We've moved!

Social Icons

twitterfacebooklinkedinrss feed

Friday, March 12, 2010

Glenn Beck to Madison Christians: Might as Well Be Atheists

While the local Glenn Beck fan club, including District 8 House candidate Patricia Stricherz, presume to lecture me about their piety, their Dear Leader is proving he doesn't know his theology. His equation of Christian social justice with Nazism and Communism leaves Madison churchgoers with very few places to worship. Here's a quick survey of where our local churches and their denominations stand on social justice (I welcome additions, corrections, and more links!):
In Glenn Beck's world, if you go to church in Madison, you're pretty much a Nazi Commie. If my Christian neighbors took Glenn Beck seriously, there'd be a lot more people home reading my blog on Sunday morning. (Wait, maybe you should take Beck's advice.... ;-) )

Fortunately, Christians of all stripes recognize Beck's commentary offends true Christianity:

“What he has said attacks the very heart of our Christian faith, and Christians should no longer watch his show,” Mr. [Jim] Wallis, who heads the antipoverty group Sojourners, wrote on his “God’s Politics” blog. “His show should now be in the same category as Howard Stern.”

Rev. James Martin, an editor at the liberal Jesuit magazine America... wrote on the Huffington Post: “It is not enough simply to help the poor, one must address the structures that keep them that way. Standing up for the rights of the poor is not being a Nazi, it’s being Christian. And Communist, as Mr. Beck suggests? It’s hard not to think of the retort of the great apostle of social justice, Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife, ‘When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist’ ” [Laurie Goodstein, "Christians Urged to Boycott Glenn Beck," New York Times: The Caucus Blog, 2010.03.11].

Even experts in Beck's own professed religion, Mormonism, say Beck is wrong:

Kent P. Jackson, associate dean of religion at Brigham Young University, said in an interview: “My own experience as a believing Latter-day Saint over the course of 60 years is that I have seen social justice in practice in every L.D.S. congregation I’ve been in. People endeavor with all of our frailties and shortcomings to love one another and to lift up other people. So if that’s Beck’s definition of social justice, he and I are definitely not on the same team.”

Philip Barlow, the Arrington Professor of Mormon History and Culture at Utah State University, said: “One way to read the Book of Mormon is that it’s a vast tract on social justice. It’s ubiquitous in the Book of Mormon to have the prophetic figures, much like in the Hebrew Bible, calling out those who are insensitive to injustices. “A lot of Latter-day Saints would think that Beck was asking them to leave their own church” [Goodstein, 2010]

Christian neighbors, if you've been listening to Glenn Beck, you might want to reread that commandment about false idols. Beck profoundly misunderstands and misrepresents the basics of Christianity. He uses piety as a marketing tool. But would you expect any less from a man who converts to Mormonism just so he can have sex?

Bonus reading: Matt Yglesias hits the same theme at Think Progress. Hey, doesn't his name mean church?


  1. Social Justice is little more than the definition of the inequalities in society as being an evil thing that should be eliminated. The insidious part of this is how easily it is interchanged with the christian desire to willingly help people so that they end up spouting the "Social Justice" terminology themselves even though the two ideas are nothing alike. Cory's post itself is a litany of how this is true. The terminology social justice can be found spread through churches even though it was originally the language of Father Coughlin in the 30's (Fascism) and Karl Marx himself.
    So yes, there is a link between the social justice movement and Nazism and Communism. Whether there is a link between the social justice movement and social justice mentioned on church websites is another matter (I doubt churches are in general supportive of the idea of forced redistribution of wealth and property) This is where Glenn has boarded the crazy train.

  2. "This is where Glenn has boarded the crazy train."

    I think that train left the station with Beck a long time ago.

  3. Cory,

    When you use the "Cory code words", "local Glenn Beck fan club", I naturally assume you are taking yet another stab at me... as usual. So I guess I shall take it upon myself to address your latest diatribe.

    First, I would like a single example of a time that I have ever lectured you of my supposed piety.

