Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Apocalyptic roots

Via Talk To Action, an essential article examining how Mormonism influences Glenn Beck's apocalyptic extremism. The whole thing is worth reading, but here is a part I found particularly worth noting

In addition, there’s a widely known concept in Mormonism — not contained in the Mormon scriptures, but attributed to Mormonism’s founder, Joseph Smith, and still influential among some believers — that effectively places believers on perpetual Red Alert for the Constitution’s possible demise. According to this tenet, commonly known as the “White Horse Prophecy,” there will come a time when the Constitution is in great jeopardy — when it will “hang by a thread,” in Smith’s purported words — at which point the Mormon people will come to its rescue.

Apparently, Beck believes that this terrifying crisis is now at hand (or just thinks LDS apocalypticism makes great radio). On Election Day in 2008, Beck interviewed Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, who’s also Mormon, on his radio program

BECK Senator, do you believe — I mean, when I heard Barack Obama talk about the Constitution and I thought, we are at the point or we are very near the point where our Constitution is hanging by a thread.
HATCH You got that right . . .
BECK We are so close to losing our Constitution. We are so close to losing what we have, and people aren’t thinking. The next generation, our children will look to us and say, “You sold my freedom for what?”
HATCH Well, let me tell you something. I believe the Constitution is hanging by a thread.

More recently, Beck used his radio show to propound the Mormon conception of Satan — though many in his audience may not have noticed. On May 5, waxing indignant about government-sponsored social services — as opposed to freely chosen acts of charity — Beck asked, “Did Jesus say when a man asks for your shirt, you give the government your coat also, and have the government give that coat to the man? No! The government is a middleman. . . . The government is the Devil.”
This helps provide a framework that makes it easier to understand why Beck considers President Obama to be the false prophet of an anti-God anti-Constitutional war on America.

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