Glenn Beck. A Sheep? Wolf? We Need to Keep Asking Questions.

Alg_glenn_beck

I woke this morning to an unusual site.  I turned on the television and there were thousands of people lining the Capital Mall in Washington D.C.  I thought to myself, "Well, I guess Martin Luther King Jr's Speech was being re-enacted on the 47th anniversary."  But alas, I found something much different.  Interesting.  Potentially, much dangerous. 

Glenn Beck is throwing his 8/28 rally today.  I didn't know much about it, so I decided to Google 'Glenn Beck,' and I got plenty of information about what's going on. 

It seems as though Mr. Beck has taken his radio, television personality and decided to use it as a Bully Pulpit to call the nation back to Godly Principles.  "Finally!" I thought.  There's someone willing to stand up and unite the church in America.  Someone is willing to risk his very life for the concept of prayer, scripture, and God given values.  Can you imagine standing up on the steps of the Lincoln memorial calling America back to prayer in an era where we can't even pray in the public schools without being attacked?  You gotta admit, this is a valiant effort to draw people to God.  But as the Google Search engine gave me more than enough to read, I found some really interesting conversations Mr. Beck has been having. 

I read an article that claimed Mr. Beck called President Obama a racist with a "a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture." (CBS article click here)  And I began to wonder who this guy really is? 

In another article I saw a debate on whether President Obama is a Muslim or not.  Mr. Beck chimes in to say, "Obama is not a Muslim, but some kind of weirdo outsider Christian, or maybe not a Christian at all." (Digital Media Center article, click here)  Interesting. 

I'm certainly not a writer of political events, but this rally seems to have mixed politics and religion in a way that draws my eye.  I'm wondering what kind of Christianity Beck claims to be calling on.  He talked about God, Divine Principles, and even a call from God to do this rally.  So if he's so willing to talk about the God of the President, I started wondering what God Mr. Beck claims to be talking about.  Google certainly didn't let me down.  WOW, was I surprised!

Mr. Beck evidently converted to the Mormon faith in 1999 (Click here to see conversion story).  Evidently the "God" Mr. Beck is claiming to call on may not be the God many Americans are used to knowing and understanding. Much like the controversy surrounding the faith claims by President Obama, It's time Christians start asking who the God is Mr. Beck claims to follow. 

The "God" Mr. Beck is claiming to serve is…

  • On a planet called Kolar
  • Gave birth to 2 sons, Jesus and Lucifer
  • Has Celestial sex with several wives to have spiritual babies that populate the planet
  • Came to earth to have sex with Mary so there could be a virgin birth
  • Historically believes that Black people were a segment of spiritual population unable to side with 'God' when the problem of sin was being introduced to earth.
  • The Same Jesus that was revealed to American Indians after the Resurrection
  • Left golden tablets in Upstate New York discovered by a "Prophet" Joseph Smith
  • Clearly revealed Himself in the Book of Mormon, a book claimed to be 'more true' than the Bible
  • Started a new "Awakening" of the Christian faith called the Church of Jesus Christ of LATER DAY SAINTS.  (In other words, all the saints before smith were early saints.)

(Click here for a Video on Mormon)

Controversy?  I think so!

The modern American society's ability to latch on to buzzwords of "God" "values" "principles" "faith" needs to be tempered by what those words really mean.  It's the same in our discussion with modern day Islam. 

I've been privy to some incredible conversations recently on the "God" of Islam, and the values Muslims are supposed to hold to.  Put in a different cultural context, it's almost as if the same values someone like Bin Laden wants to implement for his culture and his countrymen, are similar to the one's Mr. Beck is advocating, only in our Culture. 

Sure, there are Christians who like to side with Mr. Beck because he has 2 million followers on his daily radio show, and they see his voice as something of power.  He's a savvy businessman who reportedly made over $20 million last year alone.  But does Mr Beck merely use the same buzzwords to entice those who are too lazy to do a little research and see what the words he says really mean?

Evidently so.

