Thoughts on 8/28

So, I watch Glenn Beck’s show last night and tonight to get his take on his 8/28 rally.

Tonight, he juxtaposed images and speech of the 8/28 attendees and speakers with some of the unhinged left. He had clips of people like Ben Jealous, Chris Matthews and Ed Schultz. It’s like the plan was to get these cretins to go on record as hate mongers. They obliged. Brilliant.  Good job.

Last night Beck was somewhat less watchable.

He started off talking about miracles at the rally. He said there were many. He said one of the most impressive ones was that a flock of geese did a fly-over, right over the reflecting pool and perfectly timed for the beginning of the rally. He shows a homemade video of the geese. He mentions that he had tried to get an airplane flyover arranged, but you’re not allowed to do that in DC. The geese: Coincidence? Beck thinks not: “Divine providence.”  “God’s flyover.”

He then discussed the rally attendance, civility, speakers. He used the word God 5 times as often as Obama says the word I. Nothing wrong with the former, of course – at a revival. Nothing wrong with the latter at a narcissists convention. 

For Beck it was 95% “God,” rather than the Founders appreciation of the Judeo-Christian traditions they inherited. It was not about the biggest single modification they made to those principles; that Government has no business establishing a religion – which is why most of the Founders were here. No, Beck went on (and on) about God and Burning Bushes. It begins to seem that if you don’t get these points in detail you can’t help yourself, or the country. 

Near the end of the show, he spends a minute telling you you have to tithe 10%.

Beck is a taste I have acquired because he has been teaching people things they never knew, or at least, challenging what they think they know. However, because of his accelerating and hammering invocation of his view of the supernatural, his political message has a whiff of theocracy. Glenn, we get it, stop reprising a Billy Graham revival. 

Look, our natural rights exist irrespective of the source, and a solid argument is needed to explain why we would have any in the absence of a Deity. Justification of natural rights through mysticism leaves one open to the charge that the Gods of other cultures should be given equal sway and that, in any case, your particular claim cannot be logically questioned “with boldness,” or, in fact, at all. The use of religion to justify the political is anathema. It is the fatal conceit of Islam.

Beck has not explicitly linked God to specific political policies, but he is incessant in claiming Christianity’s God is the only hope for the country – politically. Beck is right about this much: The moral underpinnings of the Judeo-Christian tradition/philosophy are the best hope for individual freedom, and therefore this country. As a practical matter this means attempting to live up to the ideals, whatever the motivation.

God doesn’t withhold rights from non-believers, but neither does He enforce them for anyone. It’s up to individuals to secure those rights and to make use of them. 

We have the rights whether there is God or not. I am not sure whether Glenn Beck would agree.