Friday, December 31, 2010

Can Christianity Find It’s Way in the New Roman Empire? - Part 2

The writers argue that this cul-de-sac mentality is a direct result of the cultural revolution of the 1960s and the two aftershocks that followed. The first aftershock is a backlash or reaction to the counterculture which led to the rise of religious conservatism and political action. The second aftershock that we are now living through is an backlash to the first backlash, which is a revolt against the association between Christian faith and conservative politics. Puttman and Campbell argue that millions of younger Americans may be abandoning organized Christianity altogether. These are painful conclusions, but the facts would indicate they are correct.

But, once again, the column fails to completely understand the situation. I’m amazed that no one seems to understand or not willing to recognize the role that media has played in shaping culture as well as how it has influenced organized Christianity. First, let’s go back to the cultural revolution and counterculture of the 1960s that so many people believe is the source of today’s problems.

The parents of baby boomers in the late 1940s and 1950s embraced a new form of consumerism which led to a new level of materialism not seen before in America. I argue that it was influenced and controlled by the new emerging media culture fed by the new technology of television. Instead of addressing issues such as racism and poverty, America entered into a self-serving society. Baby boomers by the 1960s were looking for meaning and purpose, especially the children of privilege. There had to be something more to life than just material things. They found hope in the new young president, John F. Kennedy, who talked about service and a call to action to serve mankind.

Two events clearly opened the door to the coming social revolution. And what the writers did not take into account was that the television and the media culture played a significant role. The first was the loss of hope when John F. Kennedy was assonated. His presidency played out on television from the start to the very end. Those events viewed on televison had an enormous influence on the psyche of America’s young people.

A second catalyst was the Vietnam war which, once again, was played out each night in the living rooms of America. My contention is that these events made the social revolution of the 1960s possible.

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