David Barton, an outspoken Christian Historian went on record with CNN to say, ""For Christians concerned about Glenn's faith, I would ask the following
questions: What fruit do you see produced by Glenn," David Barton, an
influential evangelical activist who is joining Beck's rally, wrote on
his Facebook page recently. "Good or bad? If you judged Glenn only by
the fruits he has produced, would you still hold concerns over his
faith?" (CNN article Click Here)

So now our faith is limited to the good that we do?  I have many Mormon friends, and I'm ok with them choosing what they want to believe but, Mr. Barton, please!!! 

Those are the same lines Atheists, Agnostics, Muslims, Buddhists, and a litany of other religions have been using for years.  And every time they stand up to say "We can be good members of society, Mr Barton and the apologetic conservative rise up and say collectively "NO!  I guess all those things don't matter if your have a chance to ride the coat tails of one of the most powerful media personalities today.  Or…you might be able to earn a lot more money when you have exposure to 2 million people who have a chance to hear your teachings.   (Glenn Beck, David Barton together Click Here)

I believe in some of the messages Mr. Beck talks of.  Prayer, reliance on scripture, needing to hear God as a core source of our decisions, I understand it all.  I love Mr. Barton's approach to historical Christianity in America.  I've studied Mr. Barton for years.  But should we be careful who we follow?  What God are we praying to?  How do we see following Jesus today in our culture? 

Mr. Beck has had a long battle with another religious political figure, Jim Wallis.  Mr. Wallis has spent the last 20 years trying to help Christians understand the need to look out for the least of these.  His magazine, SOJOURNERS, is a good look at the plight of the poor, the need for equality, and a pretty good journal giving people encouragement to reach out to others different from them.  (Sojourners click Here)

Mr. Beck Disagrees, "I beg you, look for the words “social justice” or “economic justice” on
your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social
justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising
people to leave their church? Yes! If I’m going to Jeremiah’s Wright’s
church? Yes! Leave your church. Social justice and economic justice.
They are code words. If you have a priest that is pushing social
justice, go find another parish. Go alert your bishop and tell them,
“Excuse me are you down with this whole social justice thing?” I don’t
care what the church is. 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 that social justice thing,” I’m in the wrong
place. ~ Glenn Beck"

I humbly insert Matthew 25 Click here.

Of course there are issues with the theology of Mr. Wallis, but who's closer to the heart of God, A man that is serving the least of these, or someone capitalizing on the use of the word God to conservative republicans?  So, here is where we need to be clear to look at issues like Beck and Wallis through the lens of scripture, not political traditions. 

With all the "anti-Christ" messages I've heard from conservatives over the faith of President Obama, where are the cries for theological orthodoxy over this man Glenn Beck?  Are we really ready to extend grace because he looks like us, reads like us, talks like us, and uses religious phrases that entice us to day where we can return back to the foundations of the American Founders?

Why don't we extend the same grace to Former President Bill Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Secretary of State Clinton, and all the others who claim to be godly people?  Is it because we don't share the same political views? 

ARE WE REALLY REDUCING OUR FAITH DOWN TO THE PARTY WE SERVE DEMOCRATS OR REPUBLICANS??

I believe Christians might be on a course of extreme pluralism here that might cause the focus of what we know to believe is right and true presented in the context of the Bible, to be distorted.  Or, even more dangerous, we've started a litmus test for those we'll accept into the fold of faith because of their political party!!  What a sad day when the CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE is belittled to a political faction made by man. 

And what of this day?  47 years ago Martin Luther King Jr. gave his most historically recognized speech, the "I have a Dream" discourse. Today, that celebration is being iconically replaced by Mr. Beck and the 8/28 folks?  How does that line up with our recent concern over a Mosque at Ground Zero? 

Sure we have the right, but is it really a smart thing to do?  Should we build a church on a historical site just because they have the right to?  I've heard Mr. Beck vehemently declare that the right is there in the confines of American law, but the concern for the historical 'hallowed' ground should be taken into context as well.

How can he say those things about Islam, and then turn around the very next month to a call back to America on the very day one of our most influential American figures gave the speech propelling America from a dark time of civil unrest into the place we are today concerning race and rights in America?  I find this grossly hypocritical, and to be honest; at the very least a bit strange.  We're ready to say, "No Mosque" but in the same breath we can move down the coast a bit to do the same thing to another population center of America. 

