Thursday, September 23, 2010

Banned in Houston

The Houston Chronicle ran a story about books banned in Texas. Some books are not banned but are "challenged" in school districts. Happy Banned Book Week.


I personally think banning books is un-American. Some of these books are dumb. Some gross. Read a few myself. Banning books is also a huge advertisement to our children to "READ ME!"


Reading material is part of the bigger issue of raising children. My dad said to me, "Enjoy life but once you decide to have kids, you can no longer let life be about you." It ain't about me.


Children are raised differently than I remember (I may have a bad memory.) Parents are more fearful. I am not sure the greater fears are based in reality but we are surrounded by a lot of fear-mongering. Fear crowds out love (at least God says so.) Fearful people make bad life decisions. As a result we over protect, over organize and over censor children. Parenting is hard. No manual. Parents need allies. No adult should "graduate" out of or claim immunity to mentoring children.


Curve balls, wide-outs, double times, hit-the-marks, practices, homework, science projects, scouting, spikes, and alike are all very important to raising loving, productive adults. Thank God for those who mentor the next generation in these and more.


Yet, as a priest, I find one area that I wish had the zeal of sports or band or grades or even banned books. That endeavor is mentoring a child to know God. Not know about God but to know, personally, God. It takes as much practice as that curve ball or a perfect SAT. The task of a child knowing God primarily falls to parents. Often parents need to get to know God themselves. I thank God for parents and others who (often without cheering, consistency in access or thanks) work this part of God's vineyard.


Help a child to know God today. Thank those who help parents in this endeavor.

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