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American Fascists: the Christian Right and the War on America Hardcover – 19 Sep 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (19 Sept. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743284437
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743284431
  • Product Dimensions: 22.3 x 14.6 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 858,984 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Chris Hedges may be the most credible figure yet to detect real-life fascism in the Red America of megachurches, gay-marriage bans and Left Behind books. American Facists is at its most daring when it enunciates...the perversities that are obvious to those of us not beholden to political exigencies." -- "New York Observer"

Book Description

9780099511168
A startling and terrifying expose of the political ambitions of the Christian Right in America - and a clarion call for everyone who cares about freedom. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Format: Paperback
We might assume that the right-wing Christian nationalist dream is waning in America, but Chris Hedges does not. Touring around the country he finds an undimminished movement for a full-blown theocratic state. As he quotes James Kennedy,

"Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost. As vice-regents of God, we are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports areanas, our entertainment media, our scientific endeavors -- in short, over every aspect and institution of human society." (p. 58)

Hedges travels widely to hear great speakers, attend seminars and visit with radical fundamentalists. He offers some understanding, or perhaps pity, towards these people's needs for order, direction, certitude and righteousness in a chaotic society. But his sympathy is limited by a conviction that these people are pushing his country towards totalitarian fascism. He notes that the Dominionist agenda calls for a restoration of harsh ancient laws from before the time of Jesus or of modern Judaism: the death penalty for adultery, homosexuality, blasphemy, incest, striking a parent, incorrigible juvenile delinquency, and, in the case of women, unchastity before marriage. Beyond this, Hedges sees a regressive agenda to make Christianity more supportive of powerful economic interests:

"... When it is faith alone that will determine your wellbeing, when faith alone cures illness, overcomes emotional distress, and ensures financial and physical security, there is no need for outside, secular institutions, for social service and regulatory agencies to exist. ... To put trust in secular institutions is to lack faith, to give up on God's magic and miracles.
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Format: Paperback
In this hard-hitting book, Chris Hedges attacks head-on the Christian Right and their ideology, dominionism, which calls for the church to take political and institutional power and install a theocracy in the US.
The movement has very wealthy backers for two main reasons, politically, the assault on democracy and economically, the promotion of unfettered capitalism.

Assault on democracy
The Christian Right calls for the destruction of an open and pluralist society with its civil-rights laws, trade unions and public schools teaching secular humanism.
Education and welfare should be handed over to the churches. `Tithes' should be paid by the population.
The movement is anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-liberal, anti-immigrants, anti-Hindu, anti-Muslim and for severe sexual repression.
Chris Hedges accuses one of its members as being the mastermind of vote counts manipulation in recent elections.

Unfettered capitalism (the gospel of prosperity)
Unfettered capitalism allows the exploitation of human workers by paying less than living wages, thereby generating billions of dollars of profits for the corporatocracy.

Political influence
The Christian Right controls a big part of the Republican Party. Its organizations received billions of dollars under the Bush II administrations.
It has representatives in the Supreme Court, in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
It can spread its message through its own TV channels, radio stations and newspapers.

Social influence
The Christian Right tries to create a political mass movement with people, who are, in fact, victims of this unfettered capitalism (see also, T. Frank: What's the Matter with Kansas.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am reading this book because I thought it might be useful for an essay I am writing about American Christian Fundamentalism. Well, first things first. I enjoyed reading this book immensely and found that it read very well; in short, I couldn't put it down.

I'm a Christian, a dyed-in-the-wool Christian who genuinely believes in God and tries to serve God on a daily and ongoing basis. Part of this 'walk' is treating other people, no matter who they are and whatever they believe (or don't believe for that matter), with genuine courtesy and respect. Also, although I am unemployed I try now and again to give a little to a number of charities that I think need my limited help. No, I am not perfect, nor am I a 'holy Joe' of any kind either, just an ordinary, basically Working class bloke who happens to be a Christian. It seems to me that often, but not always, Christianity, or the practise of Christianity, in America and sometimes even Britain gets a bad name, for one reason or another. In America, it seems that Right-wing conservative politics seems somehow to be aligned with Christianity, and in Britain Christianity seems to be far more about Middle class values and the 'Great and the Good' far more than it does about the majority of people who are just ordinary, ordinary in the broadest sense of the word at any rate. Do we feel that Christianity in some cases has been hijacked, and do people proclaim their belief just to look respectable? I do wonder sometimes.

What this book talks about is that some Christianity in America has indeed been hijacked by very Right-wing politically conservative people, who are often anti-union and who are for low-paid employment, whilst believing in unfettered capitalism that benefits the rich over the poor.
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