As someone who is Agnostic and proud of it who believes in reason, science, facts, and only has faith in people, things, institutions that I trust based on the evidence that I’ve seen from being around them and talking to them, I can actually see why people would be attracted in religion. As someone who believes in the First Amendment which includes the Freedom of Religion in America, ( sorry Hippies, I’m not spiritualist and I’m not a Communist either ) I can see why people would want religion, be involved in America, and even need it. I guess the difference between an Agnostic and an Atheist, especially a fundamentalist Atheist ( and yes, there is such a thing ) like a Communist to use as an example.
This is not an official definition, but that might only be because there isn’t any official definition of religion, but my personal definition of religion is basically basic set of moral values that people believe and follow, as well as the belief in God. Now, depending on what religion you are a member of determines what moral values that you believe in and follow that helps you in your life. I can easily see how people can get positive benefits from being a part of a religion and get positive benefits from attending church and listening to their religious leader every week give a sermon, especially when they’re going through rough times and need help getting through those tough times. Even though religion is not for me and I prefer to use evidence and reason to get through those tough times in our lives.
Elaine Pagels, lost both her son and husband in the span of a year back in 1987-88, apparently wasn’t very religious before those tragedies in her life, but found religion after that and I can understand someone who goes through those tragedies especially in such a short period of time would feel the need to get help from religion and learn about that and try to figure out for themselves why they’re being put through those tragedies one following by another. Religion, has been used by alcoholics to get over their alcoholism. It’s been used to help career criminals who are doing long-term prison sentences get their life going on a positive track so once they’re finally out of prison they can become positive members of their community once they’re free. As much as I might hate religious fundamentalism in all forms, ( and trust me, I do ) people should also understand and beware of the positive aspects of religious life as well.
At risk of sounding partisan and this is not the first time I’ve taken this risk as a blogger: as much as the Christian-Right and broader Far-Right in America, especially Christian-Nationalists put down and critique Saudi Arabia and other Islamic states for their interpretation of Islam in their government and Islam in general, they actually have a lot in common with Islamic-Theocrats and the Islamic-Right in the world and have for a very long time. 50 plus years or longer and share very similar if not identical cultural and religious views, especially when it comes to women’s place in the world.
And why do I mention this? Because really from the time the American Republic was founded in 1776, up until 1963-64 or so America was the Christian-Right utopia for them when it came to the women’s place in the world. They were basically servants of men who were raised to grow up, meet a good man who could take care of them financially, but spend their lives taking care of him at home, as well as their kids. As Joe ( or whoever the man was ) would go out in the world and make a career for himself and earn a good living everyday, while his wife Mary ( or whoever the woman was ) would be at home waiting for him managing the home and taking care of their kids.
According to the Christian-Right and the broader Far-Right in America, we as a country have been going to hell since the mid 1960s and have been destroying their utopia. With personal freedom and individualism running rampant around the country with so many Americans of all races and ethnicities, as well as religions, both men and women daring to have the freedom to make their own decisions. And no longer feel trapped and having to live in their parents cultural basement and feeling the need to have to live the way that their parents and grandparents lived in America. With women wanting to go to college and then get themselves a good job and get married and have kids later on, instead right away, she now had the cultural freedom to do that.
If men didn’t want to get married at all and not have kids, or perhaps have kids and raise them, but not get married to the mother of his kids, he could now do that, because he had that same cultural freedom. And the same freedom for women as well. This piece from Nora Johnson from 60 years ago and this video covers that. Women now had the same freedom as Americans as men do with the same freedom to run their own lives. Decide for themselves if they wanted to go to college and get a good job, or get married early and stay home to raise their kids. Wasn’t like women were now required to get educated and go to work, it’s just that now they had the personal and cultural freedom to make that decision for themselves.
In 1963 or so with Baby Boomers graduating high school and now in college, they were let out of their parents basement and this cultural closet that they were living in now had the freedom to be Americans and live their own lives, regardless if their parents and grandparents approving of their lifestyles or not. And with the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which made it illegal for employers to discriminate against people based on race, ethnicity, but gender as well we saw millions of American women of all races and ethnicities now entering the workforce. The sitcoms of the 1970s with show like Mary Tyler Moore and Maude illustrated that with how America was changing culturally and we haven’t looked back ever since and probably never will.
