Keep your talk show off my church

Once upon a time the name “Glenn Beck” didn’t mean anything to me. Despite the fact that I am both a Mormon and a political conservative, I have historically had a hard time remembering who exactly Glenn Beck was. Sometimes I would remember that he was a political commentator but not that he was a Mormon, and sometimes I would remember that he was a Mormon but not what he was famous for. This is probably because Glenn Beck is a television personality, and I don’t watch television. I don’t say that in some snobby way like, “Oh, I decided it wasn’t worth the cost of cable just so I could watch Antiques Roadshow and the occasional History channel program.” No, it’s because I find enough on the internets to amuse and debase myself with, so watching television would be a little gratuitous, wouldn’t it? So I have never watched Glenn Beck’s program. But since joining By Common Consent and thereby becoming a fully engaged member of the Mormon blogging community, I have been reminded on a regular basis that a) Glenn Beck is a right-wing nutjob and b) he’s a Mormon, and that’s just embarrassing. And now I can no longer forget who he is. Thanks a lot, Mormon blogosphere!

So now I know that on his March 2 broadcast Glenn Beck told his listeners/viewers that they should leave their churches if those churches preach a thing called “social justice.” According to Beck, “social justice” is code for communism and Nazism. So if you are a red-blooded American who values individual liberty and you hear the words “social justice” uttered at your church, you should start church-shopping right away. (Free markets: they’re not just for health care anymore!) Here’s an excerpt from what was undoubtedly a long-winded speech:

I’m begging you, your right to religion and freedom to exercise religion and read all of the passages of the Bible as you want to read them and as your church wants to preach them . . . are going to come under the ropes in the next year. If it lasts that long it will be the next year. 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!

Now, the biggest reason I never comment on anything Glenn Beck says is that I don’t believe in criticizing people (or defending them) without knowing the context of their remarks, and familiarizing myself with the context of Glenn Beck’s remarks would require me to actually listen to his show, something I have zero interest in doing. However, when you have Glenn Beck urging folks to leave their churches in the interest of maintaining religious freedom, attention must be paid. So I listened to an available audio clip, which, frankly, did not make a heck of a lot more sense to me than the quote above did, but it did include Beck’s assurance that he would be willing to leave his own church if it started preaching this social justice crap. Well, that’s certainly big talk for a Mormon, who is about as likely to hear the words “social justice” over the pulpit as he is a plug for Lucky Strikes. So color me impressed as far as that goes. But ultimately, as a religious conservative, I must denounce Mr. Beck’s remarks.

I’m not going to chastise Glenn Beck for opposing church efforts to help poor people because I know that’s not what he meant to oppose. Glenn Beck is just one of those folks who consider “social justice” to be interchangeable with “socialist government.” Those folks include many on the left, as well as paranoid right-wing nutjobs. Social justice, while it has its roots in moral theology, is not a term that’s often used by religious conservatives because it is so readily associated with left-wing politics, for a good reason. Religious progressives enjoy using the Gospel to promote their political ideals as much as the next person. Secular progressive movements also invoke the concept of social justice. Don’t think that just because I used to get Glenn Beck confused with David Archuleta that I must be ignorant on all political fronts. The fact remains: if your church advocates social justice, it doesn’t necessarily follow that it’s a Communist plot.

Many people base their progressive politics on Christian teachings about our obligation to the poor. (Jesus said a lot about serving the poor, after all, and he was relatively silent on government regulation.) But there is a difference between a moral ideal itself and a particular political application to serve that ideal. Small-government conservatives don’t believe in conflating the two, and we should be extra-careful about making the distinction between social and political ideals if we’re going to rail against “social justice” as a political euphemism. A smart conservative draws this distinction every time the subject comes up to avoid looking like a completely heartless lunatic.

But that’s not the biggest problem I have with Glenn Beck’s remarks. It’s that he has the chutzpah to tell people that they ought to leave their churches if those churches espouse ideals that scare him. Leaving aside the fact that “social justice” has more than one possible meaning and application, given the diversity of religious traditions that talk about it, let’s just play pretend for a minute. Let’s imagine that some popular talk-show host said that “protecting marriage” was code for “anti-gay bigotry,” and if your church won’t reconsider its emphasis on protecting marriage, you should leave that church. Or, alternatively, that “sanctity of life” was code for “controlling women’s bodies,” and if your church won’t back off on the “sanctity of life” issue, you should leave that church. I don’t know about anyone else, but I can decide for myself if my church supports a creeping totalitarianism and whether or not the good my church does–for me, my family, and my community–outweighs any particular political concerns I might have. That’s my business, and you really must have a lot of nerve to suggest that the concerns of my soul should come second to your political agenda. If I weren’t (allegedly) a Christian, I’d tell you to [jump in a lake].

No one ought to know better than a religious conservative that churches and religious folks have a right—some would say even a responsibility–to advocate policies that are morally in line with their beliefs. Since this is America, not everybody forces their morality down other people’s throats in the same way. When Glenn Beck warns me that my right to exercise my religion and interpret the scriptures as I see fit will “come under the ropes” if social justice is allowed to run amok in the pews, I just don’t know what he’s talking about. I suspect that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. So why is he talking at all? Why is he telling people to run at the merest mention of “social justice” instead of articulating the conservative vision for fulfilling the Biblical mandate to serve the poor and afflicted? If anything, the Book of Mormon is even more insistent on our obligations to the poor, so if Glenn Beck wants to contribute to the Mormons Are Christians cause, he should stop giving the impression that social justice is an ideal for Commies.

I can’t say that I ever lose any sleep over what a Mormon celebrity says or does. I don’t feel embarrassed by Glenn Beck because if someone wants to judge me or my church based on what some jive-talking loudmouth on the TV said or who won American Idol, there’s not a lot I can do about that. I believe that most people’s opinions of Mormons are based on their experiences with Mormons they actually know, which is why I’m more concerned with the lady in my ward who uses the N-word than I am with Glenn Beck. Personally, I find it very easy to ignore him. (Pleasant, too. Certainly more of you should try it.) But I thought the Bloggernacle could use some more diversity in its anti-Glenn Beck posts, so here it is: I’m conservative, I’m a Mormon, and Glenn Beck doesn’t represent me.

Keep your talk show off my church

Comments

  1. But I thought the Bloggernacle could use some more diversity in its anti-Glenn Beck posts, so here it is:I’m conservative, I’m a Mormon, and Glenn Beck doesn’t represent me.

    Huzzah! Hurrah! Hallelujah!

  2. Marry me, RJ.

  3. Glenn Beck is a clown. Why pay him any mind?

    He’ll strut and fret his hour upon the stage and then will come the day when he is heard no more. His is surely a tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing.

    Put him on permanent ignore and move on to something that matters.

  4. Patricia Lahtinen says:

    Well written, enlightening, and activating… Thank you, Rebecca.

    I appreciate that there is a “difference between a moral ideal itself and a particular political application to serve that ideal.” However, considering myself a progressive, I admit to being ignorant of what conservative social justice, the political application to meeting the needs of the poor, looks like in a small-government sort of way.

    -Patricia

  5. Rebecca, you are a fantastic author and a fantastic person. Thanks for a great post.

  6. Maybe this was not his intention, but Bro Beck could have a lot of people without churches on his hands. He might have to lead them.

    We should email him John Hamer’s post–just in case he’s looking for a really good town to start this sort of thing.

    Great post RJ!

  7. Glen Beck is clearly a clown. No he does not represent me. I sat around recently watching Beck with my Dad and a brother. All typical conservative LDS folks. We all shook at our head at his antics. That was enough for me. I think he is more a showman then a commentator

    http://www.ncccusa.org/news/100204yearbook2010.html

    “The Rev. Dr. Eileen W. Lindner, editor of the annual Yearbook since 1998, noted that many observers have attributed accelerated membership decline of some churches to “an increasing secularization of American postmodern society, and its disproportionate impact on liberal religious groups.”

    However people don’t need Beck to leave progressive churches. Its been happening since the 1960’s

  8. Patricia,
    I believe the small government solution to the problem, broadly, is to take less money from constituents so that they can hire more people, start more small businesses, and give more money to charity. That money given is better given in the form of small business loans (microcredit is big in conservative Utah county) than in the form of handouts or grants. That the emphasis in caring for the poor should be on providing job training and support for job searching rather than on lifestyle support. I’m not saying that this is an accurate depiction of the progressive approach, but I think that is a fairly accurate depiction of the small government approach and its ideas about the current system.

    Of course, I’m not a small government guy, so I may be wrong.

  9. John C.,
    I think you’ve got it about right with your description. People can agree or disagree about the respective likelihoods of the differing approaches helping achieve desirable social outcomes, but I don’t know very many conservative people who prefer a society with more babies in the gutter to less. There probably are some of them, somewhere, though.

  10. Ah yes, Brother Beck . . . The political commentator who loves to give financial advice without a financial background (buy gold, because its historical long term return on investment is about the worst of all investment classes!) Is now giving religious advice without a theological background.

    Well, he’s inspired me. I’m going to don a lab coat and grab a clipboard and roam the maternity ward of my local hospital. I wonder if I’ll be able to keep a straight face while I “advise” delivering mothers to rub ketchup on their left earlobe while reciting the lyrics to I Am the Walrus.

  11. “Many people base their progressive politics on Christian teachings about our obligation to the poor. (Jesus said a lot about serving the poor, after all, and he was relatively silent on government regulation.)”

    While I see connections between my political views and my Mormonism, I came to my liberalism for mostly secular reasons.

    Great post.

  12. Mark Brown says:

    There is a significant flaw in your thinking!

    Br. Beck is trying to help us preserve our God-given free agency. When the government forces us to care for the poor we are following Satan’s plan.

    None dare call it conspiracy.

  13. Mark Brown says:

    P.S. Rebecca, this was wonderful, thank you.

  14. Aaron Brown says:

    Awesome, Rebecca. I think I agree with everything you say here.

  15. While I admit to being a little opinionated about Glenn Beck, this is a welcome post and much more rational than the similar discussion at one of those other blogs. However, I expect a troll or two will pop up to dust his or her feet at us, nonetheless. I, like you, don’t need TV entertainers masquerading as political pundits to explain to me what my religion does or does not represent.

    And like Chris, while I also see many connections between my politics and my religious thought, I would be the first to say that any person who claims that their religion favors one school of political philosophy over another is truly mixing the philosophies of men with the eternal gospel of Jesus Christ, which will outlast any of them.

  16. Fantastic. You are a fabulous communicator, RJ.

  17. “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.”
    Glenn Beck

    “It is unfortunate that it is taking so long to bring full economic justice to women.”
    James E. Faust, Ensign December 1986 (“A Message to My Granddaughters: Becoming Great Women”)

    Does this mean that Glenn Beck is now running?

  18. If only someone somewhere had blogged about that question, juzz. If only.

  19. Wonderful post.

  20. Rebecca had very strong opinions about Glen Beck, who she says she, personally, doesn’t watch (“Personally, I find it very easy to ignore him..Pleasant, too. Certainly more of you should try it”.)

