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Amy Barrett and the Christian Fascism

 
Cheshire Cat
 
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Cheshire Cat
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15 October 2020 12:04
 

I love Chris Hedges’ writing. But, like a strong medicine, I can only take his writings in small, well-spaced doses.

In my mind, he is one of the few truly honest men in America. And brutally so. His honesty is like a punch to the gut — a clear-eyed reminder of just how bad things have become — of how corrupt our political system is; of how America is becoming a corporate totalitarian state; of how we are plunging headlong towards planetary destruction. His writing sometimes make me feel despair.

His latest article is entitled: “Trump’s Barrett Nomination Another Step Toward Christian Fascism.” The subtitle is: “All fascist and totalitarian movements paper over their squalid belief systems with the veneer of morality.”

Before you assume that Hedges is a radical, anti-Christian atheist — he’s not. In fact, he is an ordained Presbyterian minister. He is also a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who was a foreign war correspondent for the New York Times until they fired him for his opposition to the Iraq War.

https://tinyurl.com/y5zembjf

Some quotes from the article:

All fascist and totalitarian movements paper over their squalid belief systems with the veneer of morality. They mouth pieties about restoring law and order, right and wrong, the sanctity of life, civic and family virtues, patriotism and tradition to mask their dismantling of the open society and silencing and persecution of those who oppose them. This is the real game being played by Christian fascists, which since the early 1970s have been building institutions with tens of millions in corporate donations to take power. Donald Trump, who has no ideology, has allowed the Christian Right to fill his ideological void. He is the useful idiot. And the Christian Right, awash in money from corporations that know their real political intent, will mobilize in this election to use any tool, no matter how devious, from right-wing armed militias to the invalidation of ballots, to block Joe Biden and Democratic candidates from assuming office. The road to despotism is always paved with righteousness. This was as true for Soviet communism as it was for German fascism. And it is true in the United States.

...Barrett has ruled consistently in favor of corporations to cheat gig workers out of overtime, green light fossil fuel extraction and pollution and strip consumers of protection from corporate fraud. The watchdog group Accountable.US found that as a circuit court judge, Barrett “faced at least 55 cases in which citizens took on corporate entities in front of her court and 76% of the time she sided with the corporations.”

Her version of Catholicism is at odds with most of the positions championed by Pope Francis and traditional Catholic teaching on women’s rights, voting rights, immigrant’s rights, health care and environmental protections. The Pope calls on the downtrodden to change the world economic order and denounces what he terms a “new colonialism” imposed by “the anonymous influence of mammon: corporations, loan agencies, certain ‘free trade’ treaties, and the imposition of measures of ‘austerity’ which always tighten the belt of workers and the poor.” He speaks of the “sacred rights” of labor, lodging and land. He says the unfettered pursuit of money is “the dung of the devil” and castigates industrial nations for exploiting the raw materials and labor of the developing world.

Barrett’s religiosity, like that of other Christian fascists, is in the service of almost everything the pope condemns.

 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
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15 October 2020 12:55
 

Thanks for posting this article, although it is disturbing.

As history has told us time and time again, all forms of fascism are dangerous for the masses and separation of church and state is paramount.  And the ability to see what’s happening when it’s happening.  As many countries have become more secular, the U.S. has been moving in the wrong direction for some time.

 
 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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15 October 2020 13:18
 
Jan_CAN - 15 October 2020 12:55 PM

Thanks for posting this article, although it is disturbing.

As history has told us time and time again, all forms of fascism are dangerous for the masses and separation of church and state is paramount.  And the ability to see what’s happening when it’s happening.  As many countries have become more secular, the U.S. has been moving in the wrong direction for some time.

Like 40 more years disturbing?

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/07/15/how-trump-compares-with-other-recent-presidents-in-appointing-federal-judges/

President Donald Trump has made big changes to the federal judiciary since taking office in 2017. Trump has appointed two Supreme Court justices – Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh – as well as nearly 200 other judges with lifetime appointments to lower federal courts.]/quote]

 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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15 October 2020 13:37
 
unsmoked - 15 October 2020 01:18 PM
Jan_CAN - 15 October 2020 12:55 PM

Thanks for posting this article, although it is disturbing.

As history has told us time and time again, all forms of fascism are dangerous for the masses and separation of church and state is paramount.  And the ability to see what’s happening when it’s happening.  As many countries have become more secular, the U.S. has been moving in the wrong direction for some time.

Like 40 more years disturbing?

