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07/08/2015

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What's really happening? How about 'decadence'? What you're seeing I think is serial decay in the quality of the political class from one generation to the next in part derived from the decay in the quality of the population from which they are drawn. The one way in which there has been some modest improvement is that the wretchedly uncharitable view of blacks which was common (and by no means universal) among my grand-parents' contemporaries has dissipated. Still, outside the South, I do not think you find age cohorts more sensible on racial questions than my father and his social circle (whose views would be regarded as completely unacceptable today in academe, in the civil service, and in most corporate HR offices). My father was born in 1928.

"Decadence" is putting it mildly, I think. Though if one were going to try to pin a single word on it, that would do pretty well.

I'm not sure I understand your last sentence. You mean that outside the South there hasn't been much actual improvement since your father's generation?

No. My suggestion is northerners who were my father's contemporaries (in my experience) generally did not suffer from some of the disagreeable attitudes of the previous generation on that particular question. My Southern connections are upland Southerners, some with peace church affiliations. Very unrepresentative, because never in their lives did they live in social circumstances where the color bar was a big deal. School integration in their town mean that the population of blacks in the local schools skyrocketed from 0% to 2%. Common and garden Southerners of my father's vintage have had to navigate a world where the map kept changing.

I see. Of course I don't know about the state of things outside the South, but yeah, it certainly was a disorienting experience for Southerners who came to adulthood prior to the 1960s. Probably more so than I realized (I was a teenager), as neither my family nor most of the people I was around were maliciously racist, at least not in my presence. Not that they didn't have a generally low opinion of black people and believe in segregation, but they were not hateful. Yes, there is a distinction there, though not one that today's liberals would admit exists.

Not that they didn't have a generally low opinion of black people and believe in segregation, but they were not hateful. Yes, there is a distinction there, though not one that today's liberals would admit exists.

They have their own implicit and often explicit strata of regard which now includes inflicting civil penalties on their enemies. The analogy in uncomplicated, but it escapes them completely. A sterling example would be the opinion journalism of Hendrik Hertzberg, but there are many others.

"the pattern that emerges—is to paint Christians as a danger to the nation. That’s a very old theme."

The idea seems to be one aspect of the root of "religious freedom," at least as far as Jefferson and Madison were concerned. Orthodox religion is seen as a threat to the peace of the state, so they wanted to make it as diffuse as possible. They wanted to keep the state out of the various churches' hair, but it needed to work in reverse as well.

After Obergefell I'm not nearly so sanguine as I used to be about the whole idea of "religious freedom."

Somewhat related, a friend of mine had this published at FT last week:

http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2015/06/liberal-limitsand-our-opportunity

From Rob's article:

If those arguments were going to have persuasive force, we’d have seen conscientious liberals deploying then.

Who are they? This is a real question.

AMDG

I was going to say, in response to Art, that the ability of liberals to engage in hate and bigotry under the banner of opposition to both has become grotesque.

I've also noticed that liberalism (broadly speaking of course) is becoming stupider. That is, the percentage of liberals who are stupid is growing, as it becomes more the mainstream. I run across more and more who are completely incapable of and uninterested in arguing principles and facts. They have their emotions and their slogans, and that's all they need.

Which is in great part a continuation and mainstreaming of the approach of '60s radicalism.

I agree about religious freedom, Rob. As so many people have said, the American version of the idea is totally dependent on there being broad agreement among the religions, with outliers of any distance such small minorities as not to be politically and culturally very significant. Now that that's broken down, we are back to religious war. So far not literal physical war.

Liberals are beginning to adopt, without realizing it, the idea that most cultures inevitably have, which is that there's only so far outside the common doctrine you can go without becoming a danger to the established (or would-like-to-be-established) order. Brendan Eich was essentially convicted of heresy and punished.

Yes, it seems to be the case that for religious liberty to "work," you have to accept the liberal understanding of what religion is. In other words, you have to grant secularism. But then how "free" are religious people, not to mention churches, if secularism is the assumption? Because what you do have, in fact, is an established understanding of religion, if not a religion itself.

"As Christians our response of prayer and, dare I say it, penance, is of the first importance to the worsening situation of Christianity in relation to the culture. But paying attention to the signs of the times is important, too."

Absolutely. Prayer and fasting etc. But the other idea in my mind is "Watch and Pray."

"That the state believes it has the right to do this is of course a very old theme in the history of Christianity."

