The ‘Nones’ Need Christ, Not Sorrow and Death
By Judie Brown
Somehow in the depths of our being we all know the sorrow that Jonathon Van Maren wrote about a few days ago when he told us:
“Abortion does not only end the lives of children. It often coarsens and hardens those who make that choice, the blood of the innocents scabbing over consciences so that only ugly laughter meets the pleading of a young man who simply wanted the chance to fight for his baby.”
Van Maren’s words about the young father whose baby was aborted as he wept speaks of many things. One of the most chilling is the reminder that society’s callous disregard for human life has led far too many young people to reject God rather than embrace Him.
It is obvious that the moral relativism of this current age is fraught with pain on many levels.
While some identify such young people as “nones,” such junk labels mask the underlying causes that explain why young people in particular have denied God and embraced the world. This rejection has led to suffering and heartache, but it need not be so.
We young people crave the truth and clarity of good teaching. On a secular level this is evidenced by the meteoric rise in popularity of Jordan Peterson. We crave the truth, no matter how blunt or difficult it is for us to swallow or for the shepherds of our flock to teach. . . .
We urgently need the Church’s clarity and authoritative guidance on issues like abortion, homosexuality, gender dysphoria, the indissolubility of matrimony, the four last things, and the consequences of contraception (moral, anthropological, and abortifacient). My generation has never, or rarely, heard these truths winsomely taught in the parishes. Instead, we hear most forcefully and frequently from our bishops’ conference and our dioceses regarding the federal budget, border policy, net neutrality, gun control, and the environment.
This young man has captured the essence of why there are so many “nones” among us. In fact, when he writes “Increasingly, we have noticed an appeasement of modern culture under the broad cloak of pastoral sensitivity,” we realize that this is the crux of cultural woes today.
The near-total absence of catechesis from kindergarten on up has provided the backdrop for tragic results like the one witnessed in front of the Hope Clinic for Women this week. One father’s tears of agony and another father’s plea for sound teaching present us with a pair of reasons for doing more to change the culture.
We not only look to our bishops for the witness needed to begin the great work of evangelizing our culture, but we beg them to take heed.
When Bishop Robert Barron mentioned during the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting earlier this month that young people were literally leaving the Church in droves, he reported a list of reasons for this. He claimed that according to studies he had seen, the young were departing because “religion is seen as conflicting with science,” “the general secularism and moral relativism of the culture,” and “the difficulty many young people have with the Church’s sexual teachings.”
But Barron never got to the root cause.
And that my friends is silence—silence in the pulpits, in the classrooms, in religious education, and everywhere in between.
In 2002, Saint John Paul II told attendees at the World Youth Day in Canada that “people are made for happiness. Rightly, then, you thirst for happiness.” He then explained exactly what young people today need to hear and absorb:
Christ has the answer to this desire of yours. But He asks you to trust Him. True joy is a victory, something which cannot be obtained without a long and difficult struggle. Christ holds the secret of this victory.
My friends, that “difficult struggle” begins with young people hearing the truth, understanding that it is the truth, and embracing it no matter what the culture suggests!
But when the Church is silent, we see suffering and death.
Catholic youth don’t need studies and statistics, they need Christ, His truth, and His light. Until they get it, the sorrow and the death will continue.