One of the most powerful voices of conservatism today is Glenn Beck. He has lately taken on the mantle of “America’s Real History Teacher”. While Beck was once all about conservative politics, he has been content lately to let others run with that ball. Instead, Glenn Beck has transformed his studio into a classroom each day on Fox News to teach us what we have never been taught about American History. This is the hidden history that has been concealed by the evil forces, of greed, expansionism (Manifest Destiny), power and even religion. Glenn Beck is especially concerned that we learn what has been forgotten about Native Americans. In fact, he tells us these Native Americans were possibly descended from Jews or maybe Egyptians.
Glenn Beck makes history come alive. He is articulate, interesting and passionate. The ratings prove that people are eating it up. His recent non-political rally on the Washington Mall (which itself came because of Beck’s view of “Divine Providence”) shows how popular he has become. Evangelical Christians are tuning in, excited to learn what Glenn Beck and his team of experts (many of them Christians) has to tell them next. Glenn Beck loves to talk about America turning back to God.
It all sounds so good to so many, but who are Glenn Beck’s teachers? I believe Glenn Beck is on a mission. It is a much more effective mission than those young 19-21 year olds on bicycles. Glenn Beck is a Mormon convert – if you doubt that – simply google “Glenn Beck as a Mormon” and you can hear his own touching “conversion” story on a YouTube LDS website. Glenn Beck is now teaching us what he has learned in his eleven years as a Mormon. He is sharing what he no doubt truly believes and is very excited about. He wants us to know “the truth”. I don’t think his goal is necessarily to make sure we all become Mormon converts. His goal is much more subtle than that.
With talk of “Divine Providence”, with quotes from the Founding Fathers, with his own particular spin on history, especially going back to 19th century history books, with a field of experts, many of them Evangelical Christians, Glenn Beck is trying to open a door. Glenn Beck is on a mission. He wants us to understand that Mormons are Christians too. His goal is to make Mormonism and its beliefs acceptable to the Christian community. His goal is to bring Mormonism into Orthodoxy.
That could never be done through Theology. It could never be done by overtly stating, “Mormons are Christians too”. It can’t be done through politics alone, although the vast majority of Mormons share a politically conservative mindset with a majority of Evangelicals. However, with a Mormon spin on history – combined with a Conservative philosophy – and with the help of some Christian teachers, Glenn Beck brings his views into the mainstream of conservative thought, which includes a large percentage of Evangelicals. While most Evangelicals recognize that Mormonism is “a cult”, many are at the same time, listening to and embracing Mormon teachings through one of its most ardent converts. It is very subtle, and I fear, being executed very effectively. Rush Limbaugh calls himself the most dangerous man in America. Glenn Beck with his theology and mission is far more dangerous.
Pastor Dan Urroz has provided the following link to Glenn Beck’s own website where you can hear a version of history as seen through the lens of the Mormon Church. “Divine Providence” is a term used often by the Founders, and Glenn Beck, as a Mormon, readily embraces it and takes it for his own. The following link is from his August 18, 2010, broadcast and is offered as proof of my assertions: http://watchglennbeck.com/video/2010/August/glenn-beck-show-august-18-2010-divine-providence-vs-manifest-destiny/
It will take about 45 minutes to watch all three presentations. You won’t find a lot of offensive material in the first ten minutes, but those minutes set the stage for all that is to come.