Onward, Christian soldiers, with your pitch-perfect suicide mission

When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the American flag and carrying a cross.”                                                               Sinclair Lewis

Chris Hedges wrote this article in 2007 –   before there was a Tea Party, before the world economic meltdown, before the dysfunctional congress . . . and before Citizens’ United.

Dr. James Luther Adams, my ethics professor at Harvard Divinity School, told his students that when we were his age — he was then close to 80 — we would all be fighting the “Christian fascists.”

. . . He was not a man to use the word fascist lightly. He had been in Germany in 1935 and 1936 and worked with the underground anti-Nazi church, known as the Confessing Church, led by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Adams was eventually detained and interrogated by the Gestapo . . .

Adams understood [then, in 1988] that totalitarian movements are built out of deep personal and economic despair. He warned that the flight of manufacturing jobs, the impoverishment of the American working class, the physical obliteration of communities in the vast, soulless exurbs and decaying Rust Belt, were swiftly deforming our society . . .

The mounting despair [now] rippling across the United States, one I witnessed repeatedly as I traveled the country, remains unaddressed by the Democratic Party, which has abandoned the working class, like its Republican counterpart, for massive corporate funding. . .

. . . the powerbrokers in the Christian right have moved from the fringes of society to the floor of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Forty-five senators and 186 members of the House before the last elections earned approval ratings of 80 to 100 percent from the three most influential Christian right advocacy groups — the Christian Coalition, Eagle Forum, and Family Resource Council

Again, he wrote this in 2007. And I agree with him, it’s the thing I fear most, and now our stateless corporate oligarchs have been given the gift of the Tea Party as hapless ground troops. And the poor sods will celebrate in the streets when they take Congress.

I’m in a very bad mood.

24 responses to “Onward, Christian soldiers, with your pitch-perfect suicide mission

  1. Chris Hedges has addressed the threat of Christian fascists in several of his books. AMERICAN FASCISTS devotes the most attention to the problem, but EMPIRE OF ILLUSION also discusses the threat briefly toward the end. I enjoy Chris Hedges’ work because he is eerily prescient.

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    • The only thing I’d previously read of his is his book “War is A Force That Gives Life Meaning”. Interesting guy and I’d meant to pay more attention but drifted away till I came accross this little article. I’ll check out American Fascists.

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  2. I’ve never cared for the Christian Right and still don’t.

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  3. And yet Romney has had to fight a rear action within his OWN party in this respect…..

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    • If he’s elected james, they’ll go ballistic when they realize he really is one of the despised ‘elites’. Plus he’ll probalby end up being a (somewhat) dreaded moderate.

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  4. I remember Democrats going nuts whenever Republicans hinted that anyone in the Obama administration acted like nazis . Where is the civility in politics ? But it is okay to call Christians fascists .

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    • Would you prefer we call them the American Taliban Alan?

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      • @Moe
        I think you would be better served by calling out the specific christians you are referring to. The overall tone doesnt reflect well. Afterall they are not all Westboro Baptist types. 😉
        I hope that is not your home church Alan. 🙂

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        • TFT: You’re right that the post certainly doesn’t refer to all Christians – my own family is full of them 😆

          What the post refers to is ‘Christian fascists’ a very distinct type. And it names the Christian Coalition, Eagle Forum, and Family Resource Council as the ‘powerbrokers’ behind the movement.

          I’d also include “The Family” and Opus Dei.

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    • I don’t think this article or blog post is calling all Christians fascists…just some of the conservative Christians who act like they might be fascists, i.e. try to force their views of morality on everyone else.

      I certainly hope that not all Christians are being called fascists here, since I consider myself a Christian as well.

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  5. I think you would be better served by calling out the specific christians you are referring to. The overall tone doesnt reflect well. Afterall they are not all Westboro Baptist types. 😉
    I hope that is not your home church Alan. 🙂

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  6. Ms. Holland ,

    That will be fine . I just do not want to hear the usual whining that it is Republicans and right wingers who are mean and uncivil . Just be consistent .

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  7. Meh. Thankfully, there is little chance of this happening in the immediate future. As bad as it looks right now, the US and the West in general is not in the same rough shape as it was during the Great Depression or after the First World War. Those were the festering breeding grounds for serious political extremism, today’s more radical elements – of which the left has some as well – are (still) tame by comparisan.

    A greater threat seems more likely to exist in a situation where the world at large does not change directions at all; one where we all continue along the same failed directionless path that seems to lead off a cliff in the near future. Left, Right, it does not matter what direction or what degree is taken, for all of that is subjective and depends on one’s point of view. All that matters is that we do not create by inaction a situation where political extremism is gaurenteed simply because we fear it and any action at all.

    I`m guessing that you had a bad June the 3rd. 🙂

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    • I agree that today’s world isn’t the 1930’s and could not (except economically) plunge into a WWII. But what we do have can easily lead to a kind of instability that is deeply disruptive and therefore dangerous.

      It may also be yet another step in the incremental erosion of the dominance of our western culture – given the changes in china and the middle east, our world could be headed . . . well, who the hell knows where!

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  8. Eurobrat ,

    Liberal Christians are the good ones . Thank you for clearing up my confusion . It is only Conservative Christians who are fascists. How dare they force their morality on others . Thank goodness you are one of the good ones. Then again, the Atheists in the Great White North do not believe there are any good ones .

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    • Nope, that is not what I’m saying. I’m sure there are conservative Christians out there who do not want to forcefully push their beliefs on others, just as there are liberals who do. The right-wing Christians who *do* want to change this country into a theocracy (hopefully there’s not too many of them) do remind me of fascists.

      Also, thanks for the suggestion that I am one of “the good ones”, but alas, while I make an attempt to be good, the percentage of “flawed” in my behavior definitely outweighs the percentage of “good”.

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    • By it’s very nature, fascism is a far right philosophy. So . . .

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  9. I would disagree with the statement that the Democratic party “has abandoned the working class, like its Republican counterpart, for massive corporate funding.” Yes, Democrats take money from corporations and Wall Street, and some of them are corrupted by it, but by and large the Democratic Party has remained the only champion we have of the working class.

    I would submit as an example Barack Obama, who took in lots of cash from Wall Street in 2008. He now is largely an object of Wall Street’s derision, what with his “fat cat” rhetoric and the Dodd-Frank law.

    Sure, I think Dems (including the President) should be much more militant against what is going on, but to lump them in with Republicans is simply misleading.

    Duane

    . .

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    • Duane, it is true that only the left still stands with working people, but our party has been mostly silent on unions and collectivve bargaining. Even Dems don’t use the word ‘poor’ very often anymore. (at least we didnt up until the economic collapse and even since then it’s more about those who are moving into poverty because off it,, and less about poverty itself.)

      It was Dr. Adams who lumped the two parties together – and he’s not entirely wrong. While corp money hasn’t yet the power among our Dem legislators as among the GOP (which is wholly owned), we seem to be moving in that direction.

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  10. Pingback: How Much Religion In Government Is Too Much? | The Blog Farm - A Growing Blog Community

  11. Pingback: How Much Religion In Government Is Too Much? | The Jefferson Tree

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