    Humm. She doesn’t like Beck because of something (perhaps) rash he advised his listener to do, and therefore, all the rest he says is without merit—and the rest of us–like Rebecca–should ignore him. Take her word, not Beck’s, on what we all should do.

    Well, Beck is a showman, but personally, I think he (generally) provides a terrific service to the public by informing them of very important things happening in our current political climate that, otherwise, we would never know about.

    Moreover, in my opinion, Beck serves us more times than Rebecca will ever know, as she just “cherry picked” something she heard from someone else that she didn’t like (and, as she admits, she “never watches him”, preferring blogging.

    Lotta

  21. Lotta, who are you exactly? You’re drawing conclusions Rebecca never implied. Go away now.

  22. If only someone somewhere had blogged about that question, juzz. If only.

    But Kaimi–and I hate to pound this over and over–your post had like 4,000 words from RTS on it.

  23. Beware, Scott, I may send him your direction.

  24. We don’t react kindly to threats, ‘Pono. Or should we ban you (again)?

  25. Read the post but not the comments (probably wise on my part, glancing at the last few right above the comment box) – so I’m responding to the OP, and I have one word: AMEN.

  26. Hey, Brigham Young built the Social Hall in Salt lake, so he must have been favor of “Social”, right? And who could have opposed “Justice”? So surely Mormons should be in favor of “Social Justice”!

    Unfortunately, terms like “social justice” and “economic justice” have been taken over by people with a political agenda who want government to take income from people who earn it and give it to people who “deserve it” but didn’t get it.

    That is pretty clearly President Obama’s objective in the health care bill. When he spoke to a group of rabbis and to another group of clergymen, he told them that Americans are so wealthy [apparently he hasn’t noticed we are in the “worst recession since the 1930s”] that they are committing a sin if they don’t share their “wealth” with those who don’t have it, in the form of health insurance redistributed by the government through taxes on those who are already paying for health insurance, to make them pay for insurance for those who aren’t getting it through their employment or who don’t choose to buy it.

    It’s nice to quote the Book of Mormon about sharing economic burdens and assets, but those are references to members of the Church of Christ, not residents of the United States, and the sharing was a voluntary action, not one mandated by a government official who will forcibly confiscate your property and put you in jail if you don’t “share” to the extent he wants you to. When I care for members of my extended family, personally assist my neighbors, give fast offerings, or work on a welfare project, I am fulfilling the teachings of scripture. When I am taxed under threat of jail time if I don’t fork over the money, I am accruing no moral merit whatsoever.

    I took a look at the articles from the Ensign that were cited at the top of this string. President Faust mentioned “economic justice for women” as a description for the disparity in earning power between men and women, even in the same line of work. As an attorney, he was making an observation about his own profession as well as others. But his article, actually a speech to women, was about the fact that there are things of greater importance to women than just income, and that it is worth the sacrifice of a certain amount of progress in a career to obtain the other opportunities women can have as wives, mothers and sisters in Zion. To many people in 2010, that 1985 talk would come across as reactionary rather than “progressive”, since he is not advocating for making up the gender gap in pay comparability through government legislation and enforcement litigation, but rather to keep the whole thing in perspective.

    President Faust gave another talk in which he used the term “economic justice”. In a talk in which he encouraged the Saints to recognize that Satan wants us to go along with the world rather than go against the grain and the flow of society, President Faust said:

    “I wonder how much we offend Satan if the proclamation of our faith is limited only to the great humanitarian work this church does throughout the world, marvelous as these activities are. When we preach the gospel of social justice, no doubt the devil is not troubled. But I believe the devil is terribly offended when we boldly declare by personal testimony that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that he saw the Father and the Son.”

    So President Faust was depicting “social justice” as equivalent to the voluntary humanitarian aid the Church gives around the world, and he uses the term “social justice” to describe something that does NOT offend Satan, that does NOT strongly oppose Satan’s ability to lead men “carefully down to hell.”

    President Faust talks at length about the unpopularity of the Church’s opposition to homosexual marriage, a notion that is at the forefront of some people’s “social justice” agendas.

    He also notes how Mother Theresa was lauded for her own humanitarian work among the poor, but that many people were offended when she spoke out against abortion that would be the world’s way of alleviating poverty.

    It is ironic that another cited Ensign article concerns the award to the Tabernacle Choir of the Mother Theresa Award, which is given for accomplishments “in the fields of religion, social justice, and the arts”.

    Another citation of “social justice” is a direct quote from a seminar of a statement by an Islamic professor speaking about the message of the Quran.

    Another Ensign article concerns the Old Testament and the fact that it was radically different from the legal and social mores of its contemporary societies, including the delcarations of prophets about “social justice”. Of course, ancient Israel was in many ways a theocracy, not a democracy, and the primary enforcement of the “social justice” called for by the prophets was through preaching and exhortation, not coercion by the high priest, the judges or later the king.

    The aspect of the LDS Church efforts to help the poor and needy, those struck by earthquakes and hurricanes and tsunamis, is one of voluntary sacrifice, NOT of demanding that government use its powers of taxation and punishment to collect aid for the needy. The element of coercion, especially coercion to force people to “do good”, is part of Satan’s plan, which President Faust clearly denounced.

    In short, none of the articles cited in this blog post say that the LDS Church endorses the “social justice” or “economic justice” agenda of the Obama Administration, and they are a far cry from anything preached by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright or his less radical colleagues in the United Church of Christ and similar Mainline Protestant churches that have adopted as part of their official mission radical, government led social change that involves transferring wealth from the self-sufficient to the poor and embracing same-sex marriage (e.g. the Episcopalians).

    I conclude that the main post of this blog really misrepresents the LDS church position on “social justice” and “economic justice” as those terms are used by the churches that carry it on their banners and proclaim it in their mission statements. While some of the commenters have called Glenn Beck a liar, or a madman, it is Beck’s critics (in this case) who have mischaracterized the Church.

    As for his politics, I note that Harry Reid and Beck are pretty much at opposite poles of many issues in the current public policy debates. Yet all that I know about both men is that they love their families and are honorable in their direct dealings with others, and are orthodox in their religious beliefs (more so than many of the posters who show up here on T&S). Making personal attacks on either man is out of place on any web site that purports to reflect the views of faithful Mormons.

  27. C’mon, guys. Quit making fun of RTS by posting in his name wildly verbose, scattered, inane comments that equate the power of a democratically elected republican government to tax with Satan’s plan. That’s just plain mean.

  28. It’s a wonder you have any commenters left, the way you abuse and drive away the few thoughtful responses given.

  29. No worries, I am still here. Abuse away.

  30. thoughtful responses!

  31. Lotta (20) – Actually, I don’t have strong feelings about Glenn Beck. I have moderately strong feelings about a couple of things he’s said, but in general I find not thinking about him to be the opposite of challenging. You obviously do have strong feelings about him, a state of affairs I don’t have strong feelings about, particularly since you appreciate his contributions to political discourse. I say you should go on doing what you like vis a vis Glenn Beck. Don’t let some jive-talking blogger on the internet make that decision for you. I do recommend that Glenn Beck haters ignore him. (It’s not that hard; all you have to do is nothing!)

    Anyway, I certainly don’t claim to be an expert on Glenn Beck. Rather, I am as much of an expert on Glenn Beck as Glenn Beck is an expert on social justice. In the interest of research I have watched as many YouTube clips as I can stomach (put up by his fans, not his detractors, who understandably would put up only the craziest stuff he says), and I have a passing familiarity with his CPAC speech, but I only have enough information to say that he’s not the spokesman I want for the conservative movement. And regardless of what other awesome things he may have said on other occasions, on this particular occasion he said something dumb–particularly dumb for a religious conservative–and it isn’t just his liberal critics who think so.

  32. Caraway,
    There are some threads in existence on BCC where your comment might get a subtle nod of agreement from me, and where I would commit myself to being a little nicer.

    This isn’t really one of them, though.

  33. It isn’t the particular thread I’m speaking of, Scott B. — it’s the ridicule of RTS here and on other threads. He pays you the compliment of thinking about a post and responding — and yes, I realize the length of his posts is out of line, but his head and heart are in the right place — and you ridicule him mercilessly. He isn’t the only one you’ve done that to.

    I notice there never is any ridicule of anyone who says “this is the greatest post evuh and you are the smartest people evuh.”

  34. Caraway,
    That wasn’t RTS. It’s a joke. Click on his name.

  35. Before you drive me away, let me leave at least one comment that you won’t delete:

    I LURVE BCC! You are the smartest people evuh!

  36. I *know* it was a link to the Onion post which is exploding all over FB today. The several comments before the “joke” and the comment by Kramer are nasty.

  37. Caraway,
    I’m not going to drive you away. I already agreed with you above that BCC’s threads can be rough. Please, Rebecca wrote a good post, so let’s end the threadjack–both of us, okay?

  38. Don’t feed the trolls, Scott.

  39. #21, Steve Evans Says:
    “Lotta, who are you exactly? You’re drawing conclusions Rebecca never implied. Go away now.”

    Why, Steve—Are you disturbed by someone who may express different views than you or Rebecca?

    Besides, you need to re-read Rebecca, and you will see she wrote what I quoted her as saying. She even bragged about how she didn’t know who he was or what he was about (until the particular item that adversely affected her was told her by someone else).

    I do watch Beck, and admire his ability to inform, rather than propagandize. He has great knowledgeable guests, both liberal and conservative, and lets them have their say. He has a great deal of unscripted worthwhile things to say himself, and may, on occasion, overstate something. So who’s perfect? (Certainly not you or me.)

    Hummm…I wonder why so many on this site keep their true identity veiled? For good cause, it appears.

    Nevertheless, I am sorry if I offended.

    Lotta

  40. “Protecting marriage” **is** perfectly understandable code (for all native English speakers) for “anti-gay bigotry,” and “sanctity of life” **is,** undeniably (barely) code for “controlling women’s bodies,” aka harshly anti abortion and even anti-common methods of birth control. Both as a self proclaimed conservative, Rebecca J., the original post author must be, most vehemently, for.

    Where, besides tone, do you disagree with Br. Beck?

  41. “I do watch Beck, and admire his ability to inform, rather than propagandize.”

    LOL!

    You must be thinking of Jeff Beck or something.

  42. Did hellsbelles get a new IP address?

  43. Rebecca, I loved this post. It expresses so much of what I’ve thought over the past stretch of increasing exposure in the media for Glenn Beck, and as I see his face more and more frequently tied to the Church, either through publications in Deseret Book or in jeering postings around the web. I don’t hate Beck as a person, nor do I hate every bit of his political views, but it is extremely important for me that people understand that Beck does not speak for me as a Mormon. Thank you for expressing your thoughts so well.

    Sorry the threadjacking–I started it, or at least helped. My fault.

  44. Agnes (41), I’m sorry, but I just don’t know where to start. Thank you for your comment.

  45. Thank you for saying what many of us feel! I would like to add that even though I am a “soccer mom” and have a large family, and believe in “pro-life” issues, I am not represented by Sarah Palin! Could you do a post on that?

