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Beliefnet News

Focus on the Family Pulls Interview Over Beck’s Mormon Faith

Colorado-based Focus on the Family has pulled an online interview with conservative television host Glenn Beck after concerns were raised about Beck’s Mormon faith.
Gary Schneeberger, vice president of media and public relations for Focus on the Family Action, said that “differences in the Mormon faith and the historical evangelical faith are not inconsequential.”
“We can, and do, gladly cooperate with friends outside of the evangelical heritage on common causes; but in no case do we intend to alter our clear distinction as unwaveringly grounded in evangelical theology.”
Beck has appeared on Focus on the Family founder James Dobson’s radio program, and has hosted Dobson on his own former CNN show. Beck is scheduled to debut a new program on Fox News on Jan. 19. Both Dobson and Beck advocated for Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California.
Beck’s interview with, Focus on the Family Action’s Web site, touched on his Christmas memories and his recent bestselling book, “The Christmas Sweater.”
On Dec. 22, Underground Apologetics, a Wisconsin-based group dedicated to helping Christians “defend their faith,” criticized Focus on the Family for not mentioning Beck’s membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in its online interview.
“While Glenn’s social views are compatible with many Christian views, his beliefs in Mormonism are not. Clearly, Mormonism is a cult,”
the press release said.
Schneeberger said the criticism from Underground Apologetics had “nothing to do with our decision to pull the article from publication”
but admitted that “some from our base” were concerned that the interview aimed to “signal theological compromise.”
“We regret having communicated in a way that has caused some confusion both from some within our evangelical base as well as from our friends, like Mr. Beck, who hold a sincere and devout Mormon faith,” Schneeberger said. “We intended no insult; we merely miscalculated on how best to feature Glenn.”
Beck said in a statement, “Whatever your beliefs about my religion, the concept of religious tolerance is too important to be sacrificed in response to special interest groups, especially when it means bowing to censorship.”
Beck, who has struggled with drug and alcohol abuse, credits his faith with redeeming him from past misdeeds and saving him from the brink of suicide.
Daniel Burke
Religion News Service
Copyright 2008 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

  • nnmns

    If they can’t put a Mormon on their website we can all understand a candidate they support is unlikely to have an open enough mind to function effectively in our modern, small, crowded world.
    That really seems kind of amazing.

  • C. C. Loveland

    This latest act of hypocrisy by Focus on the Family is just one more reason I question Evangelicals’ true motives and beliefs. Like others I have communicated with, I believe Focus knew of Beck’s Mormon faith before they published the article in the first place but only yanked it when Evangelicals protested a “Mormon” receiving attention for his Christian themed writing. It is not Mormons that are acting un-Christian like–it is Evangelicals–and I am starting to get tired of it. Visit my blog and post a comment if you feel the same.

  • Your Name

    ” It is not Mormons that are acting un-Christian like–it is Evangelicals–and I am starting to get tired of it.”
    It bore repeating, so I repeated it.
    Hypocrisy and Let’s Focus on SOME People’s Families go hand in hand.

  • jestrfyl

    “If you can’t play well together then you have to go to your rooms.” Words from a loving parent, words from a loving God.

  • methodistsearching

    Interesting organization Dobson has there. Ironiclly, from what I understand, there is no group more “focused on the family” than the Mormons.

  • Henrietta22

    There are some parallels between Focus and the Mormons though. They both are immovable in their beliefs of their respective faiths, and they both are without compassion, love, scholarship, and the desire to understand other religious beliefs.

  • cknuck

    Dobson is very concerned about the dirrection family is going in here in America with good cause just look around.

  • jestrfyl

    O for crying out loud, let’s name this organization for what it really is, “Focus on Dobson”. He is losing audience and so he has to up the ante and make more outrageous claims. He has reduced himself to spewing the same bilge as Limbaugh and other too-much-talk radio & TV. If all he can do is stand and crook his finger shouting, “You are not like me, so you are baaaaaad”, then he has lost any credibility.

  • cknuck

    It’s good to have an opinion I owe several Focus on the Family teaching media and I thoroughly enjoy them and when I use them a lot of people agree that they are good.

  • Henrietta22

    It’s good to have an opinion I owen several Focus on the Family teaching media and I thoroughly enjoy them and when I use them a lot of people agree that they are good.
    Well some of us have our own thought-out opinions based on many events occuring in our lives, and others. We don’t use teaching media from anyone to spread someone elses opinions, like you do Focus on the Family teachings.

  • cknuck

    H22 the difference is that I use the focus on the family teaching material I own to help hundreds of people and choose not to use your “thought-out opinions” Dobson has produced some really rich teaching aids.

  • Henrietta22

    My Christian thought out opinions always have the help of the Holy Spirit, ck. I’ll rely on Him instead of Dobson.

  • cknuck

    That’s a good thing H22, hard for me to believe but good if true.

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