I know I’m supposed to be reading the Beck rally like tea leaves, but, sadly, I’m cynical, I’ve seen this movie before, so I can’t.
A few weeks before organizing a massive rally on the Mall that had the feel of a religious revival, Glenn Beck sought the blessing of some of the country’s most prominent conservative Christian leaders. The Fox talk show host wanted their support as he shifted from political commentary to a more spiritual message, he told the group of about 20.
This is where God is leading me, Beck declared, according to Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, who was there, along with Focus on the Family founder James Dobson.
“We walked back to the hotel after and said: ‘That was extraordinary,’ ” Land said of his conversation with Dobson after the dinner in Manhattan. “I’ve never heard a cultural figure of that popularity talking that overtly about his faith. He sounded like Billy Graham.”
Doesn’t that story already sound like a well-worn conservative fable?
“We walked back….Billy Graham!”
We’ll be hearing that again.
“I’m a little nervous about that kind of talk,” said Janet Mefferd, a nationally syndicated Christian talk show host who said most callers Monday wanted to talk about Beck. “I know he means well and loves this country, but he doesn’t know enough about theology to know what kind of effect he’s having. Christians are hearing something different than what he thinks he’s saying.”
I think they’re hearing exactly what he intended them to hear, actually.
To some, Beck’s show of his faith was a calculated political effort to unite religious and social conservatives as the midterm elections approach.
I would be in that group, with this guy, apparently:
“No Republican is going to win the White House if those two aren’t united,” said D. Michael Lindsay, a Rice University sociologist who studies evangelical Protestant leaders. “Here’s a chance to infuse the tea party with religious rhetoric, and extend an olive branch to those not as engaged with financial issues.”
They always, always, always divide on religion before an election, and this year is no exception. If they could put ballot issues on in selected states to ban mosques, they’d do it.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
If they want to divide on religion, then I really do have an urge to point out that he’s Mormon. Wouldn’t that just twist most of the “Christians” up.
Don’t tell Franklin. I believe he harbors hatred for Mormons.
I’ve met Richard Land on several occasions. I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him. He’s evil wrapped in a crunchy evangelical shell. With a bad toupee to boot.
Yesterday, he was on NPR saying he considered Mormonism the “fourth Abrahamic religion” in attempting to explain how the SBCtaliban could hop in bed with Beck on this stuff.
Dobson is just insane.
@Belafon (formerly anonevent):
They discussed that on Christian radio, according to the article. They agree on the politics, but which flavor of religion? I’m sure they’ll iron out the contractual details.
licensed to kill time
Funny, I didn’t hear a darn thing about Mormonism.
It’s a shell game to pull in the rubes.
Just a bunch of modern Pharisees, all of them. Hypocrites screaming out their prayers in the middle of the street so everyone can hear and see how pious they are.
People who follow Beck love the prestige of true scholarship. However, they have a difficult time adhering to the discipline of a true scholar. They are not intellectually honest, their conclusions are free-associations, their “facts” don’t stand up to a Google Search, and their premises are built on sand.
Being truly honest as someone being part of a socratic, mindful, and democratic debate of ideas, requires that when one of your prejudices is mortally lanced, and you are informed that, ‘No! In light of fact, you are dead wrong, and as such, every one of your presuppositions is also false, just dead wrong according to available, provable, and logical facts,’ you acknowledge the new data, and you go back to the drawing board to bring back something that is rigorous, coherent, and fact-based.
Beck, Fox News, and everyone following this wingnut Tea Party movement are arguing from a place of deep, subconscious, human emotion, and they are presenting it as though it were the cold logic of higher math or physics. This is a telling contradiction.
They argue against science, they denounce “liberal” universities (all of them), they claim history is the exact opposite of everything you’ve always learned. Conservatives were the impetus behind the Civil Rights Movement, the Civil War was really a tax revolt (just like the Boston Tea Party!) and all those uppity History doctorates who disagree are just know-it-all, pointy-headed, liberal professors, because if there are no experts, there can only be equal opinions on a level playing field.
