Thursday, August 16, 2007

Hedges on theology of despair

Chris Hedges wrote American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. He applies his experience of fundamentalism and totalitarianism to the conversion sales mechanism of the theology of despair:
They hated this world. And they willingly walked out on this world for the mythical world offered by these radical preachers, a world of magic, a world where God had a divine plan for them and intervened on a daily basis to protect them and perform miracles in their lives... #

this theology of despair . . . says that nothing in the world is worth saving. #

Despair was there long before Mr. Bush, aka the USian Scion of Nihilism, arrived. He simply punched it up. Softened up the targets, readied them.

The only answerable mode for Bush and the fascist pearl forming in his pud is a language that does not feed upon despair, anxiety, terror. That means an end to media as usual.

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Anonymous ahfukit said...

From the first chapter:

We are saved, in the end, by faith - faith that life is not meaningless and random, that there is a purpose to human existence, and that in the midst of this morally neutral universe the tiny, seemingly insignificant acts of compassion and blind human kindness, especially to those labeled our enemies and strangers, sustain the divine spark, which is love. We are not fully human if we live alone. These small acts of compassion - for they can never be organized and institutionalized as can hate - have a power that lives after us. Human kindness is deeply subversive to totalitarian creeds, which seek to thwart all compassion toward those deemed unworthy of moral consideration, those branded as internal or external enemies. These acts recognize and affirm the humanity of others, others who may be condemned as agents of Satan. Those who sacrifice for others, especially at great cost, who place compassion and tolerance above ideology and creeds, and who reject absolutes, especially moral absolutes, stand as constant witnesses in our lives to this love, even long after they are gone. In the gospels this is called resurrection.

(I'm a sucker for the bold.)

8/19/2007 10:50 AM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

Thanks ah. As wary as I am of generalizing arguments involving ethics, especially religious ethics (see the compassionate conservatives), there is something immediately disarming about the idea of kindness as subversive. I worry nonetheless that kindness \ can co-exist in some with a dangerous propensity to wish to convert the rest of us to some specific form of faith that feeds on its own special forms of intolerance.

8/20/2007 12:00 AM  

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