The new houses of worship

The new houses of worship

Taylor Armerding, editorialist for local newspaper, the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune had an op-ed in the Salem Evening News making the point that schools have become the new houses of worship. It’s an interesting thesis.

In my parents’ and grandparents’ generations, churches were the center of community life. Everyone looked to the churches for assistance, for socialization, and for hope for the future. Large numbers of very poor people poured time and money they didn’t have as well as hours of labor into building churches that we, in all our wealth today, could not duplicate for the expense.

  • Where I live families that have more than two or three children homeschool.  It is so noticeable that the guy who pumps out the septic tanks in the area commented on it. The furnace fixing guy also swears he can tell a homeschooling family as soon as he walks in. (Can you tell I live in the country?) About twenty miles away there are a couple of families with lots of kids who are in the local parish school.  I can’t believe this is true up in Boston or elsewhere but I am curious.  I discussed it with someone and we concluded that public schools are so hostile to large families that the tradeoff is easier to make.

  • There is a quiet revolt going on in our country today – where so many of the families which truly believe in God are removing their children from the harm which now comes to them through our public education system.  We know of a great many here in New Jersey who homeschool, and of a great many more who, like we, actually became frightened by the effect of the public schools on our children, and enrolled them instead in Catholic schools.  And of those whose kids remain in the public schools here – in well-off suburban New Jersey – we here unrelenting horror stories – of kids brain-damaged by drugs and fallen unconscious from alcohol – of sexual perversion – of 7th grade pregancies – of classes in which it is taught that the Crusades were part of the ‘evil’ of the church – of the active vilifying of the Boy Scouts – of pro-abortion speakers from Planned Parenthood – and of reverence for the idea that government is the answer to all problems.  More recently, we hear that the Baptists are considering telling their adherents to yank their kids from the public schools.  Dr. Dobson, of Focus on the Family, has already so recommended.  In short, if you want your kids’ minds and hearts and souls to be polluted by various forms of evil – send them to the public schools.

  • I think it’s the old Norms vs.Values argument in that:
    We as Americans value (and spend) our public schools as the center of our social lives but, in actuality, I think Americans normally use the Shopping Mall as the center of daily life. 
    I saw a public middle school teacher at work (gee.. at the Mall) yesterday. We were discussing how kids can behave badly in public and it’s really the parents fault. She said ‘I just don’t understand whats wrong with those parents..” I said “Moral Relativity” By the look I got, I think she would have understood Gamma-Rays-From-Mars better.