I seem to recall a certain parental admonition from my childhood, “Just because your friend jumps off a cliff, doesn’t mean you should!” I’m fairly certain most children have heard that refrain echoed by a caring adult at some point. But it seems a certain segment of the adult population has added a loophole to that warning and it goes something like this: “Don’t jump off the cliff unless there’s money at the bottom.” This, apparently, is the position of the National Catholic Educational Association in defense of its decision to surrender authentic Catholic education for a pitiful $100,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to champion the Common Core.
According to a recent statement by the NCEA, “NCEA is not the first Catholic entity to receive a grant from the Gates Foundation. We stand in the company of the Archdiocese of Seattle, Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services, Catholic University of America and the Cristo Rey Network.” Excellent! So when the Gates Foundation offers the NCEA a grant to “help” its members purchase Common Core-aligned secular reading books ridiculing Christians or criticizing traditional values we should expect them to dive off the cliff willingly as long as they’re in “good company.”
Setting aside the sheer idiocy and PR nightmare of such a pathetic “they did it, too!” defense, you are left to ponder the message the NCEA is sending the parents who buy their product, namely, a “Catholic” education. In effect, the NCEA’s message is “move along, nothing to see here” since others have taken the bait, too. And because others have accepted their pieces of silver, why shouldn’t we? Baaaa-baaa bleated the sheep on their merry way to the slaughterhouse.
Lest we forget, the devil is active in our midst and he doesn’t operate with a bullhorn but with subtlety. There is comfort in numbers and the NCEA has apparently made the choice to be in the company of the many organizations beholden to Gates rather than stand out as a beacon in defense of Truth. The NCEA should be reminded that when you jump off a cliff, even in “good company”, no amount of money is going to cushion your inevitable encounter with reality.