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The Christian Fascists Are Growing Stronger

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Posted on Jun 7, 2010
Truthdig collage based on a White House photo by Pete Souza

By Chris Hedges

Tens of millions of Americans, lumped into a diffuse and fractious movement known as the Christian right, have begun to dismantle the intellectual and scientific rigor of the Enlightenment. They are creating a theocratic state based on “biblical law,” and shutting out all those they define as the enemy. This movement, veering closer and closer to traditional fascism, seeks to force a recalcitrant world to submit before an imperial America. It champions the eradication of social deviants, beginning with homosexuals, and moving on to immigrants, secular humanists, feminists, Jews, Muslims and those they dismiss as “nominal Christians”—meaning Christians who do not embrace their perverted and heretical interpretation of the Bible. Those who defy the mass movement are condemned as posing a threat to the health and hygiene of the country and the family. All will be purged.

The followers of deviant faiths, from Judaism to Islam, must be converted or repressed. The deviant media, the deviant public schools, the deviant entertainment industry, the deviant secular humanist government and judiciary and the deviant churches will be reformed or closed. There will be a relentless promotion of Christian “values,” already under way on Christian radio and television and in Christian schools, as information and facts are replaced with overt forms of indoctrination. The march toward this terrifying dystopia has begun. It is taking place on the streets of Arizona, on cable news channels, at tea party rallies, in the Texas public schools, among militia members and within a Republican Party that is being hijacked by this lunatic fringe.

Elizabeth Dilling, who wrote “The Red Network” and was a Nazi sympathizer, is touted as required reading by trash-talk television hosts like Glenn Beck. Thomas Jefferson, who favored separation of church and state, is ignored in Christian schools and soon will be ignored in Texas public school textbooks. The Christian right hails the “significant contributions” of the Confederacy. Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who led the anti-communist witch hunts of the 1950s, has been rehabilitated, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is defined as part of the worldwide battle against Islamic terror. Legislation like the new Jim Crow laws of Arizona is being considered by 17 other states.

The rise of this Christian fascism, a rise we ignore at our peril, is being fueled by an ineffectual and bankrupt liberal class that has proved to be unable to roll back surging unemployment, protect us from speculators on Wall Street, or save our dispossessed working class from foreclosures, bankruptcies and misery. The liberal class has proved useless in combating the largest environmental disaster in our history, ending costly and futile imperial wars or stopping the corporate plundering of the nation. And the gutlessness of the liberal class has left it, and the values it represents, reviled and hated.

The Democrats have refused to repeal the gross violations of international and domestic law codified by the Bush administration. This means that Christian fascists who achieve power will have the “legal” tools to spy on, arrest, deny habeas corpus to, and torture or assassinate American citizens—as does the Obama administration.

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Those who remain in a reality-based world often dismiss these malcontents as buffoons and simpletons. They do not take seriously those, like Beck, who pander to the primitive yearnings for vengeance, new glory and moral renewal. Critics of the movement continue to employ the tools of reason, research and fact to challenge the absurdities propagated by creationists who think they will float naked into the heavens when Jesus returns to Earth. The magical thinking, the flagrant distortion in interpreting the Bible, the contradictions that abound within the movement’s belief system and the laughable pseudoscience, however, are impervious to reason. We cannot convince those in the movement to wake up. It is we who are asleep. 

Those who embrace this movement see life as an epic battle against forces of evil and Satanism. The world is black and white. They need to feel, even if they are not, that they are victims surrounded by dark and sinister groups bent on their destruction. They need to believe they know the will of God and can fulfill it, especially through violence. They need to sanctify their rage, a rage that lies at the core of the ideology. They seek total cultural and political domination. They are using the space within the open society to destroy it. These movements work within the confining rules of the secular state because they have no choice. The intolerance they promote is muted in the public assurances of their slickest operators. Given enough power, and they are working hard to get it, any such cooperation will vanish. The demand for total control and for a Christian nation and the refusal to permit any dissent are on display within their inner sanctums. These pastors have established within their churches tiny, despotic fiefdoms, and they seek to replicate these little tyrannies on a larger scale.


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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, June 9, 2010 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

Very bitter and many wrinkles!  And don’t you have a shriveled up
prune primitive mind?  Nothing but invectives and hypocrisies, using
the Bible as bathroom reading?

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ThomasG's avatar

By ThomasG, June 9, 2010 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous, June 9 at 2:12 pm & Shenonymous, June 9 at 2:11 pm,

The church pulpits of the Right-Wing EXTREMIST Evangelical Christian Fascist Movement is where the sophism, propaganda, and false rhetoric is being preached as “God’s Will”.  I have family members that have been exposed to Right-Wing Evangelical Christian Fascist EXTREMIST sermonizing of doctrine that have been told that they could not worship God in their Evangelical Christian Church unless they accepted Right-Wing Christian Fascism and voted Republican; this would seem to support Chris Hedges’ assertions.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, June 9, 2010 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

“if God is a perfect God, we must look to those who are usurping
God’s Power and Glory by claiming enforcement authority of God’s
will.”  Do you realize ThomasG that there is a contradiction in this
statement?  If God is a perfect God, how could anyone or anything
usurp God’s Power?  If God is a perfect God, how could anyone or
anything seize that power and glory?  I mean isn’t that perfect God
a God of the entire universe?  Couldn’t that perfect God simply smite
those who are trying to usurp?  And if not, then could that be a
perfect God?  Or are you saying there is no such thing as a perfect
God?

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By Craig Merrihue, June 9, 2010 at 10:39 am Link to this comment

Chris, you are far and away my favorite journalist, and a spiritual breath of fresh air as well. But as at least one comment points out, you are veering toward demagoguery.

“dystopia…on the the streets of Arizona”? “the new Jim Crow laws of Arizona”?

I lived through Jim Crow, and was overjoyed at the triumph of the civil rights movement. It was the only issue that seemed to matter in my youth, and to see the term bandied about so recklessly is in the same league as the incessant and inappropriate barage of shrill accusations of “Nazi!“and “fascist!” (I find your characterizations of “Christian Fascists” to be entirely apt).

Is anybody on the left ever going to address the reasons for immigration law (and thereby its enforcement) or the root causes for Mexican immigration in the nefarious perfidy of American and Mexican elites? The rich of Mexico live like the rich everywhere, but the poor are ground in the dust and driven to flee their home. And why not? There’s always the American safety valve. And here, immigration is used as it has always been used since the market revolution alienated workers from work-to drive down the cost of labor. American leftists have become the champion enablers of this exploitation.

I really expected more intelligence, logic and reason from you. Flippant demagoguery is poisoning an otherwise sparkling well.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, June 9, 2010 at 10:32 am Link to this comment

Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus (AD 280?-337) was Emperor Constantine from 306-337 AD. In “The Popes: Twenty centuries of History” (Libreria Editrice Vaticana) Constantine isn’t one of them. As listed from #31-35 of popes for your edification, John Ellis;

St. Marcellus I (306-309)

st. Eusebius (April-Oct. 309)

St. Melchiades or Miltiades (311-314)
Following the victory at the battle of Milvian bridge and the defeat of Maxentius by Constantine he met the emperor who gave him the palace of the empress Fausta...hence the Leteran became the residence of the Popes. [Pg 15]

St. Sylvester I (314-335)

St. Marcus (Jan.-Oct. 336)

So to put to rest the fallacy, Constantine was never pope, in name or otherwise. However he did compel others to become Christian and promoted the idea of the “good” war when it is for their cause.

LIGHT (?)
The title of Pope was not used in the days when Emperor Constantine used the deadly force of his Empire to compel obedience to the doctrines of the Catholic church.
John Ellis

More like DARK in this case.

—-

ofersince72, June 9 at 4:33 am #

Believing that the likes of Chomsky and many other professors and pundits that jump on a jumbo airliner at any whim they feel are contributing to what they preach against…..is that religious fanaticism?

I’ve heard the Reich wing use that canard but without and alternative. Indeed you sound just like one right now. Do you have an alternative or are you just dissembling to interrupt the thread?

The “fundies” support Israel but they also want to kill Judaism and replace with their bastard hybrid creation of Messianic Judaism which is more in line with their particular version of Christianity as we see from who is ruling Israel. Unlike their predecessors the Nazis, they just want to kill the religion, not the person. (It is a form of genocide but of culture only.)

Actually the Dominionist faction in the 10% of the wealthy and powerful need Israel for its military and strategic significance with the like minded. Also to aid in the Crusade against Jihad. For them there is no “rapture” just glorious holy war to cleans the earth of apostates with gahenna fire. and evangelize the earth. So there is no rapture or final battle but they do have wars to fight to convert the earth to their particular brand of Christianity. So they are still dangerous because they want a corporate theocracy right here to start with. And they will be getting it any time soon once the economy fails, due to their machinations over the past 40 years. It is crypto-fascism as it creeps slowly like a strangling vine. Lately it has moved a bit faster. They all don’t have to know what the big picture is as long as they get to plunder the gov’t and our money. The thing is that once the Dominionist take power such greed heads may lose theirs because the new regime won’‘t want to trash their own gov’t in order to maintain the control they have waited for since 1934.

Arabian Sinbad you mean believers in just one god or more & those who say no gods are needed or wanted at all? Not so easy now is it?

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ThomasG's avatar

By ThomasG, June 9, 2010 at 10:14 am Link to this comment

John Ellis, June 9 at 12:41 pm, & John Ellis, June 9 at 12:34 pm,

You have not answered the question I put to you relative to whether or not God is an imperfect God.

All that is necessary for you to understand is whether or not God is Divine, whether or not God is a perfect God or an imperfect God.

If God is a perfect God, we must look to those who are usurping God’s Power and Glory by claiming enforcement authority of God’s will.

If God is an imperfect God, we must also look to those who are enforcing the Power and the Glory of God as an imperfect God.

Is God a Divine Being, or does God require Man as an imperfect being to enforce God’s Divine Will?

It sounds to me like you are against Christian Fascism and, if that is so, why do you support Christian Fascist use of God as an imperfect God in support of Christian Fascism?

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, June 9, 2010 at 10:12 am Link to this comment

Nailing Chris…
The gushing is a Biblical Flood!
Do not make the mistake that I am applauding any action that is
being taken by the Right.  I am simply asking that you think for
yourself and check out all the sophistry that is being spoon fed
to you by the normal menu Hedges always gives.  Do you really
think for yourself? Or are you just as guilty of falling for dema-
goguery as those who are being accused of following in the train
of the Right?

Hedges is brandishing his usual firebrand with the intention of rousing
the Marxist rabble once again.  He accuses tens of millions of
Americans which is a safe couch of non-statistic rhetoric to launch his
latest diatribe against America.  One ought to be very careful, and
critical, of what is obviously a planned hoopla to which emotions into
some nebulous action, which in effect become another piss into the
wind exercise of the jaw. 