The idea of a separation of Church and State ought to mean the State keeping out of the affairs of the Church.

""Decadence" is putting it mildly, I think. Though if one were going to try to pin a single word on it, that would do pretty well."

"Free fall" is how I think of it. (I don't know if that term is actually appropriate).

"I was going to say, in response to Art, that the ability of liberals to engage in hate and bigotry under the banner of opposition to both has become grotesque."

Utterly.

"I've also noticed that liberalism (broadly speaking of course) is becoming stupider."

It has now got to the point where many Catholics I know are wanting to engage in discussion about important issues, but have no sensible opposition to engage with and so wonder what the point is. That's entirely reasonable, IMO. I just take a different approach myself.

I don't think it necessarily has to be that (an assumption of secularism). It can be a balance. But at best there is that underlying tension, and when a real conflict arises one or the other has to have the last word.

Though if religion has the last word, you can fairly say religion has been in control all along, and vice versa for the state.

I.e., the theoretical situation in Europe for a thousand years or so, where the secular ruler ultimately had to obey the Church. Of course it often didn't work that way.

Cross-posted with Louise--I was replying to Rob.

"Liberals are beginning to adopt, without realizing it, the idea that most cultures inevitably have, which is that there's only so far outside the common doctrine you can go without becoming a danger to the established (or would-like-to-be-established) order. Brendan Eich was essentially convicted of heresy and punished."

Yes, "without realising it" -- which actually aggravates me no end. They simply will not see that they have a world view which they are actually imposing on us and happy to impose on us. They truly seem to believe that under this system we have real freedom still. They are utterly deluded.

It really does seem to me that the state is always confessional, even if that "confession" is just a basic adherence to the natural law. Although, in the US, the Catholic Church was in conflict with the state right from the beginning due to the divorce laws. How can the state "undo" what the Church recognises as an indissoluble thing?

Orthodox religion is seen as a threat to the peace of the state, so they wanted to make it as diffuse as possible. They wanted to keep the state out of the various churches' hair, but it needed to work in reverse as well.

--

A more practical consideration would have been that the various colonies (later states) had incompatible establishments and a different confessional mix. The actual text of the 1st amendment inhibits federal legislation, i.e. insists that conflicts of this sort repair to the state legislature.

Yes, it seems to be the case that for religious liberty to "work," you have to accept the liberal understanding of what religion is. In other words, you have to grant secularism.

No, you merely need competing subcultures to negotiate a modus vivendi. The signature of our times has been the unwillingness of the opposition to do that even in circumstances where they are a numerical minority. That, in turn, implicates the dynamic of social class competition as we speak.


As so many people have said, the American version of the idea is totally dependent on there being broad agreement among the religions, with outliers of any distance such small minorities as not to be politically and culturally very significant.


It's dependent upon conflicts being channeled into local or subcultural venues and it's dependent upon standards and practices not having many public policy implications.

Liberals are beginning to adopt, without realizing it, the idea that most cultures inevitably have, which is that there's only so far outside the common doctrine you can go without becoming a danger to the established (or would-like-to-be-established) order.

I think an explanation for that is that 'liberals' are commonly people for whom high school never ended and they conceive of themselves as if they were administrators, teachers, or members of student cliques.

Yes, but prior to that I tend to think of it as the conviction of being smarter than everybody else, which frequently begins in high school. No time to say more now.

"A more practical consideration would have been that the various colonies (later states) had incompatible establishments..."

I've always thought, and it's not an especially well-supported thought, that the preceding centuries of religious wars was very present in their minds.

"No, you merely need competing subcultures to negotiate a modus vivendi. The signature of our times has been the unwillingness of the opposition to do that even in circumstances where they are a numerical minority. "

That's surely in part because they don't see themselves as a "competing subculture." They see themselves as crusaders (to put in relatively flattering terms). I don't think we can understand contemporary liberalism without recognizing its nature as a proselytizing and conquering religion. Lately I've been giving more credence to the notion that there is a more conscious and structured factor in it than I had supposed. That is, I begin to suspect that there isn't just a vague "arc of history" impulse, but also a consciously revolutionary one, at work. The telos, as someone at Neo-neocon said recently, is utopia. With that in mind, it isn't in the least surprising that I've seen several liberal commentaries since the Obergefell decision talking about "the next step." One proposed next step was universal child-care.

