February 29th, 2012

An Open Letter to Glenn Beck

See here for the update: An Open Apology to Glenn Beck


photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Glenn,

You are a complicated man, you know that?

I know many people who think you are the embodiment of deception, seeking to lead an otherwise truth-seeking people off a cliff. To such people, I often stand up for you, noting that you do say some great things from time to time, and have, for example, referred many people to read good books by men far smarter than you or I. You’re not all bad, I say, though emphatically emphasizing that I disagree with you on many things.

Many things.

I try and give you the benefit of the doubt. As you often say, you’re learning as you go along, and progressing towards a libertarian viewpoint. Just the other day, as you have in the past, you told one of your guests that you consider yourself libertarian. So I think to myself: “okay, he’s slowly waking up, maybe he’ll continue to improve over time.”

But good heavens, Glenn. You’re so inconsistent! For example, you’ve recognized that Ron Paul is the closest thing we’ve got to the founding fathers, and then you encourage people not to support him. Then you about-face and suggest he’s what we need, only to then attack him a few days later.

Flip-flopping Mitt Romney? He’s got nothing on you.

But hey, I get that you have a hard time with consistently applying a principle. Many people do. No sweat. All is forgiven. I don’t listen to you, and I encourage others to steer clear, but you’re welcome to continue your self-contradicting tirades all you like, so long as you have the breath to do so. I prefer to keep my distance from you, as I don’t consider you a reliable source of analysis and truth. In short, I ignore you.

This morning, however, you said something that cannot stand without a rebuttal. You attacked Ron Paul, which isn’t a surprise, but you brought our mutual religion (yours and mine, not mine and Dr. Paul’s) into the picture.

Here’s the four minute audio clip:

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And now, the rebuttal.

Glenn, you stay true to form by within this very clip saying something reasonable and agreeable, before you spout some nonsense. In talking about the voting patterns of some Catholics voting for Santorum and some Mormons voting for Romney on the basis of their shared religion, you said: “Don’t vote for the guy who holds the card of your church. Vote for the guy whose principles you agree with….” This is fine, and I agree. Get past the labels, and support others on the basis of their policies, not their church membership.

It seems that in suggesting that we vote based on principles, that you were insinuating that we should vote for somebody who espouses the principles that are part of our church, and not necessarily the guy who “holds the card” of membership in that church. In other words, Catholics should vote for the candidate who best espouses principles compatible with their faith (which may not be Santorum), Mormons should vote for the guy who comes closest to the principles of their faith (which may not be Romney), etc.

With that as your lead-in, you then launched an attack on the idea that some Mormons support Ron Paul, apparently flabbergasted that a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints might believe that this man best espouses the principles of our faith.

Mitt Romney just won in Arizona, getting 93% of the Mormon vote (based on exit polling) compared to Ron Paul getting a puny 3%. And yet the fact that Ron Paul attracted so few Mormon votes sent you into a near-apoplectic fit.

“Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait… Ron Paul?! Help me get my arms around this,” you pleaded. “How do you, if you’re somebody who is abiding by the principles taught by the [LDS] Church, how are you going for Ron Paul?”

Seriously, Glenn?

I have to assume here that you didn’t read the copy of my book (endorsed by Ron Paul, by the way) which I sent to your producer, who confirmed that you had received it. Had you read it, you would have gotten your answer. (Though I’m not entirely sure that your question is sincere.)

But that’s okay. You’re a busy man. I get it. So let me quickly spell it out for you.

Members of the LDS Church are often taught that the Constitution was an inspired document created by men raised up by God for that very purpose. Our scriptures command us to support good, honest, and wise men for public office, and to uphold the Constitution. Only Ron Paul has consistently abided by his oath of office to support and defend this document, consistently voting against bills that violate its provisions. No other candidate can claim this constitutional fidelity.

Church leaders have been no less emphatic in suggesting the need for Latter-day Saints to uphold the Constitution. Our founding prophet, Joseph Smith, called the Constitution a “glorious standard” and a “heavenly banner” by which we should stand. Ezra Taft Benson, a prophet whom you’ve quoted on your program, taught that Mormons “must be vigilant in doing our part to preserve the Constitution and safeguard the way of life it makes possible.” Another, Spencer W. Kimball, said that each member of the church “should sustain, honor, and obey” the Constitution.

Countless other quotes exist, all affirming the same idea: Mormons should support the Constitution. It is on this basis that some members of the LDS Church object to the candidacies of the non-Paul presidential contenders. Each has consistently and repeatedly voted and advocated for unconstitutional policies.

The other candidates want to “fix” and prop up unconstitutional federal welfare schemes, but Ron Paul wants to allow people to opt out, and push the programs down to the state level as is required by the Constitution.

The other candidates have said that they would have signed the recent National Defense Authorization Act which authorizes the President to indefinitely detain American citizens, but Ron Paul rightly called it an “egregious distortion of justice that Americans have always ridiculed in so many dictatorships overseas.”

The other candidates want to send our soldiers into more immoral, unjust, offensive wars without any constitutional declaration, but Ron Paul abides by the specific, war-related provisions of the Constitution and understands the Christian just war theory.

The other candidates want to maintain and increasingly empower the torture-enabling detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Bagram, and elsewhere, escalate our current wars, and lead us into another with Iran—saying, as Romney has about our supposed enemies, that “we go anywhere they are, and we kill them”—but Ron Paul instead suggested that we consider applying the golden rule, as taught by Jesus Christ, to our foreign policy.

The other candidates have supported unconstitutional bailouts which violate the law of the harvest, while Ron Paul, after voting against TARP, said that such bailouts are “exactly the wrong thing to do.”