I'm not a political writer.
I have no interest in picking a fight.
All I'm asking is, as we try to define the heart of God.

Are we willing to sacrifice the very nature of God by following someone who doesn't believe like we do?  Or better yet, are we willing to compromise our faith beliefs to line ourselves up with someone who publicly doesn't believe in the same God?

If you're not a Christian that believes in the sacredness of the Bible, I see you wouldn't have a problem with Mr. Beck.  But I guess, in the context of helping teenagers and college students to understand the truth, I must have the courage to ask, Who is it that we follow?

Will we follow the Christian Jesus? The Muslim Jesus?  The Mormon Jesus?  The Jewish Jesus?  Or no Jesus at all?  Is there a way we can know the Real Jesus, or will we try to mix and match the 'best of' from every tradition. 

For us, here at the Journey, we choose to follow the Jesus that was revealed to us through the sacred texts of the Bible.  We find Him, "…the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For
by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible
and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all
things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And
he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the
firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the
supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and
through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth
or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the
cross."
(Colossians 1:15-20)

He's not a brother of Lucifer.
God on a different planet.
Re-defined lunatic.
Fictional Character.
Native American Manifestation.
Deceiver.

No, the Jesus I know and serve is one who came to unite people under the banner of their creator.  He came so death and disease would cease to exists, and we might enjoy the creation as it was in the beginning.  He gave us a 'best' way to live life on earth, and in following Him, I might also become a part of His family.  And I believe He will return to establish a Kingdom where He will reign for eternity. 

Be careful when you follow men like Mr. Beck.  Even though they might sound good, with good ideas, the Bible is clear, ""Beware of the
false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but
inwardly are ravenous wolves"  (Matt. 7:15)

I'm going to keep my eye on Mr. Beck and I will be honest.  For the good I will call good, but for the part that seems a bit wolfish, I'll be sure to keep asking questions. 

9 Comments

  1. This is an interesting article but the two key points on which you seem to focus are missing some important details.
    The first point is that the beliefs from Beck’s Mormon faith are not in line with other Christians. This is true, but I’ve been listening to Beck for almost 2 years and whenever he discusses religion, he keeps it to the points on which most Christians can agree. I’m Catholic and, while I disagree with many of the diverging ideas of the Mormon faith, I’ve never heard Beck say anything that is specifically Mormon. If he had not directly stated that he is Mormon, I doubt many of his listeners would have ever suspected it. And that’s one of the key points he often makes: Even though we disagree on the details, we can all come together on the principles that we share.
    The other point is with Jim Wallis and the idea of social justice. Jim Wallis believes in the concept of redistribution of wealth and he believes that it is the job of the government to force this redistribution. This is at odds with the teachings in the Bible. The Bible states many times that we should care for the poor and help the less fortunate. But that’s where Christianity parts ways with Wallis. Christianity teaches that it is you who should freely give all that you can to help those in need. Wallis believes it is the duty of the government to take what you have and give it to those who are in need. This is an important distinction. Individual giving of one’s own free will is good…that’s charity. But when government becomes involved the idea of charity is quickly corrupted by power, money, and politics.
    We should certainly be careful about the people to whom we look for information, but a quick search on google is never going to tell you enough of the story to form an educated opinion. All you will see are the stories and opinions written by others.
    And with regards to the date of the 8/28 event, Beck said it was the only weekend he could reserve the mall that wasn’t a holiday when both congress and the president would not be in Washington. If anyone had asked you a year ago, would you have known the date or even the year of the MLK speech? I certainly wouldn’t have. But while hardly anyone could have told you the date, everyone knew that it happened and knew at least some of the words in the “I have a dream” speech. The content was the important part, not the date. So I believe him when he claims that he did not know the significance of the date. It had been scheduled for almost 6 months before even the media realized it was the same date as the MLK speech.

