Re: Jesus freaks/Jezer message (Multiple posts)
Sun, 5 Apr 1998 21:02:54 -0400

From: Phoenix <>

Lynne Taylor writes:

The kids who found salvation (?) in the hippie movement
and the Jesus movement in the 1960s sound very much like those who found
salvation in the fascist movements of the 1930s.

What? Could you kindly explain what you mean?
Hal Muskat

From: David Di Sabatino <>


That analogy is a little harsh considering that the Jesus freaks tapped into a
vein of revivalism that has been a part of the American landscape since its
inception. The charge of religious escapism is often brandished upon those whose
goals are stated as being otherworldly, but this doesn't really capture what was
going on as is the case with most stereotypes. While it is true that the Jesus
freaks had their eyes glued to the sky awaiting the second coming, they also
were involved in social action through drug rehabilitation and organizing food
banks around their local communities. It is commonly accepted that the bonds
within a religious community are often much stronger than in those that are
non-religious. Whether this is something that is beneficial or detrimental
depends on what angle you are coming from.

I think Mr. Jezer was making an excellent point, that there needs be some better
nuancing going on when we look at the culture and the Sixties in general. Most
historical assessments are completely political. . . and thus, somehow the SDS
is transformed into something that it never was. How many people were influenced
by the SDS in Wyoming or North Dakota? But I can point to four or five Christian
communities in each of those states. I am not arguing religious hegemony. . .
but I am suggesting that some historians have a vested interest in navel-gazing
(myself included). Some of us just own up to it better than others.

As for your final question, I think those that were touched by this movement are
still contributing. Most of them can still be found in conservative church
circles doing much the same work that they were first doing, although hopefully
a little more theologically balanced. I have always found it odd that media
pundits think that the Religious Right in American appeared out of nowhere.
Jimmy Carter and the "born again" movement were the culmination of what began in
the Jesus movement. . . and the Religious Right is an extension of it as well.

I would also suggest that conservative churches (Pentecostals, charismatics,
Baptists, etc) have displaced mainline churches and are the mainstream of
American Protestantism. With Pentecostalism now numbering in upwards of 400
million worldwide, can we afford to just brush off that many people with the
charge of escapism or right wing zealotry? or is there maybe something else
going on here that academics would rather not deal with?


David Di Sabatino
Queen's University
Kingston, ON

From: GKlotz33 <>

Very problematical to compare them. 1. Germany in a huge depression,
suffering from the loss of WW!, 2. In Germany Nazism wasn't just kids. 33% of
the population voted for Hitler. 3. the results of the movements: in Germany
Hitler's terror and WW!!. In the USA now a quarter century later, whatever
you may say, we don't have anything like Hitler's Germany, 4. the Jesus folks
weren't anti-semitic as far as I know. This was pretty essenital for Nazism.
5. The goals of the Jesus people weren't to conquer the world through war.
There's probably a lot more that makes the two movements not comparable.
Gretchen Klotz