Kyle Mantyla's blog

Glenn Beck And David Barton Launch Misleading Effort To Pressure Pastor To Preach On Conservative Issues

Glenn Beck felt that his television program last night was so important that he took to Facebook to tell his fans that "if you only watch one show the rest of this year from me on the blaze, make it today's." What his viewers found if they tuned in was David Barton promoting Seven Mountains dominionism, a movement that believes that Christians must gain control of the seven main cultural centers in order to create a "virtual theocracy" in America:

Barton has been openly promoting Seven Mountains since 2011 and now Beck is likewise on board, declaring in a separate Facebook post last night that "there are seven hills of culture. If you plan on surviving as a culture you must have these seven hills."

But all of this dominionist rhetoric was really just a lead-up to the release of a poll conducted by Christian pollster George Barna that reportedly found that churchgoers want their pastors to deliver more sermons opposing things like gay marriage and abortion rights and Islam.

The poll itself was conducted by Barna through the American Culture and Faith Institute, which just so happens to be "the public opinion research arm of United in Purpose," a Religious Right effort started several years ago for the purpose of mobilizing millions of right-wing Christians to vote.

To hear Barton, Beck and Barna tell it, the poll found that the average churchgoer is simply dying to have their pastor take on a whole host of controversial issues from the pulpit:

Top 12 Issues the Church Wants to Hear:

1. Abortion: Beginning of life, right to life, contraception, adoption, unwed mothers. 91%

2. Religious persecution/liberty: Personal duty, government duty, church response, global conditions. 86%

3. Poverty: Personal duty, government role, church role, homelessness, hunger, dependency. 85%

4. Cultural restoration: Appropriate morals, law and order, defensible values and norms, self-government. 83%

5. Sexual identity: Same-sex marriage, transgenderism, marriage, LGBT. 82%

6. Israel: Its role in the world, Christian responsibility to Israel, US foreign policy toward Israel and its enemies. 80%

7. Christian Heritage: role of Christian faith in American history, church role in US development, modern-day relevance. 79%

8. Role of Government: Biblical view, church-state relationship, personal responsibility, limitations. 76%

9. Bioethics: Cloning, euthanasia, genetic engineering, cryogenics, organ donation, surrogacy. 76%

10. Self-governance: Biblical support, personal conduct, impact on freedom, national sovereignty. 75%

11. Church in politics/government: Separation of church and state, legal boundaries, church resistance to government. 73%

12. Islam: Core beliefs, response to Islamic aggression, threat to US peace and domestic stability. 72%

Throughout the program, all three men repeatedly created the impression that this was a poll of average "church-going, Bible-believing people" and that pastors have been failing to address the issues that their congregations care most about:

But if you actually bother to read the poll, you discover that "conservatives represented 92% of the total respondents" and that it's findings primarily reflected the desires of "spiritually active Christians who hold politically conservative views."

It should not come as a surprise to anyone that conservative Christians want their pastors to preach against abortion and gay rights, but obviously conservatives are not the only ones filling the pews on Sundays.

In Barna's poll, 92% of respondents were conservative, while the other 8% were "moderates"; unsurprisingly, the moderates did not share the conservative views at all:

Christian conservatives were twice as likely as Christian moderates to desire more information (67% vs. 31%). Christian moderates, in contrast, were five times more likely to say that churches should not be involved in politics at all ... It is helpful to note that there are huge differences in the opinions of conservative Christians and moderate Christians on the importance of receiving biblical teaching on these matters from their church. Comparing their answers on the dozen most important issues to conservatives, realize that the average gap between the two segments is 30.2 percentage points, with the conservatives indicating a higher level of interest on each of these twelve subjects.

Predictably, nobody on Beck's show last night bothered to point out this rather important fact, as they repeatedly presented the poll as representing the views of regular churchgoers instead of the views of right-wing Christians, which is what it actually represents.

To make matters worse, the misleading poll findings are now being used by Beck and Barton to launch an effort aimed at pressuring pastors into preaching on the issues that the conservatives want to hear about.

Beck even posted a sample letter on his website for people to use in urging their pastors to address these issues:

We also want to encourage you to be bold in providing a Biblical perspective and spiritual guidance on the important moral, social and cultural issues confronting us today. As never before in our history, we are facing complex problems, and there is a competing cacophony of voices telling us what to think about these issues. We need clear guidance on what the Scriptures tell us about such issues such as abortion, religious persecution, sexual identity, bioethics and so much else. Our thinking, our children and our families are under attack from so many secular voices telling us how to think about these issues.

We understand many of these things will be seen as controversial to some, but this is all the more reason we need a clear spiritual perspective on them. Everyone seems to have their own opinion, but we want to know what the Bible says on each of these issues.

We have recently discovered we are not alone in our hunger for clear guidance on specific issues. A recent survey conducted by national pollster George Barna of the American Culture & Faith Institute shows that the overwhelming majority of serious Bible-minded church-goers are also hungering for relevant information.