  2. Thank you CG for your input.
    A couple of quick points just to add to the definition.
    1. The Quick Search over Google had nothing to do with opinions. The articles I posted are from main stream media outlets. One of which was Mr. Beck’s Own testimony. So to disregard the information based on the source might be a bit out of sorts. The Internet isn’t just a willy nilly source of information, although as you point out, there certainly are a lot of quacks out there alongside people willing to report real news.
    2. The idea of coming together…believe me, I’m all for coming together. If you spend any time on this site at all, you’ll see a fair amount of time given to highlighting people of all faith brands. I’m not so concerned with ‘where’ someone chooses to worship, rather; I am concerned with what ‘god’ they choose to worship. Mormon to Catholic, that’s a pretty big shift in Worldview. I can supply plenty of resources on Mormonism to show the differences. That doesn’t mean I don’t have Mormon friends, or invite them in when they come knocking, I do. I believe there can be a lot of good that comes out of anyone who wants to believe in a Value Centered way of doing government; however; the alarm comes when Christians try to ride the bandwagon of popularity without asking good hard questions about what ‘god’ Mr. Beck is talking about. That’s my only issue there.
    3. As for Wallis and the Social Justice issue. Wallis doesn’t believe in the Re-Distribution of Wealth, a phrase coined by Mr. Beck, Mr. Hannity, Mr. Limbaugh, and the Fox News folks. That’s a buzz phrase to incite fear in the hearts of all of us who believe in fair market practices. Don’t let them deceive you. Wallis’ issue from the beginning is to help people see the resources we have, the issues that are out there, and help point people to a way of taking care of those we often forget. Wallis doesn’t have any sort of government authority, he’s merely an Advisor to the President on spiritual issues.
    4. We’ve known the MLK date since 1963. To say they didn’t know is either gross oversight, or just plain ignorance. In either case…irresponsible.
    Thank you for your comments CG. The reason I wrote the article wasn’t to start any sort of fight, but rather to wake up American Christians who, once again, are marching to the trumpet call of fear. Every election cycle we see politicians standing up for Abortion, of which they do nothing about, Gay marriage, which they over turn, Socialism, which BOTH parties are actively moving our country toward, and I’m tired of it. I’m tired of Christians who won’t think. We need to be a people who can use our MINDS. Jesus commanded it. (Matthew 22:37).
    Just because someone looks nice, gathers a large following, and speaks the name God, doesn’t mean he’s talking the same talk as you might think. That’s all.
    Thanks again. I really appreciate the time you took to outline your thoughts. That’s how we become people with gentle discourse.

  3. 1. We can get into the quality of the mainstream media another time. But it’s become a cesspool of bias, misinformation, and hatchet jobs against those who disagree with the opinion of the “journalist”.
    2. I’m all for coming together, we can all find things to agree on. Beck has placed his focus on the values of faith, hope, and charity. Which “god” he prays to is not important as long as he remains on that level on which we can all agree. If he were to become outwardly Mormon in his message then his audience would decrease rapidly. One of my favorite quotes I heard from David Barton was originally from Sam Adams, “I’m no bigot, I’ll pray with any man”.
    3. Redistribution of wealth predates Beck/Limbaugh/Hannity/et. al by 150 years. It was proposed by Karl Marx in the 1860’s when he discussed the shifting of economic power from the bourgeoisie to the proletariat. But every communist/socialist government in history that has tried this just ended up creating a stronger ruling elite class and a very weak, substantially larger, poor class. And as for Jim Wallis, redistribution of wealth is something he believes in:

    Note where he states that voluntary, faith based initiatives are insufficient. This should be of key importance to Christians. Those voluntary, faith based initiatives are the best way to get genuine help to those who need it. They do it with minimal overhead and, except in rare cases, without becoming corrupted. When government becomes involved in charity, the amount of money and time that goes toward those in need is greatly diminished, as are the results.
    4. The speech is famous and represents a major turning point in this country. But the date was not widely known, nor was the year. How many people can rattle off the the date of the Gettysburg Address? Or the signing of the Constitution? If it hadn’t been for the date’s inclusion in the famous line of the speech, how many would remember the date of the bombing of Pearl Harbor? I wouldn’t call it a gross oversight or irresponsible. That’s when the mall was available, so that’s when they scheduled it. And Dr. King’s niece was one of the more important speakers at the event. She didn’t have a problem with the date, in fact she wholeheartedly approved.
    You are absolutely right that people need to think for themselves. Too many people just read the latest talking points from their favorite mouthpiece and consider themselves educated. But I think you should take a closer look at Beck. One of the things he most often says is to not take his word for it. He tells his listeners to do their own research, to read the books that agree with your point of view and then to read the books that disagree with your point of view. Too many people in the media treat their audiences like idiots. He actually treats his audience with respect, which was the reason I continued to watch him 2 years ago. I didn’t agree with everything he said, I still don’t, but he provides an honest, educated opinion.
    And you are right that BOTH parties are marching in the same direction at different speeds. It amuses me to see the same people who decried Bush at every turn praising Obama. They have the exact same policies, Obama’s version is just more expensive.

