Sunday, August 29, 2010

Glenn Beck Wants Us to "Return to God," but Which One?

At yesterday's Tea Party rally in Washington, D.C., TV loud-mouth turned evangelist Glenn Beck focused his remarks on the need for our country to "turn back to God" (see here). But he failed to specify which God we should all be turning back to. The god of the Jews (Yahweh)? The Christian trinitarian God? The Christian unitarian God? The Christian God as interpreted by the Book of Mormon (Beck's own professed church)? The God of the Muslims (Allah)? Actually, I'm pretty sure that's not the one Glenn has in mind, but that's exactly who the Taliban have in mind when they call for a "return to God." How about the Gods of the Romans or Greeks or the Egyptian Gods of Isis and Osiris, or Hindu Gods (including Krishna)? And let's not forget Wotan.

So far, all we really know is that Beck doesn't want us to be atheists (like me). C'mon Glenn, we need more details about which God we should all be following in lockstep (or should that be goose-step).

Beck's generic call for a "return to God" reminds me of Sam Harris's suggestion that, every time someone utters the word "God," substitute for it the word "Zeus," and see how sensibly it strikes you. "In Zeus We Trust." The standard response, of course, is that Zeus wasn't the true God. If you can tell me that, then you should be able to explain to me which God is the true one, and why millions or billions of other people are simply deluded in thinking that it is a different one.

Bottom line: we won't really know which God to follow until Glenn Beck tells us.

DISCLAIMER: I do not intend this post to offend  people with sincerely-held religious beliefs, including members of my own family (but, I suspect, not Glenn Beck). I do, however, intend this post to offend those, such as Glenn Beck and the Taliban, who simplify religious belief (or non-belief) and use it facilely as a political prop.

1 comment:

  1. Just listened to Beck on 8-29 Fox Sunday show. He didn't clarify whether the God he was referring to was strictly a Christian God. He did mention his own Mormonism though in a failed attempt at clarification of this question. I am also an atheist. I do, however, both honor the majority of people on the planet who have adopted faith-based disciplines in governing good moral lives and decry those that cite faith to pursue domination and/or violence. I also believe that, in order to have peace, citizens of the nations of the world MUST insist on religious diversity in a legal sense (e.g., the constitutions in US, India, many other countries). Since Beck does have followers, I wish he'd make a statement to all, but esp. Christians and Mormons, that he also means the Muslims' God, as well as all religions of the world. (I think it's above his pay grade to grasp the lovely Hindu faith and its gazillion gods but maybe he should tackle that, too).

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