According to the religious left, the hallmark of every non-socialist society is a dualistic framework featuring oppressors and victimizers on the one hand, and oppressed victims on the other. This social arrangement, the religious left contends, is a natural by-product of free-market capitalism, the purported root of all manner of social ills – racism, sexism, alienation, homophobia, imperialism, greed, and economic injustice. That is why according to the religious left, the United States – historically the standard-bearer of all capitalist economies – can only do wrong. Examples of anti-Americanism among the religious left are legion.
The National Council of Churches (NCC), for instance, was a signatory to a document characterizing the 9/11 hijackers not as terrorists, but as people who were engaged chiefly in rebelling against American injustices. The document explained that if the United States wished to attract the goodwill of other countries, it would have to “promote fundamental rights around the world” in a manner in which it had previously failed to do.
For decades the Christian evangelical ministry Sojourners has depicted American as an "imperialist" power seeking to dominate and exploit other nations. Opposing the Reagan administration effort to undercut the Sandinista regime in the 1980s, for example, Sojourners initiated a program called “Witness For Peace,” under whose auspices Americans traveled to Nicaragua and returned with tales of humanitarian disasters wrought by the Reagan-backed anti-Communist forces. Throughout the Cold War, the organization downplayed the threat posed by the Soviet Union, chastising U.S. policy-makers for their tendency “to assume the very worst about their Soviet counterparts.”
Pax Christi USA (PCUSA) has derided America for its alleged absence of concern for “children who live in poverty within our own borders”; its lack of a universal, taxpayer-funded health care system for all U.S. residents; its culpability for “the increasing threat of global climate change”; its “rampant greed and materialism”; and its shameless “profiteering.” PCUSA's Brothers and Sisters All program is founded upon the “conviction that personal and systemic racism continues to perpetrate deep spiritual and social brokenness” throughout the United States. And the organization's People's Peace Initiative laments the “widening gap between rich and poor” in America, which it characterizes as a nation that perpetrates widespread “economic violence” against black people.
This section of Discover The Networks examines the anti-American worldviews, objectives, and activities of these and many other key organizations that comprise the religious left.