It has happened again! Horrific, searing, excruciating pain shooting from the base of the spine all the way to the top of the cerebral cortex. It can only be one thing, Beck pain! This weekend as thousands of curious onlookers made their way to the nation's capitol, our country's favorite couple since the break up of Regis and Kathy Lee, Sarah and Glenn, put on an astounding show in front of the Lincoln Memorial. OK, maybe it wasn't astounding, but it was at least curiously entertaining and quite informative although not in the way Beck probably intended.
Several lazy news outlets have already reported that Paulians and libertarians were a large part of the meeting, but anyone who has done any in depth research knows that Ron Paul supporters are no fans of Glenn Beck. Most Paul supporters eschewed Beck after his sabotage of the Debra Medina campaign in Texas earlier this year. Beck threw his support behind the Romney/Bush clone, Rick Perry who has ties with Beck's former radio affiliate. While there may have been Paulians at the event in order to spread their message and set up information booths, this was clearly not a Ron Paul event.
Beck's event appeared to target evangelical Christians. The themes were strongly evangelical featuring notable speakers and a strong show of military support. Beck's recent attacks against moderate and liberal Christians warning them against the words "social justice" and telling them to leave churches that use those words confirms this cozying up with evangelicals.
It is ironic that Beck incorporated MLK references and included notable black speakers and guests since it was the events surrounding MLK and Kennedy which turned the majority of black support over to the Democrats in the '60's. Prior to that time, the bulk of black voters were Republican.
The majority of black churches embrace "social justice" type programs and philosophies and even though they follow an evangelical style of worship have been largely supportive of the Democratic party. Obama's ties to community organizing no doubt had strong appeal to the majority of the black community for this reason.
Traditionally, Conservative Evangelicals have not crossed this divide because of their strong emphasis on "personal salvation" in a strictly spiritual sense and lack of attention to every day issues of injustice and tangible physical support. More moderate, ecumenical denominations such as Presbyterians, Lutherans, Episcopalians and Methodists, as well as Catholics support social justice programs and community efforts with humanitarian aid. They are also much less likely to support war as a general rule and have a more global perspective. In fact, evangelicals tend to label them as "New Age" and even "satanic" because of this perceived "humanist" association. Beck himself (a Mormon) has played on this association and labeled these churches as "progressive", his own pejorative for those positioned to the left of his personal paradigm.
The core problem with Glenn's gathering was the focus, which was not on personal freedom and individual liberty, but on affiliation and the focus on heroism, duty and service. The issues of why we are in Iraq and Afghanistan in the first place were never mentioned. The issues of why we didn't bother to lift a finger to help Zimbabwe and the Sudan (or whether or not "we" should have) were not mentioned. It was strictly an emotionally driven and orchestrated event, and a fund raiser no less. This event may have been appropriate on say, Memorial Day, but an event held to "restore honor" begs the question "whose honor is in need of being restored?"
Recently, Ron Paul made a statement about the building of a mosque near the site of the fallen twin towers. Basically he stated that Al Quaeda was responsible for the destruction of the towers, not the religion of Islam. He emphasized that we should not vilify an entire religion because of the actions of a few followers. Dr Paul has also called repeatedly for a return of our troops and an end to war, the perpetration of which costs billions of dollars and embroils us in greater conflict abroad. Dr. Paul is himself a veteran, and has stated that he is not against war, rather he is against unjust war. It is not the honor of the soldiers which is in question, rather the honor of the bureaucrats who send them into battle.
Honor abides with Truth. The truth is, honor only accompanies fighting for a just cause. War should have a beginning and a victorious end. The objectives should be clear and the enemy well defined. Iraq is in shambles and whatever reason we went into Afghanistan no longer exists. Regaining America's honor means regrouping, refocusing and redefining our role overseas. So far, Ron Paul is the only one on the political scene willing to do that very thing. No amount of hymns, emotional appeals and medals will change this basic truth. After all, isn't Christianity, real Christianity, aligned with Truth?