Seeds of Hope
by Paul Chaffee
A few years back Millennials were suffering considerable verbal abuse for being the ones who’ve walked out of church, who have given up the religion their forebears fought so hard to claim and defend. The SBNR (spiritual but not religious) moniker slowed the criticism but didn’t hush those claiming that youngsters unwilling to affiliate with any tradition had no intellectual spine, were looking for ‘cheap’ grace, and the like. This criticism was not gaining much headway it turns out. Institutionalists have had to acknowledge that ‘none’ is the 'fastest growing religious affiliation in the nation. In England the ‘no affiliation’ category has become the largest ‘religious’ community of all.
TIO’s issue this month is tonic from the Millennials and should calm all but the most fundamentalist critics, the ones claiming their own truth as the only truth. The spiritual musculature of the young writers this month is impressive. Their ethical sensitivity is no less rigorous than what their parents and grandparents espoused. But it has honed in on new and renewed issues, such as inclusivity, endemic violence, climate change, and the divide between the richest and the rest of us.
Particularly worth noting is the critique these Millennial voices have for traditional grassroots interfaith dialogue. They are tired of ‘playing nice’ and not paying attention to tough questions, to invisible violence, to serious disagreements. Their words are absolutely refreshing and wise, the promise of good things to come.
If the sins of the fathers cast misery for generations, as scripture purports, surely the seeds of hope for a better world from the young is worth promoting and celebrating. That’s TIO this month.
Header Photo: Adina Voicu, Pixabay