"His recent book on the fascist tendencies in America's Christian Right has given Chris Hedges an aura of authority when it comes to religion and religious extremism in American culture. I suspect that this perception is sorely misplaced, though, because Hedges has adopted and insists on defending the popular belief that extremist or fundamentalist religion somehow isn't "real" religion and thus critiques of fundamentalism don't impact religion itself.[...]Let's be honest here: Chris Hedges and others are critical of atheists like Hitchens for creating straw men and simplifying religion, but if they are then Hedges and his ilk are at least as guilty if not more so. At the very least, atheist critics like Hitchens acknowledge that there are other forms of religion besides what they criticize, but argue that those forms have little practical impact and thus don't need to be addressed at the moment.
Hedges, however, won't even acknowledge that fundamentalisms, extremisms, etc. are genuine religious movements at all. He doesn't have the decency to admit that they are religious belief systems that he dislikes or has arguments against; instead, he simply denies that they are religions at all."atheism.about.com, July 8, 2007