Friday, March 12, 2010

Of two minds

I've been following the dust-up over Glenn Beck's call for folks to leave their churches if they hear the words "social justice" with a mixture of annoyance and amusement.

On the one hand, I'm not remotely surprised that Beck said it. He's in the business of saying outrageous things to get people to pay attention to him. The only time I see him on TV is when Jon Stewart is making fun of him on The Daily Show, and I figure that not paying attention to him is the best thing to do. (Yes, I realize devoting a blog post to him is undermining that strategery)

On the other hand, a lot of people do listen to him and take him seriously. Jim Wallis thinks that he is worth taking on, asking people bombard Beck with emails proclaiming themselves "social justice Christians"  (another way of saying we take what Jesus said seriously), which you can do through the Sojourner's website. Wallis is apparently even challenging Beck to a debate.

I can't decide if that's a good idea or not. Are we somehow validating Glen Beck as a legitimate voice in the conversation by responding to the crazy things he says? Or is his voice so influential that we have no choice but to respond? Is a televised debate between Glen Beck and Jim Wallis a good opportunity or stooping down to Beck's level?


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