Beck: ‘Principles’ Demand Preferential Treatment for Christianity

The schools in Orange County, Florida decided not to allow a Bible giveaway this year because doing so allows non-Christian groups to hand out literature as well and Glenn Beck is hopping mad about it. He says that if Christianity is not given preferential treatment, we’re committing “national suicide.” Because that’s totally reasonable.

“We are clearly a Judeo-Christian nation,” he said while warning that society has now begun to “coddle those who disagree with Judeo-Christian values.”

“We are becoming openly hostile to our own foundation,” Beck said. “We have tolerated and excused and embraced the ideals that are in direct opposition to our founding principles.”

After slamming the Florida school system for not even having “enough spine left to stand up to Satanists,” Beck insisted that this is not an issue of equal treatment or free speech.

“We lie to ourselves and we say it’s our principles, we believe in free speech,” he said. “It’s not our principles of free speech. This is national suicide.”

This is particularly ironic coming from a Mormon. The Mormons were heavily persecuted by the Christian majority in the 1800s and the same arguments were made for that persecution that he is making now.

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  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    Hey Glenn! My principles say that it’s wrong to give preference to any religion, including Christianity. Guess what? The founders agree with my principles and even wrote those into the Constitution. So take your offended privilege and piss off!

  • raven

    …“coddle those who disagree with Judeo-Christian values.”

    There is no such thing as judeo-christian values.

    Xianity has split into 42,000 sects. Many of them have little in common and they disagree about everything.

    To call xianity a religion is stretching the point too far. Many scholars today think it has evolved and speciated and there are now many xian religions.

    To call Mormons xian is also stretching the point. Most xian ministers and priests, 75%, don’t consider them…xians. The Mormons agree. They just disagree on who the True Xians are.

  • raven

    and Glenn Beck is hopping mad about it. …

    When has Glenn Beck not been hoppying mad, fruitbat crazy, or terminally despressed about something?

    Without something to rant and rave about, he would have nothing to say.

  • whheydt

    The school district should tell beck that they’ll go along with his idea…as soon as he puts enough money in an escrow account to pay *all* of the costs associated with the lawsuit(s) that are sure to follow.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Weird. Last year, despite Judeo-Christian Values, they didn’t have any Tanakhs (or Talmuds) at the table. And the brisket was dry.

  • http://heb712.blogspot.com heddle

    Xianity has split into 42,000 sects

    This is one of raven’s infinite-do-loop lies. Penn State’s Philip Jenkins provides analysis in his c2000 scholarly book The Next Christendom, putting the number of Protestant denominations to be around 8000 and the number of Catholic denominations to be around 500. Raven’s number is lunatic–even the more often quoted 20K is obtained only if you skew the numbers by, for example, calling every independent Baptist group a different “sect”, even though their doctrines are indistinguishable.

  • abb3w

    @2, raven

    To call Mormons xian is also stretching the point.

    Also note, one of the groups he’s ranting about are Satanists; and from the standpoint of religious taxonomy, Satanism is an especially heretical sect of Christianity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1159674804 robertbaden

    Heddle:

    So 8500 instead of 42000. That still of lot of splitting.

    It’s less than an order of magnitude error.

  • http://Reallyawakeguy.blogspot.com somnus

    Well, I feel chagrined. I recently wrote a blog post where I spent a few hundred words laying out reasons why religious beliefs must not be considered above mockery. I could have saved myself so much work if the entire post had simply been “Glenn Beck.”

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Now, look, whether it’s 42,000 or 8,500 that’s still between 8,499-41,999 groups that are wrong.

  • http://Reallyawakeguy.blogspot.com somnus

    @6. Does the actual number matter. In light of the fact that the Christianity claims to be the perfect and knowable truth conveyed by an inerrant and non-contradictory text and reinforced by personal contact with an omniscient and absolutely perfect deity, the fact that there is *any* number of Christianities other than 1 kind of speaks against it.

  • Sastra

    heddle #6 wrote:

    Penn State’s Philip Jenkins provides analysis in his c2000 scholarly book The Next Christendom, putting the number of Protestant denominations to be around 8000 and the number of Catholic denominations to be around 500.

