Archive for August 2017

Israel’s war on education

August 30, 2017

Israel demolishes 3 Palestinian schools in 2 weeks: Rights organization

 

Canadian Catholic teacher organizations stand immobilized.

See no evil, spaek no evil.

So much for international solidarity.Fear conquers gospel values.

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Teachers instruct children to stand in line before class begins at Jub
El-Thib, east of Bethlehem, the occupied West Bank, on August
28, 2017, a few days after Israeli authorities demolished
their newly constructed school.

 
Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank are simply being denied education as the Israeli regime keeps on with the much-blamed policy of demolishing their newly constructed schools, a humanitarian NGO says.

According to the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), an international organization that promotes and protects the rights of people affected by displacement, Israeli authorities have destroyed or inflicted heavy damage on at least three educational facilities for Palestinian children in the region during the past two weeks.

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The latest of these demolitions was a brand-new school paid for by the European Union (EU), which had been constructed just three weeks ago at Jub El-Thib, east of Bethlehem. However, Israeli demolition teams arrived there a couple of days ago and flattened the building, which once housed 64 elementary students, from the first to the fourth grade.

 

Now, instead of studying, learning, chanting and playing at a well-constructed building, these children have no choice but to confine themselves to a gloomy tent to shelter from the burning heat of the August sun. The makeshift classroom has no tables to sit and study at.

“It doesn’t look nice anymore, it’s ugly,” said Jana Zawahra, an eight-year-old student, shocked at the loss of her classroom, sobbing to herself on the ground where her school once stood.

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The NRC said two other ill-fated education facilities were the only kindergarten for the Bedouin community of Jabal Al Baba, which was demolished, and a primary school in Abu Nuwar, whose solar panels, the only source of power at the school, was dismantled and confiscated by Israeli authorities.

The demolitions reportedly left up to 80 kids, aged between 5 to 10, without school, forcing them to start the school year in tents or under the hot sun.

“Just when they (students) were due to return to the classroom, Palestinian children are discovering that their schools are being destroyed,” said Hanibal Abiy Worku, a director of the NRC.

“What threat do these schools pose to the Israeli authorities? What are they planning to achieve by denying thousands of children their fundamental right to education?”

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Israel argues that these schools had been constructed in the so-called Area C without granting a prior permission from the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), a unit in the Israeli military that engages in coordinating civilian issues between the Israeli regime, the Israeli military, international organizations, diplomats and the Palestinian Authority.

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The Area C constitutes about 61 percent of the entire West Bank and it is directly controlled by COGAT, which demands permits for new building projects. But according to the NRC, the majority of planning requests are firmly denied, leaving international donors and Palestinians alike with no choice but to construct new schools anyway.

 

“We will stay here and resist against the occupation,” said Sami Mruwwah, the Palestinian director of education, adding, “We will rebuild the school soon, what happened against the school and its students violates human rights and childhood in particular.”

 

He also called on the international community not to remain silent “in the face of the crimes of occupiers against education in Palestine.”

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The brave IDF

August 29, 2017

You want to know how incredibly cruel and cynical the Israeli occupation is, read on. The intrepid Haaretz reporter Amira Hass sets the scene.

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The start of the school year in a West Bank village was pushed back to Sunday after the Israeli Civil Administration on Tuesday confiscated and destroyed trailers that were supposed to serve as classrooms for kindergarten kids ages 4-6. They aslso grabbed educational equipment.

As always the cowards snuck in at 5 AM to do their dirty work—trash kindergarten classrooms.

Authorities have confiscated and destroyed trailers used as classrooms in three other Palestinian communities in the last two weeks. Classes for some 80 first- through fourth-graders from the villages Jubbet Adh-Dhib and Zatra were ultimately held in improvised tents on Wednesday morning. A resident of Jubbet Adh-Dhib told Haaretz, “We were surprised when the students from Zatra came in the morning and started to study on the concrete floor.” A tent was placed at the site, but was not large enough for the 80 students, she said.

So under the burning desert sun these kids attempted to study.

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Are you kidding me? The brave IDF dismantled and confiscated 6 trailers donated by a Dutch European aid agency.

 
These unruly and future terrorist children started chucking stones at the state bullies who, teaching these brats discipline, fired in the air.
The week before the Civil Administration confiscated the car and truck of a contractor who came to prepare the electrical system. Cost to the wealthy Bedouins $40,000 for the cars and $4,000 for the equipment.