    Did you take a 45 second YouTube clip or an article by a liberal blogger to use as the basis for your article? Had you actually listened to Glenn's three hour radio program, he fully explained what was meant by that.

    Socialists tend to use vague, innocuous terms, like "economic justice" or "social justice" to reel people into their beliefs. If people really understood what those terms meant, they would, in most cases, outright reject them.

    To a Marxist, the term, "economic justice" means forcible redistribution of wealth by means of the collective. Churches often latch on to this phrase because they believe it means something entirely different. Churches do redistribute wealth. They do so in a number of ways: hospitals, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, battered-women and children's shelters, etc... Christians, however, believe that money generation for these redistributive acts should be a free and charitable choice. One should ask a church that uses the term whether it was an ignorant oversight, or whether it is rooted in Marxist theology.

    The same holds true for the term "social justice". The words "social" and "justice" used independently are harmless, and generally viewed as good. However, when those words are combined and rooted in Marxist theology... they take on an entirely different meaning. To a Socialist, the term lends itself to correcting social ills by "legal" and coercive means. For example, black people were wrongfully treated and enslaved in this country. To correct this, the "good" Socialist will engage in "affirmative action" (yet another innocuous term) to take opportunity and money from the perceived oppressive group and give it to the perceived victim in the form of preferred school admissions, grants and student loan qualifications, and preferred jobs in lieu of more qualified candidates. Socialists tend to ignore the fact that the perceived oppressive group never wrongfully treated or enslaved (I do not wrongfully treat people of different color, nor have I owned or advocated slavery...) the perceived oppressed victims. (How many of these "victims" were slaves?) How does the notion of "social justice" fit any true and accurate definition of justice?

    Again, if a church espouses an innocuous term like "social justice", doesn't it behoove us to ask what they mean by it? If they mean it in a Marxist/Socialist sense... should we not run from those churches?

    As for your idle "idol" comment... get real! I understand Glenn is a radio and television personality. I do not blindly accept everything that comes out of his mouth as you imply. Sorry! I have some grey meat between my ears... and use it.

    Jason L. Bjorklund

  4. "code words"? You are a club. You are fans of Glenn Beck. It's nothing personal. It's what your group is.

    Glenn Beck made the statement. He's taking a fundamental mission of Christianity and trying to paint it as a Nazi/Commie plot. He's trying to deny the uncomfortable (for him) idea that Christianity calls mankind to serve his neighbor and work social justice on Earth.

    Read Jim Wallis's explanation. Wallis is a Christian of good conscience. He's reading all of Beck's meme games in context and pointing out what's wrong.

  5. Cory said, "Glenn Beck made the statement. He's taking a fundamental mission of Christianity and trying to paint it as a Nazi/Commie plot. He's trying to deny the uncomfortable (for him) idea that Christianity calls mankind to serve his neighbor and work social justice on Earth."

    Again, you miss the point entirely. (...and deliberately?) He is not saying the fundamental mission of the Christian movement is bad! He is saying that some churches have been infiltrated by Humanists, Socialists, Prgressives and Marxists in order to slowly tweak the church's mission to one that suits their own needs,their own beliefs. He is saying that there are enemies within the gates.

    At any rate, have fun bashing me and my group. You will be able to do so with no more resistance from me on your blog. I used to think there was some value to reading your blog. I thought that there was some hope that you could be reasoned with. I was apparently wrong on both counts. The cost/benefit ratio of reading your blog has become far too high.

    Your Ex-Patron,
    Jason L. Bjorklund

  6. Cory: A wicked man is a trouble maker. The trouble maker can not wait to cause more problems or get into more trouble. He delights in bringing dissension, being busy doing the wrong things.

    Proverbs 6:12-19
    A worthless person is a wicked man, walks with a preverse mouth,he winks with his eyes, he shuffles with his feet, he points with his fingers; Perversity is in his heart, he devises evil continually, he sows discord. Therefore his calamity shall come suddenly;suddenly he shall be broken without remedy.

