Dear Mom & Dad (An Open Letter Regarding Glenn Beck)

Dear Mom & Dad,

There’s something I have to tell you.  I don’t think you’re going to like it.  You may even cry but I know you’d rather hear this from me.  I wanted to keep this from you, to protect you, but I’ve been outed: I AM A COMMUNIST!

Glenn Beck, renowned voice of clear thinking, super patriot, and defender of the people, broke the story this week that churches who use the term SOCIAL JUSTICE do so as code for COMMUNISM which by my estimation means that Christians who use those words are communist.  Well, color me PINKO.

I know, I was surprised too.  I thought I was as American as ice cream sandwiches and goofy golf and you, mom.  I played little league and swung for the fences.  I sang “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder” in the church choir.  I was in the scouts where I learned to tie square knots and assist old ladies across dangerous intersections.

Remember when we used to watch Andy Griffith reruns and the Atlanta Braves on TBS?  Remember how much I liked shooting aluminum cans with bb guns, and how we used to play with firecrackers, and ride go-carts?  Remember how I used to go exploring all in the fields behind our house and how whenever I got upset I ran away to my tree house?

I guess a communist would do all those things and probably in exactly the same way, except maybe for the Andy Griffith show but would a communist learn the art of the deal at the flea market?  Would a communist scope out the best deals online before buying in store?  I thought I was a capitalist except, well except, Mr. Beck is a very smart man.  He is in the know.  I talk about social justice a lot.  I must be a communist.

Now, I don’t want you to feel bad about this but I think I know where you went wrong.  I say this out of the hope that maybe it isn’t too late for Josh.  Your big screw-up?  You taught me to love people and to do what I could for them.  You never preached to me that the government should pay everyone’s bills.  We had our share of hard times but you always did what you were able to do for people.

I guess you are communists too.  Glenn Beck wants to save America from people like us.  I can’t blame him, America is a pretty awesome place but I don’t know that there is room for charity in a land of consumer gluttony.  People like us are against everything THEY stand for.  We are not united with THAT America.

We have to be stopped.

If you love Josh, teach him to only think of himself, to hoard stuff into every cubby of his over sized McMansion, to clear a half dozen plates for every trip to the buffet, to deny the reality of suffering in the world, to shirk his responsibility, to reimagine Jesus as some Holy rolling slot machine, and to stand by his baseless opinions.

It’s for his own good.  If you fail to do this, you do so at his peril.



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24 Responses to Dear Mom & Dad (An Open Letter Regarding Glenn Beck)

  1. Alvin says:

    Just about the dumbest blog I have seen this weeks. Congrats.

  2. David George says:

    I’m PINKO too! Yikes!

  3. Jason Baldwin says:

    You have no clue what Glenn Beck really stand for. EDUCATE YOURSELF. YOU are the IDIOT Glenn was arguing against in “Arguing With Idiots”. Please read this and “Common Sense” so maybe you will get a clue and then make an informed decision. You might see you and Glenn are more alike then you think.

  4. Chase says:

    I know enough about Mr. Beck but I didn’t go into that for lack of time and interest.

    This was not an indictment of everything Mr. Beck is about. This was strictly a response to his comments on social justice which is quite clearly a subject he should educate himself on.

    Social Justice is not code for Communism. It is the proper Christian response to various injustice in the world: extreme poverty, childhood hunger, and human trafficking to name a few.

    This is a personal response requiring personal sacrifice and giving and not a move toward redistribution of wealth, Robin Hood economics, or increased government spending. There is evidence that the work of faith-based organizations is much more effective than that of government-based ones.

    • Social Justice is not code for Communism. It is the proper Christian response to various injustice in the world: extreme poverty, childhood hunger, and human trafficking to name a few.

      I differ, Judeo-Christian belief is there are different roles for the state and Church. The Church not the state is given the commission of love and charity – charity must be freely given or it is abhorrent. The state is given the sword and power of taxation (which is not philanthropy) Rom 13.

