Monday, March 30, 2009

Why I totally Disagree With Glenn Beck

So I have been watching with somewhat bemused interest in the shift of attention lately on the political arena to a new obsession in some groups with this whole "We Surround Them" bit that Glenn Beck keeps promoting. Recently I've been in touch with some old high school and even elementary school friends and there are a few of them who really seem to be on this bandwagon (one of these guys really cracks me up with his facebook profile photo of him literally clinging to his gun).

Just as an aside - and I'll get to the Glenn Beck thing in a minute - it is very interesting to see how all these mormon kids I grew up with now run the gammut from people contemplating forming their own militias to a guy raising goats in the wild using "herbs" to commune with nature and everything in between. Just goes to show that you cannot predict how anyone is going to turn out! (and the "herbal" dude's dad was a DEA agent!)

But I digress. Glenn Beck.

Okay so he has this new thing he's promoting called the 9/12 society or some such thing. As near as I can tell the basic premise is that he has these 9 principles and if you agree with a majority of them, you should join his "group". Or something like that. I'm not entirely sure I understand the point exactly, but there's a point in there somewhere beyond Glenn Beck making money and selling books and getting you to watch his tv show. I think? Or is there? I don't know. But anyway these are his principles:

1. America is Good.

well, I mean yeah, that's hard to disagree with but...inherently good? or is it her people who are good? Is it the system of government that's good? I think it's pretty good. I don't know exactly what Beck means though. Beck complains a heck of a lot about our "government" while simultaneously expressing deeply held love for America. Well...he also spends a lot of time talking about the founding fathers (using books to promote learning about the founding fathers which, by the way, are not the most scholarly treatments of the founding fathers - all the parts where Jefferson rips out the pages of the bible that he doesn't like are conveniently ignored. Don't fool yourself Jefferson was a rebel folks. A likeable rebel, but a rebel.) But I digress again - anyway, he complains a lot about America for someone who loves it. So I love America, but I'm not sure what Glenn Beck means when he says he loves America. He sure does get irritated a lot with system of government set up by the founding fathers he says he loves while simultaneously being irritated with a lot of American's. So what is it that Glenn Beck loves exactly? What exactly does he think is good?

Who but the most blatant anti-american is going to answer "No" I don't think America is good. So I will answer this in the affirmative, but I'm suspicious of Beck's answer.

2. I believe in God and he is the Center of my life.

Yeah. But the trouble with this one is that I know lots and lots of good people who don't believe that - people who in my opinion contribute to the "good" that is America and the "good" things in my life on a regular basis. So I'm not sure exactly what the relevance is here.

3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.

OK - I mean, I try to just do that everyday, not necessarily that I have to improve over yesterday. I try to do my best every single day. But again, who is going to answer other way? What kind of assinine statement would it be to say "I think I should always try to be more Dishonest than I was yesterday". What?

4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.

Well yeah. Except that pesky Article of Faith that says "We believe in being subject to Kings, Presidents, Rulers, Magistrates..." So what about that Mr. Beck? Plus I guess I missed the part where we are now living in communist Russia and the government is trying to dictate what I do in my home. Unless you're gay and you live in California. Oh...maybe that's different? I don't get it. Didn't we just decide on prop 8 that were in favor of telling the gay people in California that they CAN'T do certain things because the government (the voter) says? I'm confused.

5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.

Well yeah. Unless you can afford a really good attorney. Then obviously all bets are off.

6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.

Ummm...well, I try not to complicate things. I just prefer this version: "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." What the heck is wrong with that version Mr. Beck? I thought you were all "Pro-Founding Fathers". But you don't like how they worded the Declaration of Independence? I guess I'm just more of a patriot than you are.

7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.

I love this idea that if the government forces me to be charitable, that's Satan's plan. Yeah, because Satan was all about being charitable! Satan loves it when you feel coerced to share with your neighbor. You know, I could quote A LOT of scriptures on this one but let me just say that I totally disagree with this idea. WE are the government as he is so fond of telling his listeners. And I think WE all should be charitable. End of story. (I think Satan loves to feed people this idea that they aren't being selfish at all they are just defending their right to be selfish)

8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.

FINALLY. After 8 years of feeling this way, I'm glad Glenn Beck saying it finally lends credence to the idea. Maybe I can get away with making this statement now, because I certainly could not get away with it for the past 8 years. Someone at church told me I was not "patriotic" if I disagreed with the president. Some people really should look up the meaning of the word patriot. So on this one Beck and I whole-heartedly without reservation agree!

9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.

Has Beck ever heard this "We the people in order to form a more perfect union..." There seems to be a basic misunderstanding of what "government" is and how it works. So on this one I recommend Beck take a civics course or something.

Score: I have no idea how to calculate this nonesense.

But rest assured, my disagreement with Mr. Beck will certainly not stop the flow of money into his pockets. Lately he seems to have ramped up the fear rhetoric to a fever pitch.

Mr. Beck is mormon, but I'm not sure he's paying attention. There is no fear in love. It will be interesting to pay attention to General Conference this weekend. I know I'll be keeping track of how many talks are on loving your fellow man, living in hope and not fear, etc. Every 6 months the messages are positive and beautiful and somehow, a certain segment of the church never really hears that.

Not only is there no fear in perfect love, but the opposite of faith is fear. Maybe I should start a facebook group "Faith Not Fear"...

But I don't think I'd get nearly as many people to join.


Cynthia said...

Interesting. I don't follow Glen Beck. I'll have to listen to him once in a while, although I'm not sure I will be a big fan.

Gideon S. Word said...


I was blog-browsing and came across your post here about Glenn Beck... I was disappointed.

First off, it sounds like you agree with a majority if not all of his 9 principles. So...

Why do you totally disagree with Glenn Beck? Is it because he makes too much money being an entertainer who promotes positive principles and values? Is it because the majority of his opinions conflict with your view of the world? As an occasional listener/viewer of Glenn's TV and Radio shows it is obvious to me that maybe you browsed his 9/12 website, read only the comments that called him a hypocrite and fear monger, watched a Steven Colbert video clip on youtube, maybe read a few inflammatory articles on the Huffington Post, and then sat down to vent about how much conservative talk show hosts disgust you. I would guess you have never watched an entire episode of his TV program, or listened to an entire radio broadcast - IF you had - you would have found that he discusses more 'positive' and 'faith-promoting' material than any other mainstream media talking head from any part of the political spectrum.

Browsing your previous entries I couldn't find a single post about how much you disagree with Barack Obama's promotion of 'fear' while pushing to rush his multi-billion dollar 'stimulus' package through congress... so I suppose you only think fear is opposite of faith when that fear is expressed by someone from the other side of the political isle.

Sorry to be a party pooper,

Gideon S. Word

Bandanamom said...

Actually Gideon S. Word - I have watched Mr. Beck's show numerous times. Usually the whole thing, though occasionally I find it painful enough that I have to switch off of it before my wince factor hurts my face.

I just find that in general, his agenda is to promote fear rather than faith.

A recent blog post on the Juvenile Instructor (a Mormon blog) that you might find of interest:

I think there are a lot of other Mormons that feel the way that you do - of course, there are a lot of other Mormons that feel the way I do.

There's room for disagreement in the gospel and in the world of politics. That's what makes life interesting!

I don't agree with every single thing Barack Obama says or thinks or does, but I agree with him a lot more often than I did with President Bush, so it's a refreshing change for me. Our two party system is part of what makes America strong!


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