Childhood, Guardian-Style

November 09, 2016

by Carl Trueman

The Guardian, that British bastion not merely of the bien pensants but of the très bien pensants, has exceeded even its own exacting standard for first-world problems this week. In an article that looks like a satire but is sadly in earnest, it outlines the fears keeping the children of the enlightened British bourgeoisie up at night.

One child lies awake, fretting about possible terrorist attacks—although, in good Guardian fashion, we are reassured that this is not because she is Islamophobic: “She is not at all frightened by any supposed Muslim threat—indeed, she is rather pro-Muslim.” Thank goodness for that. I was worried for a moment there….Another girl is all twisted up over global warming. A couple of kids are scared that they are going to end up as homeless refugees. A different pair worries about animals dying and the end of the earth. They have both become vegetarians and have made a How to Save the Planet game together. I suppose it beats the catapult and the broken windows of my own youthful indiscretions. And one boy is scared about a Trump victory and found Brexit so distressing (“the worst news my son had ever heard”) that he had to be calmed down before he could go to school that day. Ironically in an article designed to highlight how children are aware of the dark side of existence, that statement indicates just how clueless and, well, childish they typically are. And that should not be a problem—they are children after all. It only becomes a problem when their parents take them far too seriously. . . .

. . . . continue reading at First Things. 

Carl Trueman

Dr. Trueman (PhD, Aberdeen) is professor of church history at WTS.

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The Glorious Offices of Christ

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