Discussion: What do you do when instructed to teach against God’s Commandments?

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What do you do when asked to teach against God’s Commandments?

Education is a political hot potato. There is no denying it. It’s hard to think of an area of society that gets more interference than schools. It seems that just about everyone wants to tell teachers how to educate their students.

Depending on the political hue of government or the political fad of the day, teachers will find themselves being instructed or advised to promote one current idea over another.

Okay so that’s not news to anyone. But what happens when these social engineers begin to tell us what to do in Catholic schools; things that run directly in opposition to to the Catholic Faith?

Worse still, what happens when this agenda is supported from within your own establishment?

It’s a terrible thought but one to which we should be prepared to give serious reflection, considering the way society is headed. Being prepared is never a bad strategy.

Let’s imagine a scenario where the State whose jurisdiction your school falls under, decides that a particularly pernicious immoral agenda must be delivered as part of the curriculum.

I’m thinking here of places such as Australia, Canada, the US, the UK, Ireland etc where it appears the lunatics are running the asylum whilst the politicians have retired en masse to bedlam.

So it’s worth thinking about what you would do under those circumstances. What if you are instructed to take a class on ‘health issues’ and on perusing the delivery content you realise it is a unit about sexuality.

Further exploration of the unit uncovers that you are responsible to discuss not only contraception, but various forms and uses of contraceptive devices.

As the Catholic Church teaches us that contraception is a grave offence against God, we are duty bound, are we not, to refuse to take anything to do with this?

On thinking this over several potential solutions ran through my mind of what I would have to do in those circumstances. And let’s face it, these might be the sorts of things that Catholics, teaching in non-Catholic schools, have to consider every day.

At a local level you might approach the school leadership team and ask them politely if you might not teach the unit as it is asking you to directly contravene your faith. Under threat of repercussions, you might perhaps teach those parts of the unit that did not undermine the Faith, but omit the sinful material, hoping that no one would notice.

Or perhaps if it was in a Catholic school, where your local Bishop was particularly liberal and promoting heretical controversies or where the State has imposed legal curriculum obligations upon all schools: you might make a stand and mobilise support amongst Catholic teachers to refuse instruction in these areas, knowing the likely consequences for your employment.

It really is a tough call because no matter what way you slice it, we cannot in any shape or form go against God’s commandments. And is it not more serious still, to be colluding in the attack on the innocence of the souls in our charge?

It were better for him, that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should scandalise one of these little ones.” (Luke 17:2)

So I’m going to open this up for discussion and I would love to hear your thoughts on it…

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2 Replies to “Discussion: What do you do when instructed to teach against God’s Commandments?”

  1. When I was asked to teach sex-education in a non-denominational school, I pointed out that I would only be able, in conscience, to do so, if I were permitted to give the whole message. I could not pass on, as true, the government’s safe-sex message without pointing out the scientific evidence that demonstrates that this is NOT “safe” – that there is really no such thing as “safe sex” outside of a true marriage. Anything less, where the chance of having more than one “partner” is a reality, means health risks. However, I added, I never like to refuse to do anything, so with that understood, I’m perfectly willing to take a sex-ed class. The senior management person who asked me, said “of course…” and “thanks” and “will get back to you”.

    Thankfully, he never did!

    1. Patricia, thanks for your story. I had completely overlooked that strategy of beefing up the lesson! I can’t believe they turned you down 🙂

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