Anti-social justice broadcaster challenged by Christians

By staff writers
20 Jul 2010

A high-profile conservative media pundit is being challenged by his opponents to debate social issues properly, instead of launching 'hit-and-run verbal assaults' on Christian organisations that take humane action seriously.

"From the comfort of his studio, Glenn Beck launches attacks on social justice and people of faith - but he's ignored every invitation for an honest, two-sided debate on these issues," says FaithfulAmerica.org (http://www.faithfulamerica.org/) - which has issued a call to Mr Beck, a Mormon who has been championed by US Christian conservatives, through a series of radio broadcasts.

Evangelical social activist Jim Wallis, from the Sojourners / Call to Renewal organisation, is one of those who have most frequently been targetted by broadcaster Beck - because the message of progressive evangelicals seems to be making an increasing impact on younger Americans in conservative churches.

Mr Beck has responded in characteristic fashion, calling Faithful America a "so-called religious" organisation and also attacking the National Council of Churches of Christ USA (NCCUSA) and Jewish Funds for Justice.

He opposes church campaigning on global warming, anti-poverty action involving government money, criticism of excessive wealth, peacemaking initiatives and faith-based involvement in a range of other social initiatives - claiming that these detract from a 'religious' message.

In contrast, his Christian critics say that these things are central to a biblical understanding of the Gospel message and the following of Jesus Christ in the conditions of the modern world.

Ironically, Mr Beck's assault on social justice has been lionised by hardline Christian conservative groups who have otherwised dismissed Mormons as "agents of the Devil", and critics say there is a concerted attempt to avoid mentioning his own religious roots.

Back in March 2010, the Rev Jim Wallis of Sojourners publicly offered to come on Beck's show and debate with him in person. Beck's only response was to make more on-air attacks on Wallis and Sojourners (www.sojo.net).

"If Beck's sure enough of his point of view to broadcast it to millions of people, why is he dodging open debate?" asks Faithful America (http://www.faithfulamerica.org/) in its latest message to supporters across the country and worldwide.

Faithful America's radio advert can be listened to here: https://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/2518/shop/custom.jsp?donate_page_K...

[Ekk/3]

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