Catholiphobia in Connecticut Classrooms

A recent sting by Project Veritas shows that anti-Catholic discrimination is still alive and well in the United States.

Just in time for the back-to-school season, the undercover-journalist group Project Veritas released their first video in a series on education. In it, Jeremy Boland, an assistant principal of a Connecticut public elementary school, reveals his determination to hire teachers who will advance a progressive agenda in the classroom—and to bar Catholics from teaching in his school.

JB: I’m not a huge expert on religion, but Protestants in this area [of Connecticut] are probably the most liberal. But if they’re Catholic—conservative.
PV: Oh, so then what do you do with the Catholics? If you find out someone is Catholic, then what?
JB: You don’t hire them.
PV: So, would you ever hire a Catholic then?
JB: No, I don’t want to.… Because if someone is raised hardcore Catholic, it’s like they’re brainwashed. You can never change their mindset. So, when you ask them to consider something new, like a new opportunity, or “you have to think about this differently,” they’re stuck—just rigid.

I’m not sure who comes off as less “inclusive” here—Catholics or the liberal Left? One thing is for sure, nothing approaching this statement, or this behavior, would be tolerated from those who preach tolerance as though it were a religion should such overtures arise from the Right. The media organs would certainly have a field day if such an interview surfaced expressing internal policies or prejudices against the woke by a conservative institution. 

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News flash: we are not driving on a two-way street. 

“Brainwashed” is certainly never a word you would hear a fellow like Jeremy Boland apply to the efforts to normalize transgenderism, or homosexual “marriage,” or critical race theory, or insurrectionist MAGA condemnation, or American Marxism, or the rest of the progressive ideologies he wants to promote and impregnate in his school. 

“Discrimination” is another word you won’t hear from people like Jeremy Boland when it comes to discriminating against those who don’t toe the relativist line. But make no mistake, if you’re a Catholic, you need not apply. They don’t serve our kind in there. Cancel culture is coming for Catholics because we are homophobic, Islamophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, and all the rest of the phobias. 

But there is no such thing as being “Catholiphobic,” and there never will be.

What is startling, though, is the specifically anti-Catholic sentiment. And Boland’s strategy is not an isolated case in the arena of administration. The Catholic Faith is seen as an obstacle to Liberalism—which is confirming because it should be; and it is good to know that Catholics still have the right enemies. 

It has become part of the Democratic landscape that religious people—especially Catholics—are extremists and that, should they become teachers (or public officials of any kind) they should recuse themselves from any matter of morality since they are presumably contaminated by the dogma that “lives loudly” in them, as Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein famously said to Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

This liberal extreme, however, is nothing more than liberal dogma, and it lives loudly on the Left. Religious belief must be a supremely private affair; unless, of course, it is “religious” belief in the progressive agenda that believes any number of impossible relativist tenets—that sex is mutable, for instance. They can proclaim these beliefs in the public square with impunity. But Catholics must hide their faith under bushel baskets and behind closed doors, keeping it well to themselves. If they can’t do that, they with their brainwashed beliefs are not fit for public influence.

But to see this Catholic exclusion so overtly expressed in the vision for the classroom is not something you see every day. And it certainly speaks to the general crisis in education and the culture at large. As G.K. Chesterton said, “The moment men begin to care more for education than for religion, they begin to care more for ambition than for education.” 

This devolution is precisely what is playing out behind the scenes and before our eyes. Education has replaced religion, and ambition has replaced education. But, as ambition is a good servant but a bad master, the desire for power and control has overthrown the regard for truth. Ambition is all, and it is, as Shakespeare put it, the sin by which the angels fell.

Entrenched within the modern “educational system” are ideologies and indoctrinations that advance subservience to a system—which is not educational at all, for education should be a freeing experience. While there is an approach to education that is liberating and more conducive to a truly free civilization, the problem is that education itself is not free—that is, not aligned to achieve the good in all things. 

Education today is shackled to an impossible mindset of unlimited diversity in left-leaning agendas that deny morality, humanity, and reality. Freedom must have boundaries, however, in the pursuit of the good. The way is narrow because of its borders, and the way must be defined in order to be good. Only chaos is boundless and free-form, and schools are becoming places where the tolerance of chaos is conditioned.

Boland praises “open-minded, progressive” teachers’ ability to teach a “Democratic message.” Again, from Chesterton, “the object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.” Without the pursuit of and participation in objective truth, people cannot have a standard of happiness, and they cannot be happy. 

Open minds are not minds with a grasp of the truth. The denial of objective truth for the sake of the ambiguous or even skeptical open mind does not stop people from involuntarily seeking objective truth. The dilemma arises when it is sought where it cannot be found. But the ambitious world is getting better and better at denying the dilemma.

Besides being unconstitutional, unlawful, and unjust, Boland’s position is blatantly persecutory. But that is not to be wondered at—or even grieved over. All Catholics must remember that being hated by the world has always been part of the plan and that blessedness awaits those persecuted for the sake of righteousness. But that doesn’t mean that vociferous objection shouldn’t be made over such an attack on religious freedom, for the Constitution states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

At the same time, the mission of the common Catholic is somewhat obstructed by that same Constitution that, though humane and healthy in many ways, hinders the promulgation of the one true Faith. The rights of freedom of religion and freedom of speech have created barriers in this country, in that, this is a land where people are free to believe simply as they choose and to foist falsehood en masse

This national right creates a mentality that, in some ways, cuts the legs out from under the work of evangelization. Robert Frost’s “Good fences make good neighbors” is not really the favored societal psychology. Whether someone is Catholic or Muslim, gay or straight, pro-life or pro-choice, Republican or Democrat, in the end, you’re either in or you’re out.

This piece of sting-journalism from Project Veritas is a clear instance of the understanding that education is a prime battleground for progressives—especially in excluding Catholic teachers from schools because their views are too narrow and fixed. And Catholics must show up to that battle.

The way people approach the world and the workings of the world is largely begun in the schoolroom—or continued from the first school of the family—where the work of restoring (or overthrowing) the understanding of human nature, human freedom, and human society takes root. Boland says school is to teach people how to think “in a logical, progressive way” until it becomes a habit—even though the progressive way is rarely logical.

School officials like Boland are interested in teaching people what to think by “subtly” setting an ostensibly a-political norm that is actually aligned, or at least leaning, with the Left. The difference between teaching how to think and what to think is the difference between education and indoctrination.

Education is the only way to prepare children to face the mess we live in, and the Left knows that all too well in pushing an “education” that produces cogs. What the world needs more than anything are well-formed people—people with hearts and minds, who have learned to know and love things lovable and know and despise things despicable. This is the impact and the inspiration that education should aim for. Much hangs in the balance and the stakes are high, as Jeremy Boland’s progressive ambitions show.

[Image: Project Veritas screen capture]

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