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Glenn Beck, the Jackie Robinson of Mormonism?

Glenn Beck, the Jackie Robinson of Mormonism?

Well, kinda-sorta.

Glenn Beck was in Israel recently rallying Christian Zionists with his “Restoring Courage” tour, and while most of the discussion about his trip was the usual anti-Christian-conservative rhetoric from liberal Jews who don’t want to be associated with “those people,” Beck’s trip marked a pioneering moment towards a very different kind of religious reconciliation.  In his excellent article on the trip (read the whole thing, as Instapundit  would say) Zev Chafetz, an expert on the Christian Zionist movement, makes the following point:

Glenn Beck’s sojourn in Israel is not likely to stir much excitement on the streets of Jerusalem or Caesaria…But Beck’s real audience is, as he says, the United States’ Christian evangelicals.

Beck is not a minister of the gospel. (Some evangelicals even dispute that Mormons are Christians.) But he burns with the fire and ambition of a television evangelist. The old lions of the Christian right such as Falwell and Robertson are gone or going. The Rev. Hagee is past 70 and has had heart trouble. Beck is still in his 40s, and since leaving Fox News he is at loose ends. At the Christians United for Israel conference, he announced that he was joining the organization. Could a Mormon someday become the next great leader of the Christian right? If that is his goal, Beck’s best shot may come via Christian Zionism, and the journey begins this week in Jerusalem.

As Chafetz notes, despite their ideological similarities, Evangelicals and Mormons have had a rocky relationship.  Elevated percentages of Evangelicals are hesitant to support a Mormon for president,with Pew and Quinnipiac Polls indicating that 31% of evangelicals would be less likely to vote for a Mormon while 38% would be “uncomfortable” with a Mormon president.(Notably, however, Democrats are a lot more likely to refuse to vote for a Mormon than either Republicans or Independents, at 27% vs 18% or 19%, respectively.  In fact, considering that Republican don’t differ from independents on this question, it may be that significant progress may have already been made, with many members of the Christian Right still considering a Mormon candidate less than ideal but broadly being open to voting for them).

In rising towards the leadership of the Christian Zionist movement, among the most important political institutions associated with the Evangelical community, Beck might make significant strides towards bridging the political gap between Mormons and Evangelicals.

While this would be a good thing in and of itself, what remains to be seen is how fast and how far Beck gets.  Can Evangelical ambivalence towards Mormons fade fast enough to noticeably improve Mitt Romney’s chances in the primaries?  The general?  Not at all?  Only time will tell.

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Comments

Insufficiently Sensitive | September 5, 2011 at 10:02 am

Democrats are more likely to refuse to vote for a Mormon, because they stereotype Mormons to be a cult of mindless right-wingers. No trial, no verdict, no due process – just that sentence, common to the actions of bigots worldwide.

What else can an urban intellectual think, when Mormons tithe regularly, and maintain a serious program of assistance to their indigent members instead of acting like ACORN in skimming taxpayer funds for their Good Works?

    I believe Harry Reid is a Mormon. I think I read somewhere that he is a convert to Mormonism.

      Cowboy Curtis in reply to Anchovy. | September 5, 2011 at 11:56 am

      But as a liberal, he’s presumed (rightly, I suspect) to just be posing. That’s how Obama and other democrats get to talk about God and the Christian faith’s important influence on how they’ll govern without negative comment (probably even receiving media praise), but republican’s doing so is met with howls of theocracy and Christianist.

      Its similar to the gay marriage issue. Obama runs saying he opposes it, and no big deal. A republican taking the exact same position is hammered by the media and the left. Why? Because they know the former doesn’t actually mean it, but the latter probably does.

Jackie Robinson or Meadowlark Lemon?

After living one year in the boonies of Japan where I would run into the eight Mormon missionaries in town on the single main drag every single day … Mormons will always have a special place in my heart.

I’ll never forget their kindness. Good people.

“Mormons believe that God created multiple worlds and each world has people living on it. They also believe that multiple Gods exist but each has their own universe. We are only subject to our God and if we obtain the highest level of heaven we can become gods ourselves.” Thanks to secrets of Mormonism.

These beliefs are abhorrent to the Trinity, the One and Only God. Anyone who believes there is any equal to the One God is a fool. Beck a nice man but a sadly mistaken man in his beliefs.

“As Chafetz notes, despite their ideological similarities, Evangelicals and Mormons have had a rocky relationship.”

If you study LDS theology you can only conclude that Mormonism is more akin to Hinduism and is completely at odds with and antithetical to orthodox Christianity.

At the most basic level, Mormonism is polytheistic. It therefore cannot be monotheistic Christianity.

    “it therefore cannot be monotheistic Christianity”,heads full of mush, it is not Christianity, find something else to call it.

      WarEagle82 in reply to MQ. | September 5, 2011 at 12:31 pm

      You will note that I never called Mormonism “Christianity.” In fact, I pointed out that it is not. Was any portion of my post unclear in that regard?

