Sunday, August 29, 2010

What is it about the Beck rally that has people like Jim Wallis and Al Sharpton so upset?

The Restoring Honor Rally:

Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin addressed several hundred thousand people on the National Mall and called on the nation to recommit itself to traditional values. And this message has some people up in arms. Al Sharpton accused Beck of trying to hijack King's message. Which is all the more strange since Dr. King's niece, Alveda King, also addressed the rally with a plea for prayer "in the public squares of America and in our schools." Sharpton also issued what appeared to be a veiled threat saying, "You don't know who you're messing with."

Jim Wallis, in an email to his Sojourners supporters, wrote:

"Last spring Fox News commentator Glenn Beck told Christians to leave churches that promoted social justice. To do so, Christians would have to walk out on Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 'I Have a Dream' speech too. Dr. King was a social justice Christian, the kind of Christian Mr. Beck constantly derides.

Tomorrow marks the 47th anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. And, if you’re in Washington, D.C., you’ll see Glenn Beck standing on the historic location of King’s speech – only Mr. Beck will be leading his 'Restoring Honor' rally.

I want to challenge Christians to understand the true significance of King’s speech – for our work on social justice, for racial reconciliation, and for the health of the American church."

What can we make of Jim Wallis' assertion that Dr. King was "the kind of Christian Mr. Beck constantly derides." Yes, it's true that Dr. King, a Baptist Minister, was "a social justice Christian." But social justice had a different meaning for Dr. King than it does for Jim Wallis. As Louie Verrechio has noted, "Social justice lies in the fullness of morality as defined by God, not as calculated by majority rule. It is a function of grace, not government." Dr. King understood that. Jim Wallis does not.

Alarmed at the prospect of conservatives calling upon this nation to recommit itself to traditional moral values, many have lost sight of Dr. King's message. Writing for the Associated Press, Philip Elliott and Nafeesa Syeed said that, "Conservative commentator Glenn Beck and tea party champion Sarah Palin appealed Saturday to a vast, predominantly white crowd on the National Mall to help restore traditional American values and honor Martin Luther King's message. Civil rights leaders who accused the group of hijacking King's legacy held their own rally and march."
Does it honestly matter that the crowd was "predominantly white"? Dr. King, in his I Have a Dream speech given on the National Mall on August 28, 1963, said that, "The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone....I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.."
If King's message has been hijacked, it has been hijacked by those who have lost sight of the true meaning of social justice and by those who still judge people on the basis of skin color rather than the content of their character.


Blake said...

More and more Al Sharpton is coming across as divisive as Louis Farakhan ever was. And I agree, his comment "You don't know who you're messing with" comes across as a threat. Why would he want to threaten a crowd which was "predominantly white." I think we know the answer. Sharpton is a bigot.

Michael Cole said...

You've hit the nail on the head. I think it is most significant that liberals such as Sharpton and Wallis view the Restoring Honor rally as some sort of threat. I mean who could possibly view a return to traditional moral values as "a threat"? Only the godless. And anyone familiar with Wallis' agenda can tell you that it's just that: godless.

Ted Loiseau said...

OneNewsNow has an article written by Philip Elliott for the Associated Press. Here's what it says in part:

"If Democrats had doubts about the voter unrest that threatens to rob them of their majority in Congress, they needed only look from the Capitol this weekend to the opposite end of the National Mall.

It's where Ken Ratliff joined tens of thousands of other anti-government activists at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial for conservative commentator Glenn Beck's 'Restoring Honor' rally.

'There's gotta' be a change, man,' said Ratliff, a 55-year-old Marine veteran from Rochester, N.Y.

Neither Democrats nor Republicans can afford to ignore the antiestablishment fervor displayed Saturday during Beck's rally that took on the tone of an evangelical revival.

Billed as a nonpolitical event, it nevertheless was a clarifying moment for those curious as to what clout an anti-Washington sentiment could have on midterm congressional elections in November. The gathering was advertised as an opportunity to honor American troops. But it also illustrated voters' exasperation — and provided additional evidence that Democrats in power — as well as some incumbent Republicans — may pay the price when voters go to the polls."

David James said...

Those in darkness hate the light. It is a very simple biblical teaching. I can't believe that someone actually had the courage to call the American people back to God. I ask you: why isn't it a Catholic who is courageously walking through this purifying fire?

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

There are a lot of us David - including yourself. We may not have the same celebrity status that Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin have. But then again, we have something much more precious: the fullness of Catholic truth.

In the end, the truth will always emerge triumphant. It has a force of its own. We are merely its servants.

Betty said...

The Restoring Honor rally was not so white as advertised according to WorldNetDaily. This excellent article refutes the charge of "racism" issued by the liberal MSM.

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