Glenn Beck continues his attacks on people of faith

Something I’ve noticed about Glenn Beck is that most of his attacks are motivated not by ideology or patriotism, but by revenge and personal petulance. First, it was Van Jones, President Obama’s green jobs czar. Beck began his successful smear campaign against Jones about the same time a group co-founded by Jones called for advertisers to boycott Beck for calling the President racist. Then in March, Beck began his screeds against the Bible’s call for social justice, comparing the Catholic Church and others who call for justice to Nazis and Communists. When evangelical leader Jim Wallis politely disagreed with Beck on his blog and called for a public debate between the two, Beck turned his ire on Wallis.

Beck’s latest target is another liberal faith-based group, Faithful America. They are an ecumenical organization focused on such issues as violence in the public discourse, distortion of Scripture, torture, health care, and climate change. (I have often cited their Faith in Public Life news round-up here at MyDD.) However, Beck's anger seems to come not from his belief that only the right-wing is allowed to think about religion but from his recurring desire for revenge. The group recently launched a radio ad to counter Beck’s distortion of the Bible, quoting Scripture and encouraging “a spirit of love and truth” when disagreeing with one another. They also printed and offered free bumper stickers declaring “Driven by Faith, Not by Fear.” (Mine arrived last week.)

Beck, in typical fashion, was outraged that anyone would suggest the Bible is about love, and tore into Faithful America on his radio show last Friday. As usual, he tried to debunk the group mostly by mocking them, not by being serious. His only substantive critiques were that it partners with other people he dislikes, deletes vulgar comments from its webpage, and doesn’t include the word “Jesus” on its homepage and thus isn’t religious. Because of course, the only proof that someone is religious is their use of the word Jesus – we all know there’s not a single religious Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, or Hindu in the entire world. But seriously, as the name suggests, Faithful America is ecumenical, not Christian. And while Beck is right about their homepage's use of the word “Jesus,” they do in fact have over two dozen mentions of the word “faith” (not even counting their name), as well as seven mentions of “Christian” and numerous links to explicitly Christian organizations (among others).

Faithful America’s response? The same as Wallis’s: they’re asking Beck to participate in an open public debate. They’re not stooping to his level of distortion and dishonesty, but if his reaction to Wallis is any indication, he won’t rise to their level of equality and civil discourse either.

Tags: Glenn Beck, faith and politics, Fox News, Faithful America, Media Matters, christianity, Jim Wallis (all tags)



RE: Glenn Beck continues his attacks on people of faith

Personally, I think the best medicine to deal with Glenn Beck is to ignore him. Reporting on this guy is something more for the more "mainstream media". He exists to incite people, not make thoughtful talking points. (I don't even find this particularly incendiary given that I'm an atheist and would rather see "faith-based" organizations disappear; even in the case of those that work in favor of social justice, I would prefer that they be replaced with secular organizations that aren't going to try to get you to believe in a fairy tale as a condition to helping you.)

by Patrick Garies 2010-07-21 05:00AM | 0 recs
RE: Glenn Beck continues his attacks on people of faith

Faith based organziations don't get people to believe in fairy tales. Athiest organizations do. ;)

But seriously, about Beck, I can't ignore him because he already has a huge audience. And worse, while it's not as big as Rush's or Hannity's, they're more devoted. If CNN and the rest of the MSM didn't let Fox drive their agenda it wouldn't be so bad, but even then he's shown he's capable of getting people like Jones fired. I won't ignore that and just let it happen. Thank God for groups like Media Matters that do little more than point out his words verbatim.

by Nathan Empsall 2010-07-21 02:26PM | 0 recs
RE: Glenn Beck continues his attacks on people of faith

Actually, I should say a note on faith. Many, many faith-based organizations, if not most, have no condition that you share their beliefs to get their assistance, especially not the mainline Protestant and ecumenical (like FA) groups I'm familiar with. It's a shame that some outspoken conservative Evangelicals have tarred all persons of faith with that image.

by Nathan Empsall 2010-07-21 02:33PM | 0 recs


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