The Heart of the Matter: A Boom Blooms

Part 9 of 14 – This series of columns is based on the work of Fr. Chad Ripperger that analyzes the spirits of the past six generations and how those spirits have affected the Church.  We only ask that you consider whether his descriptions are true in a general sense, even if they do not describe you or people you know.

There was a demographic boom in America after World War II that produced the Baby Boomer generation, the largest generation in the history of the country.  During the 60’s, this generation would take on a new title, the Hippie Generation, not because all Baby Boomers became hippies, but because this subculture became so prominent. 

The hippies adopted the disordered values of the [earlier] Beat Generation, created their own communities, listened to psychedelic rock music, furthered the sexual revolution, and some of this generation used a variety of forms of drugs to experience altered states of consciousness. This generation came of age at a time when technology could indulge them through the various disordered activities in which they engaged.

Fr. Ripperger suggests that the hippie subculture more fully embodied the generational spirit that was present, but veiled, throughout the Baby Boomer generation.

The generational spirit of the Baby Boomer Generation is indocility through intemperance. Because the “Greatest” Generation indulged them and did not pass on the traditions of their fathers which required discipline and self-denial, the Baby Boomer generation was allowed to engage in various forms of intemperance. Aside from those who went to the Vietnam War, there was very little hardship in their lives except that which they ended up ascribing to their parents. (all quotes taken from Latin Mass magazine, summer 2012)

The “indocility” Fr. Ripperger mentions is the opposite of docility which is “the virtue by which a person is able to be easily led by someone who knows more or who is above him.”  And so it is that during this time the term “generation gap” arose and became common language as the Boomers became more and more estranged from their parents and all authority, including the authority of the Church.

Know this first of all, that in the last days scoffers will come to scoff, living according to their own desires. (2Peter 3:3)