Glenn Beck, ever the melodramatist, is holding a conference this week called “Future Conference: What You Thought Was Coming … Is Here Now.” It’s being hosted by far-right megapreacher Jim Garlow at his church. And — cue the dramatic music — they’ve got thousands of pastors prepared to die over…well, something.
Garlow’s conference is coming at the perfect time, Beck said, because society is about to collapse and America needs passionate pastors who are willing to give up their lives if necessary in the fight against the coming persecution of Christians. Fortunately, the Black Robe Regiment that he and David Barton established a few years back has managed to cobble together at least 10,000 pastors who are willing to do just that.
“The number in the Black Robe Regiment is about 70,000 now,” Beck said. “The number that I think will walk through a wall of fire, you know, and possible death, is anywhere between 17,000 and 10,000. That is an extraordinary number of people that are willing to lay it all down on the table and willing to go to jail or go to death because they serve God and not man.”
Garlow was in complete agreement, saying that the necessity of being willing to die is “honestly where we are.”
“We’ve come to that moment,” he said. “People like you and me and, thank God, many others are digging in very deeply and laying the benchmark of where we’re going to stand on these issues.”
“You’re going to see these 10,000 to 20,000 pastors begin to stand up,” Beck promised, “and say ‘it doesn’t matter if I lose my church, it doesn’t matter if I lose my building, it doesn’t matter if I lose my life, I will not sit down!'”
The more the Christian right bigots claim that we’re headed toward some huge culture clash over gay marriage that will lead pastors to be arrested or Christians rounded up or whatever the hell they’re claiming today, the more I laugh. They really are building this up to be some defining moment, convinced that they’re like priests who took on the Nazi regime in Germany and Italy. And it’s really quite silly.
Here’s what’s going to happen if the Supreme Court upholds same-sex marriage in three weeks: Some gay people are going to get married. The Christian right will throw a massive temper tantrum and then it will fizzle out. And everyone will move on with their lives. Beck will then be forced to find some other story about which to send himself into a frenzy of hyper-emotional and hyperbolic rhetoric, which he will no doubt easily find. And in a few years, the subject will be as uncontroversial and irrelevant as interracial marriage is today.
So you boys just go on gesticulating wildly and putting on this public show of courage in the face of a non-existent threat. And I’ll just keep on laughing at you.