    Does that represent total sects today — or throughout history?

    Of course, if we include Christians who are also practicing Sheilaism, then the number of variations around today might be even higher than raven’s estimate. 😉

  • raven

    List of Christian denominations – Wikipedia, the free …

    en. wikipedia .org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations

    As there are reported to be approximately 41,000 Christian denominations (figure includes overlap between countries), many of which cannot be verified to be …

    While we are quibbling.

    To call Mormons xian is also stretching the point. Most xian ministers and priests, 75%, don’t consider them…xians. The Mormons agree. They just disagree on who the True Xians are.

    According to Mormon mythology, there is only One True Xian Sect. Xianity started in 33 CE. Then shortly afterwards it disappeared. It was rediscovered by Joseph Smith and the angel Moroni in the early 1800’s.

    They explicitly teach that all the other xian sects are just Fake, wrong. This doesn’t go over well with the other 2 billion xians. Mormons aren’t known for playing well with nonMormons.

    I suspect that if the Mormons wanted to dsitribute their literature in Florida, they would probably allow it. But they wouldn’t be too happy. The Mormons send their missionaries to the South and the Southern Baptists don’t like it. The SBC sends theirs to Utah and the Mormons don’t like it either.

    PS Talking about schismatic sects, even the satanists have that. The LaVeyins, the Satanic Temple, and a few others at the least.

  • cptdoom

    There is no such thing as judeo-christian values.

    Even putting aside the wide variety of Christian sects, putting Judeo in front of the Christian has always confused me as well. The values of Judaism, which as I understand it is far more focused on this life and living a decent and moral life while Christianity is focused on being saved and ensuring one’s place in heaven. In addition, Judaism doesn’t have the violent history of various forms of Christianity, which also calls into question how positive those values really are.

  • raven

    The values of Judaism, which as I understand it is far more focused on this life and living a decent and moral life while Christianity is focused on being saved and ensuring one’s place in heaven.

    True.

    There isn’t any such thing as Judeo values either, AFAICT.

    The Jewish sects differ a lot among themselves. To take one example, the afterlife. The Sadduccees, who controlled the Second Temple didn’t even believe in an afterlife. The current groups think mostly, there is one but no one knows much about it so don’t worry about it. Some of the ultra-Orthodox believe in Reincarnation. The Ultras think women are icky. Reforms have…female Rabbis. Many or most Reform Jews, the largest group in the USA, don’t follow the kosher diet rules.

  • http://festeringscabofrealityblogspot.com fifthdentist

    OT, but related. I read an article last night in The Nation discussing evangelical takeovers of schools. Apparently they are renting space — saving money on a lease and maintenance of a real brick-and-mortar building of their own — and infiltrating the public schools. They provide things like tutoring and other services that have been cut back due to cuts in spending on schools in the states.

    In return they get access to young students who can’t tell the difference between religious indoctrination and educational indoctrination.

    The article focused mainly on Opapka, Fla.

  • http://lykex.livejournal.com LykeX

    cptdoom #14

    In addition, Judaism doesn’t have the violent history of various forms of Christianity…

    I grant you that throughout much of recent history, Jews have been unable to be particularly violent because they were always a minority, actively persecuted and without any real political power. However, if we look back at periods of history where they did have such power, we suddenly see them being exactly as vicious and violent as everyone else. For dog’s sake, one of the central myths of Judaism is the idea of the promised land; a myth of conquest and holy war, justifying wholesale genocide.

    Judaism has, luckily, changed much since then, but so has Christianity. If we’re going to hold Christianity liable for its history, we should do the same with Judaism.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    somnus “In light of the fact that the Christianity claims to be the perfect and knowable truth conveyed by an inerrant and non-contradictory text and reinforced by personal contact with an omniscient and absolutely perfect deity, the fact that there is *any* number of Christianities other than 1 kind of speaks against it.”

    Talk about a Broad Brush!