 
Not to be bullied he Dutch foreign minister stated his country would continue to finance humanitarian projects in the West Bank, whether or not Israel allowed them.

 
Thinking people with a scintilla of compassion and intelligence have had it with a country which denies the indigenous people under primitive conditions a right to education.

Unions go where churches won’t

August 26, 2017

Unifor Canadian Council passes BDS motion at Winnipeg convention
Congratulations to the Unifor’s Canadian Council on easily passing a pro-Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) motion at their recent convention in Winnipeg, between August 18-20.

 

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The BDS movement is founded on the call made by more than 170 Palestinian civil society organizations on July 9, 2005, inviting people across the world who support freedom, justice and equality in Palestine/Israel to boycott, divest from, and press for sanctions against the State of Israel until it meets its obligations under international law by:
UNIFOR a secular union has done what the Canadian Council of Bishops, the Ontario Catholic Teachers Union (OECTA) has failed to do—support the cry of the Christian Palestinian churches for solidarity with an oppressed people.

In 2009 those churches sent a cri de coeur across the Christian world.it was called the KAIROS document. In part it read:

 

Our word is a cry of hope, with love, prayer and faith in God. We address it first of all to ourselves and then to all the churches and Christians in the world, asking them to stand against injustice and apartheid, urging them to work for a just peace.”

We proclaim our word based on our Christian faith and our sense of Palestinian belonging – a word of faith, hope and love.
We declare that the military occupation of Palestinian land constitutes a sin against God and humanity. Any theology that legitimizes the occupation and justifies crimes perpetrated against the Palestinian people lies far from Christian teachings.

A pariah state can only be redeemed by ending this cruel occupation not by attacking and scapegoating Canadian citizens who are defending international human rights.

UNIFOR has heard the call. Others have stood paralyzed in silent embarrasment.

Submitted by Unifor Local 222 (Oshawa), Unifor Resolution No. 5 is titled “Palestinian Self-Determination and the Movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions,” and reads in part:

 
“… BE IT RESOLVED that Unifor supports the use of divestment, boycott and sanctions (“BDS”) that are targeted to those sectors of Israel’s economy and society which profit from the ongoing occupation of the OPT; and […] BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Unifor will support such a form of BDS until such time as Israel implements a permanent ban on further settlement construction in the OPT, and enters into good faith negotiations with representatives of the Palestinian people for the purpose of establishing a viable, contiguous and truly sovereign Palestinian state ; and THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that Unifor opposes all efforts to prohibit, punish or otherwise deter expressions of support for BDS.”

 
During the summer 2014 bombing of civilians in Gaza, the Palestinian trade union movement, with support from the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and its affiliates, unanimously called on international trade unions to take immediate action to stop the Israeli massacre in Gaza and hold Israel to account for its crimes against the Palestinian people.
They wrote: “… civil society solidarity is the only force that can help stop the ongoing slaughter of our people and send them a message that they are not alone, exactly as effective international solidarity had done in supporting the struggle for freedom in apartheid South Africa […] In the face of this international inaction, we, the Palestinian trade unions, call on trade unions around the world to take urgent measures, and in particular to intensify Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, until it complies with international law.”

 

Israel, safe for Jews? Not.

August 25, 2017

In mid-July tensions flared over acess to the Temple Mount where the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mount are located. The site is maintained by the Waqf the Muslim religious trust.

 
On July 21 a 19 year old West Bank resident Omar el-Abed, snuck into the nearby Halamish settler home of the Salomon family and butchered Yosef, age 70, daughter, Chaya,46 and son Elad,36, as they were celebrating a new addition to the family.

 
This stomach-turning criminal lone wolf attack by the 19 year old Palestinian was just the latest in the seemingly endless conflict. The despairing youth wrote on his Facebook page “I have not yet reached the age of 20, I hael-Abed wrote on Facebook (in Arabic): “I I’m going to die for Al-Aqsa’ I have not yet reached the age of 20, I have many dreams, but there is no life after what is seen in Al-Aqsa.”

 
And so the bodies keep piling up, many more Palestinians than israeli, yet each an icon of the divine.

 

Israel– safe have for Jews? Hardly.Israelis are leaving in droves.The statistics tell the tale.