Ironically, as if this movement weren’t ironic enough already, there is only one word for this, and it is called “relativisim”. And “ooooh!” Do they hates “relatavism“! They hate relativism, whether in the quantum or moral sphere, because it implies that it avoids admitting the existence and reality of an all-knowing Creator, under which there can only be 1 set of right vs. wrong rules.
God said in the Bible that Jesus is the only way to truly be saved, and thus, those of us that don’t adhere, and object to the Universe being framed with White Christians as the pinnacle of all Creation, we are “Moral Relativists”.
What this has done, in the beliefs, or at least collective subconscious of the annals of the retarded, is set up a zero sum game. Relatavism, that is, scaling the importance of one thought over another is allowed; whereas what God has built, let no man tear asunder.
The Tea Partiers aren’t the first to do so, but they have invented a war that in its subtext, is quite a new line in the sand, with Human Reason or Human Intellect on one side, and God on the other. Now, I’m the first to have a question for them in the sense of “What if they’re wrong? What if God doesn’t exist?” and at first I feel confident and satisfied, but then upon further examination, the opposite question is something I pose to myself: “What if I’m wrong? What proof is there that Human Reason and Human intellect do not exist?” I look at the Tea Party/NineTwelvers/Birthers/Fox News/Conservative movement and I shudder.
I wonder if this isn’t a hint of a career change.
Television host is a good career only until the ratings drop too low or until someone hotter comes along and you are seen as outdated and stale. When that happens, there is not much of a parachute or a net to catch you. The best ones go into syndication like Oprah and own their own shows. But Beck probably knows he can’t really do that in syndication-he’s hardly an afternoon energizer.
But televangelists have a following until they get into too much scandal or they die, whichever comes first. Beck may be thinking he needs something a little more influential and permanent for himself. Besides as Reverend (Apostle) Minister, he could be his own boss, say what he thinks, have his own setup. Nobody could fire him or tell him to shut up because they are scaring away sponsors.
Which movie are you talking about, Kay? “Elmer Gantry” or “A Face in the Crowd“?
I listened to that same interview. Land, like most evangelicals, and especially Glenn Beck, does not seem to understand what Liberation Theology is.
Either that, or he understands it perfectly, and just doesn’t like the whole “meek shall inherit” and “sell all your stuff and join me” and especially the whole “it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to make it into heaven.”
Scratch out ‘theology’ and put any word you want and it’ll apply to Beck-istan.
@Belafon (formerly anonevent): Maybe he’s just laying the groundwork for President Mitt Romney?
Unless Beck wants to dump his Mormonism, I doubt it. Because a Mormon televangelist will eventually run afoul of Salt Lake. Despite the fact that they’re very interested in being considered a legitimate Christian religion, it would be difficult to share religious authority with a rodeo clown like Beck.
I’m not sure what Beck’s game is here. I wonder if the leadership in Salt Lake knows what Beck is up to. Hell I wonder if Beck knows what Beck is up to. This all started as something that I thought was a way to prove to his masters at Fox News that he was still worthy of keeping on the network despite the shedding of sponsors, but now it is looking like some kind of re-positioning.
My current best bet is that he runs for office in two years. He has to figure that if Sarah Palin can do it so can he. But that’s just a guess – maybe he really is trying to line himself up to become the next Prophet.
OT but related: some social science research the BJ crowd will appreciate: Why Some Americans Believe Obama Is a Muslim.
Am I the only person who has noticed that the Mormons seem to be going out of their way to prove their conservative credentials with the Southern Baptists? Up to now the Mormons have been the Cinderella (Pre-Prince) of the Republican Party and the Conservative movement, loyally doing all of the dirty work, being good solid Republicans, but for all of that the base of the Republican Party treats them poorly.
I think that’s a real possibility.
You can make a Billy Graham for yourself:
One cup minced cornpone
One cup vitriol
Two measures hypocrisy
One measure concealed bigotry
A heaping tablespoon of good old-boy sugary venom
The Franklin Graham is much the same, but you need a pinch of dried Satan’s seed for extra foam on top.
