Vol.V No.VII Pg.4
September 1968

Buck The Establishment

Robert F. Turner

From Frisco's Haight — Ashbury district to Columbia U's campus, this "hippy" generation cries out against "the Establish- ment." There must be legitimate criticisms of specific civil, social and domestic policies and personnel. This is essential to democratic government. But we are appalled by irresponsible attacks upon the very idea of orderly law-orientated ways.

"The Establishment" has become almost any well-defined effort to establish and maintain our society which has existed long enough to mature and to gain the respect of mature people. If our "mod" counterparts or we "squares" fit comfortably into a thing it must be a part of "the Establishment." It may even be criticized for being a "thing".

These rebels become obsessed with the desire to overthrow "status quo." True enough, institutions and practices of long standing tend to corrode, gather moss, and otherwise need repair or up dating. They may serve their purpose, or fail it; and need replacement. Perhaps they should never have existed. But rabble - rousers rarely offer workable repair or replacement. Their work is destructive, not constructive. Malcontents, unrealistic dreamers or "prophets", and little men who could not qualify for a place to their liking in "the Establishment" thrive as iconoclasts. The sincere but misguided "flower-children" are trampled in the march they initiate to "buck the Establishment".

In religion there are also those who "buck the Establishment." (Anguished protests hereby acknowledged!)

I do not refer to responsible efforts to correct abuses in religious practices, or to replace erroneous doctrines with the truth of God. Nor do I presume to be the standard of truth I know that tradition-bound adherents to any error will hasten to classify their critics as "bucking the Establishment" — But there is a difference.

The responsible reformer is energetic, even over-zealous. But he must "cleanse the temple " and he is specific in his denunciations. Attacking what he regards as bad, he avoids ambiguities which run rough-shod over the good. As a Christian, he relies upon spiritual weapons. (2 Cor. 10:3-5) If bishops lord it over God's heritage he attacks their ungodly practice -- not ridiculing "the establishment', of oversight. If brethren have become "party" minded he offers spiritual teaching and training to center their lives upon Christ. He does not make ridiculous statements about the church being a "non-entity". if brethren have adopted an incorrect concept of the funds they pool, he seeks to correct the concept. He does not play with "treasury" or "elder" — and then cry pitifully, being "misunderstood. it In brief, if he is mature enough to help his brethren he is man enough to shave, bathe, and cut the hippie act.

The "Watchtower" and like publications are examples of organized "protests" against ORGANIZED RELIGION !!! (Note the profuse CAPITAL thrust at THE ESTABLISHMENT!!) Surely sensible brethren can come up with something better than this. We might begin by remembering, "What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common." (Acts 10)