King, Beck and God

Well, now.

Glenn Beck held his rally, an event he thought necessary to help restore American’s honor, and an event he said was not about politics but was about God.

Every time I see that statement, I literally shiver.

Beck, who said he was unaware that this was the 47th anniversary of Dr. King’s March on Washington, where thousands of people, black and white, gathered in support of social justice and civil rights for black and poor people, lifted Dr. King up as one of his favorite people.

Yet, he and Dr. King seem to be as far away as the east is from the west. Glenn Beck has been a reactionary, vile, fear-mongering voice since the election of Barack Obama. His followers, at the rally today and in general, appear to be people stuck in racism, while Dr. King was working to get people out of the clutches of racism.

Beck said that today, America was turning back to God, and suggested that there be a boot camp for getting people back on track.

Which God is he talking about? There must be two, because the God Beck invokes and the God Dr. King invoked seem to be polar opposites.

Dr. King was a proponent of social justice, one who preached agape love of all people and liberation theology. That is Biblical; Jesus the Christ admonishes those who love and follow him to be concerned with and help “the least of these.” Those words are found not only in the 25th chapter of Matthew, but the directive for those who love God to practice social justice is contained throughout the Bible.

Beck says he doesn’t agree with liberation theology, but if he doesn’t, and if that’s what the Bible teaches, then what God is he referencing when he says America must today turn back to God?

In the Hebrew scriptures, there is a passage found in the book of Jeremiah which I read just the other day: “Administer justice every morning; rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed or my wrath will break out and burn like fire becuase of the evil you have done- burn with no one to quench it.”

That sentiment, or directive, is found throughout the Hebrew scriptures and the Gospels. That would be the God that Dr. King invoked and directed people to think about. Belief in the power of love, in spite of evil, was the foundation of Jesus’ message.

So, I am curious about the God Beck is talking about.

Over and over, since President Obama’s election, we have heard the cry, “We want our country back.” Today, at Beck’s rally, the cry was that it is time to restore America’s honor. Huh? What honor are we talking about? This is a country which has as its legacy bigotry and hatred and discrimination and slavery …and government sanction of all of the above. Is that the America Beck and Sarah Palin want “back?”

I am still trying to figure out all that I feel about Beck and the rally held today, but this one thing I know: the God Beck is talking about and the God Dr. King talked about 47 years ago today in the same space are not one and the same.

And that is a candid observation.

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