I’ve been having this conversation with my wife today about those of us who home school. I’m sorry if it comes across as boasting, but I told her the majority of people that home school I would consider to be “well balanced” are very few. Of all the people she’s introduced me to who homeschooled, all were nuts except for only one, and she wasn’t even religious but secular. This lady has since left the homeschooling scene. I wonder why? I’ve a few hunches myself.
While normality does exist in the Church, those who take religion a step further tend to harbour some admittedly disjointed and fragmented views of Catholicism. Either they lean heavily to the left (rare in homeschooling Christian circles as it’s the reason why they home school) or they’re leaning far to the right, and dream of living in some sort of cult-like community closed off from the world.
Their view of Catholic doctrine and morals is very black and white. It’s either this, or it’s that there can be no in-between. For example, to them, masturbation is a mortal sin that sends you to Hell. They will ignore the grey area that reduces it is a sin because mental unwellness is present, or the person is under the age of reason (a child).
They also tend to confer upon themselves graces and assume somehow, the Holy Spirit has gifted them with the graces to discern the truth. I’ve had a couple converse in this manner with me. In other words, they’re nuts. It’s not pleasant using the word “nuts”, but then again the truth never is, and sometimes you’ve just got to use words that best describe some people.
There are, for example, the small few who are not nuts but instead suffer mental illness. These types of persons I can certainly accommodate. But what I utterly abhor is the attitude of the ones whose mental state is not inhibited by disease.
They know perfectly well they’ve chosen the intellectual path they’re on, and for this reason, could do better. It’s not that people of this sort are bound for Hell or something only God is their judge. It’s that they suffer significantly with spiritual imperfections such as spiritual pride and an erroneous understanding of their faith.
For this reason, they tend to be a problematic sort to deal with, so I personally am too weak to deal with them and keep my distance. I advise people to do the same. I honestly prefer to sit with secular people, and few people of faith I keep as friends. When I say few, I mean to say that I can literally count them only with one hand.
I’ve encountered people who home school that don’t celebrate birthdays or give gifts at Christmas. Others believe in “Green Santa” where they plant trees at Christmas, and Santa is this intellectual cosmic green guy out to save the planet.
Others want to live on an island away from the world and develop an “us vs them” while still others go to Church, and at the same time believe in fairies. Don’t get me wrong monastic communities seek solitude, but for reasons that differ to the vocation a family has. As families, we are called to mission also, albeit not in the same way as other missionaries, but we are called to meet the world not run from it.
To surmise, the Church is made up of a billion people. Not to expect a few crazies thrown in the mix of that would be nothing short of ignorant. We must pray for everyone as none of us are perfect. However, it is my prayer that people pursuing Catholicism be careful and tread very…very carefully as the Devil waits for you, ever ready to pull you to both extremes. Don’t venture off into the dark side of the Church, it’s not a nice place to be.