Coconut Generation

The Next Generation of Asian Indians

London Visit…reading The Shack August 16, 2008

Filed under: Youth — Sam George @ 6:43 pm
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I had a great time in UK… though it was short and really busy trip. I was speaking at a youth and family conference. It was great catching up with friends and making new ones. Many of the second generation issues are similar. Western culture has made profound cultural impact on the Indian second generation growing up in Europe. Yet, those kids are so different from kids growing up in North America. More on that later.

One of the highlight of the trip was that I got to read a new novel during the eight hour flight from Chicago to London and back. The preceeding week, Dr. T.V. Thomas (my mentor, the one who wrote foreword and guideded the research on the Coconut Generation) was in town and he gave me a new book called The Shack.

After a long time, I got to read an engaging and stimulating fiction. It is about seeing a human tragedy from an Eternal perspective. Author balances creative imagination with Christian theology. By avoiding simplistic consolation or reductionistic theological argument, author narrates a theological response to a seeminly catastrophic family incident.

But it is not without its share of problems. Controversy abounds in many circles. Trinity is never an easy subject to deal with and explain. Putting flesh and blood on God is problematic. Not to mention race  and gender (God the father is presented as an African American woman) biases are stirring up trouble in several theological circles. Some have deeemed the portrayal as erroneous.

Yet I found it as fascinating and soulful. Often stretching my imagination how Christian God looks at mundane earthly matters very differently. At times conversations are less dramatic and somewhat boring. It does not contain the drama and excitement of some of the modern fiction. May be we are used television and movie scripts more these days.

I am also amazed at the success of such narrative in main stream culture. It is among the national best seller lists. Now a movie is being made.  Western secularism devoid of spiritual insights are hungry for deeper and fresh reflections on theological themes.

Check out more about the book – www. theshackbook.com  Read a detailed review here. Enjoy reading it for yourself, but keep your thinking cap on!

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Illegitimate Children March 31, 2008

In 1960, 5 percent of all pregnancies occured to unmarried mothers. By 1999, percentage rose to 33. One in every three children born in America is born to unwed mother. In 1970 it was 10.7 percent and 1980, 18.4 percent and 1990, it was 28 percent. Latest CDC stat on birth to unmarried women stands at 36.9 percent, ie 1,527,034.

Contrary to conventional notion that most illegitimate children are not being born to teen mothers. Over the past four decades age of unmarried mother giving birth has risen from teen girls to twenties and now in thirties. Also it moved beyond black poor girls to well-to-do white and other migrant groups. See detailed stat by race from 1970 thro 2004 on unmarried childbirths in US.

Birth control revolution that was supposed to prevent unwanted pregnancies and allow peopple freely engage in sex without any fear. Inceasingly sex-driven popular culture and anti-marriage sentiment prevalent in America today has taken any stigma out of free format sexual activity. Growing promiscuity, Cohabitation etc are only making this problem worse. But all of it is not without any consequence as many would like to believe.

The term illegitimate children are no more in use and is considered oppressive. Out of wedlock childbirth is the more trendy usage these days. No matter how well we sugarcoat such bitter social experimentation or legislate new policies by the government, this moral crisis cannot be easily resolved. Personal sexual ethics have a larger social, cultural and political consequences. Unless we address the core moral crisis in America, nothing else we do will matter much!