On AstroTurf, Abortion, AR-15s, and Jesuit Credulity

 

Dear <President of the Jesuit Catholic high school to which my daughter attends>:

I’m writing to you about your decision to permit students to participate in the National School Walkout on Wednesday 14th March at 10:00 am.

I received your letter regarding the walkout and then researched the event’s stated goals and principal organizers. I regret to report that you have been materially misinformed about both.

<Name of Catholic High School> should not accommodate participation in this particular event and should instead allow the students to hold an independent event at a different time and date so as to distance themselves and the school as far as possible the National School Walkout. The values of its organizers are in sharp contrast with Catholic teaching, and their goals are not what your letter suggests that they are.

I have outlined my thinking on the matter below along with supporting material from a wide variety of national news sources and the website of the group organizing the event.

The event is not organized by the Stoneman Students.

In your letter, you mentioned that students would stand outside the school, “as per the directions from the students from Stoneman Douglas High School. The event is actually being organized by a highly partisan group that ran the Women’s March demonstrations in January 2017.) According to the group’s website, only one of the 17 youth organizers appears to be from the Parkland area, and it isn’t clear if he or she is a student at the school.

SOURCES:

http://abcnews.go.com/US/national-school-walkout-march-14/story?id=53531886

https://www.womensmarch.com/enough-faq

The organizing entity “Women’s March” favors abortion on demand paid for by taxpayers.

Included in the “Women’s March Manifesto” on the same website as the homepage for “The Walkout” is a call for “open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people, regardless of income, location or education. Loosely translated, this means “abortion on demand paid for with taxpayer money,” and it runs counter to Catholic doctrine.

SOURCES:

https://www.womensmarch.com/unity-principles

The main organizer associates with and praises black supremacists and anti-semites.

Tamika Mallory, the Co-President of the organization, has frequently praised Louis Farrakhan, the black supremacist and anti-Semitic leader of the Nation of Islam. “Farrakhan has returned the favor, complimenting her during his February Saviour’s Day speech” in which he also said that Jews control the media, Hollywood, the FBI, most of Europe, and Mexico and that the “white people running Mexico are Mexican-Jews.” In the past Mr. Farrakhan has also called Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler “a great man” and said, in reference to Jews, “When it’s God who puts you in the ovens, it’s forever!” Ms. Mallory refuses to distance herself from any of the above and recently posted smiling pictures of herself with Mr. Farrakhan with the caption “greatest of all time.”

SOURCES:

https://www.womensmarch.com/team/

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/womens-march-leader-defends-relationship-with-farrakhan/

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/03/the-womens-marchs-embrace-of-louis-farrakhan-betrays-its-most-essential-principles.html

The stated goal of the organized event is not only to show solidarity with the Parkland students or to mourn the 17 dead.

The organizing group enumerates the goals of the march on its website to include an array of gun control laws. It also outlines some disturbing – and completely ad-hominem – anti-police rhetoric. https://www.womensmarch.com/enough-demands/

The students who approached you about participating in the “School Walkout” were the victims of a particularly crass and craven form of manipulation by radical political actors who are playing upon the students’ good intentions and upon the emotionality, gullibility, and peer-approval seeking nature of teenagers. These same actors openly seek goals that are deeply counter to Catholic doctrine. They associate with and refuse to disavow intolerant racist and anti-semitic people. The specific method they have chosen – a walkout during the school day – is a devious tactic to ensure that even students who don’t feel strongly in favor of the stated goals of the demonstration will participate because they either welcome time off of the school day and/or will feel peer pressured into participating because they fear to look as if they support gun violence. I can say with certainty that at least one of your students – my daughter – feels this way and I am told that there are others who share this concern.

<Name of Catholic High School> should not be associated with this event nor the organization in any way. Participating in this specific event – if only via accommodation – will reflect very badly on the school.

The school should instead allow students to conduct their own event at a separate time and/or date to completely distance the school from the organization and goals of the event. Holding an independent event will certainly provide an opportunity for, “students’ actions to reflect a deeper set of values and convictions” as you correctly suggest in your letter.

I am available to speak with you on this matter at any time.

Regards,

<Dick from Brooklyn’s real name>

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  1. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    Well-done, @dickfrombrooklyn!  Getting to local folks about the inappropriateness of national response is a great place to start.

    • #1
  2. Mike-K Member
    Mike-K
    @

    I guess you missed all the Jesuits in the Sandinista government.

    • #2
  3. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Nicely stated.  I would hope that the tuition you’re paying would earn you some face time as well.  I’m assuming that the (lame) argument will be that participation is “optional,” so will classes continue for those brave souls who don’t participate?

    • #3
  4. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Richard Spencer is able to rustle up a couple of hundred  denizens of the left-hand side of the bell curve to prance around a park waving tiki torches — that’s news, but one of the organizers of the organizers of the school walkouts is a Loony Louie fan and — crickets.

