Generation Repeat

Originally published in 2005.

The following is an open letter written to the youth of today which was cc’d to the entertainment and marketing industries.  It was written by a 40-something year old mom of two teens, Michele Catalano.  She also happens to be an atheist.  In searching for Stuffnet content, I have found this blog entry referenced to more than once.  

“Dear kids,

“You know how every generation has a catchy name? Gen X, The Me Generation, The Pepsi Generation, whatever. You know what yours is going to be? Generation Repeat. Why, you ask? Because everything about your culture, with the exception of some emo songs, is stolen from us. And by "us" I mean people old enough to be your parents. People who actually are your parents (and it is with creative liberty that I refer to ‘generation’ here as anyone coming of age in the 80's, 90's or 00's.).

The Power of Ritualized Time Together

Originally published May 2005.

Here is a brief history of how we got here as a culture:

“In the early industrial revolution, many children and teenage boys and girls worked long hours in the factory under the foreman’s discipline.  In due time, however, economic production by youth increasingly came to be viewed, often rightly, as pernicious and exploitative child labor, which was gradually suppressed by social reforms.  Throughout, childhood and adolescence were being culturally redefined as particular developmental phases of life profoundly different from adulthood.  Further social changes in the twentieth century accelerated the structural disconnection of youth’s lives from the adult world.  The invention of the automobile provided teenagers with a mobility and privacy they had never before known.  Commercial movie theaters, dance halls, and other centers of entertainment had similar effects.  Most important of all, however, was the near complete institutionalization of universal public education.  In fact, it was not until the 1930s that the majority of American youth of high school age became school students.

Great Commandment Youth Ministries

Originally published November 2004.

From CosmoGirl (November 2003), "Don't you just hate it when people try to convert you to their religion? Or when they talk about how no religion other than theirs is the right one? I have enough respect for my friends not to preach to them, but some of my friends don't respect my beliefs enough not to try to convert me. That really bothers me." --Joy, age 16

You teach your youth to spread their faith to friends at school. Yet those friends are asking for the respect to not be converted. I'm sure not every U.S. high school teen has this opinion but you can hear the postmodern thoughts which are rampant in our teens in this one quote. What do you do? Respect for others is important. For too long many Christians have been guilty of not respecting people and property all in the name of the Great Commission. But you can't not obey the Great Commission either. How do you encourage your teens to reach their friends for Christ when their friends don't want any part of that?