William James

William James
We must get by on what truth we have today, and be willing to call it error tomorrow.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

On Glenn Beck Being An Asset To The LDS Church

After one person commented on a news article about how Mormonism built Glenn Beck, I commented:

In my opinion, Glenn Beck is a whack job. I pity him, while simultaneously being repulsed by his attitude, rhetoric, and world view. I certainly don't think he is an asset to the church, except in certain circles of narrow-minded conservatism whose primary source of information is Fox news. I cannot say the extent to which Beck's political attitudes and public personna have been influenced by his membership in the LDS church. But I do think there are aspects of his observable personality which bear similarities to the church. There exists no official LDS doctrine of which I am aware which says that, by obeying God's commandments (including the commandment to be baptized), any person will automatically and without exception experience worldly prosperity. That being said, there is a discernible and persistent cultural view in the church, perpetuated by anecdotal testimonies and occasional well-meaning instructors, that members should expect worldly blessings and wealth by obeying God's commandments. How many stories have we heard about someone paying their tithing even though it meant they would go hungry or be out on the street, and almost immediately after the "trial of their faith," some huge blessing fell out of the sky in the form of money or some other kind of assistance or opportunity to avert the tragedy? These kinds of stories reinforce the notion that prosperity flows from making sacrifices to keep the commandments as taught by the church. While it would not be surprising if the church influenced Beck's belief that his career success resulted from his baptism, such a belief is not at all unique to the LDS faith and therefore could be attributed to many other sources.

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