@NonyNony: He could set up his own independent whatever. America is full of such folks-and call himself an “Independent Mormon” or “Reformed Mormon” or his own thing whatever it turns out to be. There really would be no barrier to that as long as he’s independent. Salt Lake City may fuss, but that’s all they can do. Besides, Beck hardly seems to be the type that would submit to any church authority anyway.
Running for office? I doubt it. He’s got too many skeletons in his closet to win any sort of primary. On the other hand, if he runs as some sort of independent w/Sarah, there would be no primaries to win, but also no money either.
Why would he, though? Religious conservatives had enormous clout in the Reagan and then Bush Administrations. They didn’t have to run for office. Beck has the additional incentive of making tons of money. Why bother getting elected if you can shape an agenda and keep your day job?
No, I’ve noticed it too. But the LDS bigwigs in Salt Lake have craved legitimacy for a century or more, so it’s not that surprising to me.
The thing that’s surprising to me is that some of the Southern Baptists are starting to motion like they’re ready to grant that legitimacy. Much like they have with the hated, despicable Papists from Rome. Apparently politics trumps the anti-Christ when it comes to forming alliances.
Fixed for historical accuracy.
I’ve heard him speak before in classes a couple of times, and he actually knows some theological foundations. Unfortunately, it’s wrapped up in biblical inerrancy with a dash of u.s. exceptionalism mixed in to boot. And the entire SBC hierarchy thinks Mormonism is a cult.
Politics makes strange bedfellows.
And if you think the wingnut/glibertarian/fiscal conservative welfare machine is a self-reinforcing echo chamber, it pales in comparison to the evangelical fundamentalist welfare machine.
@licensed to kill time:
” “I’ve never heard a cultural figure of that popularity talking that overtly about his faith.” ”
I don’t think he was listening when MLK talked about his faith.
Beck is now claiming a flyover of geese just as the opening music started for the Restoring Honor rally was a miracle. I kid you not. Someone got it on film. Beck ran with it.
He’s really good at shutting off the “I really can’t believe you idiots fall for this, but here goes” part of his brain, isn’t he?
So, what’s the ultimate penalty these days for worshipping false prophets? Will you be forced to attend an RNC membership dinner or something?
Because Beck is the kind of clown that enjoys seeing how far he can push things?
I mean, yeah, it doesn’t make sense when you get down to it. But Beck is the kind of guy who does nonsensical things to promote his own image. I’m not necessarily saying he’d run the race to win it, but I could see him throwing his hat in the ring to make a spectacle.
I was kind of serious about the whole “I’m not sure Beck knows what he’s doing” jab up there. He doesn’t seem to be the kind of guy who methodically plans a rise to power – it’s more like he just does crazy stuff, gloms onto whatever is the most popular, and runs with it. Running for office would be a natural outgrowth of that mentality.
@PeakVT: TPM is reporting on a poll to the effect that ~50% of Republicans believe Obama definitely or probably wants to impose Sharia law on the USA. When you look at this sort of foolishness on such a large basis among the GOP base, you realize that these people probably don’t care that much about the finer points of dogma, such as the Trinity, and so on. There is just friend and enemy, and who counts as who.
Nonsense. If the facts are librul, they’re wrong, by definition. “available, provable, and logical facts” sounds a lot like code for “I hate the baby Jesus” to me.
I’d say Father Coughlin but Beck isn’t a pure demagogue, he’s also in it to fill his bank account.
Plan? There’s nothing as sensible and restricting as a Plan going on here!
The grifter goes where the marks want them to go. “Riding the tiger” comes to mind.
Did you see Beck bouncing around with his wireless mic like some Evil Universe Britney Spears? He’s just rolling with it; his unconscious belches out some pronouncements and the crowd roars and he gets a tingle up his leg.
Really not complicated.
@NonyNony: Re: the Mormon/SBC link: This is all really funny, considering that it wasn’t too long ago that the SBC held their yearly purgefest in Salt Lake City (I was there for that one – interesting times). Here’s a Slate article about some of the SBC/Mormon tussles (2007).
Of course, Richard Land is nothing if not adept at talking out of both sides of his mouth.
