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Posted February 25, 2007
A real eye-opener
Hedges does an excellent job of articulating the extent to which right-wing extremism has hijacked the Christian faith for political and financial gain. A Christian myself, I have witnessed first-hand how easy it is for people to be swept up into this movement, all under the guise of restoring morality and patriotism and 're-Christianizing' America. I once bought into this brand of political fundamentalism until I realized it was in opposition to what Christ and the Bible actually teach, as well as in opposition to American freedom and democracy. This movement is fueled by converting the masses through 'easy-believism', depriving them of spiritual food and feeding them the garbage of the prosperity gospel, enticing them toward a lust for violence with apocalyptical yet unscripturally-founded eschatologies (and teaching it through fictional novels), and then whipping them into hysteria by exploiting their basest emotions using the very market-driven tactics of pop culture which it pretends to oppose. Hedges did his homework and provides detailed insight and an accurate diagnosis of the malignant cancer which is threatening to destroy the church, and has the potential to overrun America with its brand of self-righteous fascism. Though I differ with Hedges on some theological points, I still agree with his overall message and heed the warnings he is sounding. I am a teacher in a Christian school and really had to read it with an open mind, and am glad I challenged myself to read it and was required to think deeply.
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Posted February 27, 2007
A Brillant Expose, marred by P.C. Stalinism
Having finished finished Hedges' book 'American Fascists', I would agree that Dominionists do present a real threat to our country's Freedom and Democracy, However, Hedges would appear to deny these individuals their rights of free speech under the First Amendment. While Hedges accurately views the Dominionists as proto-Nazis/Fascists, he never once mentions the vast differences between the Weimar Republic and present-day America. According to the book, all that would take the US to turn into a Theocracy is another 9/11. All through 'American Fascism', ( other than an incessant drum-beat for gay-rights issues ), is the P.C. Stalinist impulse to suppress those who Mr. Hedges is so opposed to. This is very unfortunate, as 'American Fascists' reveals much eye-opening and frightening info about the Religious Right, but again, the book is marred by its constant P.C. Stalinism and party-line gay-rights obsession. Jon Wiener, in a review of 'American Fascists' says it best: Hedges concludes that the Christian right 'should no longer be tolerated,' because it 'would destroy the tolerance that makes an open society possible.' What does he think should be done? He endorses the view that 'any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law,' and therefore we should treat 'incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal.' Thus he rejects the 1st Amendment protections for freedom of speech and religion, and court rulings that permit prosecution for speech only if there is an imminent threat to particular individuals. Hedges advocates passage of federal hate-crimes legislation prohibiting intolerance, but he doesn't really explain how it would work. Many countries do prohibit 'hate speech.' Holocaust denial, for example, is a crime in Germany, Austria and several other European countries. But does this mean that Hedges favors prosecuting Christian fundamentalists for declaring, for example, that abortion providers are murderers or that secular humanists are agents of Satan? He doesn't say.
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