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


Re: Beck, Religion and Politics
I concur. The other month I engaged in a great debate on theology. Last week there was one on politics. Both were singularly excellent experiences because we both presented evidences, acknowledged strengths in each other's arguments and brought weaknesses to light. These experiences are dreadfully rare. Why must debate and argue mean "fight" and border on libel and slander?
Posted by Jason P. Franklin - Sep 20, 2010 | 3:10 PM

Re: Beck, Religion and Politics
I don't know. I wish we could get past that, because debating can be so very helpful when it is kept civil.
Posted by Timothy R. Butler - Sep 21, 2010 | 4:37 AM

Re: Beck, Religion and Politics
Debate and fair discussion is the way it should be. We all know that, and everyone in the public eye talks about it with their public face. The ruling class continue to promote this as their public myth, while insuring it has no bearing on their real plans. So while you and I may do it right, we have to know: No one with any real power will ever pay us heed, nor operate on such a sane basis. Manipulation pays too well.
Posted by Ed Hurst - Sep 21, 2010 | 12:53 PM

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