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Sunday, January 23, 2022

OPINION:

This week while President Biden’s senility and Dr. Anthony Fauci’s lies continued to bump and swirl around in the toilet bowl of our daily news, another headline caught my attention. It was that of the Green Bay Packers all-star quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his recent comments about Christianity, and how those comments have “left him feuding with his family.”

In a podcast with his former girlfriend, Danica Patrick, Mr. Rodgers was asked when his views on religion began to shift. “During high school for sure,” he answered. “I had two groups I was going to, my church on Sundays and to Young Life on Mondays, and Young Life welcomed everyone. [We came] ready for some fun, and it was fun. We had a great time. Church on Sundays, [on the other hand] was … very black and white in a binary sense, but [not] very welcoming. Religion can be a crutch. It can be something that people have to have to make themselves feel better.” Rodgers then summarized, “I don’t know how you can believe in a God who wants to condemn most of the planet. … What type of loving, sensitive, omnipresent, omnipotent being wants to [do that] at the end of all this?”


According to People magazine, Mr. Rodgers’ father and mother were hurt by his comments and considered them disrespectful. “To them, his comments were a slap in the face. … It’s basically him turning his back on everything they taught him,” said an insider. 

There is so much to this story. 

It’s a story of duplicity — a two-faced tale of someone who disparages binary rules while oblivious to the fact that his own profession would be impossible without them.

It’s a story of shallowness — a sad report on the state of today’s evangelical “youth groups” and their elevation of fun over the facts. 

It’s a story of failure — a headline of the Church’s miscarriage of catechesis and its negligence to train up the next generation of believers. 

It’s a story of arrogance — of a cock-sure man who would rather worship the God he wants rather than the God who is, someone with the conceit to condemn his creator for condemning, a pot-of-a-person who dares to challenge the Potter’s work and wisdom.

Finally, and perhaps foremost, this is a story of disrespect, one that screams of the chronological snobbery of a football player who apparently thinks he’s oh-so-much smarter than his mom and dad (or Peter, Paul, James and John, or even Jesus for that matter).

I could go on and on, but the bottom line is this: This is a story of millennial hubris. It’s a story of what our nation has become.  

This past week I was reading from the book of Proverbs, and I was struck by how many times Solomon says that a wise man honors his father. 

“Listen my son to your father’s instruction.”

“My son, if you accept my words … and listen closely … you will … discover the knowledge of God.”

“My son, don’t forget my teaching … then you will find favor with God and with people.”

“Listen, my son, to a father’s discipline. … Don’t abandon my teaching.”

“My son, pay attention to my words. … Don’t lose sight of them. Keep them in your heart.”

“My sons, listen to me … listen and be shrewd, you who are inexperienced … listen, for I speak of noble things.”

Do you think that maybe there’s a reason for this repetition? My land, it is one of the Ten Commandments, after all! 

Scripture tells us over and over again to “honor” those who have come before us. Whether political, theological, moral or ecclesiastical, every decision we make should be one of respect and humility before our fathers, our Founding Fathers, the Fathers of the Church and ultimately to our Father in heaven. 

Every day, I become more and more convinced that one of the primary sins of our time is the dishonoring of our parents. We have raised an entire generation to think that anyone five minutes older than them is an ignorant fool. We now live in a nation of 30-something adolescents who disparage the founders of our country and who smirk at the patriarchs of the faith. Ours is now a culture of smug snowflakes who think their new ways are always better than the old. Our courts, our Congress, our corporations and, yes, our sports, are awash with a bunch of perpetual children who would rather have fun than acknowledge the facts, a bunch of 40-year-old know-it-alls who think everyone six months their senior is stupid. 

At the very time “our fathers” ways are being proven right over and over again in spades on nearly a minute by minute basis, we have a country of chronological snobs, who are so fixated at gazing at their own navels that they can’t see the house is afire, that they’ve lit the match and that they’re in it.

• Everett Piper (dreverettpiper.com, @dreverettpiper), a columnist for The Washington Times, is a former university president and radio host. He is the author of “Not a Daycare: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery) and, most recently, “Grow Up: Life Isn’t Safe, But It’s Good.”


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