Sunday, February 27, 2011

More on Mormons and Muslims

Interestingly, no sooner had I posted the entry on Glen Beck’s absurd analogies than I find this item on the Google news site:

Glenn Beck does not have a reputation for admitting mistakes, but after his recent comments on the radio comparing Reform Judaism to Islamic Extremism, he apologized on his Feb. 24 program, tail tucked firmly between his legs…."I've always told you to do your own homework," he says. "And, in this case, I didn't do enough homework." He also says it was "one of the worst analogies of all time" and agreed with those who'd labeled his comments as "ignorant."

Not everyone is appeased though. Mediaite also has a response from Jewish Funds for Justice, the organization Beck was speaking of when he made his initial comments. "Glenn Beck's apology for comparing Reform Judaism to "Radicalized Islam" is welcome but incomplete," reads the statement. "Glenn Beck's characterization of Reform Judaism is in keeping with his longstanding hostility toward people who see their faith linked to pursuing the common good."

I’d actually take it one step further. Beck and the sea of misanthropes he titillates daily don’t just demonstrate hostility toward those who recognize the necessary link between faith and the common good. In reality, they hold the very notion of the common good in contempt generally.

Beck’s polemical circus is one of many predictable progeny of the 1980s Reagan/Rand school of politics and economics in which self-interest at the expense of anything and anyone who happens to get in the way became the only acceptable goal of American public policy. While the guardians of the plutocracy offer a rather pathetic dogma about how pursuit of individual good somehow serves the common good, the evidence of the last three decades is stacked in contradiction of such a self-serving delusion.

The reality is that the common good has been looted and pillaged by three decades of self-interest. The bottom 90% of Americans now own only 22% of its material wealth. Nearly 2/3 of that wealth is owned by the top 1%. The general welfare has been dismantled and auctioned off to the highest bidder. Thus, the blessings of liberty have come to be in doubt for ourselves and particularly our prosterity. Our nation-state is now trembling before the onslaught of this hostility toward the common good, its very ongoing existence increasingly in doubt.

It would be a step in the direction of actual truth telling (remembering that confession is, after all, good for the soul) if Beck simply professed his true religion here and the role it plays in his demonizing rhetoric. Ostensibly Mormon, what is clear when one hears Beck speak is that his actual faith is in free market fundamentalism, a belief system which has generally proven oblivious to any kind of critique from real life – particularly a vision of social justice offered by people of faith.

Little wonder that those who would have the audacity to speak in the name of their religion to criticize unabashed greed, the rape and pillaging of the planet and the deleterious effects this has on its weakest members have been targeted by Glen Beck, the self-appointed guardian of mammon. Glen knows only too well, there is no enemy of evil quite like truth telling.

The Rev. Harry Scott Coverston, J.D., Ph.D.
Member, Florida Bar (inactive status)
Priest, Episcopal Church (Dio. of El Camino Real, CA)
Instructor: Humanities, Religion, Philosophy of Law
University of Central Florida, Orlando

 If the unexamined life is not worth living, surely an unexamined belief system, be it religious or political, is not worth holding.

Most things of value do not lend themselves to production in sound bytes. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

1 comment:

CJ Schmidt said...

Seems that your link to the blog reporting Beck's apology directs you to Oscar news! Perhaps it just updates itself?