What Catholics Can Teach Glenn Beck About Social Justice

By John Gehring 03-24-2010

100324-james-martin-stephen-colbertWhile it's generally not worth spilling any ink over Glenn Beck, his recent attacks on churches that preach "social justice" has rightly earned the condemnation of diverse faith leaders. In case you missed it, Beck recently said this on his radio show:

I beg you, look for the words 'social justice' or 'economic justice' on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes!

Mr. Beck views social and economic justice as "code words" that obscure a sinister agenda once sought after by both Communists and Nazis. Even after leading Catholics, evangelicals, and mainline Protestants immediately lined up to remind our gentle scold that seeking justice for the poor and most vulnerable is not some ideological agenda rooted in lefty politics but central to biblical values and specifically the gospel teachings of Jesus, Beck came out swinging. When more than 50,000 Christians (and counting) responded to Rev. Jim Wallis' call to write to Mr. Beck and "turn themselves in" as social justice Christians, the implacable host turned his rhetorical guns on Rev. Wallis and the good people at Sojourners:

So you go ahead and you continue to do your protest thing, and that's great. I love it. But just know -- the hammer is coming, because little do you know, for eight weeks, we've been compiling information on you, your cute little organization, and all the other cute little people that are with you. And when the hammer comes, it's going to be hammering hard and all through the night, over and over

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