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

snafu

September 1st, 2010
9:49 am

Georgian,,you are dead wrong..there is separation of church and state and your religious belief is your personal belief and I don’t care what religion the president professes. He was not elected to pray or try to find your Jeebuz! That is the problem with the religious nutjobs..you people are falling for the false concept that this country was founded on Christianity..LIE. LIE LIE and anyone who does not believe what you believe is just wrong..Get a life..we don’t walk lock step with stupidity.

Libertarian

September 1st, 2010
9:49 am

record unemployment, dismal housing market, record number of people taking government assistance, Afghan war…oh but lets talk about Glenn Beck/Obama’s religion…because that’s what’s really important.

Paleman

September 1st, 2010
9:50 am

Just like Bush’s actions reflected his Christianity. Falsify evidence to support a war we didn’t need to fight. Very Christian. All those dead on both sides so you can prove you have a bigger d*ck than daddy. I’m sure that was in the Bible somewhere……

White Man

September 1st, 2010
9:50 am

WAR…I believe that when ever the Democrats or Republicans have complete control over our government it is a scary situation. However the fact is that the American people are already tired of the Democratic message that they do not care what he American people think. Therefore the Democrates will lose more seats in this election than either party has ever lost.

Paleman

September 1st, 2010
9:51 am

I would be willing to bet is it above yours. But then again that might not be saying much….

Jason

September 1st, 2010
9:51 am

The loose translation of Leviticus roughly says men shouldn’t penetrate other men and that marrying your daughter is not forbidden.

Unfortunately, the Book cannot escape perverse transaltion by those who use it as a weapon.

ctucker=hypocrite

September 1st, 2010
9:51 am

Good article Nazan, I’ll take it to heart.

granny godzilla

September 1st, 2010
9:52 am

yep. Milton Man

Jesus was a liberal. My very favorite liberal.

A #1 liberal.

If he walked the earth today most “christians” would spit on him.

He told rich people to redistribute their wealth among the poor (Matt 19:21).

He taught his followers to forgive debts and expect nothing back when they lend (Matt 6:12, Luke 6:35).

He was a pacifist (Matt 5:44).

He told the religious establishment that justice and mercy were more important than precisely following God’s commands (Matt 23:23).

author David Hamstra

ML

September 1st, 2010
9:52 am

when I saw that rally, reminded me so much of the film of the Nuremburg rallies, it was scary. Christians are tying themselves with a political party, something Jesus would never do. and after what the banks and Wall Street did to everyone, and everyone fully knowing that the best friend of large corporations, bankers and the rich, is the Republican Party and still people are supporting them?! but Republicans can’t admit to any fault, they think it is a weakness, when it truth many times it is a sign strength. it’s also how you fix past mistakes, adjust and improve things. but the shame game used by Republicans scares most people into cowering and doing nothing, or even worse, just going along. in the last 30 years Republicans have had a President 20 of those years and a Republican controlled Congress about the same amount of time and much of that time they had a Republican President and a Republican controlled Congress, about 66.6% of the time(how coincidental that number is for people who falsely use God for personal gain). yet it’s the other side, the wimps mind you, that have man-handled them into letting our country waste away.
here are some things that by tying religion with the Republican party have disrespected Jesus and hurt America. if you love Jesus, please don’t call yourself a Christian anymore, the word has no positive value.
Christians are now:
pro-rich people
pro-war
pro-death penalty(Jesus was a victim of capital punishment, don’t think he’d be with them on this one)
pro-hate for anyone that’s different
anti-green
anti-euthanasia
anti-helping the sick and elderly
and the list goes on…

so please don’t call yourself a Christian today if you want to live anything like Jesus would want you to live.
I am most disappointed at the ministers, pastors, preachers, who have not done their jobs. people now use religion to hide behind so that they don’t have to try to be good people, why that’s just too much work. why haven’t you seen just one religious leader speak out against the greedy rich that have done so much for a while, and especially recently, to hurt this country and harm so many millions of people, not to mention all the animals that have suffered due to this economic collapse? because if they did they would be speaking against the Republican/Christian party and people would get up and walk out of their churches kind of like that seen in the movie Gandhi when the preacher started taking the side of justice against racism. and the church is now a business, not a place to bring more good into this world. but what would you expect from something and someone so hypocritical that they would say you can’t work on the Sabbath, yet that is the preachers busiest work day of the week.

Union

September 1st, 2010
9:52 am

so.. if bush was so stupid.. how did “he” falsify evidence exactly.. if he pulled that off and fooled obama and the rest of the dems.. we really dont them in washington..

White Man

September 1st, 2010
9:52 am

Paleman….Great comeback….my point is proven! ha.

