Tuesday, March 23, 2010

On Glen Beck

I recently came across a post on a friend's facebook page dealing with Glen Beck and his recent statements concerning churches that teach "social justice." My friend stated that Glen Beck was "embarrassing [his] faith." For those who may not know Glen Beck is a Mormon (he converted as an adult). I don't like bogging down friends facebook pages with arguments, so I am venting here - both about the substance of the statement and the 30+ comments that followed the post.

First, I would like to point out that, while I do not agree with everything Glen Beck says, I am not embarrassed to say that he is a Mormon. I think he is right about a lot of things. My friend's post linked to an article by someone claiming to be a Mormon who wanted to be sure that everyone knew that Glen Beck didn't speak for her or the "Mormons she knows." Of course he doesn't. Glen Beck speaks for Glen Beck. He doesn't speak for me and I agree with him. He doesn't speak for all Mormons any more than Nancy Pelosi speaks for all Catholics, clearly. (As long as its apparently in vogue to distance oneself from others of his faith, I want to be clear that Harry Reid does not speak for me or most Mormons I know).

People attacking Glen Beck for his "social justice" comment, use, among other arguments, the fact that Christian churches - including the LDS Church - teach the importance of caring for the poor. Mr. Beck was not decrying these teachings. I've heard him embrace and encourage them. What Beck warns against are churches that teach that the government should force charity on the people and forcibly redistribute wealth has it deems proper.

The comments on my friends post included arguments over whether such "social justice" teaching was supported by Christian teaching - particularly that of the LDS Church. I happen to think that it is not and comparisons to the Law of Consecration, which was attempted by the early Church and which the Church believes will someday be lived by the Saints, are fallacious. However, I think that there can be reasonable disagreement on this subject.

What bothered me the most about the comments on my friend's post was the vitriol and arrogance exhibited by so-called Saints on the enlightened left. One poster in particular arrogantly denounced the arrogance of other posters and scolded someone for claiming to know what the "left" believes, while at the same time informing those of us on the right what we believe. This is one thing that bothers me about a lot of political discussion - the need for some people to immediately descend into "jerkdom" and hypocrisy. Examples: the same people who claim to be for free speech would silence people like Glen Beck (or Ann Coulter); the same people who call Glen Beck a hatemonger are the first to call him and others "idiots" or "crazy." I could go on, but it's late. I feel better, having vented. I just wish that people could stick to the arguments, and civilly, rather than immediately becoming abusive. A clear indication that your position is without merit is that you have no arguments but red herrings and ad hominem attacks.


  1. Great post, Tyler--I'm glad you've found a good place to vent. I look forward to reading more from you!

  2. Thanks, Laura. I have been meaning to get this blog really going for some time, but I could never decide what to start with. I have decided to start with everything and just get posts up as I finish. There will be more to come. Thanks for checking. I don't think very many people do.