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Family, Media, And The New Paganism

April 27, 2023 Our Catholic Faith No Comments


Most parents have influence over their children only until they begin attending school. Any school: public or private. Catholic schools hire from the same pool of workers as public schools. Sr. Mary Constance is not teaching your child at St. Local’s Catholic School anymore. Parents can reasonably only expect the quality of parental Catholic modeling in the Catholic schoolroom to be as good as the lowest common denominator of typical adult catechesis.
Sometimes it turns out to be much worse. You’ve all read about the trans and LGBTQ incursion even into Catholic schools. See the stats about lawsuits resulting when a “Catholic” teacher or school staff member was discovered via Facebook post to have “married” another adult of the same sex. Here is not just advocacy of immorality but the immoral incarnate — in immediate proximity to Catholic schoolchildren. The primary original reason for Catholic education, to hand on the Catholic faith and the morals attendant upon it, in such cases is vitiated. The font is poisoned at its source.
Home-schoolers maximize parental influence over offspring by completely eliminating the group schoolroom supervised by an unrelated, and sometimes unknown, adult. I would suspect that the same subset of families also has at least one meal in common each day. The family meal has been proven over and over again to be an important indicator of positive family bonding and parental influence over children, ostensibly for the better.
Various factors in the modern context of pervasive media are always warring against family bonding and parental influence. The absurd extreme is the public school indoctrination of children into trans, LQBTQ, and other sexually related matters while at the same time instructing the children to not discuss the same with their parents.
The COVID school shutdown and resulting virtual education of children exposed this for any parent with a minimal attention span. Perversion indoctrination was now taking place in the family home — sometimes while the parents were present. The resulting uproar in Virginia, as one example, is credited with responsibility, in part, with the election of a Republican governor who ran on support for parental rights.
The modern context torn asunder from God throws out the right of parents to hand on to their children anything which they believe is important, to include faith, which right and duty itself is grounded in God and in faith.
Some of you, perhaps many of you, given the mature average age of the typical Wanderer subscriber, will remember that once upon a time a phone was used only for talking to persons who were farther away from you than shouting distance. And for a long period, there was typically only one phone per household. Not a lot of privacy there. Unless used when nobody else was home. Soon, however, houses were built with a phone hookup in every room. Teenagers starting getting phones and the “private” telephone conversation was born.
TV was developing along the same lines. First, one TV per house, then a TV hookup in every room. Many families started splitting up in the evening after dinner to go to their own entertainment. That is, if they ate dinner together. For many families the evening meal proved to be the only together time for conversation and relationship-building for the entire day. Those families that gave up on the communal evening meal were left defenseless in the face of the media onslaught.
Now add the Internet. See where I’m going with this? All three: phone, TV, and Internet are now conveniently combined on a single device that fits in most pockets. Enter the so-called “smartphone.” This constant companion conveniently goes everywhere with you. The competition for family time is now so ubiquitous that the family conversation at dinner, if it still exists, can be clandestinely recorded, or broadcast live, without the knowledge of any of the participants.
Everybody has their own TV and ability to broadcast. See YouTube for details. This was tragically, perhaps in part, the diabolic attraction for a recent workplace shooter to visit deadly violence upon some of his colleagues. Only professional level acquaintance with the details of abnormal psychology can help to explain some of the mysterious factors in this perversion of modern technology in combination with homicidal insanity.
Thus, we see that the same factors that, in some cases, potentially increased isolation and enabled privacy can be inverted for maximizing publicity. Some forbidden images that started out as intentionally private ended up becoming public. Public shaming in schools which resulted were believed to be factors in teen suicides. No happiness with fame there. The camera phone which started the problem was also the cause via the Internet for the embarrassment and shame that precipitated a life-ending crisis in the life of young person.
The perfect storm of Internet, camera or video and voice communication combined is, for many reasons, misnamed the “smartphone.” Evidence abounds that the ubiquity of phones that are “smart” have not blessed . . . communication within families, even while enjoying the physical proximity of the home, is a sound one. But communication between the generations has always, to some extent, been hampered by various factors.
What is the new thing that Catholic families are facing together today? The resurgence of paganism explains many of the phenomena that have surfaced in tandem with the ubiquity of media both consumed and produced by the masses. At first some of us dismissed the outer accouterments of the new paganism such as tattoos, piercings, hairstyles, and dress as a passing fad. Some are saying not so fast.
A recent article at Commentary.org explores some facets of the new context which challenges families, the Church, and the faith. In “The Return of Paganism” by Liel Leibovitz the trans phenomenon operative in the shooting at a Tennessee Christian school is itself labeled as a manifestation of the new embrace, not of disbelief in God, but in a positive embrace of false “gods.” Tearing nature asunder from its roots in a creator God in the idea of “changing sex” is part of a larger phenomenon of paganism.
“When a 28-year-old person identifying as transgender shot up a Tennessee school in March, killing three children and three adults, the usual grim afterlife of tragedy was underlined by an odd note: One by one, media outlets rushed to apologize for ‘misgendering’ the shooter, who, they explained, had been born female but had recently begun identifying as male.
“How to make sense of such a statement? And what to do when a newspaper headline tells you about a ‘trans woman left sobbing in JFK Airport after TSA agent hit her testicles’? Appealing to reason hardly helps, as J.K. Rowling and others learned the hard way when trying to ask simple questions such as how one might define sex if not according to the chromosomes rooted in literally every cell of our bodies. Instead, anyone wishing to find his way through the thicket of American public discourse these days should start by embracing one simple and terrifying idea: ‘The barbarians are at the gates’.”
A sobering reality for priests and parents. We are in uncharted territory. Thus, the huge phenomenon of homeschooling: aware parents are pulling up the drawbridge and securing the castle. Leibovitz goes on to explain that change is the only constant with the new-old gods. And they demand sacrifice. Many have already drawn the connection between the manic obsession with funding and enabling abortion at every stage — even to infanticide — and pagan sacrifice. But the darkness gets deeper — trans and LGBTQ indoctrination are not entirely disconnected from pedophilia and other forms of exploitation of children who survive the womb. DEI is also involved here. It’s a growing vortex.
The author ends on a positive note: “When pagans waving the banner of diversity, equity, and inclusion insist that we judge others by the color of their skin….When pagans calling themselves environmentalists tell your children to worship the earth….When pagans quarrel and cancel” propose the Scriptures, the faith, and the real transformation and community made possible by them.
“If we do that, we may very well discover that history, God bless, always repeats itself: The heathens ululate and then fold, subdued by the demonstrable advantages of better faith traditions. We’re long overdue for another cycle of pagan defeat; let’s do our best to bring it on soonest.”

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