Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Fascists are Coming!?! We have met the enemy and he is us?

Chris Hedges, author of the provocatively titled American Fascists: the Christian Right and the War on America, has predicted that at the next 9/11-like crisis, evangelical Christians are ready to take over the United States: “Those arrayed against American democracy [i.e., evangelical Christians] are waiting for a moment to strike, a national crisis that will allow them to shred the Constitution in the name of national security and strength” (pp. 201–202). Already, claims Hedges, “this minority … is taking over the machinery of U.S. state and religious institutions” (p. 19).

Yikes! Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, we must be afraid of the shark of evangelical Christianity. In fact, Hedges declares that the plot to take over the reins of power can be observed in everything from what he believes to be a pervasive “dominion theology,” to televangelists, to the modern creationist movement, to the very existence of Focus on the Family and the advocacy of James Dobson.

Not only does Hedges find sinister motivations behind most things evangelicals do and say, he fears they will employ the tried techniques of fascism, particularly violence, to accomplish their ends. Just when Hillary assures us this week that there really is a vast right wing conspiracy, Hedges identifies the major players: the evangelicals!

Such paranoid ruminations would be easy to dismiss but for the fact that the author is a Harvard Divinity School alum who served on the Pulitzer winning 2002 team of the New York Times and was released by uber-publisher Simon and Schuster.

Beyond the “blue” and “red” labels in our country, evangelicals need to be cognizant of the viciousness of some of those with whom we disagree. We battle not only with Islamo-fascism but with secularists who count us among the fanatical fringe.

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