“‘The youth of a nation,’ said [former U.K. Prime Minister Benjamin] Disraeli, ‘are the trustees of posterity.’ The future promise of any nation can be directly measured by the present prospects of its youth,” opened President John F. Kennedy on February 14, 1963, in a speech delivered to Congress on the state of the nation’s youth.
Using the rubric prescribed by the Camelot commander in chief, many Americans are rightfully concerned about the country’s “present prospects.” Our nation’s youth are slipping further into secular, humanist, atheist, socialist, and even Marxist worldviews.
The next generation is being groomed to hate America and reject the biblical worldview that built Western civilization.
However, the next generation of Americans is not a lost cause. Though they may be a small minority, principled, pro-family, and patriotic youth are in our midst, and they need encouragement. Through the dispersion of truth, education, kindness, and coaching, seasoned citizens can equip posterity for success.
The pathway forward is to observe the crisis within our youth, prescribe practical remedies, and, perhaps most importantly, never lose sight of hope by highlighting the bright prospects of America’s upcoming leaders.
Statistics: The State of Posterity
The traditional pillars of Western life — faith, church, marriage, and family — are crumbling. Churches are not engaging and retaining youth. Barna polling says 64 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds with a Christian background leave the church. That is nearly two-thirds of all church-attending youth in America. Perhaps this is due to an American church that pursues cultural relevancy rather than life-altering truth.
An even more alarming study from Arizona Christian University’s Cultural Research Center shows that only six percent of Americans have a biblical worldview that they apply to their decision-making. This is certainly caused in part by the decaying church.
The marriage rate and cultivation of families are tanking as well. According to the U.S. Census, there are now more 18-to-24-year-olds in America cohabiting with an unmarried partner than getting married. Compare this to 1968, when only 0.1 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds chose to live together unmarried rather than in matrimony.
How Did This Happen?
“As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live,” said Pope John Paul II.
Ronald Reagan echoed that principle in his 1985 State of the Union address, calling for “an America of wisdom that honors the family, knowing that if the family goes, so goes our civilization.”
The family is the greatest form of governance ever devised. It is the training ground for morality, self-control, and sacrifice. Family cultivates a place of belonging, mentorship, and community.
Good families cultivate good citizens; it is that simple.
The continual erosion and “redefinition” of the nuclear family has been a cancer in our country, and its destruction is one of the biggest contributors to our downfall.
Growing out of the death of the family, with unengaged or absent parents, the next generation is being groomed and inculcated with leftist propaganda every waking second of the day.
The promulgation of the LGBTQIA+ lifestyle, infanticide through abortion, too much access to brain-warping tech, and the glorification of casual sex through Hollywood and the media are silver bullets in the gun of spiritual warfare that is laser-focused on taking a kill shot at American families.
Most of this indoctrination seeps into our youth’s brains through the most successful government messaging institution to date: the public school system. According to the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), 55.2 million American children are enrolled in public schools. For comparison, 155 million people voted in the 2020 presidential election. That means that schools run, regulated, and funded by the government get to decide what information goes into the minds of one-third of potential voters’ minds during their most formative years.
It is high time to get our children out of public schools.
It Can Be Fixed
Hope is never lost, and there is a cure for our present disease.
Through the cultivation of healthy marriages, families, home education, mentorship, and church and community involvement, the wounds of America’s youth can be healed.
A great solution to the corruption of children’s minds is homeschooling.
Home education is increasingly popular, and the results speak for themselves. Apart from the individuality and respect for faith, family, and freedom that most homeschool parents implement in their children’s education, home-educated students typically score 15 to 25 percentage points above their public-school counterparts on standardized academic achievement tests.
Additionally, 78 percent of peer-reviewed studies on academic achievement show homeschool students perform statistically significantly better than those in institutional schools, according to NHERI.
Homeschooling is one of the best remedies for our current youth crisis. Families must be encouraged and supported in home-educating their posterity.
The John Birch Society has been an indispensable support for leading American families by providing educational materials and classes to students through FreedomProject Academy, a fully accredited, classical, online K-12 school. The JBS-affiliated academy is rooted firmly in the Judeo-Christian values evident in America’s founding documents, fulfilling JBS founder Robert Welch’s battle cry, “Education is our total strategy, and truth is our only weapon.”
What You Can Do
There is a three-part solution that you can implement today to save America’s youth: Pray locally. Serve locally. Mentor locally.
Pray for your community, the youth in your neighborhood, churches, and families. Prayer is a powerful tool, and the next generation needs frequent and fervent prayer.
