Pro-life is Cool
- Chris Stefanick
By Chris Stefanick
In many ways, coolness wasn’t a big help to adolescent development in the ‘80s and ‘90s. As a member of “generation Jeff Spicoli” (see “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”—or better yet, don’t see it!), drinking, messing around with girls, and skating by in school with a C- would have all been socially acceptable for me.
The ever-shifting parameters of “cool” drove hordes of teens to put grease in their hair in the ‘50s, sleep outdoors for three days in the mud at Woodstock in the ‘60s, wear bellbottoms in the ‘70s, and popularized disturbingly neon clothing in the ‘80s. Much like the wind, “cool” is hard to pin down, but its effects on youth culture are hard to miss.
Thanks to an early conversion to the Catholic faith, I wasn’t a casualty of cool. In high school I wore baggy pants, had long hair and had a rosary dangling visibly from my pocket. I could rip on electric guitar and knew every John Michael Talbot (a Catholic quasi-monk musician) song ever written. I wasn’t the norm. The fact that I was deeply religious and regarded as cool by my peers was an anomaly. And as a teenager I stood out like a sore thumb at pro-life demonstrations.