  4. CG, once again, thanks for the comments. I’d love to keep this conversation going as we seem to be two people with great passion for the views we have. I appreciate your time. Please know that!!
    Mainstream media…I agree with you. I think there are too many bias, and that’s why I tried to include as many as I could with links in the article. It seems, the more rounded you can get on an issue, the clearer the possibility for truth. But I understand what you’re saying here.
    Praying with any man…I’m all for that…but I hope you would be willing to pray with Muslims, Buddhists, Hindu, and others who claim to have values as well. I’m with you here as long as we don’t get into some apologetical arena. If we get to the question, “Which God do we pray to” Then we’ve got another matter all together, and I think it would behoove all those people who think Mr. Beck lines up with them theologically to take a step back.
    I’m well aware of the history of socialism, as I teach teenagers to distinguish between differing Worldviews. I’m also well aware the ploy to scare people by using the words “socialism” and “re-distribution.” Thanks for the YOUTUBE on Wallis. I hadn’t heard those lines before. I’m going to do a little more research on those things now. I appreciate you keeping it honest here. I am interested in his quote that the Bible doesn’t condemn wealth, but the gap is disturbing. A question for another time.
    The Date of the speech, I have to hold my ground here. If we’re not able to reach out and recognize the important dates in our history then we cease to think. It is the responsibility of anyone to see what historical significance happens at any given site, especially the capital mall. From my understanding, Mr. Beck is a historian, so to think he didn’t know?
    Ok…let’s say he didn’t. After it was made apparent history to the historian, Why didn’t he invite all the African Americans to celebrate the day with him. Why didn’t the platform include a comemoration to Dr. King. If we’re all in it together, it would have been nice to see people from all walks of life, not just political activists who just happen to be figureheads for a rising government takeover. (Which, in our current state of affairs, seems like a good idea.)
    I wrote at the end of the article I’m going to watch Mr. Beck now. I’ll look into what he’s all about. I’m not opposed to given the guy a chance. All I’m asking is that we use our heads, and instead of lining up a leader that talks well in front of people…:)…maybe we need to do a little more investigation.
    Again, I’m so thankful for your comments. I appreciate the discussion. It’s only as iron sharpens iron that we can truly voice opinions that matter. Thanks.