Who are the leaders of this Neo-Christian Fascist tens of millions?  If
there are indeed tens of millions you would think there would be
articulate leaders?  Say who they are!  Get after them!  Furthermore, he
charges the NCF (Neo-Christian Fascists) want to convert and/or
repress (which is it?) those who are not of their persuasion but he does
not say to what form of religion that would be?  Exactly? What evidence
does he give that churches will be reformed or closed? He charges the
terrifying march towards dystopia has begun and gives Arizona more or
less as the flashpoint, and a list of other nebulous ways this has
commenced.  A list but no specifics, which is par for Hedges’ course. 
Say a lot but say nothing.  Who exactly is hailing Joseph McCarthyism
on the Right?

Throughout this 24-paragraph essay, Hedges makes incredible
inflamatory rhetorical arguments. Try for instance, paragraph 4. his
bombast against the ‘gutless’ liberal class and the list of what is fueling
the alleged peril.

He charges the Democrats refuse to do anything about “gross
violations” of international and domestic law codified by the Bush
Administration, but he does not give any specifics once again.  Who
among the Democrats are dragging their liberal feet?  This is nothing
but unsubstantiated accusation.

He continuously refers to the proverbial and faceless ‘they.”  Those he
charges remain in a realty-based world but do not take the Right
buffoons seriously.  I ask what causes Hedges’s wake up shaking the
shit out of the proverbial them not to resonate?  Why does not the
American population respond to his passionate call?  It is the emotion
of passion that motivates people to act. So why are they not moved to
be emotional and active?  And of course he could not help bring up the
occult NOW.  How to use a fiction to promote more fiction!  Eye wool if
every there is such a substance!

From paragraph 7 to 11 is nothing but demagogic rhetoric.  But at
paragraph 12 he gets into the Extreme Right Novels but doesn’t have a
clue what are Extreme Leftist novels. What a laugh.  Here I’ll help you
out with some good bathroom reading in case you are not able to help
yourself out, just in case you need some more fiction reading material!
http://www.socialistreview.org.uk/bookclub/

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By Shenonymous, June 9, 2010 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

He claims at paragraph15 that the Right is embracing a form of
‘primitivism’ without saying what that means?  I guess accusing
them of submerging themselves in mythologies of the bible? 
Seems if he wants to take a shot at the bible he ought to show
how erroneous is the bible.  But then Hedges would alienate that
oxymoronic group, the Christian Marxists!

Hedges then complains the Right more or less pimps science to give
credence to their agenda.  Well if that is true, then where is the left’s
counter-scientific arguments?  Oh, too much work, right? Oh, I mean
left?

Does the Right’s looney arguments have more traction in the General
Population (I mean those tens of millions come from somewhere!)
because they argue better?  The left is impotent in their argument and
have to resort to rhetoric and ideology bashing?  Why not put up the
Left’s ideology against the Right’s? Or is it that theirs is too scattered
and incohesive?  That the likes of Hedges has to try to whip up some
red corpuscles to get a public voice going? It is ludicrous.

He hypocritically calls on Augustine, a religionist by the way, for help at
paragraph 19.  Falling into the sentimentality of love…bull shit!  Come
on Hedges.  Falling into philosophical rhetoric is not his forte.  For
instance there are opposite philosophic views that would nullify the
Christian Right’s effects.  SO then what are they if they exist. 

He whines about no public debate is going on that it is useless to try to
get the Christian right to speak publicly.  Well why not create a public
debate with faux Rightists and argue against them in public?  What? 
Too ingenious? 

In paragraph 22, Hedges clearly contradicts himself.  Can you sort it
out? Bet you can’t.

In paragraph 23 he also speculates as much as Wall Street, that the
Christian fascists uses the fear of new Islamic terrorists attacks to scare
the public. The claim of a culture of fear, but my question is Without
the Christian fascists are these dangers still there?  Or is the
fabrication of these fears simply a device for Hedges to argue against? 

At the end of his incendiary harangue he puts out a call to openly defy
the liberals, to stand against the Rightist ‘barbarians,’ in other words,
become savages yourself.  He puts the culture of fear to his own
purpose by shouting “time is running out!”  He calls for action, but he
shrinks from what those actions would be.  He lists the symbols being
used by the Christian American fascists so I have to ask what ought
the socialists be waving?  The Communist Manifesto, The anarchist’s
flag?

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By jerry lagadec, June 9, 2010 at 9:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A comment made by one of the writers that non-believers do not have the “fetters of rules and morality” and therefore enjoy life more is really reprehensible and ironic. Couched in an attempt to bestow a “liberal” largesse upon the minions of secularism- of which I am one- this statement is unintentionally contributive to the type of dangerous assumptions that “people of faith”- a perplexing term- consistenly make and which renders them so potentionally lethal; it’s a dangerous patronization that could blossom into some bloody flowers in the future. The poverbial “shit” is approaching the proverbial “fan” and the “umbrella sellers” are waiting in the wings for their moment on the historical stage. Fear is the hand maiden of Fascism that always offers the palliation of certitude and quarantee. This, coupled with a public made incapable of rational thought and emotional restraint, is a lethal combination. It’s going to take more than liberal platitudes to stop the Huns. I was born in France in 1942. My father, who was in the French Republican Guard, was forced to translate for the Germans because of his fluency in German. He purposefly mis-translated an address -given by a traitor- where some of the heads of the Resistance were meeting. They escaped; my father didn’t. He was murdered by the Gestapo.My uncle fought the Nazis in the countryside, throwing hand grenades into the troop trucks. I hope it doesn’t come to this here, but the denial I often read in some of the reactions on this sight scare me as much as the Corporate Fascism I witness in this country. There comes a point when there is no longer any ambiguity about what the intentions of these Dogmatists are; they want “absolute control over every living soul”, as Leonard Cohen so eloquent states in “The Future”. Those who can not fathom such a need… need to wake up and realize such evil does exist in the world and placating it when it is too late is the essence of unintentional capitulation. I do not think we have reached this point yet…but we need to stay alert, very alert.

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By REDHORSE, June 9, 2010 at 9:21 am Link to this comment

In my limited experience, there seems to be an evolving, universal, living, sentient, creative,destructive, transformative, impartial and illuminating conscious presence manifest throughout all aspects of spiritual, mental, physical and dimensional life,space and time. It is human only in so far as humans exist and are capable of experiencing and holding it in conscious relationship. It will continue to exist with or without humanity.

    The human is a finite creature existing (for all practical purposes) in an infinite realm. At present it has overpopulated and is in the process of destroying the planet it lives on. Many have had their own natural conscience and morality so violated that humanity is experiencing mass insanity w/emotional shock (planatary PTSD). Their government in the control of psychopaths, they cling to superstitious ritual to escape reality.They seek rescue in Apocalypse. Meanwhile, those who think strong opinion will save them cling to strong opinion as atrocity after murderous atrocity transpires.

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Ed Harges's avatar

By Ed Harges, June 9, 2010 at 9:19 am Link to this comment

There is one good thing
about having a top story
on the subject of religion:
it keeps the religious readers
busy posting here,

and blessedly (so to speak) absent from the other threads.

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RenZo's avatar

By RenZo, June 9, 2010 at 8:58 am Link to this comment

@race_to_the_bottom, June 9

Brilliant. Well spoken. Concise. Intelligent and honest. Educated, well-read (both on the problems today and on what history recorded). Thank you for your insight, prioritization and ordered thought on the subject; please keep writing. It’s is the most positive, constructive and helpful prose this year on this site.

It reminds me that out of our “great” middle class arose the liberals who now give IT all back, like appeasing Hitler pre-WWII. They forget the bashed heads, deaths, inprisonments and witch hunts. The public burnings (McCarthy), the current homophobia, racial hatreds and misplaced xenophobia for poor working class working mexicans. The need for scapegoats is one thing I find most predictive of the flowering of fascism.

The middle class is/was smug, easy living, selfish, and self-absorbed to the exclusion of using its education to see where the problems were/are. Liberals grow out of the middle class as stubbornly as weeds out of a pampered lawn. When the revolution comes, if it does, it must remember this cycle of middle class values: comfort over constitution, laissez faire greed, corporate merger with government (not a hostile take-over) and suicidally short-sighted self-interest.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 9, 2010 at 8:55 am Link to this comment

Arabian Sinbad, June 9 at 11:01 am #

I believe that human beings, in general, can be divided into believers and non-believers.

Non-believers confine themselves only to the physical reality they perceive by their senses. Believers, however, go beyond the physical to the metaphysical to see a first cause (i.e. God) beyond the wonders of creation within themselves and within nature. Thus they don’t accept that all these wonders around us are the result of an accident and that human life has no purpose to it beyond our physical existence.

Though I belong to the believers’ group (i.e. faith group) I admit my shortcomings in convincing the faithless group that I am right and they are wrong. Therefore, for the purpose of peace and harmony in the human societies, each group has to accept the other as they are and not spend much time and energy putting down the other or insulting them.

Consequently, I have to admit that non-believers have more freedom in enjoying the material things of the world without the fetters of rules and morality. Hence the physical world is the non-believer’s “Paradise.” On the other hand, the world is a prison-house for a believer since he / she is supposed to weigh the consequences of his / her actions for the sake of their “Paradise” in an Afterlife.

My brotherly advice, for the sake of civility, is that each group should accept the other as an eternal reality and that our actions, good or bad, not our faith or faithlessness, should be the basis for praise or condemnation of each others.

Don’t attack my faith (i.e. religion)and I will respect your freedom to be faithless or non-believer! It is as simple as that!
**********************************************

And we have failed to convince you that faith is based on nothing but a dream.

I have known far more moral non-believers than moral believers in my life.  A non-believer has the most ruthless judge: the mirror, his/her own self-esteem. But a believer can get a “ruling” that allows them to do something wrong, like kill or even rape and, if he/she feels guilty, all they have to do is atone for it (“say 5 Our Fathers and 10 Hail Marys”) and be absolved, knowing that in the eyes of their faith, they now have a clean slate.

But the non-believer doesn’t have that luxury. Your self-esteem doesn’t forgive and forget nearly as easily.  There is no ritual of atonement, and no matter WHAT you do, you can never escape it.  That’s why human beings invented rationalization—to try to escape the judgment of their own self-esteem.

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By omygodnotagain, June 9, 2010 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

All of a sudden there are fascists everywhere.. there are Islamo, Christian, Corporate,3 types of Italian, Dutch, British to name a few.
As a liberal weenie with empathy for others especially the less fortunate I’m just past the sell date and decdely passe. Guess I need to read up on Ayn Rand, LaHaye and Christopher Hitchens
and a subscription to the Weekly Review , and drop the word eugenics once and awhile

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By Inherit The Wind, June 9, 2010 at 8:47 am Link to this comment

ohn Ellis, June 9 at 12:18 pm #

MORAL MORONS

Peter J. Kraus
“The epic battle between educated, thinking citizens
and the perpetually underdeveloped is nigh.
Wanna bet the idiots win?”

LIGHT
You see, Peter is of the stuck-up intelligent middleclass,
the 40% of society to smart to ever endure a honest day’s
hard labor, and too dumb to ever be rich.  A most self-absorbed
crowd, moral imbeciles actually.

