I’m going to write something that may sound incredibly disrespectful, but I’m asking honestly. I want to know.
Often, when I lead workshops and I talk about things like building community, environmentalism, creation care, I have someone who perks up and says, “I did this too! When I was young, we had communes, and we didn’t flush the toilet, and we were all back to nature and everything….”
Or else, there is someone rolling his eyes, saying, “Right. We’ve done this before. This isn’t new.”
I fully realize that it’s not new in a historic sense. But as a person growing up in the seventies, a lot of what’s happening now is new to me. And so the thing that I always want to ask is, “What happened?”
I never quite do it, because I don’t want to embarrass anyone. And, of course, many people who were good stewards of the environment still are. But I’m talking about as a general rule… as a country, how did we get from Jimmy Carter wearing sweaters to Ronald Reagan increasing speed limits? How did we move from the VW bug to the Hummer SUV? How did devolve from organic farming to every chicken being injected by hormones and antibiotics? If we were heading in the right direction in the late sixties and early seventies, how did we make that massive turn to the wrong one?
And if there is a revived movement to care for creation, how can we encourage it and sustain? Is there any way to keep that wrong turn from happening again?