You’ve seen those studies which show how Generation Next (ages 18-25) is becoming less religious, more tolerant, and less Republican?
Some students in Connecticut are disturbed by that. They want to buck the trend.
They are the next generation of the Christian Right:
Like its parent organization, the youth group — known as iFIC [Family Institute of Connecticut], an obvious play for the iPod generation — rejects abortion and same-sex marriage and supports home-schooling and sexual abstinence outside of marriage. Its members, largely Catholics or evangelical Christians, view public policy through the prism of their faith.
“We’re not ashamed of what we believe in,” said Michael Ruminsky, a 23-year-old from Hartford who will leave for seminary in August to begin his journey toward ordination as a Catholic priest.
Leah Thomas (below) is the Executive Director of iFIC.
… “There’s a silent majority out there,” said Leah Thomas, the group’s 23-year-old executive director. “They think maybe theirs is the only voice.”
Thomas, a graduate of Trinity College who now works in the Catholic campus ministry at the University of Hartford, has a soft voice and a gentle demeanor. “I’m an introvert,” she said.
But she speaks loudly when she feels the need. She was part of a pro-life student group at Trinity that published an alternative brochure for women facing an unplanned pregnancy. The brochures put out by the liberal women’s center on campus made no mention of adoption or post-abortion counseling services, both of which she viewed as grave omissions.
What’s the goal of the group?
… [Family Institute Executive Director Peter] Wolfgang envisions the day iFIC chapters will be as commonplace in Connecticut high schools as gay-straight alliances are today. “Right now, they’re years ahead of us,” he said of well-established politically progressive groups.
Swaying public opinion and building a generation of conservative leaders is the long-term goal. “It’s about the future of the pro-family, pro-life cause in Connecticut,” Wolfgang said, “and where this cause will be not just tomorrow but for the next 20 to 50 years.”
I don’t think the group will be that successful. Any group which preaches intolerance (whether based in religion or otherwise) never gains much traction in high schools. Most students are smart enough to stay away from groups like that. iFIC affiliates can exist in public schools, to be sure, but groups like that rarely gain as much traction as more inclusive, tolerant groups.
Also, when the passionate founder of these groups graduates, I predict many of these clubs will just die off.
That said, why does reading about this group disturb me so much…?