American Conservative blogger Rod Dreher recently shared the sobering account of a veteran college minister who says that a huge percentage of the students he’s worked with have abandoned Christian orthodoxy regarding sex since graduating and now affirm same-sex relationships. Why? The minister suggests “they are terrified of being seen as mean.”
Of course, peer-pressure is nothing new, but Christian young people seem uniquely prone today. They’ve been taught to love people as Christ did and in today’s culture, loving people means tolerance, acceptance, and affirming their every choice. And above all, not being mean.
Dreher offers an obvious-but-radical solution: We’ll need to teach our kids how to be okay with being called mean—and how to stand up for what they believe, anyway. We’ll have to counter the idea that being liked means they’re right and being called mean means they’re wrong.
After all, if what they’ve been taught is true, then the least loving thing we can do is lie.
This commentary first aired on July 9, 2019.