The Hippie Jesus Convergence

20 thoughts on “The Hippie Jesus Convergence”

  1. Virtue cannot be legislated but all sides seem to want to try it (as long as it is their ideological definition of “virtue”). We are not really individuals; we exist in communion. And it is in communion that we find humanity.

    1. Enh, I disagree. We really are individuals. We choose to commune or not to commune. We choose with whom to commune and with whom not to commune. America is fortunate to have legislated the legal protection of the individual over the community. E pluribus Unum, you know?

      1. I would say we are always in communion with Creation around us; we don’t have a choice in that. But we can always agree to disagree.

  2. Food is quite amazing, it’s one thing that kinda unites us. However I have seen some divisions, even over food, rearing it’s ugly little head.

  3. “We need to roll up our sleeves and get serious.”

    When I first read this, I read “serious” as “generous.” I was so moved that I went back to read the sentence over and discovered my error! :^) But the tone of your post is one of generosity, so I still feel moved by this piece.

  4. I suspect that the acrimony expressed on the Internet gives people the false impression that the country is about to splinter at any moment.

    On a related note, Rebecca Solnit has written extensively about ordinary people from disparate backgrounds bonding together in times of disaster, and Sebastian Junger has described on more than one occasion how living through life-threatening experiences causes social bonds to strengthen. Maybe when times get tougher, we’ll see less nastiness and infighting.

    That, or cable news and politicians will manage to turn the middle class into a circular firing squad, as usual.

    I’m not sure which scenario is more likely. Interesting times.

    1. Back in the 70s and 80s I had long hair, which my grandmother didn’t approve of. I pointed to the portrait of Jesus which had pride of place on her living room wall. “Jesus had long hair Grandma.” Pause. She’d reply, “That was the style back then.” Pause. “It’s the style now Grandma.” Pause. “Not for decent people, it isn’t.” Pause. “Grandma, Caesar and the Roman senators had short hair.” At that point she’d make a funny sound and change the topic of conversation.

    2. After reading the post, essentially the same comment popped up in my mind. True ‘Christ-like’ Christians are pretty much the same thing as an agnostic, thoughtful hippie (old or young).

  5. Since the “news” media have become solely entertainment, they’d want you all at each other with knives. The important stories, the ones not being broadcast, are local and deeply human. The absence of leadership from this administration may effectively and ironically bring about cohesion and leadership from our neighborhoods.

    1. I’m not so sure. The tone from the top seems to have filtered down a good bit into everyday life.

      I’m involved in all kinds of community efforts and one in particular (a food cooperative!) seems to have attracted a core of white-privilege-shaming ultra lefties. Now, a food co-op is a bit of a lefty endeavor to begin with…so here we are with a circular firing squad.

      The difference seems to be organized groups of any kind, which all have politics with a capital or a small “p”. What Johnny describes is a whole lot more transactional (everyone gets something they want out of the deal, or they aren’t involved) than associational where there is thought to be a shared agenda.

      1. I love this analysis. When people are indeed engaged in a transaction where everyone gets what they need – farmer needs money, people need food – our interests are aligned. When the same group are lumped up with their church or their particular affinity groups over abstract concerns (guns, abortion, immigration…) the same people are confrontational and adversarial.

        The country could be pulled together by an external threat – historically that’s typically a war. Not a small discretionary Vietnam or Afghanistan type war, but a WWII kind of war. Then again both the Revolutionary War (Loyalists vs. Rebels) and the Civil War (Yankees vs. Confederates) were Americans fighting other Americans… We’ll see.

        1. I don’t see a civil war coming, but who knows. Maybe over constitutional rights like shotgun ownership. Ha! However, there is some serious authoritarian stuff going on with these localized (not yet real) circular firing squads.

          1. I’m involved in all kinds of community efforts and one in particular (a food cooperative!) seems to have attracted a core of white-privilege-shaming ultra lefties. Now, a food co-op is a bit of a lefty endeavor to begin with…so here we are with a circular firing squad.

            Yeah, any time an “ultra” group (regardless of what “side” they are) moves in a pack, a form of social violence tends to follow. No matter how they deny it, it always turns into a desire for power…usually to protect their “ultra views” from an imagined threat. Wars are not really needed anymore; just clashing ideologies cast in the most extreme manner possible.

            The real problem, I think, is not that anyone is concerned over “abstract” concerns, it is that our society is built on confrontation and, by extent, violence (physical has given way to economic and social forms of violence, as a matter of preference) as a way to solve problems. Courtesy has gone out the proverbial window and landed on top of humility in the garbage pile. Just my thoughts.

  6. As long as there is free speech and freedom of religion, which means fervently upholding our First Amendment, if not interpreting it more expansively, we’ll be fine.

    This is one thing I love about Trump. He’s probably the greatest freely speaking President in our history. It’s very moral.

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