Glenn Beck Wants To Abolish Separation Of Church And State
Reported by Priscilla - November 27, 2009 -
There is irony in Glenn Beck’s comparison of the Obama administration to the Third Reich. Like the Nazis, who constructed a mythical heroic past for the German people, Glenn Beck teaches (!?) a version of history which serves to create a divinely ordained and, in some part, mythic past for his “heartland” populist movement (?!) This alternative view of America’s past is straight out of the Christian right wing’s effort to rewrite American history to fit it’s Anglo-Saxon, “Christian nation” mythology. Like Julius Streicher, a Nazi whose anti-Semitic views provided the basis for Nazi propaganda, Beck demonizes those who, in Streicher’s words, are poisoning the culture. For Beck, it’s liberals who are destroying the sacred foundations of American society. Wednesday, November 25th, Beck provided some history and theology that was straight out of Dan Brown and W. Cleon Skousen. It was vintage Beck – complete with the intense stares into the camera and choke in the voice. And the message just wasn't just about rewriting history - it was about dismantling the First Amendment! I guess it's just part of Beck's "100 year plan" or is it 1,000 year Reich? It's so confusing!
Beck’s alternative history was in a segment appropriately titled “Refounding America” which included a picture and quote from MLK who, I’m sure, would be appalled by the use of his legacy by America’s “hate monger in chief.” (Designation given by the ADL’s Abraham Foxman). Beck used the theme of “Thanksgiving” to launch his homily. He described the “first Thanksgiving” as the day when a group of Pilgrims, on an exploratory expedition, rested and prayed on the Sabbath before returning to the Mayflower. Beck claimed that the Pilgrims were so devout that everything that they had done was to prepare themselves for “God’s New Israel.” Beck neglected to mention that an imortant part of the Pilgrim mission was to provide trade goods for the British based “Merchant Adventurers” who loaned seed money to the Pilgrims in an effort to spread trade and religion. Beck referenced the Pilgrim’s “covenant.” He then said then when he thinks of today’s problems he thinks back to the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780. While citing today’s “wall of separation between church and state,” he showed a quote from Article II of the aforementioned document which he claimed showed how the separation was bogus. What he didn’t mention was that the article he cited referred to another article which stated that public funding was prohibited from going to religious schools. What he didn’t mention was that Article I of the Massachusetts Constitution was used in the court decision to allow gay marriage. He then said that today, in Massachusetts, “God forbid if you bring a Christmas cookie for the other kids at school. That’s how far off course we have drifted.”
He then went to his blackboard and claimed that he read quote (didn’t say from where) that “it is the duty of every person to remember that each person still, every day, is part of the group that left Egypt.” (Okaay?!) He continued to blither about the Jews leaving Pharoah and then cited three things that he might have read about in Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol” – the inscription “Laos Dei” (Praise God) on the capstone of the Washington Monument, the Bible in the corner stone of the monument, and the “fact” that no buildings, in DC, are allowed to be higher than the monument. The first two are true and the third false as the law states that no building can be higher than the US Capitol although exemptions have been which include the National Cathedral and the Catholic Shrine to Mary.
The third part of the”lesson” was the real deal in revisionist history in that Beck tried to tear the Constitution a new one: “Progressives have built up this wall of separation between church and state and it's nonsense. It is not what we were founded on. We were found on 10 little safety tips that nobody can even put in any public building anymore or dare we utter them. Let's take down that fictional wall. It never existed. It was to protect the churches. Save the republic...” Beck doesn’t know or doesn’t want to tell his flock that the term, “wall of separation,” was used by Thomas Jefferson in his famous letter to the Danbury Baptist Church. The “wall of separation” is the origin for the “Establishment Clause” otherwise known as separation of church and state, a concept important to the Founders who knew well the dangers of mixing the two. The Establishment Clause was instrumental in the Warren Court’s decision to ban school prayer. Does Beck know that James Madison used the term separation between religion and government? But then Beck’s history guru, anti-communist and Mormon W. Cleon Skousen, believes in a godly basis for the US Constitution so it’s no surprise that Beck avoids mention of the real basis of our government which is the secular “Enlightenment.” But here’s a question for Beck. If religion is brought back into the schools, do ya think that your fundie followers will allow the kiddoes to read from the Book of Mormon for their daily dose of old time religion?!
Is Glenn Beck a historian or a pastor or just a rodeo clown who knows well that old PT Barnum adage about suckers!?