Not sure if 1968 won the Cultural War, simply because I don’t see how a year could win a war. Wars are won by groups of individuals generally countries through their militaries and their people that back them. I’m being a little coy here, but Victor Hanson’s basic point being that did the people from the 1960s especially the late 60s, the young people who were a big part of that era with all of those young Baby Boomers coming of age in the 1960s and graduating high school, starting college and even graduating college in that decade, did those people and the cultural and lifestyles, political views that they represented especially the Hippies, did they win the Cultural War? I believe the obvious answer to that question is yes.
As a Gen-Xer who was born in the mid 1970s and just one generation up from the Baby Boomers, I obviously don’t remember 1968, but that’s only because I wasn’t even born yet. If I were born even in the early 1960s perhaps I would have some memories of that time. So what I have to do to familiar myself with that decade is to listen to, read, and watch the people who were not only alive through that period, not only lived through that period, but were major part of it. The new cultural and lifestyle changes from that decade, all the personal freedom and individualism that came from that decade, the anti-warmovement, the women’s movement, the gay movement, civil rights movement, etc. One of the advantages of history is that you can’t forget it because people are always reporting on it as it happens, but then later on with books and documentaries.
There two main factions in the 1960s cultural movement. One being perhaps the most famous the New-Left socialist revolutionary movement that not only wanted to get America out of the Vietnam War, wanted to fundamentally change how the American economy and government worked. Even in that movement you had at least two factions. The Socialist Revolutionaries lead by groups like The Weather Underground, Students For a Democratic Society and then later in the early and mid 1970s the Symbionese Liberation Army that’s famous for kidnapping San Francisco area heiress Patricia Hearst, who wanted to rob banks to take care of the poor. And then you had the peaceful demonstrators who were part of the anti-warmovement and were simply interested in getting America out of the Vietnam War, but not trying to overthrow the U.S. Government through violence.
The socialist revolutionary nonsense ( tis the season to be generous ) I don’t have much if any respect for as someone who believes in the rule of law and only believe in using violence in self-defense and to protect the innocent. But the Hippies who were growing up in the 1950s and remember that era well who wanted a new life that was different from their parents and grandparents, who wanted to make their own decisions, who loved their families, but didn’t want to be dominated by them and be able to live their own lives even if their parents disapprove of their lifestyles, as a Liberal myself who believes in individualism and free choice, personal freedom I have a lot of respect for that movement.
By not even 1968 but really 1965-66 and perhaps even 63-64, America was changing drastically culturally, racially, and ethnically. The Anglo-Saxon Ozzie and Harriet lifestyle from the 1950s was becoming a thing of the past at least in Real America even if Hollywood was still producing shows that looked like they were from 1955. Instead of the husband walking in the door every night and saying, “honey, I’m home!” with his devoted wife staying, “hi dear, how was your day?” having his paper and favorite drink ready for him, the woman in many cases was just getting home from work herself. Because you had these Baby Boom Hippies and lot of them women who didn’t want’t to be housewives and in some cases didn’t want to get married or even have kids. Who instead wanted to go to college, get a degree and start their own lives and be independent with the same freedom that the men have.
The so-called Cultural War from back then and today are fought by two factions. The Christian-Right, who believe the 1950s was the golden age for America and who’ve been trying to get every single American into some national time machine and take us all back to that 1950s Ozzie and Harriet lifestyle. And the New Americans ( let’s call them ) who believe that Americans should be free to be Americans, who are a very diverse people racially, ethnically, religiously, and culturally who believe Americans should be free to be Americans and make their own lifestyle and cultural decisions. Even if that offends people who are a lot more conservative religiously. And the New Americans having been winning this Cultural War really since the 1970s at least with all the personal freedom that Americans have today.
If you’re a Socialist especially a hardcore Socialist who looks up to people like Che Guevara and even have some respect at least for some aspects of communism, even if you don’t like the authoritarian aspects of it, Ayn Rand literally is the devil. Because she represents everything that you hate. Freedom, individualism, free-thinking, the belief that people should actually be able to make a living on their own and not have to be babysat by government.
