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The Restorationist Rebellion
THE NEW AMERICAN ^ | June 2, 2003 Edition | Georgia Hamann

Posted on 05/26/2003 8:48:29 AM PDT by Remedy

Restorationists have developed the desire to break away from our generation. We are attracted to our grandparents’ standards of morality, and we reject the lifestyle of our parents’ generation.

Miss Georgia Hamann, age 17, is a student at Pensacola Christian College and a veteran of the Robert Welch University summer camp program.

Evil does not shock anyone anymore. The world does not gasp in dismay as Britney Spears discards another article of clothing. People do not recoil in shocked disbelief as an Eminem song pollutes the airwaves. Polite society does not cross to the other side of the street as Madonna walks by. The filth that spews daily from television barely provokes a shrug. Those clinging to morality may be saddened and sickened, but not shocked.

Degeneracy as a form of rebellion is trite today. We have not changed the definition of rebellion in 25 years. My generation tries hard to be edgy and rebellious, but they encounter difficulty when Mom and Dad are being rebellious in the exact same way using the exact same methods. Degenerate rock music is so integrated into the culture that grocery stores play it — can it still be described as revolutionary or counterculture? Men with long hair were a staple of the hippie generation. Today, this look is associated both with aspiring rebels on college campuses and portly middle-aged motorcyclists who grow a braid down their backs to disguise the paucity of hair on top. Look through your parent’s college yearbook at those hopeful little rebels. You will find their duplicates at a high school near you, still idealistically convinced that they can shock a jaded world. Glance through headlines from 1973; talk to a parent and discover that immorality, premarital sex, and partying are assimilated parts of the culture rather than venues of rebellion.

Generation Gap

Two generations ago, agitators literally created the "generation gap." They defined the older generation as the enemy, and they encouraged the younger generation to become a counterculture. They wanted to see the moral culture overthrown and replaced with a culture of license. They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, and now American mainstream culture is synonymous with indecency and immorality. Today, can we say that anyone who goes against the tide of evil is literally "counterculture"? Is the teen who rejects the warmed over musical offerings of his peer’s culture — in favor of, say, classical music — the new rebel?

Modern Sodom is so degenerate that virtue is the only shocking medium left. Gang members fail to startle people with their clothing, but a Mennonite girl who covers her head with a little white doily will turn people’s heads to an extent that gang bangers would envy. A girl who wears a skirt and believes in modesty can empathize with the fake rebel’s clichéd cries of "no one understands me," because sin-steeped society cannot fathom virtue.

Breaking the Mold

A growing number of young people are discovering the thrill of breaking out of society’s mold. "Counterculture" might be an apt term, but the enemies of freedom and decency grabbed the term first, so perhaps "counter-immorality" or "restorationism" is descriptive. We, a small but growing minority, spurn the conventional trappings of our generation. Not for us the multiple piercings of our peers. We disregard our relatives’ stares of disbelief as we purchase season tickets to the symphony. We ignore the public prating about "safe" sex and resolutely maintain our chastity.

Restorationists did not spring from nowhere. Many of us graduated as homeschoolers; we are the products of parents who finally rebelled against their generation’s lifestyle. Rather than be exposed to the routine and formulaic depravity promoted as the only lifestyle choice by "conventional" teachers in public schools, we explored unconventional education. Restorationists have developed the desire to break away from our generation. Homeschoolers in particular desire a lifestyle in defiance of the current mores. We are attracted to our grandparents’ standards of morality, and we reject the lifestyle of our parents’ generation.

Our parents, the baby boomers, began and ended as pawns of the establishment they rebelled against. They were sacrificed to manipulators who used them to overturn moral standards. Many explored alternative lifestyles, which led to broken homes, disease, and general unhappiness. Those formerly idealistic hippies who did not die young from drugs or disease became cynical and pragmatic. Again they played into the enemy’s hands with their indifference — "it’s the economy, stupid!" became their rallying cry. Their wives were sent to work, their children languished in day care, and they drove shiny cars, bought big houses, and played with increasingly expensive toys. They believed they were prosperous, as they increased their credit card debt. A few of them agitate on the far left, a few reject the generation’s lifestyle and have migrated to the right, but most of the baby boomers do not want to learn anything that will rock their solid, slightly-left-of-center position.

