Saturday, March 13, 2010
Religious leaders speak out against Beck
Because they are fundamentalists, certain factions . . . oppose preaching a social gospel that attempts to make a relation between Biblical teachings and social problems. Thus they are often critical of the favored liberal social legislation of the National Council of Churches. . . .
The above paragraph is taken from a section about the John Birch Society in the book, The Far Right by Donald Janson, 1963.
Nearly 50 years later Glenn Beck's rants sound eerily identical to this right-wing extremist group. Goose-stepping along with the JBS, this fountain of lies and distortions "has suggested any church promoting 'social justice' or 'economic justice' was using code words for Nazism and communism."
I beg you look for the words social justice or economic justice on your church Web site," he said. "If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. ... Am I advising people to leave their church? Yes! If they're going to Jeremiah Wright's church, yes!
If you have a priest that is pushing social justice, go find another parish," he said. "Go alert your bishop and tell them, 'Excuse me, are you down with this whole social justice thing?' If it's my church, I'm alerting the church authorities: 'Excuse me, what's this social justice thing?' And if they say, 'Yeah, we're all in on this social justice thing,' I am in the wrong place.
Later, Beck held up a picture of a swastika and one of a hammer and sickle, declaring again that "social justice" has the same philosophy as the Nazis and communists and that the phrase is a code word for both.
A small group of churches and religious leaders are speaking out against this poor excuse for a human being. Hopefully there will be a louder outcry as congregations gather to worship this weekend.
The strongest voice against Beck so far has been that of the Rev. Jim Wallis, CEO and president of Sojourners and an evangelical leader.
When Glenn Beck is asking Christians to leave their churches, the Catholic Church, the black churches, Hispanic, evangelical, to leave all our churches, I'm saying it's time for Christians to leave the Glenn Beck show," he said. "This offends Christians. This is salt, something at the heart of their faith. It's something many of us have spent our lives trying to do, to practice.
Urging a boycott of Fox and requesting an invitation to appear on Beck's show for a little friendly chit-chat, Wallis said, "What do you say about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., what do you say about Desmond Tutu, about Mother Teresa, what do you say to the reverends and rabbis who gave their lives to social justice because that is their faith?"
The Rev. Canon Peg Chemberlin, president of the National Council of Churches of Christ USA, commented:
It's very disturbing," she added. "He's speaking on behalf of his political views and trying to take out of the biblical text the things that are going to oppose his political views. This is primarily a political motivation. ... It's not that Christians haven't been Nazis and socialists, but we're not talking about political parties here. We're talking about 2,000-year-old gospel.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which Beck his family are members, "suggested Beck's comments did not necessarily represent its position." In a kind of wet noodly way, the church issued a statement that read, "Public figures who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints represent their own views and do not speak for the church."
We can hope that just like a pimple, one day Beck will pop open and ooze away.