Jesus Needs New PR

Jesus Needs New PR


‘Social juctice is the exact opposite of Jesus’ says @GlennBeck

Found at Christian Nightmare.



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Susan

posted October 28, 2010 at 11:14 am


Glenn Beck belongs in a pro-wrestling ring, not a news commentator’s chair. Everything he says is artfully planned to manipulate his audience into a frenzy. Give him hair extensions, a belt, and a shiny robe. And let someone sit on him.



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PJ

posted October 28, 2010 at 11:17 am


I have no idea what he is even talking about. He spent almost 2 minutes talking about nothing. I suspect Beck might think in weighty terms, but when he opens his mouth, often all that comes out is feathers.



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Terroni

posted October 28, 2010 at 11:20 am


I love that he thinks that a thousand years from now, people are going to be reading his journal. His narcissism, it knows no bounds.



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GFH

posted October 28, 2010 at 11:26 am


Well, how do you define _justice_ ?

How does the Bible define it? Does Jesus support the Biblical idea of justice (equal weights & measures, seeing that the poor are treated with respect & dignity, etc)?

NOW here’s where it gets tricky. How does civilization _today_ define social justice?

Typically its through legislation, i.e. more government.

Would Jesus be _FOR_ a system of more human government that attempts to legislate social justice? I think the answer to that is NO!

So, in point of fact, depending on how you define social justice, Jesus would probably be against most ideas of social justice, because they aren’t based on Biblical principles.

Just my $0.02 and maybe something to think about.



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    Leanne

    posted October 28, 2010 at 11:48 am


    Social justice is about caring for the outcasts and the poor at all levels. It is an understanding that the poor are not poor because of their own faults. There are systems and laws in place which oppress people, often times unknowingly. In the past, I remember some studies which found that most of the public school moneys were spent in white/ middle and upper class neighborhoods in some areas of the nation. So the areas where the poor lived who were on welfare were getting less money, less resources, fewer teachers, etc. This practice was oppressing people. Social justice advocates would call the government to be better than that. Would Jesus be against that? I don’t think so.
    Look at the Civil Rights issues in the mid 1900′s. Social justice calls the government to stop practices of injustice.
    It is not about re-distributing the wealth in a communistic manner.
    Israel was called to social justice. Foreigners were to be respected and given the Sabbath off. The year of Jubilee set free slaves and sent land (which would have been the evidence of wealth at that time) back to the original family.
    Israel as well as other nations in the Old Testament were judged based on their treatment to the poor. Look at Amos for example, as well as Hosea, Isaiah. Taking care of the poor was not just an individual’s responsibility. The nation, the government was held accountable for their treatment of the outcasts and poor. So yes, I believe Jesus would be for social justice.
    Those are my $0.02.



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      Corrigan

      posted October 28, 2010 at 11:59 am


      Well said.



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      Bob

      posted October 28, 2010 at 12:32 pm


      Let’s not be naive and think that some of the situations you speak aren’t a result of sin or poor choices. It seems that you think that money and possessions solve someone being poor. That is socialism, not the Gospel. Jesus called his disciples to take care of the least of these. This is a mandate from God to the church, not the government. A lot of the issues our society faces are a direct result of the “un-generosity” of the church. The government has had to step in because of this and I applaud those that want to go back to the roots of the Gospel. Also, there are far more programs and government aides available for the “lower” class than middle and upper. For instance, a poorer student can go college for free. I am apparently considered middle class at $25k a year and am barely making ends meet while paying for college. Life isn’t about being fair. Its about proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ.



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        Leanne

        posted October 28, 2010 at 1:19 pm


        I am sorry if I am sounding naive. Yes, there are some who are poor because of their own choices but that is not all cases. There are laws and systems which keep the cycle of poverty going. Just because there are programs which help people does not mean there is no injustice in the system. The cut offs for some of those programs leave people out who have too much to meet the programs requirements but not enough to really get through school. I for one had that issue as I went to school.
        Social justice is not about being fair. It is about justice–doing right to people.
        As stated, throughout the Old Testament nations other than Israel, other than the people of God, were judged for not caring for the poor–I believe Ezekiel 16 or 26 states Sodom and Gomorrah was judged because they were inhospitable and didn’t take care of the poor.
        We can take care of the poor all we want as the Church but when there are laws and systems which keep the cycle of poverty going, we are not really caring for them fully. Social justice organizations like Sojourners and International Justice Mission seek to bring lasting changes to systems and laws which oppress people. They are not trying to be fair. They are seeking justice as described in the Bible.



