I've been thinking a lot aboutfrom the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Their statement poses a direct challenge to the political-religious attitudes of the conservative Christian community in which I grew up. In the 1980s, tens of millions of US evangelicals, including my parents, flocked to support Ronald Reagan and his "trickle-down" economic policies. Apparently "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" resonated with many members of the Me Generation.
But how could followers of the Jesus who told us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and care for the sick have believed that the Christian thing to do was cut taxes for the wealthy, while cutting benefits for the poor? How did followers of the Prince of Peace come to support massive increases in military spending? How did so many US Christians come to treat a divorced Hollywood actor who rarely attended church as the closest thing to an evangelical pope? I was a kid back when this all started and I'm still trying to figure it out. What happened?
RLCC: Large-C Communism was still in its death throws. Also, the anti-Vietnam War movement was a mixed bag that included free love and lots of drugs. It ended up turning paranoid and greedy. Drug deals started turning violent. The so-called conservatives didn't have to do much good. All they had to do was complain about the Hippy culture that frightened people.
Carter didn't solve the hostage crisis. Many people believe in the October Surprise where Reagan's people, with Kissinger, made backroom deals with Iran (just as with Iran-Contra) to hold the hostages until Reagan's election.
The truth is that the anti-war aspect was right but the free love (sex) and drug addictions were wrong. Rather than choosing between all of that versus what Ronald Reagan was selling, the right way to go is pacifism, giving and sharing, and harmlessness in all things, including sexual. That harmlessness means doing nothing that knowingly spreads any diseases to anyone whatsoever.
Being as harmless as doves is Jesus's teaching. It's beautiful. It's completely unselfish. It's the only path that leads to God and the real Heaven. It's the only way of being that will manifest that Kingdom on Earth.
Justice and Compassion on February 18, 2008, 12:00amby Rachel from