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Tilting at Windmills

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September 21, 2009

DOES HE HAVE TO POLITICIZE YOM KIPPUR, TOO?.... Here's a quick tip for Glenn Beck: Judaism's high holy days are not part of your crazed political crusade.

This afternoon, Beck wrote a Twitter message that read, "Sept. 28. Lets make it a day of Fast and Prayer for the Republic. Spread the word.Let us walk in the founders steps." [Grammatical problems in the original]

Soon after, on his radio show, Beck added, "By the way, I just thought I would put this out there, and what you do with it is your own business. But, this weekend, I put out a tweet on Twitter that September 28th is the Day of Atonement for the Jewish faith, and I thought it would be a good day for all of us to fast and pray, you know. And I got this idea from Thomas Jefferson. After they put together the Continental Congress, the first thing they did was put together a day -- a national day of fast and prayer, and I thought the Day of Atonement would be a good day to do it."

Two angles to keep in mind here. First, Beck's understanding of history is incomplete -- Jefferson was a staunch opponent of proclamations related to days of prayer and fasting. Jefferson even wrote brilliant letters about why he objected to the practice. If Beck is going to use Jefferson as an inspiration, he should at least try to understand what Jefferson was all about.

Second, and more important, Yom Kippur should not be used as an excuse for Glenn Beck to push his nonsense. "Yom Kippur is a day of atonement, prayer and fasting," Media Matters' Ari Rabin-Havt said. "Glenn Beck's attempt to politicize this holiest of days with his far right agenda is not only disgusting, but shows a profound disrespect for the Jewish people."

Steve Benen 4:00 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (51)

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Speaking as someone who is Jewish, I have to say that that is pretty disgusting. If you are going to politicize something, politicize Chanukah, which is pretty much a throwaway holiday. Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year, when people are supposed to be humble, pure, and free of sin. (Three things Glenn Beck is anything but.)

Posted by: Abe on September 21, 2009 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

If Beck is going to use Jefferson as an inspiration, he should at least try to understand what Jefferson was all about.

Like all of the phony arguments of "the Founders would have supported our Christianist agenda," it's yet another argument from authority. "It's right because some smart and important person says it's right, so you don't have to think about why" (and don't think about whether the person telling you this is smart enough and honest enough to correctly interpret the authority figure.)

Authoritarian followers seem particularly susceptible to this sort of argument, considering how many of them believe statements based on Biblical authority which are easily disproved if they actually read the Bible as much as they claim they do.

Posted by: Redshift on September 21, 2009 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

What I think we should do, instead, is, like have a day to celebrate the birth of Our Saviour and inspiration for the Founding Fathers, Jesus H. Christ, Himself.

Sometime around the end of the year would be good, when people are in a holiday mood, anyway.

We could have a March on Washington! I'll rent a Santa Suit and lead it. . .

Posted by: DAY on September 21, 2009 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

speaking as someone who is jewish and not at all involved with atonement or any other religiosity, i am really excited at the megalomania displayed by glenn beck -- all of which i experience only second and third hand...

if his impact is as it appears, and his egotistically displays are as consistent as they appear to be -- just in the reports -- this is really gonna be some kinda big splat on the sidewalk.

the only questions are "who all goes down with him?" and "how far is the drop?"

Posted by: neill on September 21, 2009 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

If you are going to politicize something, politicize Chanukah, which is pretty much a throwaway holiday.

When your a quasi-mormon/corporate-whore pushing a naive group of people to revolt against the United States government, every holy day of a minority is a "throwaway holiday".

Posted by: oh my on September 21, 2009 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

given that the mormons are one of the lost tribes, and beck is a mormon, it makes perfect sense.

your pal,
blake

Posted by: blake on September 21, 2009 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

Expect the Washington Post's full-throated endorsement of Beck's idea tomorrow morning.

Posted by: howie on September 21, 2009 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

That's it. Glenn has finally convinced me. I am going to read a biography about Thomas Jefferson, because these idiots won't stop bringing him up, and I'd like to know what the man actually said. You know, rather than getting through the wingnut filter. Thank you, Glenn, for spurring on my self-education.

Posted by: AnotherStrayCat on September 21, 2009 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of Mormonism, I can't remember if someone here posted this or if I found it elsewhere, but it's a definite must read.

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2009/09/16/beck_skousen/
Meet the man who changed Glenn Beck's life
Cleon Skousen was a right-wing crank whom even conservatives despised. Then Beck discovered him
By Alexander Zaitchik

Posted by: Hannah on September 21, 2009 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

If we respond to every idiotic and rediculous statement this 'way too full of himself' quarter wit issues, we will have no time to discuss important matters. How about a 48 hour moratorium on this wacko!?

Posted by: robert on September 21, 2009 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

he understands Jefferson about as well as he understand Thomas Paine. Hubris, anyone?

Posted by: jw on September 21, 2009 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

Didn't Ramadan end last week? Why didn't Beck Boy try to glom onto THAT religious time of fasting and purification?

Hmmmm.

Posted by: Tea Bagger Jones on September 21, 2009 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

Even if I weren't a Jew I'd be offended.

I have a pretty good feeling about in which book God will be putting Beck's name when he seals it on the 28th.

Posted by: South Florida Lawyers on September 21, 2009 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

Murdoch is a uniter not a social terrorist

Got to love the disinformation.

Murdoch and Murdoch's puppet can hear the meme that is boiling afoot. Namely that Fox News has done more to divide America into two camps (the hated and the hating) than any network ever.

So have you noticed Beck has sought to pretend to being a happy uniter lately? Purely on Murdoch's order...

Hey Rupert-terrorist! A lot of folks don't know you own Hulu.com do they? And that you plan on charging for watching shows in a couple of months. Why am I writing that? Because I want to encourage everyone to watch what they need to watch now... and deprive you of money later.

Don't give money to a terrorist folks. And know this: Murdoch has done more to destroy our civil institutions than any man living or dead...


Posted by: koreyel on September 21, 2009 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

I should point out that today is the fast of Gedaliah, when Jews are supposed to reflect on the great tragedy that happened when one of our own leaders, Gedaliah ben Achikam, was assassinated by someone who considered him to be insufficiently suicidal in his nationalism.

Not that this historical event has any relevance whatsoever for Jews in our time, or Christians, neither. No siree.

Posted by: Seth Gordon on September 21, 2009 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Glen Beck, willing to fast all day long? No breakfast, no lunch, no snacks, nothing but water? *That* I'd like to see, so I encourage him to follow his own advice. What's more, if he were to spend all that day praying, he'd be off the airwaves, which is all to the good, too.

Posted by: exlibra on September 21, 2009 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, how dare Beck insult those who still follow whatever it is those bronze age nomads said. I mean, between the Muslims, the Christians, the Satanists and the Flying Spaghetti Monster religion gets no respect -- at all. Maybe next time Beck can beat a woman he sees on the subway who he deems isn't dressed properly. After that, he can drive an armored bulldozer through some homes in the Bronx because he doesn't want "those" people to live there and afterward we can all dance!

I think all believers should just pile into Israel, let the rest of the sane world alone, and battle it out for themselves. Whichever crackpot theology triumphs we can award with gift certificates from Wal Mart.

Posted by: TovahMcTorah on September 21, 2009 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

Re the article I mentioned above, sorry Steve, I hadn't read down the blog far enough to see that you'd already covered it. (And of course you did!)

So if any of you haven't read the Salon article, go to it now!

Posted by: Hannah on September 21, 2009 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, I think it's OK for Glenn Beck to use fasting and prayer to atone for his sins.

I just don't think one day will be enough.

Posted by: Woodrow L. Goode, IV on September 21, 2009 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK
Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year...

Yeah, well, that's over now. Try to think of it more as disposable scenery for the advancement of Beck's sacred ego.

Posted by: tb on September 21, 2009 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

It's a little-known fact that Thomas Jefferson was also a Mormon, and he was totally opposed to putting spicy mustard on hamburgers!!

Posted by: Conservatroll on September 21, 2009 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

I read somewhere that Thomas Jefferson once said: "Glenn Beck? Yeah, that guy's a real shitheel!"

Posted by: chrenson on September 21, 2009 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

I'll add my voice to those who wrote, "As someone who is Jewish..." I think what Beck is doing is completely sacreligious. What a moron. Stay away from MY religious observances, Mr Beck. They don't include you or your beliefs.

Posted by: phoebes-in-santa fe on September 21, 2009 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

It hasn't been that long ago that "our kind" had to get in the face of the Mormon cult and tell them to stop "posthumously baptizing" our dead ancestors.

Posted by: Blue Girl on September 21, 2009 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

As yet another member of the "someone who is Jewish" contingent, I agree wholeheartedly with my fellow tribespersons here-- what Beck did is disgusting and a gigantic insult. Religious and ethnic traditions are NOT to be used as political cudgels. PERIOD.

Posted by: The Caped Composer on September 21, 2009 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Oh - and what Phoebes said!

Posted by: Blue Girl on September 21, 2009 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

A far-right nutcase with "a profound disrespect for the Jewish people"? Gee, what a surprise.

Posted by: Fleas correct the era on September 21, 2009 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, co-opting the high holy days for his own personal, political purposes??!? Does he really have no clue about how offensive that is to us Jews? It's supposed to be a day of quiet introspection and reflection, which is clearly a concept that Beck hasn't encountered for an hour, let alone a whole day. I bet he screams, whines and cries in his sleep.

What a clueless right-wing wackadoodle.

Posted by: zoe kentucky on September 21, 2009 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Does he really have no clue about how offensive that is to us Jews?

He probably sees that as a feature, rather than a bug. Remember, a lot of them want to "perfect" us.

Posted by: Blue Girl on September 21, 2009 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Beck's on his own on this one. I can't defend it and won't try. As in a lot of Beck's idiocy. However, it doesn't invalidate everything he says. Sorry, it just doesn't.

Posted by: tool on September 21, 2009 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

given that the mormons are one of the lost tribes, and beck is a moron, it makes perfect sense.

There, fixed.

Posted by: Missouri Mule on September 21, 2009 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, he comes from a faith which unilaterally "converts" Jews to Mormonism after they're dead. Out of deep respect for the Jewish people, no doubt.

Posted by: Fleas correct the era on September 21, 2009 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

What a shanda.

Posted by: Amy on September 21, 2009 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

As an elderly neighbor of mine used to say about Mormons, "They ain't right with Jesus". Beck just "ain't right" about anything.

Posted by: ComradeAnon on September 21, 2009 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

If Beck is going to use Jefferson as an inspiration, he should at least try to understand what Jefferson was all about.

If Beck actually understood what he was talking about, he wouldn't say it. That would prevent Beck from being Beck, which would not be good for his career. What reason does he have to actually learn anything?

Posted by: qwerty on September 21, 2009 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

Another Jew here who is pissed off over this. I'm not the most devout, but the ritual of reflection, apology, and then fasting is important to me. To think I might come across as supporting this ... fill in swear word here... when I'm honoring a cultural tradition is... well words fail me.

Posted by: zzyzx on September 21, 2009 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

What did Joe Lieberman have to say about this? He is an observant Jew; he does not work on Friday evening/the Sabbath. I wonder if he withholds votes on war if they fall on a Friday evening? Take interviews? Lie? Perhaps he remains silent to avoid telling a lie...

Posted by: st john on September 21, 2009 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

From mayoclinic.com

Their definition puts me in mind of Glenn Beck.

'When you have narcissistic personality disorder, you may come across as conceited, boastful or pretentious. You often monopolize conversations. You may belittle or look down on people you perceive as inferior. You may have a sense of entitlement. And when you don't receive the special treatment to which you feel entitled, you may become very impatient or angry. You may also seek out others you think have the same special talents, power and qualities — people you see as equals. You may insist on having "the best" of everything — the best car, athletic club, medical care or social circles, for instance.

But underneath all this grandiosity often lies a very fragile self-esteem. You have trouble handling anything that may be perceived as criticism. You may have a sense of secret shame and humiliation. And in order to make yourself feel better, you may react with rage or contempt and efforts to belittle the other person to make yourself appear better.'


Posted by: Beck is all that and less--;>) on September 21, 2009 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

As in a lot of Beck's idiocy. However, it doesn't invalidate everything he says. Sorry, it just doesn't.

You really don't know what "credibility" means or how it works, do you?

Posted by: Jay B. on September 21, 2009 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

Me, about tool, above: You really don't know what "credibility" means or how it works, do you?

tool, from the "taking the wrong marching orders" post from below, on his inability to distinguish from the Bush Administration hiring felons and CEOs who funnel billions into their "previous" companies and Obama's non-existent connection to ACORN:

Let me ask you a rhetorical question. Could I trust that ACORN would help my Republican mother, who has difficulty seeing this days, fill out her vote for Sara Palin in '12, and that that vote would be properly delivered? Answer? No.

Priceless.

He doesn't understand "credibility" or "rhetorical questions".

Posted by: Jay B. on September 21, 2009 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

Just why are we at his Beck and call?

This dude is getting far too much air-time.

Oh yeah, I forgot, the less intelligent one is, the more rabid the Media becomes, frothing everything without paying any attention to how pitiful the news cycle has become.

Methinks the world is getting dumber.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on September 21, 2009 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

Glenn Beck is a big joke-- literally. Apparently he's merely been doing a Kids in the Hall sketch all this time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83tnWFojtcY

Seriously, this is from over 15 years ago-- it's uncanny how much it resembles Beck.

Posted by: zoe kentucky on September 21, 2009 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

Jay B,
Apparently my posts are getting deleted. Whatever. Have a nice circle jerk guys.

Posted by: tool on September 21, 2009 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

It's a mockery and it's not the first time he's done it...it just illuminates his ignorance and desire for wearing symbolic gestures such as profound atonement on his sleeve..this really exposes him for the farce he is..

It's really really pathetic in a very sad way.

Posted by: Insanity on September 21, 2009 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

Jewish and Pissed. 'nuff said.

Posted by: Lisa Harrigan on September 21, 2009 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

Glen Beck is a symptom; the disease is what worries me.
To all offended members of the Jewish faith; I feel your outrage but pleases consider the source.
And lets not forget the corporate dolts who have given this idiot a soapbox to stand on. Glen Beck babbles while America is burning.

Posted by: rab on September 21, 2009 at 9:00 PM | PERMALINK

..and of course, don't forget to say Merry Christmas! The seasonal delusion of persecution is about to be upon us.

Posted by: Always Hopeful on September 21, 2009 at 9:06 PM | PERMALINK

Beck is all that and less--;>)

Thank you for the definition. Should have figured it out myself. It perfectly defines the man in my small town running for town council. Wadda' ya' say.

And to my Jewish friends: Beck is an a$$hole. This time he may have gone too far. Let's hope.

Posted by: elouise on September 21, 2009 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

If this joker was trying to say that Jefferson was the one who put together a day of fasting, etc after the Constitutional Congress- Jefferson was in France and in no way played any part (except for letter writing) with the Congress.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Jefferson#Minister_to_France

Posted by: Matt on September 23, 2009 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

This is the welcome page for the dietguidance.us Association web site.

Posted by: Dietroly on November 21, 2009 at 3:51 AM | PERMALINK

Really nice blog

Posted by: Flirt on December 13, 2010 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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