Thursday, June 23, 2011

Vacation EnviroBible School

I had two other posts in my head that I was debating on writing up today, including a fun picture post about our trip to Indiana.  Until I picked up Jack from bible school.  And got very, very angry.

We all loved our church's bible school last year.  They use a curriculum that apparently protestant churches also use, because I've seen it advertised in front of protestant churches.  However, last year, they still managed to make it very Catholic-specific.  This year they made it religion-specific too.  Unfortunately the religion they have chosen is Environmentalism.

Is it a wonder we haven't actually attended this church in probably 6 months?  We're still officially registered there, but after several protestant-type rituals were instated (another post in itself), we decided to stop going to mass there.  Not to mention the fighting I had to do when I was the leader of the pro-life committee.  Fighting.  PRO-LIFE committee.  Need I say more?

In fact, I recently learned that the current pro-life director there was refused a table at the church's summer carnival by the carnival director!!  He told her it was an event for the whole community, so she couldn't have a pro-life exhibit!!  Nevermind that the carnival is called HOLY FAMILY Summerfest.  And that the proceeds benefit HOLY FAMILY.  It's not called Newark, Publicly-Funded Summerfest (which, ironically, Delaware Right to Life is allowed to exhibit at!)!!  Thankfully, our priest (surprisingly) went to bat for the committee and got us a able.  But I digress...

Back to V(E)BS.  This is the first V(E)BS since a nun (non-habit-wearing, liberal nun) took over the Religious Ed department at our church.  Last year's, like I said, was more Catholic-centered and mainly just fun for the kids, while learning some bible stories.  Little did I know that this year we'd be entering the realm of secular enviro-craziness at bible school.

At the end of every day, the children and leaders gather in the church hall for an end-of-day ceremony type thing where they sing some songs, get a little lesson, and watch a slideshow of pictures from the day.  Well today's started out like any other.  Until un-nun starts blathering about the environment.  My ears perked up to see where this was going.  Then she starts talking about St. Francis, and I thought, "Ok, I'm on board with that.  We are called to be stewards of the Earth, after all." didn't stop at being stewards.  She started rambling on about specifics, like recycling (ok, that's good), using plastic water bottles (ok, not so bad), lecturing your parents about using only cold water in the washer (wait a tick...), and talking to your parents about biking and carpooling to work (is Nancy Pelosi now the religious ed director at Holy Family?).  I was *this close* to raising my hand and asking her if she could address the effects of artificial and chemical birth control on the environment (and humans, for that matter).

Then she starts talking about some St. Francis pledge that they're sending home with the kids.  She literally said, "St. Francis talked about recycling."  Ummm...did recycling exist during St. Francis' time?  I'm no historian, but....ok.

So I pick up Jack and he hands me his St. Francis pledge (I'm already furious. It may seem like I'm overreacting, but there was far more discussed than what I'm remembering right now).  It's distributed by the Catholic Climate Covenant.  The title at the top says, "Take ACTION! Reduce your carbon footprint!"  Sounds fishy to me.  I call Mike.  He looks it up online.  Sure enough...a bunch of liberal enviro-blather.

Oookkkaaayyy.  Now I'm really angry.  Here's the thing:  I'm totally fine with talking about being stewards of the Earth.  Don't be wasteful.  Turn off the water while you brush your teeth.  Don't litter.  Be kind to animals (except when you're hungry.  Come on, just kidding!).  But here are a few of the bullet points from this worksheet (the "eye-opener" for the day, that kids are told to share with their parents at home):
  • Turn off lights and appliances when you leave the room (fine, you're saving energy)
  • Unplug your cell phone when it's charged (ditto above)
  • Replace incadescent light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs (wait, this sounds like that Big Brother policy they're pushing in Congress.  Not to mention, those "energy-efficient" bulbs are FULL of mercury.)
  • Turn off water when shaving, brushing teeth, etc. (fine, don't be wasteful, I'm on board)
  • Buy local and/or organic food (don't even get me started on the organic lie)
  • Organize an environmental awareness day at your church or school (should we preach stewardship or pseudo-science?)
  • Eat less meat: the UN concludes that "the livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems," including climate change
And there it is..."climate change."  I knew there was an agenda here.  And referencing the UN?  Clearly this is about a liberal agenda...not St. Francis.

Oh, and one of my favorite bullet points says this, "Write to your lawmakers and elected officials and urge them to act with urgency and put care for Creation, the poor, and the common good ahead of short-term special interests."  Besides my hatred of the term "common good" (it's so often misconstrued in horrid ways and used to justify moral evils, most commonly abortion), I find it ironic that they're calling for children to write their legislators about environmental issues.  However, in my experience, getting permission in church to urge people to write their legislators on life issues is often a losing battle.  Interesting priorities.  No mention of the sanctity of human life, but of course we have to respect the sanctity of the environmental agenda.