 

True Torah lays it out:

 
The following statistics lean towards more conservative numbers. This is by no means a comprehensive list of all causalities and those wounded.
Between 1920 and 1948
- 685 Jewish residents of Mandatory Palestine were killed
Between 1948 and 1997
- 20,093 Israeli soldiers were killed in combat
- 75,000 Israelis were wounded
- nearly 100,000 Israelis were considered disabled army veterans
Between 2000 and 2005
- 1,194 Israelis were killed
- 7,520 Israelis were wounded
Ignoring all other prices that the Zionist project has demanded payment on and focusing purely on the cost of life it has exacted, we’re left with a question. Is it worth it?

 

Car
North American Jews say: are you kidding?

 

 
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Hebrew Neo-Nazis: Gideon Levy

August 22, 2017

Why Israelis are remaining silent about U.S. President Donald Trump’s comments about ‘many fine people’ taking part in the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville

There are many American Jews squirming over Charlottesville.
How do you condemn ethnic nationalists in America but support a state built on Jewish privilege and  one which marginalizes and discriminates aginst its indigenous citizens.

The brave Haaretz writer Gideon Levy holds the mirror up.

 

Israel has no moral right to judge U.S. President Donald Trump over his forgiving remarks about the neo-Nazis in his country. First, Israel wasn’t really shocked by what he said.occupAfter all, it is willing to accept anything from anyone who supports the Israeli occupation. That’s axiomatic at this point. Whether it’s a Hungarian fascist or an American neo-Nazi, as long as they support the occupation – even if they secretly hate Jews – they are considered friends of Israel and moral people. The best of the “friends of Israel” today are fascists and evangelicals, xenophobes and Islamophobes. What’s most important is that they support the occupation. It’s only opponents of the occupation who are anti-Semites, and we will mount a special effort to combat them. We will forgive everyone else.

 

But there is also another reason for Israelis’ silence.. Neo-Nazis? We have a lot of our own “Made in Israel,” Hebrew equivalents of neo-Nazis, and the opposition to them in Israel is less than to neo-Nazis in the United States. A resolute counter-demonstration was organized by liberals in the face of the march in Charlottesville. What about here?

 

The sacred symmetry that Trump tried to create between attacker and attacked, between assailant and defender, between incitement and protest, between justice and evil – that was invented in Israel. Here we have the occupier and the occupied, a violent and at times even murderous right wing and a left wing that has never murdered, but they are deemed comparable. Any assault by settlement thugs on Palestinian farmers on their own land is deemed a “clash.” Any Palestinian protest against the violence of the occupier is considered a “disturbance of the peace.” It’s a symmetrical brawl between the two peoples’ shepherds. After all, there are good and bad people among the settlers – just as Trump said with regard to his “alt-right.”

 

KICK

 

The Israeli alt-right is not neo-Nazi. But a thousand neo-Nazi flowers bloom on its margins that no one thinks about weeding out. Fascism in Israel has long been accepted. Neo-Nazis haven’t, but the distinction between the two is vague. If the extremist Lehava organization isn’t neo-Nazi, what is? If Beitar Jerusalem’s La Familia fan group isn’t neo-Nazi, what is? If the firebombing of the Dawabsheh family home in the West Bank village of Duma and the kidnapping and murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir aren’t neo-Nazi acts, what are? And what about the Arabic-language highway sign near the settlement of Halamish declaring: “This area is under the control of the Jews. The entry of Arabs is forbidden and constitutes a risk to your life!” The flag parade by Jews on Jerusalem Day is a state-sponsored neo-Nazi provocation, like the Purim rioting in Hebron. The Jewish community in Hebron is in essence neo-Nazi. Go see, judge for yourself.

KILL

Social media is full of frightful neo-Nazi statements – from wishing for the death of every dying Palestinian child, to similar wishes to those who tell the children’s stories. You cannot write this off as just as “a handful of deviants.” That, too, is the spirit of the times. We cannot ignore the sentiments in this country, where there is a policy of organized and institutionalized racism against African asylum seekers. Pre-fascist sentiments are taking hold here – with manifestations of state-sponsored neo-Nazism – more than in any other Western country. In the West, most contemptuous efforts are directed against foreigners. In Israel, they are directed mostly against the people who are native to the country. Complaining about Trump? That would already be the height of hypocrisy.

Child abuse Israeli style

August 20, 2017

Will our parliamentarians continue with their hands off policy toward Israeli abuses?

SIGN THE PETITION / SIGNER LA PÉTITION

To Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland:

I urge you to prioritize human rights of Palestinian children and hold Israeli authorities accountable for widespread and systematic ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian child detainees. 

Chrystia.Freeland@parl.gc.ca.

justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca.

