It seems that every time I mention Glenn Beck’s name to someone, I am immediately attacked, or at least told that the person I’m speaking to “can’t stand that guy”. I don’t get that. I’m not a radical, though I am a conservative, with some Libertarian leanings. I’m a veteran and proud supporter of the United States of America, and I believe it is the best country in the world. Of course, I’ve only seen seven other countries, and lived in one of them for a year. Here’s what Beck has done in my life, and why I find value in his productions…
The 9-12 Project – Started by Glenn Beck
At the origin of America, our Founding Fathers built this country on 28 powerful principles. These principles were culled from all over the world and from centuries of great thinkers. We have distilled the original 28 down to 9 basic principles. If you believe in at least seven of them, then we have something in common. We’ve also added 12 values that represent the qualities of those who founded our country. If we can all live by these, we believe America can get back on course again.
This was my first exposure to GB. I practice all of these principles and share all 12 values. I think most people do, but I could be naive.
The 9 Principles
1. America Is Good.
2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.
God “The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.” from George Washington’s first Inaugural address.
3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.
Honesty “I hope that I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider to be the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.” George Washington
4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.
Marriage/Family “It is in the love of one’s family only that heartfelt happiness is known. By a law of our nature, we cannot be happy without the endearing connections of a family.” Thomas Jefferson
5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.
Justice “I deem one of the essential principles of our government… equal and exact justice to all men of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political.” Thomas Jefferson
6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.
Life, Liberty, & The Pursuit of Happiness “Everyone has a natural right to choose that vocation in life which he thinks most likely to give him comfortable subsistence.” Thomas Jefferson
7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.
Charity “It is not everyone who asketh that deserveth charity; all however, are worth of the inquiry or the deserving may suffer.” George Washington
8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.
On your right to disagree “In a free and republican government, you cannot restrain the voice of the multitude; every man will speak as he thinks, or more properly without thinking.” George Washington
9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.
Who works for whom? “I consider the people who constitute a society or a nation as the source of all authority in that nation.” Thomas Jefferson
The 12 Values
• Hard Work
• Personal Responsibility
Make the Pledge – 40 Days and 40 Nights – A Glenn Beck Project
This was a challenge put to Beck’s listeners. You can just feel the evil and taste the cool aid, can’t you? Here is the pledge he asked everyone to make:
For the next 40 days and 40 nights, I pledge…I COVENANT to practice faith, hope and charity by doing these things.
First…faith. I will pray on my knees every night for the next 40 nights…starting TONIGHT. Pray for guidance, inspiration, peace…pray for the leaders of our country. Pray for their safety, and that they will receive wisdom. I will re-establish my relationship with God.
Hope…hope comes from truth. You can’t have hope based on lies. If you go to the doctor and you’re in the early stages of cancer, but the doctor tells you that you just have the sniffles…that’s false hope, and it won’t help you, in fact, it would kill you. So, we have to have honesty, to have real hope. So, I will stop all lies for the next 40 days. That includes lying to myself. I will establish a pattern of honesty and make it become habitual. I will question with boldness…everything…even the things Glenn Beck tells you every night…I will do my own research…and then pray for my own confirmation on the things I have learned. I will find out what is true in my life.
And third…I will have charity. Charity begins at home. I will do something kind for every member of my family at least once a week. I will write it down, and then do it. Also, I pledge to take notice of how blessed I really am. I live in the greatest country the world has ever known…and even the least prosperous among us, are among the wealthiest people in the world…I will be grateful.
Pledge of Nonviolence
Below is the Pledge of Nonviolence that Martin Luther King, Jr. asked those who believed in his message to abide by as well as his core principles of nonviolence.
1. As you prepare to march meditate on the life and teachings of Jesus
2. Remember the nonviolent movement seeks justice and reconciliation – not victory.
3. Walk and talk in the manner of love; for God is love.
4. Pray daily to be used by God that all men and women might be free.
5. Sacrifice personal wishes that all might be free.
6. Observe with friend and foes the ordinary rules of courtesy.
7. Perform regular service for others and the world.
8. Refrain from violence of fist, tongue and heart.
9. Strive to be in good spiritual and bodily health.
10. Follow the directions of the movement leaders and of the captains on demonstrations.
The Five Principles of Nonviolence
1. Non-violent resistance is not a method for cowards. It does resist. The nonviolent resister is just as strongly opposed to the evil against which he protests, as is the person who uses violence. His method is passive or nonaggressive in the sense that he is not physically aggressive toward his opponent, but his mind and emotions are always active, constantly seeking to persuade the opponent that he is mistaken. This method is passive physically but strongly active spiritually; it is nonaggressive physically but dynamically aggressive spiritually.
