Dept. of What Fresh Hell That Came From

Apparently, the incredibly stupid and simoniacal “service hours” requirements for Confirmation in some parishes are based on the incredibly stupid, illegal use of indentured labor “community service hours” requirements to graduate some high schools.

Well, of course somebody has to do something in the Church that “sounds good” but is stupid and illegal, just to parrot something secular that “sounds good” but is stupid and illegal.



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9 responses to “Dept. of What Fresh Hell That Came From

  1. Oh, gads; I got around those because I volunteered at the Library just because, and she … well, forged, because she was too lazy to give a crud, the paperwork…..

    The Church has often made me feel sick when the do stuff they oughtn’t. Wish they wouldn’t.

  2. Daniel Kirkwood

    Perversely enough, Maryland state law actually requires community service (I believe 100 hours) for high school graduation. I don’t see why this is permitted by the 13th Amendment, but I’m just a mathematician, not an educator, let alone a legislator.

  3. It’s probably connected to the old internship system. Back in the day, though, colleges that required work-study (like Antioch or Berea) made the work or internship be paid, so that the college kids were able to support themselves, pay for part of their schooling, send something home, and learn skills (rural colleges like Berea) or would appreciate the value of hard work and their own dollars (Antioch).

    But making you do hours without learning and earning? Ridiculous.

  4. That must be a new thing, because the only things I really recall about my confirmation beyond the novelty of having the bishop in our parish were having a cousin I didn’t really know chosen for me as my sponsor, and every adult Catholic in my family telling me “Now, in our day, the bishop really whacked you one across the cheek, not just touch like they do now.”

    There were certainly no public service requirements, not in 1973, anyway. ‘Course, I was only 9 at the time; realistically there wasn’t a lot of public service I could’ve done.

    • Yup. New and noxious.

      We did a little of service hours, but it wasn’t painted as a requirement so much, as being part of class. Now people really are forced to do it, and it’s onerous; and a lot of kids have to do huge numbers of service hours for graduating high school also. Creepy.

      • I can’t say I’m against the idea of community service… but I don’t like the idea of it being *required*. That kind of takes both the ‘community’ and the ‘service’ parts out of the equation.

        I also have to wonder how many social service professionals don’t have jobs because high school students are being made to do it for free.

  5. Katherine

    Not just ‘back in the day’ — Berea College students still work to help pay for their schooling, learning skills from woodworking and farming to computer programming and manuscript analysis, and the college couldn’t run without their efforts!

    • I wouldn’t have a problem with that, especially if it actually involves learning something– it’s the “you must go find someone to give your labor to for X hours” that bugs me. (Not just because it promotes both cheating and abuse of the system.)

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