Oh and I meant to reply to Louise earlier about the culture being in "free fall." Yes, it really is.

About "next steps"--right now there is a story on Google News saying that removing the Confederate flag was fine but only symbolic and nothing's really changed. Which is true as far as it goes, but what are the implications of this?:

The "cold truth," he says, is that there are plenty of people who feel what the church shooter feels, and racism doesn't go away when a flag comes down.

"America was built on the backs of racism, and racism is a system that needs to be deconstructed," he says.

Ours is a flawed system, he says, that needs a lot more work.

"We put Band-Aids on the leaky pipes," he says, "and we have to replace the pipes."

In other words (to Art again): a modus vivendi is unacceptable, because it would constitute defeat.

"Lately I've been giving more credence to the notion that there is a more conscious and structured factor in it than I had supposed. That is, I begin to suspect that there isn't just a vague "arc of history" impulse, but also a consciously revolutionary one, at work. The telos, as someone at Neo-neocon said recently, is utopia. With that in mind, it isn't in the least surprising that I've seen several liberal commentaries since the Obergefell decision talking about "the next step." One proposed next step was universal child-care."

Yes, they are a disturbing bunch.

Yes, they have to get the children away from us as early as possible--like Janissaries. I'm amazed that homeschooling has stood as long as it has. It drives me crazy that some of my grandchildren have to be in public schools, but there's nothing I can do about it.

AMDG

You can take some consolation in the fact that homeschooling doesn't necessarily produce good results, and public schooling doesn't necessarily produce bad results. I know you know that, but it's worth reminding yourself of it.

In my following links around the net I've come across some depressing stuff about homeschooling and Christian families in general: "support groups" for people who grew up in those homes and now despise them, that sort of thing. Seem to be more ex-evangelicals than Catholics, not that that's a lot of consolation.

I've also noticed liberals using "home-schooler" in similar contexts and tones as "gun-nut", "anti-choice", "homophobe", etc.

In my following links around the net I've come across some depressing stuff about homeschooling and Christian families in general: "support groups" for people who grew up in those homes and now despise them, that sort of thing. Seem to be more ex-evangelicals than Catholics, not that that's a lot of consolation.

Some time ago, I saw a datum to the effect that about a quarter of the youth who grow up in Amish communities leave them. You always have defectors when your an eccentric minority.

I have some limited correspondence in these fora with irritated evangelicals. I get the impression from them that in their experience, the evangelical world is troubled six-ways-to-Sunday and one particular problem in and among them is the young adult 'cool-kid-wannabe', some of whom depart the evangelical fold entirely and others who undermine it by trading in an ersatz pseudo-evangelicalism in local congregations and in evangelical media. One of the three daughters of John Ortberg, a prominent megachurch pastor, appears to take the first course and the other certainly takes the second. One might also recall the spoiled child of Francis Schaffer.

Sure, you always have defectors, and the kind who are disaffected enough to join a support group, become activists for the other side, etc., are a small number. But I wonder what the overall defection rate for seriously Catholic families has been over the past generation. I have no numbers at all but just on the basis of what I've observed I would consider 25% good.

I get occasional views of that cool-evangelical thing online. It's about as impressive as any other attempt to get with the times.

What I've read of Frank Schaffer has been pretty appalling.

I've been meaning to say that my concern about public school at this point is the indoctrination that the kids are going to be undergoing. Of course, it's everywhere--Tony Tiger on their breakfast cereal.

I'm thinking the former homeschoolers in the support groups are the ones whose parents were really counter-cultural--not that all of those situations were bad. It's the fear factor that I think makes the difference.

AMDG

But I wonder what the overall defection rate for seriously Catholic families has been over the past generation. I have no numbers at all but just on the basis of what I've observed I would consider 25% good.

My interest would be the defection rate after the post-Vatican II shakeout. The Church in the United States did not, as regards ordinations to the priesthood, hit bottom until about 15 years ago. It was also around that time we all realized that most of the public was willing to accept appalling behavior from politicians provided they were protected in some way by the press, by their general persona, or by ambient conditions.

Youngsters who have been raised in this muck are now 25 and under and we do not know yet what the trajectory of their lives will be.

I'd put the sea change, Art, around the time of Bill Clinton's failure to resign after we all learned about Monica and the Oval Office happenings. I remember when the news first hit that even my liberal friends thought that his resignation was inevitable.

"I've been meaning to say that my concern about public school at this point is the indoctrination that the kids are going to be undergoing."

