Glenn Beck: The Plan (VERY SCARY MAN THAT GLEN BECK-Nutcase thats for sure)
Saturday I went out to The Villages in Florida. The official number given to the Times and then not printed at any given number was 25,000 people. The Villages told me that they thought the number was closer to 35,000 but they didn't want to say. They just didn't, they don't ever want to overestimate. I will tell you they were two miles out and there were people walking from their cars, and their cars were parked on the lawns and in the grass because there was no place else to park. I looked at Joe who is my right‑hand man and I looked at him and I said, "Joe, dear heavens. Look how desperate people are for someone with an answer." As I walked up to the stage, it was extraordinarily humbling, and I want you to know, I just want you to know I'm doing my best.
I'm coming to you next year with a plan, and it's multilayered. The first is ‑‑ and I started working on this in August. A 100‑year plan for America. This country was destroyed, and it began 100 years ago with the progressive movement. We weren't destroyed overnight. We were destroyed piece by piece. So how do we get it back? Libertarians lose because they say "I'm going to abolish the IRS." Well, no, you're not. It took 100 years to get this thing. I'm going to abolish, I'm going to abolish the Department of Education, or, I'm going to pull all of my troops home. Nature abhors a vacuum. You cannot pull our troops back. Even though I now agree with you, you can't do it overnight. There has to be a plan, and it won't happen with one administration, and it won't happen with just one party. We must invite Republicans and Democrats who like freedom and small government. We must invite them into a plan that makes sense! That encourages sustainability. We must get them into ‑‑ you know the saying, into the tent. But see, the tent doesn't mean anything anymore. What is the purpose of a tent? A tent is to keep the elements away, to keep you safe in case of a rainstorm. But see, we don't have a tent anymore with these two parties. There is no tent. Show me the tent. "Well, we agree on blah, blah‑blah." There can't be a tent. Because a tent requires stakes. A tent requires some sort of stake to hold it down to the ground. Well, what are those stakes? They're principles and they're values. We don't have any principles anymore. The principle is, are we going to pass healthcare because we don't want the other side to look like we passed healthcare, or we were against healthcare. We've got to go and be in part of this. Well, we've got to make sure that we get SEIU on board. Do we have them on board? How much money are we getting over here? Hey, can we get Louisiana a $300 million bribe? There's no principles anymore. So there can't be any tent because there's nothing to stake that tent down! And both the Republicans and the Democrats know it. They know it. But they don't fear anything. I'm an alcoholic in recovery. It's tough. It's tougher when you're drinking to stop. Everybody has their own bottom. Until I started having blackouts and my doctor said you're going to die, you keep doing this, you'll be dead within six months, it still wasn't enough until I had blackouts, doctor gives me six months to live, my best friend Pat, he can't work with me anymore, and I lie to my children that I finally said I've got to stop. Well, where is the bottom for the Republicans and the Democrats? Where is their bottom? They don't fear their political death. They don't fear the party's demise. Well, they need to. And if they don't wake up, if they don't go back and look for the stakes of that tent and the principles of those tents, if they don't look back for the principles and the values of our Constitution, they should be destroyed! We're not destroying them; they're destroying themselves. We're trying to save ya. But nobody can save an alcoholic from himself. He's got to turn the corner himself. So we're not waiting for them. You want to come, you want to wake up and join us? The best thing you can do is join us because you already have the structure! Until that time we're going to build the structure.
