Thursday, February 21

Still fretting about the "great" job non-Catholics do with youth? Still envious of their programs? Read this story and be appropriately chastened.

-- Four families have filed suit against a Crown Point church, alleging activities at its popular New Year's Eve overnight lock-in harmed their children.

At the heart of the suit against the Living Stones Fellowship Church is the allegation that the adults who ran the church lock-in at Omni 41 Health and Fitness Connection in Schererville pressured the minor children into activities that caused them physical and mental harm.

Merrillville attorney John Bushemi, who represents the families, alleges in the suit that two of the children, 13- and 14-year-old boys, were pressured into drinking a mixture of dog food, salsa, sauerkraut, sardines, potted meat, eggnog and cottage cheese.

The mixture was first chewed by a church employee, then spit into a cup from which the children drank while crowds cheered them on, Bushemi said.

Speaking of education, I just returned from a school-supply store where I bought science fair paraphenalia. Prominently displayed was the newest in classroom management: a "Yacker Tracker", a traffic light you can set to moniter acceptable levels of classroom noise. Interesting concept that evokes positive and negative responses in me. Positive: it's objective. Negative: Why can't teachers get students to respond them without gizmos anymore?
Exactly. Excellent piece in the National Review pointing out the inconsistency in attitudes towards educational vouchers. Pell Grants that may be used in religiously-rooted colleges? OK. A program giving federal funds to day care centers, including those run by churches? OK. Vouchers that give parents the ability to choose a school for their elementary-aged child? Somehow, not okay. Wondering why? Three little letters - N-E-A What a blight on education.
Went to Mass last night and heard a fairly decent, positive homily about Lenten observances, in contrast to the Ash Wednesday homily at a different parish in which the priest dramatically dissed "giving things up" for Lent, saying that was old school, passe (can't do the accent mark, but you get it), and so on. We should be "doing" for Lent, not "giving up." Evidently, Father had missed the class in seminary in which they went over the stuff about self-denial being a way to a) acknowledge and live out our radical dependence on God instead of "stuff" to make us happy and b) to clear our lives of clutter, making room for us to more clearly tune in the Spirit which is calling us to - yes - "do stuff."

Soup after Mass. Pretty good. Good crowd, too - probably 150 people, at least.

Joseph news: He's waving all the time now, and clapping his hands. Over the past few days, he's discovered the fascination of putting things in other things. He has a toy that's basically five little nesting bowls, and he takes great pleasure in putting one inside the other. He says "Ha" in repsonse to "Hi" and whenever he sees Katie, he lets loose with a torrent of "Ka-ka-ka-ka" syllables that he doesn't say in relation to anyone or anything else.

And he still hates to sleep.

Boy, are people STUPID these days. I mean, really, really dumb. There's a mural in a classroom at Indiana University in Bloomington (my birthplace) painted by Thomas Hart Benton. It's about the history of Indiana, and includes a small scene portraying a cross-burning by the KKK. Now, this is a rather important part of Indiana history. The Klan was basically rebirthed here in the 1920's, and was very strong. In fact, Our Sunday Visitor was started in direct response to Klan anti-Catholic propoganda.

So? Well, it seems as if some students are ....offended by the mural. As the article in The Weekly Standard says,

Last week, the Black Student Union held a town hall meeting with administrators to complain about the artistic depiction of the Klan in a classroom, where, they point out, students cannot avoid it. A columnist for the student paper, the Indiana Daily Student, agreed, saying the mural should be removed to a museum (a move that might damage the mural), so that students who are offended by it could avoid seeing it. The fact that the painting is actually anti-Klan is immaterial, the writer argued: "Many students have found it offensive over the years. While it might be educational to many, this isn't enough to risk offending even a handful of students."

Silence, please, as we remember the countless times those offended by, say, anti-Christian art in public places have been told to pipe down and grow up.

Silence, please, as well, as we remember those who cannot deal with history as it was. Benton's piece is not pro-Klan. It's simply portraying an important part of Indiana history, one which we should not forget.

An odd story from down Tampa way. Another article that goes to show that secretive ecclesiastical ways are by no means exclusive to Catholics. It's the story of an Episcopal priest who has been suddenly and mysteriously removed from his parish. He's a former RC, and was studying to be a deacon while teaching at my old stomping grounds, Santa Fe Catholic HS in Lakeland, when he decided to become Episcopalian.


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