What's happening to the kids

From The Empty Chair by Fr. Rob Johansen,
The most popular kind of music among young people today is "gangsta rap", which glories in violence, degradation, and exploitation. It assaults the very idea of social bonds. One of the biggest fads today is body piercing: It's no longer enough for some people to wear one or two, or even three earrings, but now some young people pierce their noses, their eyebrows, their cheeks, and even less mentionable parts. But it goes even farther, to things like branding, or something called "tongue splitting", in which people have their tongues surgically split in two, so as to resemble that of a snake. A serious problem among young women today is "cutting": these girls cut themselves deliberately, mutilating their bodies.

All of these kinds of self-mutilation, all of this degradation, is symptomatic of something. It didn't just come out of nowhere. These things are symptoms of deep emotional and spiritual pain. According to pychologists and therapists who have worked with these young people, the thing that is universal among them is a feeling of total disintegration, a feeling that the world is meaningless, that their lives are meaningless. They feel that everything is random, and nothing really matters. Another thing these young people have in common is rage: uncontrollable, almost inexpressible rage. And these feelings of meaninglessness and rage are so overpowering, so overwhelming, that the only way they feel they can get relief is to inflict physical pain on themselves.

But one of the greatest reasons for this underlying sense of meaninglessness, for this rage among so many young people, among the "Gen-X'ers" (those who are under 30), is the fact that our young people, those under 30, as a Gen-X'er recently wrote, are the first generation that our society has systematically tried to wipe out through the holocaust of abortion. If you think I'm exaggerating, if you think I'm being "extremist" by saying something like that, consider this: since 1973, when abortion was made legal by the Supreme Court, we have killed 38 million children through abortion. 38 million! That's more people than Hitler and Stalin managed to kill.

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