Well, it's back to school for one and for all. The young ones start school for the first time, others are making their way through the various grades, some are finishing their last semesters, others are matriculating through college or university and the rest of us can enroll in our new Bible Class here at Mt. Carmel.
As I look across the educational landscape I see that All Sex University, colloquially known as ASU is listed as the campus with the most STD's, and that's not an academic degree. I wonder if that is included in the In-State Tuition Rate or is it just a free extra? Incidentally the same University is rated as the 4th most Promiscuous College in the US. I guess they will have to try harder to earn the numero uno spot. While I'm not sure how those ratings are had (www.viralsip.com), but sadly they don't really surprise me.
But for those students who may not be interested in getting an STD there are some good alternatives. The ASU Newman Center has a new building and some great programs for students. Also St. Paul Outreach continues to operate on campus a Women's House and a Men's House for students who want to live in a faith inspired environment. SPO also has lots of outreach to the larger campus.
I also see that some elementary school students at one school in Washington, DC are going to learn a new lesson called "Equity, Inclusion, and Caring" better know as Reality Denial. Apparently when they return to school one teacher, Mr. Robert Reuter will now be Ms. Rebecca Reuter. I wonder what will happen when a 10yr old boy blurts out, "that's not a woman it's a man dressed as a girl". Will he be disciplined, suspended, sent to sensitivity training? Children are taught that when an adult makes them feel "creepy" they should tell another adult since this could be a sign of an abuser. How will this one be handled? This lesson in "subtle and explicit gender identities" subverts common sense. We will not be teaching this lesson at our school. (http://eppc.org/publications/back-to-school-when-mr-reuter-becomes-ms-reuter/)
In the midst of so much academic apoplexy I am happy to announce the first semester of the Bible Class at Mt. Carmel! Now is the time for all of us to become biblically literate and spiritually fortified. The class taught by Kevin Saunders will be offered on Wednesdays at 7pm in McCready Hall and each semester consists of 12 classes. This is not your ordinary Bible Study; rather it is a systematic approach to study the sacred texts that have shaped our culture and are the backbone of our faith. Unfortunately misunderstanding and misreading the Bible have done lots of damage to the Christian faith and Christian unity. Kevin is a masterful teacher and will guide you to a rich, full and authentic understanding of the books of the Bible.
The semester starts at the very beginning, which is always a good place to start. The Book of Genesis will be the subject for the first semester. And in light of what I have written above learning about creation and the complementarity of men and women should also help you deal with the cultural confusion that is now reigning. Also you will tackle issues such as: are the Genesis creation accounts in conflict with science, evolution? Is faith opposed to reason? Does science have the last word? Did Abraham really exist, how about Adam and Eve, was there really a Flood? Learn how one word could completely change the implications for a text. For example does the actual Hebrew text of Genesis start out "In the beginning" or "In a beginning"? And what in the world is a "formless void"? It's not nothing but has to be something. The classes will also help you gain a greater understanding of the Middle East, its culture and people. And that will help you unlock the deeper meaning of so many biblical stories and texts. For more information about this class and other classes go to: http://www.arizonabibleclass.com.
So if you want to improve the quality of your life and spirituality become a student of the Bible. The Bible has survived the test of time and is still after centuries the most widely read book on planet earth. That should tell you something of its importance for individuals and for cultures. So it is back to school for one and for ALL.
Love, Fr. John B.