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Hic et Nunc—et Here
O. P. Kretzmann

For the benefit of my readers under thirty, the words at the head of this column are Latin for Here and Now — and Yesterday and will appear over this column for a few months while my eldest son and I conduct an experiment…

Here and Now reflects the new generation, everybody under thirty, the young, the very young, men and women whose motto is here and now… We want our rights here and now… We will not go to war here and now… We dont like the words and ways of the older generation here and now

The last word in our heading means Yesterday and includes all of us over thirty… me… the has beens… the never wases… the generation that has brought the world to the edge of disaster, the villains who are responsible for everything bad and nothing good… the Nixons and Daleys and Agnews, the last gasp of a dying generation…

We shall conduct the column like this… D. v. I shall write every other month… My eldest son, a notorious member of the here and nowgeneration, will write in alternate months… He is well qualified for the task… He has long hair (but is, thank God, not a hippie), was the editor of a college daily, has written for the underground press, and is now a more or less respected college teacher… He writes better than his old man, but with fewer ideas… He is now teaching Urban Studies

It is interesting to me that all these unshorn characters invariably land in our ghettos, the lowest and dark est part of our world… Then, they say and think, weve really got our elders… They, the elders, allowed these black spots on our banners, and with the Bowery and South State Street we must eliminate their authors and finishers… They were in their limited way nice people, but their day is done… The sun is going down and they belong to here to yesterday…

With an anticipating gleam in his eye he (his name is “ Jody”) is now waiting for my first blast…

Basically he is not a bad sort… He loves his mother almost as much as the ghetto… On Fathers Day he borrows a half dollar from his mother and buys a tie that only he can wear — and in the ghetto at that…

But let us be fair to the hic et nuncgeneration… Aft er all, we brought them into a world which was already crowded with shallow, shouting nuts… We must be patient and tolerant.…

But not too much… An age is known by what it tolerates and we, the heregeneration have been tolerant too long and too much… We, too, must say hic et nuncenough.… I cannot go into all the shoddy thoughts and loose ethics of the hic et nuncchildren… I open my Bible and stare at Job 32:2… The half-baked campus activists, confused amateur theologists, and those going along for the hell of it, will greet these lines with a loft y pity… The old fossil — his grave is already dug… And so is the grave ready for the institutional church which he and his kind represent…

I am writing this to the accompaniment of Bachs Jesu, Joy of Mans Desiring.… I find this frighteningly necessary as I survey the persistent and terrifying list of their hates…

Items: They hate their parents (they sure goofed), all government officials, all Synodical leaders and boards, all pastors and teachers, all professors, all universities except San Francisco State, almost all whites, many fellow Christians, the Pope, and, of course, the Church.… In contrast to the heregeneration the youth of the hic et nuncgeneration is now youth led and issue orientedWe march to a different drum and it is not played by parents, teachers and pastors

Perhaps the most mysterious part of the thought process of the hic et nuncgeneration is its shallow concept of freedom.… It is always freedom from”, never freedom for… .This is not the freedom of Jesus Christ; it is the last dying gasp of twentieth century license — now by a curiously delayed osmosis heard in the rear pews of the Church… Yes, there are real and present faults in the Church, but they will not be mended by unintelligent echoes of a dissident world, by marching in the rain and going home to a good meal prepared by the here generation… We have wronged the black brother and the poor… But your proposed cures are worse than the disease… You cannot, you must not substitute a religion of reform for a religion of the redemption…

And so, my dear hic et nuncson, I question your intelligence and your apparent inability to think clearly…My basic indictment is intellectual… You will not build a new church out of the tag ends of a secular philosophy of life and history which is already exhausted and dying…

Get with it — and God love you!

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