Because if you are a Socialist who puts all their political eggs in the basket of big government like a wishbone offense in football that if they can’t run the ball, they literally can’t move the ball, because they have almost no passing game to speak of. And if government can’t solve problems, by itself those problems don’t get solved according to the Socialist. Because the socialist philosophy of socialism is completely centered not around government or even big government, but big centralized national government. Where even state or provincial government’s, as well as local government’s, barely exist, because so much power in the country is centralized with the national government.
Because Socialists tend to see freedom as dangerous and individualism as selfish. That if you give people the freedom to manage their own economic and personal affairs, you’re only giving them the freedom to make mistakes that society (which is government, according to the Socialist) will have to pay for. Also, is you give people the freedom to manage their own affairs, they might become good at it which is what adults tend to do and not need or want government to take care of them and be less incline to have your tax dollars taking care of people who aren’t as free as you. Socialists tend to see people who don’t think like them at least, if not people in general as idiots. People who need help tying their own shoes and even spelling their own names. Who need big government managing their lives for them.
Socialists also see individualism as selfish. This idea that people can go out in the world and be creative, think for themselves and create new things. Is like trying to explain calculus to a fish. Its so foreign to them and would be like an American who has spent their whole life in America, who only speaks English and one day finds them self in Mongolia. It would be like being on another planet for that person having no idea what people are saying or even what language they’re speaking. That is what its like trying to explain freedom and individualism to Socialists. You might have better luck trying to teach your dog to speak Chinese. Because freedom and individualism, completely goes against everything that Socialists have ever believed and have been taught.
As much as the Christian-Right hates feminism and freedom and equal rights for women, as if women are human beings who are capable of making their own decisions and living their own lives and deserving of equal rights as men, thats how much Socialists whether they’re democratic or communist, hate Ayn Rand. Because they see her as the devil who represents individualism and freedom. Which to them is as bad as cancer or stealing. It completely goes against what they believe in and what they’ve been taught as people.
Similar to Hugh Hefner like Ayn Rand, is an example of why the Far-Left and Far-Right in America are like an arguing fighting married couple who you would think are bitter enemies out the door headed for divorce when you see them, but who actually love each other. Similar to Al and Peggy Bundy, from the great sitcom Married With Children. Or Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, from the great movie Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. The Far-Right and Far-Left have both Ayn Rand and Hugh Hefner in common, as far as people they both not just oppose, but hate.
Hugh Hefner represents what the Christian-Right and now Christian-Nationalists on the Far-Right and the Socialist-Left and in some cases now Communist-Left, hate about about America which is individualism and personal freedom. The ability for one to pick their own lot in life and live with their own decisions. Chart their own course in life and live the way they choose, not how Big Government decides for them, because they believe people are too stupid to make their own decisions. And that free adults are essentially children and mental patients, without the knowledge and judgment to make their own decisions in life.
I mean, H\ugh Hefner created Playboy Magazine. He didn’t create the lifestyle, but he made it mainstream, along with the Baby Boom Generation and the 1960s. Pre-Hefner and Playboy, America was still the 1950s Father Knows Best, honey, I’m home! America! Where Dad of course worked and where Mom stayed home. Women of course were allowed to work in America, but could be denied employment simply because of their gender, or lose their husband if they choose to enter the outside workforce.
Thanks to Hefner and others, in the 196os Americans finally saw the memo that America is about freedom and the individual. That Americans can actually make their own decisions in life and not have to live in Big Bother’s basement anymore and go out in the world and decide for themselves how to live and what the American Dream means for them.
That men didn’t necessarily have to get married, nor did women. That men and women didn’t even have to get married in order to have kids. That they could actually do those things together without getting married. Even if the Christian-Right labeled their kids as bastards. That women could build careers for them and then perhaps later on if they met the right man and wanted to, they could settle down and have kids. Instead of setting out to get married and have kids and soon as they’re out of college.
