This article about research concerning young lapsed Catholics relates to one of the key reasons my wife and I feel it’s worth the financial sacrifice to send our children to schools that explicitly take our religion seriously:
In exploring why young Catholics were choosing to leave the faith, [Dr. Mark Gray, a senior research associate at the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University,] noted “an emerging profile” of youth who say they find the faith “incompatible with what they are learning in high school or at the university level.” In a perceived battle between the Catholic Church and science, the Church is losing.
Humanists and other atheists will immediately scoff that Catholicism (and most religious faith) inherently conflicts with science, and that all proper education will produce the same results. But according to this research, it’s not the Church versus science as much as the Church versus the progressive dogma that has become the established religion at most public schools and most colleges and universities. As the article goes on to say:
One reason for this might be the compartmentalization of faith and education, where youth may go to Mass once a week but spend the rest of their week learning how the faith is “dumb,” he noted.
In contrast, if students are taught evolution and the Big Bang theory at the same school where they learn religion, and they are taught by people with religious convictions, then “you’re kind of shown that there’s not conflicts between those, and you understand the Church and Church history and its relationship to science,” he said.
Even were the overall message of government schools completely neutral or agnostic with respect to religion, it sends a message to students when the school that they attend for education in everything from art to social studies to science — that is, just about everything that matters about the world — pointedly leaves the fundamental question of God as a matter of personal preference.
And again, that’s assuming the school isn’t hostile to religion, which most institutions of higher education appear to be, and probably most government schools, as well, if perhaps more subtly. Those who argue that total school choice, including to the private schools sponsored by religious organizations, would violate the separation of church and state have things exactly backwards.
The establishment of religion is the system that taxes us in order to provide free-to-the-student education — under the presumption of teaching them everything that they really have to know as adults — while explicitly excluding parents who prefer religion-based schools. This assault on both religion and the Constitution can only be fixed by empowering parents with school choice.