Southern Baptists say Beck is no Christian, either

WASHINGTON — Glenn Beck is a talented huckster, a shrewd survivor who may be in the middle of another self-reinvention. This time, he seems bent on remaking himself as one of the oldest of the stock all-American characters: the Elmer Gantry-like preacher-performer.

Last weekend, Beck held a rally on the National Mall, “Restoring Honor,” calling the nation back to what he sees as its traditional Christian roots. Beck gets a lot of things wrong, including history. Moreover, he’s an odd spokesman for conservative Christianity, since he’s Mormon.

But never mind all that. One of this country’s many charms is its capacity to weave an assortment of eccentrics into its cultural fabric without being ripped apart by their bizarre sentiments. If the country survived the pronouncements of Father Charles Coughlin — a Roman Catholic priest whose 1930s-era radio show reverberated with praise for Hitler and noxious attacks on Jews — it can survive Beck’s pseudo-theology.

Still, there are dangers for those mainstream Republicans who tack too closely to Beck’s currents. Sarah Palin will hardly be damaged by her appearance as one of Beck’s featured speakers on Saturday, since she is already one of the most polarizing figures in national politics. Her approval rating hovers in the mid-30s.

But other prominent Republicans who hope to maintain political respectability should beware of him. Beck’s demagoguery is corrosive.

Take his latest smear, an ugly attack on President Obama’s religious beliefs. “Most Christians don’t recognize (Obama’s) version of Christianity,” Beck told Fox News interviewer Chris Wallace after the rally.

That sort of rancid dismissal of the religious beliefs of liberal-leaning public figures has been a tactic of the religious right since the 1970s, but I had believed (or had hoped) it was dying away after Republicans overused their holier-than-thou, family-values playbook in the Karl Rove era. A catalog of sexual scandals involving conservative politicians made it clear that their private behavior was no more pure for all their public piousness. The GOP seemed willing to drop the religion card.

But the opportunity to paint President Obama as “the other” has proved too great to pass up. As Islamophobia rises and the rightwing noise machine echoes with its nsistence that Obama is Muslim, GOP luminaries exploit the frenzy for short-term political gain.

In an on-air interview, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell gave the most tepid support possible to Obama’s religious identity. “The president says he’s a Christian. I take him at his word,” McConnell said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”  McConnell surely remembers the criticism Obama endured in 2008 over the sermons of his then-pastor, Jeremiah Wright, who headed a United Church of Christ in Chicago. Yet, he intentionally signaled room for doubt about Obama’s religion.

McConnell and other conservatives play that hand at their peril. As they anticipate a hard-fought presidential campaign in 2012, one of the GOP’s most able contenders is likely to be Mitt Romney, a Mormon. The former Massachusetts governor was handicapped by religious prejudices in 2008, as many Christian conservatives, dismissing Mormonism as a “cult,” refused to support him. Does McConnell mean to stir up those prejudices?

Beck, by the way, has also been subjected to harsh appraisals by Christian fundamentalists. His rally had barely ended before Russell Moore, a dean at Louisville’s Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, denounced it, along with the conservative Christians who attended. “Mormonism and Mammonism are contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Moore wrote.

Beck likely doesn’t care; his bank account (and his ego) will only grow larger as a result of the attention. But he has stirred the winds of religious bigotry, and the GOP may reap the whirlwind.

693 comments Add your comment

John C.

September 1st, 2010
5:18 pm

Cynthia Tucker is a black racist who’s spent her entire career helping to cover up and sponsor black on white racist violence like rape, robbery, and murder, including racist violence against children. She doesn’t have the moral right to lecture anyone on anything, particularly bigotry. The almost unbroken torrent of racist hate-spew that the extreme left has been directing toward whites since Obama has been elected, hate-spew that has resulted in a distinct up tick of racist assaults against whites, will result in a slaughter in the next election, and justly so.

gmaye

September 1st, 2010
5:22 pm

nothing is free, Hannity makes 30 mil year, Beck, 35 mil, Rush 50 mil, pimping poor white trailor.

bushwacker

September 1st, 2010
5:43 pm

Cindy,

After your ugly smear attack on Newt yesterday you need to check yourself honey after this comment about Beck,
Take his latest smear, an ugly attack on President Obama’s religious beliefs. “Most Christians don’t recognize (Obama’s) version of Christianity,” Beck told Fox News interviewer Chris Wallace after the rally.

