Aug 30, 2010

A little too much for me...

You know, I'm not really one to say people are communists, or people are stupid, or people are racist (though I have called on tea-partiers to exorcise the racist messages that tend to get delivered in street-protests). So I'm not going to say anything like that about Glenn Beck or his rally.

I will say, however, that it's a little scary to me. Reading the transcripts, listening to the sound bytes, looking at the pictures... it feels a little off, to me. Something's not right.

It kind of reminds me of the man in my home ward who'd get up behind the pulpit during testimony meeting, hold up a copy of "An Enemy Hath Done This," (a political work written by Ezra Taft Benson before he became the prophet of the LDS church) and talk about how we all ought to read it along with the Book of Mormon. As if those two books made up the scriptures. His testimony always went on about how evil he thought America's current leadership was and how, if we wanted to fight to "save America" we had to believe a certain, narrow set of political doctrines.

I never heard him use the word communist, at the pulpit, though.

I know this was a rally, not a sacrament meeting. But with the religious rhetoric being taken up a notch, I almost feel like I'm not sure which part of me needs to be responding--the part that is skeptical of anything a politician/talk radio host says and therefore can easily dismiss such things, or the part of me that is respectful of people's testimonies and therefore, horrified at some of the things that are being said, and fearful of a giant movement of gospel-hobbyists that might decide that politics is the core and purpose of the gospel, and it's up to us to keep America from Hanging By A Thread.

I sure hope that this hasn't done a whole lot of damage.

I sure hope people still realize that the milk and meat of the gospel (ha! Ironic considering I don't feed my family either of those) is repentance, redemption, missionary work and service.

Personally, I still need to focus on the milk and meat of the gospel. I'm really not perfect enough to start going for the barley drinks and acai berries and 12-day-grapefruit fasts of the gospel. So even if God really does want us all to be libertarians... I'm not going to make that my focus in life right now.

No disrespect, Glenn Beck. No disrespect.

And BTW... if you are starting to think of yourself as a prophet (as a lot of media moguls from both sides of the political spectrum have stated), you're gonna have some trouble. Trouble that I really don't want to have to watch unfold.

13 comments:

Putz said...

you do know my politics as of late>>>i am if anything a liberal, but i do like that glenn beck wants to put everything on God, i like it all there, yep i do, although this whole right wing stuff has always seemed a little scarey to me, but maybe i am for the spending to stop a trifle, or maybe i am so damned pround of the troops coming home from iraq{i just hope they don't go back to afganh>>{i know a lot of them will on their own so i won't hold my breath} but i still am excited that all the kids{even the illegals{} will get so much health care>>>so where am i going with all this>>>nowhere, my dear, nowhere

Putz said...

P>S>S<also , should i get my son tony to come and offend you again

merrilykaroly said...

But I love acai berries. :)

merrilykaroly said...

I haven't read or heard Glenn's rally speech, but when I catch snippets of him on radio or tv, I always am surprised by how much he talks about religion/God. I can't decide if it's good or bad... on the one hand, our founding fathers gave our country a foundation very heavily relying on God and belief in him, on the other hand, God is separate from political issues...

Cami said...

You are not the only one to complain about this. I've heard it from someone else just recently and I should probably give it a bit of a listen. Thanks for the info!

NoSurfGirl said...

my feeling is this: if you're saying that you've got a message from God telling you what America needs to do to save itself, you're basically usurping the authority of the prophet of the church. Real revelation for the whole nation (world, even) or the whole church or America as a whole is not going to channel through some strange offshoot of priesthood authority. God is a god of order and of proper channels--he'd do it through our prophet.

