On his radio show on March 2, Glenn Beck said the following to churchgoers: “I beg you, look for the words ‘social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church website. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words … Am I advising people to leave their church? Yes!” Since then, several Christian bloggers and some pastors have taken him to task. From the Times:
Religion scholars say the term “social justice” was probably coined in the 1800s, codified in encyclicals by successive popes and adopted widely by Protestant churches in the 1900s.
The concept is that Christians should not merely give to the poor, but also work to correct unjust conditions that keep people poor. Many Christians consider it a recurring theme in Scripture.
Beck himself is a Mormon, and once said of the religion, “I don’t care if there is Kool-Aid in the basement, I’m drinking it.” But a Mormon expert isn’t so sure. “One way to read the Book of Mormon is that it’s a vast tract on social justice,” Philip Barlow, a professor of Mormon history and culture at Utah State University, told the paper. “A lot of Latter-day Saints would think that Beck was asking them to leave their own church.”
Outraged by Glenn Beck’s Salvo, Christians Fire Back [NYT]
Earlier: 21 Questions With Glenn Beck
Related: 81 Minutes With Fox News Host Glenn Beck [NYM]