Chris Hedges: Jesus, Endless War & US Fascism

The Democratic Party is hoping to thwart an election rout by running against the expected Supreme Court decision on abortion. This is all that is left of its political capital.

Original illustration by Mr. Fish — “With this Ring.”

By Chris Hedges

The Democratic Party — which had 50 years to write Roe v. Wade into law with Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama in full control of the White House and Congress at the inception of their presidencies — is banking its electoral strategy around the expected Supreme Court decision to lift the judicial prohibition on the ability of states to enact laws restricting or banning abortions. 

I doubt it will work.

The Democratic Party’s hypocrisy and duplicity is the fertilizer for Christian fascism. Its exclusive focus on the culture wars and identity politics at the expense of economic, political and social justice fueled a right-wing backlash and stoked the bigotry, racism and sexism it sought to curtail. Its opting for image over substance, including its repeated failure to secure the right to abortion, left the Democrats distrusted and reviled. 

The Biden administration invited Amazon Labor Union President Christian Smalls and union workers from Starbucks and other organizations to the White House at the same time it re-awarded a $10 billion contract to the union-busting Amazon and the National Security Agency (NSA) for cloud computing.

The NSA contract is one of 26 federal cloud-computing contracts Amazon has with the U.S. Army and Air Force, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of the Interior and the Census Bureau.

Withholding the federal contracts until Amazon permitted free and open union organizing would be a powerful stand on behalf of workers, still waiting for the $15 minimum wage Joe Biden promised as a candidate.

But behind the walls of the Democratic Party’s Potemkin village stands the billionaire class. Democrats have failed to address the structural injustices that turned America into an oligarchic state, where the obscenely rich squabble like children in a sandbox over multibillion-dollar toys. The longer this game of political theater continues, the worse things will get.  

The Christian Fascists

The Christian fascists have coalesced in cult-like fashion around Donald Trump. They are bankrolled by the most retrograde forces of capitalism. The capitalists permit the stupidities of the Christian fascists and their self-destructive social and cultural wars. In exchange, the billionaire class gets corporate monopolies, union busting, privatized state and municipal services — including public education — revoked government regulations, especially environmental regulation and can engage in a virtual tax boycott.

The war industry loves the Christian fascists who turn every conflict from Iraq to Ukraine into a holy crusade to crush the latest iteration of Satan. The Christian fascists believe military power, and the “manly” virtues that come with it, are blessed by God, Jesus and the Virgin Mary. No military budget is too big. No war waged by America is evil.

These Christian fascists make up perhaps 30 percent of the electorate, roughly equivalent to the percentage of Americans who believe abortion is murder. They are organized, committed to a vision, however perverse, and awash in money.

John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, mediocre jurists and Federalist Society ideologues who carry the banner of Christian fascism, control the Supreme Court.

The Ruling Class 

Establishment Republicans and Democrats, like George Armstrong Custer on Last Stand Hill, have circled the wagons around the Democratic Party in a desperate bid to prevent Trump, or a Trump mini-me, from returning to the White House. They, and their allies in Silicon Valley, are using algorithms and overt de-platforming to censor critics from the left and the right, foolishly turning figures like Trump, Alex Jones and Marjorie Taylor Greene into martyrs.

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This is not a battle over democracy, but the spoils of power waged by billionaires against billionaires. No one intends to dismantle the corporate state.

The ruling class in both parties told lies about NAFTA, trade deals, “reforming” welfare, abolishing financial regulations, austerity, the Iraq war and neoliberalism that did far more damage to the American public than any lie told by Trump.

The reptilian slime oozes out of every pore of these politicians, from Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to Biden, who backed the 1976 Hyde Amendment banning federal funding of abortions and in 1982 voted to support a constitutional amendment that would allow states to overturn Roe v. Wade. Their hypocrisy is not lost on the public, even with their armies of consultants, pollsters, courtiers in the press, public relations teams and advertising agencies.

U.S. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene in 2021. (Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons)

Marjorie Taylor Greene is clueless and unhinged. She claims Hillary Clinton was involved in a child mutilation and a pedophilia ring and several high-profile school shootings were staged. But weaponized, like Trump, she is a political cruise missile aimed straight at the heart of the discredited centers of traditional power.