FMX

September 1st, 2010
9:53 am

We like to pretend that we are so religious but it is not reflected in our lives. You know that 60-70 years ago entertainment after church consisted of lynching a black man. There is some disconnect in what we claim to be and what we are. Being a christian takes discipline and love. Just look at the racism that goes on these message board both ways. Let’s not pretend that the racism is one way because its not. I sit and wonder what bible are these people reading? You can’t serve two masters people. You just can’t. Racism/intolerance plays right into the hand of the devil. I am not trying to sit on a high horse because I am not perfect but I have never engaged in any kind of racism or intolerance of any man or woman in my life. That goes against the very essence of what being a christian is all about. If you are a racist you can’t possibly be a true christian.

John K

September 1st, 2010
9:53 am

Cynthia, it’s painfully apparent that many here are arguing against an article they think (or wish) you wrote, and not the one you actually wrote.

WAR

September 1st, 2010
9:53 am

milton man “Liberals stating that Jesus was a Liberal??? Liberals do not quite understand the defintion of ignorance. When was Jesus every mentioned in the bible supporting abortion, euthanasia/suicide, global warming, handing more power over to a centralized government, eminent domain, etc. etc.?”

“conservatives stating that Jesus was a conservative… when did he mention… supporting WAR, drill baby drill, more localized power for powermongers, unregulated free markets, etc. etc.?”

A "Voice"

September 1st, 2010
9:53 am

“sometimes the messenger is part of the problem….” i.e., Obama!

Union

September 1st, 2010
9:53 am

hmmm who voted down gay marriage in california?

Billybob

September 1st, 2010
9:54 am

Tucker,
I do agree that Obama is a Christian…..A REVEREND WRIGHT CHRISTIAN, which seem to be Christians filled with an amazing amount of hate. How about a comment here Tucker…..

Some People are stupid

September 1st, 2010
9:54 am

Milton Man-

1. You are confusing political issues with religion
2. I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t know about global warming during Jesus’s time..I’m not even sure they knew there was another continent on the other side.
3. What about render unto Ceaser what is Ceaser…

Billybob

September 1st, 2010
9:56 am

You brand all the hate on conservatives, but I guarantee conservatives would have gotten up and walked out of church had they heard anything that Rev Wright was saying.

Missing the Point

September 1st, 2010
9:56 am

You are ALL missing the point. A true Christian does not judge whether another person is a Christian because a true Christian knows that is between that person and God. We don’t know what’s in the other person’s heart.

If you stop judging others, you’ll be amazed at how liberating it is.

WAR

September 1st, 2010
9:57 am

white man
you are right! they probably will lose more seats than the repubs did. my question is: what do you/me or anyone else expect to change when/if they takeover? more investigations? repeal healthcare? extend bush taxes? here is my prediction white man, if the repubs win one or both houses–obama will get re-elected in 2012. if they remain the minority in both houses, the pres will be out in 2012.

Some People are stupid

September 1st, 2010
9:57 am

Billybob-

Did you read when HDB posted the whole message…and not just the sound bite?

RC

September 1st, 2010
9:58 am

CT,

I like to think that I am a fairly reasonable and level-headed person. I am open minded (about most things) and thus try not to judge any idea without first carefully scrutinizing the merit of the content.

Let me first say that I have absolutely no problem with anyone standing up and proclaiming that this country needs to return to core values. I think it is fairly obvious to everyone in this country that we are in decline and can probably trace the roots of our decline all the way back to FDR. For that reason I am in agreement with Mr. Beck that we as a country need to find that inner strength that belonged to our greatest generation. I have watched Glenn Beck on several occasions and I find his observations to be lucid, well researched, and backed up with fact (as opposed to the rantings of those against him). He frequently admits his own shortcomings and never fails to remind his viewers not to take his word on anything but to check his facts and research for themselves.

I never find fault with anyone who lifts themselves up from a dark past. Redemption is something to be celebrated and embraced. I thought that was a core liberal belief.

So my question to you is why do you question his motives? He is not running for office, yes he is on Radio and TV but after all how else can he get out his message? You after all are no different writing your beleifs in a newspaper. Should we be calling you a huckster, a carny barker.

Please answer for me what higher authority allows you to judge Glenn Becks’ motives and have some higher ground to stand on. To me this smacks of arrogrance and falsehood.

Until you can prove to me that Glenn Beck has a motive other than wanting to see a better country for his children (my motive) then I will continue to listen to his message and dismiss yours.