I think I read something in Forbes, through a bloglink from sonewhere, in which Beck said that he was simply an entertainer, and if you believed in any of his act, then you were just a fool. Anyone remember seeing that? It was a while ago I think.
@Carol: Can you imagine getting your nose out of joint over what Southern Baptists think about your religion ?
I agree with a lot of that, but I don’t agree that the opposition of divine authority to human reason is “quite a new line in the sand.” I think Copernicus and Galileo experienced that opposition very truly.
There are modern conservatives — theologians and political philosophers — who have theorized their way to maintaining (or renewing) exactly that opposition, in what they view as the age of post-Enlightment decadence. But it’s inaccurate to say that’s what’s motivating the average Tea Party activist. I think many of them are operating, and understanding themselves, through melodramatic unreason.
It’s in this way that Beck is their prophet. Start with emotions like fear and anger, and then rationalize by channeling them through the bare bones of an apparent theory about the Founding Fathers and a socialist president bent on destroying the country. Lard the theory well with scary abstractions about the darkness that’s headed our way (which means practically something like, we all need to learn to garden and can food like our grandmothers did).
The political effect of this so-called “movement” must be the immediate concern for anyone paying attention. I think it’s accurate to regard it as a thoughtless, nostalgic, gauzy, media-based version of GOP fusionism. If Beck has his way, the anti-tax zealots will develop a fresh horror at American’s moral decline, and the pro-life movement will stamp out any internal approval of expanded government spending (even on “pro-family” programs).
He could, but I was under the impression that his wife actually took the whole Mormonism thing seriously. Which would put a crimp in the whole thing because my understanding of LDS teaching is that if you apostate like that your family is supposed to shun you (admittedly that might not be actual teaching – my understanding of mainstream LDS comes from a few years of living in Utah, a bit of reading and some Mormons I’ve met outside of Utah. The folks in Utah are the only ones I knew who did the whole “shunning” thing so that may have been cultural rather than an actual church teaching).
OTOH – if his wife is as serious about her religion as he is about his, then you’re probably right and he could set himself up as an “independent Mormon”. Whether there would be enough of an audience for such a figure – even if it were Glenn Beck – would be anyone’s guess though. Mainstream Mormons might be discouraged from listening to him while conservative non-Mormon Christians would definitely be discouraged.
I still think he’s better off staying political and covering himself with religion rather than moving to being religious with political activist overtones. But then, Beck isn’t exactly known for carefully considering all options and making rational decisions, so who knows…
@PTirebiter: Well, it’s not just the Southern Baptists. most of the talibangelicals (Dobson, Colson, others) share similar views of Mormons, and they make up a huge chunk of the GOP base.
It’s hard to turn on a dime and vote for and work with people you’ve been characterizing as Jim Jones writ large for the last 100+ years.
Has he noticed that being an Abrahamic religion hasn’t done much for Islam in the eyes of the aforementioned SBCtaliban?
lol. excellent point (cf., talking out of both sides of his mouth, Land, Richard, above).
Unrelated, this number caught my eye:
Mexico’s federal police force is smaller than the NYPD? No wonder they’re losing against the drug cartels. NYPD is covering 8.4 million people and 305 square miles, Mexico’s federal police are covering 105 million people and 742,000 square miles.
I disagree with that. Or, better, I don’t think it’s the whole story. Beck is promoting a very specific political agenda and a specific political Party.
That’s all I’m interested in, not his motives, but his objective, and his objective aligns with Republicans.
Read the article. Religious conservatives recognize him as a political ally. That’s what I’m interested in, because it’s 1. true, and 2. it’s the only way anything he says or does is going to ever have anything to do with me.
I hope this is all windy fury and signifies nothing. The fact is that these people are bigots and don’t even understand Christianity nor actually follow it. I hope they are trounced at the polls this November and that real democracy and tolerance actually flourish in this nation.
They’re upset because they see the demographic trends and resent the fact that they no longer will be the center of power in the United States or that their power is being diluted.
Meanwhile, Caribou Barbie and Mr. CriesSoWell Beck egg on the crowd with greater and greater falsehoods, coopting their anger at their evisceration by the financial and political elites of this country and directing it at the other, with the label attached to that other as Muslim/Gay/Liberal, basically anyone who isn’t white and Christian and Republican.
