Why Are GenX Clueless When It Comes to Things that Really Matters
When it comes to things that really matter, like religion and culture and civics, the GenX people that I know are mostly clueless. I made an observation that they are smart and educated and well versed in the new technologies. What they lack is history, and the curiosity and the dicipline to learn from our past.
- Apr. 2017
I will make my case by explaining why I believe we got here. It started with the dumbing down of our education system. In the old days, you have to reach a certain level of competency before you are promoted to the next grade level. That is no longer the case in most of our public school system. Next, we have remove all religious teachings from the public school system. This started with the Supreme Court with a series of rulings on the separation of Church and State. Finally, it is due partly to the idea of non competition. That we are told to participate in a sport is as good as winning. We can get a trophy for just showing up.
Now, we have a whole generation of people growing up in that environment and who did not learn the dicipline and the value of individual achievement and the morality of society. Some obviously did learn from their parents and their community. The majority of the population who live in cities are not so lucky.
What are the Things that Really Matter?
I am willing to bet that some people in GenX will disagree with my assertion that religion, culture and civics are the things that matter. They will point to the decline of religion, the diversity of culture and the advances in civil rights for various groups as "good" progress. Their global view is that all people are great, war is bad, religious extremes on all sides are the problem, we can all get along...
The reality is not all people are good, as we've seen with ISIS and Al Qaeda and despots such as Assad, and Kim Jong Un. Some war are necessary to defeat evil. Religious extremes are not the norm. The vast majority of religions are a force for good.
Religion is what teaches us about human behavior and how we treat others. The parables and wisdom from the Bible and other religious text of old are good advice for all times. Religion along with family and government are the three pillars that support our civilization.
Culture is what defines us as a nation, along with language and borders. We are one nation because we believe in the same things and we speak the same language and we are citizens by birth or by choice when we immigrate here.
Civics is the knowledge of how our government suppose to work along with our laws and our Constitution. Our past history and our conflicts are what defines us. We teach our history and civics to the next generation to preserve our way of government.They will be the defenders of our Constitution.
How Do We Move Forward?
We can move forward by communicating ideas as difficult the subject may be. We need to take advantage of teaching moments when they occur in day to day activities. Education is a life long process. We can all learn at any age.
The problem I encountered is with trying to engage GenX. They have an arrogance about them that they know best. They are functioning in society with productive jobs. They pay taxes to support various programs. They have families and they try to do the best to support their family and bring up well adjusted kids. All very good things. So, it is hard to engage them in discussing controversial topics such as religion and some social issues of the time.
Let me use one example from the Bible to describe how it may play out. We all know the story of Jesus. He was a rabbi who performed miracles and preached a new kingdom of God. In one case, he saw money changers setup ourside a temple. What did he do?
Jesus’ action in the Court of the Gentiles was more than simply an angry outburst against corruption. How do we know that? As He cleanses the area, Jesus quotes a phrase from the prophet, Jeremiah: “Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incenses to Baal, and…then come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My Name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’—only to go on doing all these abominations? Has this house… become a den of robbers in your eyes?” (Jer 7:9-11) Here, the judgment against God’s people is not simply doing business where they shouldn’t have; rather, it was their great hypocrisy and presumption in believing that simply by keeping Temple rituals, God would deliver them against the threat of their enemies, even though they lived in great covenant infidelity. In Jeremiah’s day, as in Jesus’ day, God’s charge against His people was their empty religion—maintaining their liturgies with hearts far from Him. The fact that the Court of the Gentiles, which was supposed to be a place of prayer and evangelization, had become a “marketplace” was emblematic of Israel’s terrible spiritual desolation.
The point being, Jesus did not walk over to the money changers and speak softly saying what you are doing is wrong. Can you please move to another place to do your business? This is the house of God. Instead, he turned their tables and chased them away and lectured them about their sins...
Along the similar line, when we speak to someone about religion and how it is treated in our present day society, we run afoul of facts. For example, the separation of Church and State is a well spoken term and often used to justify why certain things are done or not done today. Yet, most people do not understand the origin of that concept and how it has been perverted by our courts over the years.
The separation of Church and State as meant in the original Constitution is to prevent government over reach in establishing a national religion. The Bill of Rights speak of Freedom of Religion not, freedom from religion. How did it come to be that we can no longer say even a silent prayer before a school commencement or a sports game?
I want to be honest in my feelings. I am worried about our future and the next generation. We have created an environment where the next generation are no longer literate of our past. They do not teach our history any more, at least the correct history. They do not teach our Constitution and our unique government system. Why it is so exceptional? Why we need to preserve and protect it? Why so many today think socialism may be a better system than our own democracy? Where are they getting these ideas from?
How can our great country survive?