So far I haven't heard our prophet say America's hanging by a thread, and that in order to save our own religious freedom we need to attend rallies run by Glenn Beck. The prophet hasn't said anything about communists, about liberals, about Barack Obama being a "puppet" or anything else. In fact, one of our recent prophets said this:

Recently I spent the better part of a week in Washington, D.C., living in a hotel room. Each morning I watched the early news on television and then read the morning paper while eating breakfast. President Ford had just granted a pardon to his predecessor. The amount of venom that spewed from the mouths and pens of the commentators was unbelievable. They were aflame with indignation. In all that week of morning watching and reading I never heard nor read among the commentators and editorialists a single paragraph of positive thought. The speakers were brilliant. They were men of incisive language, scintillating in expression. The columnists were masters of the written word. With studied art they poured out the sour vinegar of invective and anger, judging as if all wisdom belonged to them. At the conclusion of that week, I too made a negative observation. Said I, "Surely this is the age and place of the gifted pickle sucker." (President Hinckley, btw)

for the whole thing go <a href="http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=6055>here</a>

Skywalker said...

Oh, I so have to disagree with your last comment, NSG! (Yes, NSG readers, this does happen on occasion. Husband and wife don't have to agree on everything to love each other totally.)

God is not restricted to speaking only through one prophet. Never in the history of the world has this been the case; so long as there are a believers in Christ, there are prophets.

Now, as the "mouthpiece of the Lord", the Lord has designated one prophet to lead his church. I certainly agree to that. But that does not make President Monsen the one and only prophet for the world, not by any stretch.

This common belief of the Latter-day Saints bothers me for several reasons. One, it's an easy excuse to eschew personal revelation. "If the prophet hasn't said anything, who am I to be asking God about that!"

Two, it's an easy way to smack down undesirable topics of discussion. "X can't be true, because our current prophet hasn't sent out any official declarations about it! You must be on the edge of apostasy. Ew, ew."

Three, our scriptures are full of multi-prophet timelines. We proclaim "in the mouth of two or three witnesses" with relish, devour the words of Jeremiah and Lehi (who taught at the same time) and lots of other co-prophets, until we reach modernity. Then we excuse ourselves from the personal responsibility required to hear the prophets around us.

Joseph Smith encouraged the gift of prophesy, of revelation, and of visions (seeing). Where he corrected the Saints was when a few attempted to usurp his calling as leader of the church.

[More in another comment. I hit the 4,096 character limit.]

Skywalker said...

Now, here's why I really care about the co-existance of prophets. God has commanded us all to become them. They are one of the primary gifts of the Spirit and we are commanded to seek these gifts. We must be careful. One sign of unbelievers in the last days is the denial of prophets.

And finally, I will agree with NSG that Glen Beck is not a prophet, in everything that he says. However, anyone to testifies of Christ is a prophet. Anyone who preaches the words of Christ may well be a prophet (only the Spirit can tell you). But the gift of prophecy is much, much larger than this.

There have been prophets of various types through history. They have spoken on all topics relevant to man. There are scientific prophets. There are social prophets (most are). There are intellectual prophets in all realms of knowledge and understanding for the simple reason that God is the source of all knowledge and any humble seeker of knowledge must partake from Him, through the Spirit. And that spirit, the "light of Christ" infuses the whole world. It is available to everyone.

So I proclaim that there are prophets among us, everywhere. They are not perfect examples of morality, compassion, or piety, but some of what they say is prophetic none the less.

The scriptures command time and again that "those with ears, let them hear". This, to me, is an exhortation to listen first, understand the message, then harken to the direction of the Holy Ghost, which shows the truth of all things—including politics.

I haven't listened to this speech. I have no insight or personal revelation to share on the matter. I just ask everyone to try to keep an open, humble mind and be amazed at the truths all around us.

"God has created man with a mind capable of instruction, and a faculty which may be enlarged in proportion to the heed and diligence given to the light communicated from heaven to the intellect; and . . . the nearer man approaches perfection, the clearer are his views, and the greater his enjoyments, till he has overcome the evils of his life and lost every desire for sin; and like the ancients, arrives at that point of faith where he is wrapped in the power and glory of his Maker, and is caught up to dwell with Him." — Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 2:8.

This is a pretty lengthy comment, typed fast and posted. Do I need a smiley? :-)

Skywalker said...

Now, here's why I really care about the co-existance of prophets. God has commanded us all to become them. They are one of the primary gifts of the Spirit and we are commanded to seek these gifts. We must be careful. One sign of unbelievers in the last days is the denial of prophets.