The other candidates have supported the unconstitutional intervention of government into the economy in the form of “stimulus packages” while Ron Paul has consistently argued that “it makes no sense whatsoever.”

On these benchmarks alone, the other candidates fail in contrast to Ron Paul, the self-described (and generally recognized) “champion of the Constitution.” I agree with your previous point, that we should judge a candidate based on principle, not religion. Doing so yields one clear answer: Constitution-loving Mormons, along with those of all or no faith, should vote for Ron Paul.

But in your predictable smear (you’ve made a name for yourself of helping torpedo good candidates just prior to elections), you did list a few specific objections—ones which you apparently feel disqualify Ron Paul from being the candidate who most closely matches the principles of your fellow Mormons.

You stated that the legalization of prostitution and drugs, and “not standing up for Israel,” were the gross sins of Representative Ron Paul. Are you kidding me? Are you that much of a fool, Glenn, that you believe that these objections of yours to Ron Paul, the closest thing we’ve got to a founding father, are sufficient to speculate as to why any God-fearing Mormon would ever consider voting for the guy?

You’ve hit a new low.

First off, there is a difference between legalizing something and decriminalizing it. Second, Ron Paul as President would have no power to decriminalize drugs or prostitution around the country. He would only be able to encourage federal legislation which he could sign, that would correctly (and constitutionally) leave the issue to the states. So, again, another point for Ron Paul.

Then there’s your Israel fetish. You think that Ron Paul is “not standing up for Israel.” Allow me to clarify. When Israel attacked a nuclear reactor in Iraq in 1981, and almost the entire Congress voted in support of a resolution condemning the act, who was one of the very few Republicans who stood up and said Israel should not have to answer to America for how she defends herself? Ron Paul. Keep in mind that this was the Reagan party, with some of the most hawkish anti-Communists and the staunchest Christian conservatives. Was Ron Paul not standing up for Israel then, Glenn?

Ron Paul strongly supports Israel’s right to self-determination. As President, he would be the only one who would seek to eliminate the billions of dollars in aid sent by our government to Israel’s enemies. He believes and repeatedly says that we should be friendly with and supportive of Israel, but that we should not be their master. Only he advocates that we should “refuse any arms sales that would undermine Israel’s qualitative military edge in the region.”

Ron Paul is very supportive of Israel, and rightly recognizes that they have sufficient military strength to deal with their enemies. Guess who agrees with Ron Paul? Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Glenn, you’re wrong. You’re contradicting yourself. You’re saying things that simply aren’t true.

In fact, there are plenty of reasons why a faithful Mormon might vote for Ron Paul. Open the copy of Latter-day Liberty sitting on your bookshelf, and you might realize why Ron Paul endorsed a book written by a Mormon, which helps fellow Church members (including you) understand why the very principles of liberty that Ron Paul happens to support are so compatible with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

“How do you, if you’re somebody who is abiding by the principles taught by the [LDS] Church, how are you going for Ron Paul?” you asked. If you’re really interested in learning the answer to your question, read the book. It shouldn’t be too hard for a Mormon and self-described libertarian such as yourself to put two and two together. If you’ve got sincere questions, I’m happy to answer.

Until then, stop saying stupid things. Please?

50 Responses to “An Open Letter to Glenn Beck”

  1. Lee
    February 29, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    Well said–again, my friend.

  2. THOMAS DYCHES
    February 29, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    Amen Connor, glad someone is saying this. Readers, you send me a link where the leaders of the LDS Church encourage members to support our federal government violating the US Constitution by sending billion$ in foreign aid to Israel (and her enemies) and I’ll vote against Ron Paul. Until then, I support him and this is one of the major reasons why.

    Also, on the subject of legal prostitution and drugs, Glenn distorts what Ron Paul says. RP simply says that these areas are clearly the domain of the states. Here to, Ron Paul is correct. The constitutional route is one where the individual states create their own laws for dealing with these state-based issues. There is nothing in the US Constitution authorizing Congress to deal with them. Nor do we want the Feds involved. It’s this type of thinking, non-understanding of Federalism, that has cause the Fed. Gov. to grow to an immense proportion. I have great frustration with how Glenn Beck leads Mormons (and non-Mormons) astray on the proper role of the State and Federal Government. In fact, he doesn’t understand core elements about the proper role of government. Therefore, he supports things that he ought not to.

  3. THOMAS DYCHES
    February 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

    ..AND CANDIDATES he ought not to support.

  4. Eric Greene
    February 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

    Fantastic blog, Connor.

    I think we find that Glenn Beck is a “libertarian in name only”, due to the fact he regularly appeals to libertarian ideas and practices, but condemns it in the same sentence.

    His ideology needs some purification, as his flip-flop on this (and many issues) shows that he is coming to be what he says he is not: a demagogue.

  5. THOMAS DYCHES
    February 29, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

    Beck’s a “LINO” Eric. LOL ;)

  6. outside the corridor
    February 29, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    Thank you, Connor, as always–

    I have never taken Beck seriously; I don’t “do” MSM–

    but the man completely baffles me.

    He’s either not real and not . . . quite ‘there’, or he has been bought and paid for. Sounds crass, but it is my belief–

  7. Brint Baggaley
    February 29, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    I wonder if we worry too much about Beck. I listened to him quite consistently as occasion permitted a couple of years ago. I think Connor hit the nail on the head when he mentioned that Beck encourages people to read good books. Thanks to reading the good books that Beck brought to my attention, I learned the principles that have made me a complete Libertarian. Beck may or may not come around. People simply see things differently. I simply see someone trying to figure things out who is surrounded by quite a few conservatives and he has some trouble breaking with some conservative ideas.