I would argue that Beck & Palin & Co. are actual traitors, guilty of treason against the United States because they are wink winking at sedition and encouraging it by statements about Obama not being an American and stating “Real Murkins” only are white and Christian and Republican. They are sowing the seeds of a second civil war and they should be ashamed.
I honestly wonder how they sleep at night. When more blood starts flowing because their idiotic followers have attacked another mosque or someone for looking different, I wonder if they experience guilt or even understand how they might be responsible.
A pox on both their houses. They are the anti-American ones, demagoguing the mob into a frothy furor. They should be ashamed but I doubt they even are even momentarily aware of that emotion since every shred of evidence points to them being petty awful people in fully in thrall to the power of their narcissism.
So what do we do? Other than proudly proclaiming the *REAL* values of this great country and fighting bigotry whenever we see it?
I’m not interested in Beck’s soul, or his theology, or his career, even.
The only part of Glenn Beck that has any relevance to me is how he might achieve his political objective.
That’s where I come in.
And with your bad knee you shouldn’t be throwing anyone.
I agree with this also. It it reinforces my belief that Beck is not as dumb as liberal commentators describe him. Beck is very sly and very aware of how to move people. Much of what he says does not make much sense to us but makes way too much sense to the audience he is talking to. Part of Beck’s journey is is own self-discovery — as he sees how he has the power to move people he becomes more grandiose and at the same time more paranoid — like an ever expanding empire in fear of overreaching and being unable to control its borders.
Go soak your head.
Lonesome Gantry Rhodes.
They’ve already got the Wall St. gang back in the big tent since Obama hurt their feewings and said mean things while shoving money at them.
They’ve somehow convinced the libertarians that this time, they really and truly promise to get around to maybe doing something about that government thing and bring around the Galtian paradise.
They’ve gotten the Tea Party patrol on board by conning them into thinking that the 11 trillion in debt they racked up was really racked up by Democrats, that the economic crisis they presided over was Obama and Pelosi’s fault (also poor minorities eating steaks instead of paying the mortgage and gubmint regulations.) Also, Mexicans are taking their jerbs.
So now they’re going to work on the religious folks by promising that, by God, this time they’ve really had the road to Damascus moment and will finally start getting around to getting rid of the Muslims, prayer in schools, outlawing abortion, and making sure everyone knows that the United States was founded as a Christian nation.
In short, the GOP is still full of crap. Still peddling the same crap they spew every election year, and people are still lapping it up because they want to believe.
Our entire political system is a giant bloody con played upon the American people by the parties that continue to do well under the status quo regardless of which party of idiots is currently officially ‘running’ the State.
Of course, I should say that right now, I suppose I would still vote for the Democrats on the sole basis that they seem less likely to start a war with, let’s say, California, than the GOP.
@Martin: There is a separate Mexico City police force, so, and there are tons of state and local police elsewhere. New York has lots of police, but not too many National Guard or FBI forces patrolling, right?
The federal police would be along the lines of an FBI / Marshalls / Super-corrupt ultra-assassinationy force.
(The federales have long been famed for being unaccountable, deadly, corrupt forces. A few years ago President Zedillo after yet another shocking revelation of federal police force corruption and violence demanded to know how many agents there were in the federal police force; the head of the agency declined the offer to tell the President.)
@catclub: Probably couldn’t hear a black man, donchaknow.
Beck doesn’t want to be a politician — too confining, and it involves all that boring policymaking.
I’d say Beck wants to be the next Jesus Christ. He’s not content to be popular — I really think he wants to be worshiped.
Edited to add: you know, without the actual poverty and being killed ‘n’ stuff.
Does everyone’s comment await moderation like mine is doing? Boo.
I’m not sure what further evidence you would need of a methodical plan than the revelation of the methodical plan, which is what’s outlined in the story.
The leaders of the religious Right that Beck contacted are also political leaders, because that’s how the Republican Party works. I think we have 30 years of evidence on that.
