Wednesday, August 21, 2019


                                       THE SIXTIES HAVE OVERCOME US ~ PART 9

“Life's a forge! Yes, and hammer and anvil, too! You'll be roasted, smelted, and pounded, and you'll scarce know what's happening to you. But stand boldly to it! Metal's worthless till it's shaped and tempered! More labour than luck. Face the pounding, don't fear the proving; and you'll stand well against any hammer and anvil.”: from Lloyd Alexander’s 1967 novel, Taran Wander.

Throughout 1967 human beings in vast numbers, our brothers and sisters, would find themselves
experiencing immense horrors and pain: in the Russian gulag, [1967 year of the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution], Chinese and North Korean labour camps, in race riots, anti-war riots, civil wars, revolutions, outright wars resulting in tens of thousands wounded or killed in the US, throughout Asia, Latin America, Africa.

In January, in San Francisco, occurred an event called  a “Human Be-In”, a gathering of militants and pacifists, many of the hippie culture, to solidify a determination to push forward an end to segregation, the Vietnam war, and anything perceived as limiting personal freedom, a counter-cultural attitude which was taking root in most Western countries, and would be further manifested later in the year through the so-called “Summer of Love”, when over 100,000 hippies/flower children, converged on the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, and a parallel event occurred in England. Again, the basic purpose, fueled by drugs and raucous music, was rejecting of everything deemed restrictive such as fundamental morality, but also government, consumerism, traditional Christianity.

The ‘be-in’ and ‘summer of love’ would be supplanted both by sheer numbers and cultural impact by Woodstock in 1969.

Started in 1985, by Pope John Paul II, World Youth Day[s] would offer, and continue to, a holy alternative.

Also coming out of the ‘be-in’ were so-called underground newspapers as an alternative to established media, but their influence would be minimal until the global spread of the internet which muddies the waters. Some ‘news’ found there is true, much of it not, plus the web has become a cesspool in which deeply disturbed people wallow with others of their ilk to spread scams, hatred, extreme nationalism, terrorism, pornography of all types.

Not just American society but most Western societies would experience the revolutionary upheavals spawned by a generation rejecting everything that had preceded them. The influence of the US culturally, religiously, philosophically, morally, as well as economically and militarily, was the catalyst influencing Western Europe, Great Britain, Canada, as they too headed ever more blindly down the rabbit-hole of the culture of death and darkness, prevalent globally in our own day.

Two major events occurred in 1967 that cost countless lives and, due to the paltry response of the rest of the world, set the stage for innumerable conflicts: for example the Rwandan genocide which began in 1994 and the ongoing civil war in Syria, the persistent, often violent, tensions between Israel, the Palestinians and the wider Arab world in the Middle East, the rise of Islamic terror groups, the displacement of millions of people who rush, from mainly the southern hemisphere to, Europe and North America seeking a more humane life.

In June it was the Six Day War between Israel and Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Thousands of combatants were killed and injured on both sides and the map of the area changed dramatically with the capture of Jerusalem, by Israel, home to the world’s three major monotheistic religions. The continued control by Israel of the so-called West Bank and the Golan heights remains a simmering cauldron that could boil over instantly and drag not just the region but perhaps the world’s major powers into the conflict. The best summation of those six days: “Employ hindsight but humbly, remembering that life and death decisions are made by leaders in real-time, and not by historians in retrospect.” [1]

In July it was the Biafran War which dragged on until 1970. Fundamentally a dangerous mix of ethnic, tribal, religious animosities and outright hatreds led to the Nigerian area known as Biafra seeking to establish itself as its own nation. Some 100,000 military casualties are recorded but this pales in comparison to the 500,000 to 2,500,000 civilians who died from starvation in the two and a half year conflict which in the end would see Biafra as an independent country cease to exist. “There is a moral obligation, I think, not to ally oneself with power against the powerless.” [2]

However, it would not be until well into 1968, with images of starving children on the nightly news shaming the West, that there would be any response to the plight of the Biafran people.

It would be a Canadian Broadcasting anchor of the nightly news, Stanley Burke, who would startle the world by resigning to devout himself to the plight of the starving children, an impact not unlike that Walter Cronkite of CBS news would have in the following year with his stance regarding the war in Vietnam.

Briefly, as it would take a series of books to outline the tragedy, ever since the League of Nations humiliated Haile Selassie, once Italy had invaded Ethiopia in 1935, through to the civil war and drought which triggered the 1983-1985 famine costing millions of lives, Ethiopia serves as a cautionary tale about half-hearted efforts of the West in particular when it comes to the plight of our brothers and sisters suffering famine, war, dictatorships etc., for while things like Geldof’s “Band Aid” [no irony there] raised awareness and money, much of which ended up in the hands of the dictatorship to be used against the Ethiopian people – Peter Gill noting: “No country in the world confronts the threat of famine more painfully and more frequently.” [3], we still fail to address the root causes of disorder or famine or epidemics in other countries as, much as we fail to address homelessness, drug epidemics in our own.

