RECOGNIZING HYPOCRISY: Glenn Beck’s Visit to Charleston

Glenn Beck has repeatedly attacked people like Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson for going to places where there is civil unrest.  In Beck’s eyes, these people don’t help the situation; they add tot he problems of a community that is already suffering as it deals with some recent tragedy.  If you listen regularly, you have no doubt heard Beck telling his audience that we must stop worrying about our interests and start standing on our principles.  Then he goes and destroys any good he may have done by acting like a hypocrite and going to Charleston after this most recent shooting.  Yes, sadly, his visit is hypocrisy, and if you give me a moment, I believe I can explain it so even Mr. Beck will see it.

OK, let’s start by openly admitting that Beck and his team are trying to do something good for the people of Charleston.  They are trying to show love and support for the community.  But do we really think that Sharpton and Jackson and the rest of those who go to places where events like this happen think they are going to cause trouble?  Or do we have the decency to admit that Sharpton and Jackson believe they are trying to help, too?  I will no longer tell another person what they believe in their heart, so I am going to grant that people on all sides believe they are trying to help.  This is the intention on all sides: to help.

Now is when we look to see whether or not these people actually help.  In Sharpton and Jackson’s case, they do not help because their actions are geared toward causing hatred.  They cause hatred between the races (ignoring the countless white who have fought and died for the cause of black liberty in this nation).  They also cause hatred toward the police and government: the very people to whom we all look to maintain peace and enforce the law.  So Sharpton and Jackson and the like may believe they are helping, but they are not.  Beck is correct: in reality, they are furthering their personal interests, not a principle.  This can be seen in the fact that these people stay in the headlines and earn a great deal of money by doing what they do.  None of it helps the situation — none.

But is Beck any different?  He knows that he is a polarizing figure.  He knows that, even if he doesn’t say a word, his very presence will cause more unrest with certain parts of society.  Beck also requires special security considerations.  This is an added burden on a community that is already struggling to deal with a mass shooting.  How is it “helping” to lay that on the community?  Then there is the fact that Beck is using this in connection to his show today.  This means he is making money off of the shooting — just like Jackson and Sharpton do off of these tragedies.  Finally, as a Mormon, Beck believes he needs to do enough good deeds to earn his salvation, so going to Charleston to “help” is in his best interest, but not the principles he espouses.

When Beck attacks Sharpton and Jackson for going to places where tragedies have happened to cause trouble, he is espousing a principle: that we do not do anything to make matters worse.  It is no different than when Beck remembers the times that a community suffered a natural disaster, but when D.C. sent help, the citizens met them and turned them back.  Beck trumpets this as the way local communities rise to the occasion of tragedy.  I agree with him: this is a principle.  We can and should offer support to these communities, but we should not go there unless they ask for us to do so.  Otherwise, we are not going to help, we are going for our own personal reasons and that, my dear reader, is serving our interest, not our principles.

This is by Beck’s own definition of interests vs. principles.  It comes directly from the explanation he has repeatedly given on his show. So, by going to Charleston, Beck is not living his principles, he is actually serving his interests.  By definition, that makes him a hypocrite.  Why does that matter?  Well, hypocrisy is a form of a lie.  It shows your actions do not agree with your words, which means your heart — what you actually believe — does not match what you say.  How many times have we heard political leaders or talk show hosts or news paper editors make that same accusation against their opponents?  The implication is always that we should not listen to hypocrites because we cannot trust them.  You see, hypocrisy destroys our credibility.  Now, I am not going to claim we can avoid hypocrisy.  None of us can, we are human and it is in our nature to be hypocrites (it’s related to sin and the struggle between our Spirit and our flesh).  But it is something against which we should be constantly vigilant in our lives so we can guard our own credibility and reputations.

[NOTE:  I happen to believe there is a role for certain leaders to go to Charleston, but those would be our Reverends, Priests and Pastors (real ones, not Sharpton).  This is because, as men of God, they are tasked with teaching God’s Law and not with drawing attention to themselves.  I also believe it is because our Church leaders have allowed the government to silence them that our nation is in the trouble it is.  Hitler succeeded because the Church allowed itself to be silenced.  If we do the same, we will follow Germany down the same road to evil — period!]


9 thoughts on “RECOGNIZING HYPOCRISY: Glenn Beck’s Visit to Charleston

    1. No, because he attacks those he opposes for doing the same thing. That is what hypocrisy is about: not living up to your own stated beliefs. Didn’t you bother reading the post? It is clearly explained.

      BTW: I wrote and posted this before Beck marched, so yes, I would have done so even if he had not been caught on camera.

      1. From racial profiling and being pulled over just for ‘driving while black’ to this new phenomenon of killing unarmed people out of some preconceived idea of fear, our lives and our children’s lives are not being valued. Al Sharpton

        So, what I would say to you is we have to unite. We have to re—read Acts 2. We have to unite, be of one heart, of one mind, know exactly who we are, and then sit down and shut up because the Lord is going to use each of us in His own way at His time. Glenn Beck

        Yeah… I would say there was a difference in heart and message….

        1. the_lion,

          NOT the point. If Sharpton is supposedly part of the problem because he polarizes, then what is Beck? Do you think Sharpton believes he is doing harm? I don’t. I agree with you that he is, but I do not think he believes that. At the same time, those who follow Sharpton see Beck in a similar way that we see Sharpton. SO, just by showing up, Beck will cause division. THERE is the point of this post: Beck should know this and act accordingly.

          You see, the point here is, if you are going to put yourself forward a s a moral leader, you must do everything you can to live according to the morality you teach. Otherwise, you destroy your credibility. It is no different from a Christian who lives a life in open defiance of Christ’s commands. It destroys that Christian’s witness while discrediting Christ and His Gospel.

          All I was doing — and am still doing — is pointing out that Beck should be more aware of what he is doing. He says we should come together. Then maybe it would have been a better example to the ‘Sharptons’ of this world to have stayed in Texas and held a service for the people of Charleston without any fan-fair — so that others can see how we support different communities without having to inject ourselves into them. Beck’s attack on Sharpton is based on Sharpton injecting himself into the story (doesn’t matter what he says, it is what he does). Well, Bck did the same thing this past week, and he has the same effect on the people who oppose him as Sharpton’s followers have on you and I. Therefore, it was an act of hypocrisy on Beck’s part to do what he did. This is by definition, and by Beck’s definition, at that.

        2. the_lion,

          One last thought. I DO agree with Beck when he says that we need to show love toward each other and not hate. However, I think it would be more effective if it had come from the Charleston community without him. The local Pastors were more than enough to lead the people. All Beck did by going was give his opponents a good reason to say exactly what he says about the people who follow Sharpoton: that whatever the cameras saw was artificial — a ‘rent-a-love’ mob, if you will. Beck is always telling us we have to pay attention to ‘optics.’ All I want him to do is listen to his own advice…because I like and love the guy, too (Beck, that is).

            1. That is all any of us can ask of another, and if you can show me where and how I am wrong, I am happy to change my position and even issue an apology. But until then… 🙂

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