Over the years, Glenn Beck has been a vocal proponent of religious freedom, as he has spoken candidly about the need for people of faith to come together to fight against rampantly secular attacks on religion. As The Blaze reported on Sunday, Beck met with Catholic Church leaders to pledge his support for religious freedom, while exploring ways in which people from various faith traditions can coalesce to stand against ongoing assaults on religion.
In addition to these important meetings, he was also invited to address Tea Party leaders from numerous countries to discuss the creation of an international peace and freedom movement. Both of these initiatives – one focusing on the freedom of religious expression and the other on peace and prosperity – will result in massive and influential international coalitions.
On the religious front, Beck is seeking to form a collective comprised of people who espouse diverse theological views, but who share a passion and willingness to stand up for religious freedom. As evidenced through his work, he has long encouraged people of all faiths to stand together -- distinct and separate in their beliefs -- but united in their support of everyone to practice those ideals without persecution.
This most recent meeting with Cardinals, Monsignors, Archbishops and other leaders comes as the Catholic Church in America is embroiled in a massive religious-freedom argument with the Obama administration. The so-called contraceptive mandate is being foisted upon church-affiliated hospitals, colleges and institutions, as the Obama administration is demanding that the Catholic Church violate its conscience to provide contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs in nearly all health plans. This, Beck believes, is a direct attack on the freedom of religious practice – one that he’s prepared to combat as part of a faith-fuelled collective.
Beck’s discussion with Catholic leaders is the latest in a series of ongoing dialogues he has had with various faith leaders. Since 2010, the radio and television host has held restoration projects (“Restoring Honor,” “Restoring Courage” and, in the summer of 2012, “Restoring Love”) and has developed content for his radio and television programs that has overtly focused on the protection of religious liberty. These events, initiatives and collaborations are culminating with the launch of a non-political movement that will focus on a collaborative approach to ensuring that the free exercise of religion continues in America and beyond.
“I can stand here and tell you with absolute certitude that God lives, God cares, God is involved in our life. I know it,” Beck said during a special GBTV episode about religious freedom at the end of January. “We are not battling for the next election, we’re battling for the very soul of each of us and of our nation.”
Recognizing the pressing need to address religious liberty, Beck has consistently brought together diverse faith leaders. In one recent example, during the aforementioned episode, he assembled Catholic League president Bill Donohue, Rabbi Daniel Lapin of the American Alliance of Jews and Christians, and Pastor Robert Morris of Gateway Church in Texas, to discuss the issues surrounding the contraceptive mandate and religious freedom in general.
Beck’s weekend meeting with church leaders follows personal discussions with some of the most prominent evangelical leaders in America -- Billy Graham, Dr. James Dobson, John Hagee and James Robison, to name a few. Additionally, he had met with Israeli Chief Ashkenazi, Israel’s Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger and Rabbi Marc Schneier. He has also met with high-ranking officials in the Eastern Orthodox community, Coptic Christians from the Middle East and others. Beck’s efforts to connect with these communities reflect what he sees as a need to build bridges between various faith traditions so that the collective can have a stronger voice in fending off secular attacks.
In addition to the support Beck offered to the church, he also announced the “We Are All Catholics Now” movement last week, which encouraged the public to call their Senators to rally support for the “Blunt Conscience Protection Amendment.” Both of these instances mirror Beck’s similar pledge to stand with Israel during last year’s “Restoring Courage” rally. In fact, much of his work over the past two years has paved the way for this newfound faith coalition.
If you’ll recall, on Aug. 28, 2010, hundreds of thousands joined Beck for the “Restoring Honor” rally in Washington, D.C – an event that, in many ways, laid the groundwork for this movement. The rally, which took place on the National Mall, encouraged attendees to return to the essential principles of "faith, hope and charity." It was here that Beck proclaimed that, without faith, the nation would have an uncertain future.
"This is the beginning of the great awakening of America," Beck said in the hours leading up to the event.
“Something that is beyond man is happening,” he later told the massive crowd that convened in the U.S. capitol. “America today begins to turn back to God. For too long, this country has wandered in darkness.”
In 2011, Beck followed this event up with the “Restoring Courage” rally on Aug. 24. It was there in Israel that he laid out the challenges that lay ahead for people of faith. In addition to encouraging people to participate in transforming their nation and world, he offered a warning about the impending need to fight for religious freedom.
“Our problems demand more than checkbook courage. It’s easy to write a check,” he said. “But we can’t outsource love and truth and courage. We must do it ourselves. We must roll up our sleeves to make a lasting difference."
Building upon the message he had uttered just one year before, Beck called for a movement of “honor…courage… and responsibility.” He spoke about the role the faithful must fill to “fight for the rights of others to worship freely,” while telling the audience that each individual also has a responsibility to “fight falsehood.”
“Evil is counting on us to do nothing,” Beck proclaimed. “Evil is counting on us to be afraid. But evil has misjudged us.”
Below, watch a portion of Beck's speech at "Restoring Courage":
It was at “Restoring Courage” that Beck offered his support to the Jewish state and people, proclaiming, just as he has with the Catholics, “I will stand with Israel. I will stand with the Jewish people.” He has consistently spoken, as evidenced here, of the disturbing rise in anti-Semitism and secularists’ attacks on faith.
On the Tea Party front, FreedomWorks and Mercury One co-sponsored an event between Beck and international leaders from various countries. Together, the associated parties are working to launch an international Tea Party Movement. Among those in attendance were individuals from Rome, Milan, Serbia, Austria, Germany, and London, among other localities. These leaders represent the front lines of the freedom and peace movement in Europe and beyond.
During the meeting, the small-government proponents expressed concern that America is heading down the same fiscal and legislative path Europe has taken over the past five decades. They expressed dismay and wondered why -- in their view – the U.S. would be willing to risk its freedoms to embrace policies that have been proven impractical. Those in attendance were not simply speaking in political terms, though, as they acknowledged that politics, alone, won’t solve international problems. Instead, they stressed the need for people from different countries to come together to push values associated with peace and freedom.
These meetings with faith leaders and international Tea Party groups and the ongoing focus on the secular community’s infringement upon people of faith will lead to Beck’s next event, “Restoring Love” – an initiative that will kick-off a national movement of service, love and religious freedom taking place from July 26-28 in Dallas, Texas. Beck recently explained that the event “will be a reminder that we best serve our God when we serve each other.”