1. I appreciate this post, Travis. I agree that evil just changes form. I’m going to rant now (just know I’m not ranting against you). I’m done listening to complaints about younger generations until older men take responsibility for their lack of leadership and presence in their children’s lives. Scripture says that men as the head of the family bear the responsibility for their children’s mistakes, in the same way that Christ bore the responsibility for our mistakes (that’s what it means to be the head of the family, not that men hold power). “The greatest among you shall be your servant.” Older Christian men complaining about younger generations are standing on quicksand. What do you think has influenced the sense of social isolation that plagues the younger generations and leads to much higher than normal depression and suicide rates? Fatherlessness, technological change, and older men overly focused on work and dry morality instead of on discipleship and self-sacrificial service and gentle kindness. Complaining does nothing. Standing up, taking responsibility, and changing our lives to do something about it does much. Men who weren’t emotionally present with their children have no right to complain about their child being a “prodigal.” It’s my job to initiate reconciliation in my family. It’s my job to be the first to bend my knees in prayer and humility. It’s my job to serve my family and make them feel emotionally and physically supported. It’s my job to admit fault, even for things I’m not guilty of–my kid’s actions, for example. My wife would probably say she’s responsible for the same things (because she’s amazing). But I don’t have to worry about that. I just worry about whether or not I’m being obedient to what God clearly called all men to do. It’s our fault children are poured into the foster system and the adoption system at alarming rates. It’s our fault there’s so much abortion – not the law’s. I’m sad to say that I see older Christian men act like snowflakes more than the younger generation they claim acts that way–and the older men have had a lot more years to work it out. “I’m especially moral, but no one is good in this rotten younger generation.”

    ……I think I hear the pitchforks rattling outside my door. Time to go read books to my daughter.

    • Travis Perry says:

      Um, I do agree parents contribute to problems and fathers have been absent…but I really do think technological change has a lot to do with many generational changes…

      • Technology transforms character only where parental influence fails to form character.

        Your article was talking about more than just generational sins, though, which I appreciated. And I find your observations very interesting. I’ve always wondered about the screaming culture in the military, and whether that’s still a thing.

        • I agree with you and Travis, but I also want to say that kids/the new generation needs to take more responsibility for their own behavior. One’s childhood can have a very bad impact, but it’s each person’s job to get a hold of themselves and learn to make the best decisions possible. I know people that had cruddy childhoods and thus ended up choosing to get into drugs or negative romantic relationships. Either that, or they assume that the direct opposite of their parents’ beliefs are automatically the right ones.

          This seems to be a pretty big issue, especially now days, so I sort of end up subtly writing about it a lot.

  2. notleia says:

    To boil it down: Is passive-aggression better than active-aggression? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    (Small quibble: the generation after Milliennials is Gen Z, not Y. I myself am a late Millennial, while my youngest sister squeaks into Gen Z by most standards.)

    • I wish people would learn to use discretion, rather than acting like one way (active vs passive) is the appropriate response to all situations.

      Ironically, a lot of the people that criticize ‘Millenials’ might actually be Millenials themselves, while the generation they are trying to criticize may actually be Generation Z.

    • Travis Perry says:

      I get the impression that not everyone in practice agrees what “Millennial” means…some people use it for “everyone younger than 40.” But yeah, sorry for the confusion on terms…

    • Travis C says:

      I always appreciate having to look up the current social binning guidance when Generations come up. My sister (1994) is usually quick to point out that I (1980) fall at the end of the Millennial spectrum by some measures whenever I make a millennial remark!

  3. I think I prefer people being ‘calm, rational and fair’ over yelling in someone’s face or being passive aggressive. Though there are times when those other two things might be useful.

    You’re term ‘Law of Conservation of Evil’ is awesome, btw, so I think I’m going to start using it 😛

    Sometimes I watch the ‘older generation’ rant about the younger generation being ’emotional’ and whatnot, and my inner response to the older generation is ‘well, you’re getting pretty emotional about the idea of other people being emotional’. It’s kind of the same if I see a guy ranting about girls being ’emotional’.

    I’m not going to blame only older people or guys for acting like that, though. It’s also a strong tendency for people with the INTJ personality type to act like that if they aren’t mature enough. (I’m an INTJ. So is my Dad. So, obviously gender and age don’t determine that behavior.). INTJs can have a wide spectrum of political beliefs, though, so I’m mainly just pointing to their tendency to dismiss people as ‘irrational’ sometimes. Though they aren’t the only type that does that.

    Anyway…I actually do have some concerns for ‘Generation Snowflake’. Some of it is just the goal/tendency to try and eliminate challenges and keep life from being hard at all. Trying to make things better is of course a good thing, and that is what the natural instinct of humanity is. But, we lose a lot when we avoid and eliminate challenges too often.

