57 years ago, in 1959, I was 14 years old. Back then, when people thought about what the future would bring, they usually thought in terms of technological advances. They thought of things such as longer life spans with better health, resulting from scientific developments in medicine. They thought of exciting conveniences, such as flying automobiles, and wild, science-fiction contraptions such as telephones that let you see the person you are talking to.
Taken for granted by today’s generation, advances in computer technology have actually made many of our futuristic dreams common, everyday facts of life. The ubiquitous smart phone of today far outstrips the performance capacity of the imagined communicator of the original Star Trek series. When those imaginary science-fiction devices were introduced to us in the 1960s, I was no longer a child, but was already a young adult, serving in the Army in Vietnam.
In what seems to me to be a very short time, we have come a very long way. Back when I was 14, the ability to have such a tremendous access to information was seen as a liberating and empowering force that would revolutionize education, stream-line all gathering, processing and exchanging of information, and in general stimulate a golden age of opportunities for everyone.
Brother! Talk about a futuristic fantasy!
Just the other day another 14 year-old had his 15 minutes of fame. The 8th grader recited a poem titled, White Boy Privilege, and it went viral. Everybody jumped to hear what this ignorant little punk had to say, a child who has no concept of history, no real context, no big perspective, no idea of what the world is like beyond his own protected life experience – a child who can only repeat the liberal bilge he’s been taught.
So his poem goes viral. And adults who share his ignorance and buy into his brand of group-think nod and make their intonations of agreement. This certainly isn’t the future my generation had hoped for. Rather than taking what good we had and building something better, the deconstructionism of post-modern thinking has broken down what used to work and exchanged it for chaos, confusion and fear.
In his poem, the 14 year-old apologizes to non-white, non-male groups of people. But his apologies have no real meaning because he has no intention of either changing himself or making restitution to those he may have offended. His poem has no solution, leads to no corrective action, and doesn’t even hope for improvement. Rather than drawing people together toward universal values, it celebrates the selfish interests served when you reduce the concept of community to whatever kind of people you relate to.
This is a poem of class distinction – a childish, narrow, emotional rant exalting class envy. It is the latest iteration of John Lennon’s song, Imagine, which was by his own admission, a poetic expression of the Communist Manifesto. White Boy Privilege reflects the political philosophy of socialism. That’s what is being taught to children today. It was taught to their parent’s generation, too. No wonder there are so many today who look to big government for solutions to all of life’s problems. It’s what they’ve been taught. And it has created the most ignorant generation ever in the history of the United States of America.
How can I say ignorant? Technology has given us the best access to information in the history of man! But you see, information only works when you pay attention to it. You can have the greatest library in the world, but unless you actually read the books, you remain ignorant.
Socialism is essentially godless. Embracing socialism in effect expunges God from the reality of your life. In socialism the State becomes God. That means your value, your meaning, your success depends on what the government does for you, and what you do for the government. God doesn’t establish laws and morals – government does. God doesn’t make provision for your life – government does.
This is a future I didn’t anticipate when I was 14. A future without God. A future that has forgotten the Noblesse oblige of history, forgotten the words of Jesus, “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required,” forgotten that in Western Civilization, it was the church that instituted charities and social services to serve the under-privileged.
White Boy Privilege gives meaningless lip service. Designed to stir up feelings without doing one single helpful thing, it is devoid of moral character. At its most fundamental level it is a lie, based on a myth – the myth that class privilege oppresses minorities. It simply isn’t true. Not in America.
How did a black man become the President? It could be argued that Obama, being half white, benefitted from his half-white boy privilege. But how did Ben Carson become the world’s pre-eminent brain surgeon? How did Clarence Thomas become a Supreme Court Justice? They had no privileges.
There are many minority women in positions of power and influence today. They had no privileges. Many non-white immigrants come to this country and make a success of their lives. Many of them start on the lowest rung, but because of the opportunities found only here in the United States, they move up the ladder and enjoy great success. That’s why so many from all over the world continue to legally immigrate to this country, because we offer everyone the opportunity to work for their dreams.
And work is the operative word here. Success in life is not something that can be handed out to you by the government. Our government was designed to protect the life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness of all citizens. But it is up to each citizen to exercise those rights, work out their own lives and find their own success through hard work.
That 14 year-old child doesn’t know what work is, what self-determination is. He doesn’t know that you can’t have freedom without responsibility. He doesn’t know that community includes everyone, not just people who look like you or live like you. He doesn’t know that the gospel of Jesus Christ calls us together to serve one another in love. His ignorance could fill a book.
Deuteronomy 6:18 says, “And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may go well with you”. Micah 6:8 says, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Proverbs 21:3 says, “To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” Galatians 6:9 and 2 Thessalonians 3:13 both urge us not to grow weary in doing good.
These and many other passages give us the Biblical perspective. That perspective is to love one another and serve one another. The Biblical perspective motivates believers in their personal interactions with the world to actually help people and make a difference in their lives. That is a far cry from separating human beings on the basis of racial, cultural, sexual or financial categories. It is a far cry from mindless mob demonstrations aimed at coercing government action. It is a far cry from hatred and violence.
Believers in Christ are called to look beyond all that. Galatians 3:28 teaches that in Christ, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” That truth gives us a message of hope, something to believe in, something to work toward. It does not wallow in disappointment or discouragement. It does not credit perceived victims with a special prestige in order to justify retribution. It does not turn one group against another.
Hope in Christ is manifold. First, he offers forgiveness – real forgiveness, not just being let off the hook by making some phony apology. Hope in Christ embodies unity as it draws us together in him. It brings a healing to our souls. By his stripes we are healed. Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly,” (John 10:10). And in him we have a peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7).
When I was 14 I didn’t understand the gospel of Jesus Christ yet, so there is hope that this 14 year-old of White Boy Privilege fame may still come to learn the truth. But the society that spawned his viral video is deeply flawed, and is more capable of destruction than anything positive. I pray for his future – America’s future – and wonder, will people look to God, glorify God and seek to better themselves by living up to his standards, or will they look to the State, glorify those who govern us and expect the laws they enact to make our lives better?
What does your future hold?