This whole St. Francis pledge thing can be found at the Catholic Climate Covenant's website.  Not surprisingly, you'll find all the usual liberal policies.  Seriously.  Jack brought this home.  He's FIVE.

Again, and I can't stress enough, I'm fine with the preaching of stewardship and I love St. Francis.  But this didn't even come out of the bible school curriculum that they're using!  It's clearly this un-nun's little pet project that she wants to push onto everyone without their consent.  I told my husband, they should rename vacation bible school, "Vacation Environmental Reeducation Camp."

The main concern is that this is the entirely wrong venue for this little project.  It's literally something they could have learned (and certainly do) in public school!  It's shoved down kids' throats at public schools and secular institutions...why are they getting it in church too?!?  Mike said it reminded him of his environmental law classes - at a secular college!!

Is this really what is lacking from our young peoples' catechesis??  Shouldn't we leave the enviro-craziness to our secular schools and preach in church what kids aren't hearing elsewhere?  Things like virtues, the sacraments (mainly the Eucharist), the Catechism, the BIBLE, for crying out loud?

Mike and I are going to discuss this in more detail tonight and yes, probably go into the church office and talk to the priest (yep, we're those people.  Poor Jack).  He'll get an earful about why we haven't attended their church in months, and why we most likely won't again.  And obviously why Jack won't attend VBS there in the future.

Seriously...please start teaching the Catholic religion at church again.  Because that's the only place they're going to hear about it.  Leave the worship of Gaia to the nuts.


  1. OMG. I would TOTALLY be in that priests office. Insane. Climate change sounds like something libs say now since global warming isn't happening. RIDICULOUS.

  2. Oh my goodness!! I would have been furious!!! Why can't VBS at a Catholic church reflect just that-CATHOLICISM!!

    I'm glad you're going to talk yo the priest-that's just crazy!

  3. Holy Smokes! LOVE THIS POST! Go gettum sista! Oh and thanks for the laughs...hehehe...and they think WE'RE the crazy ones!

  4. That is an absolute mess, I would be a MONSTER!

    One thing that I do not go for is a teacher, telling my kid, to tell me how to run my household.... ;) Just sayin....

    I do agree with eat local though! ha! ;)


  5. Oh my gosh!!! Politiczing five year olds? Immersing them in the leftist agenda? NO THANK YOU and I would be soooooo livid!!

    May I ask what your diocese is like? Your bishop?

  6. I have to admit, that our family does try to do many of those things, including eating a lot of local and organic foods. I also still love the term "common good", even if it is misused frequently. Understood in its proper context, it is a very important principle, which I'm sure you know.

    That said, this shouldn't have been part of a program for kids at Church. When I taught CCD, the lesson I did on Creation was to show "the circle of life" from the Lion King, sing "All creatures of our God and King", and have the children write thank you cards to God for making the Earth. That's the kind of stuff 5 year olds should be doing at vacation bible school.

  7. @Sarah - that's fine, every family of course has the right and responsibility to do what's best for their family (although as a livestock farmer, I am livid about the demonization of the livestock industry and eating meat...I'll fight that one to the death). And I still stand by my "common good" principle. It's not always necessarily a good thing, even when not misused. But you're right - this simply wasn't the venue for this sort of program.

    @Leila - you certainly may ask! The diocese is very liberal (shocker) and one time when I confronted my bishop about something a certain priest (not the one at this church) did that stabbed pro-lifers in the back, the bishop responded by calling the pro-life movement a "circus." So...if that tells you anything.

  8. Go you (!!!) for being one of "those people" to go in and talk to your priest. It's a shame that most parents aren't looking at things the same way as you. It makes you wonder what else parents are not seeing or missing, at their kids' sunday school or bible camp .

    I'm pretty sure this is my first comment on your blog. Congrats on your pregnancy, and thank you for being such a pro-life advocate!

  9. I feel so sorry, then, for any orthodox priests in your diocese. I know it's the biggest trial in the world to be a faithful priest with a liberal bishop. Sigh. We used to have that here.

  10. @Leila Its funny you say that about orthodox priests, I share the same diocese as Nicole and have a parish full of liberal priests. The one orthodox priest we had had a very difficult time with the other priest at our parish, but was loved by many (more orthodox) parishioners. he was ultimately removed and taken away for "more schooling".

  11. @L - would love to know who you are and what parish you attend. I have a feeling I might know... Can you email me?

  12. WOW. Ridiculous!!! BIBLE SCHOOL?!!! ugh. I'm glad you're "taking a stand"!!!!

  13. Oh Nicole, this is just sad. So much good, but mixed up with other stuff and you can smell the agenda from a mile away. Ugh...

