Friday, December 28, 2012

Why aren't our plans working? -- part 3

Continued from last week…..

Perhaps, dear Frieda, you will recall that I proposed as evidence for a successful Catholic school or religious education program, the example of an adolescent attending church in July when his (or her) parents were unable to do so. Were that child to go to an un-airconditioned Church, it might be evidence of exceptional sanctity. I digress. Perhaps one might say that a good and moral life would be as good or preferable as evidence for successful Catholic education. I remind you that I am talking about Catholic religious education. We may be doing a good and noble thing to create a moral citizenry, but we cannot call it Catholic education. Catholic education exists to produce Catholics, I would presume. Still, let me momentarily concede the point for the sake of amicable discussion. In that spirit, let us look at the product of modern education, both Catholic and in general.

In 2007, 20.7% of young adults ages 18-25 had in the past year had been addicted to, or abused illicit drugs or alcohol.  About half of college students who drink, also binge-drink. The study states that 599,000 students are injured while under the influence of alcohol and 1,825 of them die. Another 690,000 students are assaulted by another student who has been drinking. To date, 97,000 students are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.

Twenty five percent of college students report academic consequences as a result of drinking such as missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall. Approximately 150,000 students develop an alcohol-related health problem and between 1.2 and 1.5 percent of students indicate that they tried to commit suicide within the past year due to drinking or drug use. Also, 2.8 million college students reported driving under the influence of alcohol. In short, about one in four college students is drunk, disorderly and dangerous. I cannot find a similar accumulation of statistics for Catholic schools, but being a graduate of a Catholic University, Krayola University here in Frostbite Falls, and having been a teacher at said university for 25 years, I suspect the figures above are low ball for us Catholics and another survey in 2010 done by Mississippi State University seems to agree with me.

Let’s talk about sex. Why not? Everyone else does. As mentioned above, the MSU study in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion indicated that women at Catholic colleges engage more frequently in sex than those at secular or evangelical colleges. Researchers suspect that more tolerant Catholic attitudes to drinking may be to blame. I wonder how much money was spent to find out that drunken adolescents tend to behave in an excessively amorous fashion?  Also of interest, on the Cardinal Newman Society Blog “Campus Notes” I found a reference to a helpful list from TFP Student Action that claims “52 percent of Catholic colleges in the U.S. sponsor some form of ‘pro-homosexual’ student club. The Cardinal Newman Society has documented the damage that activist and social groups can do, such as drag shows being held on Catholic campuses.”  

I personally remember a correspondence I had a few years back with the then President of one of the largest Catholic Universities in the known galaxy, DePeter University here in Frostbite Falls, home of the much loved basketball team, the Azure Devils. In the Library there was a shrine to St. Harvey Milk, a pioneering homosexual politician who was shot by an angry fellow committee man in San Francisco in 1978. I am not sure that it is still there as of this writing. It was a simple dignified shrine, an icon of the martyred  Harvey Milk, holding a candle, wearing the pink triangle, head surrounded by a halo and, on either side, in Greek, the words “St. Harvey.” A student organization at the same university a few years back conducted a beauty contest for those young men who find the wearing of women’s clothing more expressive, and a week celebrating amorous diversity and different life style choices in the tolerant and enlightened spirit of our age. The whole glorious event was capped off by a dance for these daring young progressives in one of the university’s dorms. When I questioned the University President  about the event, he pointed out that his hands were tied by academic freedom.  Freedom indeed.....

So if the good and moral life provides evidence for the success of Catholic schools, I rest my case once again. Promiscuity, drunkenness and abortion cannot be made to look like moral victories, and remember we are not doing those things at the same rate as the pagans. We are surpassing the pagans in vice! And all of this paid for by you, Mummy and Daddy, who have taken out a second mortgage and cosigned a fortune in college loans to complete the Catholic Education of the apples of your eye, your beloved children, in the hope that you will one day have grandchildren whose First Communion and Confirmation you will attend. Don’t hold your breath. Maybe you should have sent them to trade school instead of the University of Sodom and Gomorrah. There they might have kept their faith and their morals and learned a marketable skill that could have found them employment in these hard economic times. But you opted for the much vaunted and increasingly worthless college degree, and from a good Catholic college to boot. Rather than choose dirty finger nails for our little dears, we have chosen filthy souls.  The children of Catholic homes abort and contracept at the same rate as pagans. They go to church only rarely and seem to drink more than the heathens and fornicate like rabbits. And you are paying for the party. Mazel Tov.

How did this all happen? I’ll tell you how. Sports. You heard me: SPORTS. The first time you missed Mass because of the big game you told your children that Mass and God and all that stuff, while important, were not nearly as important as the BIG GAME. Their obligations to the God who made them, who loved them with His life, the God who can rescue them from death, and before whom they will stand on the day of judgement,  their obligation to Him doesn’t really matter, because it doesn’t really matter to you. Why shouldn’t they drink and sleep around? Self control is just one more pious myth, one more tedious practice, like religion. Every Catholic school that allows a practice or a game on Sunday should immediately be closed down, or at least taken over by a Catholic faculty. 

Thank God I’m not a bishop. I would be a very unpopular one.


  1. People miss Mass because of parochial-school sports? (Serious question.) In the eight years I played two seasons of parochial-school sports, I am positive that there was never an athletic event running at the same time as Sunday Mass. I guess a lot of kids play competitive-league sports these days, but the idea of missing a Sunday obligation to play ball is wholly foreign to me (and I loved to play ball as a kid, and still would if I had anywhere to play). But then again, I read this blog sympathetically, so maybe I'm not representative.

  2. Fr. Simon,

    I am sitting here smiling at your hyperbole. Oh, I know, Rev. Know-It-All does NOT consider your writings to be hyperbole! I don't exactly, either. There is so much (very sad and tragic) truth in all that you write. I thank you for using a certain type of humor to make your points. You are RIGHT ON.

  3. You're not entirely right about sports. I live in an area with a huge Catholic school system, and some of the schools are so big on sports that if you don't play one, you're a second-class citizen. But some of them barely mention sports. And they are not schools that are extremely devout. Some of the most-Catholic schools have a huge "sports culture." It all depends on the school and the parents. The problem is much bigger than sports, sports is a symptom. IMHO