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      nate

      posted October 28, 2010 at 2:26 pm


      actually, a lot of educational research has shown that urban schools are at least as well funded, federally, as their suburban counterparts. (it just tends to be the suburban schools who have wealthier support and backers, externally.)

      but everything else you say here is spot-on. the only people who are using the term “social justice” to merely describe government policy are the ones, like beck, who are trying to vilify it. churches who care about social justice, deeply, are seldom politically-centered.



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        Leanne

        posted October 28, 2010 at 3:27 pm


        Thank you for the correction. The study I read was a while ago, like decades. I am sure things have changed since then. I should have stated that in my original post.



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    Mary

    posted October 28, 2010 at 12:52 pm


    I agree. “Social Justice” should come from the churches, not the government.



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      Leanne

      posted October 28, 2010 at 1:25 pm


      And it does through ministries like Sojourners, International Justice Mission, and others who seek to not only meet the poor where they are and take care of them but also seek to change the systems and laws which are unjust.
      Poverty, slave trades, medical care for those in impoverished areas (Appalachians, inner city, in third world nations) are all part of social justice. Social justice ministries call the churches to do what they can and call the government to change practices which ignore or aid injustices.
      To state the government should not be involved in social justice is to ignore the systems and laws which effect people.



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      RobM

      posted October 28, 2010 at 2:39 pm


      That’s a nice sentiment, but it fails many if not a majority of those in need. It had no actual power to combat segregated lunch counters, let alone “separate but equal” government institutions. Is failing millions of sick people right now dying w/o any access to healthcare till it’s too late. Fails to retrain & re-educate people displaced from jobs that are no longer needed. Fails to insure equal access to quality education, etc, etc. There are legit social justice issues that are not addressable by private charity, and frankly Glenn Beck thinks social justice is to be gleeful that a fire dept would sit and watch a person’s house burn down due to an unpaid fee. Some justice….



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Adam Ellis

posted October 28, 2010 at 11:28 am


It’s like in Matthew 25, when Jesus said “Forget about the poor. It’s their own stupid fault anyway. However, because you are better people than they are, be sure to give them some pocket change from time to time of your own free will. After all, nominal personal charity is all I’m really after from you. Well, that and I’d really like you to set up an amusement park in Florida based on me.” ;)



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    Carole Turner

    posted October 28, 2010 at 8:23 pm


    ha!!! Love it! Amen brother.

    Isn’t this clip of Beck old? I heard it months ago unless he’s still saying the same thing.



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    brandontmilan

    posted October 28, 2010 at 9:54 pm


    i want to make this my status on facebook and see how many of my republican friends agree with it…



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Victoria

posted October 28, 2010 at 11:39 am


If you listen to Glenn at all, you’ll know what he’s trying to say here. We are, as humans and Christians supposed to help others out, absolutely! It is not the government’s job to to it – it’s ours as individuals. I would much rather give my money (and I do) to my local food bank than have the federal govt give it arbitrarily to someone or a group that I do not know about. That’s basically it in a nutshell.

I believe Glenn is trying his hardest to wake us up to what’s really going on because we’ve been in a coma for far too long.



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    ReleventISHpastor

    posted October 28, 2010 at 12:52 pm


    I understand that in a way, but the fact is, I just wish Christians wouldn’t keep allowing themselves to listen to any of his “biblical” advice. He isn’t a Christian, he is in a cult started by a nut case who also spoke in crazy revolutionary/conceded ways.

    I have no real issue with his politics, I just wish he’d leave the church (to which he isn’t a part of) alone.



