Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Code word:Social Justice

In March 2nd show, Glenn Beck set out to convince his audience that "social justice," the term many Christian churches use to describe their efforts to address poverty and human rights, is a "code word" for communism and Nazism. Beck urged Christians to discuss the term with their priests and to leave their churches if leaders would not reconsider their emphasis on social justice.
"I'm begging you, your right to religion and freedom to exercise religion and read all of the passages of the Bible as you want to read them and as your church wants to preach them . . . are going to come under the ropes in the next year. If it lasts that long it will be the next year. 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!"
"Communists are on the left, and the Nazis are on the right," said Beck. "But they both subscribe to one philosophy, and they flew one banner... But on each banner, read the words, here in America: 'social justice.' They talked about economic justice, rights of the workers, redistribution of wealth, and surprisingly, democracy."

Most of the world's major, monotheistic faith traditions embrace "social justice" as a fundamental pillar. Beck just encouraged a whole lot of people to abandon a whole lot of houses of worship.
This is especially true of Roman Catholics. Indeed, the very phrase "social justice" is believed to have been coined by a 19th-century Jesuit, and later popularized by Father Charles Coughlin.

Even the United Methodist has had a long history of concern for Social Justice with our Social Principles. John Wesley, our founder was someone who valued Social Justice in his time.
He once declared, “There is no holiness but social holiness!”

I think the term Social justice has become a misunderstood term that has been seen as something only the liberal believe in and do. With the Talk show hosts spouting things like this, you wonder what effect it has on people? How threatened do they now feel to leave the church, that perhaps they dearly love? How threatened do they now feel if they are someone who does care about Social issues, Justice issues? And at the same time we see young people very concerned with an involved in not just helping or missions but Social Justice.

So either we will see a bigger drop in the Methodist church membership numbers because of what Beck has said or we will see people staying and being more fervent in their work for justice.


revhipchick said...

i have yet to have heard anyone from our congregation mention Beck to me. i'm not sure why. this Sunday should prove interesting.

i should call my mother-in-law, she thinks the people at Fox are great (egads!). perhaps this will get people to wake up to what an idiot he is!

have you been approached by any church goers or others who watch Beck? i'm interested to hear what non-clergy folks are thinking about this.

Pamela Wilson-Lipscomb said...

Good post! I don't understand Beck. He claims to be a Christian, but shows no Christian love to those who are unlike himself. He does not pray for the President or those who have rule, but trashes them. If he would put as much time and energy into praying for this nation, he would probably see the Lord move in behalf of some of his concerns!