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Glenn Beck and His Magic Underwear

It’s been a while since my last blog entry due to a death in the family, so it’ll be a busy place around here for the next few days. To get things started, I have one thing to say about the BP fiasco in the gulf. During the past week, some people were criticizing Obama for not being emotional enough. Now, I have an awful lot of criticism I could level at Obama and his handling of the crisis, and people know I have never been one of his myrmidons. However, this particular criticism, that he’s not emotional enough, is ridiculous. I don’t want an emotional president, I want one who thinks. I have often criticized Obama for not thinking, but this current crop of nay-saying is just foolish. I can’t help but think there are people out there who would complain if Obama cured cancer. That having been said, expect a critique of his BP performance in the near future.

After being prodded by one of my loyal readers and very good friend, I watched my first episode of the Glen Beck Show on Fox News today. One could, and I just might, run a blog devoted to explaining and correcting Beck.

On today’s installment, he proceeded to mangle the legend of Robin Hood, and insult two different constituencies at the same time. Trying to tie the legendary robber to Obama and Geithner, and paint him as some sort of early socialist, Beck managed to get it all wrong.

Beck claimed that Robin Hood, or Robin of Locksley, worked for the king stealing from the poor before switching sides. Beck further alleged the Friar Tuck was an agent of the evil bishops, also stealing from the poor in the name of the church, until he came to his senses as well. According to Beck, Robin and Tuck eventually saw the light, and opposed their employers, becoming outlaws, and returning to the poor the monies they had stolen. Beck paints the king and the church as the bad guys in this legendary morality play.

The truth, as is almost always the case, is far more interesting. Truth number one, Robin Hood was always on the side of the king and remained loyal to him to death. However, the king was Richard Lionheart, who was a fair-minded and generous king. Beck’s villainous ruler wasn’t the king, but his brother, the cruel and greedy Prince John. Robin was instrumental in helping restore Lionheart to the throne of England. Robin had no opportunity to help the upstart John, since he was away for most of the time with Richard in the Crusades. Upon his return from the Crusades, Robin opposed John and helped the poor. He was never one of the oppressors.

Truth number two, the church was never one of the oppressors, either. Far from it. John and his Norman henchmen were engaged in the systematic plunder of the church, trying their best to make the church subservient to the crown, both financially and theologically. Tuck was an itinerant friar not to rob on behalf of the church, but because he had taken an oath of poverty. It’s not surprising that Beck mischaracterizes the position of the church and of Tuck, and we’ll see why shortly.

Beck also declared that America needs to restore God and Christianity to society. And that leads us to some of the problems with Beck. There are two that I want to address here. The first is illustrated by his Robin Hood story. Alexander Pope famously said, “A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.” Beck didn’t drink deep enough about this subject, so he got the whole point of it wrong. Beck managed to take a bit of history, mis-state it, and then draw an erroneous conclusion. One cannot help but think that this is not an isolated incident.

Second, Beck manages to, by implication at least, slander the Catholic Church. By suggesting that the bishops were abusing the peasants, Beck manages to toss his anti-Catholic views front and center. So, to my mind at least, that makes his beliefs fair game for examination. Beck believes that America needs to recover its Christian identity. What does that mean? Let’s look into it.

Glenn Beck is a Mormon, or a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It’s not surprising, then, that Beck disparages Catholics. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, oddly enough, is one of the most anti-christian cult groups around. The Mormons believe that “(Christian churches), for they were all wrong…their creeds were an abomination in [God’s] sight; that those professors were all corrupt” (Joseph Smith—History 1:19.)”Orthodox Christian views of God are pagan rather than Christian” (Mormon Doctrine of Deity, B. H. Roberts [General Authority], 116.)
“Are Christians ignorant? Yes, as ignorant of the things of God as the brute beast” (Journal of Discourses, John Taylor [3rd Mormon President], 13:225.)
“The Roman Catholic, Greek, and Protestant church, is the great corrupt, ecclesiastical power, represented by great Babylon” (Orson Pratt, Writings of an Apostle, Orson Pratt, n. 6, 84.)
“All the priests who adhere to the sectarian [Christian] religions of the day with all their followers, without one exception, receive their portion with the devil and his angels” (The Elders Journal, Joseph Smith, ed. Vol. 1, n. 4, 60.)
Under the heading, “Church of the Devil,” Apostle Bruce R. McConkie lists: “The Roman Catholic Church specifically—singled out, set apart, described, and designated as being ‘most abominable above all other churches’ (I Ne. 13:5)” (Mormon Doctrine, 1958, 129.)
“Believers in the doctrines of modern Christendom will reap damnation to their souls (Morm. 8; Moro. 8)” (Mormon Doctrine, 1966, Bruce R. McConkie, 177.)

It’s no wonder that he is anti-catholic, and no wonder that he is anti-christian. What Beck means by a christian nation, I can only worry about. Beck supporters will no doubt have a fit, but these are the teachings of the church Beck belongs to. He can’t be a mormon and a Christian, and he’s public about the choice he made. The problem is, that given what I now know about Beck, I find it hard to credit him as a serious and deep thinker.

Categories: Uncategorized
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  1. June 8, 2010 at 4:23 am

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