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    nate

    posted October 28, 2010 at 2:28 pm


    i like your optimism, but i am deeply disturbed by beck’s insistence that “social justice” refers to government redistribution. either he doesn’t realize that it encompasses much, much more than government policy, or he does realize it and is trying to manipulate the term into something his audience is against.

    either way, it strikes me as untrustworthy.



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Mark

posted October 28, 2010 at 11:45 am


GFH raises an interesting point that is not to be overlooked. When did we as believers dump our responsibility for social justice into the lap of government? We need to take it back, it’s ours alone. If we do it right, government assistance wouldn’t even be necessary.



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    Kevin Gilbert

    posted October 28, 2010 at 12:28 pm


    That’s what I’ve been saying for a while. Good to know I’m not alone in this way of thinking, Mark.



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    ty

    posted October 28, 2010 at 1:23 pm


    I think it is more that the government picked up social justice after they realized that people like talking about the concept but, apparently, have absolutely no clue of how to achieve it…



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    nate

    posted October 28, 2010 at 2:39 pm


    once, in a conversation with a friend of mine, who is a social worker, he said this (paraphrased): “after a certain point, the cracks and inequalities in the social structure got so huge and cavernous that the only entity with enough power and resources to even try and fix things is the government”.

    he was talking specifically about foster care, and family care, but the larger point is this: for centuries, we as christians and we as a larger society have allowed so many injustices to run unchecked, and now that the problem is so huge we don’t have the organization or unity or resources to fight it. the government should never have become the entity responsible for dealing with broken families, and foster children, but at a certain point the mistreatment of poor children and families got so outrageous that someone had to step in, and by then only the government had enough clout to try and fix things.

    it would be different, if the church had any sort of unity anymore. but it’s hard enough getting 200 people in one congregation to all agree on something simple, let alone something that shakes us to our very core.



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Corrigan

posted October 28, 2010 at 11:46 am


I love this weird idea people have that individuals are supposed to help the poor, and it’s evil for the government to do it.



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Leanne

posted October 28, 2010 at 11:55 am


I posted under GFH but will say it again. The poor are not solely responsible for being poor. There are systems and laws which oppress people here in America and outside of America. There are practices by our business and government which fund sweatshops in other nations. America is one of the largest consumers of all resources in the world, often times at the expense of poorer nations. Social justice is about getting to the systems and laws and practices which keep the cycles of poverty going in the world. It is not about the government taking over the church’s job. The government makes the laws so to fight the systems and laws which are unjust we need to call the government to a higher standard.



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Ryan Good

posted October 28, 2010 at 12:03 pm


The irony is Glenn Beck, as a Mormon, speaking for Jesus.



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    Daniel

    posted October 28, 2010 at 5:52 pm


    I was going to say the exact same thing. I just don’t understand why people listen to this guy.



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    Andie Redwine

    posted October 28, 2010 at 8:56 pm


    Right. I wonder why evangelicals give this guy a pass. Let’s ask Glenn about his secret underwear.



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Happy Geek

posted October 28, 2010 at 12:27 pm


TO me social justice is not about having the government look after us all, but doing as is commanded in the Bible,
To act justly and love mercy. Micah 6:8
TO hunger and thirst for righteousness, (Matthew 5) not just personal righteousness but restoring right relationships. Putting things back the way God intended.
TO care for the widows and the orphans. James 1:27
I really don’t see how God can find fault in that.



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Wes

posted October 28, 2010 at 12:37 pm


Social Justice is the exact opposite of what God stands for?

For the life of me, I can’t figure out why a vast majority of people sitting in pews on Sundays love Glenn Beck.



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    Zack

    posted October 28, 2010 at 2:31 pm


    Obviously it is because Beck is God’s chosen prophet. You can strike him down, but 2 more with rise up in his place!



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Z

posted October 28, 2010 at 12:48 pm


I’ve heard flatulence that made more sense than this drivel. Anyone, regardless of your political leanings, that lends this nutter an ear, is a part of the problem, NOT the solution.



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Tamara

posted October 28, 2010 at 1:00 pm


Who doesn’t want to sound like Star Wars?