Serve and volunteer for a youth ministry or organization. Many children can be reached through positive interaction and the generous gift of your time. Homeschool resources, co-ops, nonprofits, and local churches are great opportunities to reach youth.
Find a young person and mentor him or her. There are too many critics and not enough coaches. Seasoned citizens have much wisdom, experience, and skills to impart to the next generation.
Examples of Hope
Amid bad news, all too often negative and depressing narratives prevail in our conversations and reading. However, there are many young Americans who fear God, love family, and serve their country. Those stories should be told.
One example of our nation’s bright future is Marlee Newman, the son of TNA senior editor Alex Newman.
Marlee, age 13, is the treasurer for the Florida Federation of Teenage Republicans and helped organize and execute the organization’s annual conference and youth summit in Orlando, Florida, this past June.
The event welcomed hundreds of Americans to hear great speakers, including President Trump’s former National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn and famous political consultant Roger Stone.
Marlee introduced General Flynn to the audience and, before offering his remarks, the former Army lieutenant general grabbed Marlee’s hand and told the audience, “When I see young kids like this, they remind me of, not just my own grandchildren, but they remind me of what it is we are all striving to do, which is to protect our future, and this is our future right here.”
Another one of those great Americans is Daniel, a young man in his early 20s who uploads commentaries and rebuttals on political and cultural issues from a Christian conservative worldview. Daniel, a Floridian and former homeschooler, has an audience of more than seven million people on the popular social-media platform Instagram. Some of his most popular videos defend the unborn, debunk racial politics, and push back against the LGBTQIA+ agenda.
When asked by The New American if the United States is worth saving, Daniel responded:
I want to see America preserved because America is more than just a mound of dirt between two oceans. It is a diamond mine of freedom enjoyed by over three hundred million individuals. As an experiment in self-governance, America is a nation led by its people. Everyone is a leader, whether in political office or not, whether you are “political” or not. You are a leader in a nation run by “WE THE PEOPLE.”
The question we each must answer is: How are we leading? It is more than just a civic duty. It is a divine imperative. As Philippians 2:4 says, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests but also for the interests of others.”
Hence, political involvement should not be selfishly motivated. Caring for others means that I will look out for their freedom to keep their property by seeking lower taxes. I will look out for their freedom to walk outside without fear that a bomb will fall on their head by having a ready military. It means that I will speak up for those innocent children who are destined to die at an abortion center by banning facilities that make money off the deaths of babies. Those issues and many more are directly influenced by whether or not we, as believers, stand up in politics.
Daniel, a professing Christian, explained why faith is his main motivator for being involved:
But as a Christian, I also realize that politics does not save anyone. That’s why I view my political involvement as a platform for ministry. I am seeking to share the truth that can change the inward soul, not just outward actions. God can change the heart; the government’s gun can only stop it.
A third bright example of America’s youth can be found in the St. Louis Teen Eagles. Born in partnership with the late, great Phyllis Schlafly, Teen Eagles exists to equip students with a biblical Christian worldview and a solid understanding of the United States’ founding documents from an originalist point of view.
In addition to worldview training, Teen Eagles endeavors to provide youth with the ability to lead, research, produce media, speak publicly, conduct orderly meetings, and develop social skills and professional mannerisms.
The student president of the St. Louis Teen Eagles, Ava Aschinger, told The New American why she loves America and spends her free time educating her peers on our nation’s exceptionalism:
I love America because it is rooted in biblical Christian values and principles. Yet today’s America is not the America that our Founding Fathers envisioned. Our founding ideals have been discarded and forgotten. For too many years, the American governmental system, family, educational system, healthcare system, and church have been manipulated, controlled, or destroyed. I want to help restore the foundation upon which this nation was built. God has significantly blessed this country, and I want to help preserve what He has created.
When asked about the role that faith plays in her personal mission, Ava shared that the Bible speaks to all issues in life and culture, and that disregarding its authority is not an option:
God is the strong foundation and the center of all things in my life. I believe the biblical Christian worldview should be applied to every area of life, including government, family, education, health, and the church. The Bible tells us in 1 Timothy 4:12 to set an example in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity even when we are young. I want to be a disciple of Christ by studying, knowing, and sharing the Truth. Only the Truth will set us free.
The Pathway to Victory
President Calvin Coolidge observed that “Little progress can be made by merely attempting to repress what is evil. Our great hope lies in developing what is good.”
What American youth need are mentors, not critics.
Our country’s youth do not have to be destined for darkness, degeneracy, and tyranny. Through the cultivation of faith and family, and an understanding of freedom imparted by the older generation, change can be made.
Invest in America by investing in America’s youth.
Originally published at The New American magazine.