They were raised to carry the fundamentalist banner forward and redeem America. But now the Joshua Generation is rebelling.
At 10 P.M. on a Sunday night in May, Lauren and John,* a young couple in the Washington, D.C., area, started an emergency 14-hour drive to the state where Lauren grew up in a strict fundamentalist household. Earlier that day, Lauren’s younger sister, Jennifer, who had recently graduated from homeschooling high school, had called her in tears: “I need you to get me out of this place.” The day, Jennifer said, had started with another fight with her parents, after she declined to sing hymns in church.
Three fellow soldiers in the American anti-abortion movement, Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition and a former Operation Rescue spokesperson; Brandi Swindell, the national director of Generation Life; and Michael McMonagle, founder of Generation Life, took their cause to China last week, where they were twice detained and eventually deported on Aug. 8 by Chinese officials for demonstrating in Tiananmen Square against abortion and religious persecution.
People for the American Way reports (PDF) on a conference call between religious right leaders including evangelical luminary and Prison Fellowship head Chuck Colson, the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins, Ron Luce of the militaristic teen ministry Battle Cry and pastors gathered at more than 215 sites throughout California, Florida, and Arizona. The call was designed to organize the pastors and urge them to throw the weight of their congregations against same-sex marriages and behind California's Proposition 8 ballot initiative.