2. Nonviolent resistance does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win his friendship and understanding. The nonviolent resister must often express his protest through noncooperation but he realizes that noncooperation is not the ends itself; it is merely means to awaken a sense of moral shame in the opponent.
3. The attack is directed against forces of evil rather than against persons who are caught in those forces. It is a struggle between justice and injustice, between the forces of light and the forces of darkness.
4. Nonviolent resistance avoids not only external physical violence, but also internal violence of spirit. At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.
5. Nonviolence is based on the conviction that the universe is on the side of justice. It is the deep faith in the future that allows a nonviolent resister to accept suffering without retaliation. The nonviolent resister knows that in his struggle for justice, he has a cosmic companionship.
Restoring Honor Rally, August 28, 2010
It was a big crowd on the Washington Mall. Estimates range from 80,000 to 500,000. It was a salute to God, the Military, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr. The focus was on American Values as espoused by the Founding Fathers of our great nation. The crowd was largely Caucasian, though there were several thousand others there as well. Signs were not allowed. There were no fights, no arrests, and the crowd cleaned up the park when they were done. No trash was left anywhere on the grounds, except near the trash cans, and that was in bags.
Contrast that with a rally one week later held in response to Beck’s Rally. Organized by unions and communist, socialist and anarchist groups, it was attended by these and other groups including GLBT, left-wing political groups, and others of similar “Anti-Beck” activist groups. The National Park Service spent nearly $24,000 to clean up and repair the park when they left. There were 3 arrests for drug possession and 2 arrests for other reasons. The crowd size estimates range from 5,000 to 30,000.
Wilmington, OH – Beck Loves Small Town America
Wilmington was featured on a list of “100 Best Small Towns in America” in 1995. But, as Beck noted in his monologue on Friday night that all changed when the town’s major employer DHL closed their sorting facility at the local airport due to the poor economy in 2008.
After nearly 2/3rds of the town of only 12,000 were laid off “CBS 60 Minutes dubbed Wilmington ‘Ground Zero’ for the unemployment crisis, along with other media outlets.” Beck said. “They pretty much announced this town dead on arrival. I grew up in a small town that everyone pronounced dead. I love small town America — it is the heart of us. Let me tell you something right now, I don’t care what 60Minutes says, Wilmington is not dead. It’s not, due to gritty and determined citizens”
“They embody and represent the true American spirit. They look out for one another. They’re working together. They are rebuilding a little town they call home and the government isn’t involved — The churches are.” After the event, I looked to the local media to see how his event had impacted the town. People were re-hired or got jobs, buildings were repaired, stores re-opened and hope is alive and well this May in Wilmington, OH. Tell me again how evil Beck is?
E-4: A Prescription for Restoring America
In 2010, Glenn Beck focused his television show (and radio program) around the theme of Faith, Hope, and Charity. Maybe this is what upsets critics. I don’t know.
In 2011, he has changed his theme and his focus. The 2011 theme is the E4 Project. He briefly mentioned it during his Christmas performance in Wilmington, Ohio, in December of 2009. E4 stands for the 4 E’s that are important to restoring America: Enlightenment, Education, Empowerment, and Entrepreneurship. He already touched on these topics a little in 2010.
In 2010, Glenn Beck talked a lot about enlightenment. That was pretty much what Faith, Hope, and Charity was all about. He introduced many of his audience to George Whitefield — those of us who knew a little bit about him from church learned more about this hero of the faith. We were taught about the faith of the Founding Fathers. We were introduced to people alive today who live a life of faith.
If America is going to recover and even thrive, we’re not going to be able to do it ourselves. The problems of the day are too great. However, they are not too great for the God who made the universe. This is why enlightenment is so important. It is also probably why Glenn Beck chose Enlightenment as one of his 4 E’s for 2011
In 2010, Glenn Beck repeatedly said something to the effect of “you can’t restore America unless you know what it originally looked like.” He encouraged us to learn more about the Founding Fathers and what made America originally great. We need God on our side, but it also helps if we learn a little bit about how our country got to where it is today. This is where education comes in. One of Beck’s repeated admonishments is,” Don’t believe me! Don’t just take my word for it. Do Your OWN HOMEWORK!” I have, and I continue to do so. Thanks to Glenn Beck.
