This past Sunday, Raylan Alleman of Fix the Family, wrote a column entitled 6 Reasons (+2) to NOT Send Your Daughter to College. The Editor’s note explaining the title tells you all you need to know about why I’m proud of my secular public education: Editor’s note: The original post was “6 reasons” and 2 were added since (#6 and #8) just in case 6 weren’t enough. [I did not edit that in any way.] The entire post is supposed to be a rational argument for why women should not go to college. It is anything but.
Before I begin telling you about their 6 (+2) reasons and what’s wrong with them, who are Raylan Alleman and Fix the Family? According to their website, they’re Catholics, and they think you can be happily married and Catholic, too. They believe that there is a serious problem in that the Catholic moral teaching on marriage and family, as rock-solid and beautiful as it is, has not reached the faithful. [Here’s a suggestion: Have a meeting each week in each local community, proctored by someone intimately familiar with the Church’s teachings, where Catholics can attend and learn these things. I bet you never of thought of that before, did you?] When we began looking for material to share with those around us, we found that it was either too academic and complicated or non-existent. You mean it was too hard to understand, if it existed at all? In short, there is almost no common man’s material on the true teachings of the Catholic Church on marriage and family. Hmm, not even the Bible? I thought the Bible had all the answers to Life’s questions.
So why does this guy (or these two guys) believe your daughter should not go to college? Well, they believe your reasons for why they might want this are wrong, according to them. They say it’s not true that they don’t believe in educating women, or that they believe in oppressing women or in taking away opportunities for women and trapping them into a subservient role. They just believe that your daughter “will not learn to be a wife and mother” in college. I’m not an expert in either Psychology or Theology, but I’m guessing it takes a great deal of cognitive dissonance to be a good practicing American Catholic. They also worry that your daughter will be “in a near occasion of sin” because, you know, hormones. Again they use cognitive dissonance when they say, “How can one expect that anyone would be able to avoid these temptations, even on a Catholic college campus much less a secular one?” So, are they saying that despite it being a “Catholic college campus” there are students having sex outside of marriage? If living the Catholic lifestyle is such a great choice, why is there any sex going on between unmarried Catholic college students? Then there’s the cost of education going up all the time. (Apparently because it’s subsidized by the government. We can save a discussion of other things that are subsidized by the government – to save money for you and me – for later.) What’s funny (i.e., another example of cognitive dissonance) is their rationale for this position. “It makes much more sense for a young couple to have a husband with a skill that brings value to the marketplace that has reasonable compensation to go along with it and a wife who is willing to be frugal especially during the early years of starting their family.” But the most imaginative argument for why you shouldn’t send your daughter to college is that it could be an occasion of sin for the parents! Full disclosure, I have no children, but I did not know that parents have no obligation whatsoever to pay for their children’s college education. That’s how they begin their argument: “In our culture many parents feel an unnecessary obligation to pay for the children’s college tuition.” Now, try to follow their train of “thought.” In order to pay for this, they’ll have to put off having more children. But it’s not just that they’re putting off having children, it’s the way they’re putting off having children: “with contraception, sterilization, or illicit use of NFP.” (I had to look that one up, and I think they mean “Natural Family Planning.” I’m pretty sure they didn’t mean “No Fucking Problem.”) Why this same rationale wouldn’t apply to why you shouldn’t send your sons to college eludes me.
It would amuse me if it wasn’t so sad. How could anyone think the life of a Catholic woman, as envisioned by the Catholic Church, could be so appealing to any woman who is intelligent, curious about how the world works, and desirous of wanting to help other people in the world by discovering new things or ways of doing things? It can’t, nor should it. It’s not the First Century any more. It is unreasonable to expect any person to live according to tenets based on a complete misunderstanding of how the world works. That’s true of all theistic religions. All were founded at a time when we Humans understood far less about the world around us, and about our own bodies, than we do today. And we know now that much of what we thought we knew was wrong. In fact, the more you learn from Science that proves the holy texts (of any Religion) wrong about so many things, the more reason there is to doubt the other parts of them. Can you really believe the things the Catholic Church wants you to believe, and still live in the 21st Century?
This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss Catholicism, cognitive dissonance, or pretty girls you knew from college because, thankfully, their parents didn’t listen to these clowns, or anything else you wish to discuss.