      A Christian must appreciate the words of Jesus – “Give unto Caesar what is Cesar’s and unto God what is God’s”

      Maybe God created these roles because Christian’s live for eternity and the State only lasts for a season. None the less God separated the roles. He commissioned Christians to care for those in need – He did not ask Christians to ask Cesar to do it for us.

      When the Church tries to create a state – create cooperatives as the basis for the establishment of socialism – A system that makes equality into a doctrine – The result is tragic – God knows this that is why the state is not the Church.

      Anything taken to an extreme is in error. Social Justice is an extreme – The bible says “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house” – this means the neighbor indeed has a house. A Christian is to own land – Leviticus 23:22 – “And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God.” How can a Christian be charitable if he owns nothing – he can not.

      There is no promises of blessing to a Christian who uses the state to do his charity.

      • Chase says:

        That is why in the next paragraph I say, “This is a personal response requiring personal sacrifice and giving and not a move toward redistribution of wealth, Robin Hood economics, or increased government spending. There is evidence that the work of faith-based organizations is much more effective than that of government-based ones.”

        Are there some who intend it as code word for communism? I’m certain just as there are people out to pervert the meaning of any other word. But by and large, the connection Beck has made here is an unfair and inaccurate one.

  5. dianndia says:

    I could copy this, change a few details, and send it to my own parents. Thank you.

  6. J Keeven says:

    I don’t even have to read Beck’s comment(s) about churches, social justice, and communism to conclude that you are taking him out of context and don’t say what he means to convey. You are perfectly exemplifying the logical fallacy of hasty generalization.

    You are just looking for a way to commit another fallacy of ad hominem with your sarcasm, which implies that Beck is an idiot for saying it in the first place.

    In addition to that, I would add slippery slope, straw man, appeal to ignorance, and weak analogy.

    But other than those problems, you do appear to be a great American.

  7. Chase says:

    Bravo! You aced Freshman Philosophy. Next stop: English Comp where you’ll learn about satire.

    But no, this is not a hasty generalization and you are off-base to say you don’t have to read his comments to know I am wrong. His words were quite clear, “Social Justice is code words for Communism and Nazism.”

    That is not the case.

  8. Chase says:

    Jim Wallis, “Of course, Christians may disagree about what social justice means in our current political context — and that conversation is an important one — but the Bible is clear: from the Mosaic law of Jubilee, to the Hebrew prophets, to Jesus Christ, social justice is an integral part of God’s plan for humanity.”

  9. J Keeven says:

    If you want to win an argument, I suggest you win it on content. If you want to be a smart ass, I suggest you go on a comedy tour (or just keep blogging and smarting off to and demeaning people you don’t know – that’s endearing and helpful).

    Satire doesn’t convince me (and shouldn’t convince anyone) if you refuse to deal with facts or the content of someone else’s argument (mine, Beck’s, or whomever) and provide ZERO content of your own.

    Sure, you quoted his words. Great, now what about the context of those words and what about the more comprehensive context of his belief system? I don’t have to read his words to know that he wouldn’t condemn genuine Christianity (or the Mormonism to which he adheres) that is in search of social justice. Surely his argument isn’t against his own views.

    If you just want to rant and rave about Beck, go ahead and get it off your chest. If you want people to be convinced that the content of his thoughts is wrong (or fill-in-the-blank), then prove him wrong with an actual argument.

    Otherwise, you are just babbling about nothing, which is what you appear to be claiming Beck is doing in the first place.

  10. Chase says:

    No. Beck’s comments are equivalent to yelling “fire” in a non-burning movie house.

    He unnecessarily creates a panic by making gigantic leaps in logic. “Social Justice was a phrase used by Communism and Nazism, therefore anyone using it now is promoting that.”

    Beck should be more careful with his words. It is his burden to make his case not mine to investigate. He advised people to leave their church if those words appeared on the church website. That is very clear.