Let us guess, Peter is a good church going person.

**********************************************

And the self-proclaimed-profit loses his cool and starts hurling insults when challenged too roughly!

I guess telling us all about angels is tiring.  And who made up all those fantasies about “angels”?

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ThomasG's avatar

By ThomasG, June 9, 2010 at 8:42 am Link to this comment

John Ellis, June 9 at 11:58 am,

Can anyone legitimately represent the Divinity of God that represents God as an imperfect God???????

Are you saying that God, as a perfect being, created imperfection and then blamed and persecuted the imperfect creations that God created???????

If God created imperfect beings and then persecuted the imperfect beings of God’s own creation, you are saying that God is no better than Victor Frankenstein and that God is an imperfect God.

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By RenZo, June 9, 2010 at 8:28 am Link to this comment

@ Martin
“look at Stalin and Mao (Atheists) They are the two biggest murderers in history. But I don’t blame you for what they did.”
Atheism as practiced by communist dictators is a religion unto itself: catholic/orthodox,  uncritical of self, manichean, ruthless, intolerant and unforgiving. So it is not true that Mao and Stalin were not-religious.

You should be careful, in this audience, of quoting Jesus, for many of us deny (I suspect) his divinity, infallibility and personal factual existence. But more importantly, the testimony to the words of Jesus is based on writers who lived way beyong his lifetime (if he really lived) and the texts have been highly edited, rewritten and subjected to 2 millenia of revisionary content and interpretation. You might as well quote Peter Pan, for the little authority is has.

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ThomasG's avatar

By ThomasG, June 9, 2010 at 8:23 am Link to this comment

John Ellis, June 9 at 11:58 am,

You have seriously misquoted me in your post.  Here is the quote of what I actually said:

“What we are talking about is whether or not a Divine being can rely upon an imperfect being, Man, to enforce Divine will and still have claim to being a Divine being; Man makes this claim to the knowing and enforcing of God’s will, and in so doing brings God down to Man’s level of imperfection, making God an “imperfect God”.”  —ThomasG, June 9 at 11:00 am

Here is the quote of what you said I said: 

““What we are talking about:
Can a perfect God rely upon imperfect humans
to enforce his will, and still have claim to being
infinite in knowledge, Almighty and all loving?” —John Ellis, June 9 at 11:58 am

Meaningful dialogue is based upon adherence to factual representation of what others say, rather than misrepresentation, sophism, propaganda, and rhetoric that leads to a false conclusion.  If you wish to be forthright stay with factual representation of what I say, and do not descend into misrepresentation, sophism, propaganda, and false and misleading rhetoric.

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By ThomasG, June 9, 2010 at 8:02 am Link to this comment

John Ellis, June 9 at 11:01 am,

Fascism is corporate governance with the face of God.

Is your post definitive of “God’s will” as relates to Christian Fascism???????

Since Christian Fascists are acting in the name of God, are they acting for God, exercising God’s will in what you claim, or are they acting as imperfect human beings???????

What is the connection to God in Christian Fascism?

What is the purpose of Fascism, corporate governance with the face of God, if it is not to enforce the power and the glory of God’s will??????? ——If the intent is otherwise, why is it necessary to display the face of God on Corporate Governance???????

Why should Christians who truly believe in God follow imperfect human beings, that in pursuit of power through Christian Fascism, reduce God to an imperfect tool of imperfect man, and thereby frame God as an imperfect God?

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By Paul Cooper, June 9, 2010 at 7:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wow.  This article is simply wrong in too many ways
to count.  I can’t believe Hedges has written a book
on this topic when he really has no idea what he is
talking about.  This article is like the mad ravings
of a vagabond walking the streets.  Hedges comes off
like a religious zealot of secularism here - spewing
forth insane claims about Christians wanting violence
and eradication.  This is hate speech, factless, and
harmful. 
Mr. Hedges, I’m not sure what has gone in your life
to make you respond in such a way, but I hope you
find closure and are able to forgive and move on.

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race_to_the_bottom's avatar

By race_to_the_bottom, June 9, 2010 at 7:52 am Link to this comment

(Continued from previous post)

6. We need to really get down off our high horses and talk to people and look them straight in the eyes and declare that we are outraged that honest working class people are fired and their jobs sent abroad, they are evicted from their homes, their kids can’t afford college and they work for crappy wages when they do work, get no real vacations and no pensions.  We must solemnly declare without equivocation that we will join with them to defeat our common enemies and not be diverted by liberals who claim that there really are no solutions to their problems except more pain.

This is a tough row to hoe, but there is no way around it. We have been coasting for decades on the struggle of those who made this type of struggle in the early to the mid 20th century which allowed us the luxury to practice a kind of class struggle free politics. We did it by giving back their gains piecemeal. We did it in the labor movement and in society in general. There is no more to give but our blood. The final struggle is now unavoidable.


This discussion of fascism by Dimitrov has some insights into the nature of fascism in the ‘30s.

http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/dimitrov/works/1935/unity.htm

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By race_to_the_bottom, June 9, 2010 at 7:50 am Link to this comment

ofersince72,

It is a emotionally satisfying but serious error to describe the garden variety right wing politicians who run the government as fascists. These people are more akin to ineffectual conservative and social democratic politicians of Wiemar Germany. The real fascist movement will drag conservative politicians like McCain along in their wake.

Hedges is right. Only a powerful workingclass movement on the left can stop fascism. It was true in Wiemar Germany and it is true today. But the liberals, bankrupt, cannot make the revolutionary changes necessary. Hence, they, like the German Social Democrats, merely “prove” that there are no solutions on the left. They block any attempt to make real improvements to the lives of the people who fill the ranks of the fascist movement.

If the left is going to approach those people who are being swept up in the Christian fascist movement, what program are we going to propose that they support? What are the specific, concrete proposals that we make to resolve the very personal crises these people are suffering because of the economic and social crisis of the past three decades? Until we decide this, all the hot air blown around these leftist forums are a waste of time. It is time for specifics. I’ll start.

1. The left cannot anymore avoid the reality of the class struggle as the central reality of history. This has been the essence of liberalism, and evidence of its bankruptcy is all around us in the devastation of the lives of tens of millions. And we need to stop the politics of identity and focus very sharply on the working class and the white working class in particular because there is where the enemy gets its recruits and they have been completely ignored by liberalism.

2. We must define the enemy in no uncertain terms. The people know they have enemies, but they are being defined for them by the right. The liberals claim the people have no domestic enemies; not even the Republican Party. The Democratic Party portrays the right as simply a trend with a different point of view.

3. The enemy is finance capital and it is international. We need to expose in detail how it has robbed the entire world and created the crisis. We have to expose fascism as its creation.

4. We need to fight for the MOST PRESSING NEEDS of the people. We need a program which guarantees work at decent wages, medical and retirement security. We cannot be deterred by liberals who claim we “can’t afford it” or those who cite “the deficit”. We must become experts at defining what is wealth, how it is created, what is money, what labor means, what value added means and why it is important, why some jobs create value and others are costs. What NAFTA and WTO do; how migration from Mexico was caused by NAFTA. Why immigrant workers create enormous value, how the value is stolen by capitalism, how they actually earn the benefits that they are not given, why THEY support us, not the other way around. Why the anti-immigrant movement is against the interest of white workers.

5. We are going to rebuild our manufacturing base and not allow it to be destroyed forcing our workers to compete with cheap labor abroad.

(Continued on next post)

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By RenZo, June 9, 2010 at 7:47 am Link to this comment

@ MESthe3rd, June 9 at 11:02 am

Look for the solutiono in the email itself; there is a link to click on in order to stop the notification emails.

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By Anarcissie, June 9, 2010 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

Gosh, I feel like I, too, should get up here and deliver some kind of long, crazed, hysterical rant, but I can’t think of anything to say.  Chris H. sure knows how to stir the pot, though, doesn’t he?

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By elisalouisa, June 9, 2010 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

            This column is incomplete for it does not mention the   Christian Right alliance with the Neocons, a subject Hedges knows very much about considering his background.

ITW:  One sentence in this column is more important than the three pages Chris Hedges wrote concerning the Christian Right.

“But they are also being used and manipulated by forces that seek to dismantle what is left of our democracy and abolish the pluralism that was once the hallmark of our society.”

Which leads me to excerpts from Max Blumenthal’s column on 9/20/09 “Irving Kristol’s Alliance with Anti-Semites”
“.  .  .  But the story of one of Kristol’s most momentous — and cynical — maneuvers, the brokering of a tactical alliance between Jewish neoconservatives and openly anti-Semitic evangelicals, has been generally omitted.
In my book, “Republican Gomorrah: Inside The Movement That Shattered The Party,” I describe how Kristol initiated the alliance in July 1984, urging that American Jews, “enmeshed in the liberal time warp,” ally with Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority.”

This column is incomplete for it does not mention the Christian Right alliance with the Neocons, a subject Hedges knows very much about considering his background.

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By ThomasG, June 9, 2010 at 7:29 am Link to this comment

The enforcement of God’s will has been used by man to control man from time immemorial, and from the beginning in the dark dawn of man’s history in the caves and around the fires to the present time, man’s use of God’s will by man to control man is man usurping the Divinity of God, as an inferior being, to control and rule his fellow man for the benefit of control and rule.

In the same way that we now understand that Privatized Capitalism is a Ponzi Scheme of Commercialism, Socialism for the Privatized Capitalists, and Privatized Capitalism for the populace, we need to understand that man compared to God is an inferior being and that God as a Divine Being would NOT be a Divine Being if God required inferior human beings, man, to enforce and implement God’s will.

Those who truly believe in God should take great offense that Privatized Capitalism, the Right-Wing Evangelical Christian Fascist Movement, and all others who claim to be the enforcers of God’s will are usurping God’s Divine power for their own self serving interests of power and control over their fellow man in the name of God’s will.

Those who truly believe in the Divinity of God and are following inferior human beings who claim to know God’s will, who claim to speak God’s will, and claim to enforce God’s will, for God, are following inferior men who bring God down to their own level, so that they can wield the power and control of God for their own self-serving benefit and reduce God to their own imperfection, so that they can use God as a tool to serve their own purposes to wield the power, control, and glory of God for their own self serving benefit of power and control over the masses of their fellow men.

There have always been those who have used God to wield power and control as God’s will, in the name of God, and most likely there always will be, but it is up to those who truly believe in God not to follow self serving hucksters seeking power and control over them who, for their own self serving benefit, lay claim as inferior beings to knowledge and enforcement authority of God’s will.

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By tedmurphy41, June 9, 2010 at 7:29 am Link to this comment

Just like the BNP and the EDL over here in the UK, taking the Union and St.George’s flags for their own ends, the Christian faith is being sullied by this evil group of people who should be ostracised and kept outside normal society until or unless they changed their ways and agreed to accept that everyone has a right to be themselves, whatever their failings.