I'm going to teach you how to be a community organizer next year, oh, because two can play at that game. I'm going to teach you how to be self‑reliant next year. We've divided the country up into seven regions. I don't know how many of these we're going to be able to do, but we're going to do these, what would you even call them? Day‑long education seminars, and the first one we announce is going to happen in March in Orlando, Florida, where we're going to teach you everything you need to know. And I'm going to try to bring in some experts. How do you build a lifeboat? What do we do right now to be able to save our country, to be able to get them to wake up before an election? Can we get them to wake up before the election? Can we get them ‑‑ I've had enough of calling these clowns; they don't listen to us. Well, the next time we go to Washington, the next time, you know, Michele Bachmann says, hey, you've got to come to Washington, well, thousands of people did go to Washington and they still passed the damn thing. Because we don't have teeth. Well, it's time to find our teeth and sharpen our teeth, and we're going to do it. And then on August 28th ‑‑ write this down in your calendar because this will be most likely the last large gathering on the mall in Washington, D.C. August 28th, I ask you to meet me. Take your family. We move ‑‑ we had something planned. We moved it to August 28th because I wanted your family to be able to be there and your family not in school, et cetera, et cetera. So come to the feet of Abraham Lincoln on August 28th. By that time I hope to have enough things out there that you will at least have some teeth to the ‑‑ so the politicians will see you and hear you and fear you! The reason why I say I think it's going to be the last large gathering on the mall is because our government has decided that there will be no more gatherings, large gatherings on the mall with Abraham Lincoln and the Lincoln Memorial as of 2011. This will be historic. In the meantime piece by piece, little by little I'm developing this plan, and I will explain more to you a little later. It's not something I take lightly. It is not something that is something I can whip out. But two can play at this game, and I'll give you more details as things continue. But I want you to know we are all stewards of this country, and I take my stewardship of my part of the republic seriously, and I take your faith in me extraordinarily seriously. We're in it together.
Who’s Amish Now?
Is avoiding the health care mandate worth fastening your clothes with straight pins?Chris Armstrong recently retold it at his blog:
When Brethren evangelist Rufus P. Bucher was asked by a stranger in a railway station, “Brother, are you saved?” he replied that since he might be prejudiced on the question, his interrogator should go ask his wife, children, and neighbors. “I’ll be ready to let their answers stand as my own.”There’s a reason why the Anabaptists believe in showing and not telling. For a couple of hundred years they were sought out, tortured and murdered for their faith. And not just by their neighbors, but by their state. Fleeing from Switzerland to escape the horrors of the Radical Reformation, Anabaptists, who ascribe to adult baptism and are comprised of Amish and Mennonite sects, headed first to Germany, then to Russia and the infant United States. They never looked back. The need to escape religious persecution at home became the need to find religious tolerance wherever it existed. Today Mennonite and Amish populations live on every continent, in every country that will allow them freedom to live their modest lifestyle, outside the strictures of modern society or government laws. You won’t find a group of believers more versed in the necessity for strict separation of church and state; the Anabaptists know better than most what happens when a nation’s rulers adopt theocratic laws: somebody’s bound to get killed.
All this makes conservative commentator Don Surber’s recent claim that “We are all Amish now” intriguing, if not a bit demeaning. Surber and other luminary conservative commentators, including Michelle Malkin and Laura Ingraham’s blogger Raymond Arroyo—an odd bunch that insists government should stay out of their lives but not out of others’—got wind of the exemption for Anabaptists in the new health care bill. Amish and Old Order Mennonites will not be required to pay the health care mandate, a fee for government-facilitated health care that, if unpaid, will result in a fine comparable to a percentage of one’s salary. Surber writes, “I’d say the Amish have about 16 million people who might want to become Amish and be conscientious objectors to being drafted into Obamacare.”
Michelle Malkin predicts, citing New York state’s Watertown Daily News which first reported the exemption, “I think there’s going to be a wave of religious conversions this year…Amish families can claim an exemption from the Demcare’s planned government health care insurance mandate as a matter of faith.” Her point, that some faiths are more exempt from government intrusion than others, is further “explained” by Raymond Arroyo:
So get this straight: the Amish, Old Order Mennonites and possibly Christian Scientists can opt out of the health care plan, with no penalty, while Catholics and other Christians are bound to pay premiums that fund abortion. How is that fair? Hundreds of Christian, pro-life hospitals, doctors and nurses may soon be forced to violate their consciences and offer or perform procedures they consider morally objectionable.Beyond the fact that health care reform will not force Catholics nor other Christians to perform abortions—the Hyde, Church, Coats, and Weldon Amendments protect provider “conscience” rights, but sadly, not patients’ (speaking of unfair)—Arroyo misses the point completely. Contrary to the media’s unrefined reportage on the greatest “culture war” issue of all time, not every Christian denomination is theologically defined solely by their opposition to abortion.
