conservativism, conspiracy theories, Faux Noise, Glenn Beck, Jesus, political pundits, religious right, social issues, truth
Well, what can be said of Glenn Lee Beck that has not already been said by muses more wordalicious than me.
I can summarize his life in a few paragraphs, and truly there is nothing much of interest to be found. He was raised a Catholic, his mother may have committed suicide, and he became addicted to both alcohol and drugs.
He found a home in radio, and exhibited early signs of ethnic racism in the way that radio personalities often offend one group for the guffaws of other groups.
He married, divorced and remarried and somewhere in that mix he converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. His main mentor was a guy by the name of W. Cleon Skousen, who was some self-styled anti-communist, John Bircher, Mormon, conspiracy theorist. Beck apparently thinks he is essential reading to “understand” Merika, or at least his version of it.
Many have claimed that Beck is more showman, entertainer than political analyst. Anyone who has tried to follow his convoluted conspiracy theories would be forced to agree. His command of general history is weak, he pulls together disparate “facts” from all over the map, and forces them into unnatural alliance with others and creates bizarre scenarios of evil intent. One can point to his expose` on the reliefs at Rockefeller Center as an example.
It is therefore unclear whether Beck is really crazy and believes all this nonsense, or whether he in fact knows exactly what is going on, and has discovered the cash cow of financial success for himself. One can hardly vilify the man if he is certifiable of course. One can only pity him and vilify Faux Noise for deliberately presenting him as a sane voice of the right.
If he is that sly fox who is milking this cow for all she’s worth. . . .well then, another question comes to mind. And that is simply this:
How does a person who nominally or otherwise declares them self “Christian” justify the blatant misleading of Americans for personal gain?
There is much in the workings of Beck that suggest that that is indeed what he is doing. There have been reports that he uses Vicks Vaporub to cause his eyes to tear for those dear moments in his monologues when he breaks down, so deeply felt is his angst for America’s woes. He often refers to himself as more showman that political pundit.
There are others besides Beck of course that we might ask a similar question. How about the insurance worker whose job is to sift through claims to find loopholes that can be used to deny coverage and remove perhaps the last hope of patients and their families for life itself? How do these folks, many of whom no doubt, claim Christian beliefs, justify their work?
Not limiting ourselves to Christians, how does the soldier in al Qaeda justify his job of hanging out at mosques and universities, always on the lookout for hapless, lonely, rejected individuals who might be propagandized into giving up their lives as suicide bombers?
How sleep those who organize and disseminate drugs to the addicted–the depressed and mentally challenged, the under educated, and under employed? Whether they be “soldiers in the streets” or their rich counterparts in upscale neighborhoods, how exactly do you live with what you do to other humans?
How rest the scam artists who target the old and mentally soft, securing often entire life savings on bogus schemes to get rich. What do they think as they turn back the bed at the Waldorf, having made another hit, leaving some elderly woman with nothing but shame at her mistaken trust?
It has been said by somebody, that conservatives are just those people who think up reasons to justify their selfishness. I’m not sure that that is a fair statement, but it comes close I think from a liberal stand. Time and time again, we are told all the reasons why we can’t eliminate poverty and homelessness, why we can’t educate everyone well, why we can’t give health care to all. It is always couched in economics, but what it always comes down to is, don’t expect me to pay for it.
The fortunate among us declare that they worked hard for what they have. But in truth, a number of other factors contributed to their success. Their position in the world, their actual place, their family, their ethnic background, and sometimes just grand old luck. Those who have not had the privilege of place and family background has as much right to these things as they.
One can smell behind all the excuses, the really selfish bottom line. I don’t want to give up any of mine, even if it means you will live in deep poverty and misery. Your kids won’t have a chance, and I’ll work very hard to find even more reasons why I shouldn’t be asked to relinquish any of mine. The Beck’s and the O’Reilly’s and the Hannity’s and the Colter’s and the Limbaugh’s and the Bachmann’s, they all are there to tell you that you are right.
The sorry thing is, most of them don’t mean it or care really. They are so wildly rich by comparison, that it doesn’t matter one whit to them. They are happy to feed your selfish desires by telling you you are morally right, because to them its raw greenbacks in return. That’s all it means to them, period.
They have the perfect storm. You don’t watch real news. You watch them, since they feed your fears and your excuses. You in truth don’t know it’s all lies, and they know you don’t know. So of course, they lie with impunity. And all the Jon Stewart’s, all the Keith Olbermann’s and all the Stephen Colbert’s and Bill Moyer’s, multiplied a hundred fold won’t make a difference, because you will never watch them anyway.
Jesus spent his ministry turning the social system on its ear. He challenged the powers that be that their responsibilities in the end were to the least among us. Jesus spent his time calling out the liars and making people listen to truth. But you have opted out, taking your bible lessons from the Faux Noise crowd. It’s a new kind of Christianity, and one that I suspect Jesus would not be happy with.
How sleep you this nigh?