Tag Archives: argument

Glenn Beck: The Influencer

Posted by Mike

I don’t like to use the term evil, because it’s more of an emotional classification than reflecting objective reality, but I’ll use it in reference to Glenn Beck and the false and socially disruptive vitriol that he sends out over the airwaves. I always avoid listening to and watching him as well as the other radical news commentators, but decided that I would attempt to sift through some of his TV and radio clips and do a critique. Prior to that decision I watched several minutes of his show on different days this past week. In just those few minutes he was significantly distorting in his usual prim schoolmasterly manner the consequences of the current spontaneous opposition to President Mubarek of Egypt. On the first clip Beck was predicting that if Mubarek of Egypt were successfully ousted there would be a domino effect of radical Islamic revolutions all across North Africa, throughout the Asian subcontinent and on to Indonesia. On the next day he was focusing only on the Middle East, again predicting disastrous outcomes throughout the entire region should the current uprising in Egypt be successful. Towards the end of the week he showed several film clips of Mohamed ElBaradei speaking to the media in Cairo regarding the uprising. Beck focused on ElBaradei’s use of the term “social justice,” insinuating that the term masked a hidden Islamic imperialist intention and thus implying that this man who is a Nobel prize winner had concealed, nefarious motives for his courageous actions last week in Cairo.

Glenn Beck talks to his listeners as if they are completely ignorant and dependent upon him, the expert, coming across as a not very good eighth grade civics teacher instructing his students. His use of insinuation is especially disturbing. In the example above, he does not come right out and say that Mohamed ElBaradei is a radical Islamist, but he strongly implies it, and his audience is clearly expected to “get” his implications. Socialists and communists are very bad guys in Beck’s eyes, and he is currently mixing them in with the Muslim Brotherhood “radical Islamists,” who Beck says have as a goal the establishment of an Islamic “Caliphate” throughout the world. On one of his broadcasts last week he actually tried to tie the “communist” Weatherman Underground movement of the 1960’s to the current upheavals in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East.

On January 31st, on his television broadcast, Beck said, “This is about world domination,” and predicted that in the future the Eastern hemisphere would consist of three powers: a Muslim Caliphate, China (which would have incorporated much of Southeast Asia, including Australia), and Russia (which would have taken over much of northeastern Europe). During his radio broadcast of February 3rd, Beck said “We’re talking about the end of the Western way of life, if we don’t pay attention.” He went on the elucidate three principal ideas that are guiding his current focus:  1. “Groups from the hard core socialist and communist left and extreme Islam will work together because they are both a common enemy of Israel and the Jew”; 2. Groups from the hard core socialist and communist left and extreme Islam will work together because they are the common enemy of Capitalism and the Western way of life”; 3. Groups from the hard core socialist and communist left and extreme Islam will work together because they are both ostracized from power and the mainstream in most of the world.” All of these assertions are complete nonsense, assertions that would not be supported by any expert in international affairs.

I assume the notions Glenn Beck puts out on the radio and television airwaves are influencing a great many people in the United States. He distorts facts. He makes insinuations that are clearly not supported by facts, which should be questioned by anyone who has even a modest command of history and who follows the news in the print media. He supports divisiveness within the nation, based upon false information. He creates fear in his listeners, fear of the other person who might be different in physical make-up, language and speech, in dress, in customs, in religion. He is a fearmonger, who encourages a fearful, xenophobic, isolationist and embattled world view in his listeners, an affront to the American flag.

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.              –    Abraham Lincoln



Filed under skepticism, values

Lose the Argument

Licorice Fern

Licorice Fern (Polypodium glycyrrhiza)

Part 4 – How to Stop an Argument

Posted by David—

“Look! If you-know-who was such a great president, then why…”

“You see, it’s clear that the earth is 4.5 billion years old…”

“Come  on, you know it’s on Route 441 rather than HWY 28, we need to get off at the next exit not this one…”

Stop for a moment and seriously consider losing the battle. Try submitting to your opponent for a moment and see what happens. If you’re not 100% certain or at least 100% riding on faith in your perspective, then submit to your opponent. If you are certain, then there’s no need to argue. Just say the truth with authority and move on.

“I never thought about it that way.”

“I suppose that I’m basing my facts on ideas which I’m really not all that certain about.”

“Okay, let’s try your way.”

But be honest with your statements. If you say you’ll think about it, really do take the information and digest it.  The bomb will be diffused. See where it takes you.

Please note that I’m not talking about capitulation here. It’s not really possible to compromise truth. Don’t water-down your belief here. Just be humble where humility is appropriate. This form of submission is like saying, “Wow, the universe is an amazing, complex, yet simple, and gloriously beautiful place, more so that I can imagine. I’ve been wrong before. I could be wrong this time.”  

And if you find out you were right all along, you can have a fight—a fight with yourself. Fight very hard to not let yourself even think, “I told you so.”

If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic.

Luke 6:29

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Filed under Christianity, Politics

Examine Yourself

How to Stop an Argument 101 – Part 2

Posted by David—

It’s amazing how sometimes, I go into a situation trying hard not to argue, because of all the things I said previously, but still I end up laying down my perspective, this way and that way, trying to justify myself especially when I consider myself to be falsely accused. The argument builds. Listening break down along both fronts. Yes, all arguing is a form of warfare.

What do we do in these situations? We stop justifying ourselves and our point, no matter how much we think our point or our character has been hurt. We can’t and we shouldn’t try. In fact, if we try, we will fail, because it’s simply not our role and it is impossible. We must know in our hearts that Justice is pure and real. We don’t need to engage in warfare for ourselves. If we are being truthful, and are in the right, then we will be justified. It’s a simple fact that takes faith to employ.

What’s most crucial when these events occur in our lives is for us to search inward and find out how we have been in err, how we have lied, and take effort to obtain forgiveness. But that’s the most difficult thing to do, especially when we think we’re in the right and have been wronged. It’s completely counterintuitive, but it is the solution to all arguments and all warfare for that matter.

Ever seen a president or a king do that before? “You’re right, we have been putting economic and social strain on your land and people. Forgive us.” It’s unlikely for that to happen. However, we can make these sorts of amends almost daily in all of our interpersonal interactions, whether it be our spouses, parents, kids, friends, associates, you name it. This is peace as painful as it may be. It’s painful at the moment and it won’t make things all hunky-dory afterward either, not by a long shot.

The process I’m talking about is a lifelong journey, and truthfully, is only really possible through Christ. This is the most practical application of “The Cross” that you or I will ever engage in. In this process, we are nailed to the cross and our walk in the Kingdom begins.

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.

2 Corinthians 13

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Filed under Christianity, Psychology