Onward, Christian Fascists

Hedges is well known in left circles, but for those who may not know, in addition to his journalistic bona fides, he is also an ordained Presbyterian minister. His thoughts on this particular strain of Protestantism are worth considering.

Trigger warning: criticism of Christianity

27 thoughts on “Onward, Christian Fascists

  1. When it comes to faith and belief, there is one thing of which I am certain; that were Christ alive today, the very last thing he would be is a Christian. Of course, he wasn’t his first go around either, but that’s beside the point.

    When Christ was alive, he rode an ass. Now, the asses ride him.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. “Christian fascists, by choice, have severed themselves from rational thought”

        Well presented and an apt reflection of the what we see in the trump/christian(?) cult/base.

        I’ll sure the irrational will follow here shortly, which will only reinforce the points Hedges is making about the sickness that the alt-right (religious and otherwise) has created and given voice to.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Alas, wish that I could take credit, but it was a young German philosopher (late 1800s) who said it, which is all the more remarkable since in German, he used “donkey”, but then calling someone a donkey in German (I guess in any language) is also calling them a dullard. So, it worked.

        It improves, I think, in English because of the double whammy of an ass being not only a stupid person, but also the body part, and the part of the body one places on the donkey as well. So, it works multidimensionally.

        I often wondered if the fellow might have known that. I hope so.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. RE: “His thoughts on this particular strain of Protestantism are worth considering.”

    Why is that?

    I read the piece and found it to be intellectually weak to the point of inanity. I also looked up Hedges to verify his bona fides and found he is indeed well known in left circles, notably for allegations of plagiarism some years ago.

    But all that aside, the only thing that matters here is what you think we should learn from the link.

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    1. RE: “Show your work.”

      OK, but I asked you first to show your work. Demanding that I show mine doesn’t let you off the hook.

      Take this statement by Hedges, for example: “Tens of millions of Americans live hermetically sealed inside the vast media and educational edifice controlled by Christian fascists.” It is silly (inane) because it is vague and suppositional. Who are these “tens of millions of Americans”? What does “hermetically sealed” mean? What “vast media and educational edifice” is Hedges referring to? And, finally, who are the Christian fascists” who control it, and how do they do so?

      Or this one: “the core Gospel message [is] concern for the poor and the oppressed.” I don’t doubt that Hedges believes this, but the proposition is a debatable one. This is easy to show. To illustrate, I just asked my wife, who converted to Catholicism late in life, “What is the core Gospel message?” She answered, almost without hesitation, “It is that Jesus can save you.” Hedges is a silly intellectual jerk for pretending to convey the one irreducible core Gospel message the way he does.

      But Hedges gives away his whole game in the final paragraph: “We will transform American society to a socialist system that provides meaning, dignity and hope to all citizens, that cares and nurtures the most vulnerable among us, or we will become the victims of the Christian fascists we created.”

      Coward that he is, he is calling Christians fascists only to gin up emotional support for an ideological political agenda.

      Now, don’t waste time criticizing my statements. Tell us why you think Hedges’ ideas “deserve consideration.”

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        1. Mr. Roberts firmly believes that no post that is counter to his mindset is worth consideration. He lives in the bubble he questions and doesn’t even know it. It doesn’t make him dangerous, just annoying.

          Liked by 1 person

      1. RE: “I’m confused. Do you want a rebuttal or not?”

        I want you to answer the question I originally posed. How you do it is up to you.

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        1. Once again, I do not need to justify what I post. You do this every time you want to derail a conversation you don’t want the rest of us to have. It’s not nearly as clever a tactic as you think it is.

          RE: The Gospel. There is a significant difference between Catholic and Protestant biblical interpretation. You may recall there was a big thing about it in the 1500s. The careful reader will notice I made sure to differentiate between the two. I’m sure you can understand why I’ll take the word of an ordained Presbyterian minister with a Master’s in divinity over your wife, lovely though I’m sure she is, who recently became a Catholic, particularly in regards to Protestant theology.

          RE: “Political Agenda.” He’s not trying to hide his motives. He lays out his reasoning for believing the socialism vs barbarism paradigm. It baffles me why people who are forthright with their beliefs are treated as though they’re somehow cheating. Standing up for one’s personal convictions is upheld as the opposite of cowardice in most circles.

          Liked by 3 people

        2. RE: “It’s not nearly as clever a tactic as you think it is.”

          Thers is no tactic. If you are not prepared to discuss materials that you recommend to others, perhaps you should not post them in a discussion forum.

          I take it your answer to my question is this: Hedges’ ideas deserve consideration because he is a Presbyterian minister speaking truth to power on behalf of the socialist cause.

          If so, more power to you, I suppose. For my money, though, any favorable promotion of socialism and especially one aimed at calling Christians fascists deserves challenge.

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          1. He did NOT call all Christians fascists. He pointed out that most self-styled fascist individuals today ARE, in fact, Christians. They even use Christian iconography as part of their creed (for lack of a better word). It is too bad that is happening as I know a lot of truly good Christians who find the fascists co-opting their religion to advance a hate filled agenda.

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      2. “Hedges is a silly intellectual jerk for pretending to convey the one irreducible core Gospel message the way he does.”