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Charlie's Church of Christ

posted October 28, 2010 at 1:46 pm


who even cares about what he says? Its so obviously ridiculous and meticulously planned to get people chatting about him that he has no credibility.



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Darcy

posted October 28, 2010 at 2:48 pm


What “God” is he talking about?



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    RobM

    posted October 28, 2010 at 2:58 pm


    I’m going to assume the Mormon one. Although I doubt even the Mormon one is as harsh to the societal “losers” as Glen Beck would like.



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    Travis Mamone

    posted October 28, 2010 at 3:14 pm


    The American Capitalist God.



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      Leanne

      posted October 28, 2010 at 3:29 pm


      Ouch. Travis, I think you hit the truth with that statement.



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joel k

posted October 28, 2010 at 6:39 pm


I know it’s cliche by now, but I am astonished at how many Christians, rather than expressing outrage at a Mormon telling Christians how to run their churches, are continuing to support this guy.



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Susan

posted October 28, 2010 at 7:37 pm


Leanne makes the most sense of anyone who’s posted on this subject. I agree with everything she says!
On the lighter side,did anyone else find Beck’s quoting of Shakespeare like it is scripture amusing?



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Carole Turner

posted October 28, 2010 at 8:28 pm


This is one of the best articles I have ever read about the Glenn Beck phenomenon in American Christianity..

http://www.russellmoore.com/2010/08/29/god-the-gospel-and-glenn-beck/



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Dianna

posted October 28, 2010 at 9:25 pm


What he means: The government has no role in the administering of social justice and it should be a movement of private charity to take care of the poor. The government is only for the defense of the nation.

What he actually says: Jesus hates social justice and if you are in a church that is social justice oriented (no matter that my definition and the church’s definition of social justice are radically different), you are an evil, evil human being as stupid as those storm troopers who couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with their laser guns. And you’re a commie.

Where he’s wrong: Like Leanne said above, if the church had been doing its job from the beginning, then Christians could possibly agree with Beck and say that the government should not co-opt our job as the church – instead, we have allowed our superior attitudes to get in the way and create massive rich poor gaps and laws that oppress the poor and therefore have turned government into the only way to fix the issues and eventually give the job back to the church.

Instead of considering what Beck says as a challenge to the government’s role in society and whether or not the church is doing its job, Beck’s sloppy rhetoric draws a dichotomy between working with the government to eliminate poverty-creating systemic issues, and Jesus’ mission to the church. He makes social justice, in any form, the enemy of the church – whether or not that’s what he MEANS, that is is what comes out of his mouth, and that is what his rhetoric says to his millions of listeners. So rather than an admonition for the church to take up its cross in helping the poor, rather than telling his listeners to invite the homeless into their homes and make sure that everyone has food to eat and a place to sleep in their city through private charity, we get instead an affirmation of the attitude that has plagued the American church for decades: The poor are poor by their own choices and therefore it is not my responsibility to help, and social justice in any form is for bleeding heart liberals, who are scum, of course.

What he needs: A good solid study of rhetoric and how to use it properly. Most of Beck’s problems stem from a lack of education in how to persuade, how to think critically, and how to make an argument that lays things out clearly rather than leaps illogically from point to point and relies mainly on pathos (emotion) to get his point across. Maybe if he’d actually found a parking spot at college and attended some classes (seriously, that’s his excuse for not going to the Christology class he signed up for at Yale), he’d know what my 18 year old freshmen students already know about logic and persuasion.

Until his rhetoric becomes clearer and actually allows for open and free discussion, I refuse to support anything this man has to say.



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    Silica

    posted October 29, 2010 at 9:27 am


    “What he needs: A good solid study of rhetoric and how to use it properly. Most of Beck’s problems stem from a lack of education in how to persuade, how to think critically, and how to make an argument that lays things out clearly rather than leaps illogically from point to point and relies mainly on pathos (emotion) to get his point across.”

    I know you are a stranger, but…I think I may be in love with you. :)

    I wish high school taught rhetoric. I brought a little bit in when I was teaching high school English, but it didn’t matter if it wasn’t reinforced by other teachers or in other subject areas. “Persuasion” was “use propaganda techniques without getting caught,” not “show that you’ve thought about this issue and be willing to listen to other ideas.”

