Perhaps the only joy to be had from Glenn Beck’s typically noisy turn toward God is the discomfort it seems to be causing the assorted imams of right-wing Christianity in this country. Their presence has been a constant in American society, a consistently sordid one–from the Salem witch trials to Billy Sunday to the grinning, megacreepy money-maker Pat Robertson. A safe general principle: The noisy proclamation of religiosity is usually a sign of the exact opposite. Or, as Jesus said–and thank you, commenter Shepherdwong:
And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
— Matthew 6:5-6
And while we’re about quoting scripture, let me add another passage from Matthew that, along with quiet prayer and meditation, seems to be at the heart of spirituality:
It is amazing how infrequently this sentiment is honored by the noisy righteous.