  46. She even bragged about how she didn’t know who he was or what he was about (until the particular item that adversely affected her was told her by someone else).

    Well, I didn’t mean to brag, but I guess maybe I did. (It’s so hard for people who don’t watch Glenn Beck to sound like they’re not bragging, but I swear I just prefer other forms of entertainment.) But I certainly didn’t mean to imply that I didn’t know who he was until this particular item appeared on my radar. I have been able to maintain my memory of who Glenn Beck is for at least the last twelve months. My liberal blogging friends make sure of that.

    I wouldn’t say this particular item adversely affects me–not especially. I mean, my life stays pretty much the same, regardless of what Glenn Beck says. That’s sort of my point when I talk about how easy I find it to ignore him. But when other people are constantly bringing up what an embarrassment he is to Mormonism and claiming he is the face of contemporary conservatism, THAT is hard for me to ignore.

    Again, if you enjoy Glenn Beck’s show, I’m very happy for you. And in the interest of fairness, I do seem to recall being impressed that he broke a particular news story on his show once–I just don’t remember which story it was, which I swear is not a brag. If I remembered, I would give it as an example of how I don’t believe he’s evil incarnate.

  47. I think that Scott is on to something. Beck’s views are not all that different than many Mormons I know (Birchers and fan of the political thought of Ezra Taft Benson). The difference is that he has a huge national audience. Benson and Skousen primarily spoke in right-wing circles. Beck has the type of profile that usually only Mormon Atheletes and the Osmonds have had.

    So, while many bloggers might act in ways not all that different than Beck, nobody is paying all that much attention to us.

  48. I’m pretty sure what I mentally substituted for your [jump in a lake] edit is much, much worse than what you originally wrote.

    (It’s so hard for people who don’t watch Glenn Beck to sound like they’re not bragging…

    Brilliant.

  49. I see you punted, Rebecca J., so I’m assuming broad agreement but with, as I mentioned, a much more conciliatory tone. Wrong?

  50. Chris, I should clarify re my political views:

    I suspect there is some intersection of Beck and Bosworth that could be vaguely summarized as “Markets are preferred to controls.”

    Beyond that, and even in the fine print of that intersection, I doubt we have much in common. A John Bircher I am not.

  51. (41) Agnes,

    Isn’t tone everything? D&C 121:40-45
    Its my understanding that the scriptures direct us on HOW to believe (in political/social spheres) much more than they tell us WHAT to believe (outside of directly doctrinal issues). I can’t speak for Rebecca, but while I agree with much of what Bro. Beck speaks, I disagree tremendously with the fear tactics and love Feigned in his diatribes.

  52. Oh. No no no. I was not meaning to imply that Scott was such a Mormon with views like Beck/Skousen. I very much doubt you have much in common.

  53. Oh, and the conservative version for serving the poor and afflicted has been tried and equals the world Dickens wrote of. Exactly. But, Rebecca J., I assume you assume you’d be one of the privileged, and not Little Nell.

  54. Agnes,
    Chill.

  55. Tone is important to gathering supporters. Tone means nothing as to whether you know of which you speak: whether your conclusions are based on deep knowledge of the field and can be trusted.

  56. Now chilled, Scott B.

  57. Scott B, a positive comment, you’ve read “The Old Curiosity Shop?” Wonderful. Happiness. Positive stuff like you guys like.

  58. Mommie Dearest says:

    I am in agreement with Rebecca in that when someone says “Glenn Beck” I respond with “meh.” I’m a little mystified at how many otherwise sensible people allow their hackles to be disturbed by the mention of his name. From what little I have actually seen or heard of the real deal (as opposed to someone’s punditry about him) I probably agree with his content some of the time, but I am turned off by his tone a whole lot of the time. So, when he appears on the screen, I change it. I understand he has a highly rated show, which means that there is a large group of folks who like him. That’s cool for them. I’m not gonna be one of ‘em, but I am also not signing on to be one of the angry ones who would like to see him canceled. Or worse.

  59. I do not want Glenn Beck cancelled. Both the Daily SHow and the Colbert Report would suffer greatly without Beck material to whack around. There would be no fun in that.

  60. The good news is Rebecca that you don’t even have to think. Agnes will tell you what you believe AND what it means. If only she had a talk show to tell you when to go to church and such…

  61. Mark Brown says:

    OK, this is the part where I will take issue with Rebecca.

    I don’t watch or listen to Beck either, but I think people who self-identify as conservative let themselves off the hook a little too easily is they just dismiss him and say, “Oh well, he doesn’t represent me.” As somebody who considers himself more or less conservative, I bugs me that at least 50% of folks on the Right see very little about Beck that is troublesome, and even see him as a kind of idea man. Sure, that’s their issue, not mine, but it feels uncomfortable to look around me and see that my side has a disconcertingly high number of crazies. But maybe that is true of all political factions.

  62. I have watched Glenn Beck. He is a bad actor who needs to finish his character by wearing an orange wig and red nose. He manipulates his viewers with false tears, false information and false conspiracies. He is a phony gold salesman and political hack. The Socialist Straw Man is to help increase his ratings so he can obtain his true love, increased personal wealth. I am a liberal (surprise) and I don’t have a problem with reasonable conservatives. Beck on the other hand is an opportunistic (sometimes dangerous) unfunny clown.

  63. RJ, I wish you were a famous talk-show host. Good sense would be a nice change. Thanks for this!

  64. Mark,

    The left has done the same thing with Michael Moore (and Noam Chomsky). However, the left has grown tired of Moore, largely because his work has been less than great lately. Will the right do the same with Beck? Most likely. The question for me is less of how long will he influence American politics, but how long will he be part of Mormon political ideology. I suspect he will be around for a while.

  65. britt, presumably Rebecca can speak for herself. However, those two phrases she quoted have extremely common interpretations, which I supplied. There’s this word, “dog-whistle,” that is, speaking to your audience in a way understood by the audience but not, perhaps, by others. Those are known as “dog-whistle” phrases.

    At this point, I must acknowledge that Rebecca J. may not understand the widely-understood meaning. But it exists.

  66. Noam Chomsky represents me. Have you seen his footnotes? I confess ignorance towards Michael Moore.

  67. Oh, I long for the day when reasonable conservatives again roam the earth. We need two reasonable parties.

  68. huh?

  69. “Noam Chomsky represents me.”

    That might explain a lot.

  70. Great post as always, Rebecca. And RTS #26, I think you are right on target and I appreciate how well you articulate what is so very, very objectionable about the economic policies advocated by the left.

  71. Agnes, comparing my political beliefs to Beck’s is beyond the scope of this discussion. If you find that too frustrating to endure, perhaps you should read something else.

    Anyway, my issue here is not really with Beck’s tone–if I wanted to criticize his tone, specifically or generally, I could have picked any number of statements he’s made that are more inflammatory and offensive than this one. What I object to is the content of his remarks, i.e. what he actually said, because it doesn’t make sense. One of the frustrating things about paying attention to Beck is that he seems to be making it up as he goes. Perhaps his political views are evolving–I wouldn’t know–but what comes out is sometimes just plain incoherent. That’s not helpful to the conservative cause. Making sense is helpful.

    The reason I brought up same-sex marriage in the first place was to point out that some Mormons might favor SSM and be uncomfortable with what the church has done to work against it, but they’ve opted to stay in the church anyway, for whatever reason. I don’t think it’s anyone else’s place to tell them that they should leave the church over this or any other political issue. I don’t think it’s Glenn Beck’s place to tell his listeners/viewers that they should leave their churches over the social justice issue, especially when it’s clearly more complex than he’s letting on.

  72. Agnes,
    Go away. Just go away.

  73. I guess when I’m being pegged as a RINO and a wingnut in the same thread, it’s time to stop worrying about my image.

  74. Rebecca,

    I think that means you are doing it just right.

  75. Mark, I don’t think it’s difficult at all to dismiss Beck as not “representing” me because fundamentally here we’re not talking nearly as much about policies as we talk about the way he advocates them.

    Two people may vote to legalize pot–one because they’re convinced that it is medically helpful, and one because he sees it as a great source of income–but that doesn’t make them friends with each other.

  76. John C,

    That Agnes dude (come on, you know it is really a dude) needed to be put in the penalty box several threads ago. What, has BCC gone soft on us? Where is that itchy troll-banning finger we all love so well?

  77. Oh, I long for the day when reasonable conservatives again roam the earth.

    Code for: “The only good conservative is a dead conservative!”

  78. Also, Agnes–Chill. Again. Seriously.

    (and Britt, please don’t provoke again after she said she was chilled, ok? Not helpful.)

  79. I’m sorry, John C., I obviously am very bad at these discussions, what can I do do improve? What can I do to be less horrible/offensive? I’d like to be liked. Less Little Dorrit references?

  80. do to improve? spelling? Capitalization?

  81. No, Rebecca, a reasonable conservative is any conservative Pre-Reagan.

  82. I think that a lot of the conservative permas at BCC represent a Neal A. Maxwell-style conservatism. Prinicipled, but modest. Intellectual, but not ideological.

  83. Except Ronan, he is more Churchhill.

  84. way back in #3 Mark asks:

    Glenn Beck is a clown. Why pay him any mind?

    Cleon Skousen was a clown too. Yet he made a terrible mark on our church because no one denounced him in time.

  85. Mark (63) – I certainly had to answer for my share of crazies when I was a flaming liberal. I guess that’s why I don’t have a lot of patience for that activity now. It’s an inefficient use of resources to pour a lot of energy into distancing yourself from the wackos. For the most part, people see what they want to see.

  86. Rebecca forgive me, I read your earlier comment about gay marriage and I totally misunderstand you. Though, I suspect that the largely Mormon audience here doesn’t understand the really disturbing (mostly southern) subtext to many of Glenn Beck’s remarks. So you all get a pass. Sorry.

    Geoff J., I’d like to mention your cleverness about figuring out the Agnes (lamb of God) reference.

  87. Geoff J: Agnes isn’t banned for one reason only. She’s Steve Evans’ Mother.

  88. Daniel,
    The conservative political philosopher Louis Midgley at BYU blasted Skousen early and often.

  89. I feel sad the the Church-owned Deseret Book stores chose to stock and display Beck’s contentious, hate-filled books that seem so contrary to everything the Jesus taught about loving others, caring for the poor and needy, and non-violence. They seem to have a political agenda, and that seems wrong on every level since the Church should maintain political neutrality.

  90. sorry, cleaning cat carriers brings out the snark in me. It makes me want to somehow work the pharse “social justice” into a talk to see if people quirm. I am a conservative-with friends who tea party

    All of my Beck watching is directly related to bloggernacle links…that I seldom finish. I have enough tantrumming in my daily life between my 2 yo and 4yo.

  91. Chris,

    #66,

    The left has done the same thing with Michael Moore (and Noam Chomsky). However, the left has grown tired of Moore, largely because his work has been less than great lately

    Oh, I don’t know. Sicko was probably his best documentary. Very factually based and wisely skipping all the polemics so prevalent in all his other documentaries.

