Glenn Beck, the right wing fringe commentator has not only embarrassed himself by calling President Obama a racist–he has embarrassed the Church and Mormons everywhere. In late July the firebrand exclaimed:
This president, I think, has exposed himself as a guy — over and over and over again — who has a deep seated hatred for white people or white culture, I don’t know what it is . . . I’m not saying he doesn’t like white people. I’m saying he has a problem, this guy is, I believe, a racist.
Of course the claim is nonsense, of the same genre as much of Rush Limbaugh’s hate speech, and that of Shawn Hanity. But, what makes Glenn Beck’s comments more harmful is that he claims he is an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Church does not need this type of publicity or association. Mormons everywhere ought to denouce the comments and Beck for making them. Why–because these comments perpetuate erroneous and harmful stereotypes of the Church and its membership. The post Proposition 8 media spin has already harmed the Church’s image painting Mormons who stood for religious principle as propagating hate and intolerance and being on the fringe. Glenn Beck’s comments only fuel that fire.
The more reasoned secular world is distancing itself from Beck’s ridiculous claims. Already advertisers are pulling their ads from his show–and rightly so. Mormons should do likewise. I, for one, as an active participant in the community of Saints denounce Glenn Beck, his comments, and the harm it does to the Church. With friends like Glenn Beck–the Church needs no further enemies.
UPDATE 7:30 p.m. David G’s comment just saved from the spam filter has some important links I wanted to highlight–Thanks David:
Glenn Beck on Smoking (Make certain to watch the video)
Glenn Beck Doesn’t Speak For All Mormons (Mormon Times)
Glenn Beck Doesn’t Speak For All Mormons (Deseret News)