filling that vast empty space between the ears

Reflection in a way is a uniquely human endeavor for only we are capable of giving serious thought or consideration to any matter, to spend ample amounts of time in contemplation thoughtfully examining and assessing a thing with fresh eyes and an open mind. It is a talent of the mind, a most useful and beneficial asset yet like so many other useful things all too seldom exercised. Critical thinking is fast going the way of the dodo and the dinosaur much as has rational, objective, and civil discourse and debate. Matters worthy of serious reflection and thoughtful consideration are dismissed as if one’s hand had come into contact with an open flame or worse avoided as if the mere mention of it evoked a foul stench.

don't know, don't care

don’t know, don’t care

What brought this to mind was a recent video produced by a student at Texas Tech University who asked classmates questions on history, politics, and pop culture in order to determine how much the students knew about their country. The first question was “Who won the Civil War?” and their answers were truly dumbfounding. One student stared off into space with no answer at all, another responded, “We did? The South,” another asked “Like, the one in 1965 or…What Civil War?” while another asked “Who was even in it? Just tell me who was in it.” Yet another student admitted she didn’t know while another said “I’m drawing a blank it’s one of those things. I feel like I’m on the Jimmy Kimmel show” and still another said “That’s the Confederates, right?

Students were asked “Who is the vice president?” to which some of the responses were “Is that like a trick question? Okay, I don’t know”, “Don’t know”, “Of…right now? I don’t know”, “I have no idea”, and finally one student said, “Ummm… What’s his name? Oh my gosh….uh, John…no, Joe Biden.

When asked “Who did we gain our independence from?” responses of “I have no idea”, “I couldn’t tell you” were the near unanimous responses.

However, when asked “What show is Snooki on?”, “Who is Brad Pitt married to” and “Who was he married to before that?” there was complete unanimity in providing the correct answers to all three questions.

Now if this had been my first and only encounter with such exemplary models of well-educated and informed citizenry I might have enjoyed the moment with a bit more alacrity but unfortunately I have, and I suspect you have as well, seen far too many similar instances evidencing such a great disturbance in the force that I truly fear for our republic. It certainly makes one think, should one be bothered to do so, as to the quality and substance of the education that is being provided to our young, especially within the esteemed and hallowed halls of higher academia.

It takes little reflection to comprehend the fawning adoration and devoted following of a certain publicly avowed socialist promising free stuff for everyone. Given that those so adoring and devoted have not a clue concerning history and politics, can anyone question as to why they, so self-entitled yet completely unencumbered with either inconvenient knowledge or undesired understanding of reality, eagerly bow to the trough of all that free stuff?

If so many cannot even name the Vice President of the United States, why then should we find ourselves surprised that they don’t know God?

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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