Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Beck vs O'Donnell - The Debate Over Christianity

I am not sure how many of you are keeping track of the present fight between Fox New's Glenn Beck and MSNBC Lawrence O'Donnell over the present state of the Christian religion and the acceptance of the bible as absolute truth for the Christian.

I won't bother to go into the absolute details of the debate.  Instead I wish to take away the key point of diversion that both of them are making use of to make their case.

Just as certain Black operatives make use of Dr King as the perfect reference for them to base their modern political / ideological antics - for Beck and O'Donnel their choice is to make reference to what "the founding fathers" of the United States of America believed in their interpretation of the Christian faith.

I stated previously that Glenn Beck is motivated to promote and defend the honor of the "Founding Fathers" when he discusses American Slavery and the "Black History" that is articulates as a result.  Indeed there may have been agreement that slavery was a wretched institution in the views of Thomas Jefferson.  Indeed there may have been a select few Black people during this time who fought valiantly for the founding of this nation.  The over-riding fact remains - none of these men felt so strongly about the savagery of slavery to stall the formation of the new nation until this scourge upon humanity was dealt with.  

To be clear - I am not pegging slavery as the one and only "sin" at the founding this nation.  This is just one example regarding the fact that none of these men are worthy reference figures for righteousness and religious purity.  Removing slavery as a "special interest" that I, a Black man, is concerned about and we can find many other anti-righteousness in history.  To be clear I do believe that this nation - as with all other nations are creations of man and thus will have their share of damnable actions which should cause them shame.

Lawrence O'Donnell is critical of Glenn Beck for shrouding so much of his political and ideological agenda in with Christian dogma.  I agree.   With these two concepts being so intertwined Beck agenda becomes suspect.  He, like many other operatives draw out factually accurate points of information but then err as they attempt to string these individual points together in order to assemble a conspiracy.  

Lawrence O'Donnell's words are even more disturbing in relation to self-professed "Christians".   Mr O'Donnell takes a position that

  • "No legitimate Christian believes that the book of Revelations is true"
  • "When Christians began to only selectively accept the bible they stopped burning people at the stake"
This is a commonly used tactic by progressives.   The main people who attack those who seek to (more) faithfully enforce the dogma of their religion (or other institutional rules) are called fundamentalists.  O'Donnell and others would be the first ones to attack them as intolerant and weak minded.  Yet as there is evidence of massive erosion of the integrity and credibility of the institutions because of the subjective and arbitrary enforcement of their standards - people like O'Donnell will wage an even greater attack on the institution because of these attributes.

O'Donnell used Thomas Jefferson's opinions on religion to justify his present positions.  Why did he choose to use the words of a politician to achieve this purpose?  Why not a noted religious figure who was likely calling Jefferson and Washington out for their transgressions in relation to non-Whites which violated the "Natural Law" that they both said "God" afforded all men?

It appears that O'Donnell is attacking the institution of Christianity but is using the fact that the institution failed to enforce its own standards against those who hijacked its cause throughout history as evidence that the religion itself is flawed.  This should provide a critical lesson that is applicable today upon all institutions.

It is critically important to define clear and transparent rules for the institution in question.  No one man should have the power to use the institution for his own aggrandizement, and is allowed to become an indispensable part of its existence. (ie: if the figure head falls - so goes the institution).  The compromise of the standards will be used by its enemies to destroy the credibility of the institution itself.  Those who are predisposed to stand against the success of the institution if it were to be a well oiled machine - will often call for the institution to become more tolerant.  Its faithful bond to its rules of order are claimed to be evidence of its intolerance.  When the present day managers of the institutions begin to accept certain new policies that go against the spirit of its founding - these same critics will point to the dysfunctional results as evidence of the lack of credibility of the institution.  They achieve their goal through a round about way.

Those who label themselves with respect to an institution should also submit to the rules of integrity for the institution.  When the institution fails to enforce this as a standard their own integrity is destroyed.  It is vitally important to start out with credible standards and not to have an exclusive set of mandates in which only the judges qualify.  

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