    I would encourage people to listen to Beck, as I believe most people are intelligent enough to see past rants, find fact, research other opinions and ideas, and read what he asks them to. This reading exposes his inconsistency and gets them commenting on Libertarian sites.

  8. Rayetta Croft
    February 29, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    Loved it!

  9. Trista
    February 29, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

    Anyone who calls Glenn a flip-flopper obviously doesn’t listen to him. He always defends Ron Paul on the things he gets right and yes, he is critical of the things he thinks RP gets wrong. But it’s his opinion. He always challenges his listeners to discern for themselves where their principles are.

  10. Jay
    February 29, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    Glen Beck is bipolar. He probably can’t help the fact that he’s all over the place and inconsistent. Poor guy . . .

  11. Trista
    February 29, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    Although I completely disagree with what he said about a Mormon living church-espoused principles never being able to vote for RP–that statement kind of churns my stomach. Glad his co-hosts called him on that one.

  12. Tim Harper
    February 29, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    Short of the fact that Glenn has not driven to anyone’s house and put a gun to their head, how can you say he challenges his listeners to discern for themselves where their principles are? He made it particularly clear in this segment, if you are a Mormon, then you should not support Ron Paul, because of {Glenn’s opinion}.

  13. Jimz
    February 29, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

    I honestly never found Glenn Beck interesting enough to even listen to. My neighbor who used to live below me used to listen to him all the time. The neighbor is now dead, but an independent christian, never mormon as far as I know. He swears that Beck is always right on everything. Apparently he is right…some of the time, given that if you say alot of things something is bound to be right.

    As far as some general comments on this thread, I recall typing up a copy of the constitution by hand on an old typewriter many years ago, because the LDS church president said it was inspired, and that I should have a copy and be familiar with it. At the time I just saw a very dry bureaucratic legal language, and I tend to still see that. I never saw the inherent divine ‘almost scripture’ quality to it, maybe I was trying too hard to see that.

    I was thinking about that the other day. The biggest thing is that the constitution can be ammended, it is changeable. For most religions their scripture doesn’t have that quality, especially nothing put up to vote about an issue. The other thing are statements about slavery, which I am glad its ammended. I am sure I understood it more I could probably come up with more reasons to wonder about its inspired origin.

    I briefly read some commentary about why some feel its inspired, and it had some quotes by people involved. Statements that made it sound like a miracle, but then I noticed the abundance of ellipsis, and I wondered what was being omitted.

  14. Jeremy Nicoll
    February 29, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    Asking Beck to be consistent is like asking a fish to breathe air.

  15. Jeff S
    February 29, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

    Don’t take any of these talk show personalities seriously. They are in business to find a niche and then pander to it. It is how they make their living – Glenn Beck included. They couldn’t make a living by appealing to only 3% of any group. Beck will never consistently and publicly support a strict constitutionalist in a country where the constitution is dead letter.

  16. Kelly W.
    February 29, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

    Glenn Beck is simply a “right-wing gatekeeper” who has been bought off.

    The “Powers That Be” place their designated gatekeepers at the right and at the left in order to “corral” the masses within their designated confines. They will allow you to discuss items on the right or left, so that you are deceived into thinking you have freedom of choice.

    But in reality, your choices are limited, corralled into narrow confines, and you “think” you are getting both sides of the story.

    But just try to talk about Israel or Bohemian Grove or 9/11 being an inside job or Operation Northwoods, or FEMA camps and neither Glenn Beck or other gatekeepers will go there. They are paid NOT to go there by those who have bought them off.

    This is all part of their (Satan’s) scheme to keep us from the truth. For example, gatekeepers are placed on either side of the Global Warming scam, where some gatekeepers tell us that Global Warming doesn’t exist, yet other gatekeepers tell us it does. But, try to bring up the subject of HAARP or “Owning the Weather by 2025” and they will deny it exists. (Google HAARP or Owning the Weather by 2025.) If we got past the gatekeepers to understand these things, it would destroy their Carbon Tax scheme.

  17. JM
    February 29, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    Yes, thank you. I have wondered why someone who promotes all these liberty oriented books on his website then goes on the air and worships……..wait for it….Rick Santorum.

    You wrote what I have been dying to write or call in to Beck for months.

  18. clint
    February 29, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

    I like reading your blog’s Conner keep them coming.

  19. Shaun Knapp
    February 29, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

    Fantastic Connor.

    I’m one who indeed thinks Beck is the embodiment of deception. A paste here from an archived e-mail, January 31, 2008 to someone hard on my case about my failure to back Glenn Beck as Beck repeatedly butchered Ron Paul through 2007, maligning him as best he could before then changing gears and hijacking the Paul-inspired original tea party:

    I suppose you would remember that Glenn Beck unmasked himself last fall with suggesting Ron Paul supporters were terrorists, right?

    http://www.dailypaul.com/node/7601

    You’ve no doubt seen Glenn Beck polls scrubbing Ron Paul from even being listed in them, listing all of the other candidates except Ron Paul. Seems pretty fair huh?

    Again, admittedly, anyone tuning into Beck in recent months found him to be as fair to Ron Paul as anyone—which has been a major shift change for Beck.

    In greater context of “wolves in sheep’s clothing,” let me give you some foundation of which those who are subscribers (which understandably you are not) to my e-mail list should be familiar with generally in terms of such prophetic references and warnings of which we should familiarize ourselves.