  5. As far as lining up theologically with Beck, I really don’t think that is something anyone is trying to do. I mean, there may be a few people, but not on a large scale. He had an event on 8/17 that wasn’t available to the public, only on his website to subscribers, unless you were able to get tickets to attend. But he had religious leaders from 11 different faiths/denominations giving sermons. All were Christian, except for the first speaker who was Jewish. He had the best reaction from the crowd but he wasn’t mic’d in observation of Shabbat so I have no idea what he said.
    There were numerous mentions of MLK during the event, particularly during Alveda King’s speech. There was also a speech by Rev. C.L. Jackson, who stood with Dr. King in 1963. And there were as many African Americans on stage as there were whites. In the crowd, all were welcome. But there was absolutely nothing political about the event and Beck was adamant about that. There were no political signs, no political speeches, and the only political speaker was Sarah Palin. I’m no great fan of hers but she was there as the mother of a soldier, not a politician, and her speech reflected that.
    I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on the date of the event. I enjoy history and I have trouble remembering specific dates so I can’t really blame him for something that I could see myself doing. I agree that our history is extremely important and there needs to be a greater focus on it. From listening to David Barton over the last few months, I think there needs to be an even greater focus on getting it right. And while the dates are important, the content is more important. In school there was far too much emphasis placed on dates. Knowing how events are connected, the significance of them, and how decisions were influenced and made are more important than the date. If you can remember the date, that’s good, but focus on the other event first.
    I do have to disagree about socialism. It’s not just a buzz word, it needs to scare us. More than 100 million people have been killed by attempts to make socialism work. The Holodomor in the Ukraine under Stalin, the Holocaust in Nazi Germany, the Killing Fields in Cambodia under Khmer Rouge, Mao in China. And all of these started with nudges, they didn’t just explode overnight. We need to be aware of this and not allow ourselves to be nudged in the same direction that has always, without exception, ended very badly. And you are right that there are significant gaps between the rich and the poor. But the poor in this country are still among the wealthiest people in the world. That’s a sad statement but it also says something profound about how much better capitalism, freedom, and limited government are than anything else that has ever been tried.
    Redistribution of wealth should should illicit similar concern, because it is a nudge toward socialism. The gap between the wealthy and the poor cannot be fixed by government. Historically, when the government gets involved in economic issues, the gap increases. Look at the countries with the biggest gaps, they tend to have “big governments”. The best way to improve the gap between rich and poor is to decrease the amount of government in our lives. Allow our economy to strengthen and allow our citizens to become more wealthy. Wealthy Americans tend to be very charitable and they further strengthen the economy by creating businesses and jobs. A strong American economy benefits the world. Despite the anti-American sentiment we often hear, the American people are always the first to offer assistance when it is needed anywhere in the world. From an economic standpoint, we cannot fix the world and end the gap between rich and poor. But forced redistribution of wealth will only cripple our economy, making us less able to do anything to help the poor around the world.

