Monday, August 30, 2010

International: Beck Rallies In Washington Undercut Church-State Separation, Watchdog Group Charges

Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally online

Posted: 27 Aug 2010 03:20 PM PDT

Unable to attend Beck’s pro-theocracy events tonight and tomorrow? You have options. FREE options.

First, make sure you have all required supplies. Beer, check. Snacks, check. Pepto-Bismol, check. Restraints so as to avoid damaging own computer in blind rage, check.

Second, turn on computer. (You’re reading this, so you have probably already completed the second step. How proactive!)

Third, go to the Washington Post’s liveblog of tonight’s “America’s Divine Destiny” speech, which begins at 8:00 Eastern Standard Time. Feel like watching it? You can only see it if you pay, joining Beck’s “Insider Extreme” program.

Beck’s site describes tonight’s speech:

Join Glenn Beck for an inspiring look at the role faith played in the founding of America and the role it will play again in its destiny. The audience for the event will be overwhelmingly made up of pastors, ministers and clergy: a modern day Black Robe Regimen. Tickets will be made available to the general public at no cost.

Fourth, set alarm so you will be up by 9:45 am Eastern Standard Time.

Fifth, drink beer and worry about the coming Mormon theocracy while watching Red Dawn.

Sixth, settle in with proper morning supplies. Pitcher of Bloody Maries, and all the other supplies from last night.

Seventh, visit Beck’s Restoring Honor Rally page on Facebook to watch the rally desecrating the Lincoln Memorial and the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. It runs from 10 am to 1 pm Eastern Standard Time on Saturday morning. As described,

Join the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and many more for this non-political event that pays tribute to America’s service personnel and other upstanding citizens who embody our nation’s founding principles of integrity, truth and honor.

Our freedom is possible only if we remain virtuous.
Help us restore the values that founded this great nation. On August, 28th, come join us in our pledge to restore honor at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.

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Beck Rallies In Washington Undercut Church-State Separation, Watchdog Group Charges

Posted: 27 Aug 2010 02:34 PM PDT

Fox News Channel personality Glenn Beck’s rallies in Washington, D.C., are an attack on religious liberty and our nation’s rich religious diversity, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Tonight’s event at the Kennedy Center, “Divine Destiny,” is billed by Beck as a way to “reunite” Americans, “heal your soul” and take a “look at the role faith played in the founding of America and the role it will play again in its destiny.”

Tomorrow’s rally, “Restoring Honor,” will be held near the Lincoln Memorial on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech. It has been advertised as a chance to honor “our heroes, our heritage and our future.”

In reality, a major goal of Beck’s rallies is to undermine the Founding Fathers’ vision of a nation where government and religion are kept separate. Beck propagates a revisionist historical perspective that says America is an officially religious state. Mainline Christians, Muslims, non-believers and other Americans who fail to meet Beck’s religious test are often maligned.

“Our nation’s destiny will be disastrous, not divine, if Glenn Beck has his way,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director. “The message Beck and his cronies want to send is clear: if you don’t believe in a government based on his religious vision, you should expect to be treated like a second-class citizen. Beck has made it clear that he has no respect for our Constitution’s promise of religious liberty for all.”

Over the past few months, Beck has teamed up with David Barton, a Texas-based Religious Right activist who has no credentials as a historian. Yet Barton peddles books, videos and other materials that spread his misguided belief that church-state separation was never intended by the founders.

Said AU’s Lynn, “Barton has lurked in the dark corners of the Religious Right house of horrors for years. But now he is playing on a national stage, thanks to Beck. That’s a tragedy, not a comedy.”

Barton is the founder of Wallbuilders, a Texas-based organization that exists to attack mainstream history. He served as an adviser to the Texas State Board of Education when the state’s social studies curriculum was revised to downplay Thomas Jefferson and the role of church-state separation.

Since March, Barton has appeared on Beck’s Fox program at least 15 times as part an endeavor called “Beck University.” The purpose of the “university” – which exists only in cyberspace – is to teach Americans about the true “Christian” roots of the country. (Read more in the September issue of AU’s Church & State Magazine.)

Says AU’s Lynn, “I am confident that Americans will reject the Beck-Barton message of extremism and intolerance. Our nation was built on a foundation of diversity and equality, and we must not let strident voices undercut those principles.”

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CFI and Military Religious Freedom Foundation Express Concerns over Treatment of Soldiers

Posted: 27 Aug 2010 02:19 PM PDT

The Center for Inquiry (CFI) and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) sent a joint letter on August 26 to the United States Department of Defense expressing serious concern over the Army’s apparent punishment of soldiers at Fort Eustis, Virginia for declining to attend a recent Christian rock concert.

As reported by the Associated Press on August 20, dozens of soldiers allege that they were punished for declining to attend an evangelical Christian rally at which the Christian rock band “BarlowGirl” performed. Soldiers say that the concert was part of the “Commanding General’s Spiritual Fitness Concert Series,” a project organized by Maj. Gen. James E. Chambers. The Pentagon has released a statement saying that it is investigating the accusations, adding that “the military shouldn’t impose religious views on soldiers.”

The joint letter from CFI and MRFF, addressed directly to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, urges the military to bring its investigation of these incidents “to a swift and just resolution.” The letter further recommends that “any military commanders involved in sponsoring or promoting religious events, or in punishing soldiers for declining to attend them, should be disciplined sternly and severely.”

The letter was drafted by Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, Ronald A. Lindsay, president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry, and Derek C. Araujo, the Center for Inquiry’s vice president and general counsel.

The letter can be downloaded as a PDF at

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