    • #4
  5. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    You send a child to a Catholic school, at great expense I might add, to not only embrace their faith, but to develop critical thinking skills. You don’t send them to a Catholic school to memorize platitudes, or to become skeptics. Skeptics who become skeptical of everyone, and everything, but themselves.

    • #5
  6. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Well-written.

    I predict you will get a swift non-reply.

    • #6
  7. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Very good letter. Many of the Jesuits today seem to have lost their way. What a sad state of affairs.

    Have you received a response?

    • #7
  8. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    You may find that the school officials are more aligned with the radical left than you would think. Jesuits in particular have developed a reputation over the better part of the last century for having a strong politically leftist streak. I ran into some of that myself many, many moons ago with priestly professors at a Roman Catholic university.

    • #8
  9. Dick from Brooklyn Thatcher
    Dick from Brooklyn
    @DickfromBrooklyn

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):
    Very good letter. Many of the Jesuits today seem to have lost their way. What a sad state of affairs.

    Have you received a response?

    Thanks Scott. No response yet. In fairness, I sent via email and delivered by hand to recipients only yesterday.

    • #9
  10. Dick from Brooklyn Thatcher
    Dick from Brooklyn
    @DickfromBrooklyn

    Sisyphus (View Comment):
    You may find that the school officials are more aligned with the radical left than you would think. Jesuits in particular have developed a reputation over the better part of the last century for having a strong politically leftist streak. I ran into some of that myself many, many moons ago with priestly professors at a Roman Catholic university.

    Agree. I respect the Society for their good works  and amazing reflections, but they often can’t see obvious distinctions between advocating for the poor and disenfranchised and catering to radicals who don’t share goals as much as the Jesuits believe they do.

    • #10
  11. Ralphie Inactive
    Ralphie
    @Ralphie

    Not only that, you are putting children in danger by letting them congregate at a designated place and time outside of school that makes them easy targets for those so inclined to indulge in copycat behavior.  Easy to carry a gun outside of school than smuggle one in. Or drive a car through the kids.

    • #11
  12. Dick from Brooklyn Thatcher
    Dick from Brooklyn
    @DickfromBrooklyn

    Percival (View Comment):
    Richard Spencer is able to rustle up a couple of hundred denizens of the left-hand side of the bell curve to prance around a park waving tiki torches — that’s news, but one of the organizers of the organizers of the school walkouts is a Loony Louie fan and — crickets.

    I made the same point to a friend regarding  religious schools’ participation in this walkout. I don’t know the degree to which Presient Trump (I didn’t vote for him or anyone this cycle) did or did not cater to the hateful, racist, (and in one case murderous) wingnut, but Catholics unnecessarily working with bigots and abortionists like the Women’s March group is avoidable even at this late moment.

    • #12
  13. Dick from Brooklyn Thatcher
    Dick from Brooklyn
    @DickfromBrooklyn

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Nicely stated. I would hope that the tuition you’re paying would earn you some face time as well. I’m assuming that the (lame) argument will be that participation is “optional,” so will classes continue for those brave souls who don’t participate?

    Hiya, Hoya. I bet you are right.

    • #13
  14. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    A bit OT, but hopefully all in good fun.  I have a relative who attended Providence College, run by the Dominicans.  Knowing of my background, he asked:

     

    The Dominicans were founded in 1216 to fight Albigensianism.

    The Jesuits were founded in 1534 to fight Protestantism.

    When’s the last time you met an Albigensian?

    • #14
  15. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Bravo.

    • #15
  16. Jason Rudert Inactive
    Jason Rudert
    @JasonRudert

    Darn right @dickfrombrooklyn

    • #16
  17. Dick from Brooklyn Thatcher
    Dick from Brooklyn
    @DickfromBrooklyn

    Jason Rudert (View Comment):
    Darn right @dickfrombrooklyn

    Thanks, JR.

    • #17
  18. Dick from Brooklyn Thatcher
    Dick from Brooklyn
    @DickfromBrooklyn

    Nanda Panjandrum (View Comment):
    Well-done, @dickfrombrooklyn! Getting to local folks about the inappropriateness of national response is a great place to start.

    Thanks, NP. I know that I’m in the right when I receive kudos from “The Panda”

     

    • #18
  19. Dick from Brooklyn Thatcher
    Dick from Brooklyn
    @DickfromBrooklyn

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Nicely stated. I would hope that the tuition you’re paying would earn you some face time as well. I’m assuming that the (lame) argument will be that participation is “optional,” so will classes continue for those brave souls who don’t participate?

    You were right!

    I’ll post the (unsatisfying) reply as an update in a minute.

    • #19
  20. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    Are there permission slips/opt-outs available, or is this travesty mandatory?  Could your student wake up with the 17-minute flu?