Hate is the fuel of American politics. No one votes for who they want. They vote against those they hate. Black and brown marginal communities have suffered worse assaults than the white working class, but they have been defanged politically with militarized police that function as internal armies of occupation. The erosion of due process, the world’s largest prison system and the stripping away of all rights, including often voting rights because of felony convictions, as well as a loss of access to most social services and jobs, reduced them to a subsistence level on the lowest rung of America’s caste system. They are also the primary targets of Republican-sponsored voter suppression and redistricting.

The glue holding this Christianized fascism together is not prayer, although we will get a lot of that, but war. War is the raison d’être of all systems of totalitarianism. War justifies a constant search for internal enemies. It is used to revoke basic civil liberties and impose censorship. War demonizes those in the Middle East, Russia, or China, who are blamed for the economic and social debacles that inevitably get worse. War diverts the rage engendered by a dysfunctional state towards immigrants, people of color, feminists, liberals, artists, anyone who does not identify as a heterosexual, the press, antifa, Jews, Muslims, Russians, or Asians. Take your pick. It is a bigot’s smorgasbord. Every item on the menu is fair game.

I spent two years with the Christian right reporting and researching my book American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. These Christian fascists have never hidden their agenda or their desire to create a “Christian” nation, any more than Adolf Hitler hid his demented vision for Germany in Mein Kampf.

They prey, like all fascists, on the despair of their followers. They paint gruesome portraits of the end times when the longed-for obliteration of non-believers presages the glorious return of Jesus Christ. The battle at Armageddon, they believe, will be launched from the Antichrist’s worldwide headquarters in Babylon once the Jews again have control of Israel. The closer we get to Armageddon, the giddier they become.

These people believe this stuff, as they believe in QAnon or the election fraud that supposedly put Biden in office. They are convinced that a demonic, secular-humanist ideology propagated by the media, the United Nations, elite universities, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Organization for Women, Planned Parenthood, the Trilateral Commission along with the US State Department and major foundations are seeking to destroy them.

Violence is embraced as a cleansing agent, a key component of any fascist movement. The Christian fascists do not fear nuclear war. They welcome it. The insane provocations of Russia by the Biden administration, including the decision to provide $33 billion in assistance to Ukraine, target ten Russian generals for assassination and pass on to Ukraine the intelligence to sink the Moskva, the guided missile cruiser that was the flagship of the Russian Black Sea fleet, supercharges the ideology of the Christian right.

The marriage of the war industry, determined to make war forever, with the Christian fascists yearning for the apocalypse is terrifying.  Biden is sleepwalking us into a war with Russia and perhaps China. The Christian fascists will accelerate the bloodlust.

The political deformities we have spawned are not unique. They are the product of a society and government that no longer functions on behalf of the citizenry, one that has been seized by a tiny cabal, in our case corporate, to serve its exclusive interests. The airy promises politicians make, including the announcement by candidate Barack Obama that the first thing he would do in office was sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which during his eight years as president he never got around to doing, are worthless.

The scheduled vote next week in the Senate on a bill asserting that abortions are legal in the United States, which is expected to be blocked by the Republican’s use of the filibuster, a Senate procedural rule that requires 60 votes to advance most legislation in the 100-member chamber, is another empty gesture.

We saw the consequences of this dysfunction in Weimar Germany and Yugoslavia, a conflict I covered for The New York Times. Political stagnation and economic misery breeds rage, despair, and cynicism. It gives rise to demagogues, charlatans, and con artists. Hatred drives political discourse. Violence is the primary form of communication. Vengeance is the highest good. War is the chief occupation of the state. It is the vulnerable and weak who pay.

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who was a foreign correspondent for 15 years for The New York Times, where he served as the Middle East bureau chief and Balkan bureau chief for the paper. He previously worked overseas for The Dallas Morning NewsThe Christian Science Monitor and NPR.  He is the host of show The Chris Hedges Report.

