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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Was I a revolutionary?

            I was talking with a person where I work today, and I drifted on the subject of being a college student during the 1970’s.  Just before a break ended, this person asked about my attitude at the time, “Did you consider yourself a revolutionary?”  I can remember thinking through this exact question when I was in college, and I can say that, in opposition to what many of my fellow students have gone through, my point of view on this question hasn’t changed, in large part due to my having already been a believer in Jesus for a few years at that point.
            I would say that, both then and now, counterrevolutionary would be a better description, on (at least) two different levels.
            First, since, during that time, the Cold War was still going on, let me consider the attitude of persons in the governments, Communist Parties, and police/secret police forces of such countries.  Without regard to how long or short the Party had been in power, they overtly described their cause as a revolution, because they saw their point of view as being something for not just their country, but eventually for the world.  As a believer in Jesus, I would have been considered someone connected with the point of view that they had overthrown. They, in turn, either did not understand or did not want to understand the difference between true followers of Jesus, and a political status quo that gave lip service to Christianity as being the status quo belief (this clearly fits European, Central American, and South American countries, and not Asian ones).
            Here in the U. S., as in much of the western world, the revolution was with regard to the social status quo.  Most western countries have heritages, legal and voluntary ethical systems which were, to varying degrees, connected to Judeo-Christian ethics (with the Christian part having greater practical influence), the Magna Carta, English Common Law, and in the U.S., the influence of the east coast being originally settled by persons looking for freedom to worship the Christian faith according to their conscience, be it Puritan, Anglican, Catholic, or whatever (with extremely little emphasis on whatever).  Over the centuries, this tradition has eroded within popular culture due to individual’s personal choices over generations, with particular effect from our soldiers’ contact with European secularism during World Wars I and II, the choice of public universities to overtly avoid recommending and enforcing any kind or moral values beginning in (approximately) the 1950’s, in part due to an affiliation with something called Darwinianism (that was beginning to be distorted in ways Darwin, I believe, would have disagreed with) and then the rise of a non-system of moral values that had some public face with the beatnik movement and its sloppy form of eastern philosophy infecting pop culture, and carried to the masses of youth more effectively with the swing to rock music being the dominant form in approximately 1962 (not that it was the style of music, but the ideas of persons most influential in that business, whether for reasons of actual personal belief, or merely marketing). Therefore, the revolution, when I was in college, was built around rejecting the values of the previous generation, which was connected to a different style of music, sexual morality, and acceptance of whatever the government and big business told us as being true, and, lastly, truth itself.  As a follower of Jesus, believing, not by blind faith (which ties to eastern beliefs’ not making any claim to being ultimately true), but by believing that there is one God which communicated his ways via the Bible, and that this way of living is consistently defensible historically and scientifically, and that sexual morality, how I treat my body, i.e., recreational drug use,  and the existence of truth and Truth, I stood in a position of being contrary to both this social revolution and the status quo.  Therefore, I was and am a counterrevolutionary.  The original status quo was God before the introduction to the world, and the revolution is against God and toward any of a smorgasboard of sins.
            Today, the world has continued.  People have joked that Marxism has lost respect except in Berkeley, CA.  Certainly, Jihadism, a small but highly influential branch within Islam (that, admitted, many of its adherents disavow) has replaces the Communist countries as the #1 enemy of the U.S.  The Koran is 1/6 the size of the Bible, whereas the complete writings of Marx must be 30 times larger (I am guessing; I saw the set once, but size is also a matter of type style).  Western society has moved on from the counterculture to postmodernism.  I maintain that God, truth, and each man’s desire to do things his own way hasn’t changed.  I am still a counterrevolutionary.

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