    • #20
  21. Peter Gøthgen Member
    Peter Gøthgen
    @PeterGothgen

    In contrast, the principal at my children’s Catholic elementary school sent this email today:
    Dear parents,

    We will not be participating in the protest against gun violence event on March 14th as a school. If you do wish for your child to participate, you should keep your child home that day. (This would constitute an illegal absence.) If you wish to sign out your child from school for the event, you certainly may do so, but only the parent/guardian may pick up the student. Any tests administered, or lessons taught this day would be the responsibility of the student, and not the teacher. We will pray this day as a school for peace in our country and in our schools.

    • #21
  22. Dick from Brooklyn Thatcher
    Dick from Brooklyn
    @DickfromBrooklyn

    Peter Gøthgen (View Comment):
    In contrast, the principal at my children’s Catholic elementary school sent this email today:
    Dear parents,

    We will not be participating in the protest against gun violence event on March 14th as a school. If you do wish for your child to participate, you should keep your child home that day. (This would constitute an illegal absence.) If you wish to sign out your child from school for the event, you certainly may do so, but only the parent/guardian may pick up the student. Any tests administered, or lessons taught this day would be the responsibility of the student, and not the teacher. We will pray this day as a school for peace in our country and in our schools.

    Wow, am I jealous (of both your school and and of the super-cool thorn in your name!)

    • #22
  23. Dick from Brooklyn Thatcher
    Dick from Brooklyn
    @DickfromBrooklyn

    Nanda Panjandrum (View Comment):
    Are there permission slips/opt-outs available, or is this travesty mandatory? Could your student wake up with the 17-minute flu?

    They are allowing students to not participate and to stay in the school and by so doing, assiduously not requiring participation.

    My daughter (for the first time in her 15 years) is showing (understandable) signs of caring of what people think about her if she stays behind. That might be the thing that is making me the most angry.

    • #23
  24. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    Not being left behind; doing her job, what you’re paying for her to do.  She’ll be ‘adulting’ while in class: Brava! Is there a counterpart prayer service/vigil soon, as an alternative?

     

    • #24
  25. Dick from Brooklyn Thatcher
    Dick from Brooklyn
    @DickfromBrooklyn

    OK. I received a very unsatisfactory response from the school.

    I’m moving on to step 2. Public shaming.

    Hey @johnpodhoretz  – do you know anyone at the NY Post who might like a nice juicy letter to the editor from the parent of a straight A scholarship student at a $40k/year Catholic school excoriating the administration, the Archdiocese and the Jesuit Province that chose Louis Farrakhan and abortionists over quiet prayer for the dead and who is willing to give back $30k/year in scholarship money just to hammer home his point? Talk about putting ones’s money where one’s mouth is! Holla!

     

    • #25
  26. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    Dick from Brooklyn (View Comment):
    OK. I received a very unsatisfactory response from the school.

    I’m moving on to step 2. Public shaming.

    Hey @johnpodhoretz – do you know anyone at the NY Post who might like a nice juicy letter to the editor from the parent of a straight A scholarship student at a $40k/year Catholic school excoriating the administration, the Archdiocese and the Jesuit Province that chose Louis Farrakhan and abortionists over quiet prayer for the dead and who is willing to give back $30k/year in scholarship money just to hammer home his point? Talk about putting one’s money where one’s mouth is! Holla!

    I’ll give you an Amen, brother!

    • #26
  27. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Dick from Brooklyn (View Comment):
    OK. I received a very unsatisfactory response from the school.

    I’m moving on to step 2. Public shaming.

    Hey @johnpodhoretz – do you know anyone at the NY Post who might like a nice juicy letter to the editor from the parent of a straight A scholarship student at a $40k/year Catholic school excoriating the administration, the Archdiocese and the Jesuit Province that chose Louis Farrakhan and abortionists over quiet prayer for the dead and who is willing to give back $30k/year in scholarship money just to hammer home his point? Talk about putting ones’s money where one’s mouth is! Holla!

    Isn’t Seth Mandel, spouse of our own @bethanymandel, an (the?) editor there?

    • #27
  28. Autistic License Thatcher
    Autistic License
    @AutisticLicense

      Can I make national policy?  I’m thith old.

    • #28
  29. Mike-K Member
    Mike-K
    @

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    When’s the last time you met an Albigensian?

    The poor Albigensians were finished off when a plenary indulgence was offered for killing one. They were gone by 1200.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albigensian_Crusade

    • #29
  30. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    Mike-K (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    When’s the last time you met an Albigensian?

    The poor Albigensians were finished off when a plenary indulgence was offered for killing one. They were gone by 1200.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albigensian_Crusade

    The people who bore the descriptor may not be with us, but their Gnostic and dualistically-inspired thought surely is…Looks like the Dominicans still have work to do on that front. :-)

    • #30
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