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Boomer Legacy

Money and government - the materialist panacea.
The question, "What will my legacy be?" is one that should figure in every person's thinking about the future. Michael Kinsley, like me, an aging boomer, reflects on our generation and what it will leave to the future when - by 2029 - the last of us has moved on ("The Least We Can Do," The Atlantic, October 1, 2010).

Mr. Kinsley understands those who consider the boomers a generation of slackers, dodgers, and ne'er-do-wells. He doesn't agree, but he's not prepared to go to war over the matter. He's not so much concerned about what we've been as what we might yet become. He has a suggestion about the legacy of the boomer generation to the nation as a whole.

Mr. Kinsley is a true secular materialist, I'll give him that. The best he can think of for our generation to leave behind is a nation free of debt, to be accomplished by empowering government to impose estate taxes on just about everyone who inherits anything.

Money and government - the materialist panacea. The problem within the materialist worldview and agenda, however, is that, given our love of stuff and aversion to any government that thinks it knows better than we do how to use that stuff, Mr. Kinsley's boomer legacy is not likely to, well, materialize.

Michael Kinsley sees ours as a generation with failed hopes, and he wants to revive these. But the reason the boomer generation's hopes failed is because they were rooted in materialist aspirations and dependent upon human good intentions. The first of these would never have satisfied anyway, even if the last of them could have pulled it off.

Michael Kinsley is a dreamer. There is neither the will nor ability to leave the country debt-free by a people nurtured on getting-and-spending all their lives. Besides, even if we could achieve it, would that make Americans a happy, united, and moral people? Undoubtedly, no.

But in the Michael Kinsley vision of America, debt-free is more important than anything else he and I might work on together for the rest of our days. Well, I wish him well.

For Christian boomers like myself may I recommend a more enduring legacy? "I will cause Your Name to be remembered in all generations; therefore, the nations will praise You forever" (Ps. 45.17). However you pursue that agenda, to whatever extent or reach, you will add more to the future of the nation and the world than anything the materialist worldview might recommend.

T. M. Moore
T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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