Today’s Atlanta paper has a rather prominent package of articles on the book I noted here. We also learn about this LAT review, where the reviewer criticizes Hedges for, in essence, calling for an abridgement of First Amendment freedoms of religion and speech to deal with those he describes as incipient fascists. The better response, the reviewer argues, is political. He’s right, of course.
What Hedges can’t concede, and sell any books, is how marginal genuine theocrats are among conservative Christians. He can make his case only by willfully misunderstanding the language of dominion.
Another point, and I’m done. Hedges taxes conservative Christians with reaching out to broken people and manipulating them. First of all, would he not have them reach out to broken people (which, according to at least one version of the Christian tradition is everyone)? And isn’t it arguably authentically Christian to tell those broken people that their redemption ultimately can’t be found in this world? Even if we take his understanding of brokenness (mostly economic and psychological, all apparently explicable in material terms), would he not have churches reach out to them, offering a variety of different kinds of support (not only spiritual, but also material)? If churches didn’t mix the spiritual with the material, they’d be no different from the secular welfare and therapeutic bureaucracies, and hence ultimately dispensable. But perhaps that’s what someone who thinks the First Amendment can be readily jettisoned in the face of a very speculative threat wants.