A child’s mind is permeable like the earth. The soil accepts water, acid, coffee, or blood equally, and without prejudice. But only water feeds growth, and what does not nourish depletes. A child is a fertile garden with a hungry soil. She is a garden defined by borders, like where the grasses end and the flowers begin. To fulfill the garden’s potential for beauty, the gardener digs out the weeds and plants the seeds he wants to grow. In regulating the social influences on children, the objective is to minimize pollutants within the garden and maximize flowering; the goal is to expand children’s freedom to express themselves within the boundaries of who they are. Today’s culture is violent to children because of the massive volume of pollution it rains over their gullible heads and innocent hearts. Some adults learn to reject poison, but a child receives everything as good. Thus, as a family nurtures their garden, parents must be stewards of the children.
What is polluting children? What influences in popular culture are violating children’s freedom to be themselves? One fundamental problem is the culture’s saturation in anti-Catholic rhetoric. Society has been manipulated by the corporate media into thinking Americans are split into two ideological polarities. These ideologies invade the mental landscape and create the illusion of disagreement. This coerced division is successful precisely because these ideologies, the political parties, split Catholic values down the middle, and it is the Catholic values that resonate most truly with the common person’s mind and heart. Catholicism gives the garden its fullest meaning (child and lover of God), its most vibrant beauty (infinite creativity), its power to discern truth (doctrinal consistency). For example, in the 2012 presidential elections, the policies of candidate Ron Paul, corresponded with public opinion more than any other. Ron Paul was eliminated from the race because the media refused to acknowledge the value of his positions and simply kept him from speaking, especially in regard to his opposition of the Federal Reserve. Several of the same men who are heavily invested in the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank also happen to own the enormous media conglomerates that serve as the main stage for political debate. A dubious “coincidence.” Contrary to many, who lump the Church together with other historical despotisms, Catholicism shakes established economic power-centers because it gives relatively equal power to every individual, meaning that those who have acquired the most also have the most sacrifice to make. There is nothing less conducive to the centralization of power than the patented Catholic principle of subsidiary. Big business indoctrinates the public with two opposing anti-Catholic (anti-universal) platforms, knowing that the people would call them to make those sacrifices if the public were ever to unite. This subtle manipulation keeps people busy disputing among themselves, and not with them. The rich are architects and sewers of poisonous seeds influencing the minds of many, but taking root with least resistance in the receptive soil of children.
The moral dichotomy of the rich, then, manipulates popular culture and consequently pollutes children. On one end, their example teaches that the goal of business is monopolization of industry. The best way to preserve one’s status is to eliminate competition. This is, sometimes, called modern “conservative economics.” The undiplomatic recourse to violence, the undeserved respect given to gangsters, the disproportionate interest in sports, and the dull concern with being rich, these are all symptoms of the “conservative” imbalance. It is an imbalance because it ignores the doctrine of equal human dignity. The “conservatives” erect great fortifications to profile their gardens but the ground inside is dead and barren. “Liberalism,” on the other end, results from people’s lack of discipline in love and irresponsible use of power. Society is led to believe that morality is relative because it is “just too hard” for some people not to have an abortion, or not to have premarital sex, or not to commit adultery, or not to act on their homosexuality; and therefore, they say, these acts must be identifiable with who those people are as persons, specifically as members of a family. But this is an imbalance at the other end. The monstrous majority of people in history have agreed about what a family is: one man and one woman bound by a life commitment. Without commitment the meaning of “making love” refers merely to making love to oneself, even if others happen to be participating. Without the traditional family, the state becomes the overburdened mommy and daddy, the gardener whose garden was grown beyond control. The “liberals” build gardens without boundaries so that the word garden becomes indistinguishable from wilderness: untamed-children.
Yet, children cannot be amputated from the popular culture because the social environment is a necessary element of their education. Connecting with the contemporary social paradigm is an important rite of passage. That is why parents must embrace their responsibility as the primary educators. “The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute.” Adults must equip the youth with the critical thinking skills they need to discern wholesome truth amidst the media’s barrage of half-truths and imprudent opinions. Children should be informed about why the world is divided the way it is and be taught to balance the existing political duality against a comprehensive understanding of history. True education should create connections and reinforce reality’s oneness. They cannot rely on science, for mere science is like the conservative’s garden: it is logic without love for people. Mechanistic reasoning will not survive the test of peer pressure; few human beings will value a mathematical formula over their friends. Nor will a relativistic morality suffice, for then men and women are degraded to irrational beasts, as if a garden were equivocal to any common field in nature. Children should be raised in the image of God, accepting Christ as their Truth and The Spirit as their Love. Children should be gardens defining their limits by Christian Teaching and decorating their inner-hearts with the fruits of Charity, and then, they will flower through the seasons with an infinite array of colors and beautify the earth to their supreme potential.
 Rasmussen Reports: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/
 From the Second Vatican councils declaration on education, Gravissimum Educationis, “The Importance of Education”