Not saying I approve of Hugh Hefner’s lifestyle and that lifestyle isn’t for men. But what’s great about America along with our diversity and equal rights and what actually makes America exceptional is our individualism. The right for free adults to be themselves. That even porn freaks and men who can’t get it up in a traditional way and fine just one beautiful sexy woman boring, have a place in America.
And of course the Far-Left hates Hefner not just because of his individualism and the personal freedom that millions of men and women in America finally felt that they had, but they believed Hefner was an exploiter of women because of the pornography that his magazine represented and even produced. Apparently unaware that American women actually have the right to decide for themselves whether or not to get involved, or in bed even with someone like Hefner and pose for playboy and other pornographic publications, or decide not to. I guess the Far-Left as much as they claim to be champions of feminism, apparently see American women actually as stupid and not able to make these decisions for themselves.
Hugh Hefner and Playboy, represent choice in America. The freedom for people to choose their own course and life and make their own choices. You don’t like pornography, don’t associate with it and keep your kids away from it. Freedom and responsibility, instead of Big Government making these very personal decisions for everyone else. Similar to guns in America, you don’t prosecute people for having guns, but shooting innocent people with those guns. Well similar to pornography and the playboy lifestyle, you don’t prosecute people simply for living a non-traditional lifestyle. You prosecute people when they hurt innocent people with what they’re doing. Rape being and sexual assault, being excellent examples.
And of course the Christian-Right would argue that Americans have a right to self-defense under the 2nd Amendment. And I agree with that . And they would also argue we don’t have a right to pornography and to live our own lifestyles as we choose. Well, we do have the First Amendment which covers free speech and expression, free press. And we also have a right to privacy under the Fourth Amendment, as well as property rights under the Fifth Amendments. All three of these amendments cover a lot of ground and give Americans a lot of freedom to make their own personal decisions in life. And with that freedom also comes a lot of responsibility. Individualism, personal freedom, and responsibility, is what I believe Hugh Hefner represents.
“Life is a highway, I want to ride it all night long! Tom Cochrane is really on to something with those lyrics. To use a cliche, “life is a marathon and not a sprint.” Meaning you’re going to around a long time, you might as well enjoy it and not try to accomplish everything at once, or let one setback and negative thing destroy you. So you should make out of life as much as you can and live your own life instead of trying to live someone else’s, or trying to live like someone. You your favorite celebrity (if you have to have one) should be just that. The famous person you like and admire most. But remember they have your life and you have yours. And not everything they do in how they live their life will work for you. And in many cases work against you and get you into trouble. So we should all be ourselves and be the person we can be and make ourselves happy, but not try to be something we’re not simply because we think that would make us cool or awesome or whatever, at that time.
I don’t have a problem with actual Liberals being religious and actually if I had to guess just at looking at the Democratic Party, Liberals tend to be religious. But as a Liberal myself, I have a problem with being both religious, or an Atheist, because I simply don’t know if there’s a God, or not. Liberalism, is based of reason and evidence, not faith. And if you take the position that God doesn’t exist, but you can’t prove it, because no one actually knows, if we were all real about this, you have faith even as an Atheist that God doesn’t exist.
I just don’t work that way as a non-religious person who generally doesn’t go by faith. I trust people, sure, because they’ve given me reason to trust them. But again that is based on actual evidence. Not having some grand vision and beliefs that there is some higher power out there watching over everyone. There isn’t some Liberal God (at least that I know of) giving Liberals all of their powers and ideas. We developed them based on knowledge and evidence from what works. Education, freedom, responsibility and let people make their own decisions.
And because I don’t have faith in whether there’s a God or not, I’m neutral on the subject. I’m an Agnostic and I take strong positions on issues where there’s clear evidence one way or the other. Which is how I have my liberal principles that are built around individuality, choice and responsibility. Because that is where the evidence suggests that I should be. Put out all of the facts and information about all the issues on the table. (Just don’t eat them) Educate everyone as best as possible, but at the end of the day let people make their own personal and economic decisions and hold them responsible for them.
