In the upheaval that followed the tumult of 2020, one of the many things revealed was just how miserable modern life is. The rickety house of cards that is the post-war, consumerist way of life was shown to be both incredibly fragile and unsustainable as well as a radical departure from the natural, human way of life. God did not create us to have families comprised of income-earner 1, income-earner 2, and children farmed out to strangers with maximum economic efficiency. Such a way of life sounds much more like a Soviet dystopia than wholesome Americana. And the truth is that it is, and this is a truth that the shock of 2020 forced many people to recognize.
It may have become clear to you the conflict in American society was not merely over cutting tax rates 1% or 1.3% or marginally reducing unnecessary government programs, or other mundane partisan bickering between Democrats and Republicans, but rather the conflict in America is a spiritual war. As you see hideous monstrosities like Admiral Levine and William “Lia” Thomas on your television screens, the near-daily story of yet another kindergarten teacher grooming students into transsexualism and other perversions, and now, four dozen purportedly conservative Republican representatives voting to codify the abomination of sodomarriage, this is not merely a battle over political interests, it is a battle over whether the United States of America will be under the dominion of darkness and evil or whether it will acknowledge the King of Kings, Jesus Christ, and submit to His rule and reign.
There is one side, that desires to subvert and destroy the natural and traditional ways of life that have made life worth living and enjoyable, and have given men such purpose and meaning that they are driven to conquer entire nations, invent technological wonders, or launch men into the heavens. The other side seeks to maintain such ways of life and to return to those ways of life that God established for mankind that our enemies have damaged.
For decades, Americans were born into a system where families are fractured, the bonds between mother and father and child are severed at an early age, the child is thrown into an impersonal, Soviet-style, child-rearing factory called “daycare.” They then are shuffled off to a building that often architecturally resembles a prison, where they go to public school. For many years, school may have been a place where reading, writing, and arithmetic were taught, where the teacher even began the day offering a prayer to the Lord Jesus Christ! But over the decades the veneer masking the purpose of public education from its inception has worn off, and it exists primarily as a place to groom and indoctrinate children into modern, liberal culture.
For years, many parents had no idea what went on in schools. When you are born into a system where “this is just what everyone does” you have no idea how damaging daycare and public education are to the bond between mother and child. Most people have just not known any better. Why would they? But then the lockdowns happened. Mothers were now home with their young children. Despite non-stop, multi-billion dollar propaganda campaigns to push parents to view children as burdens to their narcissistic consumption (staying home with little Susie means no brunch with the girls for me!), the way God built moms started to win out. Many mothers have begun to realize that not only is staying home with their children a wash economically with the cost of daycare, it is vastly more rewarding and meaningful than filling out spreadsheets or sending emails all day for a boss that would replace you in a heartbeat.
This isn’t just speculation, there is data behind it. A report by the State of Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office (which set out to try and figure out why there is a severe labor shortage) analyzed in this thread showed that there is a direct correlation between a drop in labor participation and the rise in homeschooling that started with the pandemic, and has continued on after parents discovered the kind of things being forced on their children (anti-white racism, homosexuality, transgenderism, etc.) as a result of the lockdowns.
And according to the report, it isn’t just the bonds between mother and young child being reforged, but also the bonds between elderly parent and child. If you have an elderly parent that is in assisted living or a nursing home, you know just how expensive that care is. Before the 20th Century, there were no nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Elderly people no longer able to care for themselves were cared for by their children and grandchildren. This is the entire point of saving an inheritance for your children, and the reason in the Bible the eldest child received a double portion (Dt. 21:17). This is the reason that Jesus denounced the scribes and Pharisees, because they nullified God’s commandment to honor your father and mother and care for them in their old age with the double inheritance by spiting them and donating their nest egg to the Temple (Mark 7:11ff). The scribes and Pharisees tradition was a rejection of God’s law, just as they rejected God’s Law in human flesh, Jesus Christ.
God had established a way of life where the generation in their prime had a duty to care for the generation that they brought into the world and a duty to care for the generation that brought them into the world. The modern way of life, which came into being after God stupendously blessed America with unbelievable prosperity after World War II, destroyed those bonds, and the generations that basked in God’s material blessings gladly renounced those duties. Why do the dirty thankless world of caring for my senile mother, changing her diaper and cleaning her up, dealing with her dementia and fits of rage, constantly worrying if she got out of the house and lost, when I can have a bunch of total strangers making just over minimum wage do that instead? Out of sight, out of mind, I have 401k contributions and expensive vacations to think about, instead.
