Glenn Beck wants me to leave my church

I must admit that, despite my right-of-centre political views, I never watch Fox news, so the only time I have ever seen Glenn Beck was in an entertaining Youtube video back in early December 2009, featuring him in his fevered indignation  over scientists using a trick of the trade to reconcile historical tree ring proxy data with data from weather stations.

I came across the latest gem from Glenn Beck while browsing through The Holy Post.   According to opinion columnist Charles Lewis,

Glenn Beck, the Fox News commentator known for his tearful rants in defence of American liberty and against the evils of liberalism, has told his audience that it may be time to abandon most of the Christian churches.

In a recent radio show, that was broadcast on more than 400 affiliates, he told his listeners to leave any church that uses the phrases “social justice” or “economic justice.” “I beg you, look for the words ’social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church Web site,” he said.

“If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes!” He went on to say, “If you have a priest pushing social justice go find another parish. Go alert your bishop and tell them. [Ask them] are you down with this whole social justice thing?”

The faith community that I’m involved with is part of the Evangelical Covenant Church.  Our denomination has a “Department of Compassion, Mercy and Justice“.  I went to the denomination’s website and did a search on “social justice”, which resulted in several pages of hits.

Clearly my denomination is on Glenn Beck’s naughty list.  But I like it so I’m staying put.

But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!  (Amos 5:24)

End Note 1: I don’t think that Beck is against justice, but is against “progressive liberal” ideas of justice involving government intervention.  Personally I believe that the primary responsibility of Christians is at the individual level, but the Bible also calls for the “king” to help those who need it;

End Note 2: Despite the fact that I’m a small-c conservative, I support “pinko” Canadian policies like universal health care and official bilingualism, so if I were ever transplanted to the U.S., I really don’t know how I’d vote.

6 Responses to “Glenn Beck wants me to leave my church”

  1. Toni says:

    Phil – I’ve interacted with quite a lot of American conservative evangelicals, and my conclusion is that they are opposed to justice on several levels. They do not want justice for individuals if it comes through the work of government, they don’t want justice if it affects their taxes and they don’t want justice if it bears a trace of socialism. There’s a hardness and anger to them that does not come from the Spirit of God.

    I’m quite concerned for the future of the Christian faith in North America. And FWIW my politics are libertarian conservative too.

  2. Toni says:

    I meant to come back sooner and say that it’s not all conservative evangelicals, but they shout loud enough to make the others (a majority? I hope so) all but invisible.

  3. Phil L says:

    Toni – Our particular denomination is a “big tent”, with a lot of room for different opinions on political/social issues. We try to “major on the majors”. To some that means avoiding political discussions and to others it means making great effort to keep those discussions respectful, in a spirit of unity. Generally the political discussions happen outside the church doors. I am accepted and loved despite my conservative views. And I generally try to reciprocate. I know that some conservative evangelicals would consider the Evangelical Covenant too “liberal”. Glenn Beck would probably not stick around long.

  4. Toni says:

    Ah, but Phil, you’re a Canadian, aren’t you? Which already makes you a socialist and a liberal by some standards, just as I am as a European.

    This is interesting to discuss, not because of what’s being said, but because it’s making me examine what I’m finding inside myself and the attitudes that I’ve allowed to remain there. I’ve a feeling some changes are needed.

  5. Stacia says:

    I know this blog post is old, but I found this today and found it kind of amusing. Jim Wallis vs. Glen Beck, Jedi style.

  6. Phil L says:

    Good find Stacia, very clever.