Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Glenn Beck: Mormon, Sadly

There is really nothing more to say about Glenn Beck. He is soulless. His every word is carefully chosen to illicit astonished reactions. But I'll take the bait and we'll discuss him here because, sadly, he is "Mormon." His latest erudite and intelligent bit of commentary is that he thinks Pres. Obama is racist:



Pres. Obama has a deep-seated hatred for white people and white culture. But he's not saying Pres. Obama doesn't like white people. But Pres. Obama is a racist. So it appears, in Glenn Beck's mind, that racism and hatred of white people and white culture are not the same thing as not liking white people. You can be one and not the other.

First, I'd love to know what white culture is. If anyone can define it, please step forward. But it sounds a little too much like white supremacy to me.

Second, Barack Obama is half-white. His mother is white. Half his family is white. His grandmother, who he talked about often, is white. As noted in the video, his presidential campaign was run by white people and his White House is run by a white man.

But Pres. Obama made a comment about a black man getting arrested in a white neighborhood, so Beck says Obama is a racist and has deep-seated hatred for white people. I don't know if Beck actually believes stuff like this that he says, I tend to think he does, but it doesn't matter. What Glenn Beck really thinks is that calling Pres. Obama a racist will be good for ratings. He knows he has a base of listeners who are ultra-conservative, angry, white, and easily agitated, and he plays to those people.

What Beck doesn't get, tragically, is that there are consequences to such hateful and vilifying speech. We live in a nation, fortunately, and I mean that, where you can call the President a racist. Plenty of people called Pres. Bush stupid, and as far as I know none of those people were waterboarded or tortured in any way. But its not as easy as just shouting "FREEDOM OF SPEECH! FREEDOM OF SPEECH!" anytime someone calls you out for your awful and offensive speech. We also live in a society where we try to be tolerant and peaceful and intelligent, and speech like Beck's only lowers our nation's level of discourse, breeds hate and intolerance, and can lead to real violence. Now, if Beck was just generally inane and insufferable but did not have a history of hate-filled and violent rhetoric, his Obama-racist comment would be forgotten and/or ignored. But that's not the case.

Glenn Beck said that stem cell research will lead to Eugenics and another holocaust. You don't think someone could hear that and decide to stop it at all costs? Glenn Beck espouses traitorous secession when you disagree with the President politically. You don't think someone could hear that and start something nasty? Glenn Beck said that his political opponents were vampires and that the only way to stop them is to drive a stake through their hearts. You don't think someone could hear that and react violently? Glenn Beck said he hates, "hates," the victims of Hurricane Katrina and 9/11. Glenn Beck demanded that the first ever Muslin Congressman "prove to me that you are not working with our enemies." Glenn Beck accuses Pres. Obama of leading the nation to socialism. Glenn Beck called Pres. Obama a communist. Glenn Beck (this link is a doozy) called Rosie O'Donnell a "fat witch," called Hillary Clinton a "stereotypical bitch," called countries from where immigrants are coming to the United States "dirtbag countr[ies]," made fun of Braille, said that we need to be "in the recruitment office lining up to shoot the bad Muslims in the head," called Cindy Sheehan, whose son died in Iraq and who became an anti-war protester, "a pretty big prostitute," and on and on and on and on.

If he had said just one of these things, and somebody internalized it and did something violent, we certainly couldn't look back at Beck and accuse him of having blood on his hands. But when he spews hate speech as consistently and radically as he does, when the time comes, which is inevitable, that one or more of his listeners acts on these hateful feelings and ideas, Beck will be guilty. He can say whatever he wants, but when the words turn to actual violence, he'll be guilty.

The big problem, though, and what this blog is particularly concerned about, is that Glenn Beck is Mormon. Do you suppose that Beck could go from his radio show where he calls Hilary Clinton a stereotypical bitch, or a grieving mother/anti-war activist a big prostitute, directly to the temple and feel good about that? Do you suppose he could be in the foyer after sacrament meeting and call the nations directly to the south of America, where the church is growing exponentially, dirtbags as a Honduran walks by, and feel good about that?

And it's not like I'm trying to divine the intent of his heart, he purposefully and publicly made these and many other statements just like them for all to hear.

