Beck, Religion and Politics

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 8:04 PM

Carl Trueman writes,

Nonetheless, in identifying the syncretism of Beck as the major problem in Beck, I think Mr Olasky misses the point. Beck is also both a function and a perpetuating cause of a wider problem in American politics: his idiom is the rhetoric of extremism and fear; he trades in Manichean cliches which see the political world as a very black and white place; he models for the wider world a form of discourse which is a million miles from anything which represents thoughtful, critical engagement with the issues and with those with whom he disagrees; he rarely puts forward a real argument (at least as I would understand an argument, with evidence, engagement with the strongest points of his opponents etc.); his attitude and tone when speaking about legally elected government are difficult to square with New Testament teaching on respect for those in authority (the Greek Apologists did a much better job, in conditions much more hostile to the faith — not to mention, of course, the Apostle Paul); and his continual inflammatory rhetoric about Marxism indicates both a basic failure to grasp what Marxism is (or, rather, what Marxisms are  — Marxism these days being akin to `Christianity' as a rather vague catch-all term) and a lack of precision in handling matters that, quite frankly, need to be handled with precision.   As Os Guinness indicated at a recent lecture at Westminster, the Religious Right (of which Beck is emerging as an unlikely hero) is often first past the post these days in the incivility of its discourse and of its engagement in the public sphere.

The last observation is especially apropos, sadly.

HT: Jeff Kerr

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