There is so much to learn. It can get overwhelming. I don’t think that you can ever learn everything, but if you want to become educated, it is a journey that can start with one book. As I read more, what I learn builds upon what I’ve learned before. I recommend starting with The 5,000 Year Leap. It’s a great book.
If you have aligned your views with God, and educated yourself about what America originally was like, it’s time to step up to the level of empowerment. Vote. Write your representatives in Congress. Tell others about what is going on. Buy food?
Glenn Beck is tired of waiting for the next George Washington to arrive and step up to the plate. To borrow a sentiment from the Alamo, he is drawing a line in the sand. Hopefully you are too. If you know what needs to be done, go do it. The good people of this country can’t sit back and do nothing, or point fingers. Become an Activist for America, for God, for yourself.
Beck touched upon the subject of entrepreneurship slightly in 2010, but you can expect him to say a lot more about the subject in 2011 as part of the E4 Project. In a down economy where jobs are scarce, sometimes it helps to make your own job. Beck has mentioned a couple of times this year that being an entrepreneur isn’t always about making money. It could be just a way to solve a problem
Restoring Courage in Israel
Here’s what his website says about the event:
“Taking a stand is not always easy, but now more than ever it is imperative that we live with conviction and do the right thing. It is time for us to courageously stand with Israel.”
Here’s what Beck had to say about his rally:
“I invite you to join me in Israel this summer to stand together and show the world what living a life of faith and honor really means. I invite you to join me in my quest to Restore Courage.”
“God is involved in man’s affairs, but so is the force of darkness. I believe I’ve been asked to stand in Jerusalem. Many in the history of man have had the opportunity to stand with the Jewish people…and they have failed.”
“We have gone to the capitals of our states and to the capitals of our government. We have talked to all the power brokers. The only power broker, the only seat of government that can and will solve this problem with or without us is God. It is time to return inside the walls that surround Jerusalem and stand with people of all faiths, all around the world.”
“In August, whether I’m there with seven people or 10 people or there alone, I will be counted and I will stand. I ask you to join me. I also ask you to take this message globally, to take this to every corner of the earth. If you have family living overseas, this is not an America solution. This is a people of faith solution. This is a people all over the world solution. I ask you to help get this word out.”
My Final Thoughts…
In BROKE, a book Beck authored with the help of experts on a wide array of financial facets of the economy, he lays out a plan to fix our financial problems. This book has something like 55 pages of foot notes, and has some interesting ideas including having Congress receive the same wages and benefits that our troops receive, lowering public employee wages and benefits by as much as 40% to make them equitable with private wages and benefits, and more. Not a single reviewer has accused him of being wrong or making things up in this book.
Beck has also teamed up with my favorite Preacher – John Hagee. I was a fan of Hagee’s before I found Glenn Beck. Hagee is a fire and brimstone preacher who is an ardent supporter of Israel. I love hearing him preach and agree with his stand on Israel.
Another expert he teams with is David Barton. This guy has brought in samples of history from the Smithsonian and other collections. There’s nothing like seeing actual historical examples from world-class collections to bring history alive.
One item Barton presented was the first book of the first mass-printed books in the USA. It was printed by the forerunner of the Congressional Printing Office for use in all schools in the country. We know this because it is imprinted inside the cover, “Printed for use in schools of the United States of America”. The book was a King James Bible.
I’ve also gotten a better understanding of Christianity by listening to Rabbi Daniel Lapin, another expert on Beck’s team. Lapin is an expert on Judaism, which of course is the root of the Christian religion.
The list goes on. Beck brings in experts on a variety of topics. He uses these experts to inform, explain and enlighten his audience.
Then there are the live audiences. Sure, they’re screened, just like Oprah or any other TV talk show audience. But he brings in teachers, military, students, political groups, and others to share their views, in accordance with his questioning. Not the most objective practice, but occasionally eye-opening.
The people I’ve met who don’t like Beck give me generalities about why they don’t like him. They can’t point to specifics or give a reasoned explanation why they won’t watch. I suspect they’re just parroting what they hear on their favorite “news” sites: The Huffington Post and Jon Stewart.
I get my news from FOX, CNN, Wall Street Journal, , Fox Business News, MSNBC, Bloomberg News and a host of web site feeds, including the Huffington Post. And I love John Stewart! So if you’re one of those people who says they “Can’t Stand That Guy!” maybe you should consider what he’s doing more than what he says. After all, like my grandpa used to say, “Actions speak louder than words!”