Yes, it will be especially bad from now on. Perhaps not so much in Texas.

Janet, by "the fear factor" do you mean fear of the world on the part of the parents? Or something else?

If you are going to homestead, say, and you are doing it because you think it is a healthy way to live and a good way for your children to learn real life skills, that is one thing. On the other hand, if you are trying to completely isolate your kids from the world because you fear what will happen to them, that is another. There is, of course, something out there to fear, but if you try to hide away from it, you either engender fear or resentment in your kids.

I was not completely innocent in of this in the early years of homeschooling.

AMDG

Early on, I really didn't know any Catholic homeschoolers. I was in a pretty fundamentalist evangelical group.

AMDG

Yes, the indoctrination is bound to step up now, which is not to say it hasn't been there for some time. There was a thing circulating on Facebook a few days ago about a child getting the wrong answer on a multiple choice question "What is a family?" The child picked an answer that had something to do with kinship, but the right answer was "people who live together and love each other." I didn't attempt to verify it but even if it was false that is certainly what the establishment believes now, and will teach to the extent practicable. I meant to be suggesting that in noting "universal child care" as the next objective.

Many years ago, when our children were small, my wife and I were friends with a couple who had children about the same age. The wife was a very committed left-winger and talked openly about the need to bypass parents and work directly on the children via the public schools.

The left's command of education, journalism, the entertainment industry, and much of the federal apparatus has a lot to do with its ability to impose its will on a population which in many ways is still resistant to its program.

I agree about the significance of Clinton getting away with it. I thought at the time that we had crossed a significant line. Even if you think he was being unjustly hounded, I simply don't see how you can let that pass and still maintain that we have a government of laws. Since then of course that ideal has been further damaged.

I thought you meant something like that, Janet, but I wasn't sure.

One home schools because he thinks it will provide his children with the best education. Providing a good home environment in which to flourish is a distinct but related task. That involves a certain amount of shielding, but not isolation. I think most homeschooling families overdo the shielding at first. You can't sustain it.

I simply don't see how you can let that pass and still maintain that we have a government of laws.

It's the culture. He's getting six figure sums from higher education and miscellaneous philanthropies and trade associations and what is he? A disbarred lawyer who committed a series of federal crimes which (by some accounts) will net you 30-37 months in prison according to federal sentencing guidelines. He also puked presidential pardons to his cronies and his brother's (among others), for one of which his brother-in-law got a six-figure finder's fee. And, of course, just about anyone but the ghastly Hillary would have given him the gate decades ago.

It is the culture, but that particular aspect of the culture is in part something deliberately constructed by Democrats. Though I suppose there is a lot of collusion in it by Republicans with something to lose. As has been pointed out many times, a major reason for the difference between the outcomes of Watergate and the Clinton scandals was that in the former case the president's own party eventually turned against him, while in the latter they closed ranks and counter-attacked with fury.

That's true, Robert, that the shielding can't be maintained. Whether over- or under-done, really. This is a very depressing subject on which I really don't have anything of interest to say.

a major reason for the difference between the outcomes of Watergate and the Clinton scandals was that in the former case the president's own party eventually turned against him, while in the latter they closed ranks and counter-attacked with fury.

The newspapers and federal prosecutors were willing to investigate the Nixon Administration. The stupefying obstruction that the IRS has gotten away with the last two years strongly suggests that the next Republican president needs to hose down the Department of Justice. Mass dismissals of attorneys hired by Eric Holder would be in order. Keep in mind that the criminal division of the Richard Kleindienst's Justice department was run by a government lifer and registered Democrat. Two of the three prosecutors investigating the Watergate scandal in 1972 and 1973 were also career men (and one a known Democrat). Kleindienst was remarkably hands-off. When a federal district court appointed a special prosecutor, who did they get but a Harvard professor and Kennedy Administration veteran. To a great extent, the Administration allowed the Democratic establishment to investigate it.

"As has been pointed out many times, a major reason for the difference between the outcomes of Watergate and the Clinton scandals was that in the former case the president's own party eventually turned against him, while in the latter they closed ranks and counter-attacked with fury."

Is that b/c Clinton's scandals were sexual? I don't remember much about Clinton (thank heaven) - were there other things too?

"That's true, Robert, that the shielding can't be maintained. Whether over- or under-done, really. This is a very depressing subject on which I really don't have anything of interest to say."

