"Let the Christian religion be manipulated by charlatans to demonize Muslims, gays and intellectuals, discredit science and become a source of personal enrichment." — Chris Hedges
Well, I agree with much of Chris's article. I might say with the vast majority of it. However, he mixes up Christian teaching as one might shake salt and pepper onto food.
"Demonize" is a loaded term here the use of which I would hardly equate with honest and thorough intellectualism especially since Chris has had ample opportunity through the years to elaborate/clarify but hasn't that I've seen anyway. Certainly Islam and Christianity are not able to be reconciled. It is also a basic tenet of Christ that "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad." (Matthew 12:30 KJV) Chris has read that. He knows what it means. It means that those who are not Christians are anti-Christs. He also knows what that means. When one is being anti-Christ, one is necessarily being demonic, by Christian definition. These things though are inconvenient to Chris's false "liberal" Christianity.
I like much about Chris Hedges, but he is a misleader.
He knows that Paul wrote: "And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet." (Romans 1:27 KJVR) What is meet (proper)? "Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them." (Romans 1:32 KJV)
Now, I'm not what is termed "Pauline," but that isn't to say that I disagree with everything Paul wrote, far from it. I agree with everything he wrote that is consistent with what Jesus did and said. I disagree where he, as apparent to me, diverged. He did not diverge on the issue of sexual behavior that I can see, and I can back up that statement with scripture that isn't taken in some selective context that can be overturned via other scripture from Jesus. More to the point, I don't see anyone being able to refute my position via a full-context reading of Jesus and Paul.
As for discrediting science, Chris knows full well that the feeding of the five thousand runs contrary to current scientific thinking. "And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children." (Matthew 14:19-21 KJV) It has been disparaged as "magical thinking." Chris echoes himself repeatedly, but I never hear him elaborate on these issues. I see him as standing off from them, as they are, again, inconvenient to his brand of liberalism.
I deplore laissez-faire capitalism. To me, it is the heart and soul of evil. It is the heart and soul of selfishness that is the heart and soul of the proverbial Satan. I have offered many stepping stones to get us out from under that scourge. Unfortunately so far, most people choose to stay within their fallen "comfort zone." I deplore militarism. I also deplore sexual behaviors that cause souls to fall, and yes, that includes homosex but also fornication, adultery, pedophilia, bestiality, pornography, multiple sex-partners, and all other sexual errors as wittingly harmful and that can be and should be overcome through faith and by God's grace. Yes, if you find these errors in yourself, you should hate them. It is right to hate them. Chris evidently doesn't believe one should hate the error that is homosexuality or to overcome it.
This does not mean that I hold with coercive secular governments or theocracies whether violent or otherwise. I do hold with the separation of the sheep from the goats however. I simply do not seek the sadistic punishment of any soul. Pain and suffering however are a natural outgrowth of selfish error. I would that every soul come to realize it and to act properly accordingly. I do not take exception to God's ultimate way. I see God as fair and just. I don't see God as the wrath, per se. I see God as the overcoming of wrath and all attendant offense. Jesus never called down the wrath and even counseled against doing so — no matter how tempting. I don't see Jesus as being inconsistent and returning in the wrath against which he preached. That would be Jesus being hypocritical, a thing he despises. Wrath though comes against itself. It is the self-devouring spirit — Satan. It is temptation to fall, to offend God, to even tempt God.
Chris is right that Jesus was and is a radical, but Chris hasn't been nearly radicalized enough. He's been hammering on the same themes now for years, all the while attempting to completely ignore where he's falling short himself. I cannot imagine that he has not been confronted by Paul vis-a-vis homosexuality. What does he have to say for himself on that? Is it too uncomfortable an issue to deal with directly as the main and sole subject matter anywhere? Must it be simply mentioned as "liberal" to appeal to that lost flock for the overarching cause Chris sees as "liberal" Christianity — that watered down Christianity that Christ himself would say must get behind him, "Satan"?
The stepping stones I've suggested/offered do use "the system" from within for a bit. The stones though if followed one after the next lead to the strait gate unto the narrow way. I don't hide that goal at all. I offer reforming the monetary system of the US by nationalizing the Federal Reserve and converting all Fed notes into interest-and-tax-free United States Notes and to use those notes to pay off the National Debt and to pay for all infrastructure and for full meaningful and fruitful employment — not merely capitalist gain. You may read about these things on this site. I go further though via the Christian Commons. That is faith bringing forth works worthy of repentance — bringing the spirit of the real Heaven to Earth just as prayed for in the Lord's Prayer.
Of course, God is power and we certainly don't need to demand that God concede. It is we who need to concede to God.
Peace of the Lord to you, Chris.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)