Christian fundamentalism in the USA

This video from the USA is called Chris Hedges – Who Are the American Fascists?

From British daily The Morning Star:

The new fascism

(Sunday 27 January 2008)

American Fascists: The Christian Right and the war on America by Chris Hedges
(Vintage Books, £8.99)

STEVE ANDREW warns that the lightning growth of US fundamentalist Christianity should not be ignored.

For the past few decades, one of the major vehicles for extreme right ideas within US politics has been the Christian fundamentalist movement.

All too often mocked and patronised by those who really ought to know better, its lightning growth is shocking to say the least and as Chris Hedges’s book notes, the brown-shirted born agains now stand to start conquering the highest echelons of state power.

Already, some 45 per cent of US citizens believe that the world really was created in six days and “intelligent design” – the new buzzword for old-fashioned creationism – is taught in schools and universities up and down the country.

The greatest selling author in the land which gave us Mark Twain and Jack London is today some berk peddling lurid accounts of rapture and Armageddon.

Legislation around same-sex marriage has been dismantled, gay lifestyles demonised and abstinence promoted as the only safe and godly path.

Women had better watch out too. Led by a bunch of crazed patriarchs, its not surprising that they see a woman’s destiny as one of submission to the holy trinity of family, church and state.

And single mothers? Heaven forbid! Or should that be forbids? Hedges argues that, just like the fascist movements of the 1930s, fundamentalism has powerful allies in government circles and big business who are only too happy to bankroll its ongoing battle for the US.

5 thoughts on “Christian fundamentalism in the USA

  1. Posted by: “Jack” bongo_fury2004
    Sat Mar 22, 2008 9:46 am (PDT)

    A funny kind of Christian

    His thirst for scapegoats shows how poorlyn George Bush understands the meaning of Easter

    Giles Fraser
    The Guardian,
    Saturday March 22 2008

    Somewhere in the Middle East, Jesus Christ is strapped to a bench, his head wrapped in clingfilm. He furiously sucks against the plastic. A hole is pierced, but only so that a filthy rag can be stuffed back into his mouth. He is turned upside down and water slowly poured into the rag. The torturer whispers religious abuse. If you are God, save yourself you fucking idiot. Fighting to pull in oxygen through the increasingly saturated rag, his lungs start to fill up with water. Someone punches him in the stomach.

    Perhaps this is how we ought to be re-telling the story of Christ’s passion. For ever since the cross became a piece of jewellery, it has been drained of its power to sicken. Even before this the Romans had taken their hated instrument of torture and turned it into the logo of a new religion. Few makeovers can have been so historically significant. The very secular cross was transformed into a sort of club badge for Christians, something to be proud of.

    Two weeks ago, the most powerful Christian in the world vetoed a bill that would have made it illegal for the CIA to use waterboarding on detainees. “We need to ensure our intelligence officials have all the tools they need to stop the terrorists,” said George Bush in a passable impersonation of Pontius Pilate. “This is no time for Congress to abandon practices that have a proven track record of keeping America safe.”

    Throughout his time in office, the president has frequently been photographed in front of the cross. Yet as his support for torture demonstrates, he has understood little of its meaning. For the story of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus is supremely a moral story about God’s identification with victims.

    The French anthropologist René Girard is the modern voice that has done most to explain the nature of this moral change. Human societies, he argues, are often held together by scapegoating. From the playground to the boardroom, we pick on the weak, the weird or the different as a way of securing communal solidarity. At times of tension or division, there is nothing quite as uniting as the “discovery” of someone to blame – often someone perfectly innocent. For generations of Europeans, the Jews were cast in the role; in the same way women have been accused of being witches, homosexuals derided as unnatural, and Muslims dismissed as terrorists.

    The crucifixion turns this world on its head. For it is the story of a God who deliberately takes the place of the despised and rejected so as to expose the moral degeneracy of a society that purchases its own togetherness at the cost of innocent suffering. The new society he called forth – something he dubbed the kingdom of God – was to be a society without scapegoating, without the blood of the victim. The task of all Christians is to further this kingdom, “on earth as it is in heaven”.

    Yet, for all his years in office, it is hard to think that President Bush has done anything much to make this kingdom more of a reality. Instead he has given us rendition, so-called specialised interrogation procedures, and the blood of many thousand innocent Iraqis. Given all this, what can it possibly mean for George Bush to call himself a Christian?

    Easter is not all about going to heaven. Still less some nasty evangelical death cult where a blood sacrifice must be paid to appease an angry God. The crucifixion reveals human death-dealing at its worst. In contrast, the resurrection offers a new start, the foundation of a very different sort of community that refuses the logic of scapegoating. The kingdom is a place of shocking, almost amoral, inclusion. All are welcome, especially the rejected. At least, that’s the theory. Unfortunately, very few of us Christians are any good at it.

    · Giles Fraser is the vicar of Putney


  2. Pingback: WikiLeaks’ Assange, interviewed by Chris Hedges | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Women survivors of religious cults, new books | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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