Chris Hedges: The Suicide of the Liberal Church

Feeding the hungry in San Francisco

Image by Franco Folini via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

with Chris Hedges

teleSUR English on Feb 1, 2016

In this episode of Days of Revolt, host Chris Hedges sits down with two student activists from Union Theological Seminary, Michael Vanacore and Edward Escalon. The two are engaged in a battle to stop Union from selling property to developers of luxury condos and gentrifying the Harlem neighborhood. Hedges and his guests discuss this topic in the context of the false progressivism of the liberal church, and the long physical and moral decay of such institutions.


see also:

The Death and Resurrection of the Liberal Church: A Response to Chris Hedges By Rev. Dr. Christian Scharen

Rumors of the Suicide of the Liberal Church Are Exaggerated: A Response to Chris Hedges By Mark Hulsether

from the archives:

Chris Hedges: The Death of the American City

Chris Hedges and Cornel West: Faux Liberalism Serves the Oligarchic Cabal

Dorothy Day: Our Problems Stem From Our Acceptance of This Filthy, Rotten System by Richard Sahn

One thought on “Chris Hedges: The Suicide of the Liberal Church

  1. This is indeed the perennial dilemma ~ how to prosper just & representative institutions, whilst maintaining individual sovereignty and independent (socialized) autonomy. In short, maintain ethical self-governance. How should societies be ordered and organised?

    This being therefore absolutely fundamental, it very quickly reminds us of the Aristotelian notion of civic virtue, alerting us to the true nature, responsibilities and rights of every individual in a civilized community. Civilized, in so far as its members are situated consensually, and originate their self-determination within a concrete context that is understood coherently and accepted as both intelligible and accessible.

    All true science is thus only the competent exercise of such a fully operational reason.

    Karl Popper defined those criteria very adequately in his essential analysis of what constitutes an open society. The problem of the relationship of poverty to riches is not exactly new, so it behoves us to reflect upon our own experience with focused candor. Whilst in my opinion, the religious rhetoric of exalting the poor is unconvincing, the question that we really need to ask is, why does poverty exist? In what natural environment does poverty “thrive” ~ and if no such environment exists in nature, why are the poor so impoverished?

    How does society’s highest temple of principle become so corrupted, actually profaned & finally rendered irrelevant, as it deteriorates into a triumphalist bordello of ignorance (like every bloated congregational “corporation” from the year dot) ~ so why? Appealing to the nobility of “truth” or lack of it, is not a legitimate answer, because it is the response, not only of dogmatic doctrine, but also of arrogant scientism. So, if we were to seek a significant term to sever their bluff from the blag, the truest answer would be “virtue,” and more especially the proper exercise thereof. Virtue as a verb.

    Are those who are suffering & find themselves languishing in a diminished estate, experiencing the effects of their own lethargy and indolence, entirely through their own faults or lack of capacity, as the neo-liberal consensus insists and alleges? Or is it the illicit, even covert, bondage of the soul and restriction of will that is imposed on them by those very neo-liberals who preach Ayn Rand self-determination, but never practice it; only ever affecting posturing devotion to its diligent exercise?

    In short, are those supremely advantaged, often hereditary, patrons or “beneficiaries” only acting as though they were enlightened liberators, but actually posing as pious and pretending? all the while, secretly prescribing immensely disempowering limitations by subtle means, commonly disguised as philanthropic generosity. The way I see it, whether privileged or brokered, all profane power is a form of theft and narcissistic self-adulation. Even more worrying, it is ultimately a type of identity that apotheosizes itself.

    I also recognize that one single explanation of this challenging situation will not necessarily illuminate all cases; but that said, any genuine exception should prove the rule. We must be realistic. There are multiple factors that contribute to the egregious suffering of the populations of this Earth, but there are two principle (Western) narratives that do not well serve the interests of our populace ~ namely anthropology and biology.

    The former should, properly, address the metaphysical life of our unique species, but in practice it does not ~ except partially; all the while purporting to convey the hereditary essence of religious impulse and rites of meaning.

    This progressive “enlightenment” outlook is thoroughly manipulated by governments & gamed by franchised vested interests (… very special ~ as in species…,) that conspire to peddle “retrocentric” gravitational fictions as nativist fact; whereas they only caricature experience, according to the dogmas & dictates of their faux-transmitted “orientalised” & cosmologically delineated methodologies.

    However, the latter ~ ie biology ~ claims some pre-eminent domain from whence to underwrite the credibility of the former logic of anthropos; it is, since it is well and truly an anthropocentric construct, buttressed by those theoretical prejudices alleging to serve the reality of life itself, entirely wanting in coherence (as are all reductive and fire-walled hybrid agendas of knowledge.) They only compute in their own language, and so are necessarily mutually exclusive, separable and coded; and so if testable, not infrequently demonstrably incommensurate.

    “Corporatized” biology ( ie the body weaponized with money! ) is a dogmatic vocational ambition born of institutional rigor mortis, that utterly fails to nourish our understanding as free agents of purpose, in any sense of the right meaning of co-ordinated function.

    It is a concept that has been abducted and irradiated with historic assumptions by experts marinated in abstract sophistry, who have thus rendered it, subordinated it, mutated & transformed, into a vassal “handmaiden” of intellectual primogeniture ~ that is to say, never entirely free of cultural conceits, nor from the blinkering mirage of a precociously finite (quantum-calculus) horizon.

    If we were to define morality afresh, we could indeed actually dispense with “religion,” if only we could allow the semantic ecology of cosmic immanence to speak for itself; as the living intelligence of the metaphysical gender dance.

    Thus, unimpaired by conditioned patriarchal-ist expectations or hobbled by the metaphorical literalisms & (hypostasized) reifications of ontological desire, we might gain a glimpse of the innocence that refuses to submit to blackmail tyranny or officially sanctified despotisms of mind.

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