Tag Archives: Elizabeth Bruenig

When Difference Doesn’t Divide

Many families probably have some version of the old rule: never talk about religion or politics.

I’m from the South and this axiom has helped me through many a family reunion. Sometimes, there are some topics that just are not worth getting into.

But then – sometimes – open, honest conversation about the things we hold dear is very much worth it.

Journalist Elizabeth Bruenig traveled to Texas last spring to visit with Joe and Daniel Aguilar: both life long Republicans and passionate Evangelicals. Joe, the dad, supports President Trump; Daniel, the son, does not.

Ms. Bruenig invited them to traverse this religious-political minefield together and they accepted the challenge.

Research has revealed a surprising continuity between older and younger evangelicals [with] young white evangelicals voting for Trump at roughly the same rate as their parents and grandparents.

But a fraction — less than 20 percent — didn’t, and Daniel was among them.

Most of us have been shaped by people we love and so it makes sense that consistent views about countless topics, including religion and politics, will continue across generations; we are inevitably influenced by the people who raised us. Young adults often embrace the values of their parents and grandparents uncritically because of the strength of familial ties. Because “this is who we are.”

As we mature throughout adulthood however, we question, challenge or even reject this generational family uniformity.

Discovering “this is who I am” while still respecting the power of “this is who we are” is the tricky journey of countless generations of young people.

Joe and Daniel Aguilar show us how to navigate these waters.

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