I was sitting at dinner tonight and it occurred to me that for all of Glenn Beck’s call for all of us to return to church, I had no idea what church he attends. Do you know?
According to the Wikipedia entry about him, Beck was born Catholic and left the church. He is now a member of The Church of the Latter Day Saints or Mormon. No wonder he is so disparaging about President Obama’s religion calling him a follower of liberation theology. If I am not mistaken, liberation theology began in the Catholic Church, the church that Beck left. This obsession is not really new.
In March 2010, Politics Daily reported on a segment of Beck’s show.
On his daily radio and television shows last week, Fox News personality Glenn Beck set out to convince his audience that “social justice,” the term many Christian churches use to describe their efforts to address poverty and human rights, is a “code word” for communism and Nazism. Beck urged Christians to discuss the term with their priests and to leave their churches if leaders would not reconsider their emphasis on 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.”
This is the man who invoked the name of Martin Luther King at the Lincoln Memorial on the 47th Anniversary of the March on Washington. King was a minister and an advocate of all that Beck seems to find evil: economic justice, rights of the workers, redistribution of wealth and democracy.
[Thispicture is the Beck Rally, not the King Rally]
It appears that Glenn Beck is not only ignorant, but also confused.
Today, Kathleen Parker, the conservative columnist for the Washington Post wrote a column titled “My Name is Glenn Beck and I need help” in which she argues that his behavior is clearly that of an addictive personality.
Beck’s “Restoring Honor” gathering on the Mall was right out of the Alcoholics Anonymous playbook. It was a 12-step program distilled to a few key words, all lifted from a prayer delivered from the Lincoln Memorial: healing, recovery and restoration.
Saturday’s Beckapalooza was yet another step in Beck’s own personal journey of recovery. He may as well have greeted the crowd of his fellow disaffected with:
“Hi. My name is Glenn, and I’m messed up.”
Beck’s history of alcoholism and addiction is familiar to any who follow him. He has made no secret of his past and is quick to make fun of himself. As he once said: “You can get rich making fun of me. I know. I’ve made a lot of money making fun of me.”
Covering all his bases, Beck invoked the ghost of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who stood in the same spot 47 years ago to deliver his most famous speech. Where King had a dream, Beck has a nightmare: “It seems as darkness begins to grow again, faith is in short supply.”
Really? When did that happen? Because it seems that people talk about God all the time these days. Even during the heyday of Billy Graham, most Americans could get through 16 or so waking hours without feeling compelled to declare where they stood on the deity.
And the darkness? Creeping communism brought to us by President you-know-who. Conspiracy theories and paranoia are not unfamiliar to those who have wrestled the demon alcohol.
So we have a former Catholic Mormon alcoholic leading the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party. As Parker concludes, “Let’s hope he gets well soon.”