I think Beck has a political objective so he (quite naturally) is trying to bring in a very important part of the GOP base. I don’t think he’s any more complicated than any other non-elected GOP shill.
Very good point. Everyone who thinks Beck is eyeing any kind of elected office just needs to remember one thing: Rush Limbaugh has *never* held elected office.
@arguingwithsignposts: I don’t know, selling the blood libels for a 1,000 years wasn’t much of an obstacle when the time came to make common cause with AIPAC.
licensed to kill time
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Glen Beck is the Anti Christ. Simple as that.
That’s a fair point, you’re probably right in that he doesn’t want to hold office. It would be easy to know how to oppose his agenda if that was the case, by mobilizing and voting against him.
Since that isn’t the case, what we really need is a convergence of liberal voices and liberal/moderate religious folks to stand up and say, “You don’t speak for us, that’s not the Christianity we know and we won’t stand for it.”
Liberals shouldn’t cede the religious ground to conservatives because the moral right tends to be on the liberal side more than the conservative.
Are there any moderate/liberal voices out there that could make a morally persuasive argument to those people who are truly religious but are being duped by Beck & Palin et al?
I’m in the group that this is not part of an effort to get Republicans elected. Beck keeps veering off the game plan, and his minions force candidates through the primaries that the vested interests don’t want. Like the Tea Parties themselves, they’re theoretically allies, but attempts at coordination completely fail.
He’s been going more and more towards religion for awhile, and tying himself more and more closely to the following he’s built up, as well. It might be an attempt to actually finally corral the Teabaggers into the GOP fold again by turning them to ‘social issues’, but I see a different explanation.
Beck is a histrionic con man with a drug abuse background and a tendency towards bizarre life-changing episodes in his personal life. This really just looks to me like the process where a con artist starts to believe his own game. Beck’s getting delusions of grandeur.
I liked Beck better when he was just Rush Limbaugh-lite. Years ago, I’d hear him on the radio and even though I disagreed, I thought he was one of the few quasi-reasonable conservatives on radio. Now I see him on TV, and all I can think is, “With all this paranoid crazy talk, that’s not chalk dust on his hands.”
I’d say Glenn Beck is L Ron Hubbard redux. He writes really bad books, is largely unaware of reality, and suffers from delusions of divine grandeur. All he needs now is Tom Cruise hopping up and down on his couch.
Sadly, no. There are plenty of moderate/liberal Christians who try. Even some who are members or former members of the SBC. But they’ve been purged just like the “moderate” Republicans, so all that is left in the pulpits and pews are the close-minded and the easily persuaded.
To give you a taste of the mindset, I am reminded of a quote from a sermon by John MacArthur (talibangelical extraordinaire), who remarked (paraphrase) “People say you need to have an open mind. No, there are something about which you should *not* have an open mind.”
So having moderate religious folk like James Dunn of the Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty say something contradictory just won’t even get through the doors, much less penetrate their ears.
ETA: I only know this because I were one.
kommrade reproductive vigor
Father forgive him, he knows not he is biting into my market share.
@El Cid: Well, my point was the scale of the group responsible for dealing with the problem at hand. A similar drug cartel problem would go to FBI/DEA/ATF with backing from the national guard, but I’d like to think that if we had a problem on the scale that Mexico is having, we’d be putting up a stronger force than Mexico appears to be offering.
@Paris: Actually, that’s Mr WereBear’s take, and it’s truly eerie how he fits better than any other contemporary figure I can think of.
Also, how much of his audience knows Beck is a Mormon?
@Martin: Mexico: 34k fed police, population 100M
US: 28k FBI employees (12k agents), population 300M
That’s about right. And like with Hubbard it started out as a con and then he got sucked into his own illusion.
It would be a miracle only if they didn’t crap on anyone/thing.
Meanwhile the nuts over at the Great Orange Satan are circulating petitions to end the filibuster. Two months before an election where poll after poll after poll shows an ever-increasing bloodbath for Democrats. (a situation which seems to be completely ignored by almost of the progressive blogs and media who are more than happy to stick their heads in the sand and blather on about Glenn Beck and the mosque-versery)
August J. Pollak
No offense, but are you freaking serious?
