Friday, August 4, 2017

Perversion Taught in School is Dung in Your Water

Now the question for us is not whether perversion ought to be taught in school.  Nor is it even whether teachers should instruct small children in how to behave like a member of the opposite sex.  Let us change the terms of the situation so that we can see what the problem really is.  Suppose it is not sex we are talking about, but violence.  Imagine a world in which teachers  introduce children to the thrill-seeking of stabbing and slashing—with precautions, of course, so that the person who is stabbed will probably not bleed to death.  Suppose the teachers bring to the school speakers who delight in cruelty, whose eyes shine when they recount the first time they gouged out the eye of an enemy.  Imagine that parents are not even informed when a machete-wielding gang man demonstrates on stage the proper angle at which to slice off someone’s arms in mid-fight.  Imagine safe switchblades.

The problem is that you would be dealing with people whose imaginations and moral sensibilities are so diseased as to make such things even conceivable.  It will not do merely to restrain them in this or that regard.  They are not fit to teach your children the multiplication table.  They are not fit to be near them at all.  Every moment that your children are in their presence, they will be breathing the putrescent air from the diseased heart and spirit of the instructors, in an institution whose walls stink of it, it has lingered there so long.  We are not talking about sinners here, since everyone is one of those. We are talking about people whom C.S. Lewis called the “bent,” those whose souls are warped, so that the more “honest” and consistent and idealistic they are, the worse they will be. . . .

But the problem is even worse than that.  No such person could ever be hired in the first place unless the entire school system were not slavering for him—or, more frequently these days, her.  From top to bottom the system is laced with people whose imaginations have been corrupted.  If that were not bad enough already, the publishers of textbooks and exams know it and provide them with their materials accordingly.  The evil is not just here or there, in this teacher or that, on this day or that, when this subject or that comes up, in this school or that school.  It is everywhere, a pervasive pollution, like fecal bacteria in your water supply.

Anthony Esolen, Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, pg.52-53

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