Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize winner at the New York Times. He has written a new book called The Christian Right and the War on America. He calls the American Christian Right Dominionism i.e. a movement which seeks politcal power.
Hedges says that since the 1980’s people like Pat Robertson, the late Jerry Falwell and Gary Bauer have exploited the despair of the American working class (and a good part of the middle class) at the same time they promise them that Jesus is looking over them and has a plan for them: “Once these people become removed from a reality-based world, they become impossible to reach in terms of rational discussion.”
Hedge argues when you break down fascism into its many elements, we will find many of those elements within the radical Christian right, within the Dominionists.
These elements would include … the attack on any kind of critical spirit or self-criticism as a form of heresy; the fight against diversity; the fact that it draws from social frustration; the fact that it recruits people who have been deprived of a clear social identity …. the notion that once you join the movement you automatically can achieve a kind of heroism; the fact that the final aesthetic of the movment is violent: “I mean the hard Christian right is apocalyptic and believes that massive violence is going to cleanse and purge the world. And these are all fundamental beliefs of fascist governments.”
The Dominionists are taught not to think but to obey. That is why they advocate the rigid hierarchy of the family with the male dominant, the woman subservient and the children obedient. And the want to insert that family hierachy into the Church and eventually into the nation. This is a movement that has identified American imperialism with the Christian state. It fuses the iconography and language of Christianity with the iconography and language of American nationalism.
Hedges says we are talking about tens of millions of households. The Dominionists control Christian radio and broadcasting. They form about 25 per cent of the base of the Republican party.
Should we be concerned by the growth of the Christian Right in the United States and its equivalent in Canada located, among other places, in the programs of the old Reform party?
Would the old Reformer Stephen Harper be tempted by any of this if he had a majority government?