Glenn Beck has been warning us that the country was on the verge of collapse for over a decade, so naturally the conservative pundit spent this week swearing this time it was definitely happening.
On his radio program, Beck insisted that persecution against Christians had reached a tipping point in America. How? He doesn’t say. Examples? He has none. Instead, he invited on a religious fundamentalist named Jim Garlow to act as his parrot during a segment in which Beck laid out his plans for resistance.
As if hearing “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” while grocery shopping wasn’t hard enough, Beck and his fellow Christian malcontents have recently had to endure the oppression of serving gay people at their places of business. From flower shops to bakeries, Christian owners have increasingly been made to behave in a non-discriminatory way towards the gay community (in the same way they are required to no longer discriminate based on race, religion, or gender). This new-found expectation of common decency, coupled with America’s plummeting religiosity, has incensed Beck. Where most of us see “progress,” Beck paranoia see’s only conspiracy and threats.
To “fight” back (and apparently he does mean fight), Beck has spent the last few years recruiting and coordinating a network of religious leaders which he melodramatically refers to as the “Black Robe Regiment” to push back against the sea of change. According to the group’s estimates, around 70,000 people have signed up. So far they’ve accomplished little, but Beck promised his listeners that this would soon change. In fact, he swears that he now knows that anywhere from 10,000 to 17,000 of these “Black Robe” pastors have expressed a willingness to die in order to stop gay marriage and combat anti-Christian persecution.
Well then, an egomaniac with a personal army of 10,000 religious extremists willing to die for a losing cause. What could go wrong?
“‘The number in the Black Robe Regiment is about 70,000 now,’ Beck told his listeners. ‘The number that I think will walk through a wall of fire, you know, and possible death, is anywhere between 17,000 and 10,000. That is an extraordinary number of people that are willing to lay it all down on the table and willing to go to jail or go to death because they serve God and not man.”
It’s hard to imagine anyone is buying what Beck is selling anymore. It’s amazing to think that Fox News, a network not known for its restraint, seems to have kept Beck in check. Since being expelled from Fox and launching his own media company, he’s jumped headlong into conspiracy theories and delusions of grandeur that would make a cult leader blush. Now Beck believes he is commanding an Army of God to oppose gay people. It would be shocking if it weren’t so painfully obvious.
Thankfully for those of us who would rather nobody die over gay marriage, Beck’s belief that there is a holy war being waged in the United States is about as real as the societal collapse he keeps promising is just around the corner. The 10,000 radicals vowing death over gay rights will likely never have to face that choice. In fact, there is a much easier option: They could simply, you know, get over it.
Feature image via New Republic