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What a Public School Meeting on Sex Ed Taught Me About Happiness

May 17, 2016 by  
Filed under Book Club, Happiness, Vicki Burbach

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Life of Christ (Week 6 of 27)

All the human satisfactions of the cravings of the body and soul have one defect; they do not satisfy forever. They only serve to deaden the present want; but they never extinguish it. The want always revives again; but the water of life which He gives is a supernatural impulse, and pushes onward even to heaven itself. — Life of Christ, Chapter 8, Paragraph 8

What a Public School Board Meeting on Sex Education Taught Me about Happiness

My husband and I – along with many other concerned parents – just spent our entire evening at a board meeting for Omaha Public Schools (OPS). On the agenda was a vote on an updated Sex Education curriculum (benignly named, Human Growth and Development). During the public comment portion of the meeting (which was limited to one hour), over a dozen parents expressed frustration with the district’s lack of transparency and their insistence on pushing forward with a curriculum that is extremely controversial, to say the least, including lessons on topics like gender identity and gender roles discussed as early as sixth grade, sexual orientation, abortion and emergency contraception.

Sadly, parental concern was not a determining factor, and the board voted resoundingly to pass the curriculum.

You may be wondering why I share all this in association with the above quote about human satisfactions of the cravings of the body and soul.

After my experience at OPS and my shock at the president's directive released this past Friday to school districts across the country, it occurs to me that many among us are so mired in the material world that their focus with respect to human sexuality has become limited to flat, one-dimensional concerns. Concerns like sexual pleasure, gender preferences, mutual consent and birth control. Their desire is for people to feel good. And they define this physical satisfaction as happiness. Their intentions sound laudable, but this thinking is short-sighted and the means they choose can never reach their desired end. By beginning and ending with the physical and completely ignoring the spiritual, their objectives involve no consideration for the complete human person, and therefore can never satisfy.

The world is teaching our children that they are a compilation of cells, defined by physical sensations, emotions and desires. They are being taught to react, rather than to think. To feel rather than to reason. They are being taught that their needs can be met in the material world, rather than given any indication of the purpose for which they were created. The plan that God had in mind when he created their beautiful, wonderful bodies is not deemed worthy of discussion.

Consequently, in an ever frantic pursuit to help humanity obtain happiness, the powers that be have decided that perhaps we can reach it by smudging the lines a bit.  That in the material world, we should determine right from wrong. We should decide what pleases us without boundaries. We should be the arbiters of truth.

We have extended the great abyss from moral relativity to physical relativity and the powers that be are indoctrinating our children with an arrogance that says, “I Decide What is True for Me. Spiritually. Morally…” and now…“Physically.”

Recently I heard about a disturbing experiment conducted by the Family Policy Institute wherein an interviewer asked college students to judge the accuracy of assertions he made about his gender, ethnicity, height and other physical features. For example, the interviewer may have been a 5’9” male; but in the interview, he would say, ‘What would you say, if I told you I am a Chinese woman?” Nearly all respondents answered things like, “Good for you.” Virtually no one challenged him, despite the fact that all physical evidence contradicted his claims. Rather, they bent over backward to make him feel comfortable about determining his own truth.

In a must-see video on original sin, Bishop Robert Barron demonstrates that this is not a new problem, but rather brings us all the way back to the Garden of Eden. The sin of Adam and Eve was taking truth into their own hands. They were determined to be the arbiters of good and evil.

Isn’t that what the world has done with regard to human sexuality?

We have become so wrapped up in determining for ourselves what is right and what is wrong, that we have forgotten the Source of all good, the Source of all truth, the Source of life itself. Or perhaps it's the other way around. Because we have forgotten the Source of all good, the Source of all truth, the Source of life itself, we have ventured into the realm of determining for ourselves right from wrong. However we choose to look at it, the bottom line is that we are seeking to satisfy our needs through the “delights” of the world, even if that means “re-shaping” reality to satisfy them in the current moment, rather than discerning the long-term needs of body and soul.

The more we isolate ourselves from God, the more vehemently we will seek happiness in the material world. And the more we will fight to define happiness outside the boundaries of reality. But the fact is that true human growth and development are not even possible without God. In that respect, we are placing ourselves in a no-win situation.

We cannot sustain this path. In the end, there will be a war between our Faith and the modern world. There is no common ground between the two because reality and make-believe cannot coexist for long.

The future conflict of the world will not be between Religion and Science, or between “rugged individualism” and Socialism, but between a society which is spiritual and a society which is mechanical; between a society which adores God, and a society which claims to be God; between a society which absorbs man for secular ends, and a society which respects personality and uses the secular as a means to eternal ends. The world must make the choice…Men will enlist on one side or the other; we must battle either for brotherhood in Christ, or comradeship in anti-Christ. — Archbishop Fulton Sheen


Note: For those who are interested, I plan to address the president's transgender directive at on Wednesday, so check there tomorrow for additional discussion, resources and suggested actions.


Reading Assignment:

Chapters 9-11

Discussion Questions

  1. I discussed one way I believe we are seeking satisfaction from the world. Please comment on other ways you see this quote manifested in everyday life.
  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. She is author of the new book How to Read Your Way to Heaven - A Spiritual Reading Program for the Worst of Sinners, the Greatest of Saints, and Everyone in Between. You can also find her at

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