Glenn Beck (further) troubles the water

FOX News warbler and full-time fearmonger Glenn Beck may have completely lost it for good. Last week he urged viewers to flee from churches that preach and practice “social justice,” for such was/is at the heart of Nazism and Communism.

Let that sit for just a second.

Beck said, in part,

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.

Ookay. But what about Jesus? James Martin, S.J., stands behind the plate while this odd little slow-ball’s being pitched and calls it like this:

… Beck is saying something else, which might get lost in the translation: Leave Christianity. Again and again in the Gospels, Jesus points to our responsibility to care for the poor, to work on their behalf, to stand with them. In fact, when asked how his followers would be judged, Jesus doesn’t say that it will be based on where you worship, or how you pray, or how often you go to church, or even what political party you believe in. He says something quite different: It depends on how you treat the poor.

Just so. Or as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., advised,

[T]he Christian gospel is a two-way road. On the one hand it seeks to change the souls of men, and thereby unite them with God; on the other hand it seeks to change the environmental conditions of men so that the soul will have a chance after it is changed. Any religion that professes to be concerned with the souls of men and is not concerned with the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them, and the social conditions that cripple them is a dry-as-dust religion. Such a religion is the kind that Marxists like to see – an opiate of the people.

Mr. Beck appears to be creating logic which is perfectly opposed to itself, both in the spirit and letter of Christianity. Not only that, he’s yelling “Fire!” in the crowded theater of publicly practiced religion – not only for those who follow Christ, but for the innumerable ranks of humanity inspired by their faith to make a difference.

Thank God most of us aren’t listening. But better call the usher anyway.

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  1. Then there is Rush LImbaugh threatening to leave the US if we get any sort of health care package passed through Congress. You can’t make this stuff up. They are desperate – the last gasps of a pathetic group.

  2. Paul Woodrum

    I don’t know why we continue to portray Jesus wearing a white robe. Shouldn’t it be red or at least a lucious shade of pink?

    As for Martin Luther King, we all know he was a commie.

  3. I’m also wondering what he does with the passage in Acts where it talks about the disciples “selling all that they have and giving to all who had need” and that they had “all things in common.”

  4. Michael Russell

    “Tell that Fox,” Jesus said…… Clearly Glen Beck is the Herod of the moment, twisting the scriptures as all the conservatives do to justify their opulent and narcissistic lifestyle, just as the Herods and Pharisees did in Jesus’ time.

    Only someone completely ignorant of the Bible could mouth such drivel.

  5. Peter Pearson

    Neither Glenn nor Rush would like Jesus very much so we are in good company. Justice, mercy, compassion, responsibility to the poor and the marginalized are all things Jesus burned with passion for. I cannot see how anyone reading the gospels misses that fact.

  6. NJPThompson

    Glen Beck should read some Teddy Roosevelt to get his head on straight re VALUES-now available on Google Read. The concepts are simplistic for the most part being 100 years old so Beck shouldn’t have a problem understanding the text. Teddy writes idealistic prose on the role of values and spirituality, character. I find it refreshing.

  7. John B. Chilton

    The only debate about “social justice” should not be pro or con, but how it is achieved.

    If I see a church calling for economic justice, but not practicing itself or directly participating in alleviating social injustice in a significant way, then I have to question its integrity. In short, if the church simply says the government must fix it I have a problem with that.

    Likewise, we should allow for a diversity of opinion of how economic justice should be achieved. The 20th century proved to us that evil that arises both from totalitarian states (be they communist or fascist), and from market economies that are completely hands off. With proper regulation to prevent abuses market economies tend maximize the size of the pie; but they do not achieve social justice. That requires is remediation of inequality of opportunity (e.g., public funding of schooling) and outcome (e.g., income redistribution).

  8. tgflux

    Fr Martin: But Glenn Beck is saying something else, which might get lost in the translation: Leave Christianity.

    Isn’t Mr Beck a Mormon? He’s merely arguing that we should do as his co-religionists did…

    JC Fisher

  9. tgflux

    …that said, it would STILL be great to hear some condemnation of Beck, by other Mormons. [Any follow-up, Torey?]

    JC Fisher

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