But because he is "Mormon" and conservative, he is treated like a General Authority. Check out the comments section to the Deseret News article, "Question: Is Glenn Beck a Mormon?" Members of the church revere him. They will defend him at all costs. They take his word as gospel, all because he is a prominent "Mormon" conservative commentator/entertainer. It sickens me. He is a terrible, terrible, example of Mormonism. He is affirmatively bad for our church, and I don't want his crying, hateful face associated with my religion.

40 comments:

Andrew said...

Amen. Y'know, I think sometimes after watching videos like that it's a good thing to detox. Here are a couple that I think you might enjoy:

D.R.I. live, 1984

Gorilla Biscuits, New Direction

7 Seconds, We're Gonna Fight

Potters said...

Thank you, thank you for this insightful post...as usual you said exactly what I was thinking...

Laurel Nelson said...

I wonder the same thing myself - how can you be LDS and believe that we are all children of God and then spout off like that? How is he still temple worthy? Oh wait he probably pays lots of lip service to his bishop I bet.

Doug said...

Great post. My wife and I have often discussed our dismay that many of our fellow Saints admire Beck. He is despicable on many levels. Add to the items you discussed his sexist comments about his wife. From an interview with John Stossel on ABC's 20/20 about why he became a Mormon:

"I apologize, but guys will understand this. My wife is, like, hot, and she wouldn’t have sex with me until we got married. And she wouldn’t marry me unless we had a religion."

What more can be said? He is a terrible representative of our church.

Iliana said...

Wow Jake. I agree that sometimes he's an idoit. And he does it in front of millions. But I also think sometimes he's dead on. And no body reveres him like a General Authority, you're just being ridiculous. I feel your HATE for him being a Mormon is far more distasteful than his comments on "entertainment" tv. You're no better than he.

Jacob S. said...

So me criticizing Glenn Beck for being a Mormon and continually saying such hateful things is actually worse than Glenn Beck being a Mormon and continually saying such hateful things? I guess I'd disagree. Even if it is just entertainment, too many people take it seriously. It is completely irresponsible for him to play into that hate and fear just for ratings.

And does the fact that he may be dead on from time to time allow him to get away with such awful hate speech other times? If we are dead on on this blog from time to time would that justify us calling people we disagree with "prostitutes," "witches," and traitors?

Gwendolyn Oliphant said...

I consider myself a libertarian and I still don't like Glenn Beck. Like you, I find his intentionally derogatory comments appalling. It greatly obscures from any serious economic arguments he tries to make.

Josh said...

I bet this will surprise you, Jake, but I don't listen to Mr. Beck. I wouldn't go so far, though, as to personally question, or judge, his worthiness. Face it the man is a controversial entertainer, and quite well paid for it.

Now that you all have beaten the stuffing out of this rotting dead horse, post something else. I'd love a good laugh, so let's see the common opinion of the CARS program (you know "Cash for Clunkers?)!

Daniel H said...

My in-laws revere him...and I couldn't agree more with you and your feelings of him from this article.

And my wife wonders why I don't want to hang out with them?

ejamesl said...

I have only one good thing to say about Glenn Beck, a google search for him lead me here. ;-)

I'm so glad to see that there are others that find it a bit of an embarrassment that Mr. Beck is LDS. Even more embarrassing is that my wife's family thinks highly of him.

As for comments about his faithfulness that's not something we can or should judge. That's something between himself, his ward leaders and the lord and not something that it's appropriate to speculate on here.

I admit I don't like Mr. Beck very much but I do hope that at some point he allows the teachings he is exposed to on Sundays to soften his approach and lessen is caustic and somewhat cancerous comments.

Useful Entropy said...

Beautiful

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you. I just cannot see how anyone who professes to be a follower of Christ can be so hateful.
Contention is not of God, period, end of story.
It hurts me when members of the church whom I love, base their opinions and beliefs on every word that falls out of this man's mouth.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how you can lean "left" and still call yourself a Mormon, let alone a proponent of liberty. Glenn calls the President a racist and you call him hateful. I also think the President is racist so I guess I'm hateful too? Actually, I'm NOT hateful (and neither is Glenn) if in fact the President IS racist. That makes you lefties the only hatemongers in the fold, because Glenn is only guilty of speaking the truth. I suppose you'd like to throw him in Carthage for that. I also suppose you'll tell me Van Jones is not a racist also. Birds of a feather flock together after all.

