It has been no secret that there have been some among the Religious Right who have raised concerns about the prominent role that Glenn Beck has been playing within the movement because he is a practitioner of the Mormon faith. And given David Barton's close ties to Beck, Barton has also received criticism for defending Beck, often by claiming that if you judge Beck simply by the "fruits" of his works and not his label, he is really a Christian.
While Beck himself openly embraces his Mormon faith and has even dedicated entire programs to defending it, Barton continues to insist that Beck is really just a Mormon in name only, and he only does that because he has a loyalty to the church for helping him overcome with problems with alcohol.
As Barton explained to Steve Deace last week, individual Mormons can go to Heaven and Beck really "became a Christian back when he was in Alcoholics Anonymous" but identifies as a Mormon today only "because he has a loyalty to them":
They see the label Mormon and they say "ah, I know what that is." No you don't. To say a Mormon can't go to Heaven is like saying every Baptist is going to Heaven. What you have to look at is individuals. And individuals often don't believe what the rest of the of the group does.
Now, in the case of Glenn - and I'm not going to speak for Glenn, I'll just speak for what I know about him - Glenn became a Christian back when he was in Alcoholics Anonymous, but when he was up in New England and laying on the floor, curled up, trying to get withdrawal from drugs and alcohol, no Christians reach out to him; it was the Mormon Church that took him under its arm and said 'hey, let us help you.' And they just loved on him and they just held him and he's got a loyalty to them because they're the people who reached out for him when he really needed help.
So people get stuck over what the label is and my position has been very simple; if I walk up to a tree and it says I'm a banana tree but I keep seeing apples, what do I go by? The label or what I see of the fruit?
And so people again keep getting caught up over labels, but hey, back off the labels, judge the fruit. And there's going to be things we disagree with and I think you analysis was good is that it's in development. You know, you look at where he was three years ago and where he is now; a world of difference.