Sojourners Magazine: November 2010
Many readers were surprised by our September-October issue with Glenn Beck on the cover. Several took us to task for "spending time, energy, and words" on Beck, saying, "I keep hoping if we ignore him, he will go away.” Some ask why we pay attention to him at all. It is a fair question. After all, the critiques of social justice he offers are not particularly new, nor are they particularly insightful.
Unfortunately, we live in a time when up is being called down, when innuendo and misrepresentation are substituted for reasoned discourse, and when many Americans are deeply frustrated and angry. Under those conditions, fear and frustration often trump common sense. The nature of the times, coupled with our mission to articulate the biblical call to social justice, makes it imperative that we respond even to challenges like those tossed out by Glenn Beck.
We realize, of course, that hard-core Beck fans and hard-core libertarians are not going to change their minds, no matter what we say. Similarly, no amount of blustery assertion on Beck’s part is going to change the minds of those who rightly see social justice not as something one adds to the Christian life, but rather as part and parcel of what it means to follow the Crucified One.
In spite of—perhaps because of—Beck’s challenges, our constituency has grown, and more folks have become committed to biblically rooted social justice. For that we give thanks to God. And for these reasons, we will continue to see responding to challenges to the gospel’s call to justice as a centerpiece of our ministry.