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.