Malcom Muggeridge on School Sex Education

Fifty Years of formal classroom sex education in our schools both public and Catholic have apparently taught nothing to millions in our society who gaze blindly at the moral debris all around them: families broken by divorce, fatherless children, widespread fornication, promiscuity and adultery, the horrific number of unborn children killed, and the spread of homosexual activity and AIDS as well as other sexually transmitted diseases.

The boasted promises of such organizations as the Sex Information and Education Council of the U.S., Planned Parenthood, the American Humanist Association, the National Education Association, the National Catholic Education Association, and other "progressive" groups that a "scientific sex education" in our schools would assure a "healthy" view of human sexuality and prevent sexual delinquency among our youth has proved to be only "dust and ashes" in the mouths of parents whose rights in education were simply ignored or out-rightly betrayed.

Little did they realize that sex education in the schools movement was part of the Sexual Revolution and had as its purpose to destroy Christian sexual morality by those seeking deliberately to promote contraception, abortion, and homosexuality in American society, not to mention pornography and unbridled lust.

Speaking in March 1979 to the Catholic group CREDO in the diocese of Buffalo, NY, before a group of a thousand people at Infant of Prague church, the eminent social, literary and Media critic and celebrated author (and later convert) Malcolm Muggeridge gave an address, interestingly, on "Why I Am Not a Catholic". During the "Question and Answer" period, he was asked, "Mr. Muggeridge, what do you think of sex education in the schools?" His reply was classic Mugggeridge and deserves to be recalled as that of one of the wisest critics of moral relativism:

"Well, in a word, I think it's abominable. To me it's abominable and incomprehensible. I cannot possibly see how instructing young adolescents in, for instance, birth control, you are doing other than instructing them to experience with it. Certainly, that would have been its effect on me. My generation had been fortunate enough to have no instruction in sex at all, but we seem to have managed ultimately to pick it up. So the thing is completely nonsensical and I can only assume it's some weird kind of social sickness in people. You see, I have a strange nightmare. You know, I've spent too much of my life on what are called panels, Television panels. You have four people, usually a life-purist with a mustache, a non-descript clergyman - one so engaged in these things, very suitably called Dr. Slack. And then, you have usually a sociologist from Leeds, or someone like that, and then you have perhaps a knock-about journalist like myself. But my nightmare is this: that we are in an underground BBC studio and up on the surface of the world the last vestiges of Western civilization are disappearing, the mushroom clouds are forming, and so on.

And the life we are discussing with great vigor, the rise in juvenile delinquency and the life-purist with the mustache is saying that if only the age of consent could be lowered to ten and the school age to 25, and birth control pills could be handed out to Brownies with their morning milk and "Lady Chatterly's lover" could get into the comics and a few things like that, all would yet be well.

I think that social historians will marvel every single time the new step forward in what is called Sex Education takes place, you will find that the figures for pregnancy among young girls, for venereal disease among children, all these horrible things that are happening in our society are stimulated. And on what conceivable basis could anyone suppose that by means of giving more information to yet younger children, the situation would be bettered? It's beyond my comprehension."

Another great Catholic writer, Christopher Derrick, can be said to have added a powerful footnote to Muggeridge's comments:

"Sex is the only mysticism a materialistic society can provide. Sex is an incredibly complex thing. It is a constant complication, especially to those who do not accept God. It is the source of the greatest human joy and the greatest human misery. It is at the very root of unselfishness, goodness, love and religion. It is at the very root of selfishness, evil, lust, loss of faith and violence. It has within it, as Chesterton pointed out, the terrifying power of the Almighty Creator, and we misuse it at our peril. Without Christ, the whole subject is chaos."

Do our Catholic educators who remain intransigent in imposing a fundamentally amoral and secular sex education on Catholic youth and ignoring in the process the primacy of parental rights in education understand what they are doing?

About James Likoudis
James Likoudis is an expert in Catholic apologetics. He is the author of several books dealing with Catholic-Eastern Orthodox relations, including his most recent "The Divine Primacy of the Bishop of Rome and Modern Eastern Orthodoxy: Letters to a Greek Orthodox on the Unity of the Church." He has written many articles published by various religious papers and magazines.
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