Do you know how to have a discussuion without making personal attacks?

Hell no because that’s all you libs have because of the crazy policies the crazy democrats keep passing.

Oh i forgot, crazy ain’t crazy to crazy people!

Damn,I sound as intelligent as OBAMA, I think I’ll run for Pres!

bushwacker

September 1st, 2010
5:46 pm

I heard some left wingers talking about how they just can’t understand how 25% (I BELIEVE ITS MUCH HIGHR THAN THAT) of Americans think Obama is a muslim???

I agree with them, what the hell is the other 75% thinking!

gmaybearacist

September 1st, 2010
5:46 pm

gmaye – those unemployment numbers look rosy compared to the current stats…

bushwacker

September 1st, 2010
5:48 pm

Rep party has a huge problem, and it that most uneducated people for democratic!!!

redneckbluedog

September 1st, 2010
5:53 pm

The Southern Baptist Leadership Council has an entire section describing it’s offical stance on Mormonism…and it is not pretty…but hey, somebody has to hold others accountable when it comes to faith…I personally don’t care for the secrecy that accompanies Mormonism…that and the misogyny….

killerj

September 1st, 2010
6:16 pm

If you would have said Primitive Babtist I would stick a snake…………….. with brimstone to come,glad to see a white boy pisses you off,sorta like a sharpton or jackson on the other side.

ND

September 1st, 2010
6:22 pm

The only difference between Christianity/Islam and Bloods/Crips is that the forces controlling Christianity and Islam are wealthier. When a religion starts assessing its success based on how many people they can coerce into their beliefs, they become nothing more than a gang.

Williebkind

September 1st, 2010
6:25 pm

I posted yesterday the liberals were going to be fun. And I stated they will become violate, will riot in the streets, and cause death. Well it happened today. Yep this blog about Beck and Christains is just halarious. The truth is murdered by tucker, hdb, gg, and many others. Now a wacko liberal is killed today in the Discovery building while pointing a gun at a one of many hostages. Yep he thought the Discovery channel was doing harm to this earth. I think we should blame Al Gore. Conservative friends, the liberals are getting dangerous. They are evil and do evil things.

fox news hater

September 1st, 2010
6:25 pm

beck,limbaugh,palin,hannity continue to get richer and richer by dishing out misinformation,lies,scare tactics to poor white folks as they get poorer and poorer voting away thier interest as they believe everything the 4 i mention spew out without doing any research on thier own due to laziness and being very gulliable with a huge dose of racism …heaven help america as we go backwards instead of forward and is the reason we cant get anything positive done in this country and the country has taken a nose dive as far as progression compared to european countries..when will us white american see thru palin,hannity,beck limbaugh??..folks they are rich and very rich AND COULD CARE LESS ABOUT YOU OTHER THAN GET YOU ALL RILED UP WHILE THEY MAKE MILLIONS!!!

Williebkind

September 1st, 2010
6:31 pm

ND

September 1st, 2010
6:22 pm
In your frame of mind, a kind gentle dictator is no different than a rigid but freely elected leader. You are so misinformed. Like the liberal lady on tv said today you need to be re-educated.

Williebkind

September 1st, 2010
6:32 pm

fox news hater

September 1st, 2010
6:25 pm
You need to stop spiking that kool ade.

Wahoo

September 1st, 2010
6:35 pm

HDB,

You’re pretty funny, as you are now arguing with yourself.

