American Education Week

From the Parish PriestFr. Romey Rosco

According to an email I just received from the Heritage Newspapers, November 11-17 is American Education Week.  Why it runs from Wednesday to Wednesday I don’t understand, but this observance is supposed to emphasize the importance of “providing every child in America with a quality public education and the need for everyone to do his or her part in making public schools great.”

I have just quoted the newspaper’s feature writer.  My problem is with his word “quality.”  I never had a child in the public school system, and I know that each local system is different, having different budgets to work with, different leadership and ideas, etc.

But as a parish priest, I know our children, and I know what they are up against, attending schools that shun God and prayer and even penalize the expression of firm religious belief.  Just a few decades ago, we prayed for our relatives in Romania, where God and religion were openly attacked in the schools while Church-going and priests were ridiculed.  Parish priests were not allowed to hold religion classes, and children were called away for public activities on Sunday mornings, just so they would grow up without the concept of “going to church” on Sundays.

Today, Communism is supposedly dead in Romania.  Whether that’s true or not, we are here in America, where “no child is left behind” and public education, like every other American institution has become “politically correct.”  In my opinion, this means that every child has the opportunity to be cleansed of God, history and tradition.  The Christian beliefs of America’s founding fathers (beliefs upon which this nation was founded and built) have been erased from their textbook, and self-satisfying amoral cultic influences abound in student bodies with the toleration of teachers and administrators who find themselves legally helpless.

While children may come to church and Sunday School one morning a week, it is a struggle for them to find their way “in the ways of the Lord” because they must live in the anti-Christian environment around them.  Some (not all) of our children come to Sunday School only because good parents insist.  Others openly oppose it until their parents give up.  Our children need our understanding and our prayers, but also our determination to give them what they must have to face the fullness of life.

There can be no “quality” education without an acceptance of the fact that we are what we are: body, soul and spirit.  Without soul and spirit, the body has no life, even should it go through physical motions.  Likewise, an education that does not include God (the Source of our being) deprives out children of the right understanding of life itself.

Thank God for private, parochial, and yes, Sunday Schools where self-discipline, love and morality are correctly taught.  I’m sorry, but public schools no longer have what it takes for a “quality” education.  Happy American Education Week.

From The Weekly Bulletin, Vol. XXXVI No. 45, 15 November 2009
Sts. Peter & Paul Romanian Orthodox Church, Dearborn Heights MI

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