Innocence is Terminal
According to historian Todd Gitlin, "The educated young felt
[Kennedy''s] call, projected their ideals onto him. His murder was
felt as the implosion of plenitude, the tragedy of innocence. From
the zeitgeist fantasy that everything was possible, it wasn''t hard to
flip over and conclude that nothing was."
As the 50th annual remembrance of JFK’s assignation slips behind us I
am fascinated by what was said On that day and OF that day. As one
newscaster relayed the heartbreaking news he paused and then said “Let
us pray…” That’s all they played of the 50 year old recording but I
thought what a contrast that was to today’s “Politically Correct”
I was five years old when JFK was shot. I don’t remember it. I
remember Bobby Kennedy and MLK; and the multiple attempts on Ford and
the shooting of Ronald Reagan and the shots fired at the Pope…and John
Lennon. But they say it was JFK that took our innocence. I think
innocence was lost long before that.
I think innocence was lost with a war that spanned the globe being
brought to our living rooms via the air waves. Innocence was lost in
movie theaters across the country when social issues and family
matters became tried and tested in the world of make believe. When
fantasy left the pages of books and became a visual encounter. When
history was written and re-written to tell its story to an
increasingly UN-innocent generation.
When taboo things left the sleazy hotel and the back room of the
saloon to provoke the lust of every young boy who could get his hands
on the latest issue of some magazine, trash followed the tolerance of
it. Innocence was lost when what we could block out of our minds
could no longer be blocked from our sight. When the stuff of our
imaginations became indelibly etched on the visual receptors of our
minds the world became too real – more real than parables and faith.
When people of the Bible were still just artist renderings News Reels
brought us face to face with the people who declared them unessential,
ancient, and inapplicable to this modern world of ours. The day
Darwin’s theory was foisted upon us in the form of pictures of old
bones and fossils. When modern philosophers scoffed at scripture and
Atheist world leaders took a face and a humanist mantra to our living
rooms the “faith of a child” was all but devoured by it.
Innocence did not die with JFK and it is not dead today, but it is
ailing and terminal and disappearing with the “last Generation”, who
ever that may be.
The day wonder got its fill, innocence was lost. When nakedness went
coast to coast without shame…when knowledge spread beyond its use…when
evil became good and good became evil…when innocence became the victim
of a medical procedure great tragedies lost their meaning and the
tempter rejoiced and the family was torn asunder, disemboweled,
We did not lose our innocence in tragedy we lost it in abundance as
self gratification took its place in the hearts of men. Who needed
innocence when we lost our souls?
If JFK had held the hope of the free world the day he died it’s simply
because God no longer did. If JFK made us think anything was possible
it’s because God no longer did. Mark 10:27
Faith holds innocence by the hand and guides her blindly through the
debris praying continuously while innocence gasps for each breath and
God provides life support.