Sunday, November 6, 2016

Whose Influence?

Reading an article on the upcoming election, I was struck by something that made me have to do a double take. The author of the article was pointing out how crucial it was to make a good decision in the upcoming election (all good and true). Then the author pointed out that whoever it is that is chosen as the next president of the United States is going to be "the person that comes into your home more than any other non-family member for the next four years". Whoa!

Trying to give the benefit of the doubt, I have to assume that the author meant it would be through the media (t.v., radio, internet, etc.) that the president will be speaking in people's homes. I am not sure what else he could have been speaking about. Given that assumption (if there is any other way of taking that statement, please someone write to me and tell me!), I have to ask: is it true? Is the president the one non-family member who speaks in your home more than anyone else? If so, I have to say that you have been duped by statism.

You see, statism is the belief that the State is the primary authority and source of truth in all creation. This is basically the view of communism, fascism, and other totalitarian regimes, but it is not (naturally) the view of a democratic republic like we (are supposed to) have in America. The federal or state governments are not the primary source of truth or highest authority in the United States, and anyone who thinks they are in essentially a statist. Those who know that God the creator of the universe is the highest authority and source of truth (and live accordingly) are not statists.

I can honestly say that for the previous 8 years President Obama's voice has never been heard in my home. His face is rarely seen, and his views on morality, economics, and politics are largely rejected in a very clear (yet respectful) manner. The same lack of influence from previous Presidents has also occurred in my home. No, I am not a statist, and no, I do not allow any politician (even the nicer ones) to be a significant influence in my household or on my children.

How, you may ask, is this done? Well, for one, we do not have any broadcast or cable t.v. reception. Secondly, my wife and I control the internet usage and keep it at a bare minimum. Thirdly, we have supported the Catholic Church's view of civil government--respect it, obey it (when it accords with God's law), but recognize that it is under the authority of Christ Almighty. Fourthly (and most importantly), we teach our children the Catechism--without reservation, qualification, or compromise.

Who influences your home, and how? Is it really the Church? Maybe it is the musicians that "come" into your home through the speakers. It could be the movie stars who spew their opinions on the t.v. screen. Maybe it is a school teacher who is not teaching the Catholic faith in its entirety. It might also be the people who design the video games your children (or you) are playing. Whoever it is, you invited them into your home when you allowed them to enter through whatever medium they can (CD, DVD, internet, etc.). Would you invite a pagan to come and catechize your children? It could be happening through the various forms of media that they are exposed to--if you are not careful.

Parents, you need to take charge and guard the borders of your home. In doing so you are guarding your children's hearts. "A child left to himself is grief to his mother and a burden to his father" the Proverbs tell us. That means that children are not naturally able to choose right and wrong, and parents must have an active influence in guiding them to right. This goes farther than what you say, it also includes what you allow (actively or passively). Protect them, and do not let any politician or celebrity be a primary influence in your household. Let the influence be Christ; from first to last.