I don’t hold these values, because I have faith that they will work, but because there’s clear evidence that they will work and have worked. Religion, is the opposite of that at least as it relates to God. “We can’t see God personally, but we know he’s there looking after us, because we have in faith in them.” That doesn’t mean anything to me and I’m not impressed by that. But others of course can make their own decisions. Which is what I believe in as a Liberal. It is one thing to have strong moral religious values about how you look at life. It is another to say, “this is what is right, because God told us that.” How would you know that, did you ask him? Did you see him write that down somewhere? How do you know that God is a man? I don’t have to answer these questions, because I don’t believe in God, because I don’t know if one, or many exist, or not. Ken Ammi: Woody Allen’s Atheist Worldview
The one thing That I like about the 1960s culturally other than the music, the movies and Jim Morrison, were the Hippies. And as much as todays so-called Progressives claim to love the Hippies and respect them, the Hippies represent the opposite of what today’s so-called Progressive represent. Hippies, Liberals were true, because they were anti-establishment and pro-individualism. Today’s so-called Progressives, are anti-individualism and pro-big government to the point that They want government to check what people eat, drink and even what we can say to each other with their so-called political correctness movement. Today’s so-called Progressives are not anti-establishment. To the contrary, they support the biggest establishment in the world. Its called the U.S. Government and think it’s too small.
Hippies back in the mid 1960s lets say at least were true Liberals. Because they were individualists. They got the memo, or bothered to look at the calendar and figured out that it was no longer 1959 and that the 1950s was finally over. They were born either post-World War II, or during that war and did not remember any of it and decided that they did not have to live their lives of their parents and grandparents. That the 1940s and 1950s was not so swell after all. That mom did not have to stay home and raise the kids, while dad came home every night Between 6-7 and said, “honey, I’m home! What’s for dinner? I’m starved. Gee, what a day. ” Or something like that from Leave it to Beaver. That God That was before my time. Hippies / Liberals, were tired of black and white TV, or sitting around in the living room listening to the radio and were looking for a different lifestyle.
There’s a discussion among historians about when the Counter Culture actually began. Some people say 1965 With the start of the anti-war movement. I point to the 1963 March on Washington as not just one of the most important times and best times in American history, but where you literally had a million people from all over the country from all sorts of races, ethnicities, cultures, lifestyles, who were anti-establishment and were all looking for a better and different America. If there was one point in history that I wish I was old enough to have been there and experienced it would be the 1963 March on Washington. The dawning of a new America where you had all sorts of different Americans all together at the same place having a good time together and enjoying each other with all sorts of great entertainment groups all together.
These Americans were looking for their own place in America and the freedom to be individuals. And not feel they need to work at their father’s factory, or his company, or get married and stay home and raise kids, if you were a women back then while your husband went to work and earned a living for his wife and kids. Gays came out of the closet in the thousands in the 1960s. And according to the Christian-Right, America has-been going to hell ever since. As they’ve forgotten one of their own commandments. “Love your neighbor as yourself own.” In other words, treat others as you would treat yourself. Show respect to the other people as you want to be respected. These values are mainstream today, but fifty years ago America was going through, well a Cultural Revolution.
Romantic couples having pre-marital sex, living together before they were married. Perhaps better known as domestic partnerships, unmarried couples raising their kids together, homosexuality, marijuana, women working and managing business’s, men who cooked and spent a lot of time with their kids, marijuana, I mean all of these things are mainstream today. (More examples of why the Christian-Right believes America is going to hell) But They Were started back in 1963 and then a mid-1960s by the people who were literally trying to change America if not the world. Not the New-Left from the late 1960s that literally wanted a different form of government for the United States and a completely different economic system and force democratic socialism if not communism on the country. The Hippies, wanted to create a new culture in America and new way of life.
The reason why the Hippies and Liberals won the Culture War has nothing to do with new arguments, or these different ways of debating issues. It has to do with the children and grandchildren of the Hippies are now grown up and experienced their parents and grandparents attitudes when it comes to things like tolerance and multiculturalism and integration and have decided that there’s nothing wrong with people living differently as long as they aren’t hurting innocent people with what they’re doing. They know and are friends of people from other races, ethnicities, cultures, religions and even sexualities and know that they’re good people to. So why put them down, or look down upon them simply for being different from how they Are and how they were born. It took 1-2 generations of people for Liberals to win the Culture War, but we did and America is not going back to the 1950s.