HDB

September 1st, 2010
9:58 am

STONE COLD REALITY September 1st, 2010
9:37 am

FAR from being a victim…..but I AM cognizant of what people try to say what is real…and what ACTUALLY is real! I’ve achieved my success because of what I believed was the pathways….work and education!!

“America has her faults, her scars, sins and demons but the sooner you quit crying about how your descendents were wronged and VOW to avenge them by bettering yourself for yourself and your children and your grandchildren the better off WE ALL WILL BE!! ”

In many cases, America WON’T admit to her problems…..and that’s what needs to occur so that ALL of us can get past the negatives and work on the positives!! I used the foibles of the past to motivate me towards a better future…but to FORGET the past is to invite its repetition!!

lmno

September 1st, 2010
9:58 am

“Cynthia, If Jesus Christ came down from Heaven and gave a sermon, since he was White, you would have a negative article in your rag paper the next day.”

Jesus was white? I bet he stuck out like a sore thumb in the middle east then?

Ethel

September 1st, 2010
9:58 am

What part of “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”….. don’t you understand?

Union

September 1st, 2010
9:59 am

this could be a blog… why dont african americans like gay people?

Mel

September 1st, 2010
9:59 am

Makes sense why Beck would have Palin at the rally. They’re two peas in a pod. Incredibly polarizing, they don’t get their facts straight and then they turn around and spew their nonsense on television. And somehow they actually get people to believe what they say.

White Man

September 1st, 2010
10:00 am

WAR- in that case I am voting democrat in November haha.

Big D

September 1st, 2010
10:00 am

Sarah Palin …a major “polarizing” figure in the US of A.
Do you even know what the term means, you use it to mean a draw of people to one side or the other in extreme by means of slander or innuendo and I know of not one thing she has said that qualifies your assessment. On the other hand candidate Obama and President Obama has gone out of his way to be “negativity polarizing” by his words and actions by claiming the population at large that disagrees with him are somehow “ignorant gun totting religious insecure racist homophobic Islamafphobes. Then by his actions he decides to go completely away from HIS OWN WORDS and let the public see bills posted on the internet before passing!!! He forces us with this competently inept congress to accept his dogma and insane ideology for social change when it was obvious to the VAST majority of Americans that we DID NOT WANT IT…and you and all these star struck liberals are now in complete ejection mode because this crap you back is going down in flames never seen in this country..10 POINTS before mid term…can we have a big ol ADIOS..

White Man

September 1st, 2010
10:00 am

Union – The do they are all just on the “down low”.

STONE COLD REALITY

September 1st, 2010
10:01 am

CT…still no word on the hope?? I thought not. You KNOW there is no defense for Obama, you blindly bleat the Obama mantra even as you are led to slaughter.
Liberals hate Beck and his message because you have no asnwer for it other than Government and your own sin….and you know it. You can’t bask in the light of the truth because you know what you are, and that is a parasite that feeds off others liberty and labor. You know you can’t exist on your own and that scares you becasue you have no basis for your own truth. You don’t know what to beleive because you only believe what the left has told you…and you covet and hate what other people have. It is the most base of mans instincts and not PROGRESSVIVE at all. Seek your own truth and don’t begrudge others for what they have, care for yourself and your family and the rest will take care of itself.

Jason

September 1st, 2010
10:01 am

Publius

September 1st, 2010
10:02 am

To those who point out Glenn Beck’s personal beliefs, I suggest that you step back and look at the big picture. The point of the rally and most of Beck’s recent commentary is that America has turned from our traditional values. A sense of moral responsibility, with it’s roots in Christianity, is a part of the American fabric. Our ideas drawn from the founding fathers about religious freedom, I believe, were meant to insure the idea that we never establish a national or state religion which taxes those who would differ. In the years since, we have as a nation, chosen to interpret these ideas as not pushing our religion on someone else. This does not mean however, that we as a nation abandon God entirely. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that before our “modern scientific and enlightened ideas” began to break down everything about and every religion that put faith into, a higher power, we were a more peaceful, loving and charitable society. There were problems involving prejudices and poverty. Some of these problems are still with us. Would love towards our fellow man not be at least as effective in fixing these problems as the government sponsored social fixes rooted in elitist liberal thought? People may not like Mr. Beck personally or the percieved games he plays with religion and politics, (his job). In this case the message appears to be right on the mark.

Steve

September 1st, 2010
10:02 am

I’m pretty sure on numerous occassions Pres Obama has indicated the belief ‘his salvation relies on the collective salvation of others’. That would be different from the majority of christians who believe their salvation is based on their personal relationship with Jesus. So how is Beck incorrect with this statement?

I have noted more people want to be seen in public with Beck lately. Obama seems to have the opposite effect on people. That will leave Obama more time for golf and vacations though.

