Catholic Answers

The idea that secular means neutral is an obvious mistake. Secular has come to mean Godless. School, politics, media communications and hospitals that are secular are Godless. Godlessness of secularism is neutral with respect to Catholicism and Anglicanism in the same way Catholicism is neutral towards Sunni and Shia Islam. Neither secular Godlessness nor Catholicism is neutral once you also include itself to be judged in the list of viewpoints you wish to be neutral to (or from).

So neutrality in schools are what is being discussed and secularism can only be thought of as neutral if you don’t consider secularism itself, which does not make sense and is unjust.

Schools require a common culture and viewpoint in order to operate. They then promote this culture and way of looking at the world. When, by law this culture and way of looking at the world are enforced on most children, such a culture and ideology becomes the default in which to communicate and interact with fellow citizens.

In secular schools there can be no God. So in wider culture the pressure is on for there to be no God when we interact. When a secular system starts to dominate then a Christian perspective is seen as something strange, foreign and intrusive. When secular school presents Christianity in a bad light then Christian input to society is seen by those enculturated in secular school to be something to resist and some quirky thinking by those living in the past.

It is not a matter of whether Godless schools teach explicitly there is no God, they teach it implicitly by God’s removal from the curriculum and the lived culture of the school.

So for example with behaviour. One school I taught in was a secular school that was 2/3rds Muslim. If there is a situation in the playground where one Muslim child is aggressively pushing and slapping another Muslim child then I as the teacher need to step in and stop it. I know straight from the start that I am not allowed to mention God because I am bound by the enforced Godless culture of the school to act as if there is no God.

I might want to mention God. The kids might refer to God and want me to refer to God. Both sets of parents may wish me to refer to God. It might be the best and easiest solution and better for the wellbeing of the kids and society for me to refer to God, but the enforced secular Godless culture says I cannot.

So when I step in what do I do? I have to refer to some common set of understandings so I might refer to school rules. But men (inclusive sense) make school rules.What justification is there that the kids should obey them except to refer to more rules made by men? What rights do these men have over them? Why should they bow down to these other men who they might not even respect. If the kids don’t obey these rules then those men (again in the inclusive sense) will punish them.

This is not a good grounding to instil morality. It teaches people there is no morality except for rules you can make up and enforce on others, but it is the secular humanist Godless model. Much of the new Godless model of morality enforced by such thinking we call political correctness. It very often is not respected by the kids, in truth it is often not respected by the parents (except for convenience) and really not respected by me who is at that time the administer and teacher of the secular politically correct Godless morality.

It bases everything on rules created by someone else. In our fragmented society where there is not the willingness to obey other groups but the idea of individual freedom pushed to the hilt, there is at best a lukewarm acknowledgement of common rules but also a resentment that it has to be followed. In wider society as soon as people are big or comfortable enough not to follow these rules, they won’t and they believe they are exercising their freedom over an oppressive list of rules created by someone else. In fact the end result of secular morality is to teach people they are being moral to reject any other form of morality other than their own. Now this can be scary.

This is not a good way to do morality, but it is what the secular (Godless) model enforces and it is what is being rolled out to our children.

 

We are all forced through the secular culture that has a monopoly at the school to live and relate to each other through secular Godless ideology even if many of us really don’t respect it.

When we are looking to relate to each other as kids, parents and teachers, when we look to resolve issues, when we discuss what’s best for the kids and their future, when we discuss how as teachers we are performing, when we discuss what it is that we should be teaching – it is all done in an enforced culture of – “there is no God”.*This is not a good basis for morality. It is not a fair basis of morality when it is forced on teachers, or people in general.

When I was attending secular school as a student we had a school prayer, which made sense because most of the secular schools were originally created by protestant missionaries before they made the mistake of handing them over to a government who in future decades would take secularism as their religion. Prayer is now gone in all those schools under the secular religious tenet of equality, as has Christmas plays and the end of year Christmas parties are being renamed. Saint Valentines day becomes Valentines Day etc.

Teaching in a secular school has been interesting because those strong atheists believe the school system belongs to them and practically, if not morally, they are correct. Our vice principal was one such evangelical atheist and he took over when our regular principal died. I remember him standing up at an assembly and making a fuss about saying Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. He had just given an award to a Muslim boy (our school was majority Muslim) and made the comment that for that boy (name withheld of course) he would probably prefer Happy Holidays. The boy turned towards him with a look which signified he had no idea what our principal was talking about. The Muslim parents at the assembly also all looked at each other in incomprehension but of course the principal was using the Muslim presence in our school to force out any vestiges of Christianity.

It was amusing to see a few days later that the Muslim member of staff (who taught Arabic) gave everyone, including the principal, Merry Christmas cards. It was now the turn of the principal to receive the card with a look of bewilderment on his face.

Each classroom was given $50 to spend on*’Holiday Season’ décor for their classroom. We could choose anything that was included in the Christmas brochures. Most teachers chose streamers and stars and glitter etc whereas my class made all of these ourselves as part of an arts lesson. My class happened to have the highest percentage of Muslim boys of any class, I chose to spend the $50 on a nativity set.

There was no objection and many of the boys asked about the set. Being a good teacher I chose to educate them on something they should know about in their new country. There was no evangelism and no complaints from the boys. It was a learning process that teachers who chose to buy streamers did not provide.

Having done that though I remember being told by our principal how certain choices of decoration that we*had ordered were “no longer appropriate” in todays world. In affect, it was the enforcing of a secular culture because to him, secular meant removal of God and especially Christianity and he was right. We all had to pretend we were secular or risk our jobs. At the end of the term of his first year as Principal he let me know “there was no place for me” at his school and I found a Catholic school to teach at the following year. Unfortunately a feminised Liberal Catholic School but that is another story.

Not only do secular schools look to create and enforce a Godless culture on children and thus society at large but it is a different schooling experience. I have mentioned in a previous post about the difference in morals. It also gives a very fragmented view of reality to students. So for the Christian pupil, God is related to in Geography, Mathematics, Science, Anatomy, History, Languages etc even on why you should be respectful in class. It is a comprehensive view of the world which encourages a continual enthusiasm in learning, a common focus and destination of learning and a bonding of people from other disciplines who share a common vision.

The secular view separates Geography from Maths from English etc and does not to the same degree encourage learning nor bonding with fellow travellers of other disciplines.

When Christianity is removed from the guiding principles of education a new philosophy is needed to take its place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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