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/07/15/how-trump-compares-with-other-recent-presidents-in-appointing-federal-judges/

President Donald Trump has made big changes to the federal judiciary since taking office in 2017. Trump has appointed two Supreme Court justices – Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh – as well as nearly 200 other judges with lifetime appointments to lower federal courts.]/quote]

Perhaps Biden should increase the Supreme Court to say 11 judges—that’s no more ‘packing the court’ than the Republicans have already done.

 
 
Twissel
 
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15 October 2020 14:39
 

Biden should massively increase the Federal Bench.
And ignore the SCOTUS if it is stuck in the 19th century.

 
 
Cheshire Cat
 
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15 October 2020 15:57
 
Jan_CAN - 15 October 2020 01:37 PM

Perhaps Biden should increase the Supreme Court to say 11 judges—that’s no more ‘packing the court’ than the Republicans have already done.

Comedian, Bill Maher, jokes that in a knife fight with the Republicans, the Democrats bring a casserole dish.

I think he’s right.

McConnell outright stole from Obama his legal right to pick a judge for the Supreme court four years ago. He said it was too close to the election to allow such a thing, even though the election was months away. Now, with the election less than 3 weeks away, they are ramming through Barrett’s appointment to the Supreme Court. The Republicans are blatant hypocrites.

It’s time for the Dems to grow a pair. If Biden does win, I hope he does pack the court.

 
 
weird buffalo
 
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15 October 2020 16:51
 

A core part of the framework of fascism is a “return to values.”  The values are of course cherry picked and give control to authority figures.

 
Poldano
 
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16 October 2020 01:18
 

I have not read any of Chris Hedges work, except for the quoted excerpts in the OP. Nonetheless, the excerpts relate to the extreme disquiet I began to feel when reading a biographical article about Barrett. She reminds me of the holier-than-thou, authority-pandering, chronically overachieving (mostly) girls I knew in my Catholic high school. The article brought back all the unresolved anger I still have over Catholicism as I experienced it as a child, adolescent, and young adult. I have intellectually resolved all the anger, mainly by reframing the Christian belief system differently, but I have never actually taken on debating with anyone who has swallowed the whole belief system and cast it into Scalia-like logical formality. Anticipating that cost me a night of sleep.

[Edit. My bad, I got agitated again revisiting my background statement.]

The OP quotes remind me that my imagined sense of what living under Fascism is like is based on my experience in Catholic schools. Although I actually received a good education from them, there were certain things one could not question without risking a full-on authoritarian barrage, leading one to question whether one should be there. The pith of religious fascism, to me, boils down to this: If your religion demands that to practice it you must attempt to restrict what non-adherents (i.e., the wider community)  are allowed to do contrary to their will, then it is possibly fascist. If it bases the restrictions on what the tenets of the religion are without regard to the variety of beliefs in the general population in which it is situated, then it is probably fascist. If it advocates, sponsors, or supports the suppression in the wider community of opinions or actions that it disapproves of, then it is definitely fascist. The appearance on-scene of a charismatic authoritarian political figure for the religion to support is all that it would take to make it a fascist political party.

[ Edited: 16 October 2020 01:48 by Poldano]
 
 
unsmoked
 
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16 October 2020 12:16
 

Has anyone mentioned her voice?  OK, I won’t either.

 
 
Skipshot
 
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17 October 2020 02:25
 

Dems grow a pair?  Here’s a dream:  the Democrats win the Senate and presidency and keep the House, them impeach Trumps judicial appointees.

 
weird buffalo
 
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17 October 2020 04:59
 

There’s no real rules for impeaching a judge.  There are certainly guidelines, but the process is a lot like impeaching the president.  You can do it for any reason, and the senate can remove for any reason, it’s just whether they’ll decide to or not.  So far, Barrett hasn’t done anything that would normally require removal of a judge.  Kavanaugh may have lied under oath, but the case is hard to prove.  Gorsuch hasn’t done anything.  Removing Barrett and Gorsuch would be entirely political moves.  Doesn’t mean it can’t be done, but senate Dems have a hard time being that blatantly partisan, especially as a block.

Politically, the better move is just to change the courts.

 
Skipshot
 
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17 October 2020 11:05
 

I did say it’s a dream.  If those impeachments did happen, then we would have opened a Pandora’s Box of trouble.

[ Edited: 18 October 2020 17:30 by Skipshot]
 
unsmoked
 
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17 October 2020 13:21
 
weird buffalo - 17 October 2020 04:59 AM

There’s no real rules for impeaching a judge.  There are certainly guidelines, but the process is a lot like impeaching the president.  You can do it for any reason, and the senate can remove for any reason, it’s just whether they’ll decide to or not.  So far, Barrett hasn’t done anything that would normally require removal of a judge.  Kavanaugh may have lied under oath, but the case is hard to prove.  Gorsuch hasn’t done anything.  Removing Barrett and Gorsuch would be entirely political moves.  Doesn’t mean it can’t be done, but senate Dems have a hard time being that blatantly partisan, especially as a block.