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By MESthe3rd, June 9, 2010 at 7:02 am Link to this comment

Is it possible to opt out of getting emails when someone replies… I don’t need an inbox full of nonsensical garbage posted by someone who obviously has far to much time on their hands…

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By peterjkraus, June 9, 2010 at 7:02 am Link to this comment

We have always been a superstitious society, with
gods in the closet and devils under the bed scaring
old and young alike. So why wonder? A Religulous
(thanks, Bill Maher)people naturally tend to be
fascistic.

Hedges is correct: Armageddon, the epic battle
between educated, thinking citizens and the
perpetually underdeveloped is nigh. Wanna bet the
idiots win?

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By Arabian Sinbad, June 9, 2010 at 7:01 am Link to this comment

I believe that human beings, in general, can be divided into believers and non-believers.

Non-believers confine themselves only to the physical reality they perceive by their senses. Believers, however, go beyond the physical to the metaphysical to see a first cause (i.e. God) beyond the wonders of creation within themselves and within nature. Thus they don’t accept that all these wonders around us are the result of an accident and that human life has no purpose to it beyond our physical existence.

Though I belong to the believers’ group (i.e. faith group) I admit my shortcomings in convincing the faithless group that I am right and they are wrong. Therefore, for the purpose of peace and harmony in the human societies, each group has to accept the other as they are and not spend much time and energy putting down the other or insulting them.

Consequently, I have to admit that non-believers have more freedom in enjoying the material things of the world without the fetters of rules and morality. Hence the physical world is the non-believer’s “Paradise.” On the other hand, the world is a prison-house for a believer since he / she is supposed to weigh the consequences of his / her actions for the sake of their “Paradise” in an Afterlife.

My brotherly advice, for the sake of civility, is that each group should accept the other as an eternal reality and that our actions, good or bad, not our faith or faithlessness, should be the basis for praise or condemnation of each others.

Don’t attack my faith (i.e. religion)and I will respect your freedom to be faithless or non-believer! It is as simple as that!

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By ThomasG, June 9, 2010 at 7:00 am Link to this comment

John Ellis, June 8 at 10:56 pm,

“In order to have a freewill, to have the freedom, ability and knowledge needed to pursue happiness as we perceived it to be, we need three things:”

You have talked around my post without addressing the issues of my post.  Please address the issues of my post, if it is your intent to be forthright; otherwise, I will take your evasion to be disingenuous intent.

What we are talking about is whether or not a Divine being can rely upon an imperfect being, Man, to enforce Divine will and still have claim to being a Divine being; Man makes this claim to the knowing and enforcing of God’s will, and in so doing brings God down to Man’s level of imperfection, making God an “imperfect God”.

When Man reduces God to the status of an imperfect God  in order to control the power and the Glory of God, Man sets a frame that says God is NOT God, that God is a tool of Man that Man can use to achieve Man’s own power and Glory by being the instrument that interprets God’s will and enforces God’s will.

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By ofersince72, June 9, 2010 at 6:47 am Link to this comment

and daddy won’t take me back to Muhlenbery County
down by the green rivers where Paradise lay
I’m sorry my son , your too late in askin
Mr. Peabody’s coal train just hauled it away

johnprine

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By balkas, June 9, 2010 at 6:29 am Link to this comment

Hedges is dichotomizing or splitting asunder verbally what cannot be split asunder in reality: he’s spliting asocialists [fascists]into religious and non-religious fascists; the latter usually rich or very rich people.

Once he does that [it seems that every privately-paid collumnists does that] i stop reading such prestidigitations.

If one wld connect ‘religions’ [read, please, cults] with plutos, u’d quickly see that both aspects of the one entity, control cia-fbi-judiciary-congress-WH-army-media-schooling.
Each of these hyphenated aspects being integral parts of a whole; thus, the hyphens! And mystory solved for all time and not just for a day! tnx

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By ofersince72, June 9, 2010 at 6:03 am Link to this comment

I once knew woman
that was almost a lady
she had a way with all
the men in her life
Every inch of her blossemed in beauty
she was born on the
Fourth of July


johnprine

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By MARTA, June 9, 2010 at 5:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Christian right, fascist Tea Party, Fundalmentalist Libertarians would be the first to condemn Jesus ruff him up a bit, or throw him in jail because, first he will not be chalky white, a dark Middle Eastern, has long hair, sometimes head gear, and refuses to criticize others.

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By ofersince72, June 9, 2010 at 5:25 am Link to this comment

Because he is Cris Hedges !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Isn’t is encouraging to know that Oil Executives, even
knowing the limited supplies left,
are worried that there may not be enough oxygen left
to burn all the oil that is left…

What did do they mean by that ????

So, I guess you can’t take all the carbon out of the
ground and put it in the atmosphere after all>>>>>>>>
The oxygen is going to run out first….

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By MESthe3rd, June 9, 2010 at 4:59 am Link to this comment

The psycho Christian right loves Jews and blindly supports Israel regardless of how many Palestinians or humanitarian aid workers they murder. So I don’t know why you’d mention them (Jews) in your piece.

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By ofersince72, June 9, 2010 at 4:27 am Link to this comment

Cris, how are we going to fight these Christian fascists
off??  Do we need to buy some guns and rifles, you make
them sound really dangerous.

Are they really worse then these present fascists ???

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By ofersince72, June 9, 2010 at 4:03 am Link to this comment

So Hedges, lets see if I have this right now…

The fascists we have in office right now, are being
challenged by another set of fascist, Christian ones.

Is this what you are trying to warn us of ????
Which fascists do you prefer Cris?

I don’t like any of them myself, especially the fascists
we have right now running the show, would the Christian
fascists be worse than these?? Pray tell!!!!!

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By Inherit The Wind, June 9, 2010 at 3:53 am Link to this comment

EL:
Interesting interview. I’m always amazed that people are surprised that the fundies support Israel but ONLY because, in their minds, it will bring The Rapture.  There’s no other love for Jews or Israel in them.  As Ceasley7 adroitly notes they are mostly Southern, and their long-standing hatred of Jews and “Papists” goes back at least to Reconstruction.

Rabin’s murder was, in fact, to prevent the BEST chance for a negotiated peace there has ever been. Egil Amir succeeded in stopping that, as was his goal.

But Ceasley7: Your claim that bio-chem makes you a believer in ID is laughable, as is your ignorance. NO serious biologist claims we are descended from apes.  The chimpanzee, the animal who shares the MOST DNA with humans, comes from a separate branch that split off 6.5 million years ago—3 million years before the first confirmed hominid, Austrolopithicus, appeared.  The animal that shares the 2nd most DNA with humans, the gorilla, shares about 98% of its DNA with us, yet is genetically further removed from the chimpanzee than we are.

Next you’ll drag up the old pocket-watch-in-the-cornfield analogy…spare us, please.

It’s fun to watch MarthaA spar with John Ellis! Clearly one of them knows her Scripture and its interpretation far better than the implicitly-self-proclaimed profit (oops! did I spell “prophet” wrong?) 

However, the KJB is one of the most inaccurate translations of both the Hebrew Tanakh and the original Greek texts.  Plus its use of Shakespearean English (and consequent use of that English by its adherents when talking “holy”) is always ...“fascinating” (to be Spockian).

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By ofersince72, June 9, 2010 at 2:14 am Link to this comment

Well, the Devil make me do it the first time,

  the second time , I did it on my own !!!!!

anyone remember that?

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By ofersince72, June 9, 2010 at 2:11 am Link to this comment

That is the very reason that proves man is certainly not
from an intelligent design.!!!!

There very well could be a master with a sinister
sense of humor somewhere.

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By sage, June 9, 2010 at 12:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ceasley, I believe you are incorrect in your correct of Christian fascists to Christian zionist.  Christian zionists are die-hard pro-Israel, no matter what.  Their motto they live by is ‘blessed is ‘he’ that blesses Israel’  The believe the Abrahamic promises to Israel is still good today, and that all of the land promised to Israel is still viable today.  They believe and try to influence each President that to go against Israel is sure destruction for the US.  They are also trying to bring about the end battle.  Daystar, for instance, has purchased a tv station at the foot of Mnt. Zion, in fulfillment of the prophesy.  What they lack in understanding is that if there is validity in the prophesy, God will bring it about, not Christian zionists.  John Hagee, of Texas, is one of the foremost leaders of the Christian zionist movements.  It’s not unusual to see him, Pastor of Cornerstone church, dressed it a tallit.  While one can be a Christian zionist and a christian fascist, one does not preclude the other.

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By Marshall, June 9, 2010 at 12:34 am Link to this comment

By D.R. Zing, June 9 at 2:42 am #

Your Dr. Darkness should have a side career doing stand up - very funny.

I would argue though that the question he dismisses - that of why there is not nothing - is fundamental.  I’m an atheist but i’m stymied by this question because if I’m right, there really should be absolutely nothing and I wouldn’t have to be here agonizing over this damn question to begin with.

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By ofersince72, June 9, 2010 at 12:33 am Link to this comment

Believing that the likes of Chomsky and many other
professors and pundits that jump on a jumbo airliner
at any whim they feel are contributing to what they
preach against…..is that religious fanaticism?

Go to youtube and watch
World Wide Air Traffic…..
Eveyone that preaches against war seems to have no
problem at all jumping on a jet to anywhere at anytime
they want, knowing durn well it is killing others.

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By ofersince72, June 9, 2010 at 12:28 am Link to this comment

Refusing to burn one drop of gasoline, or run air
conditioning, because others are dieing to give us this
right…..whole nations being destroyed….

Is that being a religious fanatic also???

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By ofersince72, June 9, 2010 at 12:08 am Link to this comment

Who has control of our government now MarthaA? Jesus???
The wacko religious right couldn’t screw it up andymore
than what it is

But for amusement,  watch a real good musical video
about the oil disaster, it is fun and comical

  ANY THING GOES,  THE BP OIL SPILL MUSICAL (VIDEO)

on youtube.

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By MarthaA, June 8, 2010 at 11:18 pm Link to this comment

ceasley7, June 9 at 12:05 am,

Christian Fascist Right is the correct term, as they are panting after corporate control of the government.

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By ofersince72, June 8, 2010 at 11:01 pm Link to this comment

Hedges has a big following on Truth Dig, it is almost
becoming cultish and the discussions of no political
relevence.

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By ofersince72, June 8, 2010 at 10:56 pm Link to this comment

I wish Hedges would not have taken Truth Dig on yet
another discussion of religion, this is supposed to be
a political blog and it truly leaves questions of motives.

The Chistian right (wrong) are my least concerns, and
should be of everyone elses in debates about the direction
our government policy.

The Republican Party was on its way to being a defunct
organization, citizens came out in great numbers in 2006
and 2008 to bury them.
It has been the Democrat lawmakers that have revived the
Republican Party and the extremist quacks that attach
themselves to it.
  Our biggest problem , are the Blanche Lincolns, the
Carl Levins,  or I just as well may say, the whole
Democrat Party.

