23 February 2010

Teaching Sin

Debate goes on about the UK Government's requirement that even in schools built by the Churches children should be taught the arguments in favour of abortion, various types of 'Diversity', kai ta loipa. Well, I'm not sure this is the end of the world. It depends on who does it and how (s)he does it.

When I was in teaching, there was already a de facto expectation that one bow to the zeitgeist in this sort of way. I came to feel that there were advantages in it. I used to tell the pupils: "Some people think ...", and then give them as passionate an advocacy as I could manage of the 'liberal' line - cliches, false logic, spurious rhetoric, factual misrepresntation, you name it, I threw myself into it all with relish. Then I said: "But other people think ...", and gave them the Christian view. When they said "But what do you think, Father?", I allowed them to pester me into revealing to them why the 'liberal' view I had so convincingly put forward was, in my own view, such rubbish. This had the advantage that when they later heard (as they were undoubtedly destined to) the 'liberal' orthodoxies, they were already to a degree innoculated; they found them rather less persuasive than than they were when Fr H had so convincingly expounded those same views ... "and he didn't even believe it!"

I also obeyed to the letter the fashion for teaching ethics in a "balanced and non-judgemental" way by giving the arguments both for and against Racial Discrimination, Gender Prejudice, etc.. Liberal colleagues used to find it incredibly difficult to explain to me why I was wrong to do this without conceding that they themselves were up to their ears in unbalanced and and judgemental teaching of moral and social matters. "But X is just wrong" they would naively bleat. I found the fun of it all really rather exhilarating.

3 comments:

Terry said...

I think that is an excellent strategy of yours, Father H!

Londiniensis said...

Part of the problem must be that very few teachers in Catholic and Church of England schools are like you.

GOR said...

Yes Father, an excellent way to get the message across and equip the young for future challenges. But as Londiniensis points out, you were well-equipped to do this. Unfortunately, too many today are not - whether as parents or teachers.

Nemo dat quod non habet. And the ‘non habets’ have been in the ascendancy for some time.