  92. To be a bit more clear, in the early-mid 80’s, the conservative movement was completely hijacked by the evangelical movement, which among its weaponry was such diverse elements as fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion against the Mormons, and nice stone-washed uniforms!

  93. Carol in #90 states exactly why we cannot be ho-hum about Glenn Beck.

  94. I found sicko a little on the crazy side BUT it sure got some interesting discussions going about health care-which was the real point. IMO

  95. Daniel, some of my conservative colleagues get frustrated with LDS conservative who seem to dig Beck and Coulter becuase they think that there is so much better stuff out there. I feel the same way about Chomsky and Moore. Not worth the effort.

  96. Agnes,
    Although it did become influential, I wouldn’t say it completely hijacked the conservative movement (witness the recent leaked Republican party powerpoint which sorta mocks Evangelicals). Rather, I think that the Republicans figured out how to trick the Evangelicals into doing their bidding, which has kinda stopped working as efficiently nowadays, mostly because many Evangelicals (southern or otherwise) have begun to realize that they aren’t particularly respected within the Republican party. That was the point of the Southern Strategy, no?

    As a general rule, if you want to be a participant here, don’t call the posters racist when they ain’t being racist. Also, read charitably, which thing you clearly didn’t do.

  97. Chris,

    Understandable. I certainly take what Michael Moore says with a hefty grain of salt. The difference is that Moore never had the kind of influence over like minded thinkers the way Beck does. Beck knows what he is doing here. He caught a whiff of his potential power with the 9/12 Project. We’ll see after this summer when he executes his next project just how influential he really is. He’s got the right conditions to work that prophet of doom magic: a terrible recession, divided government, unpopular foreign wars. That’s such a ripe field to harvest.

  98. As a general rule, if you want to be a participant here, don’t call the posters racist when they ain’t being racist. Also, read charitably, which thing you clearly didn’t do.

    Well spoken, Crawdaddy. I would add “Don’t be so ridiculously grumpy that it makes me want to ban you,” to that list.

  99. I actually totally agree with you, John C; I didn’t mean to call any posters racist; rather I meant to convey that they were ujnwittingly being swept up, completely innocently, into political positions that others understood (that dog-whistle thing) to be racist.

  100. Thomas Parkin says:

    I was going to suggest we stop talking about Glen Beck. But, see, they are about to take away our rights, that is right at the door, and so I think we should talk more about glen Beck and everything else. Before they take our rights as free blooded americans away, including freedom of speech and our freedom of religion. And also there will be fewer things in our supermarkets, like in Soviet Russia. Many brand names will no longer exist, except Ben and Jerry’s will still exist (because they are true lefties), only they will not be able to make so many good flavors because those flavors come to us by the free market which is something many people do not understand.

    Thanks for enjoying this important information with me. ~

  101. Mark Brown says:

    Rebecca, this is what I meant to say. In ideological fights, sometimes it pays to gloss over distinctions. And other times it is worthwhile to underscore differences, as you have done here.

    There came a time when William F. Buckley decided it was necessary to expel Robert Welch and the Birchers from the conservative movement. I keep waiting for the Lowry/Goldberg/Lopez triumvirate to decide enough is enough and start nailing some hides to the wall, starting with the Paulistas and Beckistas.

    (Out of respect for you, I won’t mention the Palinistas. :) )

  102. 102 “Before they take our rights as free blooded americans away, including freedom of speech and our freedom of religion. And also there will be fewer things in our supermarkets, like in Soviet Russia.”

    That is what I like about Beck fans. They are never bothered by reality or facts. What is Soviet Russia? Is that the same as the defunt Soviet Union (USSR)? The only way they get my Cherry Garcia is to pry it from my cold sticky hands.

  103. Thomas Parkin says:

    Larry,

    In Soviet Russia, the Cherry Garcia pries you!

    with a hat tip :) ~

  104. Beck’s books…seem to have a political agenda

    Too true. Too true.

  105. I am a not a fan of Beck’s tone, and his sarcasm in particular is irritating in the extreme. But his left liberal critics throw around the term “hate filled” so casually that it is starting to become a badge of honor.

    The last time this topic came up, the gist was that if you didn’t agree with the left liberal position with regard to any social policy, your position was necessarily a hate filled one.

  106. Well, Beck can’t be entirely hate-filled, can he? He wrote a book called The Christmas Sweater. What’s hateful about a sweater, especially at Christmastime? Unless it was made in Soviet Russia (where the sweater knits YOU).

  107. Bruce Rogers says:

    I suppose that I should throw out my New Testament. Did you know that it uses the word “liberal” at least 6 times, and everyone of them is positive, none negative. It also says things like “do good to them that despitefully use you”. We certainly would not want to read that, would we?
    On a serious note, I applaud that Glenn Beck has the right of free speech, guanteed by our constitution. Free Speech means that we are willing to allow someone to speak, with whom we totally disagree. Altho he has the right to free speach, I avoid him just like I avoid any literature that I consider pornographic. The US Supreme Court defined pornographic “as without any redeeming value” and I certainly consider Beck as without any redeeming value.

  108. Mark Brown says:

    Bruce, obviously you didn’t hear him give his emotional, melodramatic reading of Come, Come Ye Saints, complete with tears.

    It might not have redeeming value, but it surely has entertainment value.

  109. Glenn Beck is the right’s Keith Olbermann (I would have said Rachel Maddow, but she doesn’t froth at the mouth.)

  110. I used to give Glenn Beck the benefit of the doubt until he participated in a fake flag burning at The Great and Spacious Mormon Football Field. Fake, manipulative faux-patriotic stunts still aren’t enough to get people to ignore him…

  111. I am still waiting for someone to determine “compassionate conservatism” as advocated by George W. Bush during his 2000 presidential campaign. I guess it’s compassionate to send people off to war, so they don’t pay attention to the trampling of their constitution.

    Anyhow, I don’t take Bro. Beck any more seriously than I do Keith Olberman or Bill Maher. Hot air is a cheap commodity, after all… unlike cold reason, which is always in short supply, let alone warm hearts.

    Thanks, Rebecca. You made my day as far as political commentary goes…

  112. Great post Rebecca. It’s quite heartening to see you denounce this guy. I am certainly seeing things through a hazy, marijuana smoke-filled lens, but it seems to me that many conservative politicians are all to happy to sit back and let Beck do his thing. I call it the Dennis Rodman strategy, by which we turn a blind eye while he stares down refs, and gives people titty-twisters. Dennis was a genius, who drew all the attention to himself, and reveled in it, while Isaiah, Dumars, Scottie, or Jordan were hitting gimme lay-ups.
    The problem with ignoring him, I think, is that his LDS affiliation is inevitably mentioned when he pops up in a wedding dress and a wig, or when he calls for revolution, or when he connects Harry Reid to Ivan the Terrible in 3 steps.
    Also, there is the outside chance that Johnny Most will rise from the dead, find Robert Parrish and do this:


    Or this:

  113. I’m guessing Glenn Beck has never heard of Mormons For Equality and Social Justice, or the examples they provide of church leaders calling for equality and social justice (more than just the Faust quote noted above).

  114. A small government solution that I advocate is a state “lifeline” support in one way or another.

    Something that would enable you to get an education regardless of your parents’ wealth.

    Something that would keep you alive (IOW, providing health care and some security in case of disability — not lifestyle support, as someone said well earlier in this thread) when serious illness strikes.

    Something that could replace a lot of bureaucracy that now employs a lot of people, who don’t actually produce anything but paperwork.

    I just hate being at the mercy of holier-than-thou people who have had good enough luck to have landed a safe job with good advancement opportunities. You know, the idea that everyone has earned their difficulties by doing something wrong.

    I especially hate all the bellyaching about the “undeserving” that I hear a lot around conservatives. Sure there are people, who are unwilling to lift a finger for themselves, but are we appointed to be judges over them? According to scriptures (say, Mosiah chapter 4) we are not.

    This is a soapbox issue for me. I wish governments were actually able to undo their own bureaucracy, but it seems they always just build a new bureaucracy with the idea that the new one will fix the flaws in the existing ones; that way we never actually fix any problems.

    Example: From 2001 to 2009 there was a strongly Republican congress (both houses had a strong GOP majority) and a conservative Republican President, and what happens? The government expands more than ever!

    But I really chuckled when someone says that Glenn Beck “informs rather than propagandizes”! Really? You listen to him and start checking facts, you notice that his “information” is very cherry-picked to support his ideas, and he posits them very one-sidedly so that it’s easy to forget there’s another side to the coin.

  115. Raymond,
    Well thought out and delivered response. As always.

    I always like how you give such wonderful insights, only to receive personal attacks that don’t address any of your arguments from some of the perma’s. It’s as if they can’t think of anything reasonable to say to it.

    Thank you for sharing.
    -PC

  116. Yes, it is truly disturbing how the permas don’t respond to the comment they’ve copied and pasted from another website.

  117. (101) “rather I meant to convey that they were ujnwittingly being swept up, completely innocently, into political positions that others understood . . . to be racist.”

    I see, so you weren’t calling the conservatives in question racist. Just naive and less informed than you.

    Classy.

  118. !!!ATTENTION ATTENTION ATTENTION ATTENTION ATTENTION!!!

    Psychochemiker and anyone else who appreciated Raymond’s comment in #26 –

    RAYMOND DIDN’T POST THAT. SOMEONE ELSE COPIED IT FROM HIS COMMENTS ON KAIMI’S GLENN BECK POST AT TIMES & SEASONS AND PASTED IT HERE AS A JOKE.

    In the event that the REAL Raymond Takashi Swenson comments on this post, I will happily respond to him with all the graciousness I can muster. In the meantime, please stop chastising us for ignoring him. HE’S NOT HERE! HE WAS NEVER HERE!

  119. Mark Brown says:

    psychochemiker/DavidGou/Mad Chemist/one who knows/whoever you are calling yourself now:

    Do you ever do anything besides make personal attacks on BCC permas and ignore the substance of the argument? It’s as if you can’t think of anything reasonable to say.

  120. What exactly is Beck’s sin? He is selling a legal product with very low unit cost at a high markup in spite of intense competition to returning customers who report high satisfaction with the transaction. He has not yet embarrassed his backers to the point that they withdraw support.

    My disappointment is not with Beck, but with the low standards of his viewers. They like being in a perpetual state of anger even more than I like being condescending. Maybe we are entering the Unenlightenment, a Third Awakening when the madding crowd shall inherit the earth, where permanent war is a strategy, “social justice” and “community organizing” are subversive concepts, and theft from the full faith and credit of our children is fair source of income.

    I’ve got to give credit: whether leading or merely profiting from this rabble of rubes, Glenn Beck is the poster child of free-market economics of infotainment. Give the man his due.

  121. Glen Beck and other conservative’s influence is to our day and time what the founding fathers influences were to their day and time (constitution only, they were not perfect).

    I suspect “social justice” liberals in the church and here on this blog, who blindly embrace Satan’s compulsion ideals in government will continue to war with those in the church, who truly understand and recognize the basic fundamental Jesus concept of free agency.

    Not the basics gov responsibilities spelled out in the constitution but the fairly new gov “social justice” programs which are compulsive and now are close to bankruptcy.