Anonymous said...

The fact that you have a blog about Glenn Beck and discuss your personal "judgements" against him tells me you are putting yourselves in a rather precarious position....think what you want..but I believe that you are fueling the fire when you don't heed the command to judge not....even if you think Glenn does. If he jumps off a bridge....would you follow? Think about it....is what you are doing any different? I came across this blog accidentially, but it seems you could all find better things to do with your time as advocated by the Prophet. Have a nice day brothers and sisters.

Dave said...

In talking to friends and family who are not Mormon, I don't think most people outside the Church view Glenn Beck as a representation of Mormons. I personally think there's a lot of members overreacting to this.

I like Glenn Beck as a person, even though I don't always agree with his positions. I've shared his conversion story with a number of people. A good friend of mine actually got interested in the Church after watching his video "An Unlikely Mormon" and ended up being baptized with his family. So I am grateful that Glenn Beck is willing to talk about his faith.

http://www.glennbeckmormon.com has the "An Unlikely Mormon" videos embedded on it if you haven't seen it.

Craig Swenson said...

I am always astonished when people I love--and think I know--spout the inanities of Glenn Beck and the other right-wing whack-jobs. I have to hope that Glenn in his reincarnation as Cleon Skousen (or Ezra Taft Benson in his John Birch/Joe McCarthy period--you choose) is becoming an embarrassment to the Church hierarchy. Perhaps it will not be long before they distance themselves from the vitriolic rhetoric. Mitt Romney has to be yanking out his perfect hair by the roots to be identified by the moderate wing of his party as a "brother" of Glenn Beck. Glenn Beck is as ambitious as Mitt Romney and will certainly not abandon his bully pulpit. Train wreck ahead.

Walter said...

Thanks. It is refreshing to see reason and compassion in a blog about politics.

sallieee1 said...

I am so happy I found this blog. I have many LDS friends and have always felt warm and welcome. My husband is Mormon and we love having the missionaries over. When I found out Glenn Beck was Mormon I was mortified. I was worried that the Mormons would embrace Glenn beck. I am glad some know that he is not a good example of Mormons. I love what your church has taught me and always look forward to my home teacher coming once a month. I could never join a church that embraced Glenn Beck's behavior. I know that the prophet can set him straight. It might be a good time to talk to him. If he could just listen to Jesus's teachings. I could go on and on but only heavenly father can help him.

Mark May said...

I agree with you in so many ways. What gets me is that his arguments don't make any sense and he only implies conclusions. I listen to him and can't possibly believe he believes himself. So he either is an idot or he is decieving people for ratings. He plays on peoples emotions to get them to believe what he wants.
I also hate that Glenn Beck is treated like a rockstar. He is not helping the church move foward he perpetuating sterotypes in the church.

Jacob S. said...

I haven't been back here to check the comments to this post for a while, but I see that they keep coming in. It makes me happy to see so many people speaking out about Beck. If you want some more background about Beck and his life before Mormonism, I recommend this series from Salon.com:

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2009/09/21/glenn_beck/

For those anonymous that stand up for Beck, that is fine, but please explain how you line up his very public words and actions with the teachings and spirit of the Church. I find it hard to do so in most cases.

Bill said...

Unfortunately, the Mormon church's apparent hardening of their rightwing outlook, as evidenced by their infamous support of Prop 18, only serves to attract the less tolerant members of our species. Mr. Beck may be only the first such of such dubious celebrities to join the ranks.

Philip said...

Very well said. Being from Texas I am used to hearing right wing nut-jobs say stupid things to get a rise out of people. However, I always thought that my fellow LDS (both left and right) were above that. Oh, well. I miss the days when we (LDS) turned to the Prophet and apostles at General Conference for enlightenment- not screaming bobble-heads on Fox News.

niq said...

Not entirely sure how someone can write an article telling everyone Glenn Beck is wrong for having an opinion. Not only that but to call him the same thing as he calls president obama... It's wrong for him to say he thought something was racist, yet it's right of you to call him a white supremacist for saying so? You're both exclaiming your opinions neither one of you are wrong or right, it's opinion!... Don't be a hypocrit!

Stephanie said...

