Kent State in Retrospect
On May 4, 1970, our National Guard opened fire on student anti-war protesters and bystanders at Kent State. Four students died and nine other people were wounded. That was a dark day for our country and the families of all who died and were injured. Some sociologists now believe that Kent State may have triggered the next forty years of fear-based politics in the United States and catalyzed the growth of radical fundamentalism within Christianity.
Certainly there is evidence that the events of that day gave ultra-conservative Christians and their privately held institutions of higher learning a bonfire of fear to fan, and they did so with vigor. Preachers with pulpits full of confused and mourning Americans opened a flood-gate of condemnation against pot-smoking, atheist, radical hippies and all “suspicious acting and looking” people who could conveniently be lumped in with them.
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