    Context has little to do with this and I would know as I have listened to the episode in question. It’s like if someone said a politician should be killed and then trying to say, “Oh, you know what I mean, man. I just don’t like his policies.”

    That would be unacceptable as is this.

    I wouldn’t imagine he takes issue with good deeds or acts of kindness. That is precisely my point. The churches I know which practice and promote social justice are not communist but are carrying out the biblical mandate to love the widow, orphan, stranger, and neighbor.

    Good deeds? Yes.

  11. Whitehurst says:

    Unfortunately, the content and direction of his comments are directlt tied to the success (money) of a mjaor television network. It is not about truth or common sense. It is about the Benjamins. By relying on major media outlets for info, the ignorance might not always be bliss

  12. Whitehurst says:

    I read a comment from a essay called “Culture War Casualties: How Warfare Rhetoric Is Hurting the Work of the Church.” This was a very convicting essay for me to read.
    It raised the question of how Christians can show the whole biblical Christ to the world when aspects of our Christian morality have become so politicized that we tend to relate to the world almost entirely around “issues”—like abortion and homosexuality—and therefore in a very combative atmosphere, because the emotions run so high, when you are talking, for example, about the taking of the life of unborn children, and whether homosexual people may promote their practices in public schools
    This is what I want to struggle with and dig into and grow in. I want us to have and to be a word from God for our nation concerning how disagreeing groups love each other. I have much to learn. I certainly do not have all the answers, especially in the politically loaded atmosphere of the culture wars of our society. But together I think God will guide us and grow us and humble us and make us strong with a kind of strength that combines the holiness and love of God in new ways that we have not known before.

  13. Jeff Watkins says:

    Chase, you defended yourself nicely against a bunch of folk who do not see how egregious Beck’s comments were.

    I love when you told that one guy about himself and the freshman philosophy bit. Classic! Wait, didn’t you fail philosophy with Dr. Rathel? (I’m kidding, I know you aced it with Wiley!)

    Still, I have to ask, is their any chance Beck was being sarcastic as you were?

    P.S. You link to Russell Moore but not Albert Mohler? What’s worse, Dr. Moore and not me!

  14. Chase says:

    @ Whitehurst: I appreciate your insightful comments. I agree especially on ” I want us to have and to be a word from God for our nation concerning how disagreeing groups love each other” and that “God will guide us and grow us and humble us and make us strong”

    Hopefully, I can find the article you mentioned. I’d like to read it.

    @ Jeff: Hey if you want “to be a smart ass and demean people I suggest you do a comedy tour.” Hahaha. Anyway, thanks for the nice words. Dr. Richards was truly great and I miss him.

    You know I make every effort to give the benefit of the doubt but in this instance I do not believe he was being sarcastic. Even if he was, however, the issue is the harm wrought with those comments. On Twitter he has addressed this recent “firestorm” and acted like “well, I must be doing the right thing…all this hate mail proves it…huh huh.” In an episode he did after that he clarified that, “social justice is a perversion of the gospel.”

    I would say, as others have said, when and where social justice has become the gospel instead of a byproduct of it, then yes that is a perversion.

    With all due respect, you know I’m not an Al Mohler super fan. There have been a few things that Russ Moore wrote that I really liked. That’s not to say, I agree 100 percent with everything just that its more hit than miss.

    As for you and your blog, Oh Brother! Kidding. To tell the truth, I spent 3 minutes adding links one day 2 months ago and I haven’t worked on it since then. Now that a couple of people are reading here, amending that is at the top of my list.