    And while I would still disagree with Beck even if he was able to make that point, we could still have a conversation about the best way to help the poor as individuals and as communities, instead of his insisting that I must be some kind of Nazi/communist hybrid for disagreeing with him.



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      Dianna

      posted October 29, 2010 at 10:49 pm


      Hahah, thanks! One of the first things I was taught in my freshman writing classes was paying attention to the rhetoric that we use and how we persuade our audience. When I got to graduate school, I finally had the chance to take some rhetoric courses (my favorite being one on female Methodist rhetoric in the 19th century) and it’s remarkable how simply studying how others try to persuade can make your own arguments stronger. It’s definitely something political pundits need to study – I very much doubt we’d have as many yelling matches as we do because people would be more aware of how to say what they mean.

      ‘Course, I will support education in almost any subject 99% of the time.

      And yes, I definitely still disagree with Beck, but it’s a lot harder to have an argument with a man who can’t express his point very well.



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    joel k

    posted October 29, 2010 at 11:31 am


    I hate to say it, but I think that Glen Beck means exactly what he says. And, sadly, many professing Christians seem to agree with him. That’s what scares me.



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      Dianna

      posted October 29, 2010 at 10:42 pm


      I see what you’re saying, but I think my point might need a bit more elaboration. Every time one of these Glenn Beck clips comes up, I look around at context, and try to determine if he’s not just saying something incredibly poorly. 9 times out of 10, that’s what has happened – he just simply cannot phrase his argument well and it comes across as being incredibly dumb and offensive. Now, I’m not saying that what he is saying isn’t wrong by any means – see my blog entry on his Rally to Restore Honor thing and you’ll realize I am adamantly against his philosophy of life, religion and government. But, I do think he means a lot of what he actually says as well as not being able to say what he means clearly, if that makes sense

      For example: When he discusses liberation theology and comes to the conclusion that it’s wrong because it dictates a communal salvation as opposed to an individual one (we are saved as and with the church, as opposed to being saved just as individuals separate from the church body), I think he really truly believes that salvation is a solely individual venture – therefore, he very definitely means what he says. And that’s definitely wrong, and definitely something that could be fixed had he bothered to attend those Christology courses he claims to have taken, and could be much clearer in his points if he took rhetoric and knew how to both interpret and deliver it. But there’s also further underlying meaning to those statements that he expresses quite poorly.

      In the social justice discussion, he very definitely has separate meanings from what actually comes out of his mouth. His definition of social justice is developed from one Nazi who commented back in 1937 that the elimination of the Jews would be a “social justice.” Due to his poor education in general, he transplants that definition – social justice = tyranny – into his everyday discussion. Therefore, to him, the government being involved in social justice is a ride to a tyrannical hell in a handbasket. And that is what he is talking about when he calls us to “run” from those church’s that espouse social justice, and social justice being “code words” for communism. He has the underlying philosophy that government involvement in such a thing leads to tyranny, and so, in his mind, when social justice is used in churches, it scares him. And that’s where we get this really terrible rhetoric. He is not against charity in general, but against the government being involved and the use of “social justice” in the church.

      HOWEVER, like I said, due to his lack of education about the issues and a refusal to acknowledge that language means different things at different times to different people, which a basic study of rhetoric would tell you, we get this really screwed up rhetoric that you have to spend hours sifting through in order to get at what he “really” means, which, I admit, is sometimes very very close to what he actually says.

      There’s this odd trend in the conservative party of anti-elitism, which quickly translates to anti-education that isn’t homeschooled or self-taught. Beck is a hero because he is “self taught,” regardless of whether or not what he is teaching himself is completely and utterly wrong. And that scares me more than anything – we have this deep-seated fear, probably stemming from reactions raised by the Enlightenment when people decided they didn’t need the church anymore, that education and learning, except that which is carefully controlled and approved by the church, is destructive to faith. My uncle, a man who is an OBGYN and very highly educated, once accused me of being “addled” by my graduate education when I told him that I didn’t see torture as something Christians could support without going against their faith. It’s anti-education and anti-intellectualism that is essentially celebrated by Beck and his tea-partiers, and it’s ruining political discourse.



