Recently, The New York Times asked six teens to describe what cancel culture “is really like.” Their responses show just how normal the term has become.
For many, it’s “basically a joke,” a word thrown around about anything and everything. That’s not surprising for a generation so plugged in and coming of age just as the term has reached critical mass. For others, “it’s a way to take away someone’s power and call [them] out for being problematic in a situation,” as one girl put it.
But that power element makes cancel culture dangerous. Canceling someone is less about holding convictions with integrity, than it is convincing a mob of peers to forever isolate someone else. And, who decides what’s canceled if not the powerful, which itself is subject to the changing whims of a moment’s majority? This isn’t about enduring truths or standing for what’s right.
These students have inherited a world with troubling public figures, celebrities, causes, and past sins, but no example of what to do.
This is an opportunity for Christians to show a better way forward.
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