Didn't have the time/will yesterday for Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally? Neither did we.
Someone did, and found that Beck is positioning himself to receive a mantle he may not be prepared to bear.
Among those surprised by all of conservative TV host Glenn Beck's recent religious talk - including at Saturday's Washington rally, where Beck said that "America today begins to turn back to God," - is the Rev. Richard Land, a Southern Baptist leader.
"I've been stunned," said Land, who directs public policy for the Southern Baptist Convention and who attended the Saturday rally at Beck's invitation.
"This guy's on secular radio and television," Land said Saturday, "but his shows sound like you're listening to the Trinity Broadcasting Network, only it's more orthodox and there's no appeal for money ... and today he sounded like Billy Graham."
As for what actually kicks this up,
"Something beyond imagination is happening," he told participants who packed the National Mall in Washington. "America today begins to turn back to God. For too long, this country has wandered in darkness."
He struck a spiritual tone throughout the day, saying his role was to wake America up to the backsliding of principles, values and most importantly, faith. Earlier, he said "God dropped a giant sandbag on his head" to push him to organize the event.
"Look forward. Look West. Look to the heavens. Look to God and make your choice," he said. "Do we no longer believe in the power of the individual? Do we no longer believe in dreams?"
"Dreams?" Where have we heard that before? Oh, yeah ... that's right.
Perhaps it has something to do with so many conservatives frequently behaving insensitively. Consider Glenn Beck's so-called Restoring Honor Rally, for which he just so happens to have booked the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for Saturday, the 47th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Civil-rights organizations typically commemorate the massive civil- rights demonstration and Martin Luther King Jr.'s iconic "I Have a Dream" speech there on that date.
Beck says the event will "reclaim the civil-rights movement," from progressives who have hijacked it for their redistributive agenda. The original March on Washington, like the civil-rights movement more generally, saw economic justice (hence "jobs") as inextricable from legal equality. It was an inherently liberal cause. Beck can disagree, and say that the two goals are separable, as indeed he does.
But to claim, as he recently has, that economic justice was not a concern of the civil-rights movement, and that liberal political leaders who are popular among African-Americans are "perverting" the cause, is both demonstrably false and deeply disrespectful to the African-American community. Beck says he and his overwhelmingly white followers "are the inheritors and protectors of the civil- rights movement." This is as direct a provocation to civil-rights activists as it would be to conservatives if Keith Olbermann said that he and his viewers were the inheritors and protectors of Ronald Reagan's legacy.
Since many this morning are either headed to or already in church (that's the good-old Midwest for this blogger), remember while you're there to pray for the powerful to see the light and to act according to the responsibilities entrusted them.