    These six things the Lord hates,
    Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
    A proud look,
    A lying tongue,
    Hands that shed innocent blood,
    A heart that devises wicked plans,
    Feet that are swift in running to evil,
    A false witness who speaks lies,And one who sows discord among his brethren. ( compare Lev. 18:22)

    My response to your lastest post connecting Glenn Beck to Patricia Stricherz.
    I absolutely do not want to see this type of thing again! Writing commentary on candidates, potential candidates or elected officials is one thing. Viciously and ignorantly attempting to ignominy my name from one comment is contemptuous and disturbing, not to mention; it's not one bit fair! Last campaign you called me a secular humanist, funny too you insulting to me. There is a little thing called respect.
    Thank you
    Patricia Stricherz

  7. Jason was wodnering where the lectures about piety were. Thank you, Patricia, for supplying an example.

    "A wicked man is a trouble maker... delights in bringing dissension." So that's how you feel about Glenn Beck? And funny that, after declaring "Glenn Beck rocks!" you seem offended at the notion of even a faint connection being drawn between you and him.

    On the topic: what church do you attend, Patricia? Does your church talk about social justice?

  8. This response was directed to you Cory.
    I would rather be associated with Glenn Beck than a neighbor that believes we deserved what we got in 9/11 and that we created alqaeda, a terrorist sympathizer!


  9. Hmmmm,

    I wonder where I fit. I'm very fiscally conservative. Within a few years, if I were king, I would eliminate the deficit, begin the process of making Social Security and Medicare actuarily sound, and all done without tax increases. I believe government policy should protect life from conception to natural death and do not support gay marriage.

    At the same time, I'm dedicated to social justice, believe in a preferential option for the poor (both privately and in public policy), and believe in general government policy should be tolerant of certain personal behaviour I find immoral.

    I believe Glenn Beck's essential point is many are equating the Marxist/Socialist idea of social justice with the historical concept of social justice (both Christian and what I call "American secular.")

    I also believe many are inappropriately rejecting the historical concept of Social Justice because of the use of hte words by Marxist/Socialist.

    I guess I'm a man without a home. Conservatives won't consider me one of their own and liberals will consider my views repugnant. I guess I'm anathema to everyone.

  10. Troy, don't look now, but you sound kind of like a Libertarian. Fiscal conservative, social liberal.

  11. I have it on the authority of a person I trust that an earlier comment submitted by "Pamela Tomkins" was really submitted by a California attempting to hide her identity and influence the South Dakota District 8 House election. Masquerading as someone else violates the Madville Times comment policy... and renders all of your comments suspect, "Pamela" (or is it Manda?). When you are ready to substantiate your identity as well as your rumors, "Pamela", you're welcome to submit.

  12. By the way, "Pamela", before you resubmit, please consider the following response to your earlier post:

    No, "Pamela", you don't get to hide behind language about your "perspective" and your "opinion." You have asserted certain statements as fact. You have called into question the character of a public figure. You are entitled to do that, but I have asked that you provide proof of the facts you claim. To claim certain statements are true palces the burden on you to prove them, not to say, "Oh, well, go find the records yourself." You have obviously obtained said records; you can share those records. Otherwise, it sounds like you are simply seeding rumors and trying to fabricate authority by attributing them to "public records".

    "[Y]ou must have been somehow related to the candidate in order to feel so defensive." Wrong again. I'm not related to Patricia Stricherz at all. I'm rooting for her to lose the upcoming election and plan to vote for both of her Democratic opponents, just as I did in 2008. I'm not defensive; I'm asking you to responsibly substantiate your claims.

    All citizens are welcome to share their views, but all citizens must be prepared to take responsibility for their statements. You cannot drop unsubstantiated accusations about anyone's character and then expect not to be questioned. Such are the rules of fair debate. To level such charges, then run away claiming the halo of "Oh, I'm not confrontational, you're being mean for questioning me" is a cop-out that shows you aren't prepared to defend your claims.

    The comment section remains open to any evidence you'd like to share, "Pamela."


Comments are closed, as this portion of the Madville Times is in archive mode. You can join the discussion of current issues at MadvilleTimes.com.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.