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The Sixties

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Something happened to the United States in the sixties. I’m not sure I know why it happened. Maybe the seeds of communist propaganda from the fifties began to bear fruit. Possibly the birth control pill made free love too free? Perhaps God obeyed the edict of the Supreme Court that He was no longer allowed in our schools. Most likely all were a contributing factor, but no matter what, things went awry, driving our culture to the depths of self-centered, post modernism that exists today.

The lifestyle in the fifties was relaxed. The country was breathing a sigh of relief after the struggles of the great depression and World War II. Moms were home with the kids while dads worked. The bad guys wore black hats; the good guys never killed anyone. Fathers actually knew more than their children. When students got in trouble, usually for talking in class or chewing gum, they were punished again at home. Only the best kids made the team, and only the champions got trophies. Students that couldn’t pass their classes failed. We left our car doors unlocked. Certainly things weren’t perfect,– racial injustices existed and the cold war was heating up. People robbed, kidnapped, murdered, abused, and lied. Evil has always existed, but in the fifties we recognized it for what it was.

Then came the sixties: “Free Love” , “Peace”, “Make love, not war”, sit-ins, psychedelic drugs, nudity, sex, Woodstock, Student for a Democratic Society (SDS), hard rock, “pigs”, the generation gap, women’s lib, environmentalism, civil rights marches, Viet Nam, assassinations, spies and counter-spies, the Bay of Pigs, the Russian Missile crisis, JFK’s New Frontier, LBJ’s Great Society, Medicare, Department of Education, busing. The revolution was supposed to make it all better. But has it?

What have our “rights” gotten us? Women can now fight in the military. Yea! We’ve pumped trillions of federal dollars into the medical industry, inflating costs to the point that we can no longer afford medical care. Students have been treated so fairly that they no longer have to know anything to graduate from high school. Those below the poverty level have been cared for so well that they are now enslaved to the federal government, and their numbers are growing. Mothers and fathers are killing each other and their children. Children aren’t able to play outside because it’s not safe, so they relate with pretend friends on social networks. Pornography, which is easily accessible on the internet, is called free speech, but Christians are called racist, bigoted, intolerant for speaking the long held principles of this nation.

We have it all backward now,–good is called evil, while evil is called good. God spoke to that through His prophet Isaiah: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light, and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and clever in their own sight! … Who justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away the rights of the ones who are in the right!” [Is 5:20-21,23]

Have we really become more free? Is this what we really want?


About Patti Wells

I'm a concerned American. I grew up in the fifties, and came of age in the sixties, so I've seen both sides of the cultural revolution that took place in the late sixties. As a Baby Boomer, I'm part of the last generation to really know the liberty that this country has provided for its citizens. I'm the widowed mother of two adult children and a retired mathematics professor at a local community college. I lead a weekly Bible study and sing in the choir at church. I play canasta with a group of friends each week, and I enjoy sports and movies.

2 responses »

  1. I too grew up in the relaxed fifties and sixties. Looking back I realize I took it for granted that life would continue as it always had. I felt safe going just about anywhere and allowing my children to play as I had all over the neighborhood. Well life is not like it was and I guess I just wasn’t paying attention because my grandchildren live in a totally different world.

    Evil seems to lurk at every corner and schools are not even safe. How did we get here? I’ll be thinking this through and get back with you. Thanks for the opportunity to have these thought provoking conversations.

  2. I too grew up believing that the times of the fifties were the norm. I have had to adjust my way of thinking over the years and it has been difficult. The spiritual war that you alluded to in one of your blogs is raging and we miss seeing the real war many times because we are concentrating on our physical world.


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