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Democracy Cannot Exist Without God

September 6, 2016 by  
Filed under Book Club, Family, Freedom, Vicki Burbach

Book Club INTERNAL FEATURE IMAGE (internal to post) 600x214 - for post on educating ourselves out of democracy

Life of Christ (Week 22 of 27)

A democracy with a conscience became a mobocracy with power. When a democracy loses its moral sense, it can vote itself right out of democracy. — Life of Christ (Ch. 47, Paragraph 4)

Over the past couple of weeks, parents across the country have been ushering their children off to school, posting “first day” pictures on social media, celebrating new horizons from the Kindergarten playground to the unfettered union halls of the college campus. But how many of us gave pause before sending our children into a den of thieves? Shouldn’t we be past the point of being a “little” concerned about the education we are funding through the public tax system or our private donations? The education system is getting more and more brazen about teaching our children values that are diametrically opposed to those of our Faith.

Over 50 years ago, we handed over the character development of our children to a faithless vacuum for more than half of their waking hours. Five days a week, eight hours a day our children are bussed to an organization with absolutely no grounding in truth. With no basis in actual morality. In fact, with the 1963 ban on school prayer and any kind of public display of religion, schools have been teaching our children, not simply that their faith should be practiced in private; they have encouraged an all-out disdain for it. After all, if faith is something that must be tucked away from the public eye, to be exercised solely within the confines of our homes and churches, wouldn’t it be natural for children to assume there’s something seriously wrong with the expression of religion? Dangerous even? After all, don’t we generally only “hide” activities of which we are ashamed?

Juxtapose the negative connotation of religion with the outright promotion of gender expression and other morally compromised activities in our public schools. Condoms are being handed out like candy. And public schools have proudly added childcare to their list of resources for high school students. Because of course, in the wake of a ban on God in schools, something had to fill the void. And no time was wasted in coming up with a substitution. The powers that be quickly constructed a god of another design. The god of Relativism. The god of “If it Feels Good, Do it.” And with this religion, the only virtues that matter are the those of tolerance. Environmentalism. And now, gender expression. And to ensure those virtues are validated and promoted, the powers that be have taught our children the virtue of government activism.

Lest you believe parochial schools have been left out of the fray, protected in their right to teach the free exercise of religion, just take a peek inside your local Catholic school. Our experience has been an interesting promotion of “social justice” – a coopted version – tolerance and moral relativism, even within the hallowed doors of Catholic Education. Whether a result of osmosis or strategic planning, there is relatively little difference between the parochial and public school environments where our children’s faith are concerned. In fact, many would argue that public education poses less danger. At least there, parents can tell their kids that “pagans” are ignorant of God’s plan for this or for that. But when a child learns in a Catholic school that Adam and Eve weren’t real, or that his entire Faith was borrowed from the highly acclaimed gods of Egyptian culture, well, what can you say then? Or when a school is Catholic in name, but politically correct in action, how do you override the “experts” in an effort to teach your kids the Truth? When public funding for a parochial school means Religion is relegated to simply a class subject, not even on par with the core subjects of Math, Language Arts, Science and Social Studies, (as opposed to a way of life, and the foundation stone of the school), how can we ever expect our children to learn to center their lives on the One, True God?

Does anyone else sense that we have taken a turn in this country? A left so sharp that we will be hard pressed to correct our steering before we careen head first over the cliff of socialism, causing the greatest experiment on the face of the earth to plummet to its death after nearly 250 years of greatness?

This plummet is not the result of a sudden impetus for a new social construct. No. This is the work of more than a generation of careful planning and the meticulous laying of pavers that line the road to perdition. Brick by brick, step by step, this road has taken a long time to build. And now the powers that be have educated a generation of Americans to venture down the path.

This road was not even on the horizon in America a hundred years ago. In fact, two centuries ago when our founders laid out the parameters for a successful society, they took great pains to avoid the possibility of unrestrained government. They were very careful to protect our freedoms, particularly our religious freedoms, providing for their security with the Constitution itself. They were so concerned with the protection of religious liberty that they included religious protections in two places:

Article VI, which says in part:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States. (emphasis mine)

And Article I of the Bill of Rights, which states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. (emphasis mine)

The thought that Americans would choose to hand over the reigns of their freedom to government ideologues, step back and watch their children indoctrinated to eschew democracy right before their very eyes was nowhere imagined in the early years of this country.

And yet, here we sit.

Thus far this effort has born much fruit.

Evidence lies all around us. From public school districts ushering out terms like “boys” and “girls” in favor of “neutral” terms like scholars and students to avoid giving “offense,” to the encouragement of LGBTQ activity in high schools, and even the example of giant retailers like Target making a huge public display of welcoming guests into bathrooms and fitting rooms that correspond to their gender identity.

From Catholic universities that suspend employees for declaring that their Catholic faith teaches them there are only two genders, to safe spaces and the “protection from words that might offend,’ America is fast-becoming a space that promotes wrong and discourages right, and we are footing the bill.

Additionally, demonstrations and civil unrest on our streets seem to have reached a level unseen since the Civil Rights Movement. At the University of Missouri last year, there was widespread unrest and concern that resulted in demonstrations about racial discrimination on campus. We heard more on the news that week about safe spaces and trigger words than I care to hear in a lifetime of my own children’s educations. The mob-rule environment at Mizzou led to the resignations of a school president and a chancellor, and the demonstrations and uprisings were then replicated on campuses across the country.