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By D.R. Zing, June 8, 2010 at 10:42 pm Link to this comment

Hello,

I pointed out this thread to Dr. Darkness. He replied: 

“Oh, and to combat that ignorant [person] touting his education—point out that 50% of his DNA is identical to lettuce. There is only one fundamental mystery and that is ‘why is there not nothing?’ And really that isn’t worth asking.  What happened since 10^-44 seconds is all quite boring really.  Not a miracle in sight.  And god (sic) help us all if we are intelligently designed.  Why the fuck haven’t I got two hearts! It’s enough to give me a fucking stroke!”

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By ofersince72, June 8, 2010 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment

Man could very well be regarded as the least
remarkable existance in the universe.

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By ofersince72, June 8, 2010 at 9:23 pm Link to this comment

And by no means would I ever describe the existance
of man as an intelligent design.

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By ofersince72, June 8, 2010 at 9:15 pm Link to this comment

That does not prove the Bible’s big bang theory.

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By D.R. Zing, June 8, 2010 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment

Dear ceasley7:

If you think Chris Hedges is an atheist you ain’t been paying attention.  Did you bother to read to the end of the article?  He graduated from Harvard Divinity School, not exactly an atheist hotbed.

I would suspect Mr. Hedges’ motivation is not an affinity for Madalyn Murray O’Hair and her ilk, but a sincere sense of revulsion at what he sees as a perversion of religious principles by Christian fascists. 

To further your renowned education, you may want to check out a college dropout named Albert Einstein. He believed firmly in God, often spoke of God, but he did not believe in heaven or hell or life after death—paradoxical isn’t it, that someone could have firm theistic concepts yet not rely on the superstitions of the ancients for those concepts? 

I would suspect Mr. Hedges falls somewhere in that Einstein universe himself, a man of devout beliefs who has no problem taking reality into account when contemplating God’s mysteries.

Go with a fishing license.

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By D.R. Zing, June 8, 2010 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment

A friend of mine, whom I kindly think of as Dr. Darkness, earns his living as an astrophysicist.

One evening, after learning the Christian fascists had successfully lobbied Congress to cut scientific funding, he ranted: 

“Why aren’t these stupid bastards going after microwave ovens?  Don’t they realize the technology necessary to warm their goddamn soup in ninety seconds refutes every fucking superstition they could possibly hold in their thick little heads?”

Not quite sure how this fits into the thread but it seems like it needed to be said.

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By Paul Thompson, June 8, 2010 at 8:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Renounce the forces of evil
accept the Grace of Jesus Christ
and be Baptized!

Follow The Lord Jesus Christ and love others as He has Loved and shown His Love for you by sacrificing Himself for your sins.

And you want to make that evil?

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By ceasley7, June 8, 2010 at 8:05 pm Link to this comment

The correct term is Christian Zionist, not Christian Fascist. Thier geographic location is mainly the Old Confederacy. You give them way too much credit, their highwater mark at Gettysburg was the invasion of Iraq in 2003. All downhill from there, they are mostly older too because their recruiting bonaza was the period of the establishment of Israeli in 1948 until the war of 1967. Their whole ideology of hate has been exposed to the world and once light shines on darkness the darkness no longer will thrive. 

I am a Christian, not a Christian Zionist(Oxymoron) and live here in the South. The Christian Zionist, in my opinion, already has the blood of millions on their hands. The young have totally shun these little devils. 

Your arrogance as an Athiest I marvel at. I can understand lacking faith with so much evil around, but to categorically state that you are “all knowing” is truly delusional. At least keep an open mind.

As for science, I have a double major Finance/Economics and Biology/Chemistry, don’t ask. Any rational person will tell you after studying Cell Biology and Biochemistry that their appears to be an intelligent design and its is impossible that we spontaneousely appeared. As for coming from the monkey, this is certainly the dumbest damn theory ever proposed with not an iota of evidence in the fossil record. And science has 100% determined through Geneological DNA typing that we all come from a common female ancestor in East Africa around 150,000 years ago. You are a better reporter than this raving column. Do you know that the leading British Evolutionist in 2003 changed his mind right before he died. He agreed Academia had learned to much about the cell and its inner workings that evolution could ever explain. He stated that yes there was an intelligence that designed us but he just couldn’t take it to the next logical step . He believed the intelligence came and then left us forever. I still respect him for keeping an open mind. It might also serve you well to keep an open mind.

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By Jake, June 8, 2010 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Continued…

The theory of evolution is analogous to the above. Through the scientific method we have determined the accuracy of isotopic dating, illustrate the evolution of the eye and have identified natural selection as the primary mechanism of evolution, which is NOT survival of the fittest, but the process by which certain genetic traits that favor survival our passed down through successive generations. Yet as Hedges correctly cites, “The Christian right has, for this reason, its own creationist “scientists” who use the language of science to promote anti-science.” He goes on to say, “Once creationists can argue on the same platform as geologists, asserting that the Grand Canyon was not created 6 billion years ago but 6,000 years ago by the great flood that lifted up Noah’s ark, we have lost. The acceptance of mythology as a legitimate alternative to reality is a body blow to the rational, secular state. The destruction of rational and empirically based belief systems is fundamental to the creation of all totalitarian ideologies.”

I have so many beloved friends, families and professional acquaintances that consider themselves religious moderates. These people typically hold one of three views:

1) I don’t want to get involved. Ignorance is bliss.
2) I don’t have time or don’t want to take the effort to educate myself.
3) Unfortunately I shape my world view around my ideology beginning with conclusions, then searching out evidence, which is the inverse of scientific method.

It is this last world view that is by far the most frustrating, but all three are detrimental to our species. There is a great quote from Boondock Saints where the priest says, “Now, we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.” Most of my friends and family are genuinely good people, but as the priest says, stop being evil, get off your ass and fucking educate yourselves so we don’t get literally and figuratively ass-raped by the impending wave of barbaric theocrats because as Hedges says, “They are coming.”

I do have one criticism of the article, however, which is the false equivalency Hedges draws by grouping Jews and Muslims in what the Christian right is attempting to eradicate, along with the other “social deviants”: homosexuals, immigrants, secular humanists and feminists. Obviously Hedges is attempting to provide examples for the intolerance of the Christian right; I just hate to see the “Chosen People” and “a group that calls for the extermination of anyone who does not follow Islam (see the Qur’an),” two groups of people that make conscious decisions to follow immoral, violent Abrahamic doctrines, with people that were born with a sexuality they could not choose, people seeking a $5/day job in order to feed their families, people who refuse to base decisions on ignorance, or faith, and people who attempt to seek equal treatment and opportunities as their male counterpart. (As an aside, there is a very proven inverse relationship with the empowerment of woman and population growth. Hmm… )

Regardless, this is another gift from a man who has devoted his life to intellectual enlightenment, despite his seemingly sexual fetish for war zones.

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By Jake, June 8, 2010 at 7:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris Hedges - despite his overused pessimism, likely the result of years as a war correspondent in some of the most violent zones in recent history - is one of the most prolific reality clarifying writers of our time. In his article, The Christian Fascists Are Growing Stronger, Hedges quickly states, “...the Christian right, have begun to dismantle the intellectual and scientific rigor of the Enlightenment.” Perhaps the most frightening revelation is that Hedges believes the Christian right believe “Global war, even nuclear war, is not to be feared, but welcomed as the harbinger of the Second Coming.”

This is nothing new to people who follow these ignorant ramblings, but it makes it none less inevitably horrifying when potential conservative candidates such as Sarah Palin is quoted as saying, “God made dinosaurs 4,000 years ago as ultimately flawed creatures, lizards of Satan really, so when they died and became petroleum products we, made in his perfect image, could use them in our pickup trucks, snow machines and fishing boats,” and Mike Huckabee is quoted as saying the earth is only 6,000 years old.”

Hedges briefly mentions the “rewriting of textbooks,” referring to recent amendments in Texas social studies curriculum. For those of you who are not privy to this very public information, these changes include, but are not limited to:

-The removal and/or downplay of Thomas Jefferson’s role in our founding due to his secularist philosophies.

-Questioning the separation of church and state.

-Claiming the U.S. was infiltrated by communists during the Cold War and giving credit to Joseph McCarthy for his infamous “witch-hunts.”

He concludes this thought with a spot-on observation that,“Facts and opinions, once they are used “scientifically” to support the irrational, become interchangeable. Reality is no longer based on the gathering of facts and evidence. It is based on ideology. Facts are altered. Lies become true.”

The scientific method, which I would define as developing results (making conclusions) through repeated experimental observation (emprical evidence), reporting methods and conclusions in peer-reviewed journals, allowing other scientists to repeat these methods to come up with new results and if these methods are repeated enough and consistent results are maintained whilst holding to the rigors of peer-review, then a consensus is developed (Long sentence, poor grammar. Get off my back. This is science not english). That is science. There are no absolutes in science, only statistical likelihood. For instance, experiments with gravity have yielded consistent results since Newton’s day that says the statistical likelihood that the gravitational constant is approximately 9.8 m/s^2 are pretty good. However, the beauty of the science is that this “theory of gravity” – while the whole of it remains intact – has and will continue change as new empirical evidence is produced through the scientific method. With this we know that gravity is weaker at lower latitudes and higher altitudes and etc, etc, etc.

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By Vinifera, June 8, 2010 at 6:33 pm Link to this comment

A book recommendation for those who still read serious works of scholarship:

“God Is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith Is Changing the World” by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge

I find the rantings of Glenn Beck and Chris Hedges equal in tone with their similar fear mongering and vitriol as well as a claimed monopoly on the American founders intentions. The book above is a more balanced view by two authors as objective as one could find on such a topic. Both are reporters from the Economist, one an atheist the other a roman catholic. Well worth your time.

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By omygodnotagain, June 8, 2010 at 6:31 pm Link to this comment

Elisalouisa thanks for the interview from Vanity Fair.
John Constantine was only baptised on his death bed, and Sylvester the first was Pope.

Revelations is a poetic expression, written using Hebrew numerology like a code, as a way to communicate without the Roman authorities getting on their cases. Revelation was written largely during the Nero persecutions of Christians, as a poetic expression saying that this hell on earth will not continue. It was never meant to be taken literally, same goes for the writings in Daniel.
Poetry was and still is the main literary form of the Middle East. The Saudi equivalent of American Idol is “One Million Dollar Poet”, this year a woman Hissa Hilal won over $1 million dollars for her poem condemning extremist fatwas..Article from Times of London
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article7073238.ece

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By ThomasG, June 8, 2010 at 6:23 pm Link to this comment

The claims of laissez-nous-faire privatized capitalism, the claims of the Right-Wing Evangelical Christian Fascist Movement, and all claims in general of enforcing God’s will as imperfect beings are false claims that proclaim God to be an imperfect God, because if God is perfect, God would not require an imperfect being to implement God’s will.

If God is Divine, God will implement God’s own will as God sees fit; if God is imperfect,  God will require man to implement God’s will as an imperfect God;  if God is an imperfect God, why does it matter what God’s will is, since both God and Man are imperfect beings, and Man is only using God’s Divine authority to glorify Man, and Man’s control over Man’s fellow man?

The argument of Privatized Capitalists that Privatized Capitalism is God’s will is an argument that God is an imperfect God made in support of man as an imperfect being exercising God’s will as God’s enforcement authority.

