Categories > Original > Historical

The Children of Jonestown

by Genexxa 2 reviews

The Jonestown Tragedy is still fresh in the memory of many individuals.

Category: Historical - Rating: G - Genres: Drama - Published: 2013-08-26 - Updated: 2013-08-26 - 510 words - Complete

Knowledge of the Jim Jones Tragedy has been with some of us most of our lives. Individuals born in the nineteen sixties were the most susceptible of a paralyzing fear of his/her church after Jonestown. Especially since our questions of our parents as to why it happened, went unanswered. We never received the comfort needed that it could never happen at our church. When we learned that parents fed poison to their very own children, it left many of us beleaguered, and scared. Those from the outside especially churched children of that time were strongly affected by what happened at Jonestown. What if our Pastor asked our parents to kill us? Don’t drink the punch was the running joke in many circles. Could it be the Y of the un-churched population of today?
More than thirty years later I can remember where I was, who I was with when I learned of the mass suicide. It was our Kennedy or Martin Luther King Assassination. I decided to speak to one of my old Army buddies, Helen. Helen is also one of the subjects of a book I recently completed called Nana(1) . I asked her, “What was life like at church and home after the Jonestown Tragedy?”

{“It was drastic, my Nana became very careful as to whom she would share her Christian faith. She stopped asking or inviting folks to church. I guess she did not want to be affiliated with the people at the Jim Jones People’s Temple. I remember my father forbid even kool-aid juice into our house after the tragedy. Emotionally, we were deeply affected in many ways more, than those that had survived Jonestown. The survivors at least knew it was over. In a sense I guess we were kind of held hostage by our churched parents.”}

Children could not hold a protest march, riot, or show any kind of civil disobedience. We had to harbor deep inside our outrage felt for the hundreds of children killed in Jonestown. We were children for God’s sake. I think some of us felt uneasiness at church and home after the Jim Jones Tragedy.
The Jim Jones tragedy did more than to kill over 900 people. It interrupted the faith walk of an entire generation(2). Evaluation of my current walk with Jesus shows that after thirteen years of church hopping did I feel comfortable enough to join a church. I visited over 30 churches before finding a church where I believe has a thoughtful, analytical and allowed critical analysis of the Word of God. I believe those born 1962 thru 1970, were the most vulnerable to the tragedy at Jonestown. Those born in the sixties had enough understanding of what happened at Jonestown, but did not have the authority to question their parent’s relationship with the church.

1. Nana is about the years a little girl named Helen spent with her Great Grand Mother (Odessa Watlington-Midgette) in Philadelphia, PA.

2. Navarro-Rivera, B.A. (2008). Shifts in Religious and Political Self- Identification. Trinity College, Religious Studies. Hartford:American Religious Identification Survey 2008.
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