Member Rara Avis
Honestly, Mike, I don't remember Apollo 8 too well or, for that matter, much else of 1968. My world was much smaller that year, my concerns more focused, courtesy of Uncle Sam and Marine Corps boot camp. I was busy.
Your point, nonetheless, is well taken.
I'll admit there wasn't a lot of concern about separation of church and state in those days. We were too busy burying RFK and MLK in 1968, I suspect, too nervous about the Tet Offensive in Vietnam and the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, too frantic with widespread race riots and forestalled school bussing, and maybe just plain too tired to worry overly much about a couple of guys reading the Bible on our government's dime.
I'd like to think we've come a ways in the forty years since. Can you imagine Obama being elected in 1968? I sure can't. Yea, things have changed in four decades, attitudes have shifted, and that's not always a bad thing. Those were simpler times, to be sure, but simpler isn't always better. Increased concern over separation of state, increased awareness of the importance of both civil rights and human rights, even the trend towards political correctness that everyone and his brother decries, these are signposts, I think, along a social journey still in the making. We're learning, perhaps, that when you immerse other people in crap the result never smells much like a rose garden, and there's way too much crap to go around to think we won't have to take our own turn in its depths. It's still limited to our own backyard, sadly, but I think concern over how we treat people is a good thing. It's progress.
Someday, I suspect Respect and Tolerance might actually work. Fancy that.