“A society built on a family scale is the best guarantee against drifting off course into individualism or collectivism, because within the family the person is always at the center of attention as an end and never as a means... Without families that are strong in their communion and stable in their commitment peoples grow weak... The priority of the family over society and over the State must be affirmed.” (paragraph 213, 214, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church)
Perhaps you saw these stories this week: A school board in Provincetown, MA approved a condom distribution policy where any student in the district can ask for condoms from the nurse, and be given an educational demonstration on how to use them properly. There is no minimum age requirement or age limit. 1st graders are welcome to ask for condoms and be taught how to use them. The policy also states that “the school district will not honor requests from parents that students not be allowed to receive condoms.” That's right. Parents cannot object or exercise their rightful authority over their own minor children – even 1st graders.
In Iowa, the high school kids in Shenandoah got instruction on graphic sexual acts from a Planned Parenthood representative during their state-mandated sex-ed class. Students were shown how to do female exams, and with the aid of a 3-D, anatomically correct male sex organ, shown how to use a condom.
The teens were also treated to a demonstration of the sex act in various different positions using stuffed animals, as well as photographs that some parents called “pornographic.” When many parents – who, of course, had not been informed of the content of this sex-ed class – complained, the principal was reportedly “mortified” and apologized. The superintendent said, “It's a political hot potato. It's a religious hot potato. It's a parental hot potato. It's all these things that cause a crack in the system between society, parents, and schools, and we're still required to do it.”
In Texas, a 14 year-old girl has been arrested after giving birth in a friend's apartment and then smothering her infant son with the amniotic sac. She then put the child in a plastic bag and asked a neighbor to help get rid of the body, and the neighbor told police he put the baby in a large trash bin at the apartment complex. They also threw away the linens, clothing and the bed. The 14 year-old's younger sister was the only one who knew of the pregnancy. She also witnessed the birth – and death – and told a school counselor what happened. The police officer said, “Everybody's parents work, they were unaware of what was going on.”
The baby – that little person who was suffocated and then treated as garbage – is lost now to all but God, for by the time police learned of the death, the trash had been collected and taken to a landfill that they said was too big to search.
No grave; no dignified resting place; just a mucky, rotting landfill. And anyway, who really cares? So what? It's not like he was a human being.
~~~ ~~~ ~~~
We are in a moral and cultural freefall. These three infuriating and somber stories are all symptomatic of the collapse of the family unit in our society. In my own lifetime I have witnessed this collapse accelerate at an alarming rate. But I don't recall hearing alarm bells while I was growing up. The adults I encountered were mostly indifferent, unaware, or otherwise enthusiastically indulging in the amoral home-wrecking they were inflicting on us.
Clanging the alarm bell now seems a lot like crying out, “Iceburg!” after the Titanic already plowed into the thing. We are sinking fast, and looking anywhere other than to God and His Church for rescue is a waste of time and life. Just rearranging deck chairs...
Allow me to be direct: Divorce, remarriage, single parenting by design or default, shacking-up, abortion, babies manufactured and destroyed at will, the demand for same-sex “marriage” rights and parenting rights, and a culture that worships sex – all these things combined make for one very deadly potion that America's been guzzling for decades.
Being drunk and sick, we began abdicating our parental responsibilities and allowed public authorities to have more and more influence, more and more control, and now they simply run roughshod right over parents, particularly when it comes to sexual “education” and anti-God, politically-correct indoctrination.
The icing on this disastrous cake has been too many years of far too many wishy-washy, weak-willed, confused, apathetic Catholics who are utterly ignorant of their faith and so put up little to no resistance against the destruction of the most vital component of our society: the family.
What is the cure for an aggressive public authority that usurps the authority of parents? A community of strong, cohesive families who meet their moral, spiritual, educational and material obligations to their children.
What is the cure for the life-hating era we live in, where girls barely past the onset of menstruation are having sex, becoming pregnant, and killing their own children? The answer again, is a strong, cohesive family where mother and father are both present in the home; where human dignity is communicated and demonstrated; where commitments are kept; where virtues are lived and taught; where life is held sacred and God is still God.
The cure is not government programs or entitlements or more mandates or restrictions. The only cure is to return to an attitude of reverence for the foundation of our society: the family, “born of the intimate communion of life and love founded on the marriage between one man and one woman.” (Paragraph 211, CSDC)
As our culture sinks deeper into this moral abyss, the cure is not less Church but more Church. Those whose faith was badly or never formed, and those who are timid and reluctant need to shape up, learn their faith and step out with courage to witness by their lives to the truth of God's plan for the human person and the family.
What is the remedy for a culture that rejects God, denies the natural law, places the State in authority over the children and celebrates every manner of immorality? The Christian family; the “domestic Church.”
“The Christian family is called therefore to be a sign of unity for the world and in this way to exercise its prophetic role by bearing witness to the Kingdom and the peace of Christ, towards which the whole world is journeying.” (paragraph 220, CSDC) “Christian families have then, in virtue of the sacrament received, a particular mission that makes them witnesses and proclaimers of the Gospel of life. This is a commitment which in society takes on the value of true and courageous prophecy.” (paragraph 231, CSDC)
No – timid, milquetoast Catholicism will not get the job done. Our time is crying out for heroes of the faith to show themselves in every walk of life, in every nook and cranny of the public square, in every community. For too long we have bought the lie that our faith must remain at home in private – no longer. There can be no separation of faith and living!
Be courageous prophets. Our mission is to rescue and firmly reestablish the family according to God's plan and design. Start at home, but do not stay there. Be courageous prophets.