November 17th, 2008 13:49 EST
Why Kids Are Ducking Out of Our Culture Wars
by Ken Wilson
The culture wars are baby boomer battles. We inherited them from our fathers who lived in a binary world of good and evil neatly separated by geographic boundaries. I actually played cowboys and Indians assuming the cowboys were the good guys. Pick up sides and duke it out. Are you on our side or the side of our enemies? Neither, says this new generation. Maybe it`s time for us boomers to sit down, shut up, and take off our culture warrior boots.
Rush Limbaugh is the culture warrior with a boomer take on the world. These efforts to match him bombast for bombast by a left leaning a.m. radio voice are doomed to fail because the wind filling his sails is dying down, not gaining strength. There`s just not enough bombast left to get Al Franken up and running.
My kids and their friends see the debt we`ve been racking up and won`t live long enough to deal with. We boomers can only hear the piper piping. They will have to pay him off, but only after we cash in our social security checks AARP cards in hand.
They see the strain we`ve been placing on the planet and assume we`ll be arguing over how bad it is or isn`t until the cows come home. We don`t have the power to change the climate! Yes we do! No we don`t! Meanwhile, they are ducking out of our debates in order to make room for the cows.
They grew up with abortion out in the open. They`ve seen the ultra sound images and they`re not buying the bit about a blob of tissue because they`ve seen the blob of tissue sucking its thumb. But they also think abortion is here to stay, legal or not. They wonder why we want to ban it when we`re happy to have insurance companies cover Viagra but not birth control pills. The "pro-life" label mystifies them when it`s used by people who want to keep condoms away from men with HIV in Africa. But they have these conversations among themselves knowing their parents will just get into a brawl if they bring it up.
They are the children of the highest divorce rate in history. So it`s hard for them to see gay marriage as the greatest threat to the institution. They are just tired of the fighting.
That`s not such a bad thing to be tired of, the fighting. Anger makes us stupid, a fact of neuroscience they have observed from the sidelines. Now, lesson learned, they are ready to get into the game, which they are hoping to play by a new set of rules. I say more power to `em.
Ken Wilson is the Senior Pastor of Vineyard Church of Ann Arbor and author of Jesus Brand Spirituality: He Wants His Religion Back.