by Datechguy | August 23rd, 2011
What attracts today’s youth to such “old-fashioned” orthodoxy?
As a member of this strange millennial cohort, I have wondered this myself. I think the answer comes down to this: 1960s-style liberation — from moral codes, family obligations, religious commitments — has betrayed us.
Sometime in the past century, a new creed emerged, saying everyone should make his own creed. This tolerant, open-minded ethos seemed to promise freedom: safe sex with many partners, drugs and alcohol galore and quick, no-fault divorce. So our Baby Boomer parents partied hard, yet in so many cases left us only the hangover: heartbreak, addiction and broken homes, plus rising rates of teenage depression and suicide.
The anything-goes religion of the late 20th century cannot prevent nor even explain these consequences. (After all, if I’m OK, you’re OK, and we can do whatever we want, why are so many people unhappy?) When every member of a society does whatever makes him feel good, the inevitable results are not personal fulfillment and communal harmony but selfishness and social breakdown.
How about that changing the social norms that societies have advocated for centuries is not a bright idea, who woulda thunk it? Let’s remind you of something Virginia Ironside, child of the 60′s wrote in January:
It took me years to discover that continual sex with different partners is, with very few exceptions, joyless, uncomfortable and humiliating,
What is the answer I wonder? USA today again:
With these realizations in mind, many millennials reject the assumptions of 1960s liberationists in favor of something more substantial: the creeds, practices and moral codes that defined religious life for centuries. Unlike reductionistic scientism or vague romanticism, traditional religions propose specific, compelling explanations for the world in front of us — broken, fraught with suffering, enslaved to sin, but nonetheless revealing glimpses of beauty and greatness.
More intellectually coherent than relativism, orthodoxy is also more demanding. It makes us place others above ourselves, the truth above what we’d like to be true, the fight for virtue above the pursuit of pleasure. In a word, it preaches sacrifice.
At our little political salon at the Border I was a party to a conversation about a marriage that began when the Man was 20 and the Woman was 19. Their 41 year and counting marriage outlasted those of all their friends who told them they had no prayer when they walked down the aisle in 1970. When asked how they did it, the answer was a perfect example of Catholicism as practiced outside of the cafeteria:
“Because I was always #2. My wife was always #1. When our first kid was born I moved down to #3. Now with the children and grandchildren I’m down somewhere in the teens. And she thinks the same way.”
But but I thought practicing Christians are backwards and foolish. After all the hosts of MSNBC and secularists all know they are simply ignorant:
One of the things that Dawkinsites tend to forget is that great thinkers and scientists and people of reason have been debating, writing on and discussing the existence of God in general and the truth of Christianity and Catholicism in particular for centuries before Guttenburg’s first bible rolled off the presses. Their image of the believer is a straw man.
The modernist doesn’t grasp that just because he can publish a thought to the entire world in a few seconds that his thought is superior to the great Christian thinkers of all disciplines who came before him.
But hey, the USA today article was written before the event in Madrid. Was there really much of a turnout? The answer to that question deserves it’s own post this evening.