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A Thought Experiment

By Diogenes (articles ) | Feb 21, 2004

Imagine a large suburban high school whose faculty and administration (considered a unity for present purposes) devises a series of programs to deal with the problem of student drug dealers. After some months of very mixed results it happens that a faculty member himself is arrested for selling drugs; then another; then two more in quick succession.

At a certain point the public will begin to feel, not only that the faculty is neglecting the students' interests, but that the core problem is within its own ranks. But at what point?

Suppose further certain complicating factors: That faculty members in almost every case are recruited and hired on the recommendation of two or three faculty acquaintances. That the faculty has for years been eerily ambivalent on the morality of recreational drug use. That students who complained that faculty had used or dealt drugs were often ignored, often reviled, and invariably saddled with such a high burden of proof that not a single student- or parent-initiated complaint resulted in disciplinary action against a faculty member. Ever.

Suppose that many of the student drug dealers were widely known to be teacher's pets. That many faculty members had been aware of student drug dealing but ignored it. That the pressure on the faculty to resolve the problem came entirely from outside its ranks, from clean students and parents themselves. That even this pressure was successfully resisted until law enforcement and media took notice of unconcealable crimes. That dealer students, when disciplined, were often given shockingly lenient punishments.

Suppose that it was wholly unknown for the faculty to identify and expel one of its own for drug use. That in every single case the faculty drug dealers were discharged only after an arrest by police or after overwhelmingly disgraceful media exposure.

Gives you a funny feeling inside, doesn't it?

Now imagine this. Not only does the faculty give absolutely zero indication that there is a problem that needs fixing in its own ranks, but it continues to speak exclusively -- without exception -- of a problem "out there," among the students, and continues to speak of itself as the perfectly obvious body to effect the cure.

Thankfully, no such school exists, or could exist. Education, after all, requires a measure of trust.

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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Feb. 21, 2004 9:56 PM ET USA

    I like your Gedankenexperiment, Dionysius. Wait a minute. No, I don't. As for you, WF, you hit the bull's-eye. Soon enough, trappings will turn out to look like things in a trap; and illusions will turn into clarity. When the deep bedrock of hatred for Christ and His Mother and His Church that exists in the new church finally ripens, I think we can expect to see occasional supernovas of screaming apostasy from our Bishops. Not just the slamming of doors in the gay couple's apartment upstairs.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 21, 2004 10:50 AM ET USA

    Much like pharoah, the bishops' hearts just keep getting harder. Loss of money, respect, influence have come as surely as locusts and a river turned to blood and still they will not let His people go. As sad as it has been for all of us, this scandal was necessary. They didn't deserve their office nor the power and prestige that came with it. They can still cling to the trappings of office but that's all they now have--trappings, illusion.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Feb. 21, 2004 8:50 AM ET USA

    These reports will be a very sobering millstone. I assume the good Bishop's press release had a typo and he wasn't trying to refer to millstone's around someone's neck. Surely not.

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