    In 1949 President J. Reuben Clark (not a conspiracy theorist or nut job, but rather a mighty prophet, seer and revelator,) warned in General Conference of “tares among the wheat” and “wolves within the flock” Twenty years later, Ezra Taft Benson stood and repeated that warning in Conference with added emphasis:

    “Yes, within the Church today there are tares among the wheat and wolves within the flock. As President Clark stated, ‘The ravening wolves are amongst us, from our own membership, and they, more than any others, are clothed with sheep’s clothing because they wear the habiliments of the priesthood…. We should be careful of them…’ “ (Ezra Taft Benson, “To the Humble Followers of Christ” Improvement Era June 1969. p.43.)

    The year following that stunning warning of wolves who had already entered into the flock of which we were warned to be aware of—and unbeknownst to most latter-day saints—came additional prophetic warnings requiring us to be on guard to make “judgement” or discernment of those within our midst. This time, from Harold B. Lee:

    “We have some tight places to go before the Lord is through with this church and the world in this dispensation, which is the last dispensation, which shall usher in the coming of the Lord. The gospel was restored to prepare a people ready to receive him. The power of Satan will increase; we see it in evidence on every hand. There will be inroads within the Church. … We will see those who profess membership but secretly are plotting and trying to lead people not to follow the leadership that the Lord has set up to preside in this church.” (In Conference Report, Oct. 1970, p. 152.)

    Clearly, there is some warning that has been given, and more since then. More recently Elder Nelson stated this which I personally believe applies to our “scheming leaders” in Washington DC who lead the people into long and costly wars and burden them (us) with heavy taxation—yes, scheming leaders as well as their allies in the media:

    “Paul’s warnings describe apostasy and other dangers of our day. Some of these perils are contrary to God’s purposes and are championed by persuasive people possessing more ability than morality, more knowledge than wisdom. Their rationalization breeds justification. The Bible affirms that the “way of a fool is right in his own eyes.” (Prov. 12:15.) Indeed, individuals with malignity of purpose often wear the mask of honesty. So we must constantly be on guard.” (Russell M. Nelson, “Where Is Wisdom?” Ensign, Nov. 1992, 6) (Emphasis Added).

    You’ll notice too Elder Nelson’s speaking of peace as a possibility in the conference before we invaded Iraq. What a contrast the above statement is to lovers of peace as compared to “Black Water” executives and super socialists running Halliburton who wax super rich through no bid contracts, operating outside the free market. Such warfare is indeed championed by “persuasive people possessing more ability than morality, more knowledge than wisdom.”

  20. Shaun Knapp
    February 29, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    A buddy Mark wrote this some years back, which might be fun fodder on this thread:

    http://www.awakeandarise.org/blog/open-letter-to-glenn-beck-the-anti-american-ron-paul-basher-professing-lds-church-membership/

  21. Connor
    February 29, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

    For clarification: several people have wondered how I could have heard Glenn’s soundbyte this morning if I ignore him. Valid question! I was alerted to the audio by a friend of mine, and another friend provided me with the clip linked above. FYI.

  22. Hawkeye
    February 29, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

    A link to your blog was posted to my FB page. I’m very happy I have found you.
    I have been a devoted fan of Glenn for some time now, cringing every time he and his on air associates share their distaste for my hero, Ron Paul. Because Glenn shares truths which have no agenda, and continues to expose the progressive’s plan to destroy America so that they can transform it, I continue to listen with an open mind. Reading your blog coalesced all of his inconsistencies in one place, and I thank you for that. I sincerely hope he reads your blog and feels compelled to see himself in the mirror of truth, which he claims to have done at significant turning points in his life. For myself I will be subscribing to your blog, adding your insight as a key to unlock any remaining closed minded doors I may still have.

  23. Adam
    February 29, 2012 at 11:44 pm #

    I must say that I agree with you Connor. I stomached a lot of what he said because there were some things that he said that I wasn’t getting from the rest of the news sources I tap into, some of which were accurate and helpful. But a few months ago I cancelled my GBTV subscription and cut contact.

    He had become so deceptive that it just about made me puke, and I had started to get angry every time I watched him. Angry because of his slandering of good people like Ron Paul, while making statements like his recent one to Newt Gingrich where he said he was an honest person. Hah!

    Enough said. Good statement. Wholeheartedly Agree!

  24. Lane
    March 1, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    You inspired me to write a blog post.

    1) Ron Paul is (politically, anyway,) a godless libertarian. Not that he doesn’t believe in God, but that his brand of liberty does not have the gospel as it’s foundation. He is not a George Washington or Ben Franklin libertarian. “Our rights come from God, and we must individually serve him if we are to remain free as a people.”

    2) Ron Paul is, in fact, a French-style Libertarian. He is as Thomas Paine became. “We need liberty, people can and may do anything they want.” We know how the French revolution turned out. — I believe that God is a libertarian. But I know that He demands adherence to his own laws, and he is not laissez-faire about all things moral.

    You cannot say that Lincoln was wrong to free the slaves in the United States, and believe in the founding that the majority of our founders espoused, nor can you claim in that case that you want to follow God. You cannot be a true, god-fearing libertarian and eschew the freeing of the slaves or a national ban on abortion: what is your position “we are all entitled to liberty, except the unborn if the states do not consent to it?”

    What is your position? “We are all entitled to life and liberty, except the life and liberty of the innocent unborn and the slaves is subject to the approval of the states, by the 10th ammendment”? We have to have the consent of the several states in order to be entitled to life?

    The point is, do not be deceived by the wrong kind of libertarianism. If a man is going to follow God and be Libertarian, then he will have the discernment to say, “Abortion is wrong because it takes life. Chattel slavery is wrong because it enslave people. The Declaration, which is the companion document to the Constitution, pre-states that no government may sanction the taking of innocent life, nor the enslavement of one person to another. Thus, 10th ammendment or no, Abortion is not tolerable in these united States, nor is slavery.”

