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Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Secularism to Blame for Young Adults Ignoring Stay at Home Orders

cameron cole

Media, government leaders, and adults have all expressed a great deal of frustration with the young people’s lack of compliance to social distancing during the Coronavirus Crisis. States shut down their beaches after pictures surfaced of college-age spring-breakers flooding the coastline in full violation of social distancing recommendations. Government leaders, healthcare authorities, media outlets, and the President of the United States himself have warned and implored young people to obey the quarantine regulations, if not for themselves, then for the sake of the vulnerable. Many in the media have expressed outrage that many (if not most) young people have completely ignored the mandates. 

My question for  is this: why are you surprised by their defiance? After all, they are being faithful followers of the prevailing pop-religion, “You Do You,” fed to them frequently through various media and institutions. With all authenticity, they are being “true to themselves.” They embody the sacred maxim, YOLO – You Only Live Once. 

“You Do You” combines radical individualism with moral relativism. This pop religion  involves each person developing and dictating his or her own ethical framework with individual happiness comprising the highest aim. After the these individual determinations, “being true to yourself” constitutes the real measure of virtue. 

To the extent that this incoherent moral system considers others, the primary rule involves supporting and enabling other people to be true to themselves. Whether that involves sexuality, gender, or other forms of self-expression, the primary responsibility of mankind and deepest promotion of human flourishing means affirming every person’s pursuit of authenticity. Intolerance — or not affirming another person’s self-engineered norms for ethics and self-expression — remains the carnal sin of the pop religion. You simply cannot resort to moral absolutes, whereby you tell a person what to do or suggest that their standards of self-expression may be harmful to themselves or society. 

Now we have a healthcare crisis on our hands, which requires virtually every citizen to think collectively. Even if we are young and healthy, we all absolutely must quarantine. We have to put the needs of the elderly, the immunocompromised, the diabetics, and those with respiratory conditions above our personal freedoms and wants. We must die to a “me first” individualism and comply for the greater good. Lives are at stake. 

Many young people, however, mainly those out from under parental supervision, just don’t seem to get it. They just don’t seem to care. They will not comply. 


The Coronavirus Crisis creates an opportunity for our education on biblical ethics for our kids. Here are three steps I recommend taking:

(1) Point out the intellectual incoherence and pragmatic unworkability of moral relativism and “you do you” ethics.

We should never demean people; ideas, however, are fair game. Moral relativism is philosophically asinine and intellectually bankrupt. It sounds very appealing at the fleshly level, but objective reasoning demonstrates that moral relativism taken to its furthest extent ends in self-destruction, self-absorption, and anarchy. 


Our resistance to ethical action reflects a lack of trust in authorities, namely God. When the now infamous spring-breaker said, “If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I’m not going to let it stop me from partying,” his statements reflected mistrust. The authorities are against me and my desire to have fun. All sin contains a belief that God is against us and is holding out on us. 

We should show kids that God gave us his law because he loves us and wants the best for us. Furthermore, God not only desires the best for us as individuals, he desires the best for all of society. God desires shalom, flourishing, and wholeness for the whole world. 

Let’s tell kids that our obedience to God’s law through the power of the Holy Spirit and out of faith in his grace are a part of something bigger: that obedience is part of God blessing and redeeming the world.

Cameron Cole, Rooted Ministry, The Ethical Lesson for the Young in the Corona-Crisis, April 16, 2020


  1. Avatar

    I guess he didn’t notice all the churches that kept holding services.
    And telling everyone to tithe, dammit, tithe!

    Or maybe he’s just a dipshit.
    Yeah, let’s go with that.

  2. Avatar
    dale M

    Another day … another jerk. Its kids of all sects. Its their youth. I get it. Yet, some evangelicals R encouraging their congregations to get out their and mix … for the exact opposite reason. This is a typical Donald Trump response … “I’m not responsible …. God is”. Does this guy never tune in to what’s happening around him ?