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        Leanne

        posted October 30, 2010 at 6:57 am


        I have watched Glenn Beck somewhat regularly lately to see the context for his statements against social justice. I believe he is saying what he means and meaning what he says. As a Mormon, he believes the Constitution is an divinely inspired document. He is libertarian in his political view. So any involvement of government at any level is communistic, socialistic, fascist plain and simple. I agree his arguments are very weak. He needs to take a course in rhetoric.
        Social justice needs to start in the church but we also have to hold accountable the systems and laws which the government sometimes supports and sometimes simply turns their backs to which oppress people. The church can help the poor and uninsured but only the government can enact the reform which is needed to stop the price of health care from increasing so much that only the up upper class can afford it. That is only one example why the government needs to be involved in social justice issues.



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          Dianna

          posted October 30, 2010 at 5:14 pm


          Oh I definitely agree with you. I just think taking him directly at his word gives him a bit too much credit. Or maybe I’m giving him too much credit by thinking that he’s exaggerating somewhere along the line.



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Micah

posted October 29, 2010 at 11:32 am


I think what many of us miss living in our current culture is that during Jesus’ day, there was no separation of sacred and secular. There was no separation of church and state. The mandate from Christ to address the needs of the poor extended to all in creation, whether through public or private avenues. When we ask for God’s Kingdom to come here on earth, we are seeking redemption for ALL of creation, not just some parts of it. I could repeat a lot of what others have typed above, but I’ll just say…see Leanne’s posts. ;) Sometimes, I think it is hard for those of us who live in the greatest empire of the world (especially those of us who benefit from the empire), to fully understand the writings of people who were oppressed by some of the other great empires of history.

I also find it interesting, and totally crazy, that Christians of any tradition give ear to Beck at all. Mormons are not Christians. It kind of insults me that he would try to tell me how to think about church, faith, and Jesus. Simply, he does not believe the same things about salvation, Jesus, God’s Kingdom, and many other theological concepts as Christians. And politically, he is just using fear mongering techniques. I agree and disagree with Dianna. I think Beck means what he means, AND he means what he says. (if that makes sense). He is using fear and awful rhetoric on purpose to whip the masses (conservative masses) into a frenzy.



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UUXn

posted October 29, 2010 at 3:36 pm


Some observations.

*Glenn Beck will cease to exist only when we choose to ignore him.

*Why is it that the Christian right believes in separation of church and state when it comes to the poor, but wants the state to interfere with what adults do in their bedrooms?

*Religious charities can barely keep up with the poor that fall through the cracks of the government programs now. Do you really think that people will take any tax savings they get if the government gets out of the social welfare business and donate it to private charity. Dream on.

*The government got in the job of social welfare when people of all faiths and no faith saw that something needed to be done. What is wrong with all Americans paying their fair share for the “least of these”

*If the GDP of the United States were distributed fairly then there would be no poor. If there weren’t five or more people applying for every job I would maybe believe that the poor where poor because the were lazy.

*A certain percentage of the population will always be unemployable. We need to support them because they a human
beings whether we are Christian or not.

I am going to let my blood pressure get back to normal now but I will leave you with the following.

Viva la Oscar Romero!

“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.”
–Dom Helder Camara, Brazilian archbishop



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Shannen

posted October 30, 2010 at 5:48 pm


What churched is Glen talking about…Christian churches or Mormon churches? Just saying…



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    Leanne

    posted October 31, 2010 at 4:50 am


    When I have watched him, he says “check your church” if “your church” has social justice any where in its statement of faith, run. He then says go to your priest or pastor, etc. I do not believe, but could be wrong in my thoughts, that the Mormons call those leaders in charge of their churches priests. So I think he is being universal in his call to leave churches which support social justice.



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Megan

posted December 11, 2010 at 5:47 pm


He conveniently didn’t say HOW social justice is the opposite of what Jesus is about…



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