  6. Once again, I’ll begin with Thanks. Thanks CG for continuing to enlighten me on the nature of Beck’s rally. I’m happy to hear there was some significant emphasis on MLK’s speech. That’s a great way to honor the intent of moving our culture into a place where we are today. I do think dates are important. Imagine if there was a Muslim rally in Bethlehem on December 25. Or what if the Christians decided to throw feasts through the month of Ramadan? Or what about all the Jewish festivals, they are certainly not without dates. We can’t just throw the significance of the date Mr. Beck chose under the bus and call it innocent. He’s a well calculated media personality interested in pushing his agenda. It might be a good agenda, but it’s an agenda nontheless. And to just dismiss the significance to chance…I’m just not willing to think they didn’t know what was going on.
    As for the Socialism concept, it wasn’t Socialism that killed all those people, it was the lack of Christian Principles concerning the value of life. The core of the problem with man made socialism is the fragility of life. Sharing stuff with people is a concept we teach our three year olds. It’s elementary. But when forced sharing results in the elimination of social classes, that’s genocidal in my book.
    Thirteen French Philosophers collaborated on a book called “The Black Book of Communism” that outlined the reasons for all the major conflicts you name. The more real number according to them was closer to 300 million. So we’re in agreement there, we certainly can’t allow the mass destruction of humanity to happen because of a certain worldview or idea.
    However, to see Socialism already a part of American life, one only has to veer to medicare, pensions funds, welfare, and all the government programs designed to reach out and help people that already exist. I agree, without the concept of a creator we’re in deep trouble, but I think there might be a better rally cry than “Run from the Socialists.” Upon careful analysis of true socialism, America already enjoyed much of what socialism begins to implement way before President Obama. He’s just been the one to wear the label.
    And, if we’re going to compare apples to apples and use a sociological system as a yardstick for who kills more innocent people, travel to Iraq, Afghanistan, Cambodia, or back to the various wars you mentioned. My point is, there have been a lot of innocent killing on the hands of western capitalistic idealogues as well. We just choose to not see that side of it, because it’s OUR culture, OUR way of life, and OUR good vs. their bad. (BTW, I’m not anti-American. I think free markets are the way to go. I’m not a mole in the socialist camp, at all.) All I’m saying is, when the innocent are lined up and counted through the lens of a culture massacre, we need not compare one to the other because we’ll find the system we believe in just as guilty.
    I think there’s a better way to look at this problem. If we look at it through the lens of faith and fundamental values, that’s why America tends to be the most giving nation in the world. Absolutely we show up first in the major tragedies around the world. We do take care of more people than any other culture, but it’s not because we are capitalists. We show up because we have a fundamental understanding through the lens of a Judeao-Christian foundation that life is important. We take calamity and see hope at the end, because of our training at an early age. Whether you believe in God or not, we have ingrained in this country a belief that at the end of the line there is hope. That hope only comes from our historical understanding of Jesus’ death, burial, and subsequent resurrection. When Jesus reconciled death and disease here on the earth, it was the beginning of giving hope. It’s a part of our DNA.
    We’ll never find the solution to the world’s ills through a man made economic system, or a political agenda for that matter. The only answer to these problems is going back to seek the teachings of Jesus. After all, if Jesus is God, He should have the answers for the creation right?
    And this is where it becomes an important issue with Mr. Beck. I think He understands there must be another way. I’ve listened to him for the last two days on the radio, and I do believe he’s interested in taking us back to a value system. But if it’s Mormon Jesus he’s asking people to follow, that’s quite another Jesus than the one I read about in the Bible.
    So just so I’m not mis-understood…
    I believe America is the greatest country on the planet…ever.
    I think the free market capital system, as far as systems go, is the best one, if we have to choose one.
    I don’t think the answers are going to come through the system.
    I don’t think religion, politics, or media personalities are the answer.
    I believe Jesus and His way…the Jesus of the Bible…the Jesus described by Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, and James, is the only way to understanding God and the creation He made.
    Thanks again for your comments. I enjoy the discussion. I hope you have as well.
    As for the Socialism concept, it wasn’t Socialism that killed all those people, it was the lack of Christian Principles concerning the value of life. The core of the problem with man made socialism is the fragility of life. Sharing stuff with people is a concept we teach our three year olds. It’s elementary. But when forced sharing results in the elimination of social classes, that’s genocidal in my book.
    Thirteen French Philosophers collaborated on a book called “The Black Book of Communism” that outlined the reasons for all the major conflicts you name. The more real number according to them was closer to 300 million. So we’re in agreement there, we certainly can’t allow the mass destruction of humanity to happen because of a certain worldview or idea.
    However, to see Socialism already a part of American life, one only has to veer to medicare, pensions funds, welfare, and all the government programs designed to reach out and help people that already exist. I agree, without the concept of a creator we’re in deep trouble, but I think there might be a better rally cry than “Run from the Socialists.” Upon careful analysis of true socialism, America already enjoyed much of what socialism begins to implement way before President Obama. He’s just been the one to wear the label.
    And, if we’re going to compare apples to apples and use a sociological system as a yardstick for who kills more innocent people, travel to Iraq, Afghanistan, Cambodia, or back to the various wars you mentioned. My point is, there have been a lot of innocent killing on the hands of western capitalistic idealogues as well. We just choose to not see that side of it, because it’s OUR culture, OUR way of life, and OUR good vs. their bad. (BTW, I’m not anti-American. I think free markets are the way to go. I’m not a mole in the socialist camp, at all.) All I’m saying is, when the innocent are lined up and counted through the lens of a culture massacre, we need not compare one to the other because we’ll find the system we believe in just as guilty.
    I think there’s a better way to look at this problem. If we look at it through the lens of faith and fundamental values, that’s why America tends to be the most giving nation in the world. Absolutely we show up first in the major tragedies around the world. We do take care of more people than any other culture, but it’s not because we are capitalists. We show up because we have a fundamental understanding through the lens of a Judeao-Christian foundation that life is important. We take calamity and see hope at the end, because of our training at an early age. Whether you believe in God or not, we have ingrained in this country a belief that at the end of the line there is hope. That hope only comes from our historical understanding of Jesus’ death, burial, and subsequent resurrection. When Jesus reconciled death and disease here on the earth, it was the beginning of giving hope. It’s a part of our DNA.
    We’ll never find the solution to the world’s ills through a man made economic system, or a political agenda for that matter. The only answer to these problems is going back to seek the teachings of Jesus. After all, if Jesus is God, He should have the answers for the creation right?
    And this is where it becomes an important issue with Mr. Beck. I think He understands there must be another way. I’ve listened to him for the last two days on the radio, and I do believe he’s interested in taking us back to a value system. But if it’s Mormon Jesus he’s asking people to follow, that’s quite another Jesus than the one I read about in the Bible.
    So just so I’m not mis-understood…
    I believe America is the greatest country on the planet…ever.
    I think the free market capital system, as far as systems go, is the best one, if we have to choose one.
    I don’t think the answers are going to come through the system.
    I don’t think religion, politics, or media personalities are the answer.
    I believe Jesus and His way…the Jesus of the Bible…the Jesus described by Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, and James, is the only way to understanding God and the creation He made.
    Thanks again for your comments. I enjoy the discussion. I hope you have as well.

