"Win a College Degree!"
This tempting slogan was plastered across a website I noticed on a colleague's computer as I passed by his cubicle at lunch time. It made me stop and take a double take.
"What is that?" I asked.
My colleague shrugged his shoulders. "Some contest," he murmured as he took a closer look. "Apparently you can win a scholarship to some college."
I shook my head. "That's funny," I rejoined. "Back in the day, I had to earn my college degree." You had to earn scholarships back then, too.
I was reminded of this episode as I read the first few questions of Michael J. Matt's recent interview of the popular columnist at The Remnant Newspaper, Dr. John Rao. Dr. Rao had this to say: "Educational decline is a spiritual problem, not a technical issue... pedagogical ideology is yet another by-product of the naturalism of the Enlightenment, exacerbated by the transformation of universities into degree factories since the end of the Second World War."
The spiritual troubles at the heart of education are the same that afflict the rest of American society. There is, of course, the ever growing entitlement mentality, and recent events in our country reveal that it is reaching a critical mass.
A good example of this was the recent testimony of Sandra Fluke at congressional hearings concerning the "Contraception Mandate." Sandra Fluke, a self-proclaimed "Reproductive Rights Activist" (I wonder if there is an actual organization with membership), complained that she and other women at Georgetown Law School couldn't afford artificial contraception. She complained that she would have to spend upwards of $3,000 for contraception over the course of her stay at Georgetown Law. (If you care to run the numbers, this means that, assuming that she doesn't look for free sources, she would have to have sexual intercourse 2 to 3 times a day, everyday, for four years.) She argued that since Georgetown (a Jesuit university) didn't provide contraception as part of its student's health care plan, that she, and others like her, needed the Contraception Mandate to force a Catholic university to supply her the "needed" artificial contraception.
The mere fact that this argument is being taken seriously by members of our government, and by so many people in the public, is cause for pause. Here is a young woman demanding that other people finance her sexual activities. She's literally making the argument that she is having so much sex that she is going broke, and that's just not fair to her. Yet no one at those hearings immediately attacked the ridiculous logic, the complete lack of character or virtue of this... strumpet... this... well... charity demands I stop myself from going further, nor did anyone suggest the obvious: that she cut back a little on her proclivities.
In any other day and age, this girl would have been kicked out of the halls of government, kicked out of school, publicly berated for her complete lack of virtue, and roundly punished by her shamed parents and family. Not any more, though. Ms. Fluke is entitled, you see? She is entitled to her free (to her, but paid for by people like me and you) artificial contraception devises, sterilizations, and abortions. She is entitled to her sensuality. She is entitled to her pride. She is entitled to her depravity.
There is, indeed, a spiritual problem in our institutions of higher learning and in our society in general. It is the mentality of entitlement to sensuality, pride and sin. The fact that something like this, which obviously defies all logic and common sense, has been taken seriously by our elected officials and citizenry demonstrates with clarity Bishop Lori's complaint that things have been "turned up-side-down".
We live in a world where degrees are won, not earned, where devout Catholics are forced to act against our consciences so others can indulge in irresponsible depravities and debauchery, where we are forced to be an accessory to other persons' sins on a massive scale. Our society is increasingly peopled by those who have been stamped "approved", not truly educated in any sense of the word, and have become this country's citizens and leaders. They look at devout Catholics as "religious fanatics" who must be cast out of the public square and silenced.
The extent to which the Revolution has evolved in just the past few years is absolutely stunning... and frightening.
What comes next?
God help us.