People Unclear



Now I’ve heard everything. No, I haven’t heard everything. But there’s this:

Glenn Beck: Church attendance will fall 50% if gay marriage is legalized

 ‘If this goes through, persecution is coming. I mean serious persecution’

04 May 2015 | By Darren Wee

Glenn Beck has predicted church attendance will half in the next five years if the Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage nationwide.

The radio host Thursday (30 May) said the government would start seizing church property and they would lose their tax exempt status if they refuse to perform same-sex weddings.

First of all I need to concede one point to famous radio host Glenn Beck. If the government starts seizing church property, then the churches will lose their-tax exempt status. That’s because government property is tax-exempt. Maybe there are other reasons, but that’s good for starters.

Now supposing that churches do refuse to perform same-sex marriages. Just supposing. Then the government is going to seize church property. Maybe not. There is the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

Of course, this is just a minor technicality. If jack-booted thugs march in the First Amendment is going to be just a piece of paper. Please note that Glenn Beck didn’t mention jack-booted thugs. I brought that up.

This discussion is pulled from a video that will hopefully remain on-line for all to watch:

Will Bunch has written a salacious book about those nasty right-wingers and their Tea Party movement. Glenn Beck features prominently:

No surprise! Glenn Beck stands front and center to this story. It’s a story of how a young boy of modest promise found his footing and climbed to the top of the broadcast media, finally inventing himself as an authority on world politics and as a spokesman for the American Right. How much of this invention was driven by earnest conviction and how much was driven by financial opportunity is a matter worth considering. Bunch notes to some extent the direct  correlation between Beck’s navigation of the political scene and the unrolling of the financial market for extreme ideas.

There is evidence that Beck obtained inspiration from a pioneer in hyperbolic—and fact-free—oration. A few miles up Interstate 35 from me Austin-based Alex Jones had been marketing conspiratorial rhetoric for nearly a decade before Beck began to find his footing. Find it he has, though. From a stern advocate for religious and political righteousness on outlets such as CNN, Beck has morphed into a wack-job caricature. It is a caricature for profit.

I need to say I truly miss seeing Beck on the CNN feed. His leaving has left a void. A curious void, but a void nonetheless. If ever there were a reliable stalwart of American conservatism, it has been Beck, for a number of years. Maybe not so much anymore. I noted before that conservatives with serious concerns have backed away as Beck has gone more extreme:

While I agreed with the thought, I felt it necessary to caution: “It is OK to have your own opinions, but it also helps if these opinions are largely correct.” I noted that Beck had not been right on a lot of things for a very long time. At the time even conservative stalwarts were starting to build some distance with Beck. Beck was starting to say things that just sounded good and had no other redeeming qualities. He had become entertainment, and the truth had become a sometime thing. The people who listened to Beck wanted him to tell them what they already knew was true. Those with the ability to think were beginning to become aware of the obvious.

Then the party may be about over? No fear. The 2016 election season is officially under way. Candidates are making vacuous pronouncements. Touchy issues are roiling the public. Beck is bound to weigh in on any number of them. The fun times are here to stay, for a while.

Keep reading.


One thought on “People Unclear

  1. Pingback: People Unclear | Skeptical Analysis

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