(Warning – long post ahead.) 😉

Glenn Beck is Mormon; there is no dispute of this fact. However, what he is doing is not just about Mormonism. If you’ve watched and listened to him over the last 3 years (or more), you can see his evolution from a libertarian looking at liberalism and statism to someone who sees things – especially the US and our nation – more and more from a foundational, Constitutional perspective.

Don’t get me wrong. He has been led (especially over the last 1.5 years) to pursue God and what Beck believes is His mission for our nation, and for himself personally. But, as to our nation, he has delved deeply into our nations founders, founding documents, and our true history and government’s genesis from primary sources – not the revisionist garbage the left has pushed off onto our children and into curriculum from K-college+. He has explored in depth the left, its origins, its goals, and in particular those who molded and shaped what happened in 2008 – from Woodrow Wilson, in particular, although he goes into the roots and branches: Marx, Engels, Darwin, the Wisconsin progressives, up through Billy Ayers and the Weather Undergrond, with special focus on Prairie Fire, Alinsky, Cloward-Piven, Cone’s Black Liberation Theology, and more.

Beck proclaims that he believes our Judeo-Christian foundation is inseparable from our nation’s survival.

As to Mormonism – it is a cult, based on the Christian definition of that term. Joseph Smith professed to receive new revelations; they include that Jesus is the brother of Satan, that each “Mormon in good standing” will be judged by his/her works, Jesus was not born of a virgin and did not die on the cross and was not Messiah, and if judged good enough, each “Mormon in good standing” will be able to be “god” of his/her own galaxy. They use the name of Jesus, and include the Bible in their “religious writings” but only the Book of Mormon is considered “the unerring word of God.” There are lots of sources for understanding this religion and what they believe, what their foundation is, what they as a whole desire, aside from what the LDS says about itself.

(NOTE PLEASE: if you don’t agree, I understand. Many view Mormonism differently. I am just expressing what I have learned from many books, people who have left the LDS church, and many who are in the LDS faith. I can link sources if needed. But, I agree to disagree, if you will. 🙂 )

They are good people. It’s expected as part of their faith. They have strong family values, teach their families to keep Mormonism first, expect all young men to go out and be missionaries. They require their “bishops” to keep stores of food for their congregations, which only their fellow Mormons will get to share when “Armageddon” comes to pass.

Also, IMHO, Glenn Beck is a wonderful, positive influence. I, along with many other Christians, see him as trying to arouse our nation, to remind us of our religious roots, and in a way that WE see fit – not to convert anyone to his religion. That said, I doubt what Beck says or does will make people trust or have more respect for Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, or any other Mormon – certainly not Dingy Harry Reid. 😛

Beck is unique. I was in DC on 8/28/2010; that meeting of half a million or more was, I believe, an attempt toward a New Great Awakening. MLK’s niece, Dr. Alveda King, spoke, sharing her Chirstian faith; she was so moving, so right on the heart and soul, so true about how we need to love one another and move beyond the “raaaacist” leftist messaging, that I was moved to tears. More than 10 church leaders came forward to pledge to draw American’s back to God. It was not political – although no one would know it from the MSM coverage.

I believe Beck’s meeting in Jerusalem was the next step he felt led to make, following what he believes his role is in re-awakening our nation to our Judeo-Christian roots. And, perhaps more importantly, to reassure Israel that our nation supports her, regardless of who sits in the White House. As a people, and as individuals, we decide who we serve. Israel is God’s chosen land; the Jewish people are God’s chosen people. The Bible is clear: those who stand with Israel are on the side of God; those who stand against Israel stand with God’s enemy.

I choose to stand with Israel. And, given all that Glenn Beck has done, that I have heard and seen, I believe that is his message. No more, no less.

I may be wrong. I most certainly have been before. However, I don’t think Glenn Beck is going to sway anyone to accept any political candidate’s religion, any more than he has been trying to do more than “follow the truth wherever it leads.” The left hate Beck; they have tried to destroy him, almost as much as they did Sarah Palin.

Romney has much more against him than Mormonism, for those who might consider his religion an obstacle (flip-flopping and RomneyCare come to mind). But, as I’ve always said, if the Republican Party nominates him, I will vote for him.

I will vote for WHOEVER the Republican Party nominates, because it is imperative that Obama is VOTED OUT in 2012. Our nation can’t survive 4 more years of Obama. Period.

    StephenMonteith in reply to DINORightMarie. | September 6, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Marie, you are in fact wrong about much of what Mormons believe.

    Jesus and Satan are brothers? Only in the sense that God created everything, including Satan, which makes us all brothers and sisters.

    Mary wasn’t a virgin? Only in the sense that she became pregnant by the power of God, which all Christians believe.

    Mormons believe in being saved by works? If that were true, then it would make Catholics “cultists”, too. We teach, very explicitly, that “it is by Grace we are saved, after all we can do”. Our works don’t save us; but we stand by Christ’s injunction to follow all of God’s commandments.

