Glenn Beck assails Obama's 'Christianity'
WASHINGTON -- Conservative commentator Glenn Beck voiced sharper criticism of President Obama's religious beliefs yesterday than he and other speakers offered from the podium of the rally Beck organized at the Lincoln Memorial a day earlier.
During an interview on "Fox News Sunday," which was filmed after Saturday's rally, Beck claimed that Obama "is a guy who understands the world through liberation theology, which is oppressor and victim."
"People aren't recognizing his version of Christianity," Beck added.
Beck's attacks represent a continuing attempt to characterize Obama as a radical, an approach that has prompted anxiety among some Republicans who worry that Beck's rhetoric could backfire. The White House has all but ignored his accusations, but some Democrats have pointed to the Fox News host to portray Republicans as extreme and out of touch.
Beck made the remarks in answer to a question about his previous accusation that Obama was a "racist" who has "a deep-seated hatred for white people." He contended that that statement "was not accurate" and that he had "miscast" Obama's religious beliefs as racism.
Obama told NBC's Brian Williams yesterday that he hadn't watched the Lincoln Memorial event, but that he supported Beck and his supporters' right to rally.
Obama said that given the country's economic and national security woes, "It's not surprising that somebody like a Mr. Beck is able to stir up a certain portion of the country."
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the onetime pastor of Obama's former church in Chicago, is an adherent of black liberation theology, which centers on the struggles of African Americans and the importance of empowering the oppressed. Obama severed ties with Wright during the presidential campaign after some of the minister's inflammatory language drew controversy.
Beck, on his Fox News show Tuesday, said that liberation theology is at the core of Obama's "belief structure."
"You see, it's all about victims and victimhood; oppressors and the oppressed; reparations, not repentance; collectivism, not individual salvation. I don't know what that is, other than it's not Muslim, it's not Christian. It's a perversion of the gospel of Jesus Christ as most Christians know it," Beck said.
Earlier this month, a Pew Research Center survey revealed widespread confusion over Obama's religion. A plurality of the poll's respondents, 43 percent, said they did not know which religion Obama practices.
The White House responded in a statement after the poll's release, reiterating that Obama "is a committed Christian."
Obama, asked on NBC about polls showing confusion over his religion, pointed to "a network of misinformation that in a new media era can get churned out there constantly."
Because of Saturday's rally, Democrats have gone on the offensive against Republicans by claiming that the event was evidence that the GOP has been overtaken by extreme elements in the party. Republicans have taken a more muted approach to the event, with some avoiding any mention of it altogether.
On CBS' "Face the Nation," Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., said that the rally made clear that "there is a raging battle going on within the Republican Party for the heart and soul of the Republican Party."
Haley Barbour, the head of the Republican Governors Association and governor of Mississippi, responded that the rally was a reaction to the Obama administration and congressional Democrats, who he said "have taken the biggest lurch to the left in policy in American history."
Estimates on the size of the rally have varied widely. According to one commissioned by CBS News, 87,000 people attended the event. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a Republican who also spoke at the event, told a reporter afterward that she thought more than 100,000 people had attended.
Beck said that the crowd was between 300,000 and 650,000, and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., speaking at her own event following the rally, said that no fewer than 1 million people had been in attendance.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Report: DEA prostitutes paid by cartel
- Global warming is slowing down the circulation of the oceans — with potentially dire consequences
- California man reports girlfriend kidnapped, ransom demanded
- Bergdahl deserted his post, military says; he could get life behind bars
- Luxury resort founder owes $74M in taxes
- American crash victims: U.S. government contractor, daughter
- Missing Calif. woman found safe at dad’s apartment