Today at Goodwill I saw a book which I have thought was long out of print. It was the 50th Anniversery edition to The Cross and The Switchblade. In the sixth grade, mid70s, my teacher, a nun, showed us the movie based on the book and we had to read it. It starred Pat Boone and Erik Estrada, preCHIPs, it was about a minister who circa 1960 went into the gang areas of NYC to preach about Jesus to the gangs. He was initially rejected by them but some slowly embraced him. I looked at the back of the book for the "where are they now" and discovered many of them became like the Preacher an evangelical and one (Estrada's character) became a minister.
I remember the nun loving the story telling us about how a man went into the poorest and roughest neighborhoods bringing Jesus to these kids. At the time I did not understand the word evangelical. Now I get that American Evangelicals are the most fundamental.
Flashforward a few decades we see it happening again with disenfranchised youth this time in regions that are Muslim luring these kids into the most fundamentalist radical.forms, as they define it, and turning these kids into killers for.their religion.
Now Wilkerson who was the preacher and evangelical.of that book preached peace, not violence. Yet these kids were sucked into the fundamentalist form and let's face it American Evangelicalism is close if not radiical Christianity.
Today in CNN they were talking about the dead American muslim (the one we bombed in Yemen in 2011) who converted so many disenfranchised youths. Now next what they said made the link for me when shopping at Goodwill and saw this book. He spoke the language of the young. That's exactly what Wilkerson did over 5 decades ago.
Maybe my link is wrong. God knows I have made countless bad links in the past. Yet I fear the next Wilkerson preaching not peace and love but violence and hate. Virulant hatred has been rapidly on the rise in American Evangelicalism it would not take much to convert it to violence. Using disenfranchised American youths like Wilkerson did you could potentially create a small militia. Actually it may be easier to preach violence and hatred then peace and love.
Way too many thoughts today. Am I wrong did another people.here have this book as required reading or was my sixth grade teacher an outlier.