Thank you for this post. I too am Mormon and know many who love Glenn Beck (including my own sister). I used to listen to him years ago, but now find him unbearable. I also am concerned with the hate speech he is espousing. I hope it will not influence someone to do something evil someday. Listening to him, I cannot rationalize the things he says and how he treats people with the values of the Mormon Church. I'm afraid he is caught up in his own popularity and will say anything to have it be controversial and sensational. Thank you for making me know that I am not alone!

Anonymous said...

I am a Hispanic LDS and I have a problem with the things Beck talks about our community, for members and non-members of the church.

I am amazed to read that some bro. and sis. here like and praise Glen Beck. He is always attacking immigrants (specially Hispanics and/or Latinos), and besides all the other things he preach—Immigration Myths and Cable News” highlighted undocumented Latino immigrant hatemongering by Lou Dobbs, Bill O’Reilly, and Glenn Beck, each making outlandish claims, including:
* an alleged connection between undocumented Latinos and crime;
* how they exploit social services and don’t pay taxes;
* the “reconquista” myth about a supposed Mexican plot to take over the US Southwest; and
* an epidemic of Latino voter fraud.

Yes, his comments regarding immigration are a personal attack to me and all Hispanic members of the church that are here–legal or illegal– and have living honestly in the U.S. Also to the thousands of people that are converted to the church in branches and wards each month all across America, and yes, illegals too.

How you can explain the new Hispanic members that a so called member or our church, and supposedly is an active member of his Elders Quorum, that he is also the same person that want them to be removed and deported from the U.S.?

Anonymous said...

What Beck does is similar to what Hitler and Rohm did in the early years in the Berlin beer halls.

He's rousing hate against liberal democrats and a religious race of people, and inciting sedition.

For the early Nazi's it was the Social Democrats and the Jews. For Beck, Limbaugh and the far right wing its the liberal democrats and the Muslims.

The defenders of Beck in here are most likely paid staff or RNC "volunteers" here to try to paint you Jacob as the bad guy. They will badger you for having a blog about Beck and they will try to make you look like the one who hates for calling out Becks hate speech.

Ignore them. They're chaff in the wind and they have their reward.

Keep calling out Beck, who pretends to love Christ while preaching hate, racism, murder and all manner of abomination.

Remember, these are the false prophets the master warned of. The "wolves in sheeps clothing".

These are the modern day Pharisee's and Saducees and the RNC is the Sandhedrin. These men crucify Christ with their words daily as they preach hate and fear. They bring the sword, and teach for doctrines the commandments of men.

Rebuke them at every turn.

Shibboleth.

Dan said...

*Hate speech is fundamentally at odds with LDS doctrine, irregardless of the source.*

To imply that all Mormons are deaf to these insensitive rants, complicit supporters, or are like minded by association of religion to one Glenn Beck is a reprehensible distortion of the facts. Those who truly understand our religion know we do not return hate for hate. The silence you hear from so many is not tacit agreement, but rather an adherence to the age old adage, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

Anonymous said...

I am LDS, but inactive. My husband is a Jehovahs Witness. He was flipping channels the other night and Glen Beck was doing his usual ranting crazy stuff. He said, "Does the guy who runs your church know he does this stuff?" Not much I could say to that.

Anonymous said...

I must admit that for the longest time I didn't even realize Beck was LDS. I was appaled/horrified when I found out as it occurred long after I had repeatedly shook my head in disbelief and laughed at the rather ludicrous things he says on a regular basis. Moreover, I found it hard to believe that anyone could take him even remotely seriously. The things he says seem like they might be coming from a "cleaner" Howard Stern though no less obscene and ridiculous. I can only say that I was relieved to find this post as my wife and I were starting to wonder if we were the only LDS people who found his approach and opinions far too abrasive, inacurate, and clearly contentious.

Thanks for the post and reassurance that we are not alone in our embarasement.

heathio said...

You hit the nail on the head. Glenn Beck is simply a nasty person and has no empathy for his fellow man. He has no conscience and says despicable things just to make money. His so-called entertainment show is sadly taken as "real news/truth" by too many mistaken extreme right-wingers. I was very glad to hear he is not a true representative of the Mormon faith.

True North said...

