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Glenn Beck and his discovery of Christian code

March 15, 2010

I’m not a knee-jerk liberal. I subscribe to the Wall Street Journal and thoroughly enjoy the conservative columnists, thank you very much. I listen to (gasp!) Rush Limbaugh. And, other than the annoying Bill O’Reilly, I think it’s great to have Fox as a cable news option. You might say I don’t sound like a liberal at all, never mind a knee-jerk one. But I tend to be liberal on most social issues. Maybe you could call me a libertarian. The point is, I’m about to bash Glenn Beck, but it’s not because some liberal anti-Beck rage was already brewing. No, honestly, I never gave him much thought. His style didn’t appeal to me. He didn’t seem as entertaining as Limbaugh. So I didn’t watch/listen to him.

Until he said this on March 2: “I beg you, look for the words ‘social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words.”

Which makes me realize he’s a dope because the term “social justice” is not necessarily code. He apparently doesn’t know about the new Calvinists or the pro-life Catholics who are unashamed of pursuing social justice. They’re not liberal anti-capitalists. But what I find troubling is that some otherwise well-meaning people who take Beck seriously may decide to leave their church or stop doing decent things for people in need. Because that would be social justice. And social justice is code. For Nazism and Communism. Um, and Jesusism, right?

Jim Wallis, the captain as it were of the “social justice team,” offered to do a sit-down with Beck and talk about the controversy. Beck did his weird, nasty, breathless rant in response, according to this entry from Wallis on the Huff Post blog. Blech.

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