Glenn Beck’s Christmas Paean to the Constitution

WordPress won’t let me embed the video, and thank God; I’d rather not profane our pages, anyways. But please don’t miss this video of his, describing, four days before Christmas, the “birth of the Constitution.”

The timing and phrasing of it all suggests a not-so-subtle dog whistle to devotees of obscure quasi-historian Cleon Skousen, Beck’s epistemological inspiration, who holds the Constitution out to be a divinely inspired document enshrining Christianity (specifically, Mormonism) as the backbone of an America deliberately designed by God as the vehicle of the world’s cap-s-Salvation. It’s… creepy stuff. Naturally, in Beck and Skousen’s America, the separation of church and state becomes a necessary casualty of America’s eschatological role. And history goes out the window, too. Take Beck’s assertion that, for Thomas Jefferson, one of the prime functions of government is the “adoration” of God. Let’s go to the text:

Let us, then, with courage and confidence pursue our own Federal and Republican principles, our attachment to union and representative government.

Kindly separated by nature and a wide ocean from the exterminating havoc of one quarter of the globe; too high-minded to endure the degradations of the others; possessing a chosen country, with room enough for our descendants to the thousandth and thousandth generation; entertaining a due sense of our equal right to the use of our own faculties, to the acquisitions of our own industry, to honor and confidence from our fellow-citizens, resulting not from birth, but from our actions and their sense of them; enlightened by a benign religion, professed, indeed, and practiced in various forms, yet all of them inculcating honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude, and the love of man; acknowledging and adoring an overruling Providence, which by all its dispensations proves that it delights in the happiness of man here and his greater happiness hereafter—with all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people?

Still one thing more, fellow-citizens—a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.

Jefferson — who refused to offer a Thanksgiving prayer rather than risk setting a precedent that the state should take as a prime function the adoration of God — drew a clear line between the religious beliefs of the people, and the religious activities of its government. One could spend a lifetime policing these little infractions, committed by amateur historians like Beck and his peers, either too poorly read to notice such vital distinctions or too dominated by their agenda to care, and still come up short. I feel compelled to note this one only as an example of how brazen our opposition has become in selecting, and blowing out of context, vital elements of our shared history. This is a religious Nation, but we must carefully protect the stoic nature of our  State, as a bulwark for the protection of both men of conscience, and men of faith.

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One comment

  1. “pseudo-historian” not “quasi-historian”

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