Glenn Beck is just one more sad case in a long line of hyperbolic, demagogic, irrational and unhinged lunatics. He says what he says to make $$$$$$$. I served as a Mormom Bishop for five years. Beck's words make a mockery of Mormonism and Christianty. We were warned that in the last days, ravenous wolves would abound, not sparing the flock. Beck is the anti-Christ as far as I am concerned.

Anonymous said...

Glen Beck is simply another drunk and drug abuser whose self-hatred permeates a foreign-owned cable network posing as news. Freedom of speech yes! It is still illegal to yell fire in a crowded theater. This guy needs professional help as he attempts to lead the uneducated. And yes, I have to post this anonymously because I live in a community of right wing nuts.

Anonymous said...

Glenn needs to think first before saying things like that, the president must be respected as leader, man and american, his back ground shows that he is honored to be leader of a great nation, the rest of the world know him as succesful man, he succeed in his life, and anyone who becomes president of this blessed country what comes from a white mother and black father brings in himself a very big approval of a mojority of the nation, this is democracy.
all of us must learn life together and respect ourselves, Paul Mac sings "Ebony and Ivory live together in perfect harmony ...

Anonymous said...

I'm on a mission, If you are a customer of Deseret Books and ashamed, embarrassed, and terrified of Glenn Beck, please write to Deseret Books and ask them to STOP peddling books by Glenn Beck and the likes of Dr. Laura. Check out the media: Glenn Beck is causing a backlash against the Church. Selling Becks books supports his agenda and spreads hate and lies. He has the freedom and choice to write his books and people can read them if they like, Let somebody else sell them! Please write to www.deseretbook.com

Anonymous said...

glen beck does say outragious things at times and without thinking not unlike joe smith and brigham young. the mormon church is and was racial. it took our nation to stop the practice they had by law and it was not a revelation by a fake prophet. i wish beck would do the same research into the real history of his church, wife stealing, murder,Danites, convicted felons {joe smith} and so much more. If i were you I would be ashamed of the church andleave as I did after 25 yrs of being and temple worthy member before looking into its history.

Anonymous said...

The fact that Glenn Beck is worthy to enter the temple, lessens my desire to go in the temple. He should be disfellowshipped for just announcing on his show he is a mormon. He is so bizarre and arrogant...he reminds me of someone who could go postal.

yahoo said...

I am a practicing (for the sake of my family), but non believing Mormon. I don't believe in any religion. But I believe in doing good to all. It's a good thing Glen Beck is not in my Mormon Ward as I'm afraid he and I would have some rather heated discussion in the hallways before and after church as I never agree with anything he says. I'm sure his bodyguards go to church with him and shield him from any unwelcome comments such as what I would say. I sure hope he doesn't have a job in his Mormon Ward teaching children or adult and throwing in his far right retoric. I'm glad Fox news just fired him. He needs to stay away from public comments on the radio and TV. He is way too negative and has nothing good to say about anybody or anything. I'm sure he is a big embarrasment for the LDS Church Leadership. Herbert Philbrick 7-1-11

Anonymous said...

I am not alone after all! Just trying stand as a Witness of Christ in all things. Even as I am derided for being a "UNION THUG" as a Professional Fire Fighter Paramedic who was on the job on 9/11/01. And he woke up on 9/12/01??? I will follow President Monson!

Vandeya said...

I do not believe 9/11/01. It is the past. Forget about it. Well, I do not believe it. A person should be dis-fellowship when someone has committed a grievous sin such adultery, killing, fornication and prostitution. This man should be not dis-fellowship. The church need to stop and be negative. I am proud of Ben, Glen because he is a very positive guy and anti communist.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this...sometimes I feel so alone in my dislike of Glen Beck, especially where I live (Middle o Utah). Although I could care less what he personally believes I feel like he has deceived a lot of people and tainted them to think that anything the "right" does is perfect and anything moderate or left is awful. How can so many Mormon church members agree with such a hateful lying person? I don't get it. In their hearts they have to know he is wrong. I wish the First Presidency would send out a statement about him...I have a feeling he is on their radar and hopefully he will do something worthy of being publicly excommunicated. I'm sure it would shock a lot of people, but hopefully it would break his sick hold on the masses.

I;m pretty sure we are supposed to follow Christ's example, not Glen Beck's.