no distinctive marks of Lutheran faith or piety.

Lutheran schools are expensive.  The parents pay good money in tuition.  The parishes support the school, facilities, and mission of the school with good money given in food faith.  The minimal common expectation is that the faith and practice of such schools will conform to the doctrinal positions of the larger church.  Apart from this is the basic question of why such a school could or should be called Lutheran in the first place.  Funny, though, is the fact that most of our parents make the great sacrifice of tuition and offerings in support of Lutheran education because they believe that Lutheranism offers something good and positive toward education.  Why else would you spend so much money on your child's education?  No, the basic and most foundational expectation of people sending their children to a Lutheran school is that the school will impart a solidly Lutheran education for their children.

1 comment:

Kirk Skeptic said...

To borrow a slogan from days of yore, "defend and defund."