One of the virtues of the 60s cultural rebellion was the introduction of some enduring verbal formulations that remain fully functional and accurate. Though the hippies and the war protestors and the civil rights activists and the women’s rights protestors and the gay pioneers were on the right side of anti-empire, the supersystem was too strong in it corporate military and institutional power, and sow the world is gifted with Damn Turd Pol, nascent rightist movements all over the developed world, and 401 (k) pundits all too willing to celebrate the diminution of war dead statistics while ignoring every other intimation of human and non-human social and existential suffering.
“Jesus freaks” were all over the 60s cultural rebellion, along with Krishnas and New Agers and ethnic separatists, and indeed the word “freak” was appropriated as a term of resistance by the vilified antagonists to the dominant “friendly fascist” order. Atheism was universally scorned at the time by all the powers of American institutional organization, from the colleges to the media to literature to big business to any other corner of the American empire. These were lonely, lonely times for he few, the O’Hairs, the hunted and shunned.
That is not the case now, there are small public openings for those with the cognitive material to have heeded the call of the New Atheists, but unlike in other developed countries, religion in the US remains a strong, destructive psychic virus. Children must endure, in various degrees and forms, the punishments of religious edicts from their frightened, cruel, anti-family parents. Public events, politics, mass schooling, family get-togethers, all are de facto Twilight Zone episodes where religious FREAKS command the cultural order while those in possession of rational doubt are left on the margins.
Here in wordpressland, religious FREAKS abound, and that term is never more applicable.