Chris Hedges preaches.
Read Confronting the Culture of Death, a sermon delivered this past Sunday.
Hedges informs. Hedges provokes anger (in supporters and detractors). Hedges saddens. Hedges encourages. Hedges never hedges.
Hedges speaks as one with authority; unlike the ignorant, vomiting, talking heads who spew the dogmatic views and “news” given to them by her or his media employer (FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, ETC.) and corporate sponsor (pick any corporation). A long-time war correspondent who immersed himself in the recent bitter struggles of human being against human being (Middle East, the Balkans, Central America). An ordained Presbyterian minister. Son of an ordained Presbyterian minister. Teacher. Writer. Husband. Father. Human Being. (Read the wikipedia entry for him.)
I encountered and then fell in love with Hedges’ writing and thinking when I read his first book War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning in a seminary class, “War and Hebrew Scripture.” The Truth he spoke resonated deeply with me, as one who is a classically trained economist with practical experience in the world of high finance, as a father and as a person called by God to share God’s word. Since that time I have long shared Hedge’s proclamations and prognostications on Facebook, in sermons and in conversations.
Hedges speaks the same truth today as any biblical prophet spoke in times gone by: Repent or die! Pretty simple.
The question is: Of what do we repent? Hedges’ list is long…or short…depending on how you read him. His list is as follows:
Oh, and the last item on the list is greed.
Whenever I read Hedges I am always reminded of the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
Number one on the List of Greed is: OUR Safety. Safety as a person, as a neighborhood, as a tribe, as a community, as an ethnicity, and as a nation. OUR Safety is SO important that the United States spends OVER 50% of its discretionary spending on military defense. FIFTY percent!!! Think about it: Would any household spend more than 50% of it’s income on an ADT Security System? ADT would sure like for us to do so. And we do. By embracing the idea that billions and billions of dollars (more than the national budgets of the next 5 or 6 countries combined!) will make us more safe. Are we? Do you feel safer? Perhaps there is a “need” to spend an additional $6 billion for a wall?
Have you traveled recently to another “First World” country? In Europe? In Asia? Germany? Norway? Japan? China? If so, did you notice (and were perhaps shocked?) how more advanced those nations are in terms of technology, infrastructure, culture, transportation, ecology, medicine and well-being? Or, do you continue to mindlessly compare the United States to “shithole” countries and thus feel good about our nation’s superiority in the world? Perhaps you declare, “Why do all the people want to immigrate to the United States?” without thinking that little to very, very few persons from other “First World” countries “immigrate” to our nation. Why not? Sure, some students from other “First World” countries come to the United States for an education…but they always return home. Who wants to stay in a “shithole” country compared to her or his own?
Hedges’ brilliance goes on and on and on…just as I could go on and on and on lifting up his prophetic declarations. I encourage you to read the sermon…or not.
Will you/we hear him? Probably not…for a prophet has no honor in the prophet’s home, hometown or country. Far easier to shrug and ask, “What can I do?” Even easier to ignore and ask, “Did you say something?” Even more easy…and saner…to point at the Isaiah wandering around naked and say, “What a nut!?!”
After all, who wants to hear, “This moment in history marks the end of a long, sad tale of greed and murder by the white races. It is inevitable that for the final show we vomited up a figure like Trump.”