    You’re wrong. Not my Sect. We’re Smudgists. We accept that it’s a copy of a copy of a copy, by many people, and we work everyday to understand the Holly Bible, with the help of the Father, Son, and Holy Goats.

  • k_machine

    Judeo-Christian values? I guess this is why the Mormons retroactively baptize dead Jews.

  • Who Cares

    @heddle(#6):

    It all depends on how you define denomination.

    The goto definition is the one used by the World Christian Encyclopedia.

    Using that one the second edition (out in 2001) already counted over 33 000 Christian denominations in 2000.

    It is that definition that is used by CSGC to arrive at that number of 42 000 plus different denominations.

  • http://heb712.blogspot.com heddle

    Who Cares,

    It all depends on how you define denomination.

    I understand. And you get higher numbers if you include independent administration units as a distinctive. But this leads to situations where one Baptist could walk into a different Baptist “sect” by this definition and yet find doctrine indistinguishable from his home church. So the larger number should not be used as 40,000 (or even 20,000) distinctive statements of faith, all claiming to be the absolute truth. This is utter bullshit. This is what Raven implies when he makes this statement over, and over, and over, and over. Personally I think he is so dumb that he probably believes his own bullshit. The higher numbers could be used to indicate independently administered groups, which a much different thing.

    Even many of the 8000 (and the 500 Catholic sects) enumerated by Jenkins are virtually indistinguishable. You would be hard pressed, for example, to find much difference between Presbyterian PCA and Presbyterian OPC. And even harder pressed to find many who say “Our denomination has a monopoly on absolute truth.”

  • busterggi

    “not even having “enough spine left to stand up to Mormons,” most Americans during the 1800’s insisted that this is not an issue of equal treatment or free speech.

    “We lie to ourselves and we say it’s our principles, we believe in free speech,” he said. “It’s not our principles of free speech. This is national suicide.”

    Fixed it.

  • eric

    It seems to me that the freedom to hand out non-Christian literature sure would be a Judeo value. Not that they seem inclined to use it, but having the option when other religions have that option? Yeah I can see how they would support that.

  • eric

    @11:

    Does the actual number matter. In light of the fact that the Christianity claims to be the perfect and knowable truth conveyed by an inerrant and non-contradictory text and reinforced by personal contact with an omniscient and absolutely perfect deity, the fact that there is *any* number of Christianities other than 1 kind of speaks against it.

    And don’t forget clarity of message. Almost all brands of Christianity reject gnosticism and claim that any normal human can read the book and understand God’s message clearly. Which must be why so many people interpret its meaning differently.

  • eric

    Heddle:

    So the larger number should not be used as 40,000 (or even 20,000) distinctive statements of faith, all claiming to be the absolute truth. This is utter bullshit.

    As me and others have said, when your ‘distinctive statement of faith’ claims an omnipotent God created a clearly understandable message, any number of sects greater than one shows they are spouting utter bullshit.

    Your bible is a “God’s message detector” that claims it is highly precise (as well as highly accurate, but leave that aside), when it demonstrably isn’t. The wide variations in detection results across time and users are obvious and telling. So your bible is not precise the way it claims to be and therefore its wrong and untrustworthy.

  • Who Cares

    @heddle(#21):

    It is worse then including independent administration units as distinctive.

    That definition I referred to looks at country level then sums all the those. Effectively turning being Roman Catholic into 236 (at the time I looked there were 238 countries/states/whatever and just 2 didn’t have a RC presence) different denominations seeing it is established as a christian denomination in that many countries.

  • Numenaster

    Heddle, the multitude of Baptist sects might have indistinguishable doctrine as far as you can tell, but every one of those sects was founded by people who concluded that their home church was unacceptably wrong in some way and the only possible solution was to leave and found their own. It’s a strong argument that the Bible is too poorly written to yield one clear and universal interpretation.

