Well, the last few weeks on this 'blog have gotten some responses that made me think alot about the coming generations in our faith communities. First off, it seems like everytime I turn around, there's some Homeschoolers. Second, I must admit that when I look out into the worship space and see the faith communicants, I have noticed that there aren't a lot of young peoples there. Other than Keith, Todd, Britnee, and Ché, almost everyone else (except Mizz Argot) is over 50. And then I hear stories about how all the youths are being seduced by Traddie Latin Masses and going to World Youth Day and stuff like that.
For a little while, I got depressed, but then I thought that it is really our fault, as ministers of the faith community, that we haven't been outreaching enough. And our faith communicants have never really gotten instruction on how to raise their kids so that they turn out progressive, and not get drawn away to some medieval cesspool like Steubenville. And I realized that (thank the communal-Spirit!) we still have places like Boston College, Georgetown, and University of Dayton to turn the traddie kids back into progressive Catholics and freethinkers.
But we've got to do our parts too. So I've put together a quick guide that you parents in SOV2 can use to make sure your kids turn out all right:
- Stay away from the Rosary!: This is the tool of oppression, and is very dangerous. Kids who are taught to pray the rosary stand at a very high risk of become robotic followers of the Papal Overlord
- Read Good Catholic Magazines: Magazines like America and St Anthony Messanger and National Catholic Reporter should be left around the house. For the Spirit's sake, don't make your kids read them, but trust that they will be guided to pick one up and start some healthy questioning
- Let them decide whether to go to Mass: From an early age, let it be their choice whether to go to Mass or not. If you go to a good progressive faith community like SOV2, then they will probably want to come and be eucharist, but if they don't - it's cool You should stay home with them and show them that the Spirit is everywhere
- Be a Double-Tither: Nothing shows a kid what you value more than where you send your money, so make sure they know how much money you're sending to your faith community
- Stay Away from Parochial Schools: What's worse than Homeschooling? Nothing! But almost as bad is sending your kids to one of those schools run by the nuns that still wear those black and white dresses. If you send your kid to one of those schools, you can kiss them goodbye.
- Don't openly question your Progressive Priest: We face enough difficulty as it is, battling Rome, and things like that. You should make sure that your kids are raised to discriminate between the Progs and Trads, and to obey the Progs reflexively so that they don't have to worry about every little issue. Basically, we're going to tell them to do whatever their conscience says is OK, so you don't have to worry. But if you contradict us, you are putting your kids in danger of not being church
- Vote Democrat: And make sure you tell your kids who you voted for so that they don't end up as a Rad Trad Republican!
- Protest, Protest, Protest! There are an amazing array of things to protest - you might find some even in your own progressive faith community. You should always be asking things like "is my faith community progressive enough." If your kids see you protest against even trivial things, they will realize that nothing should be taken for granted, and that your conscience demands that you stand up and be heard when you think something isn't right.
- Pamper your kids, but don't make them the center of your attention: Nothing warps a kid's personality and social outlook like thinking that he/she is the most important thing in your life. Show your kids that you will buy them anything they want, but make sure that they know that protesting and activism are more important to you than they are. That way they'll know how to raise their kids in turn.
- Read to your kids! Good books like The Winnipeg Manifesto and anything by Hans Kung or Charles Curran would be great. Reading Dym Curran to your kids will also help them embrace healthy sexuality.
- Help your kids embrace Ecumenism and Diversity: Instead of those old holidays like Christmas and Easter, celebrate things like "Reformation Sunday" and "Ramadan," so that your kids see that embracing all faiths is a valid moral value judgement.
These are just a few ways you can make a difference in your kids' lives, and help ensure that they stay on one of the thousands of good paths, and off of that one bad path that leads to eurocentric traditionalism. I hope this helps you out, and I look forward to seeing your kids at SOV2 - if they want to be there.