Making Millennials Hear the Confidence of Millennia


Father John Kiley’s “Quiet Corner” column in the June 25 issue of Rhode Island Catholic helped me bring together a few thoughts that have been drifting in and out of my mind lately.

As somebody who works to develop and research public policy for a living — proposals like eliminating the sales tax and implementing school choice programs that bring private school within reach for all families — I’ve found my observations of the younger generation, the “Millennials,” discouraging.

On one hand, they seem to have replaced a full sense of pluralistic freedom with intolerance for views that differ substantively with their own. They insist on redefining marriage to include same-sex couples, for example, but think that business owners who do not wish to provide services for such ceremonies should have no choice — not just in their own communities, but anywhere across the country.

On the other hand, they find justification for this dogmatism in the narrative that they are at war with powerful, oppressive forces. As Father Kiley suggests, they have been enculturated with “an anti-establishment mood.” It’s what they were taught, and it’s been reinforced in countless television shows and movies.

These two hands fold together neatly. Without a full sense of history and the value of intellectual diversity, “the oppressor” is just a character in the latest HBO series. He is defined not by his actions — by actually oppressing people — but by certain political views that he might hold.

Continue reading on the Rhode Island Catholic.

  • ShannonEntropy

    “In the same way, every one of you who does not renounce all of his possessions cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33)

    Well you can count me OUT of being your disciple, Lord

    BTW, Jesus … can THE POPE be your “disciple” when he possesses, among many other luxuries: private jets; jewel-encrusted Pope-Mobiles; priceless-art-filled Vatican palaces;
    and summer palace retreats like Castel Gandolfo ???

    Enquiring Minds want to know !!

    • Justin Katz

      I think you’re misunderstanding the message. The use and temporal, titular ownership of items is only incidental apart from one’s relationship with God. Jesus doesn’t say that no builders should build towers or even that no kings should go to war, but if you’re building a tower in substitute for God or planning war on God, as it were, then acknowledge that the project is impossible and “sue for peace.”
      When worldly goods become more important to one than God, that’s the problem.

      • ShannonEntropy

        You are starting to sound like John Roberts twisting the plain words of the Obozo·care ACA law to fit whatever meaning he says it says it means

        … not some legalistic “Well I am only holding onto all my stuff until I die … a shroud has no pockets, right ??”

        • Justin Katz

          “Renounce all possessions” “in the same way” as a king who assesses that he cannot defeat an approaching army of twice the size and sues for peace, as if to say “all I have is yours, and I put it in your service.” There are balances in life and in the Gospels; navigating them is life’s challenge.

  • Mike678

    “As Father Kiley suggests, they have been enculturated with “an anti-establishment mood.” It’s what they were taught, and it’s been reinforced in countless television shows and movies.”

    I disagree. They aren’t really anti-authority–after all, they listened to and were indoctrinated by the ivory tower leftist professors–authority figures. They are anti-freedom.

    Many of the indoctrinated are anti-thought and narcissistic, arrogant in their ignorance and armored against self-examination/doubt.
    See the crazies leading the Soros-funded “Black Live Matter” microunit. Others include sociopaths that see a path to power. All should be shunned until they mature.

    • Justin Katz

      Right. That’s the difference between being actually anti-establishment and having “an anti-establishment mood.” The academics and entertainers simultaneously created the mood an made their opposition out to be the establishment.