  • http://heb712.blogspot.com heddle

    Eric & Numenaster and others,

    I am not debating whether the bible is clearly written or not. I have not made any statement that requires the perspicuity of scripture. My debate is limited to whether 42,000 (or 20,000) means there are that many doctrinally distinguishable sects or denominations, whatever term you prefer. There are not. If there are, then you should really say there are 2 billion sects, because the differences among, say, Baptists within a sect can easily be greater (even far greater) than differences in doctrinal statements of two different independent sects.

    My comment in a nut shell: if you use the number 42,000 to imply that that their are that many sects with distinguishable doctrinal statements then you are incorrect. The correct statement is something like “there are 42,000 (or whatever) different church administrative units, while many of the churches they govern are doctrinally indistinguishable.” I don’t think that is a distinction without a difference.

    At least be honest (I don’t think Raven is capable) about how the number is used.

    but every one of those sects was founded by people who concluded that their home church was unacceptably wrong in some way and the only possible solution was to leave and found their own.

    That is not totally true if you are implying unacceptably wrong doctrinally. Many churches split and potentially form two sects for personality reasons (think Mark Driscoll), over crowding, or even geographic reasons.

  • Numenaster

    Heddle, why should “doctrinally distinguishable” be the measure of difference?

  • http://heb712.blogspot.com heddle

    Numenaster,

    Raven wrote, #2,

    Xianity has split into 42,000 sects. Many of them have little in common and they disagree about everything.

    Do you think he wasn’t implying a preponderance of substantive doctrinal differences when he wrote this? If so you are far more charitable than I am.

    He is 100% wrong. Or at least 95%. Because the truth is that the majority of them have a lot in common and virtually none, if any, disagree about everything. They all, if it means anything to call them Christian sects, affirm that Jesus was the Messiah.

  • Numenaster

    Heddle, you have backed away from my question to attack raven’s wording. Do you think doctrinal difference is the only measure of significance in defining a sect?

  • http://heb712.blogspot.com heddle

    Numenaster,

    Do you think doctrinal difference is the only measure of significance in defining a sect?

    Principally, yes. The only other meaningful distinction that I see is polity. So a Presbyterian church and an independent Reformed church might have indistinguishable doctrine, while one has a huge ecclesiastical hierarchy and the other doesn’t. I would concede that, and not try to make the argument that polity differences are just another form of doctrinal differences.

  • Al Dente

    heddle is objecting to Raven’s 42,000 different Christian cults by claiming there’s less than 9,000 actual sects. When Christianity runs the gamut from the Westboro Baptist Church to Bishop Spong’s brand of Anglicanism it’s obvious to the outside observer that Christianity is not a unified creed. The history of Christianity shows doctrinal arguments and disagreements are endemic to the “communion.” The circumcision controversy of the 1st Century CE split Christians into two sects (pro- and anti-circumcision of converts) and started the tradition of certain Christians labeling other Christians as heretics.

  • Numenaster

    Heddle, thank you for the straightforward reply. I agree with you that “they disagree about everything” is an overstatement. And I would say that doctrine and polity are both important, but they aren’t the only thing worth looking at to determine difference. There is also personality conflict (as you mentioned), and I would add “cultural conflict”, in which a subset of the members of a church find themselves at odds with a cultural practice of the larger church. Every religion has practices which aren’t directly from its holy book but which have become dear to some of its believers: common cup communion vs individual glasses, dress codes, how you select members of the congregation to assist in services. Shunning homosexual members vs welcoming them, even. These differences can be big enough to some people to be worth setting up their own congregation, and some of those grow into genuine separate sects.

  • david

    So there are at least 2 different kinds of atheists: Those who think there are 42,000 christian sects, and those who think there are 8,500 sects. Already that’s not enough: we also have 33k’ers, 20k’ers, and those who only count the 500 Catholic sects.

    I have been to the mountain, where unto mine eyes was revealed the one true number of Christian sects. Join my movement now (and contribute), and all will be revealed.

  • lofgren

    I’m pretty comfortable rounding up from 8,500 to the nearest 42,000. That’s how I do my taxes.

  • Al Dente

    david @35

    Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • Dave Maier

    I see the point of “Judeo-Christian” but I think “Abrahamic” makes more sense. But then that would include Islam, and we can’t have that!