    Put differently, Ron Paul believes in and supports (ostensibly) the Constitution. But he does not believe in and support the Declaration of Independence, upon which the Constitution was built.

    In short:
    1) Ron Paul is disingenuous. That’s code for “not completely honest”. (Other posts should address this point, but google Ron Paul Earmarks).
    2) Ron Paul is the wrong kind of Libertarian.
    3) Ron Paul is principled… as long as those principles are
    A) End the Fed (good);
    B) strict isolationism and blame America (bad), as opposed to only bring the troops home, get congressional approval to fight wars, and don’t engage in wars of aggression;
    C) States’ rights trump individual rights to life and liberty; and
    D) Achieve A and B and C through any means necessary, including cozying up to anarchists and communist radicals.

  25. Amber
    March 1, 2012 at 9:24 am #

    I have an internet-less friend who gets all of her news from Beck. I’m sure she thinks I’m of the devil now for supporting Ron Paul, but she’s too polite to confront me about it, so I don’t have a chance to correct her misconceptions. Hopefully someday that will change.

  26. Connor
    March 1, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    Pat Gray, Glenn Beck’s sidekick, just sent me the following email regarding this open letter:

    Wow, you are amazingly diluted about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, my friend. You need to go study some Ezra Taft Benson, and find out what he said about a strong America. You also might want to see what the church believes about legalizing drugs and prostitution.

    Ron Paul is a hypocrite. He puts pork into bills for his district, makes sure the bill will pass…and then votes against the bill so he can continue his charade of being the Constitutions best friend. Check the record…the 16th District in Texas has received more federal money per capita than almost any other. He blames America incessantly for attacks against us.

    Glenn, HAS been consistent. You say in this letter that you don’t listen, and you steer others away from listening as well…sorry, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  27. Connor
    March 1, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    My reply to Pat:

    Wow, you are amazingly diluted about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, my friend.

    Far from it, but you’re welcome to your opinion, Pat.

    You need to go study some Ezra Taft Benson, and find out what he said about a strong America.

    How about this, from Pres. Benson?

    “There is one and only one legitimate goal of United States foreign policy. It is a narrow goal, a nationalistic goal: the preservation of our national independence. Nothing in the Constitution grants that the President shall have the privilege of offering himself as a world leader. He’s our executive; he’s on our payroll, in necessary; he’s supposed to put our best interests in front of those of other nations. Nothing in the Constitution nor in logic grants to the President of the United States or to Congress the power to influence the political life of other countries, to ‘uplift’ their cultures, to bolster their economies, to feed their peoples or even to defend them against their enemies.”

    Funny, the only candidate who adheres to that is… Ron Paul. By the way, I can find you dozens more ETB quotes along the same lines.

    You also might want to see what the church believes about legalizing drugs and prostitution.

    Pray tell, where does the Church advocate for federal laws against these things? As I explain in my post, Ron Paul actually adheres to the Constitution by supporting allowing the states to regulate these things as they see fit; there is no constitutional authority for the federal government to prohibit them.

    Ron Paul is a hypocrite.

    So Rick Santorum, whom Glenn supports, isn’t? Ha! But to your point about Ron Paul’s alleged hypocrisy:

    He puts pork into bills for his district, makes sure the bill will pass…and then votes against the bill so he can continue his charade of being the Constitutions best friend.

    What does this have to do with Mormons not being able to vote for Ron Paul? That was Glenn’s argument, and then one which I dismantled in my letter. Even if your claim of hypocrisy is true, it doesn’t address the argument.

    In fact, I disagree with Ron Paul’s use of earmarks, though I understand and somewhat sympathize with the explanation he offers. I don’t believe it equates to hypocrisy, but to each his own. Still, it’s irrelevant to the issue in the letter.

    He blames America incessantly for attacks against us.

    He doesn’t blame America. He blames some the policy makers in government. That’s a huge difference, one which Glenn and others often incorrectly conflate. The CIA’s own recognition of “blowback” demonstrates the very thing Ron Paul talks about, as does simple common sense: if we kill somebody’s son, brother, father, etc., they’re going to be upset with us and possibly want to attack us. This isn’t “blaming” anybody, it’s understanding cause and effect.

    But again, that has nothing to do with the argument in the letter. You seem to be unwilling to address that argument, perhaps because Glenn is flat out wrong.

    I appreciate the reply, though I feel that you’re arguing things that aren’t really relevant to what Glenn and I have each said on the issue.

  28. Amber
    March 1, 2012 at 10:02 am #

    Lane, thank you for posting those misconceptions here so they can be discussed. I have studied Ron Paul, but not the arguments against him. Here are my answers to what you say.

    You say he’s a godless libertarian. On the contrary. When said that when he swore the oath to swear and uphold the Constitution “so help me God,” he interprets that to mean that he will be held accountable before God himself. Due to that oath, it is his religious duty to strictly abide by that Constitution while he is in office.

    You imply that he’s an anarchist. He is not an anarchist. He believes in the rule of law. Yes, defend life! Yes, defend freedom of all people (including the slaves of ages past, should God have chosen to put him on earth back then instead of reserving him for now), but do it without breaking the supreme law of the land, without reaching for and using more authority than you’ve been given.

    Many people today do not understand that just about everything Congress, the President, and the Supreme Court does breaks the supreme law of the land. They either assume too much power for themselves or they blatantly ignore the law.

