Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pop culture supplemental material to Part I politics

Here is some “modern culture” supplemental information to what I wrote about in Tutorial 1 about conservatism. I mentioned that a great social upheaval that is, at the heart of it, an error is the demonizing of the concept that good people are “protective” and have “something to protect.” While protective parents, community leaders, bosses and governments were once viewed as ideals, in the grasping of a hedonistic “anything goes” “ideal” during the sexual and drug revolution of the 1960’s, someone who was protective became demonized into being “oppressors.” I have excerpted from a Bob Dylan song from the time where you can see what I am saying was actually codified in the so called “voice of the generation.”

Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats

Too noble to neglect
Deceived me into thinking
I had something to protect
Good and bad, I define these terms
Quite clear, no doubt, somehow.
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now.

Great… not only did that fresh and “enlightened” generation demonize being protective as being the result of “deception,” but they also first declared “Good and bad, I define these terms.” Really? Really? I was there and trust me; no one was defining “good and bad” in the 1960’-70’s in any wise or responsible way.

Now, I was a freshman in college in 1971 and one of my dorm roommates, an Italian Catholic girl, just loved Bob Dylan. I can still imagine her clutching to her chest his “complete book of lyrics” (I seem to remember it as bright pink) much more fondly than the Bible. I, frankly, loathed Bob Dylan, except for one or two songs, including the one I quote from here. Yes, I really like the song “My Back Pages” even though I totally disagree with its premise. Mature people are able to do that. They can like one or two songs without giving the conceptual basis of the lyrics or the writer or singer a “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.” But she just loved, loved, loved him, and also clutched her book by Malcolm X “Soul on Ice” just to prove that she was “with it” and “hip” and “not just some white girl” and “down for the struggle.” She had no clue what she was actually reading or listening to, but that was the way it was. And in fact, as I’ve written about her before, she had a secret abortion that freshman year, and I stood by her, as friends do, even though I know she was doing a wrong thing. Everyone was doing a wrong thing in those times, and it only got worse now. Why? Because people think “having something to protect” is bad and deceptive, and they think that God is all “relative” and “Good and bad, I define these terms.” When it comes to having an ethos and a genuine humanitarian conscience, our country had a miscarriage in the 1960’s-1970’s, and its not because of the “oppressors.”

Anyway, I thought you’d enjoy seeing a pop culture reference to the very phenomenon that I described in my tutorial. By the way, yes, I did recently review Bob Dylan’s album. He of course went through his Christian born again conversion many years ago, and I think that has served him well. I’ve also read one of his recent autobiographical books. I remain troubled, however, by Christian evangelical and “born again” experiences because they emphasize individual salvation and de-emphasize the body of Christ of the union of faithful which, troubled as it is, the Catholic Church maintains. Thus there is not a continuum of a sense of collective responsibility among evangelicals and “born agains,” because all they emphasize is emulating, according to their individual perception, Christ, and they tend to view salvation as kind of a conga line that goes under the limbo pole, and each person “makes it” and is “saved,” or not. That is not a socially responsible or ultimately salvatory mindset, as reading the ENTIRE works of Jesus and the Apostles reveals. So when he was “born again,” half of me was of course glad, while the other half rolled my eyes. Being “born again” is a handy way to focus on one’s self, figuring that now “I’m good with God,” while letting one’s self off the hook for having been a communal bad example, and working against the true body of the Church who attempts to conserve the greater good.

That is one reason we have the abortion debacle that we have today. I have written about this before, and will do so again when I write the tutorial about liberals. Liberals have an excellent nose for hypocrisy. I was furious throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s (and remain so today, though obviously the damage is done) that evangelicals, “born agains” and “fundamentalists” break their own arms trying to pat themselves on the back as being the defender of the unborn babies, of being anti-abortion, while at the same time not doing one damn thing about putting their money where their mouth is and sponsoring children to be born or at least adopted using their own alms. For twenty years and more they attacked not only those who have abortions but also the Catholic Church, who is the place where adoption agencies and orphanages used to thrive. Never once did I see an evangelical step forward and stop an abortion by paying to bring the pregnant woman into their fold, to have the child, and to either raise the child or surrender it for adoption. So, as I have written before on this blog, that is why I am not too very impressed with “conversion” experiences, because I know, and I can tell you for a fact, that humans need to focus on a continual relationship with God and walking a just path within God’s entire community, and not glad happy slapping one’s back at having “made it” under the “limbo pole” of salvation. It is not too difficult for me to envision that procurers of abortions are side by side in hell with those who claimed such moral greatness in opposing abortion, but who never donated a dollar toward actually raising a child who would otherwise have been aborted. Trust me, that’s a very hard lesson many will learn when it is too late. They’ll pour money into political campaigns (and thus enrich lawyers and the media), but not actually bring the pregnant stranger into their home. This was particularly true in the terrible 1970’s and 1980’s, when even the quaint places for “wayward girls” fell away from support, so there was not an iota of encouragement from either side to have and financially support a live and living baby.

*Fuming* as I always do when recalling those times and looking at how its only gotten worse and not better.