CHIL

 

Israel has the dubious distinction of being the only country in the world that systematically prosecutes around 700 children each year in military courts lacking fundamental fair trial rights.

Three out of every four of these children endure some form of physical violence at the hands of Israeli soldiers or police officers following arrest. In 97 percent of the cases, children are interrogated without legal counsel and without their parents.[1]

 

Israeli officials and armed forces often exhibit complete disregard for international law and Palestinian children find themselves living in an increasingly militarized environment where Israeli forces and settlers operate with near complete impunity.

Canada’s foreign policy indicates a priority commitment to protection and promotion of the rights of children and youth around the world, particularly children living in conflict-affected areas.[2]

Government of Canada policy demands that Israeli authorities fully respect international human rights and humanitarian law, and reaffirms the Fourth Geneva Convention applies in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, establishing Israel’s obligations as an “Occupying Power” under international humanitarian law.

When it comes to children, detention must be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time. The best interests of the child must be a primary concern. The universal and absolute prohibition of torture enshrined in international law means that no child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In no circumstance should children be detained and prosecuted under the jurisdiction of military courts.

The Government of Canada must take steps to promote greater respect for human rights, increase protections for Palestinian children, and hold Israeli authorities accountable to their obligations under international human rights law and international humanitarian law. Until we demand Israeli authorities comply with international law, we are simply enabling abuse and perpetuating injustice against Palestinian children.

We call on the Government of Canada, through the Department of Global Affairs, to closely monitor and report on the situation of Palestinian children arrested by Israeli forces and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system.

Mike Crosby Vatican ll giant

August 18, 2017

Croosby

Although I am hard to find on Facebook, I am there if anybody wants to find me…and marvellous in the telling, several former students to my delight have found me. Johnny Quinn, the inttrepid Scouser posted a story last week on a rare visit to the site that shook me up. It was the death of my friend Mike Crosby, the prophetic Capuchin priest who expired with remarkable grace on August 5.

When in June doctors informed Crosby that their attempts to control the cancer in his body were failing, he described himself in a letter to friends as “surprisingly am embracing” the diagnosis that he only had several months left to live.

I have no fear of dying; in fact I must admit … I actually prefer to depart from this form of my life sooner than later; I believe in heaven. I am at peace and very thankful for this peace.

“I’ve tried to follow Jesus all my life as a Capuchin, and you have been part of this journey; for you I am so grateful,” Crosby wrote in a letter to friends. “I wait in joyful hope what is in store for me. Pray that I’ll be faithful.”

 

Mike was the quintessential Vatican ll priest, an author of over a dozen books which fused biblical justice and spirituality. These books are well marked in my library.

 

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Mike was a brave but gentle prophet who refused to stop speaking  in the ice age of John Paul ll and Benedict XVI. These misguided leaders destroyed a lot of theological reputations but they never broke Mike’s spirit. One fanatic bishop would find out where he was giving one of his conferences and try to have him cancelled.
Like his master, he was always in trouble. He challenged the near dogmatic ruling of JP ll that celibacy was forever and not a discipline which could be (and should be) changed.

“We still have to worship a God that the Vatican says ‘wills that women not be ordained.’ That god is literally ‘unbelievable.’ It is a false god; it cannot be worshiped. And the prophet must speak truth to that power and be willing to accept the consequence of calling for justice, stopping the violence and bringing about the reign of God.”

Not only did Mike say this in open but he said it to popes:

For example, when he first oversaw the release of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s Nov. 18, 1995, declaration by Pope John Paul II regarding the non-ordination of women, he sent Cardinal Ratzinger a letter outlining some of the reasons why he did not believe his rationale about God’s will and women’s non-ordination. he wrote:

I find it illogical, inconsistent and ill-conceived to argue that because Jesus didn’t choose women to be his apostles that anyone can thus conclude that, in that given milieu, he intended this in a way to exclude them from full leadership in the future. Also, to argue that such a “non-choice” represents not only the will of the Jesus of history but of the Christ of our faith in whom there is neither male nor female appears to me even less convincing. Finally, somehow to make a conclusion that this is the actual will of our God (in whom there is no exclusiveness) is beyond my comprehension.

