Here Is Your Revival

Several months ago, evangelical networks lit up with excitement in response to a revival on the campus of Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky.  On February 8, 2023, a routine chapel service at Asbury quickly transformed into a sixteen-day gathering of over 15,000 people per day. Led by Gen-Z students, the Outpouring gained national attention. Over 50,000 people traveled to Wilmore from all over the United States to witness continuous worship services on and around campus.

During this Outpouring, students made camp and were not forced to vacate.  Students were not brutalized by police. Students did not destroy property or call for violence. Students were not defamed or expelled.

In spite of the obvious stresses on supplies and security, authorities saw in this revival an opportunity for self-validation. Finally, God was awakening young people to obey and conform. National conservative media pounced upon the Outpouring to generate propaganda. Some claimed the Outpouring was a sign that God had taken sides in the Methodist Church schism.

Was the Outpouring a spontaneous awakening of obedience?  This upwelling of shared consciousness arose from common experience and trauma.  The students at Asbury, like the students demonstrating across America, belong to the first generation of adults born after 9/11: Generation-Z.

The dominant generation tells Gen-Z that Z stands for Zoomer.  This is a reference to the ZOOM telecommunications software, a very late development.  More accurately, the Z stands for zero-tolerance.

While zero-tolerance was the name given to the policy of kidnapping the children of immigrants at the border, its hypervigilance extends far beyond the frontier.  For Generation-Z, zero-tolerance means zero-grace, zero-privacy, zero-empathy, zero-freedom, and zero-hope.

These are students who never knew air travel without an electronic strip search, students who waited six months to get credentials to vote, who were tried as adults for throwing pencils, blowing spit-wads, and fighting with bullies, who were hunted and shot for wearing hoodies or playing hooky, who were forced to use transparent backpacks by adults who stockpile assault rifles, whose parents refused to let them read, learn, think, and speak lest they somehow become “woke.”

My 13-year old attends a public middle-school full of unused lockers. He carries no textbooks, only a networked Google Chromebook. His Chromebook is tied into an AI monitoring system that observes, evaluates, and judges everything he reads, posts, and writes. Use of the Chromebook is obligatory for all academic work yet also constitutes “consent” to be antagonistically monitored.  The software develops a profile of his character using algorithms trained on the psychology of murderers, school shooters, and terrorists. In the words of his assistant principal, one wrong word, one wrong website, and the police can arrest him and obtain a warrant to confiscate every piece of information technology in our home.

This is the 21st century surveillance state.  This is zero-tolerance.  Gen-Z knows no other world.

If a lifetime of Zero were not enough to create generational trauma, Societal Zero is structured within a context of limitless impunity for its creators: impunity for mass shootings, impunity for pollution, impunity for propaganda, impunity for invasion, impunity for sexual domination, impunity for insurrection, impunity for brutality,  impunity for mass incarceration, and impunity to remain in power until placed on hospice care.

Within this hypocrisy, bitter is called sweet and sweet is called bitter. Words are used to mean their opposite. Students demanding peace between two semitic nations are defamed as antisemitic. Students whose lives were considered a necessary sacrifice to protect the second amendment are defamed as terrorists.

The dominant generation considered students seeking spiritual healing at Asbury Chapel as harbingers of a new conformist revival. Their camp was celebrated.

Now we see other camps where the traumatized dare name the sin, the cannibal capitalism, the genocidal colonialism, the paranoid surveillance, the misogyny, the disproportionate violence, the ethnic and religious nationalism, the zombifying propaganda.   They demand and end to abuse.  The response is more abuse.

Why does Gen-Z not yield?  Why won’t they just go home?  Gen-Z has learned to adapt to Zero.  The students choose to endure suffering as the only remaining peaceful means to bring truth to light and achieve liberation.

Gen-Z is protesting more than Gaza.  It is protesting its own cultural genocide.

Dominant generation: Here is your revival.

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