Author’s Note to Readers: There is now no way left for me to continue to write a weekly column for ScheerPost and produce my weekly television show without your help. The walls are closing in, with startling rapidity, on independent journalism, with the elites, including the Democratic Party elites, clamoring for more and more censorship. Bob Scheer, who runs ScheerPost on a shoestring budget, and I will not waiver in our commitment to independent and honest journalism, and we will never put ScheerPost behind a paywall, charge a subscription for it, sell your data or accept advertising. Please, if you can, sign up at so I can continue to post my Monday column on ScheerPost and produce my weekly television show, “The Chris Hedges Report.”

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The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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27 comments for “Chris Hedges: Jesus, Endless War & US Fascism

  1. Lee
    May 14, 2022 at 17:29

    Oh now I get it. When Hedges concludes all of his affected speeches by declaring, “I don’t fight fascists because I know I’ll win. I fight fascists because they’re fascists,” he’s just declaring how much he personally hates working-class Christians living in rural areas. I happen to have grown up among such Christians and Hedges’ characterization of them is typical of a liberal intellectual living in Princeton. In my experience–and I have lived all over the world–the “Christian fascists” (by which Hedges seems to mean Christians who votes for Republicans) are extraordinarily kind, generous, and communitarian people. In my experience–and my father is an Christian pastor who has always voted Republican–they excel at following Jesus’ teachings to clothe and feed the poor, visit the sick and the imprisioned etc. Indeed, these are all things I was taught to do in Christian churches in rural PA growing up.

  2. goldhoarder
    May 13, 2022 at 10:57

    “Hillary Clinton was involved in a child mutilation and a pedophilia ring”. So… what exactly was Epstein involved in? All those powerful people flying into his island? Was it a blackmail sting? Were the Clinton’s involved? Considering their lust of power is it really that big of a stretch? How come we don’t get to know the details of Maxine’s trial? Why didn’t they get her to talk? How come nobody seems the slight bit interested in the MSM to find out?

  3. Zalamander
    May 11, 2022 at 20:31

    The Democrats are NOT the left, I’m downright sick of hearing this already. The real left is anti-capitalist/anti-imperialist and the Democratic party definitely does not fit that description. Stop calling the Democrats the left.

  4. LeoSun
    May 11, 2022 at 10:45

    Granted. There is a whole lotta wrong w/The Right; but, what’s “Left,” is beyond “unhinged,” i.e., Joe Robinette Biden posing as POTUS masquerading as Human.

    The Ayatollahs, “John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, mediocre jurists and Federalist Society ideologues who carry the banner of Christian fascism, control the Supreme Court.”

    “The system is broke. It can’t be fixed. The system is bought and paid for. We can’t get it back.”

    fuhgeddaboutit. Pause, on ALL THAT’S BROKEN, for it will all be here tomorrow. Today, “Spam” the Powers that Be to “FREE, Julian Assange.”

  5. Me Myself
    May 11, 2022 at 09:17

    A quote I just read on MSM “How millions of Russians are tearing holes in the Digital Iron Curtain” I just experienced that exact issue trying to connect to consortium news I needed to use the TOR browser to get through more than once! someone should remind The Washingtonian Post to cover both sides of that coin!

    • TS
      May 11, 2022 at 13:07

      Anyone who lives in NATOland and/or the EU who wants to read Russia Today’s reporting nowadays has to use a VPN to a third country to get access. Did any of the party-lining media outlets in the USA, UK, et al. mention this in their puff pieces on World Press Freedom Day events? I doubt it…. (not to mention Political Prisoner No. 1, Julian Assange).

  6. mgr
    May 11, 2022 at 02:50

    Trump remains the perfect caricature of America. And since oligarchs and fascists never voluntarily give up power, he is also its reality. He bluntly reflects America’s true intent in the world. On the contrary, Biden is simply a banal deceiver, exactly same intent but with cheap window dressing.

    One word describes the absolute requirement for our continued existence as a species on this planet; cooperation. If we do not manage to succeed in cooperation on a global level, there is no future for anyone.

