The Common Good

A Pastor's Response to Glenn Beck's Call to Leave 'Social Justice' Churches

090918-glenn-beckRecently Glenn Beck made some comments about leaving a church if the priest or pastor speaks about "social justice." He instructed his listeners to "look for the words 'social justice' or 'economic justice' on your church Web site" and then, should they find those words, told them to "run as fast as you can." Why? Well Beck believes those are "code words" that have malevolent ties to communism and Nazism.

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He spoke about his own church community and his pastor, and said proudly that if his church was about "social justice" he would report his church to the church authorities. So Beck postures his argument as a churchgoer.

I have received a few e-mails and texts from people about these comments, so I thought I would respond to the many e-mails here.

Let me begin by saying that I do not presume to know how Beck defines social or economic justice. Perhaps he is referring to the ethos of caring for the poor and needy, or the demand for human rights in this world of ours. Maybe he is referring to the tradition of the prophets in the Hebrew scriptures, like Amos, who says:

There are those who oppress the innocent and take bribes
and deprive the poor of justice in the court

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