Truth telling about decay in America: Michael Moore interviews Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges is one of the great journalists, thinkers, war reporters and truth-tellers of our time. He won the Pulitzer Prize for reporting on global terrorism while at the New York Times, who later fired him for speaking out against the Iraq war.

He joins Michael to speak on Afghanistan, the collapse of the American empire, the upcoming 9/11 anniversary, and the end of abortion rights in Texas (and around the U.S.)

Hedges was a war correspondent for many years and has seen awful human degradation, societies in collapse, social bonds being ruptured, and people turning to “self-destructive behavior and magical thinking.” Alarmingly, he sees all of these signals of decay here in America.

Hedges has also studied the Evangelical Christian Right in America and wrote a prescient book in 2008 titled, “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.” He details the decades-long battle on women’s reproductive rights, the cynical and dishonest methods used to restrict access to abortion and how this pernicious form of fascism has only grown stronger since that book was published.

However, as a teacher, an ordained Presbyterian minister, and a graduate from Harvard’s Divinity School, Hedges draws on the teachings of great philosophers and theologians to lay out a moral imperative for solidarity and struggle and explains why we must not succumb to despair.

Chris Hedges on Christian Right and the Evil Within Us

Princeton, New Jersey (Scheerpost) — Robert Aaron Long, 21, charged with murdering eight victims, six of whom were Asian women, at three Atlanta-area massage parlors, told police that he carried out the killings to eliminate the temptations that fed his sexual addiction. His church, Crabapple First Baptist Church, in Milton, Georgia, which opposes sex outside of marriage, issued a statement condemning the shootings as “unacceptable and contrary to the gospel.”

The church, however, also immediately took down its web site and removed videos, including one that was captured by The Washington Post before it was deleted where the church’s pastor, the Rev. Jerry Dockery, told the congregation that Christ’s second coming was imminent. And when Christ returned, Dockery said, he would wage a ruthless and violent war on nonbelievers and infidels, those controlled by Satan.

“There is one word devoted to their demise,” the pastor said. “Swept away! Banished! Judged. They have no power before God. Satan himself is bound and released and then bound again and banished. That great dragon deceiver – just that quickly – God throws him into an eternal torment. And then we read where everyone – everyone that rejects Christ – will join Satan, the Beast and the false prophet in hell.”

I heard a lot of these types of sermons by fundamentalist preachers during the two years I crisscrossed the country for my book American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. I attended Bible studies, prayer groups, conventions, tapings of Christian television shows, rallies held by Patriot Pastors, talks by leaders such as James Dobson, D. James Kennedy and Tony Perkins and creationist seminars. I visited the 50,000-square-foot Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, took an Evangelism Explosion course, joined congregations at numerous megachurches for Sunday worship and participated in right-to-life retreats. I spent hundreds of hours interviewing scores of believers.

The simplistic message was always the same. The world was divided into us and them, the blessed and the damned, agents of God and agents of Satan, good and evil. Millions of largely white Americans, hermetically sealed within the ideology of the Christian Right, yearn to destroy the Satanic forces they blame for the debacle of their lives, the broken homes, domestic and sexual abuse, struggling single parent households, lack of opportunities, crippling debt, poverty, evictions, bankruptcies, loss of sustainable incomes and the decay of their communities. Satanic forces, they believe, control the financial systems, the media, public education and the three branches of government. They believed this long before Donald Trump, who astutely tapped into this deep malaise and magic thinking, mounted his 2016 campaign for president.

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