(IP) –Glenn Beck, the controversial Fox News host, is back in the hot seat yet again, and being criticized by Christian religious leaders for his remarks regarding churches that promote social and economic justice, encouraging people to abandon their churches.“If you have a priest that is pushing social justice, go find another parish,” said Beck as reported by Think Progress.
According to Huffington Post, Beck explains it this way: “ Nowhere does Jesus say, ‘Hey, if someone asks for your shirt, give the government a coat, and then have the government give him a pair of slacks.’ You want to help out, you help out.”
Religious conservatives often argue that state social welfare programs undermine the charitable instinct of the private organizations that help the poor. However, Beck seems to be suggesting that any government efforts–indeed, any collective efforts–to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and so forth, are “perversions of the Gospel.” Some refer to ‘Beck’s Jesus’ as a strict libertarian.
Jesus, son of the Virgin Mary (peace be upon him), was constantly criticized for the way he and the one and only God he served were about welcoming the despised, the rejected, the sick, the marginalized, and even sinners, offering mercy rather than judgment (Luke 5:27-32). Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), as stated in the Bible, confronted the injustice of exclusion from community and demanded as well as invited into existence a new kind of community in which everyone has a place at the table.
A campaign launched by the progressive Christian group Sojourners is calling upon Christians to speak up against Beck. CNN reports Rev. Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners and its evangelical leader, is calling for a boycott of Glenn Beck’s television show and challenging the Fox News personality to a public debate after Beck vilified churches that preach economic and social justice.