Some Christians choose to give up candy, soda or coffee for Lent, the period of personal sacrifice in honor of Christ leading up to Easter Sunday. But a liberal online activist group is encouraging two New York Christian radio stations to go further, calling on them to “give up Glenn Beck for Lent.”
Faithful America, a group claiming to be made up of “tens of thousands of citizens motivated by faith,” is pressing Christian broadcast group Salem Communications-owned WMCA-AM and WNYM-AM to drop Beck’s daily radio program from their line-up.
According to the group’s website, their mission is two-fold: “restore community and uphold the common good in America and across the globe.” In service to these commitments, the group says it works to:
* end poverty and promote economic security for all
* promote peace and restore America’s commitment to human rights and diplomacy
* prevent the catastrophic effects of climate change
* counter hate speech and misinformation in the media pertaining to people of faith
* work for welcoming communities where immigrants and people of all faiths are welcome
The group credits Res Publica and True Majority for helping establish itself as a “religious version of MoveOn.org.” Res Publica is a progressive organization largely funded by George Soros’ Open Society Institute and boast board members such as John Podesta of the Center for American Progress and Eli Pariser, executive director of MoveOn. In 2008, Soros’ Open Society Institute awarded two $400,000 grants to Faithful America.
Working with other like-minded organizations, FA currently lists its partners as Jim Wallis’ Sojourners, Vote the Common Good, The Jewish Council For Public Affairs, the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the National Council of Churches in Christ (NCCC). It has also collaborated in the past with Res Publica and Avaaz.org, a kind of global MoveOn.org.
Aside from being obviously ideologically opposed to Beck, why does FA demand he be removed from the airwavews?
“Beck’s caustic remarks, fear-mongering and bigotry have led to a national backlash,” Faithful America asserts in a statement, claiming to have already collected 20,000 anti-Beck petition signatures.
Beck’s comments linking so-called “social justice” and socialism are not new nor unique. In 2008, famed megachurch pastor and author Rick Warren has called the collectivist social gospel “Marxism in Christian clothing.”
Nevertheless, FA and its liberal allies insist Beck has got to go. “The pressure on Beck and his sponsors is building. And the bottom line is no responsible person or company should support programming that promotes menacing conspiracy theories and tells listeners to flee from churches that talk about social justice,” FA says. “This should go double for a company claiming to represent Christian values.”
“We invite WMCA-AM and WNYM-AM to use this Lenten period to reflect on their Christian values and make a commitment not to pick up Glenn Beck,” FA concludes, “during the next 40 days or any time after.”