    One guy I listen to on Youtube discusses Myers Briggs types and seems to do a pretty good job of it. One thing he talks about a lot is compatibility, and often questions why someone could even bother being with someone they aren’t ‘compatible’ with. To an extent that’s true, especially in a marriage, but at times it feels he takes it too far. Within the first ten minutes of this video, he expresses why he thinks two INTJs are definitely the least compatible:

    INTJs might have a hard time getting along sometimes, but from experience I’d say that doesn’t mean they should always avoid having close relationships with each other. For me, being an INTJ that grew up with an INTJ parent was a good thing. I could pull from my Dad’s experiences and get a better grasp of my personality a lot quicker, and am healthier as a result. Sometimes dealing with another INTJ was hard, but being in a situation where I had to argue with my personality clone forced me to confront the nastier aspects of myself and become a better person. Going through that process was hell, but I don’t regret it and instead feel grateful for it(I can be grateful for bad experiences with people while also acknowledging that their behavior was wrong)

    We should strive to improve things and be in healthy relationships, but taking those things too far can cause a lot of problems we aren’t even aware of. Two people that are perfectly compatible might not challenge each other enough, for instance, so they might end up holding onto some very nasty traits for far longer than they should instead of dealing with them. Also, even though I don’t think parents should be overly harsh and controlling, conflict between parents and children seems to actually be necessary and healthy to some degree. If a parent is halfway decent, they will try and protect their child and support them in spite of the conflict. That means the child has a chance to experience and learn to handle stressful or even unfair circumstances in a relatively safe environment. That’s way better than experiencing it for the first time with a boss or significant other.

    The way I am now, though, I dunno. Being a parent would scare me because I hate conflict even more than I used to as a kid. I would want to teach and guide, rather than confront in most cases, and would feel pretty stressed out about every little argument. But avoiding conflict as much as possible might actually do the kid a disservice, because they won’t be gaining as much experience with conflict as they should. Also…I’ve learned that the open minded teaching and guiding style can have a chance of backfiring. Sometimes it can look very off handed, as if the parent isn’t really that invested in what the child says, does or feels. Also, there usually is a point where the parent NEEDS to confront their child, and that can end badly if the child isn’t used to confrontation long beforehand.

    So, I don’t know. Improvement is good, but we need to be aware of the potential negative effects our ‘improvement’ can have. And improvement shouldn’t equal trying to eliminate all conflict and hardship.

    • Kathleen J Eavenson says:

      Autumn, your next-to-last paragraph really spoke to me … no, visualize an old-style sergeant yelling in the face of a trainee! THAT’s how it spoke to me.

      I don’t know my Briggs-Meyer classification but I really do relate on the approach you describe. Non-confrontational? I’m the definition of it! Much rather discuss things but if the other person starts to get upset/rants, I’ll back right off. That sort of situation tends to turn my ability to think off.

      Fascinating to follow the discussion of the changing of (the expression of) evil. And the morphing makes it so much harder for people to identify their own generation’s iteration of it as Evil. Evil is what one’s parents’ or grandparents’ generations did, not mine, for goodness sake! ?

      • Definitely. Oddly enough, I’ve had people accuse me of loving to argue/loving conflict, but that’s not true at all. I like having interesting discussions, and I can be kinda aggressive when I perceive the presence of a problem, but that actually stems from the fact that I HATE difficulty/conflict and want to do my best to get rid of it. And if someone’s yelling at me, chances are my respect for them will decrease and I might even try to avoid them in the future. It’s really hard to find the right balance, especially when that balance might depend on the situation or person.

    • notleia says:

      Whoa, we can embed YouTube videos now? Lemme try:


      Nope. [Narration: then I tried html, but it froze up on me] Sigh.

      Maybe it’s just a sign of how Millennial I am that I want to be able to communicate in memes and gifs. Sometimes this comments section feels barren without them. Are we really on the Internet, or are we just letter-to-the-editoring at instantaneous speeds?

  4. Rachel Nichols says:

    “Christian counter culture” has developed some extreme ideas that obsess over stuff that doesn’t count. Dr. John Piper says women shouldn’t conduct traffic but stick to reading meters and wearing dark colors is unfeminine so we should only wear pastels. Not sure what Bible translation he got those rules from. These bizarre ideas are not spreading the Gospel that I can see.

    On the other hand the secular progressive extremists tend toward joyless self righteous behaviors. They “demonstrate” much like the Westboro Baptists and express hatred as they decry it. (Just like Fred Phelps graphically describing sodomite behaviors every Sunday morning so you wonder if he had a lust problem there.)

    Hmm. Self righteous. Can’t enjoy laughter or simple pleasures like comic books or video games without a sermon dragged in. The SJW’s are the neo-pharisees. At least they don’t drag Jesus into it.

What do you think?