You are not connected. Please login or register

View previous topic View next topic Go down  Message [Page 1 of 1]

1 Glenn Beck just doesn't get it!! on Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:49 pm



Christian leader for social change
Posted: August 26, 2010 02:53 PM

Martin Luther King, Jr. Was a Social Justice Christian

This coming Saturday, Aug. 28, will mark the 47th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where King delivered his famous "I Have a Dream Speech." Glenn Beck has chosen this day to deliver his own speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

On that same morning I will be speaking at the dedication ceremony of a work of public art that commemorates the words and legacy of King. It is not a protest. Rather, it is an opportunity to reflect on what this great American had to say and is still saying to our country today. Whenever we take the time to collectively consider what that dream was, we all benefit.

My picture has graced the Glenn Beck blackboard a number of times over the past year. I am quite sure that if the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were alive today, he would have been on Glenn Beck's blackboard long before I would have ever been considered. That is because Martin Luther King Jr. was clearly a Social Justice Christian -- the term and people that Beck constantly derides. If the Christians of King's era had listened to Beck, they would have been forced to walk out on King's "I Have a Dream" speech. If they were to heed his advice to turn in social justice pastors to the church authorities, they all would have had to turn in Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On December 18, 1963, at Western Michigan University, King gave a speech whose topic was "social justice and the emerging new age." If Beck had been there, I don't doubt that he would have gotten up and walked out as he has told his viewers to do if they hear "social justice" from their pastors. It might be foolish, but I hope that as Beck prepares for his rally on Saturday, he takes the time to read this speech and think about what it says. In it King explained why for justice to be just it can not only be individual, but must also be social:

All I'm saying is simply this, that all life is interrelated, that somehow we're caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.

This is why in the Old Testament, God commands his people to be charitable but also to work for justice. The people of God are to give offerings of their own free will, but there are also laws that show the government has a legitimate role to play. As a Christian, I believe that Jesus changes people's hearts and lives, and that is something that government policy can never compete with. But, I also believe that personal charity does not do the work of justice. Here is how King put it in that same speech:

Now the other myth that gets around is the idea that legislation cannot really solve the problem and that it has no great role to play in this period of social change because you've got to change the heart and you can't change the heart through legislation. You can't legislate morals. The job must be done through education and religion. Well, there's half-truth involved here. Certainly, if the problem is to be solved then in the final sense, hearts must be changed. Religion and education must play a great role in changing the heart. But we must go on to say that while it may be true that morality cannot be legislated, behavior can be regulated. It may be true that the law cannot change the heart but it can restrain the heartless. It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me but it can keep him from lynching me and I think that is pretty important, also. So there is a need for executive orders. There is a need for judicial decrees. There is a need for civil rights legislation on the local scale within states and on the national scale from the federal government.

King recognized misunderstandings like this as obstacles to social justice. But, ultimately he was hopeful:

I think with all of these challenges being met and with all of the work, and determination going on, we will be able to go this additional distance and achieve the ideal, the goal of the new age, the age of social justice.

Yes, King named social justice as the goal of the new age. This is why so many Christians were willing to turn themselves in to Beck as Social Justice Christians. It was not difficult for them to choose between King's interpretation of the gospel and Beck's interpretation that I know some in his own Mormon church are not comfortable with.

Did King believe that the role of government was only to eliminate discrimination? No. As he wrote in "Showdown for Nonviolence" in 1968, it played a role in ending poverty too:

We will place the problems of the poor at the seat of government of the wealthiest nation in the history of mankind. If that power refuses to acknowledge its debt to the poor, it would have failed to live up to its promise to insure "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to its citizens. (From A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King Jr.)

Now, Beck and I do have one area of significant agreement. When he spoke about the civil rights movement in context of the debate around health care, he said, "Who were the civil rights marchers? They were people with profound belief in God." This is true. Both Beck and I would probably agree that the most powerful social movements are rooted in deep faith. But he finished that thought saying, "They were trying to set things right. They weren't crying for social justice, they were crying out for equal justice."

Beck's mistake is to somehow think that the two can be separated.

