Glenn Beck's generic God
(The Washington Post) -- by Robert Parham --
Fox News host Glenn Beck muddled biblical references with fragments of American history, recreating a pottage of civil religion that says America has a divine destiny and claiming that a national revival is beginning.
At the very beginning of the "Restoring Honor" Rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Beck proclaimed, "Something beyond imagination is happening. Something that is beyond man is happening. America today begins to turn back to God."
"The story of America is the story of human kind. Five thousand years ago...God's chosen people were led out of bondage...Man first began to recognize God and God's law. The chosen people listened to the Lord. At the same time those things were happening, on this side on this land another group of people were gathered here. And they too were listening to God," said Beck.
As he spoke, two Native Americans appeared behind him to stand next to a rabbi. They were followed by a white preacher.
Facing these three individuals with arms outreached, Beck said, "God's chosen people, the Native Americans and the pilgrims."
Beck claimed, "When people came together of different faiths... the first thing they did was to pray together."
Some two hours later, during his lengthy, disjointed speech, Beck said, "This day is a day that we can start the heart of America again. And it has nothing to do with politics. It has everything to do with God...turning our faith back to the values and principles that made us great."
Warning that Americans were at a crossroad and had to decide what they believed, Beck said, "Abraham Lincoln found God in the stars of Gettysburg. He was baptized and gave the second inaugural. He looked to God and set men free. America awakened again."
He soon segued to Moses.
"Moses freed them. Then they forget. They wander until they remember that God is the answer. He always has been. And then they begin to trust," said Beck.
"Have trust in the Lord. And recognize that Moses and Abraham Lincoln and George Washington were men. They were just like you...Man makes a difference. What is it that these men have that you don't?...The answer is nothing...They relied on God...America is great because America is good...We as individuals must be good so America can be great. America is at a crossroads...Look to God," pled the TV talk-show host.
He told the audience of religious and Tea Party conservatives: "If you find out who God truly is, I warn you, I warn you, if you know who he is, it will be the biggest blessing in your life. But it will also be the biggest curse in your life."
Saying that America needed to go to "God's boot camp," Beck said, "We must insist that our churches stand for things that we know are true because they are universal and endless in nature."
Having recalled earlier how disciples had fallen asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane before Jesus' arrest, Beck returned to that theme of slumber. He said that the nation and its churches had fallen asleep.
Beck said that 240 years ago America had the "black-robed regiment," preachers who opposed the British and were among the first killed by the British.
"The black-robed regiment is back again today," said Beck.
On cue, 240 men and women marched up and stood behind him. Obediently with arms linked on the front row were Southern Baptist Convention official Richard Land and fundamentalist pastor John Hagee. Religious-right mythmaker David Barton stood next to Sarah Palin...MORE...LINK