Glenn Beck, who recently demonized churches that preach social and economic justice as communist and fascist, caused some LDS church leaders to become so uncomfortable that they personally apologized to a reverend whom Beck had attacked. More specifically, Glenn Beck said, “I beg you, look for the words ‘social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes!” He went on to compare organizations that practice social and economic justice with communism and fascism.
Perhaps Mr. Beck does not know that his own church preaches social justice. According to a recent New York Times article, “Philip Barlow, the Arrington professor of Mormon history and culture at Utah State University, said, ‘One way to read the Book of Mormon is that it’s a vast tract on social justice. A lot of Latter-day Saints would think that Beck was asking them to leave their own church.’ Mr. Barlow said that just this year, the church’s highest authority, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, issued a new ‘Handbook of Instructions’ in which they revised the church’s ‘threefold mission’ and added a fourth mission statement: Care for the poor.”
Mr. Beck is really creating bad publicity for the Church. He is anything but a peacemaker and certainly does not heed any of the recent counsel from LDS Church leaders in having calm and thoughtful dialogue. It seems that Elder Robert S. Wood, as referenced in an earlier post, was speaking specifically of Beck when he said, “whether they be false friends or unrighteous teachers, artists or entertainers, commentators or letter writers to local newspapers, seekers of power or wealth, beware of those who stir us up to such anger that calm reflection and charitable feelings are suppressed.”