During an event discussing his latest book, America: The Farewell Tour, Chris Hedges was asked about where he finds hope. His answer points to the power of faith, resistance, and the importance of values. This is from an event at Zaytuna College, America’s first Muslim liberal arts college.
“Nationalism is the new Golden Calf. What are the connections between religious nationalism in the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia? How are these three nations allied and should we reconsider these alliances? …
This is me on my soap box to people who want to Christianize government. I’m all about calling down the darkness and rolling over it with the kingdom of God. How did Christ defeat the kingdoms of this world? It’s very powerful and deep when you understand it. He built his kingdom by laying his life down for us instead of taking it up. He was showing us what his kingdom looks like and how it’s different than this world. It was upside down to them but in the Book of Acts the church was starting to turn it right side up. That doesn’t mean we’re sitting idly by just letting the world walk on us. What I believe it means we take a stand for life calling out that which is taking it. Showing people our love for what’s created in God’s image and likeness. We will win their souls in the process.
On last Thursday’s (9.13.18) special edition of Reach Out, we asked, “What is socialism?” In a discussion ranging from the juxtaposition of socialism and religion, cooperation vs. competition in humanity’s origins, and how class is what primarily divides people, Bill and I, along with special guest Matt Reedy, barely scratched the surface of answering that question but realized its enormity and complexity.
In a conversation about his new book America: The Farewell Tour, Chris Hedges tells journalist, Hugh Hamilton, about the political goals of the Christian Right and the prison-industrial complex. Second part of two-part interview.
We should be very grateful to Francesco Duina for his new book, Broke and Patriotic: Why Poor Americans Love Their Country. He begins with the following dilemma. The poor in the United States are in many ways worse off than in other wealthy countries, but they are more patriotic than are the poor in those other countries and even more patriotic than are wealthier people in their own country. Their country is (among wealthy countries) tops in inequality, and bottoms in social support, and yet they overwhelmingly believe that the United States is “fundamentally better than other countries.” Why?
Americans have long embraced a notion of superiority, claims Howard Zinn. Governor Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony described establishing “a city on a hill,” to serve the world as a beacon of liberty. So far, so good. But driving this sense of destiny, says Zinn, was an assumption of divine agency—“an association between what the government does and what God approves of.” And too frequently, continues Zinn, Americans have invoked God to expand “into someone else’s territory, occupying and dealing harshly with people who resist occupation.”
In modern times it may not even seem like an issue if a Christian can or cannot serve in the military, clearly Christians today and for many centuries do, so what would the issue be? On the other hand, anyone who has honestly read the gospels must recognize that the issue of violence is at the very least problematic in Jesus’s teachings. One would simply have to point to the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:38–47) or the Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6:27–31), or his teaching on the one taking the sword dying by the sword (Matthew 26:52), to recognize that Jesus tended to reject violence.
“Empty entertainment/worship sung by pretty people. Doctrinally-correct sermons devoid of power. Sunday-only Christian lives barely distinguishable from the world. All these and many more ills are symptoms of a disease Art clearly identifies in this message. It’s such a fundamental thing, our understanding of the cross. It’s an indictment of our lives and the current impotence of the church. In the final analysis, unless we know Christ and Him crucified, our knowledge of God will be false.”
“The Visual Bible: Acts” is a 1994 Christian film that depicts the events of the Acts of the Apostles from the New Testament. All of the dialogue is word-for-word scripture, taken directly from the New International Version of the Bible.