    In contrast, America is diametrically opposed to cooperation. It will not have it. Only submission will do. And the more Washington tries to force compliance, the more the world resists. I think the era of the tail wagging the dog is fading. Whatever the outcome in Ukraine, I doubt that Russia will be the last or only resistance to imperial America.

  7. Mike
    May 11, 2022 at 01:18

    Anyone else notice in the art by Mr.Fish, the man is placing the ring on the middle finger? Great article.

  8. Clarissa
    May 10, 2022 at 19:38

    My Christian faith informs my thinking in every area. The idea that Christians as a whole are somehow pro war is not true. I believe the only occasion where war is remotely necessary is to protect the homeland from immediate and sure attacks. Engaging in senseless wars with notions of “nation building” never works . The people who suffer the most are always the ones who were already being marginalized and the truly evil leaders come out richer and more powerful. Please don’t lump us all into the “ Christian fascists “ category. I’m not even sure what that means. You have every right to believe what you want about the days we are living in, so do people who follow the Scriptures. I always wonder where the anger comes from toward Christians. I wish you well.

    • Un-Indoctrinated
      May 11, 2022 at 07:16

      Hedges specifically states the christian Right are fascists, not the christian Centrist/Left as you might be describing.

      “I spent two years with the Christian right reporting and researching my book American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.”

    • Eric
      May 11, 2022 at 12:55

      I didn’t take away that he was saying that all Christians are fascists, but that a subset of them are. I too am Christian and it informs my thinking across the board, and I know some of these Christian fascists he describes; however, most Christians I know are not like that. It’s just that the loudest Christians often are, and aren’t interested in discussion on the topic, just pontification. I find the only thing I tend to agree with them is what gives them eternal salvation. I’ve had to shut them out of anything of a worldly slant.

    • goldhoarder
      May 13, 2022 at 10:59

      The only people who are antiwar are Tucker Carlson conservatives and right leaning libertarians. Rand Paul… Thomas Massie types. As far as I can tell anyways.

  9. Drew Hunkins
    May 10, 2022 at 10:53

    MTG is a big distraction. It’d be laughable if it weren’t so nauseating: the corporate-militarist media point the finger at this looney bird in Florida to divert one’s attention from the fact that our imperialist elites are putting us on the brink of a direct shooting war with a nuclear armed super power.

    • Drew Hunkins
      May 11, 2022 at 01:29

      Mea Culpa!

      Marjorie Taylor Greene just gave an intelligent, impassioned, courageous, noble, and 100% spot-on floor speech eloquently describing why she did not vote for the $40 billion military/aid package to Ukraine.

      She’s wrong on many issues, but on THIS, she’s a godsend. She stood up when every member of the squalid fraud squad voted to fund the Russophobic Ukie forces.

      I owe you a beer Ms. Taylor Greene and an apology.

      • Reece
        May 13, 2022 at 03:19

        You seem a little desperate to like people. MTG voting no does nothing for anti-imperialism and is merely a nod to America-firsters.

  10. michael888
    May 10, 2022 at 09:05

    Democrats in particular are loathe to resolve Election issues like abortion, immigration and Government-funded health care.
    If they actually act (anathema to Democrats) they will alienate many and their actions will not be appreciated by those who take success for granted as a moral right. Much better to champion abortion and do absolutely nothing.

    At one time (maybe 20 years ago) I thought the Evangelical Christians that Hedges always raves against were a serious problem. But most tele-evangelists have been discredited, and Pat Robinson and Jerry Falwell are dead. Fortunately when Hillary was trying to get in on the graft as a Pastor, her mentor was discredited for plagiarism and she dropped back to $300,000 speeches and “charity”. Evangelical support for Zionists (if not Armageddon) has become mainstream, contributing to America’s Forever Wars to enrich the MICIMATT (who produce little of real value).