I never received a response.
Afterward

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Afterward, when Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI and reiterated virtually the same statement about God’s will being that women not be ordained, I again privately wrote him my disagreement. I explained respectfully why I could not believe in such a God, especially when the God of my belief has been revealed to be a Trinity of equals who has made male and female to be Trinitarian in the way God is Trinitarian (see Mt. 5:48). I also summarized in that letter my theological rationale for my nonacceptance of his declaration that it is God’s will that women not be ordained, even though I think right now might not be the time for women’s ordination because of some significant local churches’ cultural bias against women in such a role.
I wrote:

Next, I addressed the argument he made as a cardinal in 1997 that he reiterated as pope:

… the teaching that “the church has not been given the power” to ordain women. This seems to belie Matthew 28:16-20 as well as the fact that “the church” was never given the power to limit priesthood in the Latin Church to celibates in a way that restricts the pool of sincere men and women for priesthood and the laity for capable and equipped ministers.

Although my letter described my deeply held faith concerns about his teaching, I received not even as much as a note acknowledging receipt of my letter, much less its contents.

 

Because of such a nonresponse to these and other communications I have sent to the Vatican in the last 15 years,

 

Repair

I decided to make some of them public in my recent book, Repair My House: Becoming a “Kindom” Catholic (Orbis, 2012). Furthermore, given the recent actions of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and Bishop Blair, I believe my private dissent on the issue of women’s full equality in our patriarchal, clerical church should be made public lest any perceived silence on the matter by clerics like me might be construed as consent.

Thus, I reiterate here what I wrote in those letters above,

A blessing to have called this courageous man a friend.

The religion of America is America

August 15, 2017

Roberto has now lived in Canada for 5 decades. He grew up in New York state and came to St.Michael’s College in Toronto. He does a lot of ruminating such as below.

I always enjoy reading these essays from Commonweal.  The true religion of America…the American civil religion…has yet again been exposed for the Calvinist heresy that it is.

F. Scott Fitzgerald nailed it 100 years ago.  I understood “Americanism” at age 10 when my Presbyterian, Masonic grandfather and uncles touted the deadly myths of exceptionalism and worth gauged by success.

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I will also never forget the real message of the country that I learned when my good friends from St Michael’s who did everything that they could to bring their kids up Catholic, thinking that they would please the wealthy Catholic parents from New York, only to discover that what really mattered beneath it all was status, wealth and high position.  They were shocked, but I realized in a flash the familiar story of my youth…the essence of the American culture always comes back to Calvinism, the elect distinguished by and known through their wealth. 

 

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The contemporary demise of Catholicism in capitulating to this heresy is just awful to behold!

 

I regard myself as so fortunate to number among my friends a remnant of Catholic critics who continue to hold out against this soul destroying culture.

Bless

 

That so many Catholics have fallen for Ayn Rand, militarism and the like.  Just pathetic!

 

Most days I feel like I did as a kid with his crystal radio listening to a faraway station as the signal comes and goes.  Catholicism feels like that to me now.  Sometimes the music coming in loud and clear and others times fading out with static and eerie warped noises.  Or sometimes even slipping off into dead silence!

Magical thinking and Christian Right

August 11, 2017

Chris Hedges on Truthdig unpacks the magical thinking of many evangelicals.

 

I once asked a prominent joutrnalist if he ever heard of The Late Great Planet Earth, the best selling religious book in US history. He was clueless. This piece of magical thinking and crude phantasmagoria and its follow up The Left behind series is classic magiacla thinking and a horrible manifesdtation of Christianity.

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Hedges

 

Tens of millions of Americans are already hermetically sealed within this bizarre worldview. They are given a steady diet of conspiracy theories and lies on the internet, in their churches, in Christian schools and colleges and on Christian television and radio. Elizabeth Dilling, who wrote “The Red Network” and was a Nazi sympathizer, is required reading. Thomas Jefferson, who favored separation of church and state, is ignored. This Christian propaganda hails the “significant contributions” of the Confederacy. Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who led the anti-communist witch hunts in the 1950s, is rehabilitated as an American hero. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, along with the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya, is defined as part of the worldwide battle against satanic Islamic terror. Presently, nearly 40 percent of the U.S. public believes in Creationism or “Intelligent Design.” And nearly a third of the population, 94 million people, consider themselves evangelical.

 

Those who remain in a reality-based universe often dismiss these malcontents as buffoons. They do not take seriously the huge segment of the public, mostly white and working class, who because of economic distress have primal yearnings for vengeance, new glory and moral renewal and are easily seduced by magical thinking. These are the yearnings and emotions Trump has exploited politically.