Occam’s Razor would cut hydrogen atoms at this point. He wants to make a lot of money and guess what? Angry, scared and ignorant religious wingnuts are abundant in this country. Have you seen some of those midwestern megachurches?
He’s not the next Billy Graham. He’s the next Jimmy Swaggart.
I’m with the group that says the, when it comes to theology, Glenn Beck has no idea what he is talking about. I’m a United Methodist minister, studied theology/Biblical studies at Emory and Duke universities and have read a little of the “liberation theology” that Beck so flippantly throws out. Beck does not know what liberation theology is, at all. If Beck wants to try to get in the intellectual ring with folks like James Cone, Jurgen Moltmann, Gustavo Gutiérrez, et al, let’s see how he holds up. Not to mention theologians in the feminist tradition: Elizabeth Johnson, Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, Rosemary Radford Reuther, Mary McClintock Fulkerson, et al. And we haven’t even scratched the surface of the theological work that these folks are drawing from: Karl Barth, Karl Rahner, Paul Tillich, the Niebuhr’s, plus many others. And Beck, I’m certain, would not be able to have a cogent discussion about Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Zwingli, or further back, Aquinas, Augustine, back to the early church fathers and mothers.
Beck is out of his depth in a major way here. You cannot read a few books or articles, talk to a few idealogical fundamentalist pastors and think that you have the theological ammunition to engage a thinker like James Cone. Or Jim Wallis, for that matter. Glenn Beck as NO idea what he is talking about when he utters the word “theology”, much less, “systematic theology”.
Just my opinion.
However, the above could easily be applied to any garden-variety televangelist or fundamentalist preacher, when it comes to theology specifically. And the complexity of theology as an academic discipline doesn’t stop loud mouths from spouting off about it as if they’re experts. So there’s that.
There had to be some non-Christians at that rally. I wonder if they felt any discomfort at Beck’s vision of a Christian America, or if they’re so fed up with that *@#$ in the White House, they okay with being excluded.
I never dreamed anybody as dumb, transparent and wimpy as Beck would get this far so, to me, it’s frightening as hell.
I’m afraid everyone here agrees that Beck knows bupkis about theology. The problem is, Beck knows bupkis about everything, and it just doesn’t matter. He’s able to name a few books, throw out a few terms, and reference the odd fact or quote. Now, his faithful would have believed anything he said and ignored actual experts anyway, but now they also have an excuse to claim that Beck is the actual expert and everyone else is wrong or lying.
They’re utterly closed-minded. It’s one of the pillars of the movement. It might be THE pillar of the movement.
I’m sorry that you stumbled onto this thread that isn’t on the topic you are so concerned about. Perhaps you could shit on us more. Maybe that will convince one of the front-pagers to post on it.
So, can the ratfucking start please. Every conservative, christian teabagger needs to know that Beck is a Mormon and therefore a false prophet and a heretic.
Liberals and moderate Christians simply will not work because you’re coming from a different standpoint.
Typically, liberal Christians do not believe that the bible is the literal word of God, as much as they believe that the bible contains the word of God. So immediately there are theological differences which will make fundamentalist Christians suspicious of any political message you try to extrapolate from your understanding of scripture.
The ideal spokesman for political change would be an evangelical conservative Christian who focuses more on building the Kingdom of God from the ground up (via individual conversions, evangelism, and good works/community involvement) instead of trying to build it from the top down (via government).
I still think he has a long way to go before he brings the evangelical crowd to his side. This statement is from Russell Moore, Dean of the School of Theology and Senior Vice-President for Academic Administration at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary:
No matter how hard he tries, they will never let him shake loose of his Mormonism. Never.
Along with fear and surprise, … and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.
You hit the nail on the head. “Christianity” is an almost infinitely complex, well, organism. Even within the broad stream of Protestantism, you have thinkers as varied as James Dobson and Stanley Hauerwas (I cannot think of two more diametrically opposed Christians than these two). There is no one “Christianity”. And, upon further reflection, Beck is speaking not to Christians or Americans, but to a certain group of individuals that are targeted by the Southern Strategy. These are the folks that have left the mainline protestant churches in droves to join mega-churches (or they just left). They’re the ones who harbor fears that Obama is the antichrist or insist that you can be arrested for being a Christian, or swear persecution is rampant in our country.
