I would not say that there are many people that I actually hate in this world. But there are a number of people that I severely dislike, and Glenn Beck is one of them. Now, to be fair, Glenn Beck isn’t the only person that I severely dislike, he’s just one of a specific type of breed; people that use misinformation to deliberately create fear mongering and hatred with the sole intent of dividing people.
As a specific case in point, one of his recent, ridiculous rants was recently reported on by Church and State. In this particular rant Glenn “warns that 10,000 pastors are willing to die opposing marriage equality”. This is asinine. According to Beck if the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of marriage equality (which it did) it would mean that Christians will automatically and immediately become persecuted as criminals for discriminating against the LGBTQ community. But there are many things wrong with this “logic”.
For one thing, there are many Christians that are not opposed to same sex unions, and some churches openly welcome gay parishioners. Assuming that Beck’s estimate of 10,000 hardline conservative pastors who are opposed to marriage equality is correct, it’s one thing to espouse hatred and bigotry, but it’s quite another actually, literally, martyr themselves for those beliefs. Even if they did martyr themselves, it wouldn’t accomplish anything useful. The people who agree with them would still agree with them, and the people who don’t wouldn’t suddenly have a change of heart. There’d be no logical reason for them to actually fall down on their swords for this cause.
Even more alarming is the notion that Beck is spreading that such a law would require these conservative pastors to marry same-sex couples. This is just completely and utterly wrong. There is a separation of church and state. Despite what many Christians would have us believe, marriage is not a religious institution; it has been around since before the Church began and it is managed by the state. Atheists, Agnostics, and other non-Christian and non-religious people get married all the time outside of the purview of the church. Allowing same sex unions would not force religious entities to incorporate these practices or views into their religion.
Beck and those like him prey on the ignorance and misunderstanding of everyday people to spread their message of hate and fear-mongering. Often times they start with something halfway plausible or believable that sounds realistic. In this case, that would be the idea that the Supreme Court might actually pass same sex unions as the law of the land. Then they build upon this plausible idea with an implausible one; like the idea that such a law would suddenly overturn two centuries of precedence keeping religious freedoms separate from legal interferences exactly of this kind.
There are a lot of reasons why people allow themselves to be tricked by these shenanigans. The psychology behind it could fill several volumes. But, the real people who are the problem are Beck and those like him who knowingly prey on people’s fear and exploit those insecurities with nonsense in order to make money and get fame by deliberately dividing people.