Let's Not, Mr. Beck!
Let's Not, Mr. Beck! *
"Let's try the whole turning back to God thing and see what happens," said Glenn Beck on Fox News Sunday.
"Let's not," says SOLO Principal Lindsay Perigo.
"Glenn Beck deserves credit for galvanizing hundreds of thousands of patriotic Americans to show up in Washington for his 'Restoring Honor' rally. Though he was obliged to play down the political implications of the gathering, there is no doubt that this was the Tea Party out in force, giving The Anti-American President the message that his socialist agenda will soon be consigned to the ashcan of history. As Sarah Palin so succinctly put it, the task is not to transform America but restore it.
"But the alarm bells of liberty-lovers from sea to shining sea should be ringing from every mountainside at Beck's sloppy exhortation to 'try the whole turning back to God thing.' The greatness of America lies precisely in its constitutional separation between church and state. Though Beck denies he has a theocracy in mind, and claims to respect the right of atheists to their (dis)beliefs, it's hard to imagine that part of the Religious Right that *does* want a theocracy not being emboldened into pushing for one as part of a 'whole turning back to God thing.'
"Likely they will gain no traction. But the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Beck, Palin and all religious conservatives should be reminded at every turn that governments are instituted among men to secure the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, not to dictate religious belief or impose religion-based bans on consensual adult behavior.
"Beck's preferred form of the superstition that is Christianity is about the silliest of all—Mormonism, with its deranged and illiterate founder's claim to have used a magic stone to translate God's words inscribed on gold plates, to have had conversations with numerous dead prophets and been directed by the angel Moroni, etc. ... all pure bunkum. Beck is entitled to believe it, of course. He is *not* entitled to try to vest coercive power in the hands of Joseph Smith's god via the state.
"When he protests that he's merely seeking a return to 'self-regulation,' meaning (one hopes) individual autonomy, he should be asked to stipulate unequivocally that he means for self-regulation to trump any 'returning to God thing.' Any move toward government-mandated religious belief or observance would not restore honor, but dishonor America as treasonously and fundamentally as anything Barack Obama has done," Perigo concludes.