    This is financial bondage as a result of compulsion I think, President Hinkley referred to this in June Ensign, 1987.

    “That war (the War in Heaven), so bitter, so intense, has never ceased. It is the war… between agency and compulsion, between the followers of Christ and those who have denied Him…..

    All here in this blog are at war.

    Those in favor of compulsion to implement “social Justice” programs are in error just as that other “social justice” plan offered in the preexistence was in error. Or was it, liberals?

    These things should be handled outside of government.
    Those with the means should buy insurance and have IRA’s, be good stewards and stuff. God asks them to exercise their free agency and help the poor. Those who aren’t financially able or fall short should be taken care of by churches, Lions, Rotarian’s, Shriner’s and the Elks etc (in other words, just like our church is doing today). They are right there in the community. They know what needs to be fixed.

    And last but not least, the giver gets the blessings as God intended in the first place. Right? If we are getting the blessing from compulsively funded Gov “social justice” programs as the liberal Mormons here suggest is so good, why the huge bankruptcy threat/problems? Surely God would bless the USA in this endeavor! Is he blessing us – considering the debt problems these programs thus have created?

    Government sucks at it.

    Change.

  122. Wonder if Glenn Beck knows that the LDS website mentions Economic and Social Justice a few time. Especially Economic Justice.

  123. Mark Brown says:

    Amen, Reed-O.

    I testify that your words are true words.

  124. Steve Evans says:

    I’m framing that one, Reed-O. Also, you’re a nut.

  125. Reed-O, it’s really true. I want to eliminate poverty in the world because I love Satan and hate good. Thank you for helping me understand myself.

  126. We need a virtual wall to put up and keep classics like #123. Perhaps over at BT? Could call it the daily collection of crazy.

  127. ….and their hearts were pierced

  128. Reed-O, you never said a truer word. My heart is indeed pierced. If only I weren’t beyond feeling!

  129. Pres. Hinckley advised us not to have excess piercings, Reed-O. Your comments here are violating prophetic counsel. As such I condemn thee to the eternal mod pit.

  130. Oh come on J. Nelson, with the truth, dude!

  131. Reed-O, Nelson is part of my last name. That’s what the hyphen means.

  132. My bad, J.

  133. Thanks, Reed.

    Anyway, I invite you to read 2 Nephi 2:26 and then explain, in Lehi’s language, how anything that any government ever does can decrease in any way a person’s free agency.

  134. As a conservative, I feel the need to express the fact that Reed-O’s views don’t represent my views either.

    And once again, its probably more an issue of tone.

  135. 152, if you agree that government social programs are Satan’s plan, then there’s more than an issue of tone…..

  136. This is talking about Gods law not secular law.

    I the phrases: ….to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, … “act for themselves” is free agency.

    And not to be acted upon,… is compulsion. Just what I have been saying.

    Am I wrong here? Did you just make my point?

  137. Reed-O, you are wrong here. Because verse 26 says that, due to the Atonement, nothing in mortality has the capacity to take away freedom from humanity. So no mortal compulsion is relevant to discussions of free agency. It can be right or wrong — but we have to discuss it in a different register.

  138. 137
    J. I don’t disagree with what you’re saying, but just to clarify what I meant.
    Disagreeing with government social programs is the view. Comparing it with Satan’s plan (IMO) is tone. So is comparing it to Nazi-ism, or crying for no apparent reason.
    Its just semantics about what you mean and what I mean about tone. I think we can both agree that Reed-O forgot to take his crazy pills this morning.

  139. 152, fair enough, although I think there’s a substantive claim involved in saying social programs are Satanic rather than just a bad idea. If you have opinion #2, you and I have normal democratic policy disagreements; plenty to discuss, but really sort of every-day stuff. If you have opinion #1 (i.e., Satanic), then our disagreement is theological and existential in a way that normal political debates don’t always quite have to be.

  140. There was a time when I thought a lot about the War in Heaven and agency arguments that Reed-O invokes here, though I thought about them somewhat differently; I’ve become convinced over the past year or so that I had a wrong view of that argument, though.

    Thankfully, abandoning that argument didn’t really require me to change my love of scorning poor people, but now allows me to do it on theologically sturdier ground.

  141. It seems too many posters on this issue fall back on name calling (“crazies”,”clown”, “wackos”, ridiculously grumpy” etc.), regarding those with other opinions than their own.

    I like to read “Common Consent” because it often has intelligent, informed conversation, without the use of cuss words to express one’s self. But many of these posts on Beck seem to forget manners on how to disagree in a civilized manner–and instead use the cuss words of demeaning insults regarding those whose views seem to threaten their own safety zone.

    To me, “Go away-now”-type remarks (such as #14, #74, & #100) makes those who say them look awfully insecure regarding the correctness of their own opinions.

    Lots of room to learn from this discussion without the insults, and that (in my opinion) is what Common Consent can be very good at doing. The specific examples of likes and dislikes reg. Beck is helpful, the name-calling is not.

    Lotta

  142. “….and their hearts were pierced”

    And their hearts bled because they were bleeding heart liberals! And because they were bleeding heart liberals, their hearts were pierced! Q.E.D. Boo-Yeah!

  143. The deepest irony in Reed-O’s argument is that he morally and ideologically aligned the belief that any state compulsion is Satanic with those founding fathers who favored the constitution — i.e. those who wanted to dramatically increase the power of the federal government, specifically granting it the power to tax and the power to regulate interstate commerce (to say nothing of 1:8:18). Reed-O’s position, in reality, fits perfectly with the most strident arguments made against ratifying the Constitution.

  144. 152,

    It’s not just tone. Reed-O is not making some sort of rhetorical flourish, I think he means it.

  145. “and instead use the cuss words of demeaning insults”

    What the damn?

  146. “He has not yet embarrassed his backers to the point that they withdraw support.”

    Actually he has. That’s why you see so many “buy gold” commercials on his show these days:

    http://stopbeck.com/2010/02/16/13-additional-dropped-sponsors-for-glenn-beck-brings-total-to-116/

  147. Lotta,

    When I read your comment (20) I read a lot of insult directed at Rebecca, which may or may not have been intended but definitely stands out to me. With that in mind it makes comment (143) hard to wrap my head around. Just sayin’.

  148. 146 blt, very possible you are right.

  149. #145
    Brad. Reread my post. I’m in favor of the basics of government just not the “social justice” programs of the last 100 years.

  150. Lotta, it’s not a matter of feeling insecure. It’s a matter of sheer fatigue. You may pop in only occasionally, but I am here all the time as an admin and have to deal with stupid people constantly. Explaining myself over and over again simply takes more time and patience than I can devote to such a meaningless task. Accordingly, I use name calling as shorthand; in my experience, it has the same result (e.g. stupid people go away) with substantially less effort. Hope this helps.

    PS you really were rude yourself earlier, so don’t try calling the kettle black quite yet. Being indignant about the insulting tone of other people only works if you don’t have an insulting tone yourself.

  151. Reed-O,
    Please point me to the scriptures on the war in heaven when some infringements on agency were accepted by the righteous.
    I don’t think Brad is going to reread your post. Its light shines too brightly, and it makes his skin sparkle like diamonds.

  152. blt – Brad is a vampire?!?!? That explains his excellence at sports such as baseball.

  153. Reed-O,
    The logic that equates state coercion with Satanic death to human agency works just as effectively against a peacetime standing army (which the founders opposed, btw), state police force, or road building as it does against the unqualified evils of social security, medicare, and state-run homeless shelters.

  154. It’s true, male lefty types like Brad and myself are Twilight vampires. That’s why we get the brooding but cool wives. Fortunately, female lefty types tend to be brooding but cool…

    Reed’s doing his best to explain, I think. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt RE sanity.

  155. never mind blt, I see it now.

  156. Reed-O, when you accuse us of being on the wrong side of the “ongoing war in heaven”, it causes us to look at your comments with about the same effort of understanding and consideration you’ve extended to us.

    But in all fairness, I reread your longer post in # 123. It’s not all wacky, but I did want to comment on this sentence:

    “Those who aren’t financially able or fall short should be taken care of by churches, Lions, Rotarian’s, Shriner’s and the Elks etc”.

    Would “Lions, Rotarions, Shriners and Elks etc” also include organizations like ACORN? Lions, Elks, and ACORNs, oh my!

  157. Mark Brown says:

    I think Social Security is part of Satan’s plan. Old people and the disabled should just go to poorhouses, like they used to 100 years ago. With regards to the social programs of the last 100 years, we can safely say that an enemy hath done this.

    If only people would try to understand the war in heaven, all this would become clear.

  158. By the way, it’s worth pointing out that welfare and Medicaid are not remotely close to bankruptcy. Arguably Social Security, and particularly Medicare, are headed in that direction — but that’s what health care reform is for…

  159. but that’s what health care reform is for…

    Yeah, that and taking away our freedom and destroying the very fabric of our society, like it has everywhere else.

  160. those Finns are terribly shackled under Satan’s evil dastardly grasp!

  161. Gee, thanks for the assignment, blt.

    Beck’s views is what is needed in America at this time.

    As Pres. Hinkley said, the war continues today – over compulsion or agency… which side are you on?

  162. The whole of the developed world is groaning under the weight of not treating wellness as a commidity.

  163. Reed, if you don’t love America, you’re free to leave.

  164. Since we’re on the subject: Why healthcare reform won’t pass.

  165. I just blew my own mind: What if there were a DRAFT for the war in heaven and I was compelled to comply? This may account for the 1/3 group since clearly they were socialist draft dodgers. But now I am thoroughly confused, am I a socialist thrall to an agency-destroying deity since I am here on earth or are the draft dodgers the socialist lefties?

    Where does this say about CANADA? What about AGENCY? What about the CONSTITUTION?

    (This is my attempt to sound like a crazy-cuss-wingnut-whack-job of no particular political persuasion, just Mormon and looney.)

  166. Must have made a mistake
    Why healthcare reform won’t pass.

  167. Beck’s views is what is needed in America at this time.

    This statement speaks volumes.

    As Pres. Hinkley said, the war continues today – over compulsion or agency… which side are you on?

    Well, me and all my deceived, citizens-of-a-nation-state type cohorts were on the side of compulsion, that is until you devastated us with your devastating logic.

  168. Reed-O

    How is Beck’s view what America needs right now? He sows contention and hatred. Did not Jesus teach us to shun contention?

  169. Reed, compulsion in the war in heaven sense involves removing people’s ability to choose whether they want to go to the Celestial Kingdom or not. How does spending a small percentage of our yearly budget to keep single mothers and their children from starving or being homeless remove people’s ability to choose their destination in the next life?

  170. (oudenos, that’s what I’m shooting for as well.)

  171. Silly Dan, Jesus partook of contention when he fought in a war to expel all those who thought that democratically elected governments should democratically implement policies designed to help the poor and downtrodden. For shame.

  172. Brad, I don’t know about you, but I’m not on any side. I’m not even a real person. I’m just a CGI script written by the real JNS years ago when he was bored one day at work.