“The problem is that Affirmative Action is NOT racial profiling, for it only grants ACCESS to those who have not previously had access to employment or educaton.”

Anything less than a standard that forbids consideration of race as a factor fails to make racial profiling illegal.”

These two statements are clearly incompatible. AA, DBE and college admissions at public universities all use race as a consideration. By the standard you’ve agreed to above, all fit the bill as racial profilers.

You can contort your logic all you like and it is humorous to watch you do so, but at a fundamental level you cannot explain that using race as a consideration in public-funded police enforcement action is terrible, but using race as a consideration in public-funded government contracting, hiring, and school admissions is acceptable. Either government should and can use race as a consideration in making decisions, or it shouldn’t. Which is it?

Auburn Fan

September 1st, 2010
6:40 pm

First off – I read your post so don’t say I didn’t.

You are very good at getting me (and lots of others) to read your posts even though we probably don’t agree.

There are a lot of upset voters. This rally was only about showing some passion for things that these people believe in. I see nothing to be critical about.

Beck is a patriot. That much is obvious. Is Jerimiah Wright a patriot?

Williebkind

September 1st, 2010
6:41 pm

Wahoo they can use(AA) race if it promotes minorities. If it does not promote minority races then it is profiling. What about hilary decrying to the UN Arizona is violating human rights? OMG!!

Anna

September 1st, 2010
6:49 pm

So Beck is guilty of “rancid” religious comments about Obama, but Cynthia can make thinly veiled, contemptuous comments about Mormonism and that’s okay. The irony of this column is hard to stomach and Tucker’s religious bigotry is laid bare for all to see. This psuedo analysis is so typical of the left – name calling is okay for me but not for thee. Beck’s rally seemed to be about let’s turn to God and Tucker’s problem with that is………..?

Anna

September 1st, 2010
6:59 pm

And one more thing, I had no idea Cynthia was so deeply guided by what the Southern Baptists say. As for the Baptist position on Mormons, they can believe what they want but alot of what they believe is inaccurate and may be based on their desire to not lose parishioners. Ministers are compensated based on the size of the congregations. Mormons don’t have a paid ministry and don’t preach against other religions from the pulpit. They are too busy teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.

common sense isn't so common

September 1st, 2010
7:06 pm

ctucker

September 1st, 2010
8:51 am

Joe, It’s wrong for anyone to question anyone else’s religious beliefs. None of us is God.
————————————————————————————————-

Hypocrite! Why did you write this article then?

common sense isn't so common

September 1st, 2010
7:12 pm

gmaye

September 1st, 2010
5:22 pm

nothing is free, Hannity makes 30 mil year, Beck, 35 mil, Rush 50 mil, pimping poor white trailor.
————————————————————————————————–
how much has nobama and clinton made off pimping the minorities in this country?

[...] a Mormon stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and call on evangelical Christians to …Southern Baptists say Beck is no Christian, eitherAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Conservative, moderate Baptist thinkers criticize Glenn Beck [...]

shotgunplanet

September 1st, 2010
7:43 pm

all this tribble about religous fanatics … and not a word about Jeremiah Wright…??? Cynthia, your prejudice is apparent.

Wahoo

September 1st, 2010
7:56 pm

Williebkind,

You can lead the horse to water, but if they don’t drink, there’s only so much you can do. It’s long been known that college admissions use race as a consideration, and because AA and DBE exist, it is obvious that the government legally countenances the consideration of race in a whole host of ways.

HDB boxed him/herself into a corner by saying that race couldn’t be a factor in any way lest you run afoul of racial profiling. That’s simply an indefensible position in light of how race is used as a factor in so many other, legal, ways. Then you get the predictable pretzel-contortions of: “it enhances diversity” or “it’s granting access”…sure, if you’re the beneficiary. But in a world with finite government contracts, jobs and college admission slots, if you’re not the beneficiary, race was used as a potential consideration in some way that caused you harm – sorta like how race can be used as a consideration for police action in SB 1070.

