Restoring Horror

I thought Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor rally yesterday would be good for either a few laughs or some righteous anger, but from what I’ve seen of it, it’s mostly just boring. To even call it a rally is pitching it a bit strong, because it doesn’t seem like he’s promoting any specific goal or action. I think it can pretty much be summed up with, “God is cool, Jesus is cool, America is cool, and the military is cool!” The constant talk about God makes it come across as sort of a religious revival, except with thinly disguised contempt in place of fiery passion on the part of the speakers. When critics say that Beck doesn’t know what he’s talking about, he responds by saying, “Oh, I’m just a rodeo clown!” Well, no, Glenn, a rodeo clown has a job with high potential for danger and little reward. That’s pretty much the opposite of your job. Beck strikes me as a carnival barker or snake oil salesman, telling people what they want to hear without giving them a chance to think it through. It’s pretty obvious that this guy isn’t trustworthy, but people WANT to be fooled.

Anyway, Beck chose to hold this rally on the forty-seventh anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, because he wants to reclaim the civil rights movement, or some such tripe. Apparently he thinks it’s been the exclusive province of the disenfranchised and downtrodden for too long, and the rich and powerful need to get in on it. He probably also wants a WHITE Entertainment Television channel, although I have to suspect that’s really what Fox News is. So, under the rallying cry of “Give us your wide awake, your wealthy, your people who own 200 acres of land,” the Beck backers came to see the spectacle, and hear about how the United States needs to turn back to God. Never mind that the Constitution allows for freedom of religion.

I’ve discussed before how the views of religious conservatives don’t really match American patriotic rhetoric, but apparently Beck and his friends haven’t read my post. {g} Isn’t a significant part of what is supposed to make the United States great our individualism? So why do so many self-professed patriots subscribe to a religion that typically stifles individualism, instead favoring group-think and belief in whatever your religious leaders tell you? They’re allowed to believe what they want, but it just seems so incongruous. Wouldn’t you fundamentalists be happier in a country that DIDN’T hold individual choice to be a virtue? I’m not sure whether Beck, as a Mormon, would count as a fundamentalist, but those groups seem to have allied themselves over their mutual hatred of gays, Muslims, and atheists. Never mind that one group thinks of God as an ineffable being with surprisingly human prejudices, and the other as a spaceman (who, to be fair, also has surprisingly human prejudices). Or that you wouldn’t think a member of a religion that’s opposed to caffeine would get involved with an organization with the word “Tea” in its name.

These groups also agree that being progressive is a bad thing, and then start talking about how they think Jesus, the Founding Fathers, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King would all agree with them. Because none of those guys were involved in progressive causes, right? :P Hell, I have a feeling the kind of god the Fox News groupies want wouldn’t have made Moses say, “Let my people go” (which would, of course, be a change in the status quo), but instead, “Heck of a job, Pharaoh!”

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6 Responses to Restoring Horror

  1. vilajunkie says:

    Glenn Beck is an idiot. Period. How did he get to have his own show anyway? What were his qualifications?

    Man, that last pic is SCARY. But I can’t help it; I have to stare at it.

    I’m kinda surprised there haven’t been any Republican/Tea Party rallies with the song “Stick to the Status Quo” from High School Musical playing at one point.

    • Nathan says:

      I’m not sure how he got his own show, but I know he used to be one of those wacky morning disc jockeys. I think he got into TV though talk radio, and he was actually on Headline News before Fox News hired him.

  2. My husband was watching a little of this on CSPAN yesterday. It was funny, people talking about it happening made a big deal about race issues, but I thought it was interesting that there were apparently people of various races/ethnicities involved in this rally (probably for show, but still), and at the Al Sharpton thing that they showed on CSPAN after it, which was supposed to counter the “racism” of the Beck thing, there was apparently no one who wasn’t black.

    But there’s the controversy everyone buzzes about, and there’s reaction to the rally itself as it is, and I’m with you, I kept thinking it was some religious revival too, which made me really uncomfortable with it. If it was blatantly SUPPOSED to be a religious revival, that would have been fine, but it was a religious revival CLAIMING to be a political rally, and I don’t like the implications of that, the “God is on OUR side, not THEIRS” thinking which is the root of ALL stupid political conflicts that use religion as an excuse. As a religious person, that seriously bothers me! I hate when people BLAME religion for conflict, when it’s not religion’s fault, it’s the fault of people like this who claim that their SECULAR views are actually religious. And I kept shooting looks at my supposedly agnostic husband, and thinking about his likewise agnostic mother, and wondering WHY on earth are they such fans of this guy, anyway?

    • Nathan says:

      I think Beck made a point of trying to avoid race issues at the actual event. The racism comes in more because of his promotional rhetoric about reclaiming the civil rights movement for people who don’t need one.

      When Beck and his Fox News cronies speak of God, it doesn’t seem like they actually MEAN God as such, so much as they do “our own political views, which we use religious language to promote.”

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