In contrast, their parents erred on the side of idealism. They swept grandly off to World War II or contributed on the home front, fervently believing that their "democracy" would transform the world. Few of our grandparents understand the difference between a republic and a democracy and if you dare to imply that Roosevelt possessed foreknowledge about the impending attack on Pearl Harbor, then you will feel the force of Grandma’s wrath. I do not mean to disparage the WWII generation: They did trust blindly, but their generation had standards of dignity, honor, morality, and virtue.

Most elements of their worldview have been incorporated into our philosophy, but restorationists have also inherited a sensible amount of baby boomer cynicism. We will not emulate our naive grandparents; we will not place too much trust in the essential goodness of government. Question authority? No, not really, but we learn about constitutionally protected rights and we watch out for people who try to threaten those rights. We do look at history, and we soberly observe that people who revert to childhood and give up their rights to Big Mommy government are eventually eliminated or live as slaves. We do learn to protect ourselves, just in case. Restorationists are comfortable around firearms, not because they intend to go shoot up a school, but because someday they will become capable adults who can defend themselves against anything or anyone, tyrannical government (Heaven forbid!) included.

Restorationists identify with the WWII generation more than we identify with our parents’ generation. But our philosophy remains distinct: We have synthesized, not duplicated. For example, we restorationists grew up with the devastating results of double income families, a trend that our grandparents’ generation began shortly after WWII. We saw the results in our friends, ourselves, and even in our parents. Thus, we believe very strongly in the necessity of a stay-at-home mom. Our generation was told that a woman achieves liberation when she seeks employment outside the home and adds a man’s traditional workload to her own. This idea is so fully ingrained that few even question the assumption that a young woman must plan for a long and stressful life: She must survive in the workplace and also carry the lion’s share of household work and child rearing. How can we say that a woman is liberated when she carries a double workload and stress level?

Real Girl Power

Unlike both previous generations, the restorationists fully realize that real girl power is not about pretending we’re differently shaped boys. Our mothers bought into a false feminism — they brought their daughters to work and encouraged them to take over traditionally male jobs, from astronaut to GI Joe. How do we contribute to a woman’s liberation when we send her out to unimaginable physical stress and the definite possibility of abuse? Restorationists understand that feminine fulfillment is found as women rejoice in what we can do that no man ever can: We can reverently fill our God-given role of mother to a family.

Previous generations’ ideals have influenced the restorationist ideas of feminism, but the greatest and most original restorationist idea is barely a generation old — home education. Maverick baby boomers from both sides of the political spectrum pioneered the movement as the rest of society looked on in fascinated horror. Simultaneously, the quality of public education deteriorated so drastically that even many apathetic parents woke up. Gradually, society began to accept and practice the new idea as they saw homeschoolers demonstrating the effects of the new educational style. Now, for the first time, we see young families beginning their homes with the stated intention of rejecting mainstream educational views. Our parents stumbled across homeschooling, but we have desired it from adolescence. Homeschooling’s influence has developed the restorationists into people who will counter their culture in startling ways.

Renaissance of Virtue

A counterculture teen may differ from his peers in his tastes, but a restorationist is much more than a person who despises decadent music, piercing, and obscene clothing. Restorationists are primarily defined by an unshakeable passionate resolve. Our values are not mere intellectual ideals. Our resolve consists of an ardent zeal united with a strong character that motivates us to act on our beliefs. Because we believe in God, we are resolved that we will maintain our life of virtue despite the temporary pleasures we may sacrifice. Because we believe in family, we are resolved that we will maintain a single-income, home-educated household despite the resultant economic hardships. Because we believe in our country, we are resolved that we will uphold the Constitution and work to restore it, despite the sacrifice we make in time and effort.

