Glenn Beck on Social Justice Christians

I’m a little short on time today but I wanted to thank my friend Margaret for calling my attention to Glenn Beck’s remarks (made just over a month ago) about “social justice Christians”.

In short, he exhorted viewers to “run” from their churches if they belonged to a church promoting social or economic justice; he further equated such values with communism and Nazism.
A quick survey of the media, both mainstream and user-created, reveals a refreshing variety of effective and creative responses:

Glenn Beck’s original clip on social justice and Christianity:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5c4DqdleJuY&feature=related

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell and Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners discuss Glenn Beck’s remarks about “social justice” and Christianity:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQcrM4HQQyg&feature=related

Jon Stewart had a little fun with the nonsense:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNOku6QP4UM&feature=related

Christians from many denominations respond:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6aUtizKqKw

A song offered in response:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAPCZ9EHk9I&feature=related

An interesting response from a thoughtful young man:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMkHcLtVqb4

Soujourner’s Magazine provides a handy letter whereby believers can “turn themselves in” to Glenn Beck for the crime of being a social justice Christian:

http://go.sojo.net/campaign/glennbeck_socialjustice

I can only offer my Exhibit One: well-known Communist and Nazi, Mother Teresa:
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So what?

I get so hung up about this. Can I post some thought on the blog? No, because it’s not a “great thought”, it’s not “thought through”, not “finished”, “planned”; there’s not time to do an adequate job of…..what, exactly? Enlightening humanity? For heaven’s sake, no one’s reading this nonsense, and thank GOD! Where is all this pressure coming from? Not my throngs of avid readers, clearly. As usual, just my internal tyrant, jailor, and worst critic. Aren’t I old enough by now to realize the silliness of being an elephant effectively tethered by a tiny cord and peg?

So this is what I’ve been thinking, in no particular order.
Bad people have hijacked Jesus and disfigured him terribly.
Some force deep in my…whatever….soul, brain chemistry, hormones, emotional soup, mind or spirit….cries out to..? Love, worship, plead to, pray to, dance for, sing to, cheer, sob to, just be in the presence of……something. You cannot convince me there is NOT “something” any more than you could convince me there IS “something”. It’s not about “convince”, for me. Just for me. I don’t have the slightest interest in influencing any other living being’s position on “the spiritual”. And that represents a big change from my formerly zealous evangelical and oh-so-firmly-convinced-in-the-particulars young self. The self I was before I walked away with my fingers in my ears chanting lalalalallalaala I’m not listening. All of the hate-mongering, politics, pandering, fear-mongering, anti-gay, anti-poor, anti-foreign, anti-woman, anti-everyotheroneoftheseveralthousandsects, historical and current murder and torture and molestation and repression, rejection, deception, and “Jesus said 20 times more things about hell than he ever did about Heaven” SICKENING wave after wave of “doctrine” and sermonizing…. I’m not listening. That’s where I’ve been stuck for years now–a position that isn’t a “position” at all; just avoidance–elective deafness–turning my face to the wall. Ignoring…..something. Someone?
Someone.
I’m not good at doing the “God of my understanding is a faceless emanation of energy” thing. I don’t find myself credible when I talk to myself about God this way. There’s a 50 year old accretion of moss and slime that’s slowly formed around a bright little kernel who went to Baptist Bible school and sang Jesus Loves Me to scare the nightmares away. Somehow under the moss and slime–some WHERE under that much and mire–that little kernel is still singing. Nothing I can do about it.
So, tomorrow is Easter. I am going somewhere, to church somewhere, to sing my heart out. I hope no one there knows me or tries to know me. I may leave before the sermon–may WELL leave before the sermon. I don’t expect to see Jesus but maybe he’ll see me.