Lawrence O vs. Glenny B on the Book of Revelation
By: Barry Belmont

Politics and religion have a very nuanced and complicated relationship with one another, historically speaking. This is especially true amongst those figureheads who feel comfortable straddling both fields with impunity. I have in mind the talking heads of Fox News in particular, though many political pundits have at the very least strong religious feelings. And of those pundits and Fox News types, Glenn Beck stands astride it all with his oddly mixed intermingling of new age Mormonism and quasi-libertarianism.

Recently, Beck has put forth the begging-the-question notion that perhaps we are living during the ‘end times’ saying that while he does not know the divine plan of the creator of the universe, a huge earthquake/tsunami combo in one of the least religious countries in the world has got to mean something. This is in line with the belief that some Christians espouse that the world will end on May 21 of this year.

Now, you may be asking, what has all of this got to do with political philosophy? The reason I bring this up is that Glenn Beck is not alone and that a great many people actively believe that the world will end during their lifetime almost exclusively for religious reasons. And the world ending (at least in the Judeo-Christian-Muslim conception) would be the start of the most glorious time that humanity has ever known. As Sam Harris points out, It is no exaggeration to say that if New York were suddenly replaced by a mushroom cloud a not insignificant portion of the population would see a silver lining. They believe this because such horrific disaster is cataloged in the Book of Revelations of the Christian Bible.

How exactly are you to convince people that they should invest in the future, respect the private property rights of others, not sink so heavily into debt when they can rely on a few sheets at the very end of a book to claim that the world will be burned to ash and the righteous glutted on the pleasures of paradise?

Well, MSNBC host, Lawrence O’Donnell has tried one approach, and that is to call out Beck (and thus his supporters) to fess up to the fact that they do not believe in the entirety of the Bible and to cop to the fact that they pick and choose the good parts. His explanation of the situation is nothing short of poetic.



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