  173. Beck’s views is what is needed in America at this time.

    This statement speaks volumes.

    As Pres. Hinkley said, the war continues today – over compulsion or agency… which side are you on?

    Well, me and all my deceived,

    I love it when people mock others’ grammar and then screw up their own…

  174. No, no, no, Mark Brown. The old and disabled (along with the fat, and the poor) should just die. Death panels for all! Not just the sick…

  175. Ann, good plan. It’ll be easier to build Zion once all those folks are gone.

  176. No poor among them, J.

  177. What we need here is some McNoughton art to show us which side we are all on. Otherwise I’m just going to side with the Idaho Potato Commission because Jesus loves potatoes.

  178. Exactly, Brad. So much simpler if we get there by harvesting inadequately wealthy individuals than by, e.g., collective repentance and change in social structures.

  179. Brad,

    But it doesn’t say anything about fat people among them? Why target fat people?

  180. “You will always have the fat among you.” Pretty sure I read that scripture somewhere. Not sure how it applies though.

  181. Something about the righteous feasting on the fat of the land?

  182. Let thy soul delight in fatness.

  183. well there is this:

    Leviticus 4:19

    19 And he shall take all his fat from him, and burn it upon the altar.

  184. No, no, I think it was a lesser known Jesus saying.

  185. Of course perhaps I am conflating fat with poor. A common enough mistake, yeah?

  186. It’s predicted in scripture, vis Matthew 22:4:

    Tell those who are invited, Behold, I have made ready my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves are killed, and everything is ready; come to the marriage feast.’

  187. #155 – Brad, you left out socialized fire protection…

  188. Fat people = Soylent Green? Now there’s a non-compulsory solution for the fat and the poor.

  189. PRAISE BE TO GLEN BECK!!!!!!!!!!! HE ALWAYS POINTS OUT THE TRUTH, UNLIKE IN THIS ARTICLE WHICH DOESN’T EXPLORE WHETHER WHAT HE SAYS IS TRUE; ALL THIS ARTICLE SAYS IS, “Geez Glen, your article is against what the statusquo says is true, therefore you’re an idiot.” SOUND LOGIC FROM ANOTHER “CONSERVATIVE” LIBERAL.

  190. Is 191 trying to best my attempt at crazy-cuss-whacko in comment 167? I must concede. S/he does, after all, use considerably more exclamation points and caps and s/he far exceeds my attempt at loony incoherence. Well done, CommonSense. You win.

  191. Word to the wise–and this applies to everyone, not just people who call fellow LDS followers of Satan:

    Going meta is a great way to be deemed obnoxious. Lengthy comments about why or why not you or another person has been moderated, complaints about the moderating policy, etc…are not appropriate for post threads.

    /threadjack

  192. I think the pressure of having to come up with a new show with a new topic of discussion every day has driven Beck over the edge.

    In 165, Kathryn S. said: “Reed, if you don’t love America, you’re free to leave.”

    Actually, America makes it very difficult to leave. The thought of you taking your taxable income out of their jurisdiction makes the powers that be very unhappy.

  193. Mark N.,

    So much so that he is now attacking Bruce Springsteen for being anti-American!

  194. renverseur says:

    I have been having a little ‘nacle break lately, but have been trying to lurk on by from time to time to keep up with what the cool people are talking about. I was struck by posts appearing almost simultaneously on both bcc and t&s jumping on Glenn Beck for suggesting that people leave churches that advocate “social justice” or “economic justice.” Here on bcc Rebecca proudly proclaims that she doesn’t watch Beck, read his books, or otherwise follow him. Yet based on this ignorance, she stills feel free to criticize him. At t&s Kaimi (whose has closed comments on his thread, so he gets it here on bcc) does not seem to be much interested in trying to understand what Beck was trying to say either as opposed to making a snarky crack. Further the thread here appears to contain many comments from self-proclaimed “conservatives” who nonetheless are eager to disassociate themselves from Brother Beck.

    The criticism on both bcc and t&s strikes me as unfair. It seems to be based on a misconstrual of Beck’s comments by the mainstream media rather than any familiarity with the body of Beck’s work. Taken in the overall context of his work, I think that Beck was simply reiterating a widely held view among conservatives that the professional leaderships of many mainstream churches use church resources to pursue very left-wing political agenda which are often very inconsistent with the views of the folks in the pews. These far left-wing political agenda are often disguised under the rubrics of social or economic justice. I don’t think Beck was criticizing social or economic justice as religious or philosophical ideals. He was criticizing the reality that the terms are used by professional denominational headquarters as a cover for political advocacy which is well to the left of their memberships’ views.

  195. renverseur,

    Based on your logic, General Authorities should stop condemning p@rn because they do not read it on a regular basis.

    Unfair? He is a millionaire with a national TV show. He is quite clear and we got the message. However, the message is wrong even if you are a sucker for it.

    Please, BCC do not be mean to Mr. Beck anymore. His followers are such sensitive souls and cannot handle it.

    While Rebecca may not read Glenn Beck, it is obvious that she has read books. This is not clear the Beck has read much at all.

  196. It’s Simple, if you listen to Glenn for a while, you learn 2 important things:

    1) He uses shock/comedy to entertain.

    2) He is consistently spreading the news of:

    – Forced “charity” by government taxation = bad
    – Caring for the poor by personal choice = good

    It is that “Forced Charity” at the hands of Government that he is warning against and saying that this often goes by the euphamism of “social justice”.

  197. Mark Brown says:

    I know just what you mean, Alan H. This forced by the government charity business is going to ruin us all.

    Just yesterday I noticed on my phone bill that I am being charged a tax for 911 service. THIS IS BEING DONE TO ME WITHOUT MY CONSENT!!!!!!!! Why am I being forced to pay for a service I never use? Why doesn’t the government just let people choose whatever 911 service they want? Why are we being FORCED to be in a single payer system?

    The same thing goes for these infernal highway taxes. The interstate freeway system is socialist, if not communist. Why didn’t they just let the individual states decide if they wanted to be part of it or not? Just think of how many peoples’ sacred property rights were trampled upon in order to build it! I never voted for it, but I have to pay taxes for it every time I fill the tank. Before you know it, our free agency will be gone. This government-run charity stuff is simply an extension of the war in heaven.

  198. Chris Henrichsen says:

    If social justice is merely “forced charity” then this proves my theory about Beck: his high school level education did not prepare him well for dealing with complex theoretical complex.

    Does this make me a snob? Yep.

    I expect Beck-style analysis from my freshman level students. My juniors and seniors are far beyond it. Beck may be doing the best he can with the training and skill that he has.

    The “Beck is just an entertainer” rubbish is hard to stomach in light of the 912 clubs and the tea parties which were largely organized by Beck and Fox News. He may be in it for the money (and hence an entertainer) and I have no doubt that the tears are fake, but he is using fear and emotion to sway the masses. This makes him a demagogue and not an entertainer..

    Given the limited understanding Beck seems to have of any number of concepts, Beck as a demagogue is particularly scary. Why? It is the ignorant leading the ignorant.

  199. Cynthia L. says:

    renverseur, I wonder what you think Mormons should do if the professional leadership of the church used church resources to pursue a political agenda that was inconsistent with their views. I’m trying to think of an example… hmm… yeah, nothing springs to mind. Anyway, totally hypothetically, would you encourage them to leave the church?

  200. I have an idea, how about anyone on this blog actually listent to the ENTIRE quote, rather than cutting it off where it seems to suit your opinions? At the end he says:

    “Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes! If you go to Jeremiah Wright’s church.”

    Then in the following days he clarified his comments by saying that his recommendation is to ask your church what they mean by “social justice” – if they mean to be a charitable person, great. If they mean that being charitable requires governmental intervention, not good – your church has now involved itself in politics, ruining the separation of church and state. Oh, and he wasn’t advising people to leave their RELIGION, he was advising them to leave their physical PARRISH. But only if they were trying to preach that socialism is “God’s way”. Any member of a congregation has a right to feel that way (which he supported by stating that many of his own religion are of that opinion), but when the religion itself starts preaching it as doctrine, that’s a problem.

  201. Jane, I wonder what you think Mormons should do if the church “involved itself in politics, ruining the separation of church and state”? I’m trying to think of an example… hmm… yeah, nothing springs to mind. anyway, totally hypothetically, would you encourage them to leave our church?

  202. SLO Sapo says:

    “Then in the following days he clarified his comments by saying . . .”

    This is called backpedaling. Beck and Limbaugh usually preface it with a phrase like, “My comments were misconstrued.” It’s the natural consequence of fuzzy thinking and shoot-from-the hip communication.

  203. Bruce Rogers says:

    The term ‘social charity’ seems not to be a favored term of some writers on this list. That term is not in my dictionary, but the word ‘social’ is defined as “pleasant companionship’ and the word ‘charity’ is discussed at length by Paul in the NT, in a very positive manner. Indeed, Paul is of the opinion that it is the essence of Chritianity. Many of our General Conference addresses have extolled the virtues of charity and the value of being pleasant to others.
    So I suppose that I can conclude that my religion, as I understand it, is different from those who have written their opinion of what is wrong with ‘social charity’.
    As far as the government is concerned, my scriptures tell me that the Lord raised up wise men to establish the Constitution of this land and that we should make a positive contribution to government. So I write to each of the parties to tell them to be positive. I received a 4-page letter from the president of the RNC that contained not even one positive comment about government, but only negative. I told him that if he would send me a letter telling me what he wanted to do to improve our country, then I would send him money. I await his reply. Anyone can go to the RNC website and judge for themselves if posive recomendations are being made. If you find them, please let me know exactly where you found them so that I can read them.

  204. Cynthia, I’m not entirely sure what you are getting at. No, I have no examples of our church involving itself in politics (at least not doctrinally – I have heard people try to do it during sacrament talks or SS lessons, but the leadership of the church has been clear that we are to decide what our political ideals are), and if they did, yes, I would take a serious look at who was trying to mix church and state and what the context was (aka, was it one of the apostles or the prophet, was it declared as official church doctrine, or just someone’s opinion, etc.) and perhaps reevaluate my membership from there. And I would encourage others to do the same.

    Sapo, I realize that “backpedaling” never looks good, but can you honestly say you’ve never been in a situation where someone has misinterpreted what you said and you had to go back and say “my comments were misconstrued”? Try saying it to millions of people, what are the chances that it will get misconstrued, especially with so many people looking to criticize you?

    It seems half the world interpreted his comments one way and half the other. So that means either half the population interpreted his comments incorrectly and it needed to be clarified, or half the world interpreted his comments correctly and he’s trying to “pander” and make it sound like he didn’t mean that. I’m with the former because the quote STATES that he would advise people to leave their church if they go to Jeremiah Wright’s church (or a church like it, I would assume). Would you not give the same advice?

  205. Cynthia – To further clarify, if our church was officially teaching and preaching doctrine like Jeremiah Wright’s church, YES I would encourage people to leave. But this is not happening, so I think we can feel comfortable that this hypothetical situation is not likely.

  206. Steve Evans says:

    LOL. Good seeing you, Jane. Let me know how that membership reevaluation thing goes.

