News & Politics

Chris Hedges Has a Term for Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris: 'Secular Fundamentalists' (VIDEO)

"New Atheism's political agenda dovetails with the most retrograde elements of the Christian right."

Given Abby Martin's new teleSUR show Empire Files covers American empire and its negative effects on the rest of the globe, it was only logical one of her first interviews would be with one of empire's most consistent and articulate critics, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges. In the roughly 30 minute interview (the entirety of which can be seen below) the two discuss a wide range of issues but one, the rise of New Atheism and its indifference to imperialism, is of particular note.

"These people are fundamentalists," Hedges insisted. "[Noam] Chomsky calls them 'religious fundamentalists', meaning that they are subservient to the state religion." That state religion, Hedges and Martin believe, is capitalism and its logical extreme, imperialism. 

"Having debated members of the Christian Right, I ran into exactly the same mindset," Hedges said in reference to New Atheists he had debated, like Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. "It's a binary view of the world, between black and white. It's a sanctification of violence against "the other" - the Christian Right sanctifies violence against Muslims because they're satanic, Hitches and Harris do because they are barbarians."

Richard Dawkins and fellow "New Atheist" Sam Harris have repeatedly expressed confusion as to this line of critique. Harris even popularized the term "Regressive Left", a term coined by noted Jeremy Corbyn-hater Maajid Nawaz, to describe what they view as fraudulent, radical Muslim-coddling liberals that are so obsessed with being P.C. they accept the most reactionary forms of religious extremism from minority religions, namely Islam.  But for Hedges, the issue is fundamentally a political one. 

"[New Atheism] has been used quite effectively at seducing people in secular society, even on the left," Hedges said. "But it's political agenda dovetails with the most retrograde elements of the Christian Right, and that's not accidental."

Watch the clip below:

Watch the entire segment below:

Adam Johnson is a contributing analyst at FAIR and contributing writer for AlterNet. Follow him on Twitter @AdamJohnsonNYC.

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