  3. Avatar
    Karen the rock whisperer

    I love to see “moral relativism” hauled out and waved around, as though the details of morality as defined by that person’s church don’t differ from those of other churches in the same religion, and certainly not from historical moral values of the same religion. But no sirree sir, Christians are in possession of Objective Morality!

    Newsflash, dude: there ain’t no such thing as objective morality.

    The reluctance of some people to take the virus seriously and modify their behavior for the benefit of others is less about morality and more about resistance to accepting the need to change their lives radically. According to the anecdotes I’ve read, that resistance cut across almost all social divisions, including age. The Public Health Director of Santa Clara County in California, who spearheaded the state’s (and nation’s) first shelter-in-place directive, understood full well that people would be reluctant to adjust their lives as much as was necessary, and that they’d need government to convince them.

    As for not trusting authority, there is much to be gained by knowledgeably mistrusting authority (like turfing out the Toddler-in-Chief come November). Under-educated and misguided Christians trusting the authority of their pastors’ opinions are part of what got the US into the trouble we’re in now.

  4. Avatar
    Charles S. Oaxpatu

    I was an undergraduate college student for 5 years. Cameron Cole gives college students (ages 18-22) way too much credit for complex philosophical thinking and adherence in their personal lives. My college friends were the super-smart intellectual people who made consistently high grades—like me. To the best of my recollection, I did not have any defined philosophy of life that I adhered to at that age and neither did any of my college friends. Therefore, I very much doubt that these college kids who recently went to the beaches on spring break had any of this conscious philosophical bullshit of Cole’s going on in their lives. Most kids that age—all over the world—-feel young, energetic, and invulnerable and want a break from college life, which is all inside and filled with studying. Goodness sakes!!! Everyone needs a vacation every once in a while—and kids this age also tend to be short on considering the implications of their actions, which—like the invulnerability issue—is just inherent to the stage of growth and development they are in at that age.

    All of that said, I am officially calling “bullshit” on Cole’s philosophical analysis. And you know what, I bet he did not talk with a single 2020 springbreaker before writing this piece of armchair bullshit. It is just like the Christian Fundamentalist and Conservative Evangelical preachers who offer up lists about why the kids raised in their churches get unhappy with their churches and abandon them. The preachers pull these lists out of their own hind ends—often times without even talking to the kids about why they are leaving and what is making them so unhappy. The few that do talk with the kids have one thing in common. They do not listen to the kids when they talk and do not take what they have to say seriously. It goes right into one preacher ear and straight out the other preacher ear—and the preacher goes right back to the wrong list he pulled out of his own hind end—and the answer is always the same. “We need to double-down, triple-down, and quadruple-down on pounding right RIGHT DOCTRINE and the FUNDIE RULES into the heads of these kids. And, of course, that is just going to drive the kids even further and farther away from their churches.

  5. Avatar
    ... Zoe ~

    Cameron Cole: “[…] and the President of the United States himself have warned and implored young people to obey the quarantine regulations, […]”

    Zoe: I can’t take anything CC says seriously after reading this line.

  6. Avatar
    Brian Vanderlip

    Evangelical Groupthink just makes me see Walking Dead images in my head, zombies dressed up for church, zealot-glazed eyeballs searching for victims to ‘help’. And is Cameron Cole’s hair real? It looks like somebody painted it on in pretty, flowing globs…. what is that effect called? Like its airbrushed or something…
    Changing patterns in our lives due to Covid-19 is not easy at all, not simple for party teens or preacher thugs. Teeny boy parties on the beach and thug-pastor opens the doors of HIS church because GOD. Change is not easy.
    We have this amazing Provincial Health Officer in B.C. called Bonnie Henry. Dr. Henry updates us daily on all things Covid-19 in B.C. She has this deleriously calming voice and I truly think she might be one of those very rare emotional geniuses, the knd of individual that takes diplomacy to a whole other level of real and somehow conveys the truth of scientific wisdom even when baited and peppered with shallow questioning, political maneuvering. She elevates the discourse somehow, every day. The other day she ended her update with something like: “Be kind, be patient, be safe.” If Christians would just try that out too, then I would not fret over November coming.

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