Whether being leveled by Atheists, Islamists, or members of the far-left faith community, it appears America's Judeo-Christian foundation is under assault from all angles. Israel and the Jewish people, too, have not escaped persecution at the hands of some usual suspects. That was the overriding theme of Monday evening's Glenn Beck Program with guest, Blaze Faith Editor, Billy Hallowell.
A review of recent events doesn't bode well for faith-keepers and those who stand with Israel:
Over the weekend, Atheists held what they dubbed the "Reason Rally," at the National Mall, encouraging secularists from around the country to attend and "bring their kids" to partake of the "fun" -- a portion of which consisted of a "musical" interlude where the Pope was berated with a four-letter expletive nearly 80 (yes, 80) times. While the spectacle was clearly not suitable for young ears (many would argue it wasn't even suitable for adults), children were encouraged to participate in the rally and offered a taste of what is on offer all season at secular summer camp.
The rally, heavily funded by billionaire Todd Stiefel, included notable secularist groups American Atheists, Richard Dawkins Foundation and the often controversial Freedom From Religion Foundation, among others. The goal of the rally was to tout the virtues of what Atheists consider common sense over dogma.
According to News Observer, in February Stiefel gave $500,000 to the Secular Coalition for America, a Washington-based organization that lobbies on behalf of several atheist, humanist and agnostic organizations. He also contributed two smaller gifts to two of the coalition's members: a $100,000 matching grant to American Atheists and a $50,000 matching grant to the Secular Student Alliance.
Hallowell dubbed Stiefel the "George Soros of Atheists" and noted the unique position this wealthy, full-time activist has found himself in after being given a 2010 audience with the White House to champion his cause. Hallowell noted the occasion remarkable, given it was the first time Atheists had ever been extended a White House invitation of this kind. In exploring the origins of Atheists' new-found success, Beck said it would not be surprising if, upon further research, the "fingerprints" of SEIU or other labor unions would be found.
Hallowell, who attended the event and reported on it extensively for The Blaze, noted a stark difference between the attitude of the attendees and that of the event's speakers. He observed that Richard Dawkins and the founder of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, in particular, could have been perceived as antagonistic and that neither one's demeanor would have made outsiders feel welcome. While many of the guests were considered cordial, Hallowell previously reported on a contingent who held the general mindset that those who believe in God or practice any kind of religion are living in the 14th century.
Billed as "family friendly and inclusive," Beck noted that the event sounded anything but.
Beck and Hallowell compared the new, official Atheist symbol and the original Anarchist symbols. Bear a resemblance?
Hallowell pointed out that while the attendance at Reason was less than Atheists were touting it was, there were at least 10,000 gathered at the National Mall, which is no small number.
For his part, Stiefel's alleged goal is to bring a softer, more diplomatic facade to Atheism -- a push which could bring the movement even greater success in garnering adherents.
Now, at 16% of the American population, Atheists feel they are poised to effect change in the halls of America's institutions, actively lobbying congress on issues most important to them. One current push is to dismantle any protections in place that would prevent religious employers from covering the cost of contraception to its employees per Obamacare's controversial mandate.
One wonders why the vast majority of outspoken Atheists aren't content to operate within a "live and let live" framework, but rather proactively seek out opportunities to disparage or challenge their ideological opposites.
And while the Reason Rally claimed its intended purpose was "not about attacking Christianity," Beck noted that a contingent are indeed "bigots." At the end of the day, attendees and organizers of Reason said they hope to be the "AARP of Atheism" and it appears they plan to realize this goal by tackling a local, grassroots approach.
Both Beck and Hallowell astutely observed that the Reason Rally was much like a religious gathering, and that Atheism is, essentially, its own religion.
Beck also urged viewers to observe that President Obama is "a man who says one thing" and does something else and asked if it is a coincidence that Atheists are organizing now, or if they in fact received the "green light" from the president, a community organizer.
But as the Atheists' gained momentum at their rally for "reason," other radicals -- this time those within the faith-community -- have been on the offensive:
The "wildly anti-Semitic, anti-Israel" Jimmy Carter released his own Bible recently, positing that Jesus Christ never uttered a word about homosexuality and other pearls of Biblical advice. Beck said he'd "take a pass" on "the peanut guy's" study bible. Carter, who Beck considers one of the worst president's in American history, based his book on the many years he spent teaching Sunday school.
Delving deeper into the outlandish words and deeds of spiritual leaders, Carter's Biblical interpretations come on the heels of liberal pastor Jim Wallis' assertion that the U.S. is "not" a Christian nation and that American exceptionalism is "heresy."
