Honey, Glenn Beck Is On

     Conservative commentator and active Latter-day Saint Glenn Beck has drawn criticism for his recent advice to church-goers telling them to stop attending places of worship where social justice is championed.

     “I beg you look for the words social justice or economic justice on your church web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words," Beck said on his radio show.  "If you have a priest that is pushing social justice, go find another parish. Go alert your bishop and tell them, ‘Excuse me, are you down with this whole social justice thing?’”

     Brother Beck, have you read The Book of Mormon lately?  Both The Bible and The Book of Mormon, texts considered sacred and inspired by the Latter-day Saints, talk about social justice.

     "And now...for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God - I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants," reads Mosiah 4:26 in The Book of Mormon.

    Beck's comments have upset people of numerous faiths.  Rev. Jim Wallis, an evangelical leader in Washington, D.C., wrote on his "God's Politics" blog that Christians should stop listening to Beck.  Catholic blogger Joe Carter says that Beck's remarks would be considered anti-Catholic if it wasn't for the fact that he is a "rodeo clown" who is, "prone to say any dumb thing that pops into his head".

     Although Beck has responded and clarified his comments, I still don't think he "gets it". 

     "Where I go to church, there are members that preach social justice as members - my faith doesn't, but the members preach social justice all the time," Beck said.  "It is a perversion of the Gospel.  Nowhere does Jesus say, 'Hey, if somebody asks for your shirt, give your coat to the government and have the government give them a pair of slacks.'"

     Although Jesus never told anyone to give their coat to the government, He did teach kindness, compassion, and service.

     Contrary to what Beck says, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does teach social justice.  The Church runs an extraordinary welfare program in fact.  Members fast, or go without two meals once a month.  They donate the money they would have spent on food to the Church's welfare program.  This welfare program isn't based on free handouts though.  It's based on principles of love and its aim is self-reliance.  Not only does the Church's welfare program assist people with food, it assist people with finding employment and it includes the non-profit Deseret Industries thrift stores that are open to the public and it includes massive worldwide humanitarian efforts to help people devastated by disaster.

     "Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem," Ronald Reagan famously said.  You can argue over the effectiveness of government welfare because, let's be honest, there is probably more room for improvement than we know.  That's why churches that take an active role in helping the poor, needy, and afflicted, are so good for America.  They can take care of people with less bureaucracy and more compassion than the federal government can.

     So, if you're church does teach social justice,  don't run, give.


Chioma said...

Mitt Romney is a MUCH better example of a member in politics.

Anonymous said...

Beck should have qualified his statement that social justice should be achieved through societal changes, not through governmental laws. People have and will always be submitted to societal pressure to be generous with their excess. It is not out of the question for a Christian religious leader to ask their to give. It IS however, completely out of line for a Christian religious leader to pressure his or her congregation in political matters (unless those matters concern extreme moral matters such as same sex marriage). Beck should have said to avoid "churches" who have political agendas.

Anonymous said...

The difference between "social justice" as defined throughout LDS theology and "social justice" as preached in select churchs (apparently according to Brother Beck) is that the LDS perspective is charitable and voluntary, the alternate perspective is government run motivated by force of law, in some cases even punitive. Big difference.

Jimmy Dean said...

He was talking about Pastors like Jeremiah Wright. I think your argument is a little weak. "Coercive charity" like the transfer payments that our federal government uses takes away agency. I can't choose to pay my taxes, they are forcibly taken, therefore I don't get blessed for it. I can choose to give fast offerings and pay my tithing, plus that money is being disbursed by organized Priesthood Keys by revelation direct from God and by established policies set up by the Brethren, not by some civil servant. Whose plan of salvation is being followed if I'm coerced to give?

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