The Reality Of Rachel
A biblical take on Glenn Beck
Known for foot-in-mouth disease and a right-wing following, Glenn Beck has come out and instructed Christians to leave churches that have the words “social justice” or “economic justice” on their Web site.
The whole ordeal has included a slew of verbal vomit moments. For starters, after expressing how deeply he believes in the “individual's right to worship,” Beck called the preaching of social justice a "perversion of the gospel."
Which meaning for the word “gospel” could Beck be referencing? Maybe he means it as “good news,” or “glad tidings,” referring to the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ for the forgiveness of our sins. How could preaching social justice pervert that?
Since that makes no sense, maybe he’s referring to the actual “Gospels”, as in the four opening books of the New Testament that detail the life and teachings of Christ (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). He does use a parable as an example for this saying, “No where does Jesus say, ‘Hey, if someone asks for your shirt, give your coat to the government, and have the government give them a pair of slacks.’ ”
Is his argument built on something Christ did not say? If he’s building on the actual version of this parable, is the implication that Christ endorses free enterprise? This diatribe was ignited by a caller complaining his priest said “healthcare is a human right.”
So maybe Beck’s saying Christ is against universal healthcare?
Last time I checked, Christ stayed as far away from endorsing a political movement as anyone could. When asked whether or not it was right to pay taxes, he responded and said, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God,” (Mark 12:17). These are the words of a man who had a message above the political arguments of his day, yet here he is again in the middle of it.
Beck had the perfect opportunity to respond to his caller on healthcare and say something like, “Churches should not endorse a political party,” but instead of focusing in on the fact that universal healthcare is a Democrat ideal, and therefore churches should not take a position on the issue, Beck broadened his scope to include all social justice. Instead of emphasizing a need for separation of church and state, he emphasized a need for separation of church and what he sees as a left-wing ideal — social justice.
God help us all when religious groups give up preaching social justice. Parties aside, this world needs a lot more of it.
As you can imagine Christian groups are outraged at Beck’s charge. When Beck argued that social injustice and economic injustice are code words for Communism and Nazism, even Premier Radio and Fox's money maker (Forbes magazine calculates Beck's annual salary at $23 million per year) may have realized he went too far.
Sojourners Magazine’s Reverend Jim Wallis has challenged Beck to sit down and discuss their differences together. Beck has found himself back-pedaling and clarifying what he meant and today threatened Jim Wallis telling him "the hammer was coming" and that his show had been compiling information on Sojourners. Jim Wallis quickly responded and the invite to dialogue remains.
Whether or not Beck will take it is another story all together, but I imagine this is going to get much worse before it gets any better.
Hear a clip of the first broadcast through MediaMatters below:
Glenn Beck defends his stance: