Adolescent / Youth Culture

In the Culture of Death, Abortion is a Sacrament

The feminist writer Florynce Kennedy once said, “If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.” She didn’t give the left enough credit. Abortion has become a kind of “sacrament” because women can get pregnant. Abortion has morphed from a taboo tragedy to a constitutional right: a sine qua non of the Democratic Party, [...]

Reclaiming the Forgotten Wisdom of a Bygone Era

These last few years, my wife and I have been restoring an old Victorian house that once was a rectory on our island in Nova Scotia, where we live in the summer. I would like to draw an analogy between what we have done so far and what should be done in the Church. We [...]

More Reasons to Avoid Public Education

My family experienced public school for the first time this past semester, and it was ... well … memorable, up to and including last weekend’s graduation ceremonies. After 20 years of private Catholic schooling from K through college for our first three children, our youngest daughter, Gracie, ventured across the cultural aisle to finish her [...]

Is the Popular Video Game Fortnite Sinful?

The video game, Fortnite Battle Royale, is disrupting many a household: Parents tell horror stories of young sons who play it non-stop and suddenly turn violent toward those who oppose their playing. For those unfamiliar with Fortnite, it is an immensely popular fast-paced video game which was released in the summer of 2017. It has [...]

It’s Not Enough to Listen to the Young

In his new exhortation on youth, Christus Vivit (Christ is Alive), Pope Francis returns again and again to the theme that the Church must listen to the young. Although Christus Vivit contains much that is inspiring and even moving, the good parts are often undercut by its insistence on the wisdom of youth. On the [...]

Why Catholic Millennials Need These Four Urgent Life Skills

Many complain that young people are not getting the basic life skills so needed to survive in the world. Parents and schools no longer teach skills like cooking, laundry, budgeting, or car repair as in times past. At the same time, our culture encourages young people to extend their adolescence well into their twenties. They [...]

What is True About “Kids”?

The back page of The New York Times Sunday Section for July 29, 2018, in the section devoted to children, listed, in large bold print, 19 statements about “kids.” Each statement began with the phrase “The truth is kids….” Nothing else appeared on the page except the words The New York Times. No one was [...]

When the Dark Screams of Death Metal Corrode the Culture

Extreme Noise, Terror, Pungent Stench and Pestilence are all disagreeable topics of conversation for most people. They should be avoided in polite company. However, these repugnant things enjoy some favor in today’s postmodern society. The four topics are actually the names of death metal bands casually mentioned in a recent newspaper article. These names are [...]

A Millennial Defense of Catholic Tradition

Matthew Schmitz—maybe the finest columnist of my generation—has written a delightful piece for the latest issue of First Things on his experience at a New Age healing ceremony. It’s chock full of all the solipsistic drivel we’ve come to expect from the spiritual-not-religious crowd: “Inca values,” hemp prayer mats, and a striking melanin deficiency. The [...]

Raising Lion Cubs for the Caliphate

There are a number of Muslim reform movements in the West and in the Muslim world which aim to make Islam a more peaceful religion by removing the more offensive parts. Some reformers, for example, want to rebuild Islam around the more peaceful verses of the Koran while discarding the violent verses. But what if [...]

Is the Benedict Option the Answer to Neo-Barbarianism?

At a recent talk, I compared our days to the times of the barbarian invasions and the fall of the Roman Empire. It is a fairly common comparison that applies to decadent societies like our own. In the end, I highlighted the need to continue to fight the Culture War and thus oppose the neo-barbarians [...]

Punk Rock and the Millennial Search for Meaning

Six years ago my bandmates and I sat stranded in a broken down van on the Jersey side of the Holland Tunnel. Though we were nearly 2,500 miles away from our home in Northern Nevada, we naturally assumed that this was just another small bump we would have to endure on our way to rock [...]

What To Do About Honey Baby Dolly?

In 7th grade, I started acting up. My father died suddenly near the end of 6th grade and when he was gone, my behavior changed. One fine day in 7th grade, Mr. Mac, my language arts teacher, whose first name was Harry, came into my social studies class to convey something to our teacher, Mrs. Gooding. [...]

A Crisis of Reason? Whatever!

For the last five decades and more, youth culture has been a driving force in our society. As young people gained increasing amounts of discretionary spending power, purveyors of products and entertainment became increasingly interested in “what the kids like these days,” to the point that much of our popular culture—music, movies, television, web content—is [...]

A Populist Election and Its Aftermath

Considering how many crucial matters were at stake during the recent election, including the right to life and religious freedom, and confronting the preponderant bias in the media and opinion polls, it did not seem melodramatic to hope for a providential Hand to guide things. Without mistaking optimism for hope, and cautioned by the disappointment [...]

Three Doctors’ Common Antidote to Social Media

The noted psychologist and author Dr. Leonard Sax recently visited our youngest daughter’s school for a talk with parents, focused on his recent book, The Collapse of Parenting. Sax is a leading proponent of treating boys and girls differently, and educating them separately; previous titles of his are Girls on the Edge (2005), Boys Adrift [...]

The Most Religious Singer-Songwriter of the past 50 Years

“You’re not making Christianity better, you’re just making rock n’ roll worse.” ∼ Hank Hill on “Christian Rock” from King of the Hill There are these musical artists who have done some religious music or who have moved from gospel to mainstream or who have dabbled in it, but there is someone else who is not [...]

How to Discourage Socialism Among the Young

When business is based on selfishness everybody is busy becoming more selfish.  ~ Peter Maurin You gotta’ love socialists. At least I do. I love their passionate idealism, their desire for economic parity, their disdain for rapacious laissez-faire capitalism—and their mod outfits. Thanks to Bernie Sanders and his quixotic campaign for the presidency, there’s plenty of [...]

The Infantilization of Parenting

British author Alexander Pope was perhaps the first writer to turn a "bad hair day" into a poem—really, a satirical tragedy.  Modern Americans, bereft of a sense of humor and inclined to view reality through the lens of a selfie, turn their bad hair days into epic farces. On the way to work in Washington [...]

What the Hook-up Culture Has Done to Women

A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things. ∼  Henry David Thoreau, Walden A few months ago, a young woman at Stanford [...]

Advice to Graduating Millennials: Don’t Jump the Ropes

As I walked down the aisle of the plane, I saw in the seat next to mine an amiable young fellow—a real live millennial. I was intrigued by the opportunity to talk. Don’t get me wrong, plenty of millennial-age young people cross my path. Most of them don’t make a big deal about their “millennialness.” [...]

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