It has been attributed to Sinclair Lewis, but there is some doubt that he is in fact the author. Lewis was Ivy league educated, a writer, an alcoholic and lived during the turbulent 30s, which was a high point in American history for the left's efforts to bring down the United States. People proudly and openly called themselves socialists, progressives, fascists and communists. Once the horrors of socialist Germany, fascist Italy and communist countries like China and the Soviet Union were revealed, many thinking people abandoned their desire to pursue regime change. The bitter clingers however went to Hollywood, academia, media and politics where they could continue their destructive work slightly below the radar.
The best source I have found for the original thought comes from, to nobody's surprise, a Yale professor as quoted by the New York Times in a 1938 story:
If you accept the left/right paradigm, I don't, socialists/communists/progressives/anarchists/marxists supposedly occupy the left of the political spectrum. Then on the right, are the fascists/nationalists/theocrats. The only problem with this view is the striking similarity between all these movements. Are they really that different? They all share a rejection of personal freedom. Observe:
1. A desire for equitable distribution of goods and services - Equalizing the misery for all but a select few rulers/overlords/bureaucrats. Sometimes now referred to as social justice - an oxymoron for another blog.
2. Worship of the state, leader or designated deity - Even if religion is tolerated, it is highly regulated by government. There is zero tolerance for any competitive religion or proselytizing.
3. Cult of personality around a supreme leader - Number 2 and 3 are very closely linked.
4. Eradication of private property and wealth - All wealth goes to the state, which is normally controlled by a supreme leader or limited circle of friends and family. If redistributed, it is totally at the whim of the supreme authority and normally granted based on one's status or relationship to those in power.
5. Confiscation of all weapons - Can't allow the people to protect themselves from criminals, the oppressive state Commissars, the religious police, or heaven forbid, risk a revolution.
6. Reeducation and eradication camps - From Iran to China to Viet Nam to Germany to Italy to Cuba to the Soviet Union, these anti-freedom movements have murdered millions of their own to further the political goals and protect the political system.
7. Inequality still remains - Even with a preponderance of evidence that these systems never deliver what they promise, people remain hooked on hopium. When government steals from one to give to another, nobody wins. Everyone gets poorer, with the exception of those fortunate few that get to do the stealing and the enforcing under the new all powerful government.
8. Controlled media and entertainment - Objective news journalism and media is replaced by state-controlled propaganda - see ABC/CNN/MSNBC/NBC/CBS/NY TIMES/Time/Hollywood/NPR etc. These once respected media outlets have become laughingstocks here in the United States by continually parroting the party line of the left. For most of the 20th century, the left had a virtual monopoly on news and entertainment, but the American people largely resisted their push to the left.
9. Government education - Better described as indoctrination instead of education. The collective good always comes first. Individual achievement is discouraged. Competition is viewed negatively because it might instill hope, or a desire to improve one's station in life above the state's desired limit of advancement.
10. Loss of freedom - You truly become a ward of the state - totally dependent on the all-powerful state. Any dreams and ambitions must be sanctioned by the state. Any progress or advancement is not based on merit, but based on loyalty to the state. Any disagreement or disloyalty results in arrest or eradication by the state. The state is your source for everything, including your very right to live.
The alternative to this is what our Founding Fathers created here in the United States. A group of citizens who consent to be governed. They created a contract known as the Constitution. This was to ensure that Freedom, which comes from God, not a state, could never be compromised by a state or corrupt President.
This system of government could never have come to fruition had it not been for the Christian worldview that freedom comes from God, not government. Without a benevolent supreme being establishing the bounds of morality, man becomes ruthless. Without Jesus as your personal Lord, you are a child of Satan. And his children are capable of the most horrific crimes against humanity. And without a commitment to intimately know God and His will, even a Christian can be influenced by the evil one. Jesus said HE would build HIS Church. As long as man keeps trying to do it without him, we will see religion, not God's Church with Jesus as the High Priest.
Now let's go back to the original quote - the concept that fascism will be implemented with the cross and the flag. The lefties like to trot this nonsense out to show that Christianity is somehow a threat to freedom. The freedom this country has enjoyed for most of its existence owes its very life to Christianity. If you can't see the hand of providence on this nation, you're blind. And you would be hard-pressed to find a non-Christian nation in the history of the world with the blessings of liberty to the degree Americans once enjoyed before the left's onslaught.
No historian worth a lick would ever call fascism pro-Christian. Even in Italy, where Catholicism reigned, there was persecution against all religions until Mussolini found ways to use the Vatican for his own purposes. In fact, the whole ugly, unbiblical concept of social justice has its roots in the Vatican and the religious left that have twisted scripture in ways in which it was never intended.
And while all "Isms" use religious and national symbols when needed to promote their agenda, there would be no substance, and certainly no acceptance of the traditional Christian worldview, which values freedom above all else. All the "Isms" would eventually seek to either change the message in the pulpit, or rid itself completely of Christianity because there can be no greater power than the state, and no worship of anyone else except those that are in authority or the "religion" they establish/endorse.
Note the recent visit of Valerie Jarrett, Obama lackey and proud lefty, to an Atlanta Church for a clearly political speech aimed at destroying opposition that stands in the way of government growth. I have read all the Words of Jesus. Never once did he call for people to depend on government for their survival. He taught quite the opposite. God is your source. Seek the Kingdom of God - God's way of doing things, and everything will be given to you (Matthew 6). Its hardly an endorsement for big government or social justice. And Paul reinforces the message against government dependence in 2 Thessalonians (3:10): The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.
The more government grows and the more problems they "solve" for you, the less freedom you have. I know its fun to paint Christians as the enemy, but there are far more dangerous forces in play. The choice is between liberty and tyranny. True Christians will always support Liberty. God is all about freedom. He gives you a choice. Believe Him and receive eternal life, or reject Him. He will defend your right to choose eternal damnation, all the while giving you every second of your life to change your mind because He loves you so much and does not want to lose a single person. Would the state and all the "Isms" give you this much freedom?