Millennial Generation: Interview with Tim Jung

21 Feb

Welcome to the fifth installment of the Millennial Generations Series.

I had the distinct pleasure of talking with Tim Jung, a 24 year old white male, currently in a Ph.D program for philosophy at U Southern Ill. Tim grew up Catholic and went to Seminary for two years to become a priest.  “Culturally I can’t get rid of the Catholicism, so I would identify as a progressive Catholic, but I don’t go to church anymore. I usually avoid questions about religion or God.  God is such a complicated issue especially with all the evil in the world (I say evil with a lower case e). “ While talking with Tim, one is impressed with both his intellect and his acute desire NOT to be an arrogant person, as I have omitted many of his self-effacing comments.


Politics is a bit tricky for me; it could be because I’m a middle/upper class white guy with a grad school education. It is hard for me to be sympathetic to either party.  I don’t see the Democrats as actual progressives—it is hard for me to see the differences between the two parties. I think they are both steeped in problematic dealings—I don’t hear the voices of the people. I guess the Republican Party is the more religious party.  I guess I identify myself as a progressive and that both parties are corrupt.  Republicans you know you will get screwed, and Democrats you will get screwed in a different way. I had held out a lot of hope for Obama.  There should be a better progressive party in the U.S.

LGBT Issues

I would like to say that I’m more hopeful for my generation. I think my generation has more tolerance for people with different gender issues, but there is a current of religious backlash against LGBT issues. I think it is crazy that even being supportive of LGBT issues would be considered as progressive. Being amidst the Catholic seminary and with people my age it shocks me that being gay is still an explosive issue. My hopeful statistic is that 70 to 80% of my generation would be supportive.  I don’t think that racism, homophobia, and transphobia will ever disappear. Of course, I’m not going to hang around some asshole that would not be accepting of someone gay. I don’t think it is a progressive issue. It is a very simple issue. I don’t care about your religious views, but then again I’m educated. Maybe if I had a different upbringing I would not have such a positive attitude—I don’t know how much ignorance will continue to breed.

Frame of Reference

I think 9/11 was blown out of proportion since America had never really experienced such an attack, excepting Pearl Harbor; in that respect it was a big deal–and it certainly was a tragedy that all of those lives were lost in the planes and in the towers. I don’t want to minimize the tragedy, but my point would probably be that 9/11 wasn’t as big of a tragedy when compared with the hardships of other nations–even at the hands of countries like America.

Biggest Anxiety

I don’t know. I guess my biggest anxiety is money. How am I going to have money while in grad school. There is no one prevailing anxiety. Well worrying about  friends and family—worrying about loved ones.

Biggest Dream

I don’t know. I’m trying to think, this is the hardest question for me. I can bullshit everything else because of my philosophy degree. Maybe getting some reform—but that is not my biggest dream. That I live a happy and fulfilling life would be my biggest dream, but that seems selfish– that America changes its policies and removing corporations from influencing the government. Better human rights and living conditions for everyone.  There is so much wrong with the world. There is so much it won’t ever get fixed.

What do you want to be known for—your indelible mark?

I don’t know. I am going to be a teacher. I want to have a good influence over my students in a way that is not overpowering or fascist. I want to help others figure out who they are, but I want to be in the background—helping others think, and not forcing others to comply with something because I like it.

What do you want your generation to be known for?

I don’t know. I want my generation to be a little more sensible, that sounds so terrible to say, but you have these Tea partiers that don’t know what they are doing. I hope my generation never gives birth to a Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly, but that is probably wishful thinking. I hope we are more willing to work with one another. That we are willing to see more sides to the picture, especially when it comes to religious views. I don’t want a preacher to tell me what the bibile says when he does not know what the word hermeneutics means. We need more education and more dialogue with each other.





7 Responses to “Millennial Generation: Interview with Tim Jung”

  1. Jennifer February 21, 2011 at 7:28 am #

    I love that you interviewed Tim!!!

  2. jenny68 February 21, 2011 at 8:27 am #

    Michael- let’s get all of your millenials together and film them. Wouldn’t that be amazing?As a group together they would be so powerful.
    I’m in to donate for some plane fares. I think these young people are outstanding.

  3. Jenny68 February 21, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    One thing they all have in common is that they cannot understand the blatant stupidity of homophobia. That gives me HUGE hope-

  4. webwordwarrior February 21, 2011 at 9:47 am #

    Great interview, Tim & Michael. This series has really reassured me. First, about what our generation might accomplish; second, that I am not alone in still finding my way.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt February 21, 2011 at 10:22 am #

      You are a good group of people–let’s hope there are a great many activists in your generation.

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