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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-11-2007, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Making a Christian Nation

'American Fascists' by Chris Hedges
How conservative evangelists are trying to make the United States a Christian nation
By Jon Wiener

American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America
Chris Hedges
Free Press: 256 pp., $25

President Eisenhower famously said, "Our government makes no sense unless it is founded in a deeply felt religious faith, and I don't care what that faith is." The people Chris Hedges writes about in his new book have a different view: They care a lot about the religion on which our government is based and they think it should be Christianity — their version, of course. "American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America" is a call to arms against what Hedges sees as the efforts of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and the operators of Trinity Broadcasting Network, among others, to turn the United States into a Christian nation.

Hedges is not your average secular humanist. He knows his Bible. He's the son of a Presbyterian minister and a graduate of Harvard Divinity School. He's also a Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent for the New York Times who has reported from more than 50 countries over the last 20 years.

In "American Fascists," Hedges reports in fascinating detail what goes on inside the churches, conventions and meeting halls of the Christian right. He attends a "Love Won Out" conference in Boston, sponsored by James Dobson's Focus on the Family, held to "cure" those who are afflicted by "same-sex attraction." He visits the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., where he finds a display describing evolution as the "big lie."

Hedges also goes to the National Religious Broadcasters annual convention, where 5,500 Christian TV and radio folk gather in Anaheim. And he joins a five-day "Evangelism Explosion" seminar in Florida to learn tactics for converting people to the Christian right's version of Christ. That conference is run by D. James Kennedy, whose "The Coral Ridge Hour" is seen weekly on more than 600 TV stations. There, he and 60 other people learn the sales pitch and how to fake friendship for the potential convert. Then they talk about sin. The aspiring evangelists also are told that "eternal life cannot be achieved through good deeds or even a good life," that there is no escape from sin, that belief in Jesus is the only way to eternal life.

But the key message Hedges and the others are taught to deliver is that conversion obliterates "our fear of death, not only for ourselves, but the fear we have of losing those we love" — for example, children or spouses fighting in Iraq. This, Hedges argues, is "not only dishonest but cruel," because the fear of death cannot be banished.

More at: 'American Fascists' by Chris Hedges - BOOK REVIEW - Los Angeles Times -
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-11-2007, 05:25 PM
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Now I suppose I need to bring out some right wing has its merits too cut and paste.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-11-2007, 05:39 PM
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How will they convert me, exactly? They seem to be on the defensive.

Can you point to any area of public life where Christianity is more prevailant than it was 10, 20. 30, 40, 50 years ago?

Your boogeyman seems to be on the run. What are you worried about?

My kids get "winter break and spring break". They sing edited versions of "Holiday" songs that are expunged of any reference to God, Jesus, or Mustapha Mond.

Show me the WMCs. (Weapons of Mass Conversion)
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-11-2007, 05:46 PM
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Maybe it's just me, but I almost fell asleep just reading the article.

Does anyone buy these books and actually read them? There are about 20 titles all in this theme at Barnes & Noble, they have a whole display of them.

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. (Winston Churchill)
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-11-2007, 11:29 PM
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I am sure some paranoids read them on both sides of the pew. From where I look in Kentucky [about the zipper of the biblebelt], other than the megachurches, everything is about the same. Even the megachurches are getting pushback from zoning commissions and not able to build on demand anymore. Three have been rejected for traffic in the past year which would have been unheard of just a few years ago.

Also I am seeing the fracture of these large churches as little churches spin off due to spats and power struggles. The politics are taking second place to local church issues. And with the FEC looking at how churches act like PACs, churches are starting to pipe down abit during the election cycles. That is, in itself slowing down the Theocrazy of America


Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
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