Beck has lied again and again about me and so many others; it saddens me to hear him now trying to rewrite the legacy of Martin Luther King. When you do the work of social justice there are always criticisms, detractors, and those who will slander and lie. But, in the words of Dr. King in 1961 to the AFL-CIO: "Yes, before the victory is won, some will be misunderstood. Some will be called Reds and Communists merely because they believe in economic justice and the brotherhood of man. But we shall overcome."

Beck has continually called me, Sojourners, and many others "communists, socialists, and Marxists" because we call for "economic and social justice." If he were an honest man, he would have to include Dr. King as well.

But King must have been thinking about the Becks of his time when he concluded his speech at Western Michigan University:

In spite of the difficulties of this hour, I am convinced that we have the resources to make the American Dream a reality. I am convinced of this because I believe Carlyle is right: "No lie can live forever." I am convinced of this because I believe William Cullen Bryant is right: "Truth pressed to earth will rise again." I am convinced of this because I think James Russell Lowell is right: "Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne; Yet that scaffold sways the future, And behind the dim unknown, Standeth God within the shadow, Keeping watch above His own." Somehow with this faith, we will be able to adjourn the councils of despair and bring new life into the dark chambers of pessimism. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation to a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. This will be a great day. This will be the day when all of God's children, black [people] and white [people], Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, 'Free at last! Free at last! Thank God, Almighty, we are free at last!'

rosco 357

At Lincoln Memorial, a Call for Religious Rebirth

WASHINGTON — An enormous and impassioned crowd rallied at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial this weekend, summoned by Glenn Beck, a conservative broadcaster who called for a religious rebirth in America at the site where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech exactly 47 years earlier.

“Something that is beyond man is happening,” Mr. Beck told the crowd, in what was part religious revival and part history lecture. “America today begins to turn back to God.”

The rally organized by Mr. Beck, a Fox News broadcaster who has been sharply critical of President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats, had been attacked as dishonoring the memory of Dr. King by being set on the anniversary of his speech. Despite Mr. Beck’s protestations, his event and a much smaller and mainly black counter-rally seemed to underscore the country’s racial and political fissures.

Critics have suggested that Mr. Beck was trying to energize conservatives for the midterm elections in November. Mainstream Republican leaders remain skittish about the group emerging on their right — and the influence it displayed in primary elections Tuesday — and had little to say about the Beck event.

But in an interview aired Sunday, Mr. Beck denied any political motivation — or political aspiration — and shrugged off conservatives’ suggestions that his ability to mobilize so large a crowd made him presidential material.

“There’s nothing we can do that will solve the problems that we have and keep the peace unless we solve it through God,” he told “Fox News Sunday.”

He also expressed regret for having asserted last year that Mr. Obama was a racist with a “deep-seated hatred for white people,” a comment that many critics felt undercut Mr. Beck’s assertion of racial tolerance.

“It was poorly said — I have a big fat mouth sometimes,” Mr. Beck said.

He said he had come to see Mr. Obama not as a racist but as an advocate of “liberation theology,” which he said pitted victims against oppressors. Liberation theology has generally been used in reference to a movement, begun in the Roman Catholic Church in poor parts of Latin America in reaction to social injustice, that some critics say has been taken over by leftists.

The overwhelmingly white and largely middle-aged crowd Saturday was a mix of groups that have come together under the Tea Party umbrella. While Tea Party groups have said they want to focus on fiscal conservatism, not religion or social issues, the rally was overtly religious.

Mr. Beck imbued his remarks with references to God, and he urged a religious revival. “For too long, this country has wandered in darkness,” Mr. Beck said. “This country has spent far too long worrying about scars and thinking about scars and concentrating on scars. Today, we are going to concentrate on the good things in America.”

Mr. Beck was followed on stage by Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate and former Alaska governor. She said she was asked not to focus on politics but did say, in a veiled reference to Mr. Obama, “We must not fundamentally transform America as some would want; we must restore America and restore her honor.”

Many in the crowd said they had never been to a Tea Party rally, but they described themselves as avid Glenn Beck fans.