A few weeks ago, I recall reading one of the left-leaning people on one of these AJC blogs post that the government cannot discriminate in any way. It was high comedy – all one has to do is look around and you’ll see tons of ways in which the government legally discriminates.

UNO

September 1st, 2010
8:04 pm

Matthew 7:23
Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Repent Sinners.

Scout

September 1st, 2010
8:36 pm

This can be summed up in one verse:

1 John 4:1

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

Get Media Alerts – Huffington Post (blog)

September 1st, 2010
10:57 pm

[...] and/or Deists, not Christians. So were three of the five men charged with writing the …Southern Baptists say Beck is no Christian, eitherAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Conservative, moderate Baptist thinkers criticize Glenn Beck [...]

g8tgod

September 2nd, 2010
12:52 am

Ms. Tucker,

I was really disappointed with this article. It’s not that we disagree; that happens often. But I usually enjoy reading you on a variety of subjects, and this was… beneath you. I’ve come to expect better.

The ad hominem on Beck (”a talented huckster,” the comparisons to Elmer Gantry and Father Coughlin) is so out of place as to distract from the point you’re actually trying to make here.Your accusations of religious bigotry against McConnell and Moore don’t stick either; McConnell said he’d take the president at his word, which is really all you can ask of him, and Moore is the dean of a seminary, noting that Beck is not an orthodox Christian. No big secret there, and if he doesn’t think Christians should have participated in the rally, I don’t think that rises to the level of bigotry (a la Coughlin). All in all, a strange column.

I am no republican and I’m not a fan of Glenn Beck. But this was a poor effort. You are a Pulitzer prize winner. You can – and should – do better.

[...] of faith and believers in God are the ones that Beck …Get Media AlertsHuffington Post (blog)Southern Baptists say Beck is no Christian, eitherAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Evangelical Scholar Troubled by Theological Ambiguity at Beck [...]

Lil' Barry Bailout

September 2nd, 2010
5:43 am

So the Idiot Messiah’s religion should be of no interest to us, but you write a whole post all by yourself, with only minimal cut-and-pastes, on Glen Beck’s religious beliefs?

Hypocrite.

Mr Right

September 2nd, 2010
9:52 am

In an on-air interview, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell gave the most tepid support possible to Obama’s religious identity. “The president says he’s a Christian. I take him at his word,” McConnell said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” McConnell surely remembers the criticism Obama endured in 2008 over the sermons of his then-pastor, Jeremiah Wright, who headed a United Church of Christ in Chicago. Yet, he intentionally signaled room for doubt about Obama’s religion.

By their fruits ye shall know them !

Mr Right

September 2nd, 2010
9:54 am

Lil’ Barry Bailout

September 2nd, 2010
5:43 am

So the Idiot Messiah’s religion should be of no interest to us, but you write a whole post all by yourself, with only minimal cut-and-pastes, on Glen Beck’s religious beliefs?

Hypocrite.

Judge not that ye be not judged !

Michael

September 2nd, 2010
11:59 am

Yes, Glenn Beck is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormon. However, the article is extremely misleading. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are indeed Christian. They believe in the Christ born to the Virgin Mary, who atoned and died for our sins, and who rose on the third day. I’m pretty sure that believing in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ qualifies one to be a Christian.

I’m dumbfounded the article, and most likely the author, neglected to include a comment or statement of definition from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is easy to allow a bias to creep in, but it is misleading and defaming. Unlike the Southern Baptist Convention, Mormons include the name of Christ in the official title of the church.

Taking the word of one of the primary propagators of Anti-Mormon propaganda and non-tolerant rhetoric defeats many of the arguments previously made by the author. A bias against Beck should not be an opportunity to use his faith as a “journalistic football” in an attempt to discredit a viewpoint opposed by the author. An integrity has been compromised.

In Short… Mormons, or member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are indeed Christians.