    To put this in an LDS perspective, think about how the Church’s organization is run. President Monson does not tell every parent in the Church to put their children to bed no later than 7, tells them who to vote for in their local governments, avoid meat like the plague unless you’re starving, allow people into the temple who are guilty of sexual sins so long as they go with a worthy friend, etc. He doesn’t even show up at someone’s doorsteps unannounced, nor if he is in someone’s home does he take over the father’s role and preside, choosing who prays, where the children should be, etc.

    Right now we have a government system like that. And Ron Paul comes along, says that government is doing too much wrong, and tries to correct it by trying to abide strictly by the proper authority given to him by the Constitution, and encourages the rule of law (which is what “republic” means).

    It’s quite a paradigm shift if we are used to a President Monson who controls every aspect of our lives.

    As for not defending unborn lives, Ron Paul had repeated brought bills before Congress that would’ve defined life as starting at conception, and he still intends to overturn Roe Vs. Wade. It’s a black mark on Congress for repeatedly turning down the bill he kept trying to promote, which by itself would have defined at a federal level exactly where life begins.

    You also call him an isolationist. What is so isolating about wanting open trade with all nations, being friendly with all nations, and with being nobody’s enemy? What about treating other nations the way we want our nation to be treated? What is so isolationist about that?

    You say he’s not completely honest in bringing up the earmarks. Ron Paul had already explained those, and I think his point is valid: he is a representative of those who voted for him. In the spirit of the Declaration of Independence, as their representative it isn’t wrong for him to present earmarks that support his people, to try to give their own money back to them.

    I recommend you ignore the propagandists and the anti-Paulites if you want to find out what he’s about, just as much as you’d avoid anti-Mormon literature if you want to learn about Mormons, or the Nazis if you want to learn about the Jews. Study Ron Paul himself. You’ll see for yourself that he’s as far away from godless as you can get.

  29. Clayton Holbrook
    March 1, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    Connor,
    Thank you for the logic.
    Pat Gray speaks in anger….which we all know comes from the idea that he is superior to all of the peon listeners.
    He needs to check his pride at the door and use rational reason instead of platitude type attacks.
    Whose on the Lord’s side who? Now is the time to know.

  30. Scott
    March 1, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    Mr. Boyack, you’ve contradicted yourself as well. You criticize Mr. Beck for telling Mormons how they should vote, yet you turn around and do the same thing. I wonder if Mr. Beck said that no good Mormon could vote for Mitt Romney, if you would have reacted similarly? How does that make you different than him, and how is anyone supposed to take you more seriously than him? I was quite enjoying the article until I arrived at that point. I like Ron Paul, but I do not love how one of his Mormon supporters tells other Mormons how they should vote, and attempts to use their religion to compel them. That is a very real contradiction to our liberty to choose for ourselves. I thought Ron Paul was for liberty, yet it appears you want to make the Mormons’ choice for them.

  31. Connor
    March 1, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    You criticize Mr. Beck for telling Mormons how they should vote, yet you turn around and do the same thing.

    I am not criticizing Glenn for telling Mormons how they should vote. I am educating him on why some Mormons do vote for Ron Paul. I am not telling all Mormons how they should vote. So, nice try, but you’re wrong.

    I wonder if Mr. Beck said that no good Mormon could vote for Mitt Romney, if you would have reacted similarly?

    Nope, because I would agree with him in that case.

    I like Ron Paul, but I do not love how one of his Mormon supporters tells other Mormons how they should vote, and attempts to use their religion to compel them.

    What compulsion are you speaking of? Are you being threatened at gun point or something?

    I’m here to educate myself and others. I suggest that certain people uphold eternal principles such as moral agency far better than others. I observe circumstances that violate those principles, and point them out to others.

    This is called persuasion, not coercion. You’re not being compelled to vote for Ron Paul when a fellow Mormon says that Paul adheres to the Constitution better than other candidates.

    In short, there exists no “very real contradiction to our liberty to choose for ourselves.” You’re completely free and fully welcome to make a stupid decision.

  32. Sonya Washburn
    March 1, 2012 at 11:52 am #

    Thank you for contacting GB and giving him the opportunity to learn the truth. Since he is always saying we need the truth. Since he is LDS, he cannot argue with Ezra T. Bensons talk on “United States Foreign Policy”. Then maybe he would stop throwing RP under the bus. click on the link below and get informed. http://www.latterdayconservative.com/ezra-taft-benson/united-states-foreign-policy/
    Hurray!! for all you young inspired patriots!! Holding up the title of Liberty!!!! God bless you all.

  33. Connor
    March 1, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    Having a little fun at the expense of Pat’s typo:

  34. Tim Harper
    March 1, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    Well written rebuttal, Amber. Connor, love the play on the typo.

  35. Jelaire R.
    March 1, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

    Hi Connor —

    I agree with your post. Great points and very thorough. However, I wanted to comment not on the content, but on the manner in which your letter to Glenn Beck was written.

    I have to admit that there were some parts in your letter and parts of your replies to your readers that left me wondering if it could be said in a more civil way:
    “Until then, stop saying stupid things. Please?”
    “So, nice try, but you’re wrong.”

    I know that this is somewhat subjective. I also hope that if the the uncivil tone was there, that it was unintentional, and that the tone I perceived was imagined. But I thought I’d voice my concern here.

    The Church Newsroom released a statement that said, “the Church views with concern the politics of fear and rhetorical extremism that render civil discussion impossible. As the Church begins to rise in prominence and its members achieve a higher public profile, a diversity of voices and opinions naturally follows.”

    I don’t want to just nitpick every statement you said, but I did just want to make a general observation about the tone of the post and some things said in replies by you (and other readers, which of course, you have no control over).