Even Mr. Beck’s critics acknowledge that he is one of the most powerful conservative voices. With a mix of moral lessons, frequent outrage and a dark view of the future, his programs draw millions of followers.

Chris Wallace, a veteran Washington journalist who interviewed Mr. Beck on Fox, told Mr. Beck that he had never seen a public figure quite like him.

Mr. Beck acknowledged that he was not cut from ordinary cloth. He is a largely self-educated man who took a single college class (at Yale University) before dropping out; a tough-talking critic who frequently breaks into tears; a man now wrapping himself in a religious mantle but whose religion (he is a Mormon) is not considered Christian by some of his ardent followers.

Yet, many of those at the event Saturday said they had been motivated to come by faith.

Becky Benson, 56, traveled from Orlando, Florida, because, she said, “we believe in Jesus Christ,” and Jesus, she said, would not have agreed with the economic stimulus package, bank bailouts and welfare. “You cannot sit and expect someone to hand out to you,” she said. “You don’t spend your way out of debt.”

People in the crowd echoed Mr. Beck’s ideas that “progressives” were moving the United States toward socialism and that entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid must be ended.

“The federal government is only to offer us protection from our enemies and help us when we need it,” said Ron Sears, 65, of Corbin, Kentucky.

The event had the feeling of a large church picnic, with people, many from the South or Midwest, sitting on lawn chairs and blankets.

Washington officials do not make crowd estimates, but NBC News estimated the turnout at 300,000, while Mr. Beck offered a range of 300,000 to 650,000. By any measure it was a large turnout.

“People aren’t happy about things,” he told Fox. “A good number of people are not happy with the direction we’re going.”

Asked whether his ability to mobilize so large a crowd meant that he should be considered for a 2012 presidential ticket with Ms. Palin, Mr. Beck replied, “Not a chance.”

He said he had “zero desire” to be president, adding, “I don’t think that I would be electable.”

Across town, several hundred people, most of them black, packed a football field at Dunbar High School to commemorate Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

“We come here because the dream has not been achieved,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton, the civil rights activist. “We’ve had a lot of progress. But we have a long way to go.”

Referring to Mr. Beck’s event, he added, “They want to disgrace this day.”

3 Re: Glenn Beck just doesn't get it!! on Sun Aug 29, 2010 7:01 pm


I agree with Mr Sharpton,even though I dislike him,.
Beck is a fool,he lets his mouth overload his ass, then cries, I am sorry,he is one sick individual, plus he is a fool,and all who believe and follow him are in that same category. he was ridiculing,MLK and it was political, or miz palin would not be there~ they both make me puke, sorry I am being very blunt..I believe if they are elected to any political office I will move to Canada too!!! LOL

4 Re: Glenn Beck just doesn't get it!! on Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:09 pm

rosco 357

i agree, i dont like either one, i hope the independents can see through all this, the centralist, mostly its the very conservative that follow beck, and i wish a thousand times mcCain had not chosen palin to run with him. it will be the republican primarys to watch close to see if the supper conservatives win over the more moderate republicans to run against the dems,

5 Re: Glenn Beck just doesn't get it!! on Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:17 pm


I believe Obama is being centralist in some cases,more so than liberal. I may be wrong..

6 Re: Glenn Beck just doesn't get it!! on Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:26 pm

rosco 357

i dont think ppl have confidence in obama the way they did with clinton, and its hurting the stock market, but we shall see, hard to tell right now,

7 Re: Glenn Beck just doesn't get it!! on Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:48 am


rosco 357 wrote:i agree, i dont like either one, i hope the independents can see through all this, the centralist, mostly its the very conservative that follow beck, and i wish a thousand times mcCain had not chosen palin to run with him. it will be the republican primarys to watch close to see if the supper conservatives win over the more moderate republicans to run against the dems,
I don't think McCain would have won,whoever was picked/plus McCain did not pick palin//it was chosen for him,kind of like Quayle was chosen by the party LOL

Sponsored content

View previous topic View next topic Back to top  Message [Page 1 of 1]

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum