By Philip Martin
Philip J. Martin is a graduate of both Auburn University and the Franciscan University of Steubenville and is currently residing in beautiful Daphne, AL with his family. He is an award-winning fiction author and has published numerous pieces of non-fiction, fiction, and poetry in various publications.
I’ll never forget the look in that engineer’s eyes when he interrupted the professor. “Wow,” he exclaimed, “I get it, I get it!” I know what he was feeling because I felt it too. It was as if the final nail in a bridge between islands in my mind had been hammered home. The class was Business Ethics, a requirement for both business and engineering majors like myself. I should have known it was going to be great when the professor, on the first day, wrote the title of the class on the board and crossed out the word “Business.”
She succeeded in an area in which our education system has absolutely failed our young people. Society at large and education, in particular, are inculcating our children with the idea that your ethic is your metaphysic, that to act for a cause is to be, “I act, therefore I am.” That one engineer happened to be happily snared when the professor, over a semester, not only successfully explained the meaning of ethics and metaphysics but brilliantly displayed the dependence of the former on the latter. There is no such thing as business ethics; there’s ethics, and your ethic is downstream from your metaphysic. In other words, how you act depends on what you believe about God, the universe, the meaning and value of life, what a human being actually is, etc.
This crucial reality is always and everywhere inculcated in our children by their upbringing. Mothers and fathers who trust in God no matter the circumstances, who live out the Golden Rule even at great cost, and who sacrifice time, money, and comfort to give of themselves in service to the Kingdom of God, are the arbiters of this philosophical reality without perhaps ever even knowing the meaning of words like “metaphysics” and “ethics.” They don’t have to; if Jesus of Nazareth linked a relationship with His Father to His daily interactions with those He encountered, that’s example enough.
However, despite the objective beauty of this familial reality, there are many who would like to see a new order in which the family is subjugated to the state or some other authority. To boil that frog, such families must first be framed as the incubators of some immorality. Thus, in modern times, people of faith who inculcate their children with these ideas from birth are accused of brainwashing their children.
When you teach children that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He perished as a ransom for many, and that He rose from the dead, or if you dare to pass on to the next generation that God is a good God who creates order out of chaos and loves His children, you as a parent are tiptoeing on the threshold of abuse (or, as Richard Dawkins has put it, you are already explicitly guilty of such abuse). Any loving parent, they say, would wait until their children are adults before exposing them to any religious tenet whatsoever so that they can fully choose whether to be religious or not (though somehow I find it hard to believe that the Left would approve of the evangelization of my grown children). Remarkably, even the most basic of values, like taking responsibility for your own life, are being cast out the window with the bathwater.
Anyone with a brain stem knows that young children are as malleable as tin foil, but too many Christians and others of faith or good will have given in to the egalitarian nonsense that a good parent does not teach his or her children the most important aspects of human life out of a misguided fairness to the future decision-making teenager or young adult. Now, as a result, young people are leaving a religious life or, at a minimum, a sacrificial life behind in droves.
Those raised with uninhibited liberty to surf YouTube and the internet at large have unsurprisingly embraced the Leftist nonsense about human sexuality and every misbelief that comes along with it. Turns out, when you binge the Cosmic Skeptic after years of formation by influencers in the mold of JoJo Siwa and have nothing to juxtapose it with, you tend to be lured toward Atheism. And when it comes to unfiltered and unproctored internet use, Atheistic and Leftist ideology seem timid compared to the epidemic of pornography addiction that plagues both young men and women.
This is why it’s time to brainwash our children. By brainwash I mean cleanse the brains of our young adults, who are in the prime of formation, with Philosophy, Morality, and an authentic spirituality that gives them the opportunity to encounter the Person of Jesus Christ. The history of the Church is a long game, like chess, but the failure of many Catholic and Christian schools (and parents) to present not an but the alternative to the secular formation of our young people will go down as a serious error.
So, what are we to do? Speak the truth in love to your children. Let them catch you reading Sacred Scripture and contemplating the Mystery of God. Bring them to church and preach the Gospel by your life (and with your lips). Show them the absolute emptiness of atheism and the evils of the Marxist lies that many in the West are currently embracing. Set the bar so high that, when they fall short, they fall short high as well. Expect virtue by first modeling it yourself.
The mind of a child is fertile soil. If you don’t plant the seeds that can grow and flourish, we know who will, and they won’t hold back or hesitate out of “fairness.” It is no longer a matter of if the Left wants the de-conversion of your children, and thus it is up to all of us as parents to ensure that our young people have the ability to weed out evils apart from us and with Christ at their side one day. As for all the falsehood and nonsense and other mildew that may plague our children from before they even reach the age of reason, well, grab the bleach.