Glenn Beck Goes Messianic at America's Divine Destiny Event Before 2,500 Screaming Fans
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The Catholic speaker for the evening was Dr. Patrick Lee of Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, who argued that the folks who share Beck’s worldview are engaged in a struggle against elites who “believe each of us has a right to fashion for himself what is meaningful and what is worthwhile.” (He says that like it’s a bad thing.) Lee argued that the Declaration of Independence is grounded in a world in which God provides the objective meaning and value, and that we as a country owe it to God not only to give him public thanks but also to stick by his “objective” definition of marriage.
Miles McPherson is a former professional football player and current pastor of the Rock Church, a San Diego megachurch that was active in the campaign to pass Prop. 8 and strip gay couples in California of the right to marry. McPherson gave his personal testimony about getting saved, giving up drugs, getting married, and starting his church. He described the congregation’s building as a state-of-the-art facility literally the same size as Noah’s Ark, but said the church found meaning by getting out of the building to work with people in need. He urged people to “stop playing church and go do something.”
Action film star Chuck Norris read long passages from writings by George Washington, Ben Franklin and Samuel Adams, intended to show their piety and their belief that America’s future depended on Americans acknowledging the country’s dependence on God. Norris was an energetic supporter of Mike Huckabee’s presidential bid and later endorsed “Ten Commandments” Judge Roy Moore’s gubernatorial bid in Alabama. “What does it take to get Gina and I off our ranch in Texas?” Norris asked. “An act of Congress? No way. What it takes is God or Glenn Beck.”
Gloria Copeland, who with her husband Kenneth runs a huge ministry, explained how faith works. She urged people to pray knowing that God would answer their prayers and raise a shield of faith over America. Copeland’s remarks that people should “take” what they want to receive from God, reflected the “name it and claim it” theology at the heart of the prosperity gospel, which was examined in Sarah Posner’s book, God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters .
Dave Roever, who was wounded in the Vietnam War, is a motivational speaker with an evangelical ministry. He recounted his injury and struggle to recover, and described Beck as a voice crying out in the wilderness.
John Hagee is the pastor whose endorsement proved too controversial for John McCain’s presidential campaign when his remarks about Catholics, among other things, came under fire. Hagee also promised great things from Saturday’s event. “We’re not here to curse the darkness, we’re here to turn on the light and that happens tomorrow.” His prayer decried pluralism, moral compromise and political correctness, and urged God to lead the nation back to its righteous roots by putting godly leaders into office and exposing the ungodly ones: “Let every secret sin be shouted from the housetops.”
Glenn Beck himself, who said it is “divine providence” that his rally falls on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, described how God had led him to make the event less political, and how God had turned up $600,000 just when it was needed. Beck, never shy about self-promotion, talked a few times about how much money he was spending on the event, and how that money came through at a point when he just couldn’t give any more. (Beck reportedly made $32 million in 2009.)