Andrew Klusman's Blog


Every few months, I try to get a handle on my ever-growing “bookmarks” collection.  Sorting through them all, I came across a Reddit thread, entitled “Do any other millennials here feel like the true rebels?”  In it, the OP posts the following:

Being of the minority, amongst millennials, that is practicing Catholic; I feel like I’m the one revolting against other people my age. Many people that I know, my age, seem indifferent or against religion. It’s gotten to the point where, unless given a reason to think otherwise, I just assume my fellow classmates and other people my age are nonreligious. Maybe, someday, it’ll be considered cool to abandon the secularism of your parents for a devout religious life. It sounds unlikely but you never know. What do you guys and gals think?

Maybe it is part of my own bias, but it sounds like OP is making “rebellion” a good and positive thing.  As a Catholic, this doesn’t sit right with me.  Rebellion is rarely, if ever, a good or positive thing.  The first rebel was, of course, Lucifer, and we know how THAT turns out…  From what I’ve seen, heard, and read, rebellion just… isn’t something that should be lauded or praised (except in perhaps dire circumstances?).

Also, considering the present-day chaos of our world, is it right to view the status quo as what things really should be?  Or, ought we take the long view, and see today’s circumstances and conditions as the rebellion against Western Civilization, see things as but one battle in a centuries-long war?  I tend towards the latter, for as much as modern man wishes to break the bonds of history and tradition, he is still mired in a world crafted decades before he was born (it’s an undeveloped thought of mine that we are still caught in the post-Great War world, 100 years on).  His casting off of tradition stems from his pride and his arrogant belief that he can (re)make the world in his own image.

5 thoughts on “Rebellion?

  1. He wouldn’t be the first Catholic to use “rebellion” metaphorically in a positive light. For example, G.K. Chesterton, “when heresy is the norm, the only rebellion left is orthodoxy” or “He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative”.

    To say rebellion is good or bad first requires a solid definition of what rebellion is. Rebellion against God is unambiguously wrong; Rebellion against a legitimate authority generally also would be wrong. Strong opposition and rejection of secularism, Modernism, irreligious moral relativism may not truly be rebellion, but the term is suitable at least metaphorically. The modern culture would claim authority and allegiance, rejection of that certainly resembles rebellion (hopefully not to the point of armed conflict).

    1. Good points, D, good points. At some times, I think I’m being a little overly-sensitive with respect to this sort of thing. I just am wary about “rebellion” in one sphere being tolerated, and then having it spread – which would be bad, in my opinion.

      1. Ideas spreading can definitely bad, but the the core issue is what is rebellion and what are these Catholic “rebels” really doing when they say the feel like rebels for being religious etc in this secular cultural climate of promiscuous sexuality, intemperate indulgence, moral relativism. It bears the externals of rebellion (rejection and opposition of ideas, etc), but the internal spirit is oriented towards returning to the tradition and fidelity abandoned by the world rather than simple destruction of order.

        1. I’d be tempted to say that the return to tradition and order wouldn’t be ‘real’ rebellion. However, I think that stems from a particular use of the word ‘rebellion.’

          I agree with your comment.

          1. Rebellion is always “against” something; you cannot rebel in a vacuum. A return to tradition, etc wouldn’t be a rebellion so far as a restoration, but the outright rejection of the false modern culture would be a rebellion (per se). Ultimately, it comes down to semantics; a metaphorical sense of “rebellion” is certainly appropriate for that case. Whether any stronger meaning could be used validly is perhaps a matter of debate.

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