While this talk of conversion may make a fantastic image—Michelle Malkin fastening her clothes on each morning with straight pins, giving up makeup and the spotlight, baking four shoe-fly pies on a wood stove, and not speaking unless spoken to (ok, that’s appealing)—what they display is a resolute and impassioned ignorance of religious nuance. They conflate vastly divergent religious convictions into one monolithic Christian ideology, their own. And they’ve slapped a label on it: FAITH.
What they all get wrong is why Amish and Mennonites are exempt from paying the proposed insurance mandate: Anabaptists don’t believe in insurance. And they never have. Anabaptist theology reaches back, with surprising purity, to its earliest founding principle: two worlds. There’s no point in saving the world because it is fallen and doomed to evil. The second, holy world, the Anabaptist Kingdom, lives separate from society, self-reliant and independent of modern government services, laws, banks or taxes. As Richard Kyle writes:
…the “true church” had to separate from the world and live by the ethic contained in the Sermon on the Mount. In practice, this notion of separation meant several things for the Anabaptists: they advocated the disestablishment of the church and its separation from the world; they renounced warfare and use of the sword; they refused to conform to many civic mores, including swearing by the civil oath and bringing suit in courts of law.And they refused to rely on the worldly insurance industry to catch them if they fell. In recent decades, “mutual aid” organizations have been established to shield Mennonites from catastrophic loss; the Amish tend to pool their resources when a member is ill, just as they would to build a barn. And you won’t find Orthodox Anabaptists tapping out political screeds on blogs or picketing the local Planned Parenthood clinic. One’s faith and conscience are private, lived by example, “in the world but not of it,” not demonstrated through democratic activism, government lobbying, or proselytizing for federal laws. This kind of separate-from-the-world life is probably not what Malkin had in mind.
As the word of Anabaptist exemption got around the Web last week, Kansas Redneck decided to form his own Reformed Amish sect, offering to be “transitional deacon” while the group got going. The objective would be to get out of the health care mandate but not have to wear those funny clothes and give up cars. He writes, “Heck, what is there to lose? We agree to not accept social suckery [social security] and in exchange are exempted from Obambi care [health care].” A “true patriot’s” dream, no doubt.
While I understand that this conversion talk is in jest, when one considers America’s predilection for shopping around for a new faith like a new coat—often switching denominations repeatedly—choosing one’s faith based on grounds of convenience sounds a bit like the less pithy version of selecting the God you’d most like to have a beer with.
Having narrowly avoided membership in the Mennonite church myself—I come from a long line of Mennonites, my earliest ancestors can be traced back to the Radical Reformation and the initial Anabaptist settlers of Pennsylvania—I’m still bothered by the ease with which these comments suggest adopting a “plain” lifestyle. Faith, they seem to say, is a convenience, not a conviction; a simple matching up of environment and chosen lifestyle to a copacetic denomination, preferably one that will get you out of taxation.
As the week progressed, “We’re all Amish now” devolved into more pointed discrimination of Anabaptists. As one commenter, who mis-remembers the nature of the Establishment Clause, writes, “A clear-cut violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment if I ever saw one … the government is favoring one religion over all others by this exemption.” The muddy implication is that objection to the health care mandate on grounds of faith—never mind the nature of that faithful objection—should be applied to all believers, not just the Anabaptists.
My first reaction to all this commentary is one of profound sadness: not only for the ahistorical, a-theological defamation of other faiths, but for the proud commenter’s ignorance of the laws of religious tolerance the US was founded on—and their purpose. My second reaction is one of challenge: I just dare you all to go “plain”; I wouldn’t give you two weeks in the Anabaptist’s Kingdom, health care mandate or not.