May 20, 2005

by Reb Yudel
Chavez story highlights how media has bought right-wing religious myth

The Revealer: Castro Ally, Christ Lover Befuddles U.S. Press

Chavez regularly employs religious -- even fundamentalist -- Christian rhetoric, in a style similar to that of American Christian conservatives. His sense of divine mission seem to be key to his popularity -- and his success.

It also complicates the story. This ain't a tale of Capitalism and God vs. godless socialism. In Venezuela, it's the secular elite who oppose Chavez, while in the U.S. opposition comes from an alliance of Castro-haters (a faith unto itself) and Christian conservatives who identify capitalism with Christianity. So what do we have here? A narrative of three gods, maybe four. It's a duel of the divine, a rhetorical clash of religious ideas. That won't play in the American press, where leftist economic ideas are by definition secular, so what does the American press do? Ignores the ghost in the machine.

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