WAR

September 1st, 2010
10:02 am

billybob
i went attended a church like that in atlanta. almost everyone was white and the conversation was about how islam was not a religion and muslims were going to hell. i got up to leave. i don’t say those christians are wrong and i am right. i didn’t return becasuse that kind of talk is not for me.

kayaker 71

September 1st, 2010
10:03 am

Estimates range from 300K-500K. From the tapes, these people didn’t seem crazed, brainwashed or violent. Most of them looked like average Americans to me. No arrests for unruly conduct, no trash on the ground like the inauguration which looked like a land fill afterward. These “crazy” people are people like your next door neighbors, brought their kids and families, no signs depicting Bozo as the Anti-Christ. This thing, despite all of the liberal rants about the rally was not about Bozo. He was mentioned once in the closing prayer when the black minister giving the prayer, asked ‘God for guidance for our President and our Congress. It was not about Repubs/Demos. It was about restoring the honor that this country once had. Plain and simple. And it scares you libs to death. Murkowski is the latest casualty and it really has you concerned. Face it, libs, it hasn’t worked and you know it. America is waking up to the fraud, deceit, lies and arrogance. We will take our country back from you and we will begin in 62 days. Enjoy the last two months or so. It will be the last black president in your lifetime and the last Democratic controlled Congress in a generation.

Some People are stupid

September 1st, 2010
10:03 am

What the heck is STONE COLD REALITY talking about??

Union

September 1st, 2010
10:03 am

so does obama not like gay people if most blacks dont like gay people? it would make sense.. since all southern baptist say that about beck

Joseph Pinto

September 1st, 2010
10:03 am

Fire Cynthia…

Yall see Buckhead got a nod on Drudge today….

“FLASH: AUGUST 2010 IS LARGEST AUGUST IN DRUDGEREPORT’S 16 YEAR HISTORY. PAGE VIEWED 772,638,752 TIMES [UP FROM 669,392,126 IN '09 AND 614,577,960 IN '08]. FROM NEW ZEALAND TO NORWAY, BUCKHEAD TO BERLIN, AND BACK AROUND, THANKS A BILLION!”

granny godzilla

September 1st, 2010
10:03 am

Billy Bob

amazing amount of hate?

I’d guess you got all you know of the good Rev Wright is a 20 second sound clip on on loop.

wow, that’s some depth of knowledge and understanding.

it’s like knowing all there is about sailing from watching a preview of titanic.

you should be aashamed of yourself.

luangtom

September 1st, 2010
10:04 am

I sit here and read all of the jabs at each other and see that many folks thrive on the verbal-sparring. Yet, I also sit here and wonder if B. Hussein Obama is such a Christian, just how did he get enrolled in a Muslim school during his younger years in Indonesia? Did he find an equal-opportunity Muslim enclave? Or, were his parents just sneaky and lied about his not being an infidel? I am just wondering….

ML

September 1st, 2010
10:05 am

there has always been global warming or global cooling anyone that doesn’t believe that is a moron that must believe the world has a thermostat set by none other than Dave Lennox himself.
the Saxons originally from Germany lived along the northern coast and were forced to leave their homeland in search of new land due to a rise in sea level that flooded their land. the Mongols were forced to find new land for grazing of their animals due to colder temperatures that froze the steppes and killed the grasses needed for their livestock.
remember the same people that are mocking global warming are the same numbskulls that said solar and wind power were for bed wetters and tree huggers, more of the shame game that is used by weak minded, selfish and arrogant sheep.

White Man

September 1st, 2010
10:05 am

luangtom…..Great post.

Rickster

September 1st, 2010
10:05 am

Technically, Beck is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “Mormon” is the general term. “Mormons” believe in Jesus (hence the mention of Jesus in the name of the church.)

But what hypocrisy for Cynthia Tucker to write a opinion piece attacking Beck’s religion while decrying him for attacking somone else’s!

WAR

September 1st, 2010
10:05 am

union
homosexuality is taboo conversation in the black community

white man
you do know that white men are on the down low, too. just saying…

1ProudVet

September 1st, 2010
10:06 am

‘When fascism comes to this country, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.’ – Sinclair Lewis

Really Squared??

September 1st, 2010
10:06 am

Kayaker 71
It will be the last black president in your lifetime and the last Democratic controlled Congress in a generation.

Craziest most asinine post of the day so far. So cause he was black it was an issue…and I am pretty sure we will have a democratically controlled congress again…wasn’t that side after 94 by the way

WAR

September 1st, 2010
10:07 am

union
soooooo the white people like gays? i wonder what the white man will have to say about that!