We are only rebels in the tongue-in-cheek sense. We rebel only as we reject the typical norms of our culture. We do not seek to topple society, as the term counterculture originally implied; we only seek to protect ourselves from the ill effects of current culture. We do not demand that our peers conform to our ways, and we do not conform to their ways. We desire to change people’s minds and hearts, because our "rebellion" is so dramatically superior to the same-old, same-old patterns of immorality. Numbers of thinking people are rejecting their Dark Ages upbringing and joining this new Renaissance of virtue. There are already signs that our numbers are growing. Someday we will be numerous enough that magnificent decency will be the norm and evil will be shocking again.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: restorationists

1 posted on 05/26/2003 8:48:29 AM PDT by Remedy
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To: homeschool mama
Home Schooled Students Excel in College
2 posted on 05/26/2003 8:49:25 AM PDT by Remedy
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To: Remedy
Degenerate rock music is so integrated into the culture that grocery stores play it — can it still be described as revolutionary or counterculture? Men with long hair were a staple of the hippie generation. Today, this look is associated both with aspiring rebels on college campuses and portly middle-aged motorcyclists who grow a braid down their backs to disguise the paucity of hair on top. Look through your parent’s college yearbook at those hopeful little rebels. You will find their duplicates at a high school near you, still idealistically convinced that they can shock a jaded world.

I agree with this completely. I think it's important for young folks to develop their own unique styles and fashions, their own culture.

Two generations ago, agitators literally created the "generation gap."

LOL. How about two thousand generations ago?

3 posted on 05/26/2003 8:58:14 AM PDT by Scenic Sounds
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: cantuar
The Decline of a Nation
5 posted on 05/26/2003 9:27:37 AM PDT by Remedy
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To: Remedy
Miss Georgia Hamann, age 17, is a student at Pensacola Christian College and a veteran of the Robert Welch University summer camp program.

Shows such promise.

6 posted on 05/26/2003 10:11:25 AM PDT by KDD
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To: Remedy
I have long had a bone to pick with The New American, but the Birch Society's house organ occasionally hits a home run, as it did on this occasion.

I can identify with the writer's feelings, because I, too, became a Restorationist about the time I became a teenager in the mid-1960's. As the decade progressed, I found myself increasingly disgusted with much of its popular culture--long hair on men, miniskirts, acid rock, the anti-Vietnam War movement, "encounter groups," the "sex revolution," and the cult of personality around the Kennedys--and I came to admire the popular culture of the 1930's, 1940's, and 1950's, which I thought was superior to that of my own era. I would read back issues of Time and Life at the library, prowl through swap meets and record stores for recordings from bygone decades, and listen to radio station KWIZ, which played "oldies."

Although I wasn't interested in politics in my early teenage years, it's only natural that I would become a conservative. I declared myself a Republican in 1968, when I was 16, and I found myself devouring each issue of Human Events and National Review after I discovered them a year later.

Rush Limbaugh once said that our liberal-left cultural elite had better watch out for the new generation just coming of age, which will have no love for "counterculture" values. If this article represents what a lot of young people are thinking these days, then Limbaugh's warning is, indeed, apt.

7 posted on 05/26/2003 10:19:13 AM PDT by Taft in '52
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To: Remedy
"We do not demand that our peers conform to our ways, and we do not conform to their ways.
We only seek to protect ourselves from the ill effects of current culture."



High principles, seldom observed..

How do you protect yourselves without demanding that your peers conform to your standards?
8 posted on 05/26/2003 10:38:03 AM PDT by tpaine (Really, I'm trying to be a 'decent human being', but me flesh is weak.,)
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To: Remedy
That John Birch Society, always a barrel of good news.
Now they don't have communists to kick around anymore,
the enemy is people deciding for themselves what the good
life is. Is this where the American Ayatollah is slouching from?
9 posted on 05/26/2003 1:15:28 PM PDT by gcruse (Vice is nice, but virtue can hurt you. --Bill Bennett)
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To: tpaine
Bullies understand exactly one response that alters their behavior.

Knowledge is our armor. Truth is our shield.

=Maelstrom=
10 posted on 05/26/2003 1:38:26 PM PDT by Maelstrom (To prevent misinterpretation or abuse of the Constitution:The Bill of Rights limits government power)
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To: Taft in '52
If the lady who authored this piece is correct.

Our army is winning ground. It's good to see it grow and be heard.

=Maelstrom=
11 posted on 05/26/2003 1:39:58 PM PDT by Maelstrom (To prevent misinterpretation or abuse of the Constitution:The Bill of Rights limits government power)
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To: Remedy
Most of this is B.S. One can listen to "degenerate rock" (whatever that means) or have long hair or piercings or wear strange clothes and still resepct the Constitution or be a devout Christian.

12 posted on 05/28/2003 4:15:26 AM PDT by jjm2111
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