This is the feeling of a generation that is frustrated by how differently you see the world from us. You, a generation led largely by conservative values. We would like to think that our differences are reconcilable, that we can work together in spite of them and that we can share the future together. But then reality hits us, and the double standards become all too evident.
If we had to name you, we might call you Billy Graham. On October 27, Mr. Graham paid to spread his message in a full-page ad on page 13 of The New York Times. The ad depicts Mr. Graham in black and white and shares his views:
As I approach my 94th birthday, I realize this election could be my last. I believe it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles…and pray with me that America will remain one nation under God.\n
What Mr. Graham is asking our generation is impossible. It is impossible because our generation understands the importance of separating God from politics. Because our generation has learned that if we had always voted on biblical principles, slavery would never have been abolished.
It's asking us too much because we understand that government cannot impede our choice to pursue happiness. That’s the reason our generation supports marriage equality. We understand that to give rights to a minority, when those rights do not undermine anybody else’s rights, is not only the right thing to do, it’s constitutional.
Our generation feels frustrated because we have inherited a world that often doesn’t make sense, and it is your generation—the one with enough economical resources and power to influence policies—that will affect every aspect of our lives.
If you truly believe in biblical principles you should recognize that the “every man for himself” philosophy should no longer guide our economy and our culture. This philosophy guided Wall Street for decades and led to the greatest class disparity in this country’s history.
Our generation also acknowledges that this country was founded by immigrants, still is a country of immigrants, and as long as freedom and opportunities flourish, will always be a nation of immigrants. We don’t want to slam the door of opportunities behind us, do we? That’s why self-deportation and building walls on our borders will not solve our problems. We know we can do better than that.
Our generation feels threatened every time you say you want to reverse Roe v. Wade. Even when the economy remains the number one issue you insist on bringing back something that was decided nearly 40 years ago. We believe that by opposing contraception and making abortion illegal at the same time you are opposing one of the most powerful cures for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a primitive version of compulsory reproduction.
We believe in science and therefore believe in all scientific evidence. That’s why we know that global warming is real and that we are responsible for it. We prefer not to leave this in God’s hands but to keep pushing hard for new and cleaner sources of energy that will keep our economy moving. For us, to invest in clean energy is not only right, it is also necessary to maintain the status of an innovative country and lead the world to a sustainable future.
This is the future our generation wants: one where everybody is welcome, where we work together in collaboration, friendly with the environment and respectful with our neighbors. We also believe Jesus would approve.
Our generation doesn’t need to be told how to vote on November 6. To us, the options are very clear. To go back or to look forward.