The Glorification of Woodstock

08.25.09 | Dr. Stephen Coleman | Comments[3]

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It's both amazing and disturbing at how the media glamorize behavior that is sinful, anti-Christian, self-destructive, and morally bankrupt. Such is the case with the recent media coverage of the 40th anniversary of the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival, which took place in August of 1969 in the town of Bethel, NY.

The coverage has portrayed Woodstock as a major event or happening in American history, something that defined a generation, and something that amounted to a riveting cultural phenomenon.

Well, I beg to differ with the media.

The thousands of mostly young people who flocked to Woodstock were nothing more -- or less -- than a bunch of confused, mixed-up kids with no moral compass or direction. A bunch of kids who looked for and found a hedonistic mixture of drugs, sex, and rock and roll, with no responsibility, accountability, or strings attached.

Ladies and gentlemen of New York and Pennsylvania, Woodstock represented and represents much of what is wrong with America. Many of those who attended the event ended up living lives filled with alcohol, drugs, and family problems. Woodstock is not something to celebrate or to be proud of. In fact, Woodstock was a cultural abomination, a national disgrace, and a collective obscenity.

It’s comforting to note that most young people in America did not attend Woodstock. They were doing something more productive with their lives.

On a final note: I invite people to send me their comments. I would like to read more comments from people on the air. Comment below, or send me an email.

cc-wetm - tv- Dr. Coleman also airs commentaries and a public affairs program on WETM 18 Elmira. For more information on these programs, go to


Your Comments(please keep them on topic and polite)

on 08.26.09 James R. Price commented

I wasn't around for Woodstock but I remember vididly the reunion in Rome that ended in disaster. I find it ironic that anarchists can destroy property and engage in other reckless behaviour and it's called, freedom of speech. But when concerned citizens voice their displeasure with a government-run health-care system - it's called "un"-american. odd.

on 08.29.09 Brad Lytle commented

Hi Steve,

I was there and I agree with you on both counts: the event was sinful abandonment of what is good and right by those attending, and the media's aggrandizement of the event is shameful. But the media is not into holding up what is good and right, are they? Rather sinful abandonment is what they are promoting.

on 09.01.09 Brian G. commented

Jesus said Satan was a liar and a deceiver.

If you listen to the things being said by many of the so-called "Woodstock generation," you'll hear teachings of Jesus sited, yet without an understanding of what those things really meant.

"Blessed be the peace makers" was often quoted, yet was the motivation out of real peace, or out of fear of being killed in a foreign war?

LOVE was the catch phrase of that time and "free love" was the method. But was it out of genuine love for your neighbor or selfish love: doing whatever personally gratifies the self instead of what makes someone else feel good?

Along that line of thinking, "getting high" was the means to self-enlightenment. Of course, the big problem with that is the word "self." The Woodstock idea of getting high was a selfish act of feeling good, instead of the good feeling that comes from genuine love and doing good for others. God put that desire to get high in all of us. But the "high" God seeks is one of love for Him and not love of ourselves. Our sinful nature naturally points the arrow of love towards ourselves, and in that, the "Woodstock generation" was no different that any other.

EQUALITY was another catch phrase of that time. All are equal before the cross, yet God created men and women to be different. Ironically, the ugly side of our human nature became obvious in this too. The so-called "sexual revolution" became a sorry excuse for men (and women) to excuse their responsibility for their actions. God meant for the rearing of children to be an equal and shared experience between and man and a woman. The rapid proliferation of the single-mother household in the years after Woodstock is a perfect illustration how the meaning of equality was missed.

Jesus was often sited as a non-violent revolutionary by the counter-culture of that time. Yet there was no real understanding of what this meant. Giving of yourself, giving to others, thinking of others before yourself, being responsible for your actions, etc. is certainly revolutionary to our human nature. In that line of thinking, the revolution was really rebellion in disguise.

When you see those old aerial photographs of the Woodstock gathering, it looks pretty good. Wow, look at all these people gathered together in one place, all in the cause of peace and love. But it's when you get back to ground level and up-close where the deceptions, sins and failings become obvious.

And the greatest deception of the whole period is that people somehow believe the "Woodstock generation" was different and better than others. Well, it was different but no better.