Defining Cancel Culture for Teens


John Stonestreet

Kasey Leander

Recently, The New York Times asked six teens to describe what cancel culture “is really like.” Their responses show just how normal the term has become.  

For many, it’s “basically a joke,” a word thrown around about anything and everything. That’s not surprising for a generation so plugged in and coming of age just as the term has reached critical mass. For others, “it’s a way to take away someone’s power and call [them] out for being problematic in a situation,” as one girl put it. 

But that power element makes cancel culture dangerous. Canceling someone is less about holding convictions with integrity, than it is convincing a mob of peers to forever isolate someone else. And, who decides what’s canceled if not the powerful, which itself is subject to the changing whims of a moment’s majority? This isn’t about enduring truths or standing for what’s right. 

These students have inherited a world with troubling public figures, celebrities, causes, and past sins, but no example of what to do.  

This is an opportunity for Christians to show a better way forward.


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