    I am glad that you are actively doing what we have been counseled by the Prophets to do: to find out which political policies do and don’t align by using the Constitution, the scriptures, and the words of today’s prophets. I’m glad that the discussion has been opened for many people, and I hope that more and more people will feel comfortable to discuss their political ideas.

    But I can’t imagine turning to a fellow ward member before Church starts and say some of the things that were written, or saying it to my spouse, or to one of the Brethren. If the tone of the comment isn’t appropriate for a fellow brother or sister in the Gospel who we love and respect, is that comment appropriate for a fellow brother or sister anywhere?

    On a side note, I had a semi-related thought that I thought I’d share. The Brethren are concerned about the low numbers of Utah Latter-day Saints participating in their caucus, and so the First Presidency sent out a letter asking members to get involved. They have also encouraged members to vote for the candidate that is most aligned with good principles. I can’t help but think that there are many Latter-day Saints out there who don’t get involved because of the sometimes uncivil discussions that happen among fellow Latter-day Saints (and among others, regardless of their religious affiliation). No one wants to ask questions that would bring verbal attacks on them; it’d be much more pleasant to remain silent. I hope I’m wrong in saying that I fear some people are not entering into political discussions for fear of getting treated disrespectfully.

    I wonder if it’d be a more effective way to win hearts and change minds by being more civil in your letter and comments. You’ve likely drawn many into the field of politics that wouldn’t otherwise have come. That’s awesome. And it seems fitting that those people who are in the forefront of these discussions be extra vigilant to set the tone for political discussions and show newcomers how discussing religion and politics can happen in a safe atmosphere.

    Discussing politics may be a case of good-better-best. There may be good ways to discuss and respond, but there are also better, and best ways to do it civilly. I hope that we will always try to converse in the “best,” most uplifting way possible—even while discussing differences in opinion.

    President Uchtdorf said:

    I have watched sports fans vilify and demonize their rivals. They look for any flaw and magnify it. They justify their hatred with broad generalizations and apply them to everyone associated with the other team. When ill fortune afflicts their rival, they rejoice. …

    Unfortunately we see today too often the same kind of attitude and behavior spill over into the public discourse of politics, ethnicity, and religion. …

    My beloved fellow disciples of the gentle Christ, should we not hold ourselves to a higher standard? As priesthood bearers, we must realize that all of God’s children wear the same jersey.

    I’m not implying from the above quote that you were “demonizing” or “vilifying” anyone. I wanted to post it to get across the point that in heated discussions, we can disagree, but we don’t have to be disagreeable. And, because we’re on the same team, our conversations with each other should be patterned after the “gentle Christ.”

  36. Richard Davies
    March 1, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

    Thank you, Jelaire R, for your comment–I couldn’t have said it better myself! I feel the exact same way and was beginning to wonder if anyone else noticed the hypocrisy and lack of Christ-like attitude and civility in Conner’s approach. As someone who is currently reading Conner’s book and trying to learn more about libertarianism, I find this approach very off-puting.

  37. Jeffrey T.
    March 1, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    Richard Davies, I also completely support Jelaire’s comments, and agree that the approach is very off-putting. I’ve written similar comments in other forums this very evening.

    But I hope you’ll continue reading Connor’s book and give the ideas it contains a fair hearing. Please don’t let this get in the way of adopting the principles of liberty and non-coercion. Connor’s book is really insightful and contains great ideas. I think everyone should read it. So please continue and don’t give up!

    However, I too was disappointed in this letter to Glenn Beck, as well as the followup. The things that Connor said needed to be said, but they could have been said in a much less alienating, condescending, and abrasive way.

  38. Jeffrey T.
    March 1, 2012 at 11:15 pm #

    I think “caustic” is a good word for what I’ve seen from a lot of people in the liberty movement these days: a desire not just to be right, but to be right in a very biting way. In contrast, I think the best way to demonstrate that we are disciples of Christ is to “speak the truth in love,” with gentleness and meekness, and rather than give the truth an rhetorical edge/bite, let the Spirit give the truth it’s persuasive edge.

  39. Brian
    March 2, 2012 at 8:00 am #

    I used to love reading this blog. But I grow tired of Connor’s constantly condescending tone. Maybe this is not how Connor intends it, but it’s how it comes across. It’s also the reason I have no intention of ever reading his book. Just one example: “So let me quickly spell it out for you”… Sounds like a parent scolding a child. (This has nothing to do with my feelings for Beck… I’m a fellow Beck ignorer.) Please Connor, clean the attitude up a bit. I know you’re capable of writing in a manner that reflects that everyone is a fellow Child of God. Thanks.

  40. outside the corridor
    March 2, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    Whoa! Hang ON there!

    I’m one of those people in the ‘liberty movement’, and I am tired of being inundated by negatives from the ‘other side’–

    the MSM, especially, of course.

    First, you can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.

    I’m sure that Connor doesn’t think he is perfect. I don’t know the young man. I’ve never met him.

    When, years ago, I made at attempt to find some community support for Mormons attempting to support Dr. Paul Connor’s was the only blog that continued during and after 2008–
    Where were the rest of *you*?

    But could any of the rest of *you* have written the book he did. Did you bother to try? Did any of the rest of *you* try to send a letter to Beck.

    I think of the exchange between Moroni and Ammoron:

    Alma 54:6-13 (approximately)

    Moroni:

    “I would tell you these things IF YE WERE CAPABLE OF HEARKENING unto them . . .”–
    “But as ye have once rejected these things, and have fought against the people of the Lord, even so I MAY EXPECT YOU TO DO IT AGAIN.”
    “But behold, it supposeth me that I talk to you concerning these things IN VAIN; or it supposeth me that thou are a CHILD OF HELL . . .”

