Excerpt 2 of 3 from Headmaster Gilley's address at Parent Orientation
In his book Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl, a culture critique written for adults, Wilson says:
“The world is rated R, and no one is checking IDs. [But] Do not try to make it G by imagining the shadows away. Do not try to hide your children from the world forever, but do not try to pretend there is no danger [either]. Train them. Give them sharp eyes and bellies full of laughter. Make them dangerous. Make them yeast, and when they’ve grown, they will pollute the shadows.”
I love Wilson’s phrase here: “Pollute the shadows.” It’s an odd phrase and the language jars us. What does it mean? Well, in case you haven’t noticed, the world seems, in many ways, to be a dark place, to be full of dark shadows, shadows caused by such evils as the daily slaughter of unborn children in our country, or the bold abandonment by our civil courts of the Christian values our nation was founded upon, or a culture so twisted that it calls evil good and good evil. These are the sorts of shadows that make our world a dark place, the same shadows that have been hanging around since the Garden of Eden now just manifesting themselves in different ways.
And Wilson, Wilson has the audacity to suggest that our children were made to pollute those shadows. So, what does it mean to pollute shadows? Well, it means being dangerous to sin for one thing. Our sons and daughters are meant to be dangerous to sin. Our sons and daughters should be so virtuous that sin is ashamed to show its face near them. If your son walks into a locker room were a coarse joke is being told, both teller and hearers should hang their red faces in shame. If your daughter happens upon a group engaged in gossip, those women should blush at her virtuous presence, and their thoughts of tale-bearing should scatter like a covey of quail fleeing a swooping hawk. If our children are to pollute the shadows, ladies and gentlemen, as Wilson suggests—if they are to be yeast, or leaven, as the Bible suggests—then they must be dangerous to sin.
But the reality is, they aren’t dangerous to sin. Not yet, anyway. And that’s why they’re here. That’s why you have them here at Trinitas. But listen carefully: even though Trinitas is a safe place to be, you aren’t here to “hide your children from the world forever.” We have a great community here, but this is no commune; it is no compound; it is no make believe world or alternate reality in which to hide your children away. Unfortunately, the world is rated R, and it has become obvious that no one is checking id’s. Yes, the world is indeed a dark place, but we aren’t just imagining those shadows away here at Trinitas. Instead, we are engaged in the business of repairing the ruins of Christendom, of reclaiming the Christian mind and a Christian way of thinking about everything. And we start by giving children a safe place to grow and mature and flourish in the warm glow of the Gospel so that they might prosper in a virtuous childhood, growing confident and bold in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, learning to laugh loud, boisterous belly laughs, and to revel in the joy of being sons and daughters of the King. This is their very foundation.