Glenn Beck on Monday made what he believes may be the hardest request he's ever had to make of his audience. Though he is staunchly opposed to illegal immigration and believes all those who have flooded America's borders must be sent home, Beck asked his audience to see the countless people who have crossed into our country illegally as just that -- people.
Though they are here illegally, Beck said we have an obligation to provide starving children with basic necessities like food and water, and the charity he founded, Mercury One, is going to do what it can to help with donations to its Children and Family Border Relief Fund.
Beck received a flood of emails Monday night, many supportive, others extremely critical. Beck read a number of the messages on his radio program Tuesday, and responded to one at length.
The message began: "Glenn, with all due respect, if you give supplies to the refugees with money donated to Mercury One, I, or anyone I know, will never donate another dime to your company. That includes book purchases, event tickets, and Blaze subscription."
Beck told the listener, identified only as Cindy, that he loves her, and he loves having her in his audience, but that he's not going to be "held hostage."
"We're not always going to agree -- is that the kind of of America that you want?" Beck asked. "Are you the kind of person that is now turning into everything that you despise? ... I've always had a problem with people who put a gun to people's head and say, 'It's my way or the highway.' That's not America. I want to live next door to somebody that I disagree with. And I want to be able to participate on the things that I agree with."
Beck continued to read from Cindy's message, agreeing that the humanitarian crisis is one "manufactured" by the U.S. government. But Beck questioned her assertion that aiding the refugees will encourage the U.S. government to keep them here.
"Cindy, I've given up on trying to affect the government," Beck said. "If there are children within my reach that are in need, I don't care what nationality are -- they are children in need. They are families in need, and some of them, yes, are bad guys. Some of them are really bad guys."
Cindy's message then accused Beck of being "in bed" with those in government who are trying to "break the camel's back."
"It's called Cloward and Piven," Beck responded. "You probably learned about them from me. ...No, Cindy, I'm not in bed with them. I just believe ... our eternal citizenship is higher than our citizenship in the United States of America. I'm not going to face my maker and say, 'Yeah, well I didn't care about those kids. I didn't do anything about those kids.'"
Cindy concluded by saying that Beck sounds "like a liberal" for saying "it's for the children," and that while she usually agrees with him, she is "a thousand percent" against him this time.
"Cindy, I respectfully say back to you: we can agree to disagree on things," Beck said. "You don't have to agree with me a hundred percent. And if you disagree with me on this one and it stops you from reading my books, going to my shows, cancelling your subscription and stopping all of your giving to Mercury One for tornado relief and everything else -- we had a really shallow relationship anyway."
Beck said this issue has "torn [him] apart" over the past week, because he understands Americans' frustration. He has struggled with whether he should say anything at all, because he knows Mercury One -- an organization that is able to bring semi trucks full of food and supplies to disaster areas within hours of a crisis -- is being hurt as a result.
"I wrote to the guys at Mercury One and said, 'You know, I'm not even on the board of directors and you guys can stop this at any time.' And they had a meeting about it last night," Beck said. "They read all of the emails and they saw the impact. And they wrote back to me last night and said, 'It's right. We just have to do what's right.'"
Beck received news shortly thereafter that someone who wishes to remain anonymous donated $100,000 to Mercury One's border relief fund
"Holy cow," Beck said, publicly thanking the individual and saying all of the money will go towards alleviating suffering in our border towns.
You can watch more from Beck's radio program, below.
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