It’s no secret that Glenn Beck’s cable show on Fox has lost a steady stream of advertisers in the last six months or so. Just this week TurboTax pulled out (and in prime tax season too!). The losses haven’t appeared to put a damper on Beck’s tone — if anything he’s become even more strident — nor his ratings (by a long shot). But one wonders whether this will hurt a bit. The New York Times is reporting that some church leaders did not take to kindly to Beck’s suggestion that people leave their churches if they hear “preaching about social or economic justice” because, as regular watchers know(!), these are code words for “Communism and Nazism.” On a side note, I think it’s a bit of a measure of Beck’s increasing clout that the NYT is picking up on this story, either that or an increased (outraged!) awareness of SEO. Either way:
This week the remarks prompted outrage from several Christian bloggers. The Rev. Jim Wallis, who leads the liberal Christian antipoverty group Sojourners, in Washington, called on Christians to leave Glenn Beck.
“What he has said attacks the very heart of our Christian faith, and Christians should no longer watch his show,” Mr. Wallis wrote on his blog, God’s Politics. “His show should now be in the same category as Howard Stern.”
In attacking churches that espouse social justice, Mr. Beck is taking on most mainline Protestant, Roman Catholic, black and Hispanic congregations in the country — not to mention plenty of evangelical churches and even his own, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Mr. Beck said on his radio show on March 2, “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.”
“Am I advising people to leave their church? Yes! If I am going to Jeremiah Wright’s church,” he said, referring to President Obama’s former pastor in Chicago. “If you have a priest that is pushing social justice, go find another parish. Go alert your bishop.”
I have to imagine Beck will take this as some weird affirmation that he is doing something right. That said, alienating the Truthers is one thing, finding a Van Jones in the administration is one thing, alienating various Churches, or Christians as a whole and finding a Jeremiah Wright behind every door…I think that may be a conspiracy too far, even for Beck.
*** Note on the picture originally used in this post can be found in the comments section below. Mea culpa, mea culpa, etc. I have switched out from this one, to the one above (which is a screengrab I, myself, took from and old post).
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