Saturday, September 13, 2008

Perspectives on Minorities

I've begun a study on what's happened to second generation Christians, something I refer to as symptoms of silver platter faith. Not a formal study, mind you. That would take the fun out of it. But merely observations, some discussions with friends who are passionate about animated debates, and some reading to add the opinions of people somewhat more credible.

Not unique to my generation, but definitely a huge factor is an obsession with being in the minority. It comes from an innate need to be special. If our ideas or opinion match another, we fear we'll go unnoticed. Yet if they have to match (because of course there are really no new ideas), we match the person who has a reputation for being in the minority. Or we aim for the least popular vote. Or we seek a comment that will achieve the highest shock factor.

And if we have caused our friends to gasp, we feel have achieved some higher insight or understanding. This somehow grants us the right to look pityingly at our friends, smile, and shake our heads.

In my diagnosis of what has happened to second generation Christians, I blame the Christian schools, the youth groups, the Bible colleges, and any other isolated organization in which Christians interact solely with other Christians. Because if we are to satisfy this need to rebel against the norm, well...the result is obvious.

I'm not ready to burn down my school for the higher good. Don't get me wrong. Nor am I advocating that we send our children to public institutions. I think that would raise a whole new spectrum of problems. But I believe strongly in exposure to and interaction with the "real world" (and I use the quotation marks deliberately because the definition is so subjective). On a side note, it's interesting how both the Christian world and the unsaved world have a concept of a real world which is distinctly different than their present world.

Being in a secular environment now, I'm finally experiencing my role as a minority from a different perspective. I'm viewed as abnormal, an extremist, and naive. I've been called a liar (because no one can really be content), and I've been scrutinized suspiciously. Yet I also enjoy the exotic side of being the minority. My political views, my faith, my convictions and standards, my perspective as a whole is basically a novelty.
For the first time, I guess I can say, it’s fun to be conservative.

5 comments:

Rambling Rose said...

It's very interesting that you are studying 2nd generation Christians. I've recently had a few discussions with a friend of mine on the subject. I enjoyed reading this post and have a lot to comment on so instead of putting it all on here I'll post it on my blog. I would be interested to hear any other thoughts you have on the subject.

justinic9 said...

I'm wondering if your diagnosis refers to generally apathetic Christians, those who genuinely want to grow, or both. We both know plenty of Christian family kids who claim the title while showing little true interest. Does this include/explain that phenomenon?

Anonymous said...

You should check this out...if you like post it notes

http://alifeinpages.blogspot.com/2008/09/too-much-time-on-their-hands.html

JMD said...

Heather,
How are you? I just stumbled across your blog and wanted to say hi! :) I hope things are going good for you! I will have to read the blog and "catch up" with you!
I hope you have a beautiful rest of the week!
Love, Jen

Katy said...

Hello? You haven't posted in FOREVER!!!!! Seriously. Like, not at all. Are you there at all anymore? :-)
Miss ya!