Thanks to Phil Harrison for the link to the video below which builds on a earlier post about Chris Hedges HERE on the mid-term elections in the US and the collapse of mediating liberalism. This is penetrating stuff and deeply challenging for Christians, and indeed all of us living on this island in the current climate. Am I the only one to be disturbed by the potential for more extreme political parties to make hay, promising the most populist policies for the electorate down South because they know they’ll not have to govern, nevertheless exploiting the nations current traumas for electoral gain? Is this how nations turn to fascism?
Anyway, you may not have 45 minutes to spare to watch this, but allow me to extract the following quotation for your delectation and delight. It’s a challenge to us Christians, particularly those of us with a seminary education.
The danger when a liberal class breaks down is that there is no mechanism any more by which mounting rage and anger can be expressed within the system…And it is fascinating to go back and read Dostoevsky at the end of the 19th Century who witnessed a similar breakdown in Russia’s liberal class. “Notes from Underground” is about the defeated dreamer, the cynical liberal, the person who voted for Obama and had so much hope, but the hope was not delivered, and so they retreated into this narcissistic, self-centred, bitter room underground. And Dostoevsky argues that when the liberal class collapses, when the pillars of the liberal establishment no longer function, you enter an age of moral nihilism.
He presciently foresaw the inevitable result of a system that doesn’t work.
Our system doesn’t work, And it doesn’t work, ultimately, not because of Sarah Palin, or the Christian Right or Glenn Beck, it doesn’t work because the liberal class failed us. It failed us because it failed to find the intellectual and moral fortitude to defend liberal values at a time when they were under egregious assault.
I come out of the church, I went to seminary, and I watched the liberal church in the face of the rise of the Christian Right, a movement, essentially by a definition of basic Christianity, a heretical movement, a movement that acculturated the worst aspects of American nationalism, chauvinism imperialism and capitalism into the Christian religion. As if Jesus came to make us wealthy; as if Jesus would bless the dropping of armed fragmentation bombs all over the Middle East; as if the miracles of the Gospel were ones that were going to turn us into millionaires, and they [the liberal Church] said nothing and did nothing. They didn’t respond
Now what’s the point of getting a seminary degree and studying the miracles of Jesus and the Gospels for three years unless you are not willing to go out into the culture and stand for those messages and defend them.
Good question. What is the point? Keeping the sheep quiet ministering to the flock? Not allowing the deeper questions to emerge in a church context thus giving no faith based forum to articulate righteous anger?
Anyway, here’s the full video.