And finally, I will agree with NSG that Glen Beck is not a prophet, in everything that he says. However, anyone to testifies of Christ is a prophet. Anyone who preaches the words of Christ may well be a prophet (only the Spirit can tell you). But the gift of prophecy is much, much larger than this.

There have been prophets of various types through history. They have spoken on all topics relevant to man. There are scientific prophets. There are social prophets (most are). There are intellectual prophets in all realms of knowledge and understanding for the simple reason that God is the source of all knowledge and any humble seeker of knowledge must partake from Him, through the Spirit. And that spirit, the "light of Christ" infuses the whole world. It is available to everyone.

So I proclaim that there are prophets among us, everywhere. They are not perfect examples of morality, compassion, or piety, but some of what they say is prophetic none the less.

The scriptures command time and again that "those with ears, let them hear". This, to me, is an exhortation to listen first, understand the message, then harken to the direction of the Holy Ghost, which shows the truth of all things—including politics.

I haven't listened to this speech. I have no insight or personal revelation to share on the matter. I just ask everyone to try to keep an open, humble mind and be amazed at the truths all around us.

"God has created man with a mind capable of instruction, and a faculty which may be enlarged in proportion to the heed and diligence given to the light communicated from heaven to the intellect; and . . . the nearer man approaches perfection, the clearer are his views, and the greater his enjoyments, till he has overcome the evils of his life and lost every desire for sin; and like the ancients, arrives at that point of faith where he is wrapped in the power and glory of his Maker, and is caught up to dwell with Him." — Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 2:8.

This is a pretty lengthy comment, typed fast and posted. Do I need a smiley? :-)

NoSurfGirl said...

OK, yes. Testifying of Christ to the world is every member's duty. And the spirit of prophecy can come to any person.

I guess the piece that bothers me is one man, deciding he's prayed and received an answer about "what america needs to do."

To me, that is the role of the man who holds all the keys of the priesthood--to tell the church what to do, to tell the worldwide membership what to focus on, what to worry about, what we need to put our time and effort into, and warn us away from any danger or catastrophe that is on the horizon.

Here's the thing--there have been Glenn Becks throughout history. Sometimes they are liberals, sometimes they are conservatives. ALways, they feel "burdened" by their mission... and what does their mission seem to be?

To spread fear, in order to promote their own definitive, narrow idea of the way the world ought to be.

:)

OK--you guys get a peek into the sort of friendly discussion S. and I have on almost a weekly basis... I don't know what our kids will be politically, haha. But they'll definitely be educated.

merrilykaroly said...

I have listened to a lot of Glenn Beck, and often agree with his view on things. But I agree with you, Nosurf, that he seems to use "fear" to motivate people. That's why I hardly ever watch him anymore. I don't like to be afraid.

NoSurfGirl said...

I know.

Hey... I want to make sure everyone knows I don't direct these posts at people. They're really just general angst.

All my friends and family are smart. I figure, if they like Glenn they also see his weaknesses. I don't need to preach to the choir.

There are people who I've encountered, though, who think that people like Glenn and Rush or whomever, are perfect... and prophetic, and that if we don't follow them we're unrighteous. There's a weird piece of Mormon Culture that says if you aren't Conservative in every way, even politically, then you're not righteous.

That's what I'm speaking to... more a phenomenon, not specific people.

Thanks for all your comments, guys.

NoSurfGirl said...

I know.

Hey... I want to make sure everyone knows I don't direct these posts at people. They're really just general angst.

All my friends and family are smart. I figure, if they like Glenn they also see his weaknesses. I don't need to preach to the choir.

There are people who I've encountered, though, who think that people like Glenn and Rush or whomever, are perfect... and prophetic, and that if we don't follow them we're unrighteous. There's a weird piece of Mormon Culture that says if you aren't Conservative in every way, even politically, then you're not righteous.

That's what I'm speaking to... more a phenomenon, not specific people.

Thanks for all your comments, guys.