    Civil? Provocative.

    Connor didn’t tell Beck that *he* was stupid; he told him that he said ‘stupid things’–

    Beck has misrepresented, demonized and lied repeatedly–
    and he has a tremendous influence over LDS; *we* have been able to do VERY little in our area of the church because of Beck’s influence over the members of our ward, and we are VERY civil. We don’t mention politics inside the building, and we listen to our ward friends rant and repeat lies, and we smile and put up with it. We don’t call names; Connor didn’t call anyone names.

    Get off your high horses, and stop trying to shoot Samuel off the wall–

    Get involved with the work–

    I have been surprised at how many anti-Ron Paul comments, some not very polite, Connor has ignored on his blog–

    This is his blog; it was his letter; if you don’t like, send a better one!

    I am ‘in my anger’ (Moroni talk, verse 13 of Alma 54)

    Go ahead and quote general authorities to Connor; I’m sure he’s heard it all before.

    There IS a lot of name-calling in politics, and most of *us* have done it in our lives (outside of politics), but Connor hasn’t called anyone names, and he hasn’t lied.

    Give him a break.

    Jeffrey, and you haven’t seen this from those who are not in the ‘liberty movement’ within the church?

    Some of us have learned that *we* aren’t even safe with Ron Paul stickers on our cars in an LDS parking lot!

    Maybe Connor is tired; maybe he needs the prayres of fellow LDS who are in the “liberty movement”–

    but he’s been on the front lines–

  41. Clumpy
    March 2, 2012 at 9:20 am #

    I sort of feel like the problem here is considering Glenn Beck as if he has a consistent or self-informed ideology and belief set. Plain and simple, Glenn has shifted with the winds. He aped Howard Stern as a radio host in his shock jock days, then started doing political commentary on CNN. Slowly he realized that by turning it up to 11, jacking up the fear, paranoia and demonization of political opponents and finding conspiracies in his breakfast cereal, he could hold on to a wingnut contingent of viewers who didn’t have a mainstream source for that sort of thing. He could slap together a book every six months, stay in the public sphere and make millions upon millions.

    Now that this schtick has worn thin and he’s lost his show, he’s trying to mellow out a little bit, cut back on the insanity and say something reasonable now and then, but it isn’t working because he still has to hold on to his “Ahh! Powerful forces want to destroy me and everything I hold dear!” audience. Glenn Beck is a circus clown who plays on the worst, most hypocritical mixes of “small government” rhetoric and the merest shade of a libertarian/Constitutionalism facade, while advocating a redefinition of “liberty” to the point that neocons and fringe kooks who want to legislate everything they believe in through Federal might won’t be intimidated enough to cancel their GlennBeck.com “premium” accounts. He’s a wreck, but he’s a wreck by design.

  42. Elliot
    March 2, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    Connor,

    I agree with your thoughts and ideas. I also agree with your assessment of Glenn Beck. And we agree on our choice of Ron Paul for the 2012 GOP nominee.

    But I’d like to let you know that I agree very much with what Jelaire R. stated in comment #36.

    Presentation is important. If you’re giving the right message with the wrong presentation, some people will be turned away.

  43. Val Johnson
    March 2, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

    Great words. I am always hoping that Beck will see the light. He seems to at times.

    Of all the people to cast Ron Paul out as he does when he says so often that the longer he listens to Ron Paul the more he agrees with him!

  44. mb
    March 3, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

    Because I started listening to Glenn Beck a couple of years ago, I’ve finally embraced libertarian political philosophy. Because I’ve embraced libertarianism as a political philosophy, I’ve stopped listening to Glenn Beck.

    I know that nobody is perfect and Ron Paul has his own defects, but he is the best candidate in the running. He may not follow the pricples he preaches perfectly (who does?), but at least he is preaching correct principles and he has a better track record than the others in the running.

  45. Liz
    March 8, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    Oh man. You’re too old to be a groupie. A multi page letter to tell him he says stupid things? Your mom taught you better, you good boy. Write a two word apology now.

  46. Nathan
    March 12, 2012 at 7:58 am #

    Who is Glenn Beck?

  47. jimz
    March 12, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    Nathan,
    “who is Glenn Beck” thats got to be the best response yet. I said the same thing until I started taking care of my friends father. He loved watching Glenn Beck. I honestly wish I still never knew. To me his show always sounded like some rant with no real meaning. His name has been mentioned on “1,000 ways to die”, as he was the inspiration for a number of very strange and stupid ways to die. Usually around some conspiracy theory.

    I actually have been to the town where he is originally from, and the town has a very popular sign. Its a photo of him with the words “how embarrassing”. I don’t know if its in response to something in particular, or just about Glenn in general.

  48. David
    June 14, 2012 at 11:51 pm #

    Connor,
    I often disagree with Glenn as well, but let me tell you where you go wrong. You are simply following suite with the rest of the mainstream on this one. I don’t think anyone would disagree with me that, although there are legitimate points against Glenn, the more popular reason for bashing on him is that it’s popular to bash him. You swim upstream on almost everything, not caring what is popular. But on this you gave in. The best proof I have is the picture you used to start this post. Just like Huffington, Colbert, Stewart, NYtimes, and everyone else who bashes Glenn because it’s cool, you also use a picture that makes him look stupid, crazy and emotional. I would respect your opinion much more on this if you didn’t give in to the popular mechanism of bashing Glenn because it’s cool to bash Glenn.

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