    It IS interesting that Hedges always simplistically separates people into his designated groups. He used to always refer to Evangelical Christian as white. Obviously Blacks have used their churches as political centers (I believe idiot Trump finally made that fact legal by allowing churches to engage in politics, but not lose their tax exemptions?) at least since MLK Jr, and Blacks voted 92% for Joe Biden (and twice denied Bernie Sanders the nomination — “Jews killed Jesus!”). So once again, Blacks got exactly what they wanted in the Democrats! (Historically it is better to run candidates you believe in and lose, than to keep supporting the “lesser of two evils”, as Teddy Roosevelt’s losing effort showed in 1912. His loss reinvented the Republican Party and, for a time, Progressives’ votes were not taken for granted, as are today’s Black voting bloc). Perhaps Hedges should focus on this 92% of Black voters rather than the 8% which, to his credit, he has uplifted in his prison efforts. They are NOT representative of Black political power.

  11. JBAshburn
    May 10, 2022 at 09:00

    Excellent, but….At the top, we have a “same-sect” marriage between neo-cons and neo-libs, defending Wall Street/Private Equity right for plunder, and to extend plunder under a global unipolar order by war. Their targets are China, after Russia. The key signal of this intention was their rejection of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which could have established the basis for a positive system of global relations with economic development in the center.

    Their blind spot is that this decayed financial/economic mess has hit the wall. Many citizens, are still looking for leadership that could reinstate some sane economic growth. These are voters who do not vote out f hate, but gamble on the lesser of two evils, with no alternative present. Such a moment demands a new FDR, who used dirigist methods not to set up a dictatorship.
    Where is that new leadership?

    • bluedogg
      May 10, 2022 at 14:38

      Perhaps if the voters on both sides would get behind a candidate that was honest and stick with him until the election, things would change, but of course they won’t for it’s the party thing. And it’s been that way for generations, using that (God, how I hate it) old worn song I voted for the lessor of the two evils and then goes home and forgets about it until they can do it allover again..

  12. Todd Phillips
    May 10, 2022 at 08:30

    Crystallized wisdom on this topic. Thank You Mr. Hedges.

  13. Mary Jane
    May 9, 2022 at 22:53

    The Christian right is very pro-war but so are many Democrats of any religion . War is the glue that holds both the R and D parties together in 2022 .

    I thought Trump’s donors were the Mercer and Adelson families , neither of whom are Christian .

    • Lee
      May 14, 2022 at 17:19

      Good point, Mary Jane.

  14. broompilot
    May 9, 2022 at 22:39

    I would argue that neocons are the great evil of endless wars, not Christian fascists. And not a mention of them in your piece here? And the neocon evil swings both ways. Just as they supported Hillary during 2016, they will go wherever they need, politically, to foment war around the globe. Seems to me.

    • Mojo
      May 10, 2022 at 14:10

      Agree. I thought this article was just a rant with no real purpose or solution

  15. Black Cloud
    May 9, 2022 at 22:01

    Indeed. But behind the walls of the Republican Party stands the same billionaire class.

    Washington is wholly owned by the oligarchs of the military, energy, financial, and “health” (pharma/insurance) complexes. Both parties use social issues to divide the citizenry and create the illusion that there is a substantive difference between them.

    • renate
      May 10, 2022 at 12:27

      And they manipulate public opinion to unite the nation and provide a united front to support wars of aggression.

      The nation is even more united against Russia and President Putin, than it was against Iraq all based on lies, with a well-practiced Joe Biden.
      Based on lies only they now sell the war against Russia, the same method of manipulation.

      Public manipulation makes that kind of political SPAGAT between divided domestic and united foreign war policies possible. Kudos for a job well done. /s

  16. Riva Enteen
    May 9, 2022 at 20:30

    As Hedges knows well, the liberal Democrats in DC who say they support abortion are at least as war-like as the religious nuts he describes. One of Trump’s largest constituencies is military families. Currently it’s the Republicans who are questioning sending weapons to Ukraine, not the Democrats.

  17. Anon
    May 9, 2022 at 18:43

    At 1st, thought piece 2 Chartable… but then Mr Hedges got goin… Chris you ROCK!
    (As does CN4 giving platform2 Major Amer TruthTeller)!
    Moskva sinking news 2 me… Tnx4 education.
    Slightly disagree 1 point: is Trilateral Comiss really the Good Guys?

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