  15. Chase,

    I am not against the co-opting of the term; If the term is co-opted to mean eternal justice (which is created by God) such service would glorify God – All of God’s children are priceless. If the term is co-opted to mean giving charity to God’s children that would glorify and be obedient to God. But the term has not successfully been co-opted – The meaning of the term by the person who coined it, (made very clear by wikipedia and many dictionaries), is a political system where
    work done by one person is the same as the work done by another and all work merits the same pay. One does not need to ask God in prayer if such a statement is true; Social Justice dictates all seeds bear fruit without regard to what choice of seed that was planted. Not all labor produces fruit if you work to sow weeds you reap weeds. Anyone with any sense looking at just a single person over a course of days can see that the work and effort done is not the even the same by the same person. Social justice has never produced fruit, many nations have tried it. It was planted by Jim Jones, the results are tragic.

    Social Justice sounds good but reality shows us that it is not as it sounds.

  16. Chase says:

    Wayne, I think you raise a great question. Has the term ‘Social Justice’ been successfully co-opted?

    Personally, I think yes but then the fact that we are having this conversation indicates otherwise.

    Years ago, there was extensive discussion within the Southern Baptist Convention on if they should change their name, drop the Southern. The reasoning behind that was to disassociate itself with negligible portions of its history. It was decided that for better or worse the name was how people knew who they were. Are there people who will forever draw the connection and who distrust any claim that the organization has evolved? Sure, but those same people would be suspect of any rebranding. Meanwhile, name recognition is lost in such a shift so its necessary to count that cost as well.

    I can’t think of a better phrasing than social justice and I doubt very sincerely that a new name would prevent others from reading these things into it or co-opting it for evil.

  17. J Keeven says:

    Mohler sums up precisely what I meant. Maybe he sums up your arguments too Chase, with which I would have agreed had they come as an argument from content instead of sarcasm in the form of bombastic declamations.

  18. Chase says:

    Then perhaps you should have made your argument more clearly. Instead, it appears you came here looking for a fight.

    You can have personal distaste for satire. That is fine but I was very clear that this post was satirical so don’t accuse me of “bombastic declamations.” All I did was illustrate the logical ramifications of his comments by being as ridiculous.

    As some have suggested elsewhere, Beck doesn’t accidentally stumble into controversy. He is incendiary and plans it. Either way, his words affect millions and consequently response is necessary.

  19. J Keeven says:

    Sorry you think I came only looking for a fight.

    I added Mohler’s thoughts because he made my point that I didn’t take the time to explain about you overstating Beck’s words without giving them his context. Even when you quote him, you do so in user-convenient soundbite form. Either way, that makes it too simplistic.

    AND Mohler made your point by actually providing a defense of substance to the real problem, which by the way is not Beck himself.

    I do take issue with ridicule that appears to simply use wit and not substance to sway an audience or win an argument (philosophy 101). Satire is by definition in some sense bombastic. That’s not an accusation, it’s an observation (from Webster – English 101). I am not sure why you conclude I have a distaste for it. But by itself, it just doesn’t prove anything. If I mistook your piece as trying to prove something, I guess that is my fault as the reader.

    With your satirical piece, you simply create friction with no stated reason of disagreement and no solution to the perceived problem. I realize you are aware of this.

    So, this is my question. Is this intended to be helpful to others in arriving at a conclusion on the issue?

    And how can you claim that these are logical ramifications if they are not the intended conclusion of the author of the words, but the conclusion of another?

    Your words affect people too (though maybe not millions), and if you want people to agree with you (and as a reader, I take your writing not just for my entertainment but for my enlightenment), I would find it more helpful for someone to tell me why I should agree and not just make fun (bombastically) of someone else’s statement(s).

    That proves nothing, is more of a distraction of the real issue, and no solution.

    To go even further, the real issue isn’t what Beck said, it is the ignorance of the uneducated / not able to think for themselves masses that you might fear are listening to him and will agree just because. That certainly means that those with a public platform have to be careful with their words. But I would say that education on subject matter is what is needed, not an equivalent of another person yelling fire in non-burning movie house.

    In any event, I have found the discussion helpful on a number of levels. I sincerely hope you have found something of value as well.

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