I have something to say, which may or may not be interesting.

I'm sure you've all had these thoughts too, but anyhow, I decided that the main thing I could give my children as far as shielding goes was to give them clear moral guidance and hopefully, the chance to develop a relationship with Jesus, knowing that it was perfectly possible they might all rebel. But I figured that at least they would know what to return to someday, when the "fun" had worn off.

It's so easy for any of us to go off the rails at any point. If I live to be 80, I still have 35 years left. I could do any crazy thing. Or more likely some very mediocre thing which I nevertheless end up failing to let go of. If I didn't believe completely in the Father's love I would probably despair of us all.

I read this a few months back and was very touched. I have to say I'm pretty amazed that there are (apparently) Catholics who believe that if we just do the "right" things, all our children will grow up to be good Catholics etc. That seems pretty La La Land to me. It could happen, of course, but I don't see why it necessarily would, since we all have free will.

The Lives of the Saints, in any case, show us of very holy mothers and fathers whose children turned out spectacularly rotten. And then there was Judas Iscariot.

http://www.elizabethfoss.com/reallearning/2011/11/what-im-never-going-to-tell-you.html#tpe-action-resize-408=

It's all Grace anyhow. Some of us here went well off the straight and narrow, only to get back onto it later.

But the current problem is that the state and the culture are reasserting their opposition to the Good, the True and the Beautiful to a degree that none of us has ever lived with before. And that *is* scary to have to deal with.

Something is mightily topsy-turvy in this world when French politicians now resign over sexual scandals, and yet Clinton just keeps chugging merrily along, garnering praise and heaps of money wherever he goes.

I keep thinking everything is all upside-down. Now Russia is turning into some kind of pro-family outfit.

And China for goodness sake.

AMDG

Indeed. But it makes sense in the context of a religious war. Suppose you lived in a Catholic country ruled by a Christian king. The king is something of a rascal, but at least he's Christian. So when Islamic revolutionaries attempt to depose him in favor of an extremist Muslin who will force you to convert (or so you believe, or pretend to believe), are you going to side with them?

"Is that b/c Clinton's scandals were sexual? I don't remember much about Clinton (thank heaven) - were there other things too?"

That was the excuse. But the real reason was that he was a Democrat. If he had been a Republican the press and feminists would have destroyed him and he would have been turned out of office. Cf. Packwood, Robert W., Senator, R-Oregon.

And the real, actual legal reason for the impeachment was not sexual misconduct, but perjury. I think it's a very big deal that the Democrats were willing to keep in office a man they all knew to be a perjurer. An office of which the fundamental responsibility is implementing the laws of the land.

Cross-posted--my "Indeed..etc." was in reply to Marianne's last comment.

"And the real, actual legal reason for the impeachment was not sexual misconduct, but perjury."

Yes indeed. Thanks, Maclin.

I know that homeschool parents can't shelter too much, but I am really struggling with this right now. My oldest is 9, and she is an innocent and sweet child. She plays with random kids we meet at the park, and kids at church--plenty of kids there since the average member family has 4-6 kids. I keep trying to figure out some other "socialization" opportunity for her, but it's hard to find anything that seems worth the money and hassle.

The city we are in and the environment we are in feels hostile and honestly disgusting to me, and I am a grown-up who lived a too-adventurous life before converting. So much disgusting coarseness and awfulness. The kids from the local schools get on the city bus and the conversations I overhear shock me--and by now I really should be nearly unshockable. The Girl Scouts here made a point of admitting "trans girls" and are in the lap of PP, and you'd be surprised how many GLBT permutations I see playing out in the flocks coming down the hill from the middle school. It is weird and alarming to me, and I am really not that old or far removed from this generation.

I mention the girl scouts and such because it seems like everything that used to be the neutral commons has been completely turned into a way to spread propaganda. There's no such thing, here at least, as a program that is JUST about kids from all walks of life learning to sew and build camp fires together, anymore. It's no longer reasonable to expect that if you send your child to public school, when they discuss current events the teacher will keep tightly zipped at the lip about their own partisan status. (I remember my 5th grade teacher and my junior year history teacher, for two, inspiring passionate debates but NEVER yielding a clue about their party affiliations or political feelings!) You can no longer expect that the people around you in public will refrain from talking graphically about sex in front of children (this happened to us just today!) or otherwise being inappropriate.

