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Reverend Glenn Beck And The Easily Led

August 29, 2010

I read the New York Times article on the group that met yesterday in Washington, D.C. led by the Reverend Glenn Beck.  I have many thoughts and responses to the story, and the mission of the latest pastor-in-chief for the conservatives. 

This was written about a women called Becky Benson.

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

Becky Benson, 56, traveled from Orlando, Fla., because, she said, “we believe in Jesus Christ, and he is our savior.” Jesus, she said, would not have agreed with what she called the redistribution of wealth in the form of 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.” 

If Becky was one of those who claimed not to have been to a Tea Party rally, she sure had the teabagger lingo down!  But when one can only parrot what others say, there is not much to be surprised at when such comments are made.

The very first thing that struck me after reading Becky’s words was a verse from Matthew.  No, I did not know the exact chapter so I did a google search and it comes from 19:24.  Even though I might not have been able to source it at once from memory, I knew the words and the meaning.  Becky clearly did not.

Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

The sad thing about the type of conservatives that gathered yesterday in D.C. is that they have been led by fear, and then act accordingly.  On Saturday they all acted like they might be in church.  No one was fooled who watched it on television.  Beck stood before them and used the language of his television show to lead them to a conclusion that matches with his objectives.  He wants to foment distrust, resentment, and anger.  Then he wants to mobilize it.  He is smart enough to know what he is trying to achieve.  Those on the mall seem not to be aware of the role they play in his passion play of politics.

These are the same types that crammed into congressional listening sessions and ranted and screamed, trying to shout down  a member of congress.  They are the ones who  lament health care for everyone, or federal assistance for those who have been struggling for many months while unemployed. 

Saturday they bemoaned the lack of faith or honor in the nation, as if they knew exactly what that meant.  The undertone of a black president who continually gets cast as a muslim is never more than a whisper away.   They may not have understood the message, but the rest of America got it at once. 

Looking at the crowd  Saturday it was not hard to imagine some of those on the mall being only qualified to mow that black man’s lawn.  Therein lies some of the undercurrents of anger that runs through the white gatherings.  

Let us be honest about the obvious, and what mainstream reporters can not say about the group that met on Saturday.   These folks were not the most educated voters in the nation. 

I just am making an honest assessment after reading and watching news reports over the last 24 hours.  Reverend Beck has found a group of Americans that can be counted on in these nervous times to agitate and get reaction from.  If I were to poke a caged bear, I would get a reaction too.  Beck wishes for a podium to meet his ego, and is using his skills to go for a segment of the nation that follows rather than leads, as they have little choice.

8 Comments
  1. Patrick permalink
    August 31, 2010 9:09 PM

    Thanks.

  2. August 31, 2010 12:07 AM

    I think my post is very clear. I said exactly what I felt, and wanted to say. Perhaps I was too direct.

    For more of my thoughts in a nutshell….and I would not do this for too many others….

    The old Beck message was the same in that it was a white audience of tea party types that think all government should be reduced to the lowest possible impact on society. That was made clear by his message about the power of one. It was a clear call for less government. He would have you think that everyone can make their own way in the world.

    I for one smirked when he tried to convince the crowd that he was not part of the hate that has developed in the nation due to his rot that he throws around on his TV/radio show. For him to think he could sell that snake oil when he put on his pious face for the folks on the mall….well, only the ones there who are easily led swallowed that line.

    I knew he was very wrong when he tried to make others think that America was founded as a Christian nation. But had Beck ventured into deism or the enlightment as to how the Founders made God and country merge he would have lost all the crowd.

    I will however give him credit as he did mention the word mosque in his sermon when he was trying to get folks to follow up on their beliefs.

    If I may jump ahead I do think it interesting that the folks he was trying to get in bed with may not want him. Right-wing Christians and Mormons do not mix. He had mentioned hours before his sermon that Obama’s religion was “a perversion of the gospel of Jesus Christ as most Christians know it.” Let Beck start talking about his faith, and Mary, God, and sexual intercourse and see who is considered to perverting the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  3. Patrick permalink
    August 30, 2010 11:18 PM

    Again, I ask, what did Beck actually say at the rally that was an “old” political message? You are always commenting on how your ideas are based in reason and your deep understanding of history, but the post is nothing but a personal attack on Beck and the people who attended the rally. While this may qualify you for a job at the NYTimes, it certainly does not match the level of thinking and understanding you claim to be looking for. Why not just write: “Beck and the people at the rally are stupid” to be concise, then. Personally, Beck is wierd to me. His antics don’t often strike me as sincere. But to offer such comments as you have here without specifics–aside from the one cherry-picked by the NYTimes hack–is deeply flawed. Who cares what books you read if this is the deepest your thinking goes?

  4. August 30, 2010 8:44 PM

    Patrick,

    First, that was no more a religious gathering than a bunch of kids who play basketball are NBA stars.

    It was a political gathering to elicit a political response. Period.

    That is exactly how it should be treated. That is how it was treated on my blog.

    I do not see the folks gathered at the Saturday rally as religious. Not al all. They were there for political motives. So when I wrote of them in the way I did it was not aimed at religion. It was aimed at the political event. It was aimed at the Tea Party.

    Having friends in Madison who are Muslim, and knowing what they think and what they share, I do care about the way things are playing out in this nation. As a lover of Arab history and a many decades long advocate of a Palestinian homeland you can rest assured when it comes to these issues they in fact are most genuine.

    There was nothing new in Beck’s message to comment on. It was the same thing stated in perhaps a new package. But the center of it was the same. He was playing to the same crowd as he has over many months now. Nothing new to report on.

    That may upset you, but that is just the simple truth.

  5. Patrick permalink
    August 30, 2010 6:58 PM

    Why is it so hard for you lefties to stomach a religious gathering? What are you so afraid of? The theme that runs through your comments is the deep distrust religious people–they are dumb and afraid. And yet, you criticize anyone who appears to be islamophobic–not because you care–but because it fits your rhetorical game. Do you have any reaction to what Beck actually said, or is your mind limited to cheering on some bigot from the NYTimes? Where is the depth of thought?

  6. jerry permalink
    August 30, 2010 6:33 AM

    It was not a tea party event so you are wrong there. It is clear you did not watch it and the information you have is from typical left wing media. It is sad that in America when people gather to worship pray and honor there are small narrow minded groups of bigots who will attempt to belittle ridicule and lessen the message. This very post by the Blogger here shows what is really wrong with America, and it is not people like Glenn beck but those who live their life in fear of God and refuse to accept that religion is the strength that holds America together.

  7. Andrew Bryan permalink
    August 29, 2010 11:55 PM

    That’s what I hate about these far right, self promoting, demagogues- they use the cover of religion and J.C., combined with an ignorant audience, to promote their agendas. Then when you critically and accurately criticize them their sheep -to -the -slaughter- flock react as if you are attacking their god and savior.

  8. Vail permalink
    August 29, 2010 3:18 PM

    It’s so weird. When I was growing up my ultra religious family thought all Mormons and Catholics were going to hell. Now they’re all linking hands together and talking about the Muslim Armageddon that’s coming. The sad part is I think if Glen Beck told them that the Alien Mother Ship was behind the Muslims they’d believe him.

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