To those who follow my posts:
Many of you will be aware that I often cite Glenn Beck. You may also be aware that I have been accused of blindly following the man and everything he does. You may even hold this opinion of me, yourself. Well, I have said this is not the case, and have repeated my explanation of how I started out hating the man, but came to respect him because he proved his positions to me through fact and reason. Well, this post is to prove that I do not always agree with Beck and that he can be wrong – and when he is wrong, he is wrong in a big way. I have two issues with Beck today. The first is his claim that Obama is not a Muslim; the second is that Abraham Lincoln belongs to be counted as one of the three greatest men in the history of our country.
To the first issue, Beck’s ridicule of those who claim Obama is a Muslim: there is no other way to put this but to say that Beck is stating something that he should know is false and insisting we believe it in spite of objective reality. Islamic law says that anyone whose father was a Muslim is born a Muslim and, once a Muslim, you are Muslim for life. If you renounce your Islamic faith, Islamic law commands your death.
Now, Beck argues that Obama has converted to Christianity, and he may be trying to follow Scriptural dictates to leave the determination of another individual’s heart to Christ. But Scripture also commands us to be careful of people who claim to be Christians though their actions are in contradiction to the Gospel of Christ. Obama is certainly in contradiction to the Gospel of Christ. Obama has openly stated that he believes in collective salvation. There is nowhere in Scripture where you will find this teaching: not in the OT or NT.
Furthermore, Scripture tells us that – Christian or not — we will be known by our works. If we look at Obama’s works, they have been clearly supportive of Islam, a religion that is factually opposed to Christianity. In fact, if one knows the Bible and Qur’an, it can be proven that Islam is the negation of Christianity. In addition to this, Obama’s works have been hostile toward Christians. Combined, this is sufficient evidence to be skeptical of Obama’s profession of Christianity and, according to the Apostle Paul, believers are to have nothing to do with such people. In this sense, Beck’s defense of Obama’s supposed Christianity is – in my opinion, guided by the whole of Scripture – a mistake.
Add to this all of Obama’s ‘gaffs’ that would suggest he still thinks of himself as Muslim and that he is still alive and we have more reason to believe that Obama, himself, still considers himself to be Muslim. But, even if he doesn’t, there is sufficient reason for anyone to have a rational skepticism of Obama’s faith. For Beck to argue otherwise is – frankly – irrational.
The second claim that Beck made today is that Lincoln belongs among the top three greatest figures in our national history: beside Washington and Franklin. I disagree. I would place Lincoln in the same company as Wilson and FDR. Lincoln destroyed the Constitution – as our founders intended it to function! When Lincoln forced the South to remain I the Union, he violated the Declaration of Independence and the expressed assertion of our founders that the States do have the right to secede.
If any state in the Union will declare that it prefers separation… to a continuance in union… I have no hesitation in saying, ‘let us separate.’
–Thomas Jefferson (author of the Declaration)
“Each State, in ratifying the Constitution, is considered as a sovereign body, independent of all others, and only to be bound by its own voluntary act. In this relation, then, the new Constitution will, if established, be a FEDERAL, and not a NATIONAL constitution”
–James Madison (author of the Constitution)
“If the States were not left to leave the Union when their rights were interfered with, the government would have been National, but the Convention refused to baptize it by that name.”
–Daniel Webster (great defender of the Constitution)
That the States had the right to secede was known to all, even those from foreign lands:
“The Union was formed by the voluntary agreement of the states; and these, in uniting together, have not forfeited their nationality, nor have they been reduced to the condition of one and the same people. If one of the states chooses to withdraw from the compact, it would be difficult to disapprove its right of doing so, and the Federal Government would have no means of maintaining its claims directly either by force or right.”
–Alexis de Tocqueville
Therefore, Lincoln did not save the Federation: he destroyed the federation of States by nationalizing their sovereignty. Lincoln destroyed the Federal government and set up a national government. He deserves our scorn, not our praise. Furthermore, this has nothing to do with slavery. If one looks, one will find that Lincoln did not start the Civil War over slavery; he did it solely to force the South to remain in the Union. Freeing the slaves came after the fact, and even that had to be forced on him. I believe Jefferson was correct: the South should have been allowed to leave and – after some time – slavery would have died a natural death and the South would have eventually realized its mistake and rejoined the Union. Had this path been taken, I believe there would be much less of a problem with our slavery legacy today.
So, on these two issues, I strongly disagree with Beck, and, in both cases, I do so based on rational grounds. I just thought there might be a few RNL readers who would find it interesting to know that I am not a Beck drone. I do not follow men: I follow truth – as best I can determine it based on what I consider to be objective fact and sound reason. I have found that, when I find people with whom I disagree, as long as they disagree based on these same criteria, we generally tend to get along. I may not agree, but I have great respect for people who disagree based on right reason. That’s why, if I had one wish, it wouldn’t be for something unobtainable such as world peace, it would be that everyone would live the same way: seeking truth based on facts and reason.