The representation of God as an imperfect God by the false claim that an imperfect being is enforcing God’s will is a claim only to empower the imperfect being or beings making the claim.

Conservative Right-Wing EXTREMISTS of the Evangelical Christian Fascist Movement claim to exercise God’s will in both the U.S. Economy and in the establishment of an American Christian Theocracy that exercises God’s will, but the Conservative Right-Wing EXTREMISTS of the Evangelical Christian Fascist Movement are nothing more than imperfect beings using God’s Divine authority to glorify man and man’s authority over man’s fellow man by diminishing God to their own status of imperfection, by pulling God down to their own level of imperfection as an imperfect God, so that they can then enforce the power of God’s will.

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By elisalouisa, June 8, 2010 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment

Excerpt from Vanity Fair contributing editor Craig Unger article in the Wiki News November 12, 2007 on the “Bush family feud, neoconservatives and the Christian Right.”

DS is David Shankbone who is interviewing Craig Unger

Orthodox Jews and Fundamentalist Christians

DS: You have a chapter about the assassination of Yitzak Rabin; how did that advance the neoconservative agenda?
CU: It’s one of the least understood events in contemporary history and it is really important in terms of our policy today. Yes, it was done by this one right-wing Israeli, but it was ordained by Orthodox rabbis because Rabin was backing the land-for-peace process. It’s parallel to the Sadat assassination by Islamic fundamentalists. Rabin was breaking Halakhic law by supporting land for peace because it is divinely-ordained land.

DS: Are the Israeli orthodox Jews in touch with the Christian right in the United States?
CU: Completely. And the neocons are a secular version of that, and you see it start coming together, and Netanyahu becomes one of the great backers of an alliance with the Christian right. Michael Ledeen is going on Pat Robertson’s 700 Club shows. You start to have this weaving together.

DS: What does the Christian right have to gain from this?
CU: It’s theological.

DS: The End of Days?
CU: Yes, Christ will not return until that land is given back to the Jews. I try to draw this in the book. People try to talk about the Culture Wars, Red State/Blue State. But no, it’s much deeper than that. It goes back to the founding of America and the Puritans, really. I thought I grew up in a country that put a man on the moon, unraveled the human genome, that discovered DNA and invented the iPod, but no. No western country believes so strongly in Creationism and that the world was born 6,000 years ago; that evolution is wrong. This war is deep and profound and what’s happened now is the government is run by people who believe in dictating our policies based upon the Bible.

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By MarthaA, June 8, 2010 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

John Ellis, June 8 at 4:48 pm,

One of the criminals that was being crucified with Jesus was absolved of his sins against humanity spiritually because he said Lord remember me when thou comest into your kingdom, and Jesus told him, “Verily I say unto thee, today shall thou be with me in paradise”.—Luke 23:39-43.

I can not judge the hearts of the Christian fascist criminals that have destroyed the economy of the nation, therefore, it will be strictly up to Jesus, if our nation never does anything, to decide whether they really love him, but I have a difficult time understanding how a private capitalist and their toadies, who are into destruction in order to make a profit at any cost could possibly have any concern about Jesus, but who knows, the murdering mafia were really religious; Jesus did say one has to rise above the blind, religious, scribes and Pharisees.—Matthew 23:23-29.

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By REDHORSE, June 8, 2010 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment

Roughly two thousand years ago there was a major shift in consciousness that urged a nonviolent approach to conflict and attempted a redefinition of human relationship. There is some slight evidence that a man named Yoshua ben Yusef was the central voice for this new community. Who knows? There is huge argument and speculation about all aspects of the event. There is however no doubt that an expansion and voicing of this consciousness took place and continues.
   
    All claims to the miraculous aside, if the actual basic principals of the consciousness are applied to ones personal and communal life it creates at the least, an opportunity for increased harmony, communication, and personal transformation. This can also be said about a number of the other world attempts at increased consciousness and humanity.

    Because the nature and actual reality of time and space dwarf all human life and history we support our best minds in their attempts to create systems of exploration and provable insight. Huge numbers of intelligent human beings have been slaughtered by fearful, greedy and superstitious little monkeys to prevent this evolution of events. What is the difference between me holding up three fingers and making you say it’s five (poor Orwells ghost) and telling you the Grand Canyon was created 6000 years ago during Noah’s flood when, you know full well it wasn’t. The assault on your consciousness and human dignity is the same. When you agree to it you’ve lost your dignity and humanity and have become an automaton. The bully then owns you and can justify any action he/she takes. C.Hedges is correct in his fear of the thugs behind the thugs. It’s a real threat to all of us. My question (oh the horror)to myself is: Why aren’t we laughing them off the stage of American politics?

    Our country is in the clutch of psychopathic megalomaniacal narcissists (vampires). They are mental and emotional cripples and we need to stop being afraid of them. They live off our lives and labor and it’s time to take our power back. Consciousness is a living thing. MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!!

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By elisalouisa, June 8, 2010 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment

“It (the reality based world)flooded
their lives with alcohol,drugs,
physical violence, deprivation
and despair.”

From Diane Sawyer report ABC News: “In the hills of Central
Appalachia, up winding, mountain roads, is a place where children and families face unthinkable conditions, living without what most Americans take for granted. Isolated pockets in Central Appalachia have three times the national poverty rate, an epidemic of prescription drug abuse, the shortest life span in the nation, toothlessness, cancer and chronic depression.”  Could the wave of prescription drug use, much of it paid for by Medicaid, be used as a means of placating those who live in abject poverty ? Could also the message that Christ is returning give such people hope?

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By omygodnotagain, June 8, 2010 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

I can’t figure out which group is nuttier, the Christian Fascists (Fundies) with their creationism or John Ellis and his Pope Constantine. Constantine was not Pope he became Roman Emperor and built the city of Constantinople (now Istanbul) which was the seat of the Eastern Patriach.  John please stop with all the Bible quotes, there has been 2000 years of scholarly thought by Augustine, Anselm, William of Ockham, Acquinas and many more, that have taken those words put them into the Greek context which they were originally conceived and they created a sophisticated theology that can be argued rationally, even if people reach different conclusions.
Anyways the people Hedges is describing are Christian Zionists and they are bedfellows with secular neo-conservative Zionists like Liebermann, Pearl, etc.  So Jews have nothing to fear, but Muslims, Homosexuals, Feminists and Catholics do.
My hope and prayer is that God will stop punishing the West for the Reformation, that let loose all these Fundies in the first place, who discovering that they were cut off by their own choice from other Christian sects and their rich history of discussion and writings, decided to create a Biblical orthodoxy that has no bases in fact or even in literary interpretation. I don’t know how many Fundies I have had to inform that 666 is Hebrew numerology for Nero.

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By kerryrose, June 8, 2010 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

Martha A

Wow! You floor me, girl.  Absolutely incredible, and mind blowing.

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By radson, June 8, 2010 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment

John perhaps for the enlightenment :like a true proselytizer.

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By radson, June 8, 2010 at 2:53 pm Link to this comment

John Ellis

Here is a link for your all inspiring LIGHT although the captions may prove challenging.

 

 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nC9sEAqEjxs

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By "G"utless "W"itless Hitler, June 8, 2010 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

John Ellis,

I’ve often said that the Bible was written by the hand of Satan.  What better way to enslave men than to pass off a corrupt text as infallible?  Masterful!  I would expect nothing less from the Arch Deceiver.

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By MarthaA, June 8, 2010 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment

John Ellis, June 7 at 5:39 pm,

We do not sin against God, we sin against people, but God holds us accountable for our sins against people without his forgiveness, but via Jesus the Son of God, we can be forgiven for all manner of sins against people when asked, with the exception of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, and the Holy Ghost is the third part of the Godhead. —Matthew 12:31-33 and Matthew 18:34-35.

“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”—John 1:29.

Sin gives the dragon, Satan, power over the people and God requests that people sin not lest a worse thing come upon them, which is not to be tyrannical to people, but to save people from being hurt or completely destroyed.—John 5:14.

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. —I John 1:5-7.

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:


Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the FREE GIFT came upon all men unto justification of life.  For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound.  But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:  That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Romans 5:12-21.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”—Romans 8:1

“But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.  But thou, O man of God, flee these things:  and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love patience, meekness.  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, wherunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”—I Timothy 6:9-12.

“Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;  that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.  ..... , keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:  Which some professing have erred concerning the faith.” —I Timothy 6:17-21.


I agree that Jesus was a peacemaker not a war monger. 

My salvation is based strictly upon the King James Version of the Holy Bible and the blood that Jesus shed for me.  I accept God’s free gift and wish more people would accept the real Jesus who will fight for us, not us fight for him. 

If we peaceably lose our life for Jesus’s sake in this world, we will be rewarded in the next world.

When Jesus comes back he will fight the Anti-Christ, but we will be with him to watch, not to help him fight.  All this fighting has nothing whatsoever to do with Jesus, but is a Conservative Right-Wing EXTREMIST Satanic Plan for a New World Order that will set up the infrastructure for the 666 Anti-Christ to be able to control all who will not worship him to keep them from being able to buy or sell unless they take his little dot Mark of the Beast, but if we do, we totally lose in the next world.  No one gets out of this world alive; everyone dies, it is not worth it to take that mark and lose out on everlasting life forever.

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By Alphysicist, June 8, 2010 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment

“Tens of millions of Americans, lumped into a diffuse and fractious movement known as the Christian right, have begun to dismantle the intellectual and scientific rigor of the Enlightenment.”

  I think they are a bit late.  Most of that has already been achieved by the current political elites, liberal and conservative.  When we look around, and make an honest assessment, it is difficult to see any trace of the intellectual and scientific rigor that is supposed to have characterized the Enlightenment. 

  Moreover, some maintain, not entirely without a basis, that religious institutions cause the most damage to the credibility of religious ideals.  Perhaps one could extend that to the institutions which claim to represent intellectual and scientific rigor.

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By mike curiel, June 8, 2010 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“But it requiring a society-wide attitude adjustment,
how do we accomplish such a complete reversal of
things?”-

it requires a constant dedication to presenting the
no frills truth, the unaffiliated truth of u.s.
foreign activities,the truth of corporate lies, just
as chomsky has done. stemming from that, all must be
evaluated (see “omnivores’ dilemma, see bp)in terms
of it’s real and potential harmfullness.

in conjunction with a campaign of truth spreading
(real, no frills, non-affiliated truth spreading), a
real effort must be initiated in search of a
solution. which would include getting wallstreet out
of the white house, amongst others things. the
solution to stop corporate momentum will be a
demanding task, but it starts with grassroots organization.

we must all understand that these sort of activities
will not be gratifying, will not be initially
popular, they will cause you to lose friends.

so that’s my question, where to those who are
enamored with the work of chomsky (and others to be
sure), meet? certainly not in traverse city MI.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 8, 2010 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

John Ellis:

As a Jew, (although not a religious one) why would I consider Matthew from the NEW TESTAMENT an authority on Judaism?  Who are you going to quote next as an “authority”, Confucius?  How about Lao-Tze?

