Religious leaders are not typically known for being progressive. Most of the time, they are the epitome of conservative. Simply put, they often represent restrictive values and outdated perspectives.
Yet, it appears we have finally found a religious figure who does not view logic and science as threats to his faith and beliefs. Pope Francis of the Catholic Church has continuously proven to be a champion of tolerance and rational thought.
Let's face it, the Catholic Church has typically been seen as corrupt and anachronistic, but this pope has been a breath of fresh air since his election in March 2013.
Accordingly, it's no wonder that he won Time's Person of the Year Award in 2013.
Additionally, Pope Francis recently made what has been viewed as a very substantial move by publicly supporting the notion of evolution and the Big Bang Theory. Science has often been perceived as being at odds with religion, but this pope just proved it doesn't have to be this way.
Furthermore, it seems that the beliefs and views of Millennials often coincide with public statements made by the pope. Likewise, you don't have to be religious to agree with many of his convictions. He is truly a man of the people.
Here are 8 quotes from Pope Francis that prove he's really a Millennial at heart:
1. "If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?"
Millennials have consistently shown to be proponents of same-sex marriage. As members of the largest and most diverse generation in American history, Millennials are incredibly tolerant. After all, who are we to judge?
2. "True charity requires courage: Let us overcome the fear of getting our hands dirty so as to help those in need."
Millennials are fervent believers in community service. Despite the fact that this generation is often characterized as lazy, Millennials volunteer more than any other generation. Simply put, they are exceptionally socially conscious, and believe that protecting the vulnerable and needy can bring about a better world.
3. "If money and material things become the center of our lives, they seize us and make us slaves."
Millennials refuse to let money dictate their lives and happiness. Indeed, a recent study revealed that a majority of Millennials would rather make $40,000 a year at a job they love than $100,000 a year at a job they hate.
Not to mention, 87.5 percent of this generation completely disagreed with the statement, "money is the best measure of success." Comparatively, only 78 percent of the entire country disagreed with the statement.
In essence, Millennials realize that true wealth is a product of one's experiences and contributions to the world.
4. "My thoughts turn to all who are unemployed, often as a result of a self-centered mindset bent on profit at any cost."
Millennials can definitely sympathize with anyone who has ever been unemployed. When it comes to unemployment, no generation has had it as bad as Millennials for 50 years.
Indeed, 40 percent of all the unemployed workers in the US are Millennials. This is precisely why this generation cares so much about giving back to society, as it wants to ensure that future generations do not have to face the same hardships.
5. "Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system."
Over 80 percent of this generation believes that too much power has been placed in the hands of a few big corporations. Correspondingly, nearly 90 percent of all Millennials are more likely to buy from a company if they support solutions to specific social issues and causes.
Furthermore, a majority of this generation believes that employers should contribute to social and ethical causes.
When it comes down to it, Millennials believe that giving is far better than receiving. Simply put, this generation desires equality.
6. "Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude."
Millennials are extremely concerned about climate change, as they should be. After all, we only get one earth. Thus, we have to preserve it for the sake of future generations. This planet is a gift, and we must care for it accordingly.
7. "We are living in a time of many wars... The call for peace must be shouted. Peace sometimes gives the impression of being quiet, but it is never quiet, peace is always proactive."
The United States has been involved in numerous wars throughout its short but remarkable history. Today, there are a number of bloody conflicts raging in various parts of the world, some of which America is currently engaged in.
Millennials would rather see their country engage in diplomacy. In fact, two-thirds of this generation believes that relying on military force in foreign policy generates hatred that ultimately leads to more terrorism.
As the generation that grew up through 9/11 and the War on Terror, it's not surprising that Millennials want to foster a more peaceful world.
8. "The young person is essentially a non-conformist, and this is very beautiful. It is necessary to listen to young people, give them places to express themselves and to be careful that they aren't manipulated."
Millennials are definitely opponents of conformity. They are less likely to get married, less religious and wary of political institutions. This does not mean that this generation is disengaged and uninformed, however. On the contrary, Millennials are very active when it comes to social causes, and extremely vocal about issues that concern the globe.
This generation is driven by social activism and a dissatisfaction with the status quo. It's not lazy and narcissistic, it simply has strong ideals and has relinquished attachments to antiquated views of the world. Millennials are unapologetically optimistic. Where previous generations see obstacles, Generation-Y sees possibilities.
As the largest and most racially diverse generation in American history, Millennials have an immeasurable capacity to change this country, and the world, for the better.
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