Sunday, August 1, 2010

American Fascists!! The Christian Right and Its War on America - BOTW

This weeks Book of the Week (BOTW) is American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America by Chris Hedges. This book has greatly impacted my thinking, as I have personally experienced much of what the author wrote.

This book asks the question - What is Fascism, and how do we get to a Fascist state? Drawing on parallels with Mussolinis Italy and Nazi Germany, Hedges skillfully compares the current Fundamentalist Christian movement in America to the emergence of other Fascist movements in History. Fascism, according to Hedges,  is based upon the ideal of unified cultural thought. Hedges correlates the Religious Rights push for a government established on Christian principles as the start to American Fascism. He asserts that when a nation is governed by one idea, in order to protect national unity, all other ideas must be eliminated. This he says is the goal of the Fundamentalist movement; all other "truths" beside a literal reading of the Bible is false and must not be tolerated.

No only are all opposing ideas eliminated, but the "Christian government" takes on a messianic bent. For if it is a nation governed by Christian principles, then anything it does must be the will of God. Therefore, the goal of said nation is to bring the "truth" of Christian government to all the world, waging war against those who disagree and fighting the "untruths" of secularism.

This book was fascinating not only for its political ramification, but it also because it dealt with the rise of the "Evangelism" movement within fundamentalist Christianity as well as the masculine complex within the "new" form of the religion.  All in all a great read and one that I would highly recommend.

American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America


  1. Um, wow. Just wow. Doesn't even remotely resemble any of the many Christian conservatives I know. Where is there evidence of the Christian right actually doing ANY of this?

    I suggest your next book of the week should be Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg, or Liberty vs Tyranny by Mark Levin, because this author's understanding of what fascism is is seriously demented if he believes that Christian conservatives, who overwhelmingly favor smaller, less intrusive government come even close to it.

  2. Christian Conservatives may favor "smaller government" when it comes to fiscal issues, but when it comes to social issues such as abortion, euthanasia, LGBT issues etc. they actually favor a very intrusive government.

    The author was not discussing the economic ramifications of the Religious Right but was more concerned with the social issues that the Religious Right has attached themselves too.

    I would recommended picking up the book as it shows the mentality of the Christian Right - starting with Phyllis Schafley in the 70's and ending with James Dobson and Pat Robertson, and how they have influenced todays political climate.


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