In the Arena

Glenn Beck: Telecharlatan

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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:

35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.

36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, `Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink?

38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing?

39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?’

40 And the King will tell them, `I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters,* you were doing it to me!’1

It is amazing how infrequently this sentiment is honored by the noisy righteous.