And it’s such a volatile mix of fundamentalism, hyper-individualism, racism, nostalgia, and ignorance that it seems to me that just the right spark will light the powder keg. I’m praying for a drastic upswing in the economy, but I’m afraid we’re in for a bit of a rough patch. I’ll do my best where I am to preach peace, kindness, gentleness, etc.
The Other Chuck
Glenn Beck emits semi-random noises that include syllables he memorized that make him sound smart. Then he points at the black president, hops up and down, and screeches. This is all he has to do, and therefore all he knows how to do.
Glenn Beck wishes he were Billy Graham.
Billy Graham was quite charismatic and I have been thankful several times that he went into the ministry rather than into politics.
He is apparently still alive, BTW. About 92 years old.
Billy probably met several Elmer Gantry wannabees during his life and managed to not get tangled up with any of them. He might not endorse Glenn Beck.
Now Billy has a son who took over the ministry some years ago. I think the son is an opportunist and might even be a charlatan. Maybe the son and Glenn can join forces.
That would be a marriage made in . . . .
raises hand. That was me. But I’m an Obot & take exception with calling Obama anything but Mr president.
Liberal history professors:
Studying history can make a liberal out of you, possibly because the Establishment in every era was supported by lies.
It was my study of history that persuaded me that Marx was right.
Notice how familiar they are with comfy chairs.
“I think, therefore I am.” [Descartes]
No, I don’t think that Descartes had the whole answer to your question but he did have the beginning of the answer.
And now you do, too.
Glenn Beck and Liberation Theology:
Lay person here, with no formal theological training.
But even I know that Liberation Theology is not about what you have the right to expect to be given but what you have a duty to give.
Glenn Beck is wrong, wrong, and wrong. Not only that, he is mistaken.
Impressive! Were you there for the entire rally? Were people friendly to you, or was there antagonism?
“And it’s such a volatile mix of fundamentalism, hyper-individualism, racism, nostalgia, and ignorance that it seems to me that just the right spark will light the powder keg. I’m praying for a drastic upswing in the economy, but I’m afraid we’re in for a bit of a rough patch. I’ll do my best where I am to preach peace, kindness, gentleness, etc.”
I’m not a religious man at all but all i could do was say “thank you jesus for this man and those like him”
Etiquette-wise, it’s just as valid to call him Mr. Obama since he’s not a king and the title of president is a temporary one that he’s only supposed to be address with while he’s actually in office.
Of course, everyone in the media constantly violates etiquette by referring to ex-presidents as “President” or “Mr. President” when only the current president is supposed to be given that title, so I can’t really expect them to know that rule. But Miss Manners and I know the truth. ;-)
I am not persuaded. Two things.
For the last couple of years, liberals on blogs have been telling me that evangelicals like Mike Huckabee formed an alliance with Israeli hardliners because Mike Huckabee believes that when Jesus comes back, Jewish people in Israel are going to convert to Christianity.
I don’t know a thing about the “end times” story, but that’s the Gospel I got from liberals on blogs. That’s the rationale behind that alliance.
So theology isn’t really a problem. Fundamentalist Christians have no problem with differences there, because the members of the alliance who don’t share their faith will simply convert.
The whole point of being an evangelical is to witness. This is from my personal experience, living and working in a rural conservative area. I’m a Democrat, I have never given the slightest indication that I was interested in joining one of their churches, yet I regularly get completely sincere invitations. In my experience, if I have either a business or personal relationship of any length with an evangelical Christian, it is just a matter of time before I get the pitch. Always. An ice cream social I should go to. A women’s prayer breakfast I might like to attend. Well-intended, not obnoxious, but it always comes. It’s a part of who they are.
Beck’s followers are clearly searching for something. I don’t know why evangelical Christians wouldn’t welcome them into the fold. They already agree on politics, and we know they don’t require a theological match to form a political alliance.