I’m particularly excited about this week’s Patheos column. I begin by talking about my favorite book/movie, High Fidelity (I like the book only slightly more than the movie). In particular, I quote the passage in which Rob says, “Some people never got over the sixties, or the war, or the night their band opened for the Rolling Stones at the Marquee, and spend the rest of their days walking backwards; I never really got over Charlie.”
I love that quote, and I think it aptly describes what World magazine’s editor-in-chief is up to in his recent column. He says that our “national craziness” (it seems he’s referring to divorce, abortion, minimum wage, communism?) began in the 1960s and that in that time “the American left thought we could put an end to hardship.”
I argue that though there are myriad manifestations of sixties influences in contemporary America, the kind of progressivism that was birthed then was not an effort to “banish hardship,” as Olasky says. Rather, by inviting more people to become equal participants in society, things got a lot more complicated.
To prove this point, I take a quick look at the recent controversy surrounding Sojourners and their rejection of an advertisement by Believe Out Loud, the trans-denominational movement that seeks to promote LGBT-inclusion in Christian churches. If you haven’t read anything about this yet, start with this piece in Religion Dispatches and this one to see the fallout.
My point there is that rather than an attempt to make life easier as a part of some kind of hippie copout culture, which Olasky is trying to make his readers believe in, the progressive legacy of the sixties has forced us to consider hard questions. Need more proof, check out this article about so-called “circus barkers” who are offended by President Obama’s use of the term.
That’s a long preview, because it’s a long piece. But I hope you’ll give it a read tomorrow at Patheos and, as always, I’d love to hear any and all feedback.
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