April 30, 2005

We're all thinking about religion these days, right, with Dr. Frist becoming pope and all that. Couple of good stories in the May 2005 Harper's on the subject of so-called Christians; excerpt below from Chris Hedges's 'Feeling the hate with the National Religious Broadcasters':

"I can't help but recall the words of my ethics professor at Harvard Divinity School, Dr. James Luther Adams, who told us that when we were his age, and he was then close to eighty, we would all be fighting the `Christian fascists'.

He gave us the warning 25 years ago, when Pat Robertson and other prominent evangelists began speaking of a new political religion that would direct it's efforts at taking control of all major American institutions, including mainstream denominations and the government, so as to transform the US into a global Christian empire. At the time, it was hard to take such fantastic rhetoric seriously. But fascism, Adams warned, would not return wearing swastikas and brown shirts. It's ideological inheritors would cloak themselves in the language of the Bible; they would come carrying crosses and chanting the Pledge of Allegiance ...

Then as now, Adams said, liberals failed to understand the power and allure of evil and when the radical Christians came, these people (liberals) would undoubtedly play by the old, polite rules of democracy long after those in power had begun to dismantle the democratic state. Adams had watched the German academics fall silent or conform. He knew how desperately people want to believe the comfortable lies told by totalitarian movements, how easily those lies lull moderates into passivity.

Adams told us to watch closely the Christian Right's persecution of homosexuals and lesbians. Hitler, he reminded us, promised to restore moral values not long after he took power in 1933, then he imposed a ban on all homosexual and lesbian organizations and publications. Then came raids on the places where homosexuals gathered, culminating on May 6, 1933, with the ransacking of the Institute for Sexual Science in Berlin. Twelve thousand volumes from the institutes' library were tossed into a public bonfire. Homosexuals and lesbians, Adams said, would be the first deviants singled out by the Christian Right. We would be next."

Posted by dbrown at April 30, 2005 01:42 PM
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