How Can Education Support a Culture of Life?
By Laura Kizior
As dedicated pro-lifers, we often think that the best way to combat the culture of death is to do battle in the public sector—debate with coworkers, pray outside abortion clinics, or call our representatives.
While all of these activities are essential for fighting the daily battles of the culture of death, none of these actions by themselves is enough to win the war for life. In order to turn our society into a culture of life, we need to work to change the attitudes that govern society. Here are a few ways in which the culture of life is supported by education:
Education grounds students in the truth.
A learning environment is the perfect place to teach children about living the gospel of life because it is there that they are open to the message of truth. Navigating the clouded paths of childhood in today’s cultural climate can be difficult if kids and teens have not first properly formed their inner moral compass.
Education in the culture of life teaches fundamental moral principles starting at a young age. When students graduate or encounter difficult situations in the world, they are able to stay on a moral path and not be confused or led astray by the culture of death.
Remember that education is something that children not only receive in school, but also in their homes where they watch and learn from the example of their parents. A family that lives out the culture of life in everyday actions will help students recognize the truth and beauty of the gospel of life in a profound way.
Education forms hearts and minds.
Children of all ages are eager to explore the world around them. They hunger for the truth and can’t get their fill. That’s why they need protection and mentoring to help them learn to make decisions in life based on morality and Christ’s teachings. This is the purpose of providing children a solid education in the culture of life.
When students ask questions about how to live and interact with others, the culture of life responds by examining the dignity of the human person in all the splendor of our Creator. The culture of life is not just a philosophy; it is a way of living the gospel, caring for others, and bearing sufferings so that each person is treated as a special gift of God.
In addition to teaching the culture of life, we must also stay alert for negative and unhealthy influences in the classroom. Planned Parenthood will enter the classroom and attempt to pervert the thinking of our young children with its own brand of sex education, but we must not allow this to happen.
Teens know other teens who are pregnant. Some of their friends have had abortions. Many kids from their generation are hurting from the culture of death. Teens approach these issues and don’t know where to turn. An everyday math class won’t teach them how to solve these kinds of problems.
At home and in the classroom children explore complex questions and issues, and it is important that the answers to these fundamental questions about life are properly guided with moral teaching. Students who learn discernment about moral issues in their formative years are better equipped to handle a difficult situation among their peers and not yield to temptations or peer pressure.
Students are ready to listen. We just have to speak.
Education, whether at home or in school, needs to be taught with a love that reflects the true spirit of the culture of life. When children are young, their innocence is precious and we must properly nurture it. At the same time, students yearn for the truth. It is our duty to show them the beauty of God’s plan for the human race.
Five minutes on any major TV network is enough to convince any parent that the culture of death is rampant in our society. The battle is not lost if we take control of our future ourselves. Our children are our future. They are the next generation in the pro-life movement.
If we want to win this battle against the culture of death in our society, then we must, without hesitation, train our children and our students daily. If we firmly believe that every human being has inherent dignity and value because we are created in the image and likeness of God, there is no question that we should teach these same values to our children in every classroom and education setting. The next generation of pro-life activists needs this moral formation. Don’t let these children down.
Laura Kizior is a content developer for American Life League’s Culture of Life Studies Program, which stresses the culture of life as an integral part of every academic discipline. CLSP is dedicated to helping students become effective communicators of the pro-life message.