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[...] BeckHuffington Post (blog)Kirk Cameron Joins the Anti-Mormon Chorus (Sort Of)Religion DispatchesAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -First Things (blog) -Episcopal-Lifeall 344 news [...]

Gina

September 2nd, 2010
5:03 pm

I’m a non-denominational Christian and conservative. My point of view is my own. I don’t expect anyone else to share it and I don’t share it with strangers. I’m not affiliated with any religious doctrine but was raised Christian/Roman Catholic. I would never venture to challenge Obama’s beliefs. He’s a political figure and he doesn’t need to explain his religous beliefs. I have listened to Glenn Beck on occassion when channel surfing. He’s not my idea of a representative of any socio-politico group. He is self appointed but most of the people I know don’t know who he is or if they do, think he’s a joke. I don’t take him seriously but I do not like remarks implying that he’s some leader and we’re all sheep. That’s just nonsense. That’s like saying Al Sharpton is the Democratic leader.

[...] Christians and MormonsPew Research CenterAn Open Letter to Glenn Beck from Jim WallisChristian PostAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -Religion Dispatches -Huffington Post (blog)all 387 news [...]

Kimberly Megan

September 4th, 2010
12:34 pm

I may just be a ‘kid’ by most ‘adult’ standards, but it seems…unconstitutional to place everything on religion and other related, controversial, non-issues.

Yes, as a student taking US History, I know that many of our great nation’s values are Christian in origin. Yes, I am Southern Baptist myself. But is there really any reason to place such importance on something trivial? Most of the world isn’t any denomination of Christianity. So why does it matter so long as there is nothing illegal going on?

That is the question I pose to all the ‘adults’ out there who are so hung up over ‘is our President a muslim?’.

vassakara

September 5th, 2010
7:30 pm

Stoking the fire for Obama and bulk of the “could have beens” in November via critiquing Beck, the winning class of 2010, or the hopefuls of 2012 will not stop this train called Constitution.

Far before the economy faultered and the the “Browning of America” started this country began to fall from the beliefs of its founding fathers.

My disappointment comes with Cynthia. Having not read the column for a while and catching up the last month, was by far a surprise. Race doesn’t have to be a card in play. It can stay in the deck and never be dealt.

From an employers perspective, talent is talent. Talent proves itself, or it does not. When it does not prove itself, you find talent that does. You find people that can make that difficult call, a winning call without paying someone to look over their shoulder. This is what the US is about to do. We currently have followers in positions where we need leaders, that have the confidence and knowledge to make the difficult call, a winning call. This is a process, like the process this country face post WW2.

Please stand for a winning solution for this country, not for a losing group of individuals that see no value in the individual as a winner.

Julie Branom

September 6th, 2010
4:07 am

And the Southern Baptists are who? The audacity of bunch of religionists to decide who is a Christian or not is the very reason that we must fear a mixing of faith and government. Our founders knew this well, while most shared a belief in the saving atonement of Christ, the Lord Jesus, the Son of God, they feared that a majority of religionists would control what was the accepted brand of Faith. I disagree with Beck, we must not turn our government towards God, we must turn ourself towards God, that will take care of the latter. We have to start by loving God and our Brother Jesus Christ and loving our brother of all faiths. Keep Government out of my religion and religion out of my government. Because of my faith, I am not only LDS but I am liberal. You can’t be conservative and be a Christian.

killerbug

September 7th, 2010
12:46 am

SBC’ers again deciding who is Christian and who is not. SSSSSSSSSSSSnore………….

[...] the reliably left MSM is really trying to use it as a wedge to divide us as conservatives between faiths and between conservative and liberals inside Mormonism.  (That reporter keeps going here)  [...]

Paco

September 7th, 2010
7:07 pm

Enter your comments here

Granny Godzilla

September 10th, 2010
8:33 am

For Baby G

After the longest 2 days of my life….6 pounds 4 ounces, 19 inches, lotsa dark hair and really big feet for a little punkin.

Mother and son are doing well.