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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Folk On Foot Festival 3: TOGETHER AGAIN

Help us to stage another amazing virtual folk festival on August Bank Holiday Monday – 31st August  – and give your support to musicians who’ve lost their livelihoods during the coronavirus lockdown.

Help us to stage another amazing virtual folk festival on August Bank Holiday Monday – 31st August  – and give your support to musicians who’ve lost their livelihoods during the coronavirus lockdown.

Folk on Foot Festival 3: TOGETHER AGAIN will re-unite musicians who haven’t been able to play together during the lockdown.  They will film a series of 30 minute sets in spectacular or quirky locations and we’ll put them together into a show lasting over 6 and a half hours.

The lineup:

  • The Breath (Rioghnach Connolly, Stuart McCallum and a special guest)
  • Eliza Carthy and David Delarre
  • Johnny Flynn and his band
  • Julie Fowlis, Éamon Doorley and Duncan Chisholm
  • Karine Polwart, Steven Polwart and Inge Thomson
  • Kris Drever, John McCusker and Phil Cunningham
  • Lady Nade, Kit Hawes and Aaron Catlow
  • Nancy Kerr, Martin Simpson and Andy Cutting
  • Peggy Seeger with her sons Neill and Calum MacColl
  • Rachel Newton and Lauren MacColl
  • Sam Lee and his band
  • Show of Hands (Steve Knightley and Phil Beer)
  • Spiers and Boden

When:  for over six and a half hours of unique music.

Where: from the Folk on Foot YouTube Channel and Facebook page – direct to your front room.

Donate to make it happen

Half the money we raise will go to the charity Help Musicians – which supports musicians undergoing financial hardship – and the other half will be divided equally between the artists who take part in the Festival. Music is hugely important in lifting our spirits and salving our souls in these troubling times, so please make a donation to support the talented people who create it.

Source: Folk On Foot Festival 3: TOGETHER AGAIN