  14. Arrgh! This is terrible, good for you and your husband for gearing up to discuss this with a priest. Don't forget to post about that convo, hoping it goes well!

  15. You are mad because someone is teaching your kid about environmentalism? Someone taught your child points that you mostly agree with and you are raving mad about that? Politicizing, Leila? I didn't think that trying to lessen our impact on the environment was political, just sensible.You'd rather someone just do simple bible games with the kids or mention some shallow platitude about St. Francis because you don't believe in climate change? Yet you are afraid of women peeing BC hormones back into our water supply? Oh WOW.

    And Sew, my dear, over there making your own soaps, getting everyone on an all-organic diet, horrified by all things chemical lately... yet you are so "angry" too?

    You may disagree with some of the details, but you can talk to your son about that.The way you are ranting, I would have thought they were teaching the kids sex ed! Oh no, CFL lightbulbs! Cover the children's ears!

    So what do you want your kid to learn in life? Simply that Jesus is good and abortion is bad? Because that seems to be all your limited worldview is capable of.

  16. Hi Anonymous. First of all, thanks for being brave enough to provide a real name. I love when people go on blogs to rant but don't even let us know who they are! Ironic too, because you seem to know several of us pretty well.

    First of all, did you actually read the post? My main point is that BIBLE school is not the venue to be discussing environmental policies. Why aren't the kids getting catechized in the Catholic religion? Environmental policies are just that - policies - which Catholics are allowed to disagree with. It's not Catholic doctrine. But when they're presented to young children as gospel, yes, it's most definitely politicization.

    So yes, I'd rather the children get bible games and be taught the actual STORY (not "shallow platitude" as you so eloquently called it) of St. Francis. It's a beautiful story that involves Francis talking to animals, telling them to proclaim the glory of the Creator! But they didn't get that story.

    And yes, I do have a problem with CFL lightbulbs. They contain an abhorrent amount of mercury and are in fact very dangerous when broken. But in spite of that the government is going to mandate that everyone use those lightbulbs. Why? Why on earth do we not have a choice in what kind of lightbulbs we use? A sick intrusion of the feds, don't you think? And when this is preached in a young person's BIBLE school, it's agenda.

    My limited worldview? You don't know me. Yes, I'm a prolife activist. So that's what I mainly talk about in this forum. But you clearly don't know me personally. Although, yes, I will certainly be teaching my children that Jesus is good and abortion is bad. Among many other things! Why is that so bad?

  17. Oh so you have to be a raging liberal to be "organic"....Horrified by all things chemical? Gosh, lady what are you reading? Yes, I took my house chemical free to minimize our contact but I like to be self sufficient and it's cheaper too...I'm so confused by your lashing out comment. Not even sure why I feel the need to explain myself to you...

    I'm not trying to convert anyone. I actually write about what I'm doing because of my health issues on my blog, so umm, stop reading if I offend you so much...

    You really have a nice way of coming off anonymous. Thanks for showing the love today!


  18. And a little more on the CFL's:

    How safe and convenient does that sound?

    Clean up of traditional broken light bulb:

    1. Grab dustpan and broom.
    2. Sweep.
    3. Open trash can.
    4. Discard.

  19. Ummm, I stumbled on here and while I agree with some of Anonymous's points, it ain't me who posted the messages (Leila).


  20. Infuriating. I don't blame you AT ALL for going to your priest and standing up against the brainwashing, I mean environmentalism, they're pushing. Like you said, it's fine to teach respect of the earth and each other, but the kids will learn that naturally through their understanding of the lives of the saints and learning to be pro-life. Maddening!

    Anon, step out of the shadows and lets have a real discussion.

  21. Wow.. it is just so sad. I was shock about our diocese when I moved here 11 years ago and it seems to be getting worst. That is our main reason when we jump over to St.Pat. But I never trust Bible vacation school, I never had a good feeling about them. Just as I don't trust the schools and most Catholic schools. I have in-laws, we call them the tree huggers and its sad that my brother and I have to argue about who has more rights, the earth or the unborn. I think children learn more by our example as taking care of the earth but yet more when we fight for those who can't get the chance to live on the earth! May God have mercy on us!

  22. Sorry, Gwen. She sounded uncannily like you. I would have bet money on it.

  23. Wow, Nicole. That is shocking. I would be FURIOUS. I totally agree with you that this is not the venue for any sort of political agenda. (And any time "climate change" is used, it is most certainly an agenda, Anon.) You're so right to speak to the priest about your concerns. what is the theme of this VBS that the Environment even comes up??? How bizarre!!! Keep us posted!

  24. @Nicole The parish is St Francis de Sales, that was about 2 years ago now.