The peace activists were bearing witness outside the main gate to Fort Bragg. Although they might have been called protesters, they weren 't. Instead, they were carrying signs with slogans like: beat the swords into plowshares, blessed are the peacemakers and love one another. The event took place before 9/11 and involved various Christian peacemakers. Someone driving past was outraged and returned with a sign as a counter protestor. His sign read: "Stop Creeping Hippism. " Heaven help that true-blue patriot who wanted to show that somebody still cared about traditional American values. He didn 't even recognize Biblical scriptures and thought they were a bunch of hippie slogans.
Around the same time, I read a letter to the editor in the Fayetteville (NC) Observer-Times in which the sender wrote that "Jesus would be just another hippie with some far-out ideas of peace and love " unless he actually was the son of God and performed every last miracle as interpreted by her strictly literalist church. Since then, I have read on more than one forum that "Jesus would be just another hippie " line of reasoning several times.
They give the same type of double message when it comes to Jesus. They claim to adore him and loudly blare out his name every chance possible but damnation if they don 't often do it in the most un-Christ-like manner. Whenever I hear somebody disparage Jesus ' message by saying that it would be just another far-out hippie message, it lets me know how little that person actually knows Jesus. To them, a message of love, forgiveness and fairness is for losers, not for anybody who wants to get ahead in this dog-eat-dog world. If they didn 't think that Jesus could kick their ass straight into hell then they could care less about what some long haired, sandal wearing philosopher had to say.
Fortunately, there are hippy liberals like the one who write that Jesus provided "the outlines of a system of the most sublime morality which has ever fallen from the lips of man. " The same radical also dared separate the teachings of Jesus from all the stories about his miracles. In fact, that extreme hippie writer was so radical as to state that separating the real Jesus from the rest of the writings in the Gospels was like picking out diamonds "from the dunghill. " That far-out liberal wrote that Jesus was "the greatest of all reformers of the depraved religion of his own country " and added that "The establishment of the innocent and genuine character of this benevolent morality, and the rescuing it from the imputation of imposture, which has resulted fro artificial systems, invented by ultra-Christian sects . . . is a most desirable object." So who was this radical hippie who separated Jesus out from the Gospels, decried organized religion as fraudulent and argued that the name of Jesus needed to be rescued from organized religiosity? Why, that hippie 's name was none other than Thomas Jefferson. But, of course, according to many of the religious right, ol ' Tommie was ever bit neo-conservatively Christian as they are.
In reality, too many allegedly conservative Christians don 't like Jefferson and the founding fathers. They don 't like the teachings of Jesus. But they want to restore America to its "Christian " values so they can preserve "freedom. " How sad it is that in this land of claimed democracy that we have people who are trying to bring about the actual end of democracy and are doing so in the very name of the people who warned us about the theocratic enemies of democracy.