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POINT: Young Life, a cult? Really?

Courtesy of Jonathon Gorny

Young Life leader Jonathon Gorny and sophomore Lewis Rogers take a break from having fun.

Cameron Kritikos, Sports Manager

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As October rolls around, high school students around the country look forward to Friday night football games, Homecoming, and fun hangouts with friends. Here at RB, October means Young Life, which in turn means the constant harassment of the club from students who call it a cult.

It remains a mystery how this rumor was started and where it came from, but it is completely false. A cult by definition is a system of religious or spiritual beliefs regarded by others as unorthodox, extremist, or false.


Young Life?

Young Life plays a large role in our everyday community. Every student, teacher, and administrator at RB has heard of Young Life one way or another. It’s hard not to. Announcements are made all week about the upcoming meetings. The students here at RB who are involved in Young Life are absolutely infatuated with the club.

How do those in Young Life feel when their club is called a cult?

“I just try to tell them not to judge something until they try it and that we would love to have them attend,” said Senior Nick Lazzara.

I attended the 1st club this past Wednesday, and I can tell you, there is nothing extremist about what they do. The night consists of singing, dancing, skits, and a religious theme. Unless dancing and singing aren’t socially acceptable, then it’s a fair assumption to say that Young Life is by no means a cult.

We are living in the 21st century, people. It’s time for everyone to wake up and stop judging what they haven’t tried. Young Life is a club of acceptance and friendship. They don’t judge anyone and accept people for their religious beliefs, no matter what they are.

Why is it then that they take constant bashing from our students?

You don’t have to like the club.  You don’t even have to show up. But is it right to bad mouth a club who has never forced anyone to come, a club where everyone is accepted, and a relationship with Jesus is promoted?

Almost everyone in Young Life loves the club and feels as if it is the highlight of their week.

“Young Life has been an absolutely incredible life changing experience for me. I’ve met some absolutely amazing people and I’ve learned so much about myself,” said Senior Mary Heer.

Maybe it’s time for us to look in the mirror. We might not like what we see.


5 Responses to “POINT: Young Life, a cult? Really?”

  1. Nicole Swift on October 19th, 2011 7:42 am

    Young life is not a cult
    Why would so many kids go to young life if it was a cult.Younglife is an amazing club/place where kids can let their walls down and just have a good time. So many students’ lives have changed because they went to young life and felt accepted or loved and thought they need to pass that on to others. This past week there were over 120 kids there I don’t know about you but if this was really a cult why would so many kids attend?
    I completely agree with Cameron 100%.Everything he wrote about was honest and truth.
    The only thing though I would say is that you should have interviewed kids that were not in young life because obviously nick and Mary are going to talk good about it, because young life is a huge part of there life.


    Jordan Krikie Reply:

    Cults never start off bad. They start off fun to draw new members in, and they never admit to being a cult. I’m not saying Young Life is a cult I’m just saying your reasons that they’re not don’t make a lot of sense.


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  2. Bradley Wilson on October 21st, 2011 12:33 pm

    right on Cameron!


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  3. Lauren Wienke on October 24th, 2011 3:50 pm

    Young Life should not be called a cult.
    People who call Young Life a cult have usually never gone to an event. My evidence is all the kids at RB who choose to label it a cult. Almost all of them have never gone to club, campaigners, or camp. However, many kids who would not consider themselves a part of Young Life have attended events such as 5th quarter (Young Life sponsored) and had a great time. The truth is, many students won’t even give Young Life a chance, therefore they have no expertise on the subject. If you want to judge Young Life, give it a chance first, or don’t say anything at all. My call to action is don’t call Young Life a cult without actually trying it out.
    My view on Cameron’s argument is that he is exactly right. His point is valid, however, it is biased. Clearly Cameron is a Young Life participant or supports Young Life somehow, which is great. However, his argument needed another side. He gave no example of the opinions of non-participants. It makes his argument weaker not having the opinion of the opposing side.


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  4. Educator on January 25th, 2012 9:01 am

    Thank you for your opinion Cameron. Although I think Young Life is a wonderful club for students, it is not welcoming to ALL students. To say that YL is a “club of acceptance” and they “don’t judge anyone and accept people for their religious beliefs, no matter what” is contradictory to the mission statement of, “We do not in any way wish to exclude persons who… practice a homosexual lifestyle from being recipients of God’s grace and mercy… We do, however, believe that such persons are not to serve as staff or volunteers in the mission and work of Young Life.” Clearly, gays are not welcome to join. There seems to be some hypocracy going on here. Unlike Young Life, ALL people are welcome to join the Gay Straight Alliance at RB, despite one’s sexual orientation, gender identity, religious beliefs, etc. Gay Straight Alliances across the country exclude no one and will continue to be welcoming and accepting to all students.


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POINT: Young Life, a cult? Really?