Christian right as heretics

When it comes to Christian heresies, right wing Christians think that they are blameless and it is only those permissive left-wingers who support progressive causes who are deviating from orthodoxy. But Chris Hedges, a progressive journalist who is also a Christian and studied for three years at Harvard Divinity school early in life, argues that the opposite is true, and that is the Christian right who are the true heretics.

He says that back when he was at Divinity School, his mentor warned him that “when we were his age we would all be fighting the Christian fascists. Because, he understood that the Weimarization of the American working class, essentially pushing your working population into utter despair and hopelessness, coupled with a religious movement that fused national and religious symbols, was a recipe for fascism.”

He thinks we have arrived at that time. While the issue of who is a real heretic is something that is of little concern to us nonbelievers, his other warning should be taken seriously. The income inequality in the US is quite extreme and history warns us that when those who have been thus marginalized do not correctly identify the class divide as the source of their impoverishment, they will latch onto other diagnoses that are much more dangerous.


  1. raven says

    The income inequality in the US is quite extreme and history warns us…

    It’s known that income inequality is associated with political instability.

    If it continues, the USA will become politically unstable.

    LOL. As we have seen with the government shutdown, we are now a known politically unstable nation. The christofascists of the Tea Party would have no problem with us defaulting on 11 trillion USD of treasury bonds and sinking into the third world, their scorched earth policy.

    Our allies and trading partners were watching the whole thing with horror. The Chinese and Japanese each hold more than 1 trillion USD of US treasuries. Reports are that everyone is thinking about or like the Russians, actively dumping those bonds.

  2. Karen Locke says

    The situation gets scarier and scarier. For a snapshot, witness the current Pope’s comments on the basics of social justice and the nasty backlash from the right-wingers in the U.S. Mind you, as an ex-Catholic, I have no particular reason to like the Catholic church or its hierarchy, but I am a fan of social justice. My U.S. seems to be backing away from the concept as fast as it can, which frightens me as well as saddens me.

  3. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    that is the Christian right who are the true heretics.

    Yes indeed.

    I’ve often thought about how different the “religious (not-so) Rights” idea of Christianity seems to be from much of what is told and suggested by the Rabbi Jesus in the New Testament. He was, supposedly, a man who preached helping the poor and forgiving others especially women of their supposed crimes ratehrtahn brutallypunishing them. Who had tax collectors, prostitutes and low class fishermen as friends and advised people to pay their taxes and do good rather than merely appearing to do good. Jesus was a Rabbi who argued for extending humanity to everyone not just the in-group – that everyone was a “neighbour” to treated compassionately and respected equally. The modern Religious Right seems very much the opposite in its views.

    One of the best illustrations of this “Christian heresy ” versus the Rabbi Yeshua’s original* teachings is pointed out by this quote by Isaac Asimov discussing the most famous of parables about the Samaritan** :

    [The word ‘Samaritan’ – ed] .. really means “someone of a group that receives from us and deserves from us nothing but hatred and contempt.” How should this word be translated into a single word that means the same thing to, say, many modern Greeks? Why, “Turk.” And to many modern Turks? Why, “Greek.”

    … We forget the point of the parable is entirely vitiated by the common phrase “good” Samaritan for that has cast a false light on who the Samaritans were. . . To the Jews [of Jesus’ time – ed.] the Samaritans were not good. They were hated, despised, contemptible heretics with whom no good Jew would have anything to do. Again, the whole point is lost through non-translation.

    …The Parable of the Good Samaritan clearly teaches that there is nothing parochial in the concept “neighbor,” that you cannot confine your decency to your own group and your own kind. All mankind, [sic – ed] right down to those those you most despise are your neighbours.”

    – Pages 266-270 Isaac Asimov, “Lost in Non-translation” in ‘Magic’ anthology Harper-Collins, 1996.

    (The rest of that essay is well worth reading in full too btw.)

    The impression I get of what Jesus wanted and thought and the kind of hippy-like, politically socialist almost communist thinking person who he might well have been is Astronomical Units different and completely at odds with some of the really nasty, exclusionary, uber-capitalistic, bigoted things the Religious Right like to claim.

    Or – and also – what REM sang here :

    In the first verse of New Test Leper’.

    * Original ethical principle? Well maybe, maybe not, but “original’ in the sense of that precise parable describing it, probably. Not that it matters overly.

    ** Note the lack of the word “Good” in the title – for once that’s not a typo or other error on my part.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *