By Fidel “Butch” Montoya
The day after the Glenn Beck “revival meeting” at the Lincoln Memorial, I found myself thinking that Beck might be on to something good. I was troubled however, because something seemed lacking from his message.
It took Bill Press, national radio talk show host, by condemning Beck to put the day after into perspective for me. “We don’t need a Mormon to teach Christians what the Gospel is all about.”
Press’s criticism wasn’t haughty or boastful, but the truth that most of us have neglected to comprehend. Mormonism is not Christianity. It is a cult that has many beliefs that simply don’t add up to Christianity.
Press clarified his condemnation of Beck after some critics were quick to condemn Press as being too judgmental. “As a Christian; however, I would never dare tell a Jew how to practice Judaism, nor a Muslim how to practice Islam. And I repeat: We don’t need a Mormon, especially one named Glenn Beck, to teach Christians what the Gospel is all about.”
Beck’s parade of what some pundits called the “Black Robes” or Evangelical leaders was a charade.
It was shameful for Evangelical leaders to lend their support at a nationalistic rally threaded throughout the day with code for hate, fear, and outright bigotry for many people in our country.
The music and some of the words and slogans about returning to God sounded like a revival meeting. But nationalistic rallies are not the way.
The predominantly white audience had very few Blacks or Latinos. It doesn’t mean that just because it was a white audience that it was bad, but it does cause me to wonder why the Beck message does not resonate with people of color?
Many Americans were appalled that Beck would stand in the very same spot a real Christian stood 47 years ago. Dr. Martin Luther King exalted in his ‘I have a Dream’ speech the true meaning of serving the poor, and those forgotten by society.
Beck has allowed guests on his show to do more to divide our country with lies and urban myths about immigration. For months now, Beck has criticized President Obama about his faith. He has criticized faith leaders who are fighting for comprehensive immigration reform as extremists. In short, Beck has not delivered on his revival message at the D.C. Mall – I believe it is called walking the talk.
Beck’s lack of understanding of the Gospel is what brought the strong rebuke from Press. Press is a theologian in his own right and if anyone understands the Gospel, it is Press.
At the center of the controversy is what does the Gospel teach us about reaching out to the poor or neglected? Beck’s distorted view is that “liberation theology” or the essence of the Gospel is “Marxism disguised as religion.” In fact, the Gospel teaches it is compulsory to help the needy.
As many of you may know, Priest Gustavo Gutierrez led the movement of liberation theology that was born in Latin America during the 1950’s. With social unrest in many Latin American countries, courageous priests of the Catholic Church disgruntled with the Catholic Church’s support of deceitful military dictatorships, taught that the Gospel required the Church to serve the poor. In collaboration with Protestant religious leaders, the Gospel became a reality in the lives of the poor and neglected who often were abused by governments who only sought to serve the powerful and corrupt.
Press explained, “While priests and nuns worked among the poor in the barrios, bishops and cardinals hung out with the generals, CEO’s, and dictators in their palaces, while supporting their suppression of the poor.” The Gospel teaches us the purpose of the Church is to serve, not ignore the poor or marginalized.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 25, Jesus explains his new theology – teaching those who listened how on Judgment Day the Father would punish those who neglected the poor.
Jesus went on to explain, “For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you brought Me together with yourselves and welcomed and entertained and lodged me.”
“I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me with help and ministering care; I was in prison and you came to see Me.”
Christ made clear the path we are to take in order to serve as his followers.
On the other hand, Beck misses the clear directive of the Gospel. Serving the poor, the neglected, the marginalized, or the sick is not Marxist ideology, but inspiration of the Holy Spirit on what the Gospel instructs us.
I am shocked that some “Christians” would follow the false theology of Beck in the name of returning our nation to God. How can they follow a man who refuses to love those who disagree with his perverted world view?
I believe it is essential that we not be misled by the false prophet Beck and his teary words of hypocrisy.
It is time to call out our lying politicians, talk show hosts, and faith leaders who are seeking to cover up the sin of hate and justification for racism of undocumented immigrants, the poor, and others in need.
It is wrong for politicians to make repulsive and false statements about Social Security, undocumented immigrants, and the jobless. President Obama just signed into law $600 million dollars based on fear and false perceptions on border security at the expense of neglecting the poor and needy.
It is time in America for liberation theology to break the bonds and chains that hold Americans hostage to lies of ego driven cable talk show hosts and dangerous politicians.
Beware America of the wolves in sheep clothing who come seeking your heart and soul. Beware America of the greed and corruption that has led this nation to not only of the brink of economic disaster, but to the abyss of immorality.
Fidel "Butch" Montoya is Director of H. S. Power and Light Ministries - Latino Faith Initiative. He was the Vice President/News Director of KUSA - TV Channel 9 News from 1985-1990, and worked at the news station for 24 years as a journalist. Montoya also served as Deputy Mayor of City and County of Denver from 1995-1999; and in law enforcement as the Manager of Public Safety, responsible for the Denver Police Department, Denver Fire Department, and Denver Sheriff Department for the City and County of Denver from 1994-2000. Montoya was Licensed to preach in 1972. He serves on the Executive Council for the Hispanic Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.