Glenn Beck, the million dollar demagogue of Fox News, took to his television show to urge parishioners to abandon their churches if they pursue an agenda of “social justice.”
“I’m begging you, your right to religion and freedom to exercise religion and read all of the passages of the Bible as you want to read them and as your church wants to preach them . . . are going to come under the ropes in the next year. If it lasts that long it will be the next year. I beg you, look for the words ‘social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes!”
Later, Beck held up cards, one with a hammer and sickle and other with a swastika. “Communists are on the left, and the Nazis are on the right. That’s what people say. But they both subscribe to one philosophy, and they flew one banner. . . . But on each banner, read the words, here in America: ‘social justice.’ They talked about economic justice, rights of the workers, redistribution of wealth, and surprisingly, democracy.”
Beck continued the attack on his radio program:
Social justice was the rallying cry—economic justice and social justice—the rallying cry on both the communist front and the fascist front. That is not an American idea. And if we don’t get off the social justice economic justice bandwagon, if you are not aware of what this is, you are in grave danger. All of our faiths–my faith your faith–whatever your church is, this is infecting all of them.
Are these the words of a man in full possession of his facilities or a deranged lunatic off his meds? I have no clue what set Beck off on his mad rant against organized religion. Wading through the stinking sewer of his mind is not something I wish to subject myself to. I do have the feeling he has picked a fight he can’t win. If not for churches committed to social justice, a Baptist preacher named Martin Luther King, Jr., would have never emerged as the leader of the movement that led to the civil rights of Black Americans.
Michael Hidalgo, lead pastor of the Denver Community Church commented on Beck’s remarks on the religious blog, Sojourners:
…a word to Glenn Beck. I will not argue with your political viewpoint. Everyone is entitled to have his or her opinion, slant, or spin on any particular office, legislation, or politician. Each person also has a right to make his or her ideology known to whoever will listen.
However, when you speak as a churchgoer, and when you begin roping the Church into your rhetoric, things get a little more serious. I would encourage and exhort you to use more care, and to consider your words more carefully. You influence a lot of people in this world and have the potential and power to do much for good.
My hope for you is the same for myself: that your thoughts and words would move those who listen to you more toward the mind and heart of Jesus. May that be the end toward which we both strive.
Does this mean if churches that feed the hungry, reach out to gays and lesbians, shelter the homeless or try to intercede against gang violence they are part and parcel of this insidious “social justice” Beck is so fearful of?
When a church organizes a voter registration drive or demonstrations against abortion clinics is that the kind of activism Beck decries as creeping socialism or Nazism?
Or is this just more evidence that Beck is a sad, sorry twisted Bizarro version of Howard Beale come to life who will say and do anything if it craps up his ratings no matter how vulgar, vicious or vile it is? The key difference being Beale was a fictional character. Beck is very, very real and apparently quite serious in his paranoia and rabble-rousing.
I never thought Beck was in any way amusing. Now I see he’s going places even Rush Limbaugh wouldn’t have the balls to go. Perhaps he thought he was going after the kind of activist ministry practiced by Chicago religious figures such as Reverend Jeremiah Wright and Father Michael Pfleger. If they are who Beck had in mind when he went off on this witch hunt, he completely missed the target. Even Beck’s legions of apologists are going to find it hard to spin this off as just more of his foolish antics.
I’ve always believed Glenn Beck was crazy. Now I see he’s a sicker puppy than I thought. He’s dangerous.