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FROM THE EDITOR

The image of the "yes-man" in our society is not a good one. The fawning second in command is regularly caricatured in New Yorker magazine cartoons and Hollywood movies. So strong is our abhorrence of this conniving flatterer that almost any kind of obedience or submission is looked down on as unbecoming a real mall or a modern woman.

In a Marlboro-man world, our individual freedom to respond to that "something deep inside you" (which may tell you to quit your job and start a charter fishing boat business) is one of the most cherished values of American civil religion. To give up that independence by willingly or unwillingly submitting to another person rankles us.

The roots of this independence are deep. The frontier image of cheating starvation and death by doing everything for oneself still thrives as a cultural archetype. The all-men-are-created-equal assurances of our constitution have been stretched far beyond their original intent as broad guidelines for lawmakers and have become ...

From Issue:Spring 1986: Worship
May/June
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