One need not mention the deeply disturbing scenes in our cities over the past two years instigated by groups that serve to heighten racial tension and create a mob mentality of war against our nation’s police, those who serve to uphold law and order in the very communities in which we live.

According to Pew Research, what has widely been referred to as “liberal” ideology has more than tripled in the past 20 years, among the most educated. In 1994, only 7% of postgraduates provided liberal responses to 10 general questions on various topics. Today that number has increased to 31%.

Another Pew Research Study reports that only 58% of Millenials believe in any god at all, 28% aren’t sure and 11% avidly subscribe to atheism (vs. only 6% of Gen Xers). These people will be running our government one day in the not too distant future. And it turns out that, while they don’t trust God, they are quick to believe that government should be an active force in the “betterment” of people’s lives.

Among younger students, these numbers are even higher. Parents are sending their children to school, expecting them to learn the three R’s of Reading wRiting, aRithmetic, and they are coming home as scholars of Radicalism, Relativism, and the Redistribution of wealth.

It should terrify us to contemplate that the source of mob rule that has been running rampant through our streets of late is the very education system for which our taxes pay and on which we depend to educate our children. The very government that educates them is the one that alienates their parents. That children are manipulated into thinking that religion is bad and government is good is no surprise. That the government offers itself as the only answer to our nations ills should be expected. That we are watching it happen in our education system and taking no action should be shocking.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said,

The gravest danger to American democracy…is not from the outside; it is from the inside — the hearts of citizens in whom the light of faith has gone out. Keep God as the origin of authority and you keep the ethical character of authority; reject Him and the authority becomes power subject to no law except its own. — Whence Come Wars, p. 64

And so here we stand, on the cusp of a democracy that has virtually lost its moral sense and may just vote itself right out of a free body politic. What are we going to do about it?


9/7/16 Update: I just read this article on NCR – it adds credence to the things I wrote about in the above post. The statistics are heartbreaking.


Reading Assignment:

Chapters 49

Discussion Questions:

1. Please share some ways that we can positively affect our local schools. If you have any tips for how we can affect change in our own homes, please share those as well.

2. Feel free to comment on anything from our assignment this past week!


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About Vicki Burbach

Vicki Burbach is a wife and homeschooling mother of six children ages four to sixteen years who relishes the calm inspiration of spiritual reading amidst the roller coaster of life. A passionate convert to the Faith, Vicki is an avid reader who started the book club so she could embark with like-minded bibliophiles on a spiritual journey through some of the greatest Catholic books ever written. You can also find her at

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  • Mary Therese

    I hear you, Vicki, and agree. Sadly, I don’t have any more answers to suggest than you do. After 20 years of dealing with schools, primarily “Catholic” ones, I’m battle weary myself, and give up much too easily. Of course, a big part of the answer would be prayer, prayer, and then some more prayer. And praying that our own children are grounded enough in Truth to pass it along. The meditation for Wednesday of this week from “In Conversation with God” was on “Peace in Adversity”. Much too long to quote here, but just a sample, Our Lord said “anyone who truly aspires to follow him closely will come into confrontation with the deeds of those who show themselves to be enemies of God and also of those who, although Christians, do not live in accordance with their Faith.” I guess we can attest to the truth of that statement!

    All that aside, from Chaper 48 I was particularly touched this week by the last page, the description of Christ refusing the wine and myrrh that was offered to him, to “deaded the pain”. And Sheen’s further drawing out of that. It got me thinking on all the many and various things that I use to “deaden” the pain of the moment, and how they are my (even tiny) refusal to accept my tiny part in the cross. And how much I turn from each and every little inconvenience, when really, they could be a part of my own salvation! It was a chapter I need to come back to again. ..and again.

    • Vicki

      Mary Therese, Thanks so much for your insight and the quote you shared. In addition, your thoughts on Ch. 48 are so welcome. I hadn’t thought of “deadening” pain – but you are right; we do it all the time. And yet, Christ refused. For us. I need to contemplate those words again. God bless you!

  • Michelle

    They say that ignorance is bliss, and so I think I put it out of my head because the feeling of helplessness is too much to bear sometimes. Aside from prayer and living an authentically Catholic life, I don’t know what to do. We homeschool and while it was a “Call within a call.”, I am only too relieved that we took this road when we did.

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  • Rationalist1

    Prayer hasn’t been banned from school. Students may pray at any time, only the school officials are not allowed to lead them in prayer.

    I grew up Catholic in a very anti-Catholic Protestant area where prayers were said in school, all Protestant, where the Protestant Bible was read in class, where Protestant ministers had access to talk to school children. Those of us who were Catholic, and non Christian, just were expected to put up with it.

    In middle school the entire school was shown the movie “The Cross and the Switchblade” and then encourage to approach the auditorium stage afterwards to dedicate their lives to Jesus. In High School anti-Catholic “Chick Tracks” pamphlets were stuck in my locker and school authorities ignored complaints about it.

    I prefer to have public schools that do not promote a particular faith. Leave that to the home or the house of worship. It’s good for everyone.

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