The morning news digest cites a Rolling Stone article reporting the history of allegations concerning the rocker Marilyn Manson. The article is here:

The report is of a history indeed. That is why my sort has some problem with high-flyers who continually fall into such messes. If it were the first or second reporting of such behaviors, we may understand why a few might find themselves entwined in abusive situations. But given the mental and emotional health of the eventual victim, what makes alleged perpetrators repetitively attractive to the more easily influenced?

What do so many of the younger set find attractive about this person? No one is more aware than me of the current contempt in which the Hebrew-Christian faiths are held by so many, from the masses to the more prominent personas. Given the decrepit nature of a fragmented and reductionist religiosity claiming to be some ‘soul’ of the society at large, the spiritual ignorance and weakness of that society seems to follow. But how might that foment an attraction to what is reputedly evil?

The Psalms are replete with the pronouncement of “One generation shall proclaim Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts” (145:4 and many others). We apply the significance of such texts to promote the confirmation of children. That practice has suffered greatly since the advent of so many amusements and attractions, with social media distancing the younger set from the influence of their elders among the many distractions of contemporary life.

The proper catechesis of adults is even less evident in many religious bodies. Just endure a few sessions with the pastor guiding you through a thin paperback outlining a few beliefs and the history of that particular sect, receive a box of numbered check-size envelopes, and you become a member. I have found that the problem of communicating the faith to the young lies mostly with the adults. Modern editions of such documents as Martin Luther’s Small Catechism omit the introductory matter explaining why the document was prepared. In this example, the Small Catechism was not intended to be a manual for pastors to instruct children in the churches having reached a supposed ‘age of accountability’. It was written to provide the heads of household with the basics of the faith so that they had the means to communicate it to the coming generation at home as the children lived in homes where the parents witnessed to those beliefs by living a good life before them.

My point is what we as a nation and the remains of a rotting culture ought to have realized by now. We are losing our young. The evils of society are thwarted via the beliefs of both religious parents, and even non-believing parents who love the good, the true and the beautiful for the witness of natural law within them (Romans 2:14-15). That act of handing down to the next generation can no longer be neglected. But in order to live that out, we must live it ourselves.

My position seems to lie on the defensive side, as though I am saying that we simply hunker down, stay in place, teach the children well as the song goes, and things will turn out fine. No, for to teach our children is more than to give them the strength to stand against the Mansons of this world, but to prepare them to take charge with confidence in their own positions as adults, and with their lives obliterating social and psychological influences of the monsters in plain sight.

Then pass it on…

Father David+

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