Following suit, President Obama's pastor of 20 years (the man credited with converting the president to Christianity), Jeremiah Wright, is standing with Iran as he plans an anti-Israel march to Jerusalem on March 30. The event is slated to coincide with what the Palestinians dub "Land Day," an annual holiday commemorating "those who fell" attempting to "preserve their land and identity" against Israel.
And now, despite the State Department's warning that citizens not travel to Israel to attend Beck's "Restoring Courage" event in Jerusalem last summer, the administration has remained silent on Reverend Wright's march thus far.
It should also be noted that yet another BDS (boycott and divestment) push -- this time at a longstanding Brooklyn food co-op, is seeking to boycott Israeli products in protest of what BDS-advocates call the the Israeli "oppression" and "occupation" of Palestinians. It seems worth noting that one rarely, if ever, hears calls to lead a boycott and divestment campaign against any number of countries that routinely commit atrocious human rights abuses.
Beck noted that all of the above are happening at precisely the same time Catholics have come under assault for standing their ground on the Obamacare contraception mandate. He believes when combined, the current data points to a disturbing pattern of secular-progressive ideology permeating the national landscape.
Is it a coincidence, Beck wondered, that Americans are now witnessing rabid "anti-Semite.. anti-Christian.. anti-White" Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhaninject himself into the national conversation as he calls for vigilante justice in the case of Trayvon Martin?
"Farrakhan is a "cancer eating away at our society" and "is anti-anything unless it's Muslim or crazy," Beck said.
But it is not just the Wallises, Wrights and Farrakhans stirring up trouble according to Beck. Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are two others that have been added to what Beck calls the "toxic" stew of rabble rousers.
Just another part of Phase II of Political System X":
Beck invoked a near-century-old book from the Chicago Theological Seminary that wrote religion must "become more modern" and thus, understand "the machine." The book also suggested those who stand against religion, but stand for social justice, are unimpeachable. So much so in fact, that those who do so are considered more "god-like" and likely to meet Jesus than spiritual leaders who don't practice social justice.
So, Beck reviewed, "bigoted" Atheists are attacking Christians and other faith-keepers, a former president is offering up his own bible, the current president disregards the core tenets of Judeo-Christianity and has sent nods of approval to Atheists, and his longtime Christian pastor is standing in solidarity with Iran and the Palestinians against Israel -- which, ironically, is the birthplace of Christianity.
But that is only a small taste of what is occurring here domestically:
Thousands of miles away, Christians and Jews are under threat of suffering far greater consequences than simply losing some freedoms. Just as Coptic Christians in Egypt are being slaughtered in droves, now, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia is calling on Islamic countries to demolish all churches currently standing.
Exacerbating the issue, the Muslim Brotherhood is heavily vested in the new Egyptian parliament and now seeks a presidential bid -- despite vows from the halls of Washington to Tahrir Square that the Islamic militant group had no intention of becoming a "political" force. The Muslim Brotherhood is an Israel-hostile organization that will likely further the already-damaged relationship between the two countries that once shared a cold peace. All the while, Beck observed, the U.S. remains silent.
And right on cue, the U.K. has banned ads promoting a book on Northern Israel based on complaints the ad "misleadingly" featured images of Judea and Samaria, as well as the Golan Heights, as part of Israel.
The line is no longer between Republicans and Democrats, but rather between "progressive and non-progressive":
Using all of the players discussed throughout this article, Beck used a circular chart to map out these progressive key players. Running the gamut from Farrakhan to Wallis, Sharpton to JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon, and Atheists in between, Beck noted that all the figures are interconnected when viewed through the prism of Political System X.
"The world is being divided," he said.
Because he believes each core component is interconnected, Beck also talked about the perils of vigilante justice as it can further Americans' risk of becoming like those in the Islamic world.
"If you start going after people outside of the law then you become the kind of monster you despise."
At its core, the subjects of Beck's chart reveal "chaos and hatred" as each individual "is intent on stirring up trouble," from Spike Lee to the Grand Mufti.
Beck also noted that each component isolates, destroys, encourages reckless habits and enforces negative stereotypes per Political System X and rhetorically asked why the president has not spoken out in condemnation of such events.
Invoking clips of Van Jones' latest anti-Israeli message and a recent Occupy Wall Street spectacle in which donuts were hung from strings while protesters goaded police, chanting, "here piggie, piggie," he also noted that the progressive society is degenerating to a greater degree than ever before.
In terms of what appears to be the liberal use profanity, Beck pointed out that from the White House's recent guest, gangster-rapper Cee Lo, to Biden using the four-letter expletive, the Obama White House appears receptive to such profanity.
Beck told viewers that both they and God are "under attack."
In closing, Beck announced that on May 17th, he will ask for a national day of fasting and prayer where Americans can consolidate their faith and efforts as they seek protection and guidance from God.