Such an attitude is abhorrent to both biblical Christianity and the basic structure of how God made the world. He made us to love and honor our parents, even when they sometimes do not deserve it. He made us to love and want the very best for our children, even when they’ve done nothing to earn it. Dumping our children and parents off for total strangers to care for so we can make even more money is at the core of most of our social problems.
It is fashionable for Millennials to unthinkingly put the blame for all of this on Boomers because it as their generation that watched living standards, economic prospects, and sociological statistics (like marriage rates, birth rates, etc) all decline rapidly. Every Millennial and Zoomer has the Boomer relative in their ear telling them “back in my day, we just worked hard and that got me where I am” not realizing that median wages peaked in the 70s and economic prospects for regular, middle- and working-class Americans have never been better before or since. The cold hard reality is they were born into an era of prosperity and whether they had the work ethic or not, they were born on third base while thinking they legged out a triple. But the other fact is the Boomer generation really did have that work ethic. They worked extremely hard for what they have. But every virtue is also its own vice, and their motivation to work hard and maximize their income potential had a downside. Mammon became their God. Those bonds between parent and child in either direction were severed because there was money to be earned. The Boomer did a cost/benefit analysis on natural affections between parent and child and determined the duties God had laid before them could be fulfilled with more economic efficiency by others. The Boomer outsourced both sides of the Fifth Commandment and the results ever since have been disaster.
Before we are too hard on that generation, we have to recognize this is the situation they were thrust into. They were born into an era of untold prosperity, into the economic golden age of America. They didn’t ask to be any more than my generation asked to be born into an era of economic stagnation and precipitous social decay. Yes, it was a test of faithfulness the Boomer generation failed, but given my own generation’s failure at the test we have been given, we would not have fared much better. Nevertheless, rather than navel-gazing and pointing fingers at who exactly is responsible, if we are going to turn things around, we have to diagnose what went wrong. Trading the natural family for a little bit more income might seem good when the getting is good, but now that we are making bricks without straw and millennial parents have to deliver Uber Eats on top of two full-time jobs just to pay the bills, it has become clear the tradeoff was never worth it. What does it profit a man to gain a retirement home in Florida or Arizona, but lose any hope of a good life for your grandchildren?
Today, the younger generations are being forced to make harder decisions about things that matter. What we took for granted and didn’t know any better (“everybody has always had working moms! Of course you send the kids to daycare and public school!”) Is now being openly questioned by more and more people. But it is important to know what we are up against. This is, again, after all, a spiritual war. People who worship demons do not want regular people to have families. Our entire economy is designed for young people to not form families but rather be rootless, atomized consumers. Why have kids when you can go see the latest Marvel movie or throw axes at a gimmicky bar or have margaritas in Cancun? When people do eventually decide to marry and have their 1.2 children, the powers that be have so reduced the median income relative to cost of living that many people could not survive on one income even if they wanted to. And once you are in the two-income trap, it is incredibly difficult to dig out of. You are forced to make serious sacrifices in order to have a family.
But if you understand that this is not merely a question of what economic policy is better, but at its most fundamental level a spiritual war between Jesus Christ and Mammon, and that the sacrifices you make are not merely economic ones but rather spiritual ones, you will be empowered to do what you must. Staying home and raising little ones, staying home and caring for elderly, infirm parents these things are spiritual warfare against the usurious worshipers of Mammon. It is painful, but God is forcing us into undoing the curse of the Boomer generation. He is forcing us to re-forge the bonds between us and the generation that is preparing to depart this world and between us and the generation that has just entered the world. This is a death and resurrection. There is pain, but there is goodness and glory on the other end. This is how Christ tears apart the old world and remakes a new and better one. Devote yourselves to your children. Forgive your parents and show them the love and the respect God commands you to give that they might not even deserve. Do these things and Christ has promised to bless you (Eph. 6:1-3). And not only will He bless you, but through these dedicated acts of devotion He conquers the world.
Andrew Isker is the pastor of 4th Street Evangelical Church in Waseca, MN. He is a graduate of Minnesota State University and Greyfriar’s Hall Ministerial Training School, and he has served churches in Missouri, West Virginia, and Minnesota. He is the author of the forthcoming book, The Boniface Option. Andrew, his wife Kara, and their five children reside in his hometown of Waseca, MN. He can be found on Gab @BonifaceOption.