to request a definition of terms in letters on sex matters; indeed, there is a general need for' the avoidance in education wrangles of a confusion like that which arose during the building of the Tower of Babel.
Confusion is widespread, the word education is wantonly used for a part of, or' to describe something connected with, education. Parliament is muddled. the daily press is fogged, the public confused, because education is used instead of instruction or schooling. This may seem like the splitting ot hairs, but is it?
Education earion starts at birth it is a con tinuo process; it involves the home. and the Church, and schooling; schooling is formal instruction for a short period—a few years—in a building or at a centre.
Schools are groups of children, of living persons; hut that word is recklessly used in designate inanimate buildings containing lifeless instructional equipment.
Devastation accompanies the use of the word Church or denomination where the word parent should be used. They who revel in this interchange detest anything ecclesiastical, or are anti-clerical; they persist in the substilotion for anti-church and for other political purposes; in thc confusion they create they steal marches on us; and yet we know that the word Church means "a union of all the faithful under one Head," and that the parent is first, last and alone. the person who has the primary natural (and therefore divine) duty and right in the education of his children.
Again, while Mr. Butkr prides himself on his English—and under the subterfuge he circumvents many amendments—his Bill, which nowhere defines it, uses the expression Religious Education six times. The expression is nonsense, because education must be religious from top to bottom, or it is not education.
Hence, it does seem to us that we all should, especially because the Church has throughout the ages resolutely safeguarded the meaning of words, strive not to create Bedlam by, for example. writing medical education for ins-fracdon in medicine,' or by writing sex education when we mean formal instruction In sex matters. in particular reference to this, there are such things as religion, morality and the Confessional, and the open textbook of nature for all to read; it is open in a large family and fully open in rural areas; what we strive against are the accidental's of unnatural urban life and the evils of the Industrial Revolution, which has not yet reached its climax.
The intangible Board of "Education" and the N.U.T. freely use the term " sex education." Should we, by following their un-English example, make the same mistake?
CHARLES I. KELLY, Chairman, Ilford C.PA.
145, Coventry Road, Ilford, Essex.
SIR.—I am quite easy in my mind as to bow much muddled thought was evident in my recent letter to you under the above heading. No one, so far as I am aware, has throughout this eorrespondence.ohjected to children being instructed in sex matters. Our quarrel is about methods.
At present, we witness the bizarre spectacle of people touring the country, in the midst of a great war, intent on organising sex " education." From their speeches it is clear that they derive much inspiration from the now outworn Freudian philosophy—a philosophy which is unacceptable to Catholics by reason of its implied negation of Free Will. Of some of the more uncritical present day followers of that teaching it may be said that sex has " gone to their heads.''
Now for an instance of what we are up against. A few months ago the Public Health Department of a Lancashire town advertised a display of " Health Films "—open to all over 16. This display was designed, as a local notable informed us on arrival, to form part of a course in " Sex Education for Young People." The films shown included one called " Scabies," which is listed by the Ministry of Information as made for "specialised medical audiences " (whatever that may mean) This film, for some reason or other, includes what I believe is known as a " close up," If a shopkeeper sold postcard views of these " close ups " he would probably be prosecuted! Literature published by some Health Society was distributed. About half the audience consisted of youngsters over 16.
Is it quite clear that Dr. Fothergill and Dr. Wright agree with me that such a method of giving sex instruction is not appropriate to the needs Of Catholic boys and girls?
Again my views are 'my own—not those of any public authority.
(Dr.) SOHN CAMEL.
SIC—Those who are writing to the Catholic press about what they call " Sex Education " are putting the emphasis in the wrong place. What a 'child needs to understand is not so much how it came into the world but why. To know the purpose of its existence, and tow to attain ft. is the primary right of the child. The child itself has rights as well as its parents That it was created for eternal happiness, and in order to secure it, it must fulfil the obligations imposed on it by Almighty God is the vitally important matter. 'Generally speaking, children learn indirectly and reverently all they need to know about the beginning of life from the doctrine ofa,the Incarnation and Birth of Our Lord at Bethlehem and from the frequent repetition of, 'the " Hail Mary." But, let me repeat, the question to which theit minds should be directed is not how but why. Nothing should be said to the child about the former except in the setting of the latter.
JOSEPH IDEGEN (Rua.) The Catholic Church, Swadlineote.