If I haven’t made it plain enough: Christian theology is MEANINGLESS when describing Jewish theology.

As for your inane contention that Constantine was Pope, any body can put anything on any web site.  Your link is not part of any meaningful valid history.

You know, we had one poster who insisted Jesus Christ actually lived and died in the 1200’s.  He had lots of web site links and citations to prove it.

All bogus.

Your way of addressing people, calling your answers “Light” as if you have the divine light of truth in you, is truly insulting.  From where do you get your “authority”?

I hope, at least, you are having fun.

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By prole, June 8, 2010 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

“This means that Christian fascists who achieve power will have the ‘legal’ tools to spy on, arrest, deny habeas corpus to, and torture or assassinate American citizens—as does the Obama administration”…so what’s the difference - then it becomes ‘Christian torture’, ‘Christian assassination’, instead of Democratic torture or Democratic assassination? Does it really matter to those who are being tortured or assassinated in the ‘reality-based’ world?
  “The rise of this Christian fascism, a rise we ignore at our peril, is being fueled by” The Lobby.  Last summer John Hagee, a prominent evangelical, who heads the Christians United for Israel gang, told 4,000(!) attending ‘A Night to Honor Israel’ conference in Washington that, ““The chief obstacle to peace in the Middle East is not Israelis living on the West Bank but the regime in Tehran.” And that, “Israel has the sovereign right to grow and develop the settlements of Israel as you see fit and not yield to the pressure of the United States government.” The conference was addressed by Sen. Joe ‘McCarthy’ Lieberman, Israeli Ambassador, Michael Oren, and through satellite by Netanyahu. Secular fascists like these have latched on to the Christian camp meeting groups to use them for their own purposes. In fact, Christian fascists is a deceptive misnomer. This political amalgam should more properly be referred to as Judeo-Christian fascists. The Jewish influences are large and spring not only from the cunning infiltration and
overt manipulation of these evangelical movements, giving them a pointed political agenda conforming to Israeli expansionist aims; but also in the lurid imagery of the Old Testament where ”militarism, war and righteous genocide” are rife. The entire Christian right approach turns away from the pacifism and doctrine of universal love and justice of the New Testament and reverts to the bloodletting and barbarism depicted throughout the Old Testament. It’s not for nothing that much of the Christian right are also termed Christian Zionists. “The obsession with violence [which] pervades the popular novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins”, in their multi-volume Left Behind series of novels, also pervades the Old Testament – as well, of course, as the historical record of the modern rogue state of Israel.
    This devil’s pact began to take shape thirty years ago when terrorist PM Menachem Begin in ’78 invited Jerry Falwell to an official tour of the unholy Israel and a year later his government presented Falwell with a gift of a Lear jet to tool around in. This early gift has been amply repaid, not only through the strident political support of Falwell’s organizations and their many clones, but local fundamentalist churches, have been for years, raising funds to support settlement activities in Occupied Territories. Interestingly, while it’s illegal in Amerika to provide material support to the resistance movements under occupation, it’s not illegal to provide such support to the occupiers! There are numerous fundamentalist groups such as Christian Friends of Israeli Communities (CFOIC) based in Colorado that oversees an ‘Adopt a Settlement Program’, with various donor levels from $25/mon. to $1,000/mon. “Those gathered into the arms of this Christian fascist movement are desperately struggling to survive in an increasingly hostile environment… But they are also being used and manipulated by forces that seek to dismantle what is left of our democracy and abolish the pluralism that was once the hallmark of our society”…The Lobby and its minions. They’re working both sides of K Street everyday, from Obama to Hagee. “Time is running out. If we do not act,” Judeo-christian fascists, “clutching Christian crosses, waving” Star-of-David “flags and orchestrating mass recitations of the”  Hatikva “will use this rage to snuff us out.”

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By "G"utless "W"itless Hitler, June 8, 2010 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

Isn’t that what I just said?

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By Miss Marple, June 8, 2010 at 12:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I wish it was only Christian fundamentalism on the rise. You have wahabbism speading throughout the Muslim world, and The Haredim, (the ULTRA-orthodox), with their Shas party, led by the patently racist Avigdor Lieberman, are now driving politics in Israel to the far right.

AND, each group is convinced that it alone has the truth and that everyone else is to be marginalized if not outright killed.

God help those of us living in the reasonable middle.

We are living in strange times.

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By "G"utless "W"itless Hitler, June 8, 2010 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

And the Lord spake unto The Ellis saying:

Go forth now and jabber in mine glory,
For thine is the Kingdom and the Herring
And the Riches.
And lovest all those that cannot passeth through the needle as freely as the camel,
And feasteth thee on my daily bread,
For I will trimmeth the crusts as surely as Jesus trimmethed the money changers from the Temple.
And smite thee the infidel with thy cheek turnings,
For thus smitten, he will become thy disciple.

LIGHT

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By km0591, June 8, 2010 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

Religious extremist can, have, and will exploit popular misery to promote their religious world view and to impose it on others.  Chris’ alarmist discussion is a bit overwrought though. 

We have and will likely to have our Girolamo Savonarolas. However, Savonarola ended up undermining the economic and political interests of the Florence of his day by his sanctimonious intolerance crushing economic activity and expansion of Florentine influence. So, he was burnt at the stake. 

Now, in this day and age, religious extemists will no longer be burnt at the stake (hopefully), but they are just as likely to have their brief period of power and influence ended when their narrow and intolerant leadership conflict with economic and political powers and interests.  These people will be around and will have influence on election cycles, and may even hold various positions of power for a time, but that time will be short.

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By Night-Gaunt, June 8, 2010 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

Ravenbot neither Jesus nor Moses gave us the Bible it was manufactured by humans, though the various “books” were labeled as “inspired” before they were edited and put together as a book.

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By RavenBot, June 8, 2010 at 11:53 am Link to this comment

John Ellis So then… tell me how long is a day for god? A day for us is as the sun comes up and down yet God has days before Earth exists.

Again I will state what I said before. The Bible we have now is flawed. The first recorded works were I am sure flawless, A great gift from God to us. However through our own fallacy in messing with these works, translation, reinterpretation etc… they have been changed and altered. It is good to read the Bible, however live your like how you are guided through prayer not through altered texts of God.

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By Rebecca, June 8, 2010 at 11:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This piece is unworthy of you, Mr. Hedges.

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By William W. Wexler, June 8, 2010 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

I agree with the sentiments of this piece but I don’t think the facts support a theocratic state being formed.  The people described here would LIKE you to think they are forming a theocracy, but it’s not really happening.

Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas are really the exception rather than the norm. 

Glenn Beck’s viewership is falling. He lost a million viewers in the 9 months preceding May 2010, and then followed that brilliance up with losing another 25% in May.

I believe that some of the viewers he’s losing are fundie Xtians who have discovered he’s a Mormon, which is one of the goals of my website.  Being an atheist, I don’t really care about the batshit-crazy dogma of either group; however, the fundie Xtians think of Mormons as cult members.

Interestingly, and possibly a supporting point in Hedge’s article, Liberty U just had Beck deliver the commencement speech.  Some have posted elsewhere that they believe this is an attempt to normalize relations between the two groups for political purposes.  I think there is a more specific reason for it which I will detail in an article I’m working on for my website.

-Wexler

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By mike curiel, June 8, 2010 at 11:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

i would like to urge you all who obviously have a somewhat passionate interest in the coming years and direction of our country, to choose your words wisely in response to a mature political article (flawed as all articles and observations). religion and the afterlife have been studied for centuries, some great men have devoted their entire lives to this very study, gaining little more insight than into the powers of kindness.

many religions become affiliated with political bodies and movements (naturally). but let’s narrow the focus to the impact of false religious/political affiliations. like the curious recent legislation of utah. fast forward to the textbooks of texas. (and lets all keep in mind that textbooks were never really that great).

the real issue above and beyond all issues, is that the world of 2010, is it’s very own unique situation, never before seen in the history of the entire planet, and a modern approach to societies of this age, must be reconsidered, in all ways, through kindness, without ego.

how about a truthdig debate series? or a truthdig grassgroots discussion tour/forum?

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By Night-Gaunt, June 8, 2010 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

One can still have secret open air meetings, so why was it that the Romans didn’t know what he looked like? Were there any Romans or Pharasee in attendance? I don’t recall any being mentioned, do you?

Ever heard of a Rave? They are secret spur of the moment kind-of-things that meet in different places and advertise to a limited cleque to attend for a single night. A similar process. I don’t know the strength of numbers of the Romans in ancient Israel at that time of 20’s AD, do you? But I would say that with such minimal forces and so much wide open spaces such groups could meet in secret. Also with the other men walking around professing to be Saviors of God” & performing miracles too the Romans thought they were daft anyway and mostly harmless—-unless they preached independence and to only worship one god. Then that got the police state moving. {See the attempted revolution of 70 AD}

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By Ed Harges, June 8, 2010 at 11:09 am Link to this comment

I know it’s just a fond fantasy of mine, but wouldn’t it be nice if we could have a
discussion on this subject without all this intra-religious bickering about what the
stupid bible “really” means, or what God “really” wants?

I mean, any thread on religion gets clogged up with this crap - it’s like listening to
a bunch of crazed Star Trek fanatics screaming at each other, “No!! you FOOL!!!
The gymnasium is on Lever Four, as clearly implied in episode 23!!!”

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By Maani, June 8, 2010 at 11:01 am Link to this comment

N-G:

“Jesus was a pacifist & in the closet devotee was because of Roman occupation of the land. He was scared witless by it and so promoted hiding and keeping secret their meetings and the fact he didn’t promote himself in places he could be found and identified by agents of Rome and the Pharasee traitors. His was a hidden cult. It stayed that way for centuries too.”

The Sermon on the Mount was “secret?” Preaching to thousands on open hillsides was “hidden?”  Preaching to groups of various sizes (from dozens to thousands) in open places - including fields, hills, temples, etc. -  was “secret?”

Virtually ALL of Jesus’ teaching and preaching was done openly, in public, in front of anyone who happened to be there, or want to listen.  He did hold “private” meetings with his disciples at times, but these did not represent the bulk of his ministry.

Jesus could hardly be said to have been “scared” by Rome, given His very public overturning of the tables in the Temple, and His many very open and public disputes with the pharisees, etc.  To say nothing of the boldness with which He made the claims about His divinity that got Him into trouble with Pilate and the Romans in the first place.

Martin:

Your June 8 11:54 post is excellent.  Thnaks.  I would add the following Scriptural passages to yours:

“Judge not, for with what measure ye judge, ye shall be judged in return.”

“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

“Take the log out of your own eye before you take the splinter out of another’s.”

And I would reiterate and add to JE’s citation:

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

As I said before, most self-proclaimed Christians wouldn’t know Jesus if He bit them on the ear.

Peace.

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By MollyJ, June 8, 2010 at 10:59 am Link to this comment

I enjoy reading Chris Hedges and he always challenges my thinking.