  7. I’ve enjoyed this conversation as well! I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree on the date. But I will say that the feasting and fasting periods of all the faiths overlap quite a bit. Ramadan is not based on our calendar so it moves around every year. I know the major Catholic feasts, before and after Lent, fall in the middle of Ramadan every few years.
    As I read your response, I think we agree on just about everything. I think the only place we really diverge is on the definition of Socialism and how much socialism overlaps with charity. While, on the surface, there may appear to be a sense of charity and equality in socialism, that simply does not exist. When you dig deeper into socialism, you start to see that the underlying principle is to produce a better society. This does not mean that everyone has a place in that society. You see this in the idea of eugenics, which became a major part of Fabian socialism and the progressive movement in the United States. The idea of eugenics was to breed out the lesser, unfit people in society. The events I mentioned were not wars, they were exterminations of those who were deemed unfit for the greater society they sought to produce. Where eugenics sought to secure the future of a better society, those leaders (Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao, etc.) decided to speed up the process. And Marx actually called for this type of genocide. Socialism was seen as a natural progression out of capitalism. But Marx stated that those societies which had not yet made their way to capitalism were “racial trash” that needed to be eliminated. They were considered to be too far behind to be brought up to the socialist revolution. It was not a lack of Christian ideals that resulted in genocide by socialist governments. It was the fact that socialism calls for this. In the last few years, the idea of socialism has been watered down. It is a political system that is based on the idea of producing a best possible version of the human race. Here is George Bernard Shaw saying as much:


    You point out that genocide is not restricted to socialism and you are absolutely right. Every type of government imaginable has been guilty of similar crimes. But you cannot compare capitalism to socialism. Capitalism is an economic system and socialism is a type of government. If you look at the places where genocide has occurred, the one thing they have in common is a government with too much power. Despots, monarchies, theocracies, republics, socialist states, and every other conceivable type of government, when given too much power, the result will always be the same. If Christian morals are in place this end result may be delayed, but all it takes is one crazy person to gain enough power and the whole system will collapse. You elect one Stalin, one Hitler, one Mao, one Che and they will surround themselves with like-minded individuals. Then all of that power given to the government will be in their control. And that’s when the attrocities we’ve talked about begin to occur.
    So just to distinguish where we are in complete agreement, it’s that charity is a good thing. It is absolutely necessary and important. BUT only when it is done by the individual. When government attempts to be charitable, it can only become corrupt and unsustainable. The idea of charity is to help those in need to better their lives, to give them a starting point to work towards bettering their lives. This can only be done in the private sector, through individuals and churches. When it is attempted by the government, it becomes a welfare state. Where people are dependent upon the government to sustain themselves. This is NOT charity, it’s oppression.
    You mention medicare, pensions, and welfare as being some of the benefits we enjoy from socialism. But take a closer look at these things. They are unsustainable. Here was Beck taking a look at pensions using the system for California firefighters. He starts talking about the pensions around 6:00 minutes in. But the summary: It takes 19 firefighters to pay for the pension of 1 firefighter. And then when those 19 firefighters retire, it takes 352 firefighters to pay for those pensions. This is how all pension plans work and it is completely unsustainable. And Medicare works the exact same way.

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