First, let me say that I think the world of Glenn Beck. He is on my Mt. Rushmore of Conservative Heroes along with Ronald Reagan, Rush Limbaugh, and William F. Buckley, Jr. as the four men who have done the most to secure the republic in my lifetime. One of the things that I love about Glenn is that he loves to learn as much, maybe even more, than he loves to teach. As a matter of fact, while I think he approaches teaching as a duty, I suspect he actually finds it, at times, burdensome.
The Saturday before the reelection of Barack Obama, my wife and I had the chance to speak to Glenn Beck for a few moments and found him to be incredibly kind and very humble. Since then, many things have changed in the country; and I thought to myself, if I had that chance again, what would I ask?
I do think Glenn is an honest man, and so I don’t think that he’d take the following as a challenge to his character; at least that is my hope. So here goes:
ONE: If Gandhi or MLK Jr. were Chinese, would we even know their name?
I’ve heard you say on a number of occasions that we should emulate MLK Jr. and Gandhi in their ideas of peaceful resistance to tyranny. But Glenn, isn’t it true that these two guys led successful movements because of who their opponents were even more than who they themselves were? In other words, if Gandhi and Dr. King were in Tiananmen or even Tahrir Square leading peaceful protests, isn’t it more likely that we’d know them like we know “tank-guy,” as a nameless/faceless/voiceless victim?
Don’t take my word for it; take a trip for yourself to Gandhi’s house and regard the banner on the front veranda. The one that sports the quote from Bertrand Russell: “It is doubtful that the efforts of the Mahatma would have succeeded except that he was appealing to the conscience of a Christianized people.”
When the evangelist Ravi Zacharias saw this sign, he was stunned by the irony that “the home of Gandhi, the pantheist, displayed a banner quoting Russell, the atheist, who said the former’s efforts would not have succeeded save for the theists.”
Now tell me, dear Glenn, do you believe that Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett, and Eric Holder are closer to the worldview of the British Colonialists, the American segregationists, or the Red Chinese and the Muslim Brotherhood? I’ll hang up now and wait for your answer.
TWO: What would you think of an Austrian or German man who in 1934 fantasized about killing his “leader?”
Would he be a paranoid, homicidal conspiracy nut or a visionary who just saw things quicker and clearer than Dietrich Bonhoeffer? What if he thought the NAZI Party was not a legitimate party, was an enemy to the motherland, and needed to be fought against with all possible contingencies? And what would be the difference between that man in 1934 and Dietrich Bonhoeffer in 1941?
Simply put, do you disagree with John Adams when he wrote in A Defence of the Constitutions of Government, “The right of a nation to kill a tyrant, in cases of necessity, can no more be doubted, than to hang a robber, or kill a flea. But killing one tyrant only makes way for worse, unless the people have sense, spirit and honesty enough to establish and support a constitution guarded at all points against the tyranny of the one, the few, and the many”?
THREE: If Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, and Thomas Jefferson were here today, what would they be saying, writing, planning, and doing?
I think it’s doubtful that they’d be going to a “Tea-Party” golf outing. I think these were more serious men. These were the sons of Issachar. Maybe you can ask David Barton — off the record of course. And while you’re over at David’s, you can ask him about the real Thomas Jefferson, not the one that you’ve carefully crafted as a justification for being AWOL on the moral issues of our day. Or to put it as a question:
FOUR: How’s your leg mending, and did you get your wallet back?
When it comes to the Rainbow Crusaders and the scourge of abortion, Glenn is remarkably detached. Somehow this is a Libertarian value, I suppose, and that’s his prerogative. But it does drive me a bit batty when he implies that our founders in general felt the same way and that Jefferson in particular would be, I don’t know, to the Left of Penn Jillette on the issue.
When it comes to same-sex marriage, Glenn consistently downplays sexual anarchy as a threat and quotes Jefferson as saying if “It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg,” then it is, apparently, not a serious issue. The problem with that is that Beck cannot possibly believe that.
Glenn is too smart to believe that! Not to mention his close relationship to David Barton, who could easily “straighten” him out on the issue. For that matter, Rabbi Lapin’s lesson on Baal should have had Glenn “butt-shifting” over his self-justification of apathy in the face of the greatest religious freedom issue of our day. You see, Glenn has to completely “butch” history and reality to arrive there.
The quote by Jefferson was about atheists and pantheists, not about sexual perversion. The full quote is, “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”
Surely a historian of Glenn’s caliber knows that the guy who wrote a bill calling for the emasculation of homosexuals would probably side with those who believe that the issue is one that may break a few legs and pick a few pockets. That’s right; Jefferson, like Washington, was convinced that homosexuality was a serious affront with serious consequences that shouldn’t be ignored.
I wonder if Catholic Charities would agree with Glenn, that the gay mafia hasn’t “broken their leg”? I wonder if the photographers, the bakers, and the bed and breakfast owners who are being sued for not dancing to the tune of the alphabet mafia would think that their pocket has been picked?
A movement that exists by monitoring businesses and individuals for their beliefs and then threatens their livelihood certainly fits the Jefferson quote. A movement that has forced Michael Savage and Dr. Laura off the air for merely holding an opposite view is certainly a threat to free speech and the free exercise of religion. Can’t Glenn tell the difference between his gay friends and the “monster in our midst” that is the Gay-K-K?
While atheism and pantheism will never cause the doors of my church to be padlocked, the hate speech legislation sponsored and spurred on by the sin syndicate most certainly will. By that time, do you think Glenn will take notice? Maybe if he inclines his ear more to Pat and Stu or Rabbi Lapin and David Barton than he does to the Liberal-tarians. Time will tell.
FIVE: Are you hiring?
This may sound self-serving; but my radio show would rock your network, pal! The Parson and The Cleaner at www.uncommonshow.com! When do we start, boss?
Photo Credit: The Rocketeer (Creative Commons)