As I slide toward 40 years of age, I find I still have a healthy distrust of authority. While I have a certain admiration for the police who actually serve and protect, I know that there is power there to take out frustrations and prejudices on fringe dwellers, minorities and youth. While a good cop can build trust and goodwill in a community, a bad cop spreads resentment and hatred throughout the force.
I keep watching for signs of the beginnings of a Nazi type resurgence or an Orwellian type of new order. I am all too aware of the ability of the power and evil of groupthink. I am thankful that our country has a system of checks and balances that make that kind of takeover difficult.
There was a time when I lived in a world where authority was the enemy and criminal behavior was not only accepted, but was expected. In this shadowy world rebellion was the rule. The world was cold and unjust. Societal laws were meant to mold us into shallow, mindless consumers. Resistance took many destructive paths and there were many casualties.
I was rescued by love and have spent the last 17 years trying to fit into society’s fabric. The grace and patience of God and his gift of a wise wife and wonderful children have helped cut the deep sense of rage that I have felt against the established order.
Today rebellion is being used as a tool for selling cars, hamburgers, shoes and sports teams, as well as the old standbys — music and movies. Songs that used to mean something are now used to sell stuff that people do not need. "Just do it," "break all the rules" and "color outside the lines" are catchy slogans developed by huge corporations to tap into the right demographic group and increase profits. Rebellion is now mainstream. The message is that you are a unique individual if you buy this product. Right.
It is just another huge bummer from the baby boom generation. Take the passion and meaning out of something that once, while possibly misguided, was real and turn it into a safe, acceptable way of selling people stuff they don’t need and would be better off without.
There are still many people in our country that cling to their distrust and anger over the perceived injustices of our society. They range from the far right of the racist militias who believe that their freedom has been taken from them by faceless bureaucrats, to the far left communists who feel that capitalism is the world’s great evil. I find that I am sympathetic to both views.
Christianity saves me from the misery of rotting bitterness. The Bible satisfies all my idealistic tendencies.
Next to the words and message of Jesus Christ, the writings of Marx, Nietzsche, Jefferson and Machiavelli are empty and hollow. It is the message of grace that has revolutionized the world more then any other factor. Praying for and loving your enemies, freedom from the bondage of sin, loving your wife like Christ loved the church, placing God above the will of your country, being in the world but not of the world and sacrificing your life for another; these are the truly extreme and dangerous ideas.
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Title: ‘Rebellion’ no longer meaningful statement | Author: Kenny Hendricks | Section: Opinions | Published Date: 1998-12-02 | Internal ID: 363