Since I’m on an alternative spring break…I’d like to take this moment to offer up a little “teaching moment” as we Campus Ministry types like to say.

Fox News’ Glenn Beck had this to say about social justice and the poor this week and for the record, Mr. Beck, you sir, are a complete moron.

On his daily radio and television shows last week, Fox News personality Glenn Beck set out to convince his audience that “social justice,” the term many Christian churches use to describe their efforts to address poverty and human rights, is a “code word” for communism and Nazism. Beck urged Christians to discuss the term with their priests and to leave their churches if leaders would not reconsider their emphasis on social justice.

“I’m begging you, your right to religion and freedom to exercise religion and read all of the passages of the Bible as you want to read them and as your church wants to preach them . . . are going to come under the ropes in the next year. If it lasts that long it will be the next year. I beg you, look for the words ‘social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church Web site. 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!”

Well, I have only three things to say to you Mr. Beck,

#1) I think this page got ripped out of your idiot version of the bible:

He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’
And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’

I guess that makes you a goat, Mr. Beck.

#2) Since John Paul II called for all Catholics to have a “Preferential Option for the Poor” and since he defeated communism, I guess we’re to believe that defeating the communists was just a lucky shot.

and lastly #3) I have been working with the young people serving the poor all week long and if you are so blind as to not get the fact that young people all over this often not-so great country of ours are seeing Jesus in the eyes of the poor than I think you’re either the meanest person that God could ever have created or you’re just trying to get a rise out of people who hold a high value to social justice and if the latter, than I congratulate you.

I’m off to clothe the naked and feed the poor now, if you don’t mind. Wanna join me?

0 thoughts on “Glenn Beck Thinks Jesus and John Paul II Hates Poor People”
  1. While I spend no time whatsoever listening to Mr. Beck myself I am aware of his existence…and now I realize that I need to pay attention to him for he is dangerous. Yes, I agree Mike that he is a moron as well as a goat…but ignorance has often been responsible for atrocities in our world. Bless you for giving it to him and but good!

    May the Social Justice message of our Lord Jesus reign forever…and it will!

  2. Michael, we see every day how hard it is to preach the Gospel of Peace and Justice — both personally, as you and all the students are doing this week, and institutionally, since we have had now these years of religion and politics in the hands of religious leaders who want to become politicians.

  3. I don’t watch Glenn Beck, so I hadn’t heard about this. All I can say is … WOW. Mr. B. is seriously, dangerously off.

    I’m digging deep and trying to love him as Christ does. It is not easy, but given that it’s Lent and all, I will keep trying.

  4. Via Facebook: From David Dawson

    Yup,I agree on this one, Mike.

    Liberation theology is where the Marxist tones ring out as issued in 1984 by the congregation for the doctrine of the faith. The term social justice covers many aspects. It is not fair to put an umbrella over the whole concept without looking at “sub groups.” Liberation theology being a prime example.

  5. David, I don’t even think that’s the case. When we look at social inequities as Liberation Theologians did than the approach taken is a political one that could go in several different directions. An equal sharing of wealth that would have socialist overtones is one response and many liberation theologians may indeed have leaned that way causing JPII to be dissatisfied with that approach and we’ve seen that approach fail systemically anyway. But not all liberation theology is theoretically bad. It’s the response to the reflection on liberating the poor that may need more careful examination.

  6. Via Facebook from Fran Rossi Szpylczyn

    I am not one for name calling, but Mike’s application of the word goat, in the biblical sense of the word, is worth noting.

  7. Via Facebook: From James Hamilton:

    I immersed myself in studying and working extensively in the “social justice” mission of the Church in Latin America and New York. I believe in the charitable and prophetic word of the Church relating to social issues from abortion to the eradicating structures poor. I have worked alongside many good people of faith who work tirelessly for the voiceless and the oppressed. I wholeheartedly support them. However, there are individuals and organizations that overdo it, like the Anglican priest in England who encouraged people to steal from the big chain stores, or priests who fought alongside Marxists in Latin America. In some circles of the social justice crowd I encountered a dismaying level of arrogance by some individuals and organizations who trumpted their fervent belief in cause of humanity, but treated individuals with contempt. I personally witnessed folks who believed they were above reproach and personal moralilty because they were working for social justice. There is a delicate balance to sustain in the social justice ministry of the Church. I have seen people of good people abandoned by their Church in the work for the poor and oppressed in Latin America (by some on the right), ridiculed or dismissively talked about by some individuals (even those who believe in “social justice”) for their work with the pro-life movement (unpopular by some in the social justice movement), and many on both sides who mistakenly merge their political beliefs with their religious beliefs and then in turn maintain an intolerance for views contrary to their deeply held beliefs. Faith and politics need to inform one another and form a creative tension between the two. If one merges the two, we lose the objective value of both. “

  8. Via Facebook: From Paul Daly:

    “I do believe in social justice, but it should be left to the church and individuals and not imposed by the government. I didn’t hear exactly what Beck said (I’m usually sleeping at that time of day, so listening to the radio doesn’t happen) or the context it was said in. But I think the current direction of the federal government is not good for the country or the poor.”

  9. Paul–

    Read the entire article above. Beck told people that Catholics don’t believe in social or economic justice and that parishes that preach it should be avoided.

  10. OH, and he compared social justice to communism and the Nazis. Which prompted Stephen Colbert to say “When I think of Hitler and Stalin, I think of social justice.”

  11. You just told one of your readers to “read the entire article above.” It’s a pity that you didn’t extend the same courtesy to Glenn Beck.