 

Bless

Those who embrace this movement need to feel, even if they are not, that they are victims surrounded by dark and sinister groups bent on their destruction. They need to elevate themselves to the role of holy warriors, infused with a noble calling and purpose. They need to sanctify the rage and hypermasculinity that are the core of fascism. The rigidity and simplicity of their belief, which includes being anointed for a special purpose in life by God, are potent weapons in the fight against their own demons and desire for meaning.
“Evil when we are in its power is not felt as evil but as a necessity, or even a duty,” Simone Weil wrote.

 

Back

These believers, like all fascists, detest the reality-based world. They condemn it as contaminated, decayed and immoral. This world took their jobs. It destroyed their future. It ruined their communities. It doomed their children. It flooded their lives with alcohol, opioids, pornography, sexual abuse, jail sentences, domestic violence, deprivation and despair. And then, from the depths of suicidal despair, they suddenly discovered that God has a plan for them. God will save them. God will intervene in their lives to promote and protect them. God has called them to carry out his holy mission in the world and to be rich, powerful and happy.

 

The rational, secular forces, those that speak in the language of fact and evidence, are hated and feared, for they seek to pull believers back into “the culture of death” that nearly destroyed them. The magical belief system, as it was for impoverished German workers who flocked to the Nazi Party, is an emotional life raft. It is all that supports them. The only way to blunt this movement is to reintegrate these people into the economy, to give them economic stability through good wages and benefits, to restore their self-esteem. They need to live in a society that is not predatory but instead provides well-funded public schools, free university education and universal health care, a society in which they and their families can prosper.

 

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Time is running out. If we do not act, American fascists, clutching Christian crosses, waving American flags and orchestrating mass recitations of the pledge of allegiance, united behind the ludicrous figure of Donald Trump, will ride this rage to power.

The Christian Right pt 1

August 9, 2017

http://www.pbs.org/now/transcript/transcript_hedges.html

 

On the surface it appears to be incongruous that the Christian right would rally behind a slick New York real estate developer who is a very public serial philanderer and adulterer, has no regard for the truth, is consumed by greed, does not appear to read or know the Bible, routinely defrauds and cheats his investors and contractors, expresses a crude misogyny and an even cruder narcissism and appears to yearn for despotism.

 

SHOP

So writes Chris Hedges

Indeed it does seem strange until you begin to analyze religion under turbocapitalism. Consumer culture destroys prophetic religion. It empties the great symbols of Christianity (and Judaism) beyond recognition. Conumerism, along with nationalism, class division and tribalism literally take the prophetic dynamite out of biblical faith. They leave behind a gutted version best summed up by the old Protestant hymn, “No cross, no crown.” Reloigion becomes a mere add-on to the consumer lifestyle.It never seems to impact on daily living and social practices.

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This ersatz Christianity denies the radical nature of Jesus’ politics, the preferential option for the poor and excluded. It allows a a man like Republican Paul Ryan to actually say as a putative Catholic that his greatest influence is the high priestess of selfishness Ayn Rand

 

Hedges insists that Trump-like values are actually those of the Christian right:

In fact, these are the very characteristics that define most of the leaders of the Christian right. Trump has preyed on desperate people through the thousands of slot machines in his casinos, his sham university and his real estate deals. Megachurch pastors prey on their followers by extracting “seed offerings,” “love gifts,” tithes and donations and by selling miracle healings along with “prayer clothes,””self-help books, audio and video recordings and even protein shakes.

 

Pastors have established within their megachurches, as Trump did in his businesses, despotic fiefdoms. They cannot be challenged or questioned any more than an omnipotent Trump could be challenged on the reality television show “The Apprentice.” And they seek to replicate their little tyrannies on a national scale, with white men in charge.

 
The personal piety of most of the ministers who lead the Christian right is a facade. Their private lives are usually marked by hedonistic squalor that includes mansions, private jets, limou

 

Donald Trump’s ideological vacuum, the more he is isolated and attacked, is being filled by the Christian right. This Christianized fascism, with its network of megachurches, schools, universities and law schools and its vast radio and television empire, is a potent ally for a beleaguered White House. The Christian right has been organizing and preparing to take power for decades. If the nation suffers another economic collapse, which is probably inevitable, another catastrophic domestic terrorist attack or a new war, President Trump’s ability to force the Christian right’s agenda on the public and shut down dissent will be dramatically enhanced. In the presidential election,

FAs

 

Trump embraces the white supremacy, bigotry, American chauvinism, greed, religious intolerance, anger and racism that define the Christian right.