One might think that he takes himself too seriously but yesterday I was exercising at the local health club and though I was plugged into my songs, their is a panel of four tv’s and one of them carried the morning CBN religion show.  There was the head zealot dispensing financial advice (God intends us to be capitalistic) and talking about the flotilla that took aid to Gaza and was intercepted by Israeli commandos.

I had been listening to Democracy Now! since the flotilla was stopped (and 9 people killed) and so I had heard that the flotillas were peaceful, though obviously people defended themselves with what they had at hand.  But they had this footage of people beating off the “poor” commandos.  THEN last night I listened to DN again.  The show featured how the Israeli’s were shaping the message about the flotilla.

Truth has a way of being a hard to capture entity in things like this but they made a pretty solid case for how the reporting was being shaped—to favor Israel.

I honestly wish no Israeli’s any misery but it saddens me tremendously to see a people who have been treated so badly, in turn, treat others just as badly.  They ghettoize the Palestinians as they were.  They may not have the efficiency of the Germans at killing, but the intent of the blockade is the same.

Chris Hedges is a truth teller. That doesn’t mean he’s always inerrant but he is not imagining what he writes about.  Start with _War is a Force that Gives us Meaning_ and read him when you can.  His ideas are a cohesive whole.

We do not have much more time to wrest our country away from the marketing forces that are trying to shape it.  It saddens me on who we become.

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By Night-Gaunt, June 8, 2010 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

Jesus was a pacifist & in the closet devotee was because of Roman occupation of the land. He was scared witless by it and so promoted hiding and keeping secret their meetings and the fact he didn’t promote himself in places he could be found and identified by agents of Rome and the Pharasee traitors. His was a hidden cult. It stayed that way for centuries too.

However in Revelation Jesus comes back as an all powerful avenger smiting millions with the “sword in his mouth” so “turn the other cheek” will be rescinded during those times when 1/4 to 1/3 of humanity will be killed to fulfill the prophecy. Nice large scale human blood sacrifice isn’t it?

However the Dominionists who are behind this don’t believe in anything like rapture and the only way JHVH will return, in their mythos, is to remake the earth and keep it holy for 1,000 years then the Aryan god will return to sit at the empty throne they will have prepared. Slavery or indentured servitude will be more open again. So theirs is an armed evangelicalism barring little differences between them. They have decided that they have more in common than everyone else. After they have put down and reorganized the USA as their base they will use the sword, fire, propaganda and other means to change the world. To them the soul is more important than the physical organic body being that to them it is the seat of corruption of said soul so like the Inquisition, they can torture without harm to their place with their god in their minds. Crusading in other countries to bring them to heel will be done, or attempted. This while they intend to remake this country along the lines of the theocracies of the past. But using the technology of today and tomorrow from robots to nanotech will be turned to their medieval ideas for the world.

Margaret Atwood shows the early times of said theocracy in “The Handmaid’s Tale” (took place in either 2012 or 2022) while in the recent superlative novel “Julian Comstock:A story of 22nd Century America” by Rbt. Charles Wilson shows us a possible outcome from it some time later in the 2170’s after the “efflorescence of oil, the false Tribulation etc” had occurred. The Dominion of Jesus on Earth is one branch of the gov’t and control much. Well worth reading, I am nearly done with the paperback. It resembles the 19th but with much left over from the previous centuries from ruins to coins to precious books. Digital can’t be touched. Not a good place to be for us. Billions died, climate change altered things and such are just background to the story. Little items seen whether giant earth moving machines rotting in the sun to where the tar sands were mined leaving huge scars on the land to unknown number of animals extinct. The last giraffe, a male, wanders the palace grounds of the President in what was once central park in New York. That could be our far future. Probably one of the better outcomes of even worse scenarios that could await us for real.

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By Ed Harges, June 8, 2010 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

re:By Inherit The Wind, June 8 at 1:35 pm:

As I suggested,
they have their reasons for supporting Israel,
and they are. of course,
really stupid reasons.

Because, as I said, unless you have some Jewish ethnic affiliation that blinds you
to the evil of Israel, the only way you can love dear little Israel with all your heart
is if you’re really, really stupid.

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By Joan, June 8, 2010 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

Hedfews,

According to Hedges Americans are fascists, atheists will be our undoing and now the hated, easy target Christian Right is on the hot seat…Think this guy may have a “sky is falling” issue?  Hedges graduated Harvard Divinity School but evidently did not forgo proselytizing about the end of days or just, proselytizing, period.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 8, 2010 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

EH:
Didn’t you get the memo?  They support Israel because Israel must exist for The Rapture and the Apocalypse to occur.

John Ellis:
You speak with such authority but it’s all bull-oney.

Constantine was never Pope.  Period.
The “Pagans” you talk about were the Greco-Roman religion handed down from long before Homer’s time. 

But retributitive “Hell” you describe was only for the very WORST sinners like Tantalus and Sisyphus.  Decent people went to the Elysian Fields.  The worst rebellious immortals were imprisoned in the bottomless pit of Tartarus.  All of these were part of the Underworld, ruled over by the great God Hades (hence his realm is called Hades as well).  TO the Romans, he was Pluto.  Hades is not evil but just and merciless.

Yet this is not the source of Hell. The Jews have always had both a heaven and a hell—Ganeden and Gahenna.  But it was never explicated with the details and fascination for afterlife of the Christians, reaching its zenith in Dante’s descriptions.

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By Ed Harges, June 8, 2010 at 9:21 am Link to this comment

The Christian right are the BIGGEST non-Jewish supporters of
Israel in America.

My dear Jewish pro-Israel zealots: sorry to have to introduce you to your
embarrassing new best friends, but here they are:

The stupid, racist, tacky, unpresentable Christian right-wingers.

You see, unless you have some Jewish ethnic affiliation that blinds you to the
evil of Israel, the only way you can love dear little Israel with all your heart is if
you’re really, really stupid.

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By ThomasG, June 8, 2010 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

TO:  Chris Hedges

The Christian Fascists are growing stronger because the 70% majority Common Population, the American Populace, Back Street America, are NOT represented by either the Republican Party or the Democratic Party and are excluded from both political representation and the making and enforcing of legislated law and order that is in the best interest of the American Populace, and are left with no political alternative other than “backlash” between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, neither of which represent the best interests of the American Populace.

The Evangelical Christian Fascist Movement is claiming political representation of the 70% majority Common Population of the United States, the American Populace, Back Street America, as God’s will; their claim is a false claim because their claim casts God as an imperfect God because their claim is that as imperfect beings they are required to enforce God’s will.

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By REDHORSE, June 8, 2010 at 9:02 am Link to this comment

If’n we ain’t keerful them ignern’t cross burnin’ crackers is agonna kill us all in the name of jeezus. OLD MAN TURTLE are right—they’s crazy in the haid. I know’d it was gonna happen’ when the faces of ‘ligious figgurs starded to appear on my tortilla. I mean ain’t nobody a sane no more?

    I’m w/TROPICGIRL. Then crupt gvment thugs has got they nasty fangers in ever dirdy piece of pie around. In fact they baked most of the pies. B’sides that they’ll say anythang. In fact, sometimes I thank they just make #@it up. I’m spicious of rich folk anyhow. Thank ‘bout it. War does sumboddy git that kind of $$$$$$.

      All this scripture quoten has made me dizzy. I had to put my haid ‘tween my legs to keep frum passin out. I figgered that as long as it wuz thar anyway I might as well take the opportunity to kiss mu ass goodbye ‘cause when these here preachers get to goin’ hell ain’t to far behind.

      Mr. Hedges is right though. The poor ‘merican people has been looted and robbed and lied to and cheated and ‘nipulated. They has lost everthang but their guns (they got lots of them left). War do you turn at times like this. My Doc thanks I got bad anxiety and wants me to smoke marijuani but I don’t trust drugs. I thank a nice swim in the Gulf or a weekend in Phoenix would cheer me up. What do you thank?

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By ThomasG, June 8, 2010 at 8:58 am Link to this comment

To the Conservative Right-Wing Republican EXTREMISTS and their Evangelical Christian Fascist Movement:

The American Dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness with freedom and justice for all as tropes in support of subjective benefit for the American Populace; and the American Reality of the objective benefit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness with freedom and justice for all for “we the people”, the American Aristocracy, and the Professional Middle Class is the STANDARD of American freedom.

Privatized capitalism started out of laissez-nous-faire, it is God’s will that government leave the Capitalist Economy alone; and in our time it is God’s will that the Evangelical Christian Fascist Movement represent the 70% majority Common Population of the United States in the absence of an institutionalized political party that can legitimately represent the 70% majority Common Population, the American Populace, Back Street America, in the making and enforcing of legislated law and order that is in the American Populace’s best interest.

If it is God’s will that imperfect people represent laissez-nous-faire operation of the U.S. Economy as God’s will, and that imperfect people of the Evangelical Fascist Christian Movement represent the American Populace as God’s will, it is logically the claim of the Right-Wingers of laissez-nous-faire and the Evangelical Fascist Christian Movement that God requires their imperfect services to exercise God’s will; the claim that imperfect people are required to enforce the perfection of God’s will is a claim that God is an imperfect God.

To the extent that I believe in God, I believe that God is a perfect God and that imperfect people are not required to enforce God’s will, whether it be laissez-nous-faire economics, political representation by the Evangelical Christian Fascist Movement, or any other scheme of 21st Century “Manifest Destiny” as God’s will.

If God requires imperfect people to enforce God’s will, the imperfect people making the claim that they are required by God to enforce God’s will are making a claim that God is an imperfect God——I do not agree that God is an imperfect God and that God requires Right-Wing Evangelical Christian Fascists to enforce God’s will or anyone else, as imperfect beings, to enforce God’s will.

How is it possible for those who claim God to claim God as an imperfect God in the name of God?

Anyone who claims God in the name of God as an imperfect God could not be representative of God and God’s will in any way.

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By Ed Harges, June 8, 2010 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

Of course we get some Jewish pro-Israel zealot jumping in here screaming that
this right-wing Christian ideology is really all about anti-Semitism, and that
the prime manifestation of anti-semitism is criticism of Israel.

Au contraire: the Christian right are the BIGGEST non-Jewish supporters of
Israel in America.

My dear Jewish pro-Israel zealots: sorry to have to introduce you to your
embarrassing new best friends, but here they are:

The stupid, racist, tacky, unpresentable Christian right-wingers.

You see, unless you have some Jewish ethnic affiliation that blinds you to the
evil of Israel, the only way you can love dear little Israel with all your heart is if
you’re really, really stupid.

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By RavenBot, June 8, 2010 at 8:49 am Link to this comment

John Ellis I am sorry for your outlook on Christians, know that not all of us (And I really doubt 99%) are like you say. We are reasonable people. I (along with others) don’t even take the Bible as fact. The original was perfect but we have tampered with it to much now.

My preacher says its not the details that mater. How long it took God to make the earth is not the thing that matters, its that God made it. I also argue that God speaks to us as we speak to children. We have to simplify the information to help their understanding.

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