  207. Jane: cough*Prop8*cough

  208. Cynthia, Prop8 wasn’t real, was it? It was just a really bad nightmare, right? And we all woke up, and nothing had actually happened, right? Just a bad dream, right?

  209. “But this is not happening, so I think we can feel comfortable that this hypothetical situation is not likely.”

    Bwa-hahahahahaha!!!

  210. MikeInWeHo says:

    Be kind to Jane. She’s trying to make a point from a perspective we need to understand.
    Repent or PARRISH.

  211. “Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes! If you go to Jeremiah Wright’s church.”

    Yes, that is the full quote. It probably would have been better if I’d included that last part, so I’d have more credibility when I said that last part didn’t really mitigate the offensiveness for me. I am a conservative, though, so I knew that he was talking about churches with leftist political agendas and not every church welfare program in existence, and therefore I underestimated how much difference it might make to other people if they had that subordinate clause to work with. I regret the oversight.

    Here’s the thing: if you are a conservative and you’re going to a church that preaches the Gospel of Socialist Government, chances are that you don’t need Glenn Beck to tell you about it; you already know. I’m not sure why he thinks anyone needs his help to interpret how politicized their church’s gospel message is. When he says “social justice” is “code” for communism and Nazism, he’s implying that these churches have hidden agendas. Jeremiah Wright doesn’t have a hidden agenda. He doesn’t need to use code. People who are watching Glenn Beck in the first place aren’t going to Jeremiah Wright’s church. So who is Glenn Beck talking to? What is he talking about? I can’t even tell. And if I, a conservative who is willing to give Glenn Beck the benefit of the doubt–I know he’s not advising people to leave churches because they help poor people, because no one does that!–can’t figure out what he’s talking about, how are other people going to react to it? They’re going to react to it exactly as they have–accusing him of being a typical conservative jerk who hates poor people. It’s a problem!

    Aside from that, there’s something wrong with a religious conservative railing against the politicization of moral issues in church, to the point of advising people to leave their churches over it. (Yes, individual churches/parishes, but for most people, that’s what “church” means.) Personally, I would prefer not to encounter politics at church, but not everyone agrees on this. If your church involves itself in politics in a way you don’t like, you’re perfectly capable of deciding whether or not you should leave or stay; you really don’t need Glenn Beck’s advice because it’s none of his beeswax. Even if you’re attending Jeremiah Wright’s church, that is your business. I’m sure you have your reasons, just as some pro-SSM people have their reasons for remaining LDS even during/after the whole Prop 8 thing. If you disagree with the religious left’s positions, you should argue against those positions, but asking other folks to leave their churches for the sake of your political priorities is just getting a little too personal.

    Certainly there are some people who will always be willfully obtuse about what conservatives say, but Glenn Beck could save himself and the rest of us a lot of trouble if he’d just speak more clearly and less like an unhinged person.

  212. I don’t know how anyone could read Elder Marlin K. Jensen’s counsel on immigration law (counsel which, I must add, the Utah legislature disregarded in nearly every one of its particulars) as anything but a call for social justice.

    I don’t see how anyone could read the Church’s support of employment and housing rights for homosexuals as anything but a call for social justice.

    What Glenn Beck seems to be saying, if you combine his original statement with all his clumsy backpedaling, is: “Look on your Church’s website for the words ‘social justice.’ If you find them, go ask your pastor if he’s a Nazi. IF HE SAYS YES, GET THE HELL OUTTA THAT CHURCH!”

    Anybody want to start a pool with me on how long before Beck leaves the Church/gets exed/starts his own ministry?

  213. #213 “But GB could save himself and the rest of us a lot of trouble if he’s just speak more clearly and less like an unhinged person”.
    Quite frankly, I am of the belief he intentionally presents himself in such a light since he grabs so much more attention…. If he were to speak more clearly, he would not get the share of attention he apparently needs so desperately….

  214. Actually GBs crazy speaking tendancies HAVE saved me a lot of trouble. I don’t feel any slight need to listen to him-though I am conservative.

    Sure the whole quote would have been helpful in this situation. It appears GB did actually describe a certain kind of social justice-not just those word or charity in general. It also appears he was talking about extreme views-jeremiah wright variety. That’s not slightly more socially active there-that’s wacko.

    BUT he’s nuts. I can’t listen to that kind of voice. I dont’ need invented drama.

    He sure does tend to start conversations though..why? Is it like Michael Moore? Is some attention grabbing, exagerating craziness necessary to get our attention and make us actually talk about things?

    The only problem is that I don’t find divisive talk helpful. There are poor people…they need help. How can we best help them? That’s a conversation anyone could have..but if we start saying my way of helping is the only and best way. sigh

    What if every GB listener donated $5 to charity every time they listened? What if every Michael Moore movie watcher jsut donated that money to charity instead?

    It seems like we like talking about solutions more than we like solving.

  215. Haha, okay, touche, let me clarify (wow, heaven forbid a person should ever have to clarify a misunderstood statement!). From my understanding, and I may be wrong, it wasn’t the prophet telling people to outwardly speak out about Prop 8, it was local leaders. What a misguided bishop or stake president says to his ward is of very little consequence to me. I don’t even take something a GA says as official doctrine. If the church officially adopted, as doctrine (not just the opinion of some GA or bishop) that socialism is God’s preferred way to run our country, then yes, I would reevaluate my membership. Many of you misunderstand and assume that “reevaluate my membership” means leave the church. It doesn’t, it just means I would really study and think over the circumstances and the reasons behind them and consider whether or not it contradicts my personal beliefs to stay. Oddly enough, I’m pretty sure that if being republican was a requirement for membership, many of you would “reevaluate your membership” as well (whether or not you are, indeed a republican).

    Britt – I’m totally with you. Not to threadjack, but this is why I don’t like “social justice” coming from the government – it robs us of the responsibility to take care of each other.

  216. “it robs us of the responsibility to take care of each other.”

    Caring is great on an individual basis. However, it does not eleviate poverty. Can you afford to pay for the health pay for the health insurance of those who cannot afford it in your neighborhood? I doubt it. However, as a community we can come toghether and make such provisions and the state is the mechanism by which we achieve those ends.

    It does not rob you of that responsiblity, but it allows you to meat that responsiblity rather than just talk about it.

  217. #217 Jane,

    I don’t want to be querulous (nor imply that you are being evasive or prevaricating), but as I see it you have not really clarified anything. Each of your sentences may be individually true, but they do not chain together to form a definite stance:

    “it wasn’t the prophet telling people to outwardly speak out about Prop 8, it was local leaders.”

    Probably. But who exactly was telling the local leaders to do this? (And if it was a GA, who was telling him?) Or are you seriously suggesting (but not explicitly claiming) that a supermajority of local leaders “spontaneously” decided to launch a major ($20ish million) campaign, a sum unprecedented in LDS history, without any active instigation from SLC? That would make one heck of a conspiracy theory, don’t you think?

    “What a misguided bishop or stake president says to his ward is of very little consequence to me.”

    Unless it’s your ward? Or do you not care even then?

    “I don’t even take something a GA says as official doctrine.”

    Really? Are you sure? The US and State courts could never function this way (not enough hours in the day). Lower appellate/revelatory bodies make decisions that are binding precedent (over their jurisdictions) until overruled or clarified by higher authorities. I thought this also held true in LDS. Surely at least SPs can administer disciplinary actions on issues not yet “officially” promulgated in the Church but held to be true by the Bishop and SP?

    “If the church officially adopted…I would reevaluate my membership.”

    Isn’t this a vacuous statement? Of course you are constantly reevaluating your worthiness in the Church (and its worthiness in your life and path to God) and making corrections accordingly. But what conditions are sufficient to cause you to actually resign your membership? You decline to say.

    “I don’t like “social justice” coming from the government – it robs us of the responsibility to take care of each other.”

    How exactly? If you are robbed at an ATM, do you still not have to feed your family with what is left? If the government takes half your income and gives it to unworthy person A, are you entitled to ignore the real needs of worthy person B lying right in front of you? Give to Caesar, then with what’s left, go on the fulfill your responsibilities.

    Perhaps what you really mean is that government charity relieves the recipient of the duty to justify taking the money? A valid point, but not the one you are making. Sorry to put words in your mouth, but I’m still not sure what exactly your true problem is with “social justice”.

  218. Jane:

    http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary/california-and-same-sex-marriage

    If that’s not the prophet getting involved in politics, I don’t know what is.

    Maybe you should clarify that, if a prophet says something political that you disagree with, you’ll re-evaluate your membership.

  219. While I’m skeptical of many government programs that’s because of their tendency to become politicized as well as practical questions of government efficiency. The problem is that if you reject government mandated health care because “it robs us of the responsibility to take care of each other” then by the same logic shouldn’t we get rid of fire departments and police? Why is one kind of community action allowed while the other isn’t? (And remember that government run fire departments is a relatively recent event – they were originally private with disastrous results at times)

    We can dispute what duty society has as a whole to the needy. But let’s not confuse that social duty with charity. We recognize many duties of the government. Just because a duty hasn’t been had by the government up til now is not an argument for keeping it out of government.

  220. it wasn’t the prophet telling people to outwardly speak out about Prop 8, it was local leaders.

    …least plausible story since the Fancher party had trouble with the Indians.

  221. Cynthia L. says:

    Uh, wow, Jane. I’ve briefly compiled some rebuttal to your idea that it was local. Let me emphasize that I don’t think this means you should leave the church!! :-) But that claim is so spectacularly wrong, I’m either speechless, or going to go on and on. Here we go with the latter:

    FIRST PRESIDENCY MAKES IT OFFICIAL:
    The First Presidency sent a letter with all their signatures on it to every Bishop in California to read over the pulpit. The text is linked to by Hammie above. It includes (emphasis added):

    “We ask that you do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time to assure that marriage in California is legally defined as being between a man and a woman. Our best efforts are required to preserve the sacred institution of marriage.”

    PROP 8 CALLINGS:
    Every ward was told to issue callings to people to be in charge of that ward’s campaign activities. Every zip code was to have a coordiantor, then there was a hierarchy of regional coordinators, etc. Every ward. Statewide.

    FUNDRAISING THROUGH CHURCH, BY GAs:
    Every stake had assigned fundraising goals, and bishops in some cases went to members’ homes to ask them for specific (large) amounts. Some exceptionally wealthy members in California were invited to be on a conference call with a General Authority, in which they were all challenged to donate $25,000 each.

    GOSPEL CURRICULUM COORDINATED WITH CAMPAIGN:
    The weekly Sacrament Meeting themes (for talks) for several months leading up to the campaign were assigned in detail by Salt Lake to be on topics related to strengthening families and following the prophet. This was for every ward and branch in California. Our ward had a training by the Stake President himself, on Sunday, during a combined 3rd hour (Priesthood+Relief Society), where he went over what to say when you knocked on a door, etc, and then we had signups for door knocking, yard signs, and other campaign activities.