...

We want – indeed, we need – to hear what God says about these things, which are pressing in upon our thinking from so many directions. We want you to know that if you will take leadership in teaching us about these things, we will have your back – we will ourselves stand up to the critics – we will stand with you and for you. We want to become better disciples and think like Jesus thought on all of these issues.

A few years ago, Beck and Barton launched the National Black Robe Regiment, which was designed to mobilize "courageous and patriotic ministers who will provide leadership and speak out on the pressing issues of the day."

We are guessing that that effort must not have been much of a success if Beck and Barton have now been forced to launch a separate effort misleadingly designed to get congregations to pressure their pastors into preaching on the issues that only conservative Christians care about.

Right Wing Round-Up - 9/23/15

  • Kevin Drum: Donald Trump Once Again Shows That He's Probably Never Cracked Open a Bible in His Life.
  • Joe Jervis: Searching For The “Gay Friends” Of Kim Davis.
  • Carlos Maza @ Equality Matters: How The Media Is Helping A Hate Group Leader Gain Political Power.
  • TFN Insider: Travis County GOP Promotes Anti-Muslim Screed That Also Calls George W. Bush a ‘Coward and Traitor’.
  • Andrew Husband @ Mediaite: Phoenix Anti-Islam Rally Organizer Vows to Arrest Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 9/23/15

  • FRC is not exactly welcoming Pope Francis with open arms: "May American Christians give the Pope a hearty welcome! When hearing his views on 'Climate Change,' economic policy, and proposed Palestinian State, may they be like the Bereans who respectfully and eagerly listened to the Apostle Paul but examined the Scriptures daily to see if what he taught was true."
  • Donald Trump is now boycotting Fox News because the network "has been treating me very unfairly."
  • A good question: "Where Are the Cross-Inspired Doritos?"
  • Bill Muehlenberg says that "given that the sin homosexuality is singled out by Paul in this section of Scripture as the predominant example of why sinful man deserves the wrath of God, it seems we can say with full assurance that the West is long overdue for God’s righteous judgment."
  • Finally, the Media Research Center has released an informative new report: "Right Wing Watch Proves Norman Lear is No 'Conservative'."

Barber: Criticism Of Kim Davis Reminiscent Of Sodom And Gomorrah, The Inquisition

On Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom" radio program today, Matt Barber declared that the vitriol aimed at Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis for prohibiting her office from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples is reminiscent of the days of Sodom and Gomorrah and the Inquisition, as LGBT activists insist that everyone "come on board with our pagan sexuality or we will literally kill you."

"This whole saga," he said, "is reminiscent of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19 ... The homosexual men of Sodom and Gomorrah, they surrounded the house and they said, 'Send them out' and they pounded on the doors and there is this spirit of anger and lust. This white-hot hatred that we see levied toward Kim Davis and her family and Liberty Counsel right now ... the attitude is we demand that you affirm our position, that you call evil good and good evil, that you go against your conscience and what the Bible teaches about sex and sexuality and the reality of marriage as being between a male and female. You must leave all that and come on board with our pagan sexuality or we will literally kill you."

"They also want to crush dissent," he continued, "and compel people to make some kind of public statement, an overt act that affirms and confirms the sin that these folks are engaged in. If somebody won't do that, or even if they do do that, just the idea that they themselves, in their own mind and in their own conscience, continue to disagree; you know, we saw with the Inquisition and other things where folks would do all the steps, but just the fact that they still held in the heart of hearts opposition to certain theological differences or, in this case, political and spiritual differences, just because they hold that in their heart of hearts, the only thing left to do is to kill somebody. And it's that kind of white-hot hatred and anger that we see rising up with these death threats and these vile attacks."

Right Wing Round-Up - 9/22/15

  • Timothy Johnson @ Media Matters: Gun Owners Of America Lashes Out After Media Scrutiny Of Ted Cruz Endorsement Exposes Extremist History.
  • Sean Mandell @ Towleroad: Kim Davis Is Ready To Go Back To Jail, Insists She’s Not a Hateful Hypocrite.
  • Joe Jervis: Huckabee: Inviting Gays To Meet The Pope Is Like Inviting Alcoholics To An Open Bar.
  • Alan Colmes: Alan Colmes vs. Frank Gaffney: Ben Carson makes sense.
  • Warren Throckmorton: With David Barton as Principal Officer, Non-Profit Mercury One Gave $100k to Barton’s Wallbuilders.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 9/22/15

  • Ben Carson says that America should not elect a president who will not "swear to place our Constitution above their religion." He was talking about Muslims, but that would obviously also eliminate the likes of Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, and Mike Huckabee, as well as the entire Religious Right movement.
  • Unsurprisingly, Carson's Muslim-bashing has been very good for his presidential campaign coffers.
  • Sher Zieve warns that "no nation has ever survived the treason which is now an every day occurrence in what was once our White House."
  • Phyllis Schlafly says that "Carly Fiorina was the only candidate on stage who firmly declined the moderator's invitation to recommend a woman for the $10 or $20 bill, replacing Hamilton or Jackson, two great men without whom America as we know it would not exist. The 10 male candidates should have had the fortitude to resist that bad feminist idea."
  • Finally, despite the fact that Jonathan Cahn's Shemitah prophecy was a total bust, it amazingly still managed to come true!