Politically, the better move is just to change the courts.

Re. the highlighted sentence.  What if she initiated a ruling that you had to grow a baby in your belly that you didn’t want?

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ohio-abortion-heartbeat-bill-pregnant-11-year-old-rape-victim-barred-abortion-after-new-ohio-abortion-bill-2019-05-13/

An 11-year-old girl in Ohio was allegedly raped by a 26-year-old multiple times, leaving her pregnant, according to police reports. A state law passed in April, but not yet in effect, says that victims like her won’t have a choice to have an abortion — they would have to carry and deliver their rapist’s child.

The law prohibits women from obtaining an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, about five or six weeks into a pregnancy, before most women even know that they’re pregnant.

The law provides no exceptions for rape or incest.

 

 

 
 
Cheshire Cat
 
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18 October 2020 14:33
 
Poldano - 16 October 2020 01:18 AM

The pith of religious fascism, to me, boils down to this: If your religion demands that to practice it you must attempt to restrict what non-adherents (i.e., the wider community)  are allowed to do contrary to their will, then it is possibly fascist. If it bases the restrictions on what the tenets of the religion are without regard to the variety of beliefs in the general population in which it is situated, then it is probably fascist. If it advocates, sponsors, or supports the suppression in the wider community of opinions or actions that it disapproves of, then it is definitely fascist. The appearance on-scene of a charismatic authoritarian political figure for the religion to support is all that it would take to make it a fascist political party.

Paldano, you and I had similar Catholic school upbringings. I went through a phase in my life of actively trying to “deprogram” and distance myself from that religion, to the point where my girlfriend at the time said to me, “why are you always trying to get (debunk) Jesus?”
Whatever personal demon was driving me to do this has left me. I have a more tolerant view of religion now, but only up to a certain point.
When white Evangelicals and extremist Catholics attempt to grab the reigns of political power, that is where I draw the line.
I see these people as members of a death cult, trying actively to gain governmental power in order to help hasten the “End Times” and the destruction of the world. If corporate fascism helps them in their cause, then they must see this as the means justifying the end.

 
 
Poldano
 
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20 October 2020 01:19
 
unsmoked - 17 October 2020 01:21 PM
weird buffalo - 17 October 2020 04:59 AM

There’s no real rules for impeaching a judge.  There are certainly guidelines, but the process is a lot like impeaching the president.  You can do it for any reason, and the senate can remove for any reason, it’s just whether they’ll decide to or not.  So far, Barrett hasn’t done anything that would normally require removal of a judge.  Kavanaugh may have lied under oath, but the case is hard to prove.  Gorsuch hasn’t done anything.  Removing Barrett and Gorsuch would be entirely political moves.  Doesn’t mean it can’t be done, but senate Dems have a hard time being that blatantly partisan, especially as a block.

Politically, the better move is just to change the courts.

Re. the highlighted sentence.  What if she initiated a ruling that you had to grow a baby in your belly that you didn’t want?

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ohio-abortion-heartbeat-bill-pregnant-11-year-old-rape-victim-barred-abortion-after-new-ohio-abortion-bill-2019-05-13/

An 11-year-old girl in Ohio was allegedly raped by a 26-year-old multiple times, leaving her pregnant, according to police reports. A state law passed in April, but not yet in effect, says that victims like her won’t have a choice to have an abortion — they would have to carry and deliver their rapist’s child.

The law prohibits women from obtaining an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, about five or six weeks into a pregnancy, before most women even know that they’re pregnant.

The law provides no exceptions for rape or incest.

 

Actually, simply overturning Roe vs. Wade would open the floodgates on laws of that kind. The only thing of substance really preventing that from happening is respect for precedent even if the precedent is considered to have been based on error. Previous Supreme Court precedents have been overturned. Notably, the late 19th-century and early 20th-century Supreme Court based a number of decisions on the 14th Amendment that seemed to have very little to do with the subject of the 14th Amendment. Worker-safety laws and labor unions have been among those things found to be unconstitutional. Obviously, these precedents have been overturned since that time.

 
 
Twissel
 
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22 October 2020 07:28
 

overturning Roe would condemn Red States to perpetual poverty - no big company with a diverse staff will open shop there.

 
 
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