The neutral common ground is gone. You either become comfortable to some degree with the propaganda and the crass status quo, or you retreat to your "special" secluded commune. In our case the little parish world.

I know at some point we're going to have to teach them to engage but how? It's not that I don't want to discuss the "birds and the bees" it's that half the stuff you encounter in a pop song or a middle school classroom these days is stuff *I* avoid subjecting *myself* to! I don't know where to start.

I wish I could offer you some encouraging words, but I really don't have any. Or at least nothing specific, just general things like "Trust God and pray a lot." Which is not to say I think all children are doomed to be assimilated by the zeitgeist at least for some lengthy period, but that I don't have any clear sense of why some are and some aren't, of what works and what doesn't.

I've never been of the view that one's thinking and behavior is mostly determined by one's environment. I generally have tended to think the nature-nurture ratio is roughly 50-50. Now I'm more inclined to think it's 70-30 or 80-20 in favor of nature.

Is that b/c Clinton's scandals were sexual? I don't remember much about Clinton (thank heaven) - were there other things too?

Clinton was sued in 1994 by a quondam Arkansas state employee named Paula Jones for coming on to her in particularly gross way. Jones herself was something of a grifter. In the course of the proceedings, Clinton suborned perjury by others. Then there was the Whitewater land deals. The special prosecutor managed to win a conviction of Clinton's Lt. Governor on that set of transactions. Clinton himself escaped when one of the principals cooled her heels in jail for 18 months rather than testify in front of a grand jury and another of the principles died of a heart attack in custody. Then there was Mrs. Clinton's incredible commodity trading, with regard to which prosecution was time-barred. Then there was the pardons scandal which erupted as he was leaving office (and post-dated the impeachment proceedings).

By and large, lawfare is a Democratic speciality. At the time (per Brent Bozell), the broadcast media were covering for Clinton as the print media were reporting the scandals. Now all the media cover for Obama bar those with a predominantly Republican audience.

I think I posted a comment here last night. I know I wrote it, but I was on the Kindle and might not have posted correctly.

It probably wasn't that important, but I'm curious.

AMDG

Nothing in the spam catcher. The last comment from you is the one about China at 5:59 yesterday.

By the way, I wonder if everybody sees the same time and date on comments that I do. I see the times in US Central Daylight time. This one is going to say 10:34 or so. Is that what y'all see?

That is the time I see, Mac. Of course I am also in the Central time zone.

Yes, of course, since I'm in the same time zone, but it's very odd. Sometimes it has a time that is later than the time you actually posted it.

AMDG

That's the time I see, and I'm already your tomorrow.

And your time, Marianne, shows up as mine--which is Maclin's.

AMDG

"I know at some point we're going to have to teach them to engage but how? It's not that I don't want to discuss the "birds and the bees" it's that half the stuff you encounter in a pop song or a middle school classroom these days is stuff *I* avoid subjecting *myself* to! I don't know where to start."

I'm no expert on anything. But just sharing from my own life - so far what has worked has been to keep a fairly small group of family friends with similar outlook. This was basically the case for my children until their mid-teens or so and then I gradually let them branch out a bit. They don't have to socialise with lots of people, IMO. The conversations you need to have with them can probably start in the early teens and happen gradually as the occasion arises. Trying to keep the relationship with them "open" helps, in my experience. So far, our children have been pretty open to our guidance for which I'm very grateful. It may not last, but I hope so. Try not to worry too much yet, though that's a parent's lot!

"Or at least nothing specific, just general things like "Trust God and pray a lot.""

That's the bottom line. St Pio's "Pray, hope and don't worry" is a good one to try to live by.

One study showed that the combination which worked best in terms of keeping young people in the Church was: having other adults in their life who are committed Catholics; weekly meetings (eg youth group) in which they can prayand learn scripture etc; opportunities for retreats etc.

This was not to say parenting was unimportant, only that this particular combo was quite potent.

Sherry Weddell's Intentional Disciples group would have some good information on this kind of thing, I think. That's where I got this from.

Thanks Art. I had to look up "grifter."

I think having a like-minded group of families can be really helpful. And it needs to be big enough that the chances of the children finding simpatico friends are pretty good. I'm tempted to go into specifics about our experience but am not going to do it in public. My children would certainly deplore it (and I wouldn't blame them).

Yes, our original Catholic group was small, and our kids didn't find friends. But the group kept growing and my youngest daughter had a much better experience.

AMDG

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