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I miss the old Greg

I miss the old Greg.

The Greg who attended a "Peace Sunday" concert in Los Angeles in the spring of 1982.

The Greg who bought the "Join the Army..." parody t-shirt in 1982, which showed a picture of Uncle Sam and read

 Join the Army
Travel to Exotic Distant Lands
Meet Exciting Unusual People
And Kill Them

In 1984, Greg commented that it seems like Reagan doesn’t do anything: we see him talk to reporters, make a few jokes, and then go inside the White House.

Greg then began to paint a picture of Reagan going inside the White House, cozying up with a cup of chamomile tea, sitting on a rocking chair, pulling a shawl over himself…

I broke up laughing: “It sounds like you’re describing a Norman Rockwell picture!” I exclaimed.

“Well, look at who we’re talking about…” Greg responded.

I miss the old Greg, who told his conservative parents and his archconservative friend Blake over dinner in 1984 that the rights of religious minorities, including satanists, must be respected.

I miss the old Greg who said in 1988-1989 he wished more liberals were pro-life.

I miss the old Greg who said in 1989 when we were roommates, after dining at Jyoti Bihanga Vegetarian Restaurant (run by followers of Sri Chinmoy) for a Sunday brunch, went strolling on Adams Avenue, and as we passed an American Legion Hall, said sarcastically, "Let's join!"

I miss the old Greg, who scoffed at his friend Ron's fear of Satan. And when Ron was going on about the dangers of a one-world government, Greg asked, amused and exasperated, "Ron, what is *wrong* with a one-world government? A one-world government sounds wonderful!"

I miss the old Greg, who said he and Ron went into the bars and brought up the subject of vegetarianism and got a favorable response.

I miss the old Greg, who, when we were roommates, and he was enjoying imitation "meats," said, "There's no excuse for eating meat when you have foods like these that taste just as good!"

I miss the old Greg, who said in the first half of the '90s, when *I* expressed exasperation at the inability of Christians to grasp that vegetarianism is nonviolence (where do they think meat comes from? to put meat on the table, an animal must be put to death), said:

"Tell them we can't end abortion till we first end the killing of animals."

I miss the old Greg who in 1997 at the family reunion in Northern California admitted to being inconsistent when talking about "spirituality" while smoking a cigarette.

I miss the old Greg, who in 1999, said that Jerry Falwell had become a laughingstock by saying the Teletubbies character Tinky Winky is gay!

Jerry Falwell, their now-deceased icon who founded Liberty University and co-founded the loathed Moral Majority, actively fought against racial desegregation.

I miss the old Greg, who, when I said via email exchange in the late '90s that no one worships Moses or Mohammed the way we worship Srila Prabhupada (the Christian worship of Jesus is analogous here) said that Christians have to convince themselves that 'Jesus is God,' because otherwise they'd be committing blasphemy by worshipping him.

I miss the old Greg, who, when I said via email exchange in the late '90s that Muslims regard the Catholic veneration of saints as idolatry and polytheism (and on the altars of Krishna temples you see images of Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, the Six Goswamis, etc... saints and spiritual masters in disciplic succession), said in response that Muslims aren't that different from Protestant fundamentalists.

I miss the old Greg who said he wrote a letter to the editor of his local newspaper, with Rankin's encouragement, saying the deification of Jesus began with the followers of Paul.

I miss the old Greg who said he'd gotten into a theological debate with his born again Christian sister Claire as to whether one must believe in the godhood of Jesus to be a Christian.

I miss the old Greg who said that when Rankin complained that the Christians won't accept reincarnation, said he immediately identified himself to Rankin as a *Christian* believing in reincarnation.

I miss the old Greg, who in 2002, agreed with me on the basis of church-state separation, that the ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on the Newdow ruling ("striking down the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance) was correct.

I miss the old Greg, who in 2004 scoffed at Sean Hannity's warning of a future in which churches which refuse to recognize same-sex marriages lose their tax exempt status.

We could be pushing animal rights alongside the rights of blacks, women, LGBTs, children, the unborn, the environment, etc. together.

Instead, Greg appears to have turned conservative.

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