Social Justice and Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck has gotten a lot of heat from the left over his comments on social justice. The smug left trying to distract from what Beck was actually talking about and turning it into something else tried to create another storm of stuff against Beck.I was thinking about this yesterday when I encountered two quotes in a piece at the Acton Institute’s blog. Consider these:

This class of the very poor – those who are just on the borders of pauperism or fairly over the borders – is rapidly growing. Wealth is increasing very fast; poverty, even pauperism, is increasing still more rapidly. – Washington Gladden, Applied Christianity (1886)For three decades, we have experienced a social engineered inequality that is really a sin – of biblical proportions. We have indeed seen class warfare, but this war has been waged by the wealthy and their political allies against the poor and the middle class. – Jim Wallis, Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street (2010)

Yes, the “rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer” strain of thought has been around for a while. “For you always have the poor with you,” said Christ in Matthew 26:11.So Glenn Beck has taken on social justice — a hallmark of leftwing ideology where they redact every part of the Bible except those parts where Christ tells the government to help the poor and needy and condemn as hell bound racists all those who disagree, or something like that.Glenn’s Executive Producer Stu Burguiere has taken to the Washington Post in defense of Glenn’s position.

Like everyone else in America, Glenn Beck thinks “social justice” —if its defined as charitable outreach to the poor—-is a good idea. He supports it, he believes in it, he does it. So, what’s the problem? I mean, “social justice” seems like such an innocuous phrase, right? It paints a picture of fairness. I guess that’s why Father Charles Coughlin used it when naming his National Union for Social Justice and his publication Social Justice Weekly. Coughlin was an anti-Semitic religious broadcaster in the 1930s, and he used the banner of social justice to attack capitalism, warn of Jewish plots against “Christian civilization”, and to promote his adoration for Italian Fascist Benito Mussolini.This is part of the information Glenn revealed in a special TV show about American extremism of the 20th century. In the context of promoting that special, he began talking about how the far left was once again using this terminology to politicize churches. The specific example he named was Rev. Jeremiah Wright. He told his listeners that if they were in a church that preaches Jeremiah Wright-style social justice, they should leave–or at least get educated on what exactly that means. It took him all of eight seconds to clarify the type of church he was speaking of, but that was long enough for most in the media to end the transcript. Suddenly, Glenn was accused of attacking the central tenants of the bible, because he supposedly believed that any church that wants to help the poor should be immediately evacuated. This absurd narrative is mainly the product of Rev. Jim Wallis.

You really need to read the whole thing.