    You (and the article you quote) have utterly taken Mr. Beck out of context. It’s four sentences out of a twenty-minute monologue. What Beck was warning against was limited to church links to pro-Marxist, pro-socialist, PRO-ABORTION organizations. He included this disclaimer during an extended discussion on his concerns about the infiltration of the state into churches, which, oddly, didn’t make it into this news article. Or this post. And once word got out that he’d be taken out of context in this way, he re-explained his position for another twenty minutes the next day. Which didn’t show up on the news… or here… either.

    But, hey, as long as you can gin up an (utterly false) headline like “Glenn Beck Thinks Jesus and John Paul II Hates Poor People,” so much the better, right?

    Yeah, I’d say this was a “teachable moment,” all right– but not about what a “moron” Glenn Beck is. I thought I’d be able to escape this kind of shallow, sound-byte hysteria on a CHRISTIAN site of all things, but I guess not.

  12. Oh, and… Glenn Beck has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to charity (a MUCH higher percentage than the Obamas have), performed at many benefits, and sometimes taken entire hours out of his show to encourage his listeners to donate as well. So he’s already “joined you” in feeding and clothing the poor. Oh, noes, what will that do to the narrative about his horrible evilness?!

    1. Tricia…please note that I didn’t mention President Obama once and I might suggest that you use his correct title as a measure of respect. Secondly, I firmly disagree that the initiatives of social justice that Mr. Beck mentions are socialist in nature.

      When I feed the poor they call me a saint, when I ask why the poor have no food they call me a communist.

      Mr beck is just one more idiot who doesn’t know what he’s talking about and he’s trying to denegrate people who do good work with his brand of the “red scare.”. It didn’t work for Joe McCarthy and it won’t work for him either.

      And I resent your implication that I didn’t listen to the whole program or that I’m anti-Christian because of my views.

  13. Agree or disagree with Glenn Beck… The tone of the comment by Tricia shows the lack of tolerance for the opposing point of view. From the little that I have seen of Glenn Beck, that is exactly what he feeds upon to earn the millions and donate a percentage to charities.

    Ms. Tricia:
    1) Do you believe that every one who does not believe your point of view is evil; Glenn Beck certainly seems to be the most cynical guy on earth. I believe that cynicism breeds contempt and hatred.
    2) The story of the poor woman donating the only penny she had? If yes, then Glenn Beck donating thousands is nothing compared to the priests and nuns who work for the poor for a paltry income.
    3) Do you believe that comparing Apples to Oranges is appropriate? Comparing President Obama to Beck is similar to apples v/s oranges. Do not forget that the president has worked with the poor in the south side of Chicago and actually got his hands dirty. Beck may also have done such work. The difference lies in the attitude. If Glenn really is so charitable, then why scorn others who help people in ways that may not be to his liking?
    4) Do you believe that Glenn actually is doing service to the country by ratcheting up the fringe elements and spreading hate? Isn’t that contradictory to Christ’s teaching, whether you are Catholic or Protestant? Isn’t there a civil way of going about these aspects? I am not an American. If you have not already, you should step outside the borders of America to actually see what violence by religious bigots can wreak on the common. Christians have a responsibility to support the oppressed.
    and finally:
    5) Do you actually believe that religion is perfect? If yes, then Glenn Beck will have answer to all your qestions and he is the saviour of this world. If not, then welcome to the real worls where there are churches doing amazing work to help the poor, cloth the naked and do real charity work and get them to stand up on their own feet.

  14. Glenn Beck encouraged Christians to leave churches that promote social justice, and to REPORT ministers and priests who talk about social justice. Context is important, but that is what he said, and any Christian who truly believes in the foundational message of Jesus has every right to be appalled at Mr. Beck’s ignorance, at the very least.

    Many, many Christians, including this Catholic, have sent letters and emails and signed petitions to Mr. Beck trying to educate him on this particular point. Thanks again to this blog for taking on such an important topic and doing it with humor, style, and grace.

  15. An interesting point in all of this is that Mr Beck was raised Catholic, attended Catholic schools, and then when he married his current wife, he joined the Mormon church, essentially rejecting Christianity. I’m not Mormon-bashing here, but I have a number of friends who are ex-Mormons, and they have spoken extensively about their former belief system, and that’s what they all state. Additionally, when the Catholic church welcomes Christians into full communion, we accept their baptism in another denomination—-but there are some that don’t meet the standard for Christian baptism (Trinitarian formula, etc), and a Mormon baptism is one of them that we can’t accept.

    So, there’s probably more to this than meets the eye. I am guessing that his particular attack against the idea of a church teaching social justice has a bit to do with him rejecting his Christianity and his Catholic faith. He’s free to do that—but I’m free to take his remarks as Catholic-bashing. I certainly could come up with any number of reasons why he should leave his church and return to his Catholic faith, but there’s no point in that. Any religion bashing is un-helpful. Mr Beck is dangerous because people listen to his wild rhetoric and create opinions that are uninformed. Those of us who find him offensive should do as Tracy suggests above, as well as writing to his program sponsors. Money talks. I know who his sponsors are, and I have emailed them to let them know exactly why I won’t patronize them.

  16. Mike – I’m catching up on my very, very tardy blog following – and was reading your posting about the TSA, when this line grabbed my eye. I just had to say – thank you for posting this.

    Beck is really dangerous. He operates on the principal of polarization, and sadly many people – Catholics and non-Catholics – fall for it. A muddled mess of highly valued ideals like patriotism, life, faith and family are meshed in with lack of tolerance for immigrants, and baseless criticism of social justice. There is one common thread though – Beck’s platform is build solidly on fear.

    Christian or non-Christian, people of sound judgement are wise to filter Beck’s comments. If Jesus returned today, I’m not sure that he and his friends would be good enough to sit at Beck’s table.

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