Religion and Young People: The Lost Generation?

Before I start my point about this post, I will explain my faith. I am a Catholic and I have been my whole life. (Ew gross she’s one of those!) Yes I believe in God and Jesus, own and use rosary beads, know the Bible stories, think Pope Francis is a pretty good pope, have gone to Knock around 18 times and I go to mass in my own will. But guess what? I have some disagreements with the church despite my beliefs. (Yay she’s seen the light!) Some of what they have said and done has pissed me off, even during the mass homily (which is part of my point, and I will get to that). I know my faith is not as strong as it was 10 years ago or even 5 years ago. I know I don’t go to mass every week. I know of many relatives, friends and people I’ve met in general who are either agnostic or atheist and I don’t judge them for it. However what kills me is that their status gives me the feeling that they are the smarter and more enlightened people. But on the other side, the church gives me the feeling that because I have more liberal beliefs means I cannot truly be as good as the devout. A rock/hard place moment.

I was at mass today on the campus church and the priest who is mostly decent (ie not annoying, boring or religiously conceited). During the homily he discussed freedom. He talked about freedom of will (the most common one) and freedom of excellence (religious one where we can be the best people we can be). In the freedom of will, we (especially young people) have become accustomed to settling for less and being less than excellent (which is kind of true). But his reason for this is what shocked me. He claimed that sex is the reason why young people have become mediocre as beings. He said that contraception is not the answer and stuff like that. I was annoyed by this generalistion of young people are stupid and ammoral. The worst part is: this is not the first time I’ve heard this.

Since the decline in numbers of people in attending mass and believing in God happened, priests have started worrying over the future of its people ie young people. Of course, this isn’t completely new nor is it just occuring in religion, but this idea that young people have become the scapegoat for the Catholic church’s problem is actually starting to drive them away. How? By preists expressing their disgust at the idea that (*spolier alert*) some young people have sex or are gay or don’t always follow church teachings exactly. Priests often pray during the prayers of the faithful part for young people for guiding them morally because young people are incapable of being good people or even praying. Newsflash: YOUNG PEOPLE ARE CAPABLE OF BEING GOOD, DECENT PEOPLE REGARDLESS OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION, LIFESTYLE CHOICE OR RELIGIOUS BELIEF! If memory serves me right, Jesus was actually accepting of tax collectors, Samaritans, Romans, lepers, prostitutes and even a murderer because they all strived to be good people despite their walks of life. However, Jesus judged people who did not accept flawed people who wished to be good. And guess who these unaccepting people were? The Pharisees and Sadduces, ie relgious leaders in Jesus’s time. Of course, not all priests or nuns are like this, but unfortunately, some are. And there are also religious people who do not accept flawed people. 

It has left me thinking some important matters. Isn’t being a good person and showing love to your fellow humans more important than condemning those who are in relationships, are born of a “different” sexuality or are women? If you want to teach young people to be good people, shouldn’t the church practice what they preach? And most importantly, what does age have to do with how good or bad a person you are?    


4 thoughts on “Religion and Young People: The Lost Generation?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s