    Jesus didn’t die on the cross? I defy you to point to one Mormon prophet, apostle, or scripture that makes that claim. Christ died on the cross and was resurrected, as we teach every week in Sunday school. I don’t know where you got the idea that Mormons believe differently, but it was a false source; as was whatever source that said we don’t believe he was and is the Messiah.

I’m Jewish. I live in the Professor’s adopted city of Ithaca. I attended a showing of the Glenn Beck Israeli event at a Christian church outside of town. It was a moving experience both during and in the ensuing discussion after the viewing. I tell my liberal Jewish acquaintances that Jewish Israel has no better friends than the Christian Zionist evangelicals, better, I may add, than a ridiculous percentage of American Jews themselves who advocate policies that will harm Israel. I saw no hesitation about Beck’s Mormonism among the congregants, just admiration for the man and what he is doing. Small sample but I say Go Beck.

Just a note: if there’s a “Christian Right”, is there a “Christian Left”?

Most of those who would qualify as Leftists to me aren’t Christians. They claim a Christian church affiliation but on closer examination one usually finds that secular interests and beliefs outweigh any faith or belief in Jesus.

I contend that no born again baptized believer in Jesus as the Son of God and Savior of Mankind can possibly hold leftist beliefs.

Of course one can SAY one is a Christian but close questioning and examination of actions can usually determine their true beliefs.

While I strongly differ with Beck’s theology (by which I mean, I’m not a Mormon), I have no difficulty believing that a man of flawed (or even incorrect) faith, can be called by God to do His work. I think, probably more often than any of us would like to believe, that He even uses truly evil men to do His will. Stalin’s role in the defeat of Nazi Germany comes to mind.

So I’m open to the notion that the Lord might enact a Third Great Awakening through a man who does not share their faith. Even more so the re-adoption of the Founding principles. So I’m inclined to judge Beck by his actions and the fruit it produces and let him worry about his soul. So far, I haven’t seen much to make me complain.

The Lord works in mysterious ways.

    Cowboy Curtis in reply to Cowboy Curtis. | September 5, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    There seems a certain Divine poetry to the notion of a great Christian reawakening being spurred by a man most would consider a heretic. Don’t ever doubt God’s got a sense of humor.

    WarEagle82 in reply to Cowboy Curtis. | September 5, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    “The Lord works in mysterious ways.”

    Of course, this assumes that the Lord is at work in this case through this man. The Lord you are referring to is not the “lord” Beck understands and prays to.

    Your statement also assumes the Lord had chosen the most blood-thirsty tyrant of the 20th Century to destroy the second most blood-thirsty tyrant.

    There are several assumptions in your statement I would not necessarily concede.

      Cowboy Curtis in reply to WarEagle82. | September 5, 2011 at 4:21 pm

      Read the second paragraph again. No such assumption about Beck is made.

      And either Mao or Pol-Pot were the most blood-thirsty tyrants of the century, depending on whether you go by raw body count or percent of population murdered. I would frame it more as one murderous Marxist being used as an instrument in the destruction of another murderous Marxist who happened to be in the process of exterminating God’s chosen people. Is that a difficult proposition to imagine? Maybe, but He appears to have used the Assyrians and Babylonians (certainly not righteous empires in His eyes) to punish His people, why would He balk at using a modern evil empire to save them?

        WarEagle82 in reply to Cowboy Curtis. | September 5, 2011 at 8:20 pm

        Pol Pot certainly makes the top of the murderous tyrant’s list but depending on how you “score” the deaths one might conclude that either Hitler or Mao might be number two on the list while Stalin would almost certainly have earned the dubious distinction of greatest mass murderer of the 20th Century.

        While the Lord did use Babylon and Assyria to bring judgment on Israel I am not sure that is the same as having two bloodthirsty tyrants murder scores of millions (at least) in Europe 20 centuries later. But, I’ll let Him clarify that at some point in the future at a time of His choosing.

I think WarEagle82 means well but is a little naive as to the ways of the Lord. Since He’s omnipotent I assume He’s at work in everything, but I might just be being silly.

    WarEagle82 in reply to 49erDweet. | September 5, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Sure, I’m just naive.

    And I’m equally glad to learn that you have fathomed all the ways of God.

    It must be so comforting to you to have it all figured out…

Glenn Beck should be applauded. He has successfully forseen what is going on in our world..and put out warnings. Unfortunately, he is made out to be a crazy, right wing zealot. My own sister-in-law bragged to me that she had a magnet that claimed Glenn was a fearmonger. I asked her if she would say that about Obama, and she said no. Enough said…at least what Glenn has said has turned out to be true…Obama..not so much

I am a Mormon of 60 years, and I don’t recognize the Mormon Church described in these comments, the Japan post excepted. Those who’ve posted, claiming to understand my church, don,t have a clue about it’s doctrine.

don,t equals don’t and it’s equals its. My bad.

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