Post-Biafra to our own day, in Africa in particular, religious, tribal, ethnic violence continues to cost millions of lives, impedes attempts to deal with things like the Ebola outbreaks, allows for murderous dictatorships, while the rest of the world blithely saunters along scooping up the natural resources of Africa while barely lifting a finger to help the millions of innocents who suffer day in and day out.

For all the blather of the ‘be-in’ and leftist radicals of the sixties, many of whom, albeit elderly now, or their offspring fed on the pablum of the left, when they are in power, keep their backs turned on those who suffer and avoid taking on the murderous and repressive regimes which out number democracies across the globe.

In March of 1967: a year which from every angle was a Bacchanalian year of hedonist, selfish excess, and dystopian efforts which only revealed non-Gospel rooted arguments for an utopian life without fidelity to Christ, Pope Paul the VI published a critical teaching on how to address the real problems of humanity in his encyclical Populorum Progressio: On The Development Of Peoples: The progressive development of peoples is an object of deep interest and concern to the Church. This is particularly true in the case of those peoples who are trying to escape the ravages of hunger, poverty, endemic disease and ignorance; of those who are seeking a larger share in the benefits of civilization and a more active improvement of their human qualities; of those who are consciously striving for fuller growth……The injustice of certain situations cries out for God's attention. Lacking the bare necessities of life, whole nations are under the thumb of others; they cannot act on their own initiative; they cannot exercise personal responsibility; they cannot work toward a higher degree of cultural refinement or a greater participation in social and public life. They are sorely tempted to redress these insults to their human nature by violent means…… Every form of social action involves some doctrine; and the Christian rejects that which is based on a materialistic and atheistic philosophy, namely one which shows no respect for a religious outlook on life, for freedom or human dignity….It must be admitted that men very often find themselves in a sad state because they do not give enough thought and consideration to these things. So We call upon men of deep thought and wisdom—Catholics and Christians, believers in God and devotees of truth and justice, all men of good will—to take as their own Christ's injunction, "Seek and you shall find." Blaze the trails to mutual cooperation among men, to deeper knowledge and more widespread charity, to a way of life marked by true brotherhood, to a human society based on mutual harmony.  [4]

1967 was also the year Great Britain legalized abortion. Two years later Canada would follow suit and it would be 1973 when the US Supreme Court would find in favour of abortion in the Roe vs. Wade case. While 1967 may be remembered through rose coloured glasses by some, in fact it was high tide for the illusion drugs, sex, rock and roll, protests and rejection of Christianity and embracing unlimited secularism would assure the utopia dreamed of.

It is said about Abba Anthony, the friend of God, that when his monks came to him and asked about the future he told them: “The day is coming when they will come to us and tell us we must be mad because we are not like them.”

1967 was the year when there could no longer be any doubt that the anti-Christian tsunami of the culture of death was heading towards us.




4] all citations in italics are from:

© 2019 Fr. Arthur Joseph

Friday, August 02, 2019



1966 reveals shifts in religion in general that continue to deepen in this 21st Century. Indeed, as an example of the continued impact, within Christianity in particular, the Vatican News Service recently reported that, in 2018, 200,000 Roman Catholics and 230,000 Protestants de-registered with the German government. [1]

The Church, who draws from Her treasury that which is ever ancient and ever new, counter-balances, with powerful examples of renewal, as found with a new religious community within the Church which has a place for those normally not considered for admission into consecrated life, the mentally challenged. [2]

By 1966 ‘spirituality’ was coming into vogue, referring not to an actual relationship with the One True God, the Most Holy Trinity, but of deeply personalized notions of often vague aspects of relationship with the undefined ‘sacred’, mostly an esoteric approach to the self as a rather flexibly defined ‘spiritual experience.’

It is important to accept that the hunger for ‘god’, for the ‘sacred’, however one might define those terms, is not a subjective but an objective truth, rooted in the depths of our being by the very fact of our being created: The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for: The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. [3]

Among the destructive substitutes pushed in 1966 to replace an authentic response to the gift of hunger for communion of love with the Most Holy Trinity, was increased use of chemical stimulants, some less a risk of long term, even permanent brain, psychological, spiritual damage, some, like LSD [lysergic acid diethylamide], among the most destructive and a precursor to the opioid crisis of today.

Among the more outrageous claims made about LSD, were that this drug would stimulate an experience of God, when in fact frequently the hallucinations triggered were so intense people engaged in behaviours that sometimes resulted in death, other times in permanent psychosis.

