Saturday, August 28, 2010

Glenn Beck: You're still not getting it

I find much to like about Glenn Beck. I admire his willingness to witness for God on his program, his courage in connecting the dots of those who are trying to destroy our country, and his emphasis on the virtues of faith, hope, and charity.

With this in mind, I had great hopes when I began to listen to his 8-28 Restoring Honor rally in Washington, which is still going on as I write this. However, I had to turn it off. I was beginning to get sick.

For all of his commitment to liberty, and I believe that commitment is genuine, he has a blind spot. He still thinks that liberty and union are compatible goals at this point in our history. He still cannot distinguish between respect for the sacrifices of our military, and the fact that they are being used for evil purposes.

He wants us to return to God, while he and 300,000 other people are prostrating themselves at the altar of nationalism. The Biblical record is clear that God does not care about maintaining empires. He causes them to be built, and causes them to be destroyed, according to His purposes. That he has no use for blind nationalism should be clear from the fall of Israel and Judaea in the books of the Kings, and of Babylonia in the book of Daniel.

As to honor, isn't honor being faithful to your values, abroad as well as at home? Is it not respect for God, even to the point of understanding when God's will and the nation's are moving in opposite directions?

Oh, to be sure, I had some clues this was going to happen. I was disappointed when he chose the steps of Lincoln Memorial for the site of his rally; for he chooses to honor the man who, more than any other, began the process of destroying our Constitutional government. Then, when I heard that one of his featured speakers was going to be Sarah Palin, I knew that the message I had hoped to hear from him was going to be, at best, corrupted. I certainly am not alone in this assessment. Ron Paul argued essentially the same thing in the Foreign Policy website only yesterday. (Other concurring voices have arisen. See the updates at the end of this post.)

Please understand, I'm not totally naïve. I know there are times when we must protect our country from attack, and that we must be prepared to sacrifice lives to do it. In fact, we live in such a time right now. If ever we needed a military to defend our homeland from invasion, it is now -- in Arizona! But the policy of the feds is to sacrifice lives to protect oil and somehow reform very traditional Islamic societies in Iraq and Afghanistan -- not to provide for the national defense.

We must face up to the fact that terrorism, of which 9-11 was a symptom, is partially our fault. I am not defending Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, or the imam who wants to build the Islamic cultural center in New York. What they are doing is despicable, and they need to be neutralized. But al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and that imam would not have the support they do against us, if we had followed George Washington's wise counsel and minded our own business -- something we have not done since at least 1845, when we decided to poke into Mexico to pick up some additional territory.

We say we believe in liberty and justice, but what gives us the right to say that our ideas of liberty and justice are the only legitimate ones? The experience of Iraq and Afghanistan should serve as harsh reminders to us, that carrying out our ideas of liberty and justice require a mature understanding of the Western concept of the rule of law over men -- a maturity that neither society yet enjoys.

Can we really speak of honor when we persist in upholding a system that is broken beyond repair?

Where is honor when we talk about economic opportunity, then preserve the Federal Reserve Bank that steals from them by issuing funny money; when we pursue environmental policies on the basis of questionable science; or admits immigrants into this country with no expectation that they will speak our language and respect our laws and traditions?

These are the times that try men's souls, as Thomas Paine once wrote. Glenn, that includes you. Prayerfully consider the possibility that we live in a time when united we fall, divided we stand. It's not conventional wisdom, and it certainly was not what we learned in school. But in a world that is being increasingly oppressed by multinational corporations and overcentralized governments, it may very well be the truth.

Update 8/28: Chuck Baldwin also appears to agree with me when he writes that we need a revolution, not a movement. Here are two brief excerpts:

The American people need to wake up to this [truth]: a “conservative” movement–even a conservative Tea Party movement–will not save us. The only thing that will save us is an old-fashioned State revolt... As long as freedom lovers are content to remain satisfied with the status quo by allowing party politics and media celebrities to dominate their efforts, there will be no stopping this socialist avalanche that is crashing down upon us.

The Tea Party movement of 2010 (if left free of Big-Government neocons) could certainly translate into positive developments this November; that is for sure. A revival of the “Ron Paul Revolution” in 2012 could also make a significant contribution, but it is
going to take a State revolution to seal the deal. I, for one, am ready.

Update 8/29: Concurring opinions from several young men at Free South Carolina (video). Great quotes: "Managed dissent is not dissent." "The United States very cleverly learned from these other totalitarian and repressive societies: As long as there are these little outlets for people's tension and exasperation. The vast majority of them will be content to express their dissent this way. Ultimately, it is not dissent. It is peaceful, it is non-meaningful, it is non-change inducing."

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