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This is Not the America My Generation Grew Up In

This is Not the America My Generation Grew Up In Nathan Bilow Invision for The North Face AP Images

Nathan Bilow/Invision for The North Face/AP Images

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR THE NORTH FACE - David Wise of Reno, Nevada member of the U.S. Freeskiing Team and his daughter, Nayeli Grace Wise, play around in his new competition uniform from The North Face, while in Aspen, CO this week preparing for the X-Games. Monday, January, 20, 2014 in Aspen, CO. (Photo by Nathan Bilow/Invision for The North Face/AP Images)

Brantly Millegan - published on 02/21/14

You won’t believe the new “alternative lifestyle” NBC is pushing in its Olympics coverage.

This is outrageous.

Is all our progress under attack?

In an article published earlier this week, NBC decided to use its exclusive platform for Olympics coverage to highlight the newest “alternative lifestyle.”

Here’s the description it gives in its article, “David Wise's alternative lifestyle leads to Olympic gold,” which profiles the U.S. freestyle skier:

“Wise is mature far beyond his years. At only twenty-three years old, he has a wife, Alexandra, who was waiting patiently in the crowd, and together they have a two-year-old daughter waiting for them to return to their home in Reno, Nevada.

“At such a young age, Wise has the lifestyle of an adult. He wears a Baby Bjorn baby carrier around the house. He also attends church regularly and says he could see himself becoming a pastor a little later down the road.”

What’s next? Is Wise going to remain faithful to his wife his whole life? Are they going to have more kids?!

This is not the America my generation grew up in.

In the America my generation grew up in, “traditional marriage” – that bigoted relic from medieval religion – was in steep decline. It was great if you wanted it for the insurance discount, but entirely optional for sexual relationships or even for raising kids.

And if you were ever so foolish to make such a big commitment to just one person (didn’t you know you’d both change?), don’t worry: in the America my generation grew up in, unilateral, no-fault divorce was easily accessible and widely practiced.

In the America my generation grew up in, our misogynistic biology had finally been conquered. Contraception was ubiquitous and nearly universally used. It was taught in schools and passed out for free. We had progressed so far that the federal government was finally able to force the last remaining religious crazies to start chipping in to pay for the liberation. Sex was free to be what we always wanted it to be: unrestricted pleasure without the burden of children.

In the America my generation grew up in, if, despite all your best efforts, your girlfriend still conceived a child, she could still choose to do what she wanted with her body – a choice that was made more than a million times a year.

In the America my generation grew up in, you didn’t have to grow up so fast. People weren’t expected to take responsibility in their 20s. How could they? They still needed to find themselves. While they were searching, they could live with their parents, fool around with friends, and even stay on their parent’s health insurance plans until they were 26.

Yes, yes, as some of the more level-minded readers out there will remind me, all of these cultural advances remain in full force. But stories like David Wise’s, especially when they’re given international exposure, represent a crack in the dike; they are glimmer of possibility that things might change.

Be vigilant! If Wise is any indication where things could possibly go in the future, then this is not the America my generation grew up in.

But perhaps that’s a good thing.

Brantly Milleganis an Assistant Editor for Aleteia. He is also Co-Founder and Co-Editor of Second Nature, Co-Director of the International Institute for the Study of Technology and Christianity, and is working on a M.A. in Theology at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity. He lives with his wife and children in South St. Paul, MN. His personal website is

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