    BROADCAST FROM SALT LAKE BY APOSTLES:
    There was also a Broadcast from SLC that every adult member in California was supposed to attend, where we were instructed by two apostles and a seventy about detailed campaign plans (what we were supposed to be doing, how many hours they expected each of us to donate, etc. You can read a detailed liveblog/notes of the broadcast here)

    I think you get the idea.

  222. Cynthia L. says:

    I should maybe not call the callings “callings.” The individuals were told that they were being asked by their bishop to accept this assignment, but it wasn’t a calling, exactly. That’s what they were told.

  223. Mark Brown says:

    I hate it when the government robs me of the opportunity to be charitable to my neighbors.

  224. Simply because the Government has its own programs in place surely doesn’t rob me of the ability to be charitable to my neighbors. And charity does not need to be viewed narrowly as financial assistance. Charity is far more, is it not? If I give time to my neighbors by watching their children so they can visit a sick or dying relative, is that not an act of charity? If I bring in meals to one who for whatever reason can not provide for themselves, is that not charity? To view charity on the same limited level as Government aid programs is to limit ourselves….

  225. Okay, let me try one more time. First of all, thanks to those of you who provided REFERENCES to the subject of the prop8 protests coming from local leaders vs. the prophet. I see that you are correct, and I was wrong (and as I stated in my earlier post, “…I may be wrong…”). So, this gives me something to think about.

    Cynthia, and anyone else who referenced me “leaving the church”, I’ll quote what i said earlier.
    “Many of you misunderstand and assume that “reevaluate my membership” means leave the church. It doesn’t, it just means I would really study and think over the circumstances and the reasons behind them and consider whether or not it contradicts my personal beliefs to stay.” Don’t worry, I “reevaluate” my membership pretty regularly, as I imagine many of you do or you wouldn’t be here… I don’t know what circumstances would cause me to resign my membership. I haven’t yet met any that have caused that result.

    Some of you make some good points (and some of you make some stupid points), so I have a little more to think about.

    No, relying on individual charity is NOT the best way to help the poor – obviously many people will be prone to be selfish with what they have. But is that not their right? Is that not what our country was created for – so mankind can decide how to use his/her earnings and limit the extent to which the government can dictate “the best thing” for our money? Do you seriously trust the government to know better than you or your neighbor how your money should be spent? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe in the obliteration of taxes. They are obviously necessary and some type of government is necessary. But we should be limiting what the government is allowed to do rather than handing over more responsibilities to it. When the government starts taking more than 30% of someone’s paycheck (and it DOES, ie my boss who pays 51% in taxes) I have a problem with that. Look, I know what it’s like to be the poor person. My mom raised five kids and we definitely weren’t privileged enough to call ourselves middle class. I used to hate “rich” people and everything they stood for. But we had many friends and family that pulled us through. That’s what churches, families, charities, and individuals are for. If our poor aren’t being taken care of, it’s because WE are not doing enough, not because the government isn’t doing enough.

    “It does not rob you of that responsiblity, but it allows you to meat that responsiblity rather than just talk about it.”

    Actually to me, talking about how the government should “redistribute the wealth” is doing exactly that – talking about it rather than doing something ourselves.

  226. And with that, I probably opened a whole new can of worms… I digress. Weren’t we talking about Glenn Beck at some point?

  227. Chris Henrichsen says:

    So what your saying is that my points are the stupid points. Thanks.

    When we think that the government is some entity not related to us, the social contract truly has failed. No wonder Beck’s message resonates with so many…we are a people devoid of a sense of justice. The poor are not the only ones who are screwed…we all are.

  228. Bruce Rogers says:

    In the above post 214, Jeremy wants to know how soon it will be when GB leaves the Church. That probably depends on whether his Bishop & St Pres want to take action (or whether SLC asks them to take action). Pres Monson was the editor of the Deseret News before becoming a GA, so he is committed to freedon of the press. He will not take action unless he perceives that the Church may be negatively affected by it. So far, they have not taken action, and I hope that none will be necessary, but if those writers overstep their obligations that free speech entails, the Church might take action.
    If you look at the qoutes from Pres Monson that appear in each issue of the Church News and the Ensign, you will read very positive words. My suggestion to GB, and everyone else, is to try to follow his example.

  229. Actually, Chris, your points had some merit. The “stupid” points I was referring to was comment #225. I suppose I have to reword my statement that “it robs us of the responsibility to take care of each other.” Obviously there are many other ways we can take care of each other and we can donate additional money to help the poor. I guess my point was that many people want “redistribution of wealth” because it takes the burden off them to help others and puts it on the government. Why do we need the government to help the poor, why can’t we do it ourselves through personal charity, church work, and other means?

  230. I guess I never considered this a “responsibility” of the government. Our personal wealth or lack therof has always been a personal responsibility since the foundation of the country, I’m not really sure why that changed. I see the government as being responsible for our safety against criminals at home and abroad and that’s pretty much it. And no, I don’t consider someone who doesn’t give to the poor a “criminal”.

  231. It’s not specific to this particular post, but wanted to note SOMEWHERE that your sideblog linked to a Canadian article about mid-20th-century sinister CIA experiments on the American people. Why? Because some Canuck copy editor transposed the “s” and the “d” in lysergic acid diethylamide. HA!

  232. Jane,
    Thanks. The fact that you admitted to being wrong about something in #227 gives me hope for the bloggernacle, where such is a rarity. Just dial down the volume, intensity, and rhetoric a bit (like you did nicely in #231), and you’ll be fine here, no matter what all these crazy liberals and socialists say.

  233. Thanks, Scott. If you could hear my tone of voice you’d find that my comments are not high in volume or intensity. I’m new to the “bloggernacle” so I’ve got to figure out how to word my sentences so they don’t come across that way…

  234. No problem, Jane. It’s tricky, because of what you just said yourself–we can’t hear your tone or see your face. However, this is compounded by the fact that many of the rest of the commenters _do_ know each other fairly well, so if you look for equitable treatment across all comments, you’ll be found wanting. Stick with it, and you’ll be great and people will respect (or ignore politely) you. If you want to avoid major pitfalls, I highly recommend this post for tips on what not to do.

  235. Jane, I second Scott’s comments that your participation has been overall useful and nice to see the ever-so-rare admitting being wrong. One thing to know about me is that I enjoy calling people’s facts “spectacularly wrong” even when I really like them personally. Just ask Scott (who is spectacularly wrong at least weekly).

  236. Chris Henrichsen says:

    Mark,

    For what it worth, #225 is the highlight of my week. Well, it has not been that great of a week.

    Scott,

    Crazy? In light of the depression series, not sure if my mental status is all that relevant to my socialism. However, I was just reading that Rousseau had mental issues, and since he is one of my main inspirations, this might be related after all.

    Jane,

    Stick around. These are good people.

    BTW, I appreciate your objections. To be honest, I am exhausted. Jefferson and Paine abandoned the theories of Hobbes and Locke during their lifetimes. However, America, and Mormons in particular, are hopelessly committed to principles of the 1600s. I used to have hope that I could persuade others that democracy is preferable to the principles of radical individualism. I no longer hold out hope.

    Yep, crazy.

  237. Jane, pay no attention to Cynthia. She is spectacularly wrong about the frequency with which I am spectacularly wrong.

  238. Bruce Rogers says:

    In post 232 Jane says ” I don’t consider someone who doesn’t give to the poor a “criminal””. The prophets in the OT & NT said that the people were cursed and not blessed because they did not give to the poor. The scriptues emphasise many times that we will be blessed when we give to the poor.

  239. Well thanks everyone, I feels so welcome now! (I’m really not being sarcastic at all). Bruce, you’re absolutely right – people who didn’t give to the poor were “not blessed”. But they weren’t jailed either. I consider “taking” from another to be a crime. Just “not giving” is certainly nothing to be praised, but it’s not a crime.

  240. Bruce Rogers says:

    #199: Mark Brown staes “I am taxed for 911 service. Why am I being forced to pay for a service I never use?” We are taxed for the fire department and I hope that I never have to use it, but I will be grateful to be able to call 911 for it if my house catches on fire. I hope that I never have to use the police department. Our newspaper reported that a robber tied up a woman and robbed her house, but the 6 year old picked up the phone, pressed 911 and said a robber is in my home. Soon the robbers were greeted by the police.

  241. Bruce Rogers says:

    #199 Mark Brown wrote “The Interstate Freeway System is socialist, if not communist.” He says the states should have done it. Well, we live in the “UNITED States of America” and the Constitution gives Congress the right to “levy taxes” for the “general welfare”. Maybe he thinks that the writers of the Constitution would be sympathetic to the “communists”, but I think that they truly wanted to prepare the way for a good government to serve the people. They could not forsee the need for freeways, but they certainly had to use roads to get to where they needed to go and they provided funds for the federal projects that they deemed valuable. They were criticized for it then, just as people today are criticizing good works done by the government.
    We all have the right of free speech, which is a great blessing to all of us. Even for those with whom we disagree.

  242. Bruce,
    It appears that you missed Mark’s sarcasm.

  243. Mark Brown says:

    Bruce, Scott is right, I was being sarcastic. Perhaps I should have just stated my position plainly.

    We already have an ethic of shared responsibility when it comes to police and fire protection, 9-11 service, and even public education. The interstate freeway system was built because the government used its powers of eminent domain to take property away from landowners against their will, in the interest of the common good. So when people like Beck throw hissy fits about this or that government program and call it socialist, I’m inclined to laugh in their faces. They’re welcome to stay off the freeway if they don’t like it.

    BCC participant DavidH has noted that the Arizona legislature has now terminated medical coverage for children of the working poor. /Sarcasm alert/ How grateful we should be that these children will grow up understanding that you don’t get something for nothing, and that their free agency hasn’t been compromised. After all, that is what made this country great.

  244. Mark,

    If we were still a great country, we would send those children (leaches on our freedom) back into the factories and the mines. Make them earn their healthcare. Plus, they will die earlier and this will help curtail the surplus population.

    Too bad all this socialism has made us soft.

  245. Peter LLC says:

    Mark,

    Speaking of Arizona and socialism, let’s not forget the Central Arizona Project, the $4 billion scheme to force Arizona’s yeoman farmers to pay less than market prices for water to grow stuff in the middle of the desert.

  246. Bruce Rogers says:

    When my great-grandfather arrived with the Jones company to settle Lehi, the first thing that they did was to dig an irrigation ditch from the river to plant gardens. That was the beginning of the canal system, but, lo, today we have people who think that it is socialism to force people who do not want it. How ungrateful some people are for the sacrifices made by our forefathers. I suggest that they read the history of the settlement and development of that area. Perhaps visit the history sites in Lehi and Mesa (see the Mesa Historical Society). No, I do not think that it was a “scheme” to “force” anyone, but I believe that we should be thankful for what our forefathers have done for us, and repay it by promoting systems to be a blessing to the next generaltion. I am disapointed when I read how selfish many people are, but the Bible tellls us that has been the hisory of man. Jesus told us to love our neigbbor and gave us the Good Samaritan story. How can we appply that in our lives today to bless others? The idea that we should do it individually, and not collectively, just shows selfishness, because an individual cannnot build a highway, a school, or other public projects. Let us do it together to get it done.

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