Glenn Beck was on the O’Reilly Factor a couple of days ago discussing with Bill O’Reilly why he doesn’t focus on culture issues much on his Fox News show or on the radio. You can watch the video below:
O’REILLY: Do you believe — do you believe that gay marriage is a threat to the country in any way?
BECK: A threat to the country?
O’REILLY: Yes. Is it going to harm?
BECK: No. Are the gay — will the gays come and get us?
O’REILLY: OK. Is it going to harm the country in any way?
BECK: I believe that Thomas Jefferson said, “If it neither breaks my leg or picks my pocket, what difference is it to me?”
His position on gay marriage, while disappointing isn’t surprising. David Gibson at The Daily Caller points out however that this is a change in his position.
This again doesn’t surprise me because he is a self-proclaimed libertarian, has been so for years and even though it’s a new position for him it’s mostly consistent with his political leanings. I won’t say every libertarian takes this position, for instance local talk radio personality, Jan Mickelson at WHO Radio, who is also libertarian (qualifies that by saying Christian Libertarian) has said “you can’t have liberty without the law.”
You can see the primary principle that undergirds his position when he told O’Reilly, “I don’t think marriage, that the government actually has anything to do with (marriage).” So he’s coming back to his libertarian default.
I have to say that I respect Beck a great deal, and appreciate his stance on the size of Government, government spending, and the harmful ideology that drives the policy making in this current administration. With this, he is wrong. So now I’ll have both libertarians and liberals mad at me.
Beck quotes Jefferson, but John Adams said in 1798 that “Our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.” Beck is calling people back to God (which David Shedlock who contributes here has addressed here and here so I won’t get into that), but yet who ultimately passes down morals in this nation? Government? No, but families and churches.
Changing the definition of marriage is a threat to the institution, you damage the institution of marriage, and it becomes a threat to the American people. As Adams wrote our Constitution is meant only for a religious and moral people… and we have seen time and time again the Constitution disregarded and reinterpreted by the secular left as though the original words and intentions mean nothing.
You have a runaway judiciary who makes up rights and making law and you have judicial tyrants who ignore state’s rights and the will of the people. Beck’s ok with that? Does he not think they won’t turn their attention to other matters?
I understand that Beck wants to focus on economic matters and that they are major issue. But as a friend of mine, Tamara Scott, said during the last Iowa General Assembly “will only have good fiscal policy if you have good social policy.”
I also understand his position of government not being involved in marriage, but the simple fact of the matter is that it is, as Brian Myers, another contributor here, noted earlier discussing how Alan Dershowitz wanted to unlink “to unlink the religious institution of marriage — as distinguished from the secular institution of civil union — from the state.” He said:
The problem with all this is that marriage is a civil union. And it is also a divine ordinance. It isn’t one or the other, it is both. Our Judeo-Christian heritage tells us that it is an institution that finds its origin in Genesis 2. This is why the Iowa Supreme Court’s view of this matter is a rather silly and futile attempt to make something that is inherently religious into something entirely secular. Dershowitz’s distinction isn’t particularly helpful either. His labeling mechanism robs marriage of its contractual aspects which, while they are civil in nature, are nonetheless vital to the religious understanding of the institution.
Marriage involves such matters as paternity and property. It is a contract, and it used to be spoken of in those terms. Evangelicals who wish to divorce (pun intended!) the institution of marriage from the state aren’t giving consideration to the fact that marriage is indeed largely civil in its nature. And maintaining that the state has no valid interest in marriage would, by necessity, land Evangelicals in Dershowitz’s camp, a place they would rather not be, because they would still have to secure a civil union in addition to their marriage, and the participants (both the gender and number) in these unions would now be determined by the state.
Even though Beck would desire the government not to be involved, they are. Ignoring that means then the Government (or in most cases we’ve seen so far, unelected judges) can impose their definition of marriage on the populace. Beck, quoting Jefferson, asked “what difference is it to me?” That’s pretty narrow-minded, but ask a couple of counseling students what difference it made to them. Ask a former college professor what difference it made to him. What difference does it make in children raised in these families as they are allowed to adopt? Does it matter that now we have begun to see the intolerance of “tolerance” in this society?
It may not make a difference to him, but what about the society we leave to our kids? Now we are told churches will be left alone, but do you really think that in this current environment that religious liberty will be preserved if this issue is ignored?
I agree with him that we need to “get back to God,” however I recognize that this means something completely different to me. I also understand that in order to see transformation in our culture we need to see hearts transformed and that can only happen through the Gospel of Christ. So a political solution by itself will never work if not coupled to a spiritual awakening.
Again, Beck’s position doesn’t surprise me, but his influence does make me concerned.