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." But...it 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
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.