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Why Do We Hate the Suburbs?

Posted on May 7, 2013 by in Cities | 0 comments

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Suburbs have been getting a bad rap for a while now. But recently, Anthony Bradley struck a nerve in his probing post on the dysfunctions of Evangelical twenty-somethings. He blames two salient ideas: the “missional narcissism” of the Radicals and the anti-suburban dictates of the Metro-Evangelicals. Both trends are animated by the conviction that the comfortable, consumer-driven suburban life of the previous generation of Evangelicals was a travesty. The young people Bradley is encountering are paralyzed for fear they will recreate their parents’ lifestyle choices and hold down hum-drum jobs in a peaceful ‘burb.

Bradley, while spurring these young folks to action, did not actually defend the suburban lifestyle—chiding the “lukewarm Christians” living in “safety, comfort, and material ease” there—he just thought the Radicals and Metro-Evangelicals were overreacting.

In response to Bradley’s mild critique of this reflexive anti-suburbanism, the editors at Fare Forward reflexively proclaimed their anti-sburbanism:

[T]here are some things deeply unChristian, and deeply counter to even natural virtue, in the suburbs. . . [A]s the buzz around Rod Dreher’s latest book on moving home, a lot of the anti-suburban sentiment comes from people who support small town living just as much as from those who support city living. And the thing that unites the city and the country against the suburbs is the belief that the suburbs are not, as a matter of fact, ordinary, natural life, but a strange artificial construct that hinders ordinary lives and ordinary relationships.

Read the rest at Q.

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