Back when I was struggling to teach religious education to my kids, I became so appalled by the catechetical materials chosen by my parish that I decided to pull them out of the program and teach them myself. I was very fortunate to find the Faith and Life CCD program from Ignatius, which presented the faith without marshmallows, fluffy clouds and cuddly language. Instead of stick-figure cartoons, the books are illustrated with fine art. Instead of the word “special” appearing on every page (YOU are special! GOD is SPECIAL! Mass is SPECIAL!) the program gives solid doctrine that respects the intelligence of children, and their appreciation for mystery, mysticism and the supernatural. My children have, thankfully, sound appreciation for their church – they know their stuff – but more importantly, they are able to think about faith critically and intelligently, because it was taught to them intelligently.
The parish I currently attend and volunteer at uses the Faith and Life program and the kids coming out of the program are sane and devoted.
How the kids learning the faith through this program are going to fare, I can only guess.
This is just bad teaching. Bad catechetics. We’ve had 30 years of this sort of dumbed-down, nicey-nicey teaching…and we’re paying for it.
Jesus said “feed my sheep…” I believe he meant the nourishing food of intelligent catechesis, and not the candy and vanilla these sorts of programs provide.