Ecclesiam res et talia sermocinamur -

We talk about the Church, stuff, and such

Monday, March 19, 2007

Just in: Parents raise children; hot water needed to make coffee

I can count on one hand the number of times I have read something intelligent in the pages of the Memphis Commercial Appeal (syndicated columns, comics, and the sports page excluded). But apparently they've published this surprisingly intelligent article on pre-K programs.

Now, pre-K and Headstart programs sound really great at first -- everyone supports kids learning, and everybody can support giving disadvantaged children some sort of assistance. And then you think about it a little harder. These three- and four-year-old children who are going to school and spending all this time with teachers aren't spending time with whom? Oh, with their parents.

Why exactly does the government want to take children away from their parents? Maybe it's because the primary error of the modern state is that it seeks to be all things; it can spend your money better than you, it can manage your healthcare better than you, it can get the crab grass out of your yard, and it can even raise your children. When you expand programs such as this beyond the level of charity for the desperately needy, you cease to help people, and begin robbing them. You rob them of their childhood, which should be spent in the warmth and care of their parents' house -- even, or perhaps especially, if those parents will teach them things inimical to the values, official or de facto, of the state or society. You rob parents of their rightful labor -- we hear lots about right to work, but what about the right to do the most fundamental work, the work that God willed man do "from the beginning"? The familial labor of love was the single labor inherent in man's nature and required of him prior to the Fall. To paraphrase George Bailey, the government isn't selling, the government's buying.

What's even more troubling is that Catholic schools have jumped on the bandwagon. They likely aren't consciously motivated by the same insidious statism that drives public programs, but that doesn't make the end result any better. Maybe they think they're providing a top-quality program; maybe they think they're making themselves better able to compete in the non-existent academic marketplace. They quite certainly are using their pre-K programs as gold mines by preferencing pre-K students for real school admissions, forcing parishioners to enroll their children as a practical matter even if they disapprove of the concept. And with parochial schools willingly constricting class sizes and enrollments, to the point of turning away paying students, Protestant and Catholic, in the name of some God-forsaken accreditation or perhaps just shameless pandering to Those Who Know About Such Things. Given that even in places where Catholic populations are growing parochial school teachers are just as likely not to be Catholic as to be, and almost guaranteed to be incapable of giving real instruction in the Faith, homeschooling looks better all the time.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home