Glenn Beck Is Convinced That Ahmed Mohamed Brought A Half Of A Bomb To School

Glenn Beck dedicated a segment of his radio program today to reiterating his conviction that the arrest of 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed for bringing a homemade clock to school was some sort of set-up by radical Muslim activists, insisting today that it was entirely appropriate for police to arrest and handcuff the ninth grader because they had no way of knowing whether his clock was actually just the timer for a bomb that was to be delivered to someone else at the school who was carrying explosives.

While Beck had literally no evidence to support any of his suspicions, he declared that the police had no choice but to arrest and handcuff Mohamed because he might have decided to "go crazy" and try to run and then, if something were to have happen to him, "it's the cop's fault, so they have to put him in handcuffs."

"They should have arrested him," Beck stated. "That's exactly how you build a bomb."

Asserting that the police had no idea why Mohamed had brought his clock to school, Beck said the police had no choice but to arrest him. "You have to say, 'What is your motivation? Is there anybody else involved? Are you bringing the timing device? Does somebody else in school have explosives?'"

You would think that Beck would be a little more careful about basely spreading accusations like this considering that the last time he did so, he wound up getting himself sued.

Anti-Islam Activist: Ahmed Mohamed's Arrest Was A Plot To Create A 'Muslim-Privilege Exemption To Anti-Terrorism Efforts

Glenn Beck dedicated his television program last night to revealing "the truth" about what really happened when 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed was arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school, insisting that the entire thing was a set-up and part of an "influence operation" by radical Muslims who are waging "civilization jihad" in America.

Beck brought Beth Van Duyne, the mayor of Ahmed’s hometown of Irving, Texas, on to the show to defend the school and police officials who detained the ninth grader. Van Duyne has been a hero to anti-Islam activists ever since she falsely alleged that local Muslim leaders were trying establish Sharia courts, prompting a national fight in which she was openly supported by Beck himself

Van Dunye was rather circumspect in her comments on Beck's program, insisting mainly that only one side of the story was being reported and complaining that everyone from the media to President Obama were jumping to unfair conclusions.

Beck's other guest, Jim Hanson of the anti-Islam organization Center for Security Policy, was far less reserved in his comments, as he declared unequivocally that everything about the situation "was a P.R. stunt, it was a staged event" designed by Islamic radicals for the purpose of undermining anti-terrorism security protocols.

"They did that to create the exact scenario that played out," Hanson said. "They wanted people to react and they wanted to portray this kid as an innocent victim ... I don't think there is any question he was put up to it by someone else who wanted him to take that in to create this exact scenario. As you mentioned, fear and panic, and then out of that to be able to say, 'Look at him, he's a nice, nerdy little kid,' and that the police overreacted and all these things ... They want a Muslim-privilege exemption to 'see something, say something' and that's what this is about."

Right Wing Round-Up - 9/21/15

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 9/21/15

  • Peter LaBarbera is predictably outraged by the news that a gay man has been nominated to serve as Secretary of the Army: "Homosexuality is deviant sexual conduct. Sodomy is immoral, unnatural, and condemned by God. Now we have the military going from George Washington, who drummed a homosexual out of the military, to the U.S. Army being led by an open homosexual."
  • Jesse Lee Peterson knows just what Donald Trump is going through: "I know how it feels to be attacked the way Trump was in the two debates. For the last 25 years, I’ve been set up in the same manner. Many years ago, I was invited to be a panelist at the National Association of Black Journalists’ Conference. The audience was stacked against me, as were all of my fellow panelists – Michael Eric Dyson and other extreme racist liberals. I was called a 'white man’s boy' and worse."
  • Someone really needs to keep Glenn Beck away from Facebook: "We are at a fork in the road and while many will not understand the direction I am headed in, PLEASE for those of you who have documented the things we have seen coming that have now arrived, P L E A S E, listen to my warning and plea."
  • MRC's Dan Gainor is outraged that networks don't cover the post-game prayers following NFL games.
  • Finally, Bethany Blankley is not a fan of the new rainbow Doritos: "Doritos has taken feces and anal sex to a whole new level– making it taste good. Left out in nearly all discussions about homosexuality is the reality that anal sex often infects people with E. coli bacterial infections, spreads sexually transmitted diseases, and can cause anal cavity bleeding and rupturing. Homosexual acts in part, involve one man inserting his sexual organ into another man’s rectum, which contains and emits human excrement."
Share this page: Facebook Twitter Digg SU Digg Delicious