Real Talk

Why Many Of The Youth Today Are Mad At Religion

It sounds a little concerning why many of the youth today are mad at religion. But there’s always another perspective to consider.

One of the few things that annoy the youth of today—be it a millennial, Gen-Z, or Gen-Alpha—is the answer to a question: “Because God made/said it so”. As generations that favor explanations, processing, and debate—millennials, zoomers, and alpha kids find themselves annoyed with the older generations who use God as an explanation for everything. But there are more reasons why the youth are mad at religion.

Religion in Philippine History

For a short recap, religion played a big role in allowing the Spaniards to conquer the Philippines. Considered benevolent assimilation, Spaniards converted many of the natives to Christianity. However, as time progressed, priests, bishops, and many of the higher seats in the Church began to wield political power. And although there’s a law that separates Church and State today, the use of divine power somehow still serves “ending” for any and every argument.

Religiosity in the Filipinos: Where did it go wrong?

Some of us have probably given up on trying to drag our kids to attend mass with us. But before we try again, we need to ask ourselves: are we really living out our beliefs as the faithful? Or, are we just doing lip service? A lot of times, the youth see the older generation as just doing lip service. The youth have seen many of the older generations go to church. Yet upon returning home, they see that humility, forgiveness, and kindness are all a farce as gaslighting, guilt-tripping (in the form of teaching the child to be grateful), and backstabbing immediately begin again.

Religious Trauma: Religion As A Baseball Bat

Unfortunately, it just so happens that many Filipino families rely heavily on religion as a source of reasoning. Religion became one of the most common explanations why the LGBTQIA++ are discriminated against. Because of Leviticus 18:22, the LGBTQIA++ find themselves abandoned and cast away from their own families. Believing their parents saying “we’d love you no matter what” only to find out they’d abandon them because of their religious beliefs, it’s no surprise the younger generations would be furious. Their parents practically lied to them in that sense because “religion” became the one matter that apparently stops their parents from loving them.

Another is how Proverbs 13:24 appears to justify corporal punishment. “Spare the rod, spoil the child”, it says. It sounds crazy but some Filipinos actually still use this.

How can we do things better?

“Teach by example” is the best way to show them. And one of them may be to apologize for all the times we refused to listen because their beliefs differed from our religion. This however doesn’t mean completely accepting everything they say—but at least it will leave room for discussion. While there is some room for “blind faith”, it doesn’t mean being blind to those we’ve hurt because of our faith.

Besides, all religions seem to revolve under one rule: “Be kind.”

Filipino Youth of Today: “We love God. But we hate his fans.”

How else do people learn about God/Allah? They learn by watching and interacting with those who believe in Him. Religion is defined as “one’s version of the Truth” and if the youth see that those following that truth are discriminating and self-righteous, they wouldn’t engage in something that’s considered shameful. While we shouldn’t blame a whole institution for the mistake of one, all it takes is one loud member of that institution to twist and turn a belief to destroy its philosophy and reputation.

What are other things that need work and changing? Here are some stories:

Gaslighting: What It is and How Parents Can Avoid It
Defining What’s Toxic in Filipino Families and How to Change That
How Utang ng Loob Made Filipino Families Toxic

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