As if seeking to establish the societies presented in the dystopian novels of Aldous Huxley’s, Brave New World and George Orwell’s, Nineteen Eighty-Four, [ a great counterpoint to both is Myles Connelly’s Mr. Blue] many contemporary governments, keeping in mind the ‘grass’/marijuana of the Sixties was somewhat a mild-organic substance compared to the toxic hybrids of the 21st century, the ‘free-love’ mentality of the Sixties has morphed into an ever expanding series of deviations from the God created in His image male and female genders, fracturing both the family and society, leftist governments complicit in this by legalizing immorality, while accusing the right of trying to impose ‘their’ morality. We find ourselves deep in the darkness of the culture of death whose proximate origins is the Sixties. [4]

There is no short cut to communion of love with the Holy Trinity. The way is Jesus Himself and our willingness to take up our cross each day and follow Him: Jesus said to him, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” [Jn. 14:6]; Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after Me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.” [Mt.16:24]

1966 also gave us: a] the pouring of tens of thousands of more troops into Vietnam, b] the growing dissident movement in the Soviet Union, c] the April Time magazine cover posing the question: “Is God Dead?”, d] the start of the cultural revolution in China under Mao, e] the founding of the church of satan in the US, f] the founding of the League for Spiritual Discovery, g] the founding of the NOW women’s movement.

All would have unforeseen consequences that impact life in the 21st century: 

a] As the United States kept sending tens of thousands of Americans to Vietnam, with draft dodgers heading north to Canada, and thousands of Canadians heading south to join the US military specifically to go fight in Vietnam, the quagmire became a vile place where villages were destroyed to save them, troops became increasingly damaged by the war itself, the horrors involved, drug use, fragging with M26 grenades, usually of officers, and decades after the war, joined subsequently by veterans of subsequent wars, thousands of ptsd afflicted, drug addicted Veterans are homeless. In a 2003 documentary, The Fog Of War, Robert McNamara, declared: “Recognize at times we have to engage in evil, but minimize it.” [5] Such insanity informs much of what motivates oppressive regimes and terrorists.

b] eventually the dissident movement in the Soviet Union would lead to the collapse of the Soviet Empire, however with no experience in their history of non-authoritarian rule the democracy sought by the people would, post 1989, eventually be crushed as the Russian elites, and oligarchs, turned to a former KGB officer, Putin, and today, as throughout their history, the people remain under the jackboot of totalitarianism. c] God certainly is not dead, because He IS, and life is something He bestows, not something bestowed upon Him. The efforts of human beings to kill Him within each other, to deaden an awareness of Him within ourselves, continue apace and to date none of the various replacements devised by human beings to replace Him within our lives have proven successful. One alone is Love, Lord and Giver of Life and we have been created to be His beloved.

d] by the time Mao was dead, and his successors appeared to end the cultural revolution, thousands had been murdered, sent to labour camps, and while it appeared for a few years things might shift, with the explosion of China into an economic and military super-power, these days the current regime has returned to the murderous ways of previous regimes and has become an economic and military threat. e] since time immemorial, without necessarily knowing satan was the one being worshipped and surrendered to, human beings have formed relationships, cultic often in nature, with satan and his minions. Adjunct to this are occult practices, and in the end the blasphemous use of the term ecclesia/church should surprise no one, for everything about evil is a distortion of good, of truth and an attempted replacement of the One True Good One with the darkness of the culture of death. f] the so-called ‘spirituality of the League’, is simply the same distortion in another costume.

g] NOW, the National Organization of Women, set it motion tremendous waves of angry pressure which has foisted upon society abortion, gender confusion, a manipulation of human and civil rights to the extent that it appears today there is no conceivable limit to what becomes declared as a ‘right’, nor to leftist governments supporting such deviations in law.

A phenomena of the Sixties, in democratic countries, was the morphing of the various groups arguing, protesting for changes in the culture, in society in general, in morality, for free speech, social justice. Civil and human rights activists increasingly became extreme in their demands, resulting in such pushback, now in the 21st century, that divisions within countries between the left and the right, hostility against people of Christian faith, nations of all types simply do not understand each other, populations within nations experience such divisions it is as if we are all trapped on a plethora of islands, like abandoned adolescents accompanied by younger and ever more immature, frightened, children. It is the Lord Of The Flies revisited! “Maybe there is a beast… maybe it's only us.” [6]

While wars, revolutions, student protests, civil rights struggles continued apace there was another ominous event which occurred in 1966, the murderous repercussions of which continue to this day: resurgence of the Ba’ath Party which led to coups and other acts of violence leading to the murderous regimes in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, triggering innumerable wars, civil wars, Islamist terrorism. [7]

Perhaps the most sagacious words applicable to the global chaos in the hearts and minds, the denials and aspirations of the influencers of the Sixties, and those who went along with the axial shifts, are these from Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis: We human beings do indeed tend to construct such impossible mazes of logic, and live quite comfortably in the face of our own absurdity, if only we can have our way and at the same time assuage our consciences…….The human soul is made for essential relationship, and so it will necessarily be “indwelt” by either alien forces of destruction or the life-giving energy of the Blessed Trinity. We are made to be resplendent temples of God’s Spirit, and yet we are quite capable of turning ourselves into pigsties. [8]




[4] Good resources for anyone struggling with addictions or, in common parlance, sexual identity: Romans Chapter 6; Addiction And Grace by Gerald G. May; Broken Image by Leanne Payne.




[8] FIRE of MERCY HEART of The WORD, Volume II, p.111 & p. 169; Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis, Ignatius Press, 2003

© 2019 Fr. Arthur Joseph