        Actually Hedges is a Protestant minister who’s theology goes much deeper than “Jesus saves”. Their are many different theologies within Christianity (including Catholicism). They don’t always agree. There are tweaks found even within different denominations of Christianity. But to denigrate one because it doesn’t agree with your own is but one definition of what it means to be anti-Christian.

        …”he is calling Christians fascists only to gin up emotional support for an ideological political agenda.” And fascists that are Christians use hate and fear to gin up emotional support for their skewed point of view and their political agenda. What’s your point?

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  3. “When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

    This sentiment has been attributed to Sinclair Lewis, but he never really said those words. However his book, “It Can’t Happen Here”, was a story about how it could. And interestingly enough, the 1935 novel sold out on Amazon and Books-a-Million after the 2016 election.

    “The main character, Buzz Windrip, appeals to voters with a mix of crass language and nativist ideology. Once elected, he solidifies his power by energizing his base against immigrants, people on welfare, and the liberal press. The novel has been called “frighteningly contemporary” in the wake of the Trump campaign and election.”
    https://money.com/sinclair-lewis-it-cant-happen-here-amazon/

    Considering the near apoplectic response by the Evangelical power elite to the criticism of Trump and his regime in “Christianity Today”, there lies the evidence of the hopes for an authoritarian, conservative Christian nation by an influential segment of our society.

    As the column points out, the rush to pack courts with minimally qualified but reliably Christian conservatives as well as cabinet appointees might well indeed play into the notion for many that Trump is God’s choice. And, of course, the two eternal favorites for legal remedies for religious conservatives, the bedroom and womb, were addressed as well.

    Religion, like any other institution, is as susceptible as any secular autocracy to “power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely “. Mega churches with elite wealthy “shepherds for God” are flexing their muscles as the “chosen one” presides.

    IMHO, Amen.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. @Rothman

      What you describe sounds like a conspiracy theory to me: That damned President Trump and his evangelical cabal is colluding with snake-worshiping Babtists to undermine the just foundations of America. How silly!

      It may be true that some Christians are fascists, but it is just as true many socialists are fascists. The observation derives from the fact that the best known and worst socialists of the modern era became our archetype of fascism.

      I am surprised you would align yourself in agreement with someone who is promoting persectution of people for their religion.

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      1. You are, as some would say, “a piece of work”.

        Persecuting whom because of their religion? The powerful arm of the religious right is hardly the target of persecution. They are certainly not immune to strong criticism, as is true of any major institution that effects influence in government, or anywhere for that matter.

        The difference being that their battle cry is “religious freedom” when in fact they are working hard against any belief, sectarian or not, that is not in agreement with them.

        “Snake worshipping Baptist’s”? I re-read my post and found no such reference, real or intimated. Conspiracy? None there either. There is, and has been, a multi-decade effort to cultivate conservative judges by the Federalists and others, to have them ready to go when the opportunity arose. They don’t hide that. They brag about it. And the reality is that reproductive rights and gay rights are two issues that are an anathema to religious conservatives. And compromise, the core of our founding and governing system is a non-starter.

        The political influence of religious powerhouses is a bit disconcerting. They hide behind religious protections provided in the Constitution to exert religious persecution of those who challenge their message as it relates to law and national interests.

        Bottom line: I don’t think Christians are fascists, nor is there a grand conspiracy, nor do I align with religious persecution (neither does the author, that’s just another “religious freedom” shield by you), nor do I accept the fact that modern fascism is anything more that a dictatorship hiding in ideological clothing.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. “Persecuting whom because of their religion?”

          To your point, this is FROM THE ARTICLE IN QUESTION.

          “They see themselves as eternal victims, oppressed by dark and sinister groups seeking their annihilation. They alone know the will of God. They alone can fulfill God’s will. They seek total cultural and political domination.”

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Kind of like the ever popular annual “War on Christmas” accusations. It did wonders for the serial sexual assaulter at FOX every year.

            Somehow, mega-ministers driving Rolls Royces and flying in private jets takes a bit of the “woe are us” out of the equation.

            I often wonder why I have to subsidize those folks.

            Liked by 3 people

        2. RE: “You are, as some would say, ‘a piece of work’.”

          I could say the same about you, because, somehow, your commentary always comes down on the side of the anti-Christian position.

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          1. What is an anti-Christian position? And, more importantly, how have I expressed that?

            Any criticism of religion, particularly Christianity since they are both the majority in numbers and power, is supposed to be off-limits?

            My critique of religion revolves around the power broker side. And particularly in a nation that was founded by people who were very wary of state religions and the influence in governance. And the Constitution specifically avoids any mention of God or religion except in the 1st Amendment. And that is to guarantee rights of worship of any deity, deities or none by any believer by keeping the state at arms length.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. This part of the opening paragraph kind of caught my attention: …”the core Gospel message—concern for the poor and the oppressed—was perverted into a magical world where God and Jesus showered believers with material wealth and power.” Sounds like the Prosperity gospel I have heard of in discussions with some of my Christian friends. Not that they adhere to it, but they are aware of it within their religion.

    The issue is that the majority of Christians I have talked with and discussed such things is they are disturbed by what the loudest of their faith put out there. Hedges makes a valid point that those the talk the most and loudest do not necessarily represent the majority. Saw a headline concerning the differences between “evangelical voters” and “religious voters”. Wish I could find it and see what it says.

    It comes down to the perversion of the message of the Gospels.

    Liked by 2 people

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