Glenn Beck doesn’t get to decide what a “real” religious issue is
Since Faithful America unveiled its new radio ad last week challenging Glenn Beck’s claims about social justice, Beck has ramped up his attacks. As Media Matters notes, Beck responded to the ad by alleging that issues important to 100,000 Faithful America members had nothing to do with religion, but in fact were the products of “fascism” and “evil.”
While dismissing health care reform, immigration reform and ending war and torture, he directed particular attention to Faithful America’s commitment to addressing climate change. Beck complained:”If your pastor or priest or whoever is talking about social justice and it is, ‘God is telling you that the government needs to solve global warming’, run for your life.”
Beck may not want to believe climate change is a religious issue, but there’s a reason people of faith across the spectrum– from evangelical leaders and the conservative Christian Coalition to the Pope, numerous mainline protestant churches, and Jewish groups– have called for action on this issue. Not only is our current energy infrastructure unsustainable, but it disproportionately harms the poor. As climate change continues to worsen, access to clean water and food supplies deteriorate, and extreme changes in weather uproot entire communities–hitting developing countries the hardest. Our faiths call us to care for both creation and those in need, both of which will be devastated if we fail to act.
Beck’s attempt to appoint himself arbiter of what is or is not a religious issue may make for good radio, but by ignoring the broad religious concern for the issues he’s dismissing, Beck reveals his true ignorance.