Republican Hippies

Recently when I was listening to NPR radio, I heard that one of the members of President Bush's cabinet was a self admitted 'Hippie' when he was younger, so I was rather intrigued by this statement and I did some research to find that it opened a virtual "Pandora's Box" of information to why the religious right is the way it is:

"The hippie era was short-lived but energetic and infectious, at least to a large segment of peers of their global generation. Just as Christians from throughout the world journeyed to Los Angeles in 1905 to partake of the Pentecostal fervor on Azusa Street, and take it back home, youth from throughout the world journeyed to San Francisco’s Haight-Asbury district in the late 1960s to partake of the hippie experience and likewise take it back home. What happened to that countercultural energy, that world-rejecting, world-transforming impulse? Shires argues that evangelical Christianity captured it. To explain this, Shires backs up to discuss Christianity in post-World War II America. In rejecting their parents’ values, the hippies also were also rejecting mainstream, liberal Christianity and Judaism. They saw these religious expressions as lifeless and irrelevant.  How the hippie vanguard wound up among the leadership of the Religious Right is a fascinating story well worth telling, and Shires has done a great job of it..."


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