A Better Way

>    On Monday, as Californians struggled with the horror of their State in flames, talk radio show host Glenn Beck made light of the tragedy expressing less-than-compassionate Conservatism for the plight of “Hollywood Liberals” and the acting community in general.  As I listened to his rant, I was momentarily taken aback by his apparent insensitivity…until I remembered his show’s motto: “The Fusion of Entertainment and Enlightenment.” Clearly, Mr. Beck was “performing” and bringing his brand of humor to a group of people, and a State, that he regularly pans.
    I got it. However, many bloggers did not.
    On Tuesday, Mr. Beck felt the need to clear up the many attempts by “liberal bloggers” to paint him as both villainous and callous for mocking Californians in the throes of a nightmare and taking joy in the loss of their homes. He clearly and adamantly denied any such thoughts and feelings and explained what I had figured out…that he was joking.
    On Wednesday (today), I would like to comment on both Mr. Beck’s original statements and the subsequent and retaliatory statements by liberal bloggers.
    Actually, I want to comment on what unites us, rather than what divides us.
    Glenn Beck has very specific political, religious and social views. I admire him for his courage in standing up, and by, those people and things he believes in. I didn’t say I agree with him. I said I admire his courage. And while some of his views appear to me to be fear-based, I have heard enough to know that in his heart he would suffer for anyone else’s suffering. He is a compassionate man.
    He is also, in his words, “a rodeo clown” who, despite his efforts at humility, has an ego that sometimes gets in his way. He’s human, like all of us. When he “joked” about the California wildfires as they were burning down homes, causing death and destruction, he was over the line. Mass suffering is not a funny subject.
    The bloggers who retaliated and sought to castigate Mr. Beck for his insensitivity had really been laying in wait to jump on him for any reason. They are his political and philosophical enemies. If they had the slightest intention of mirroring the truth, they would have had to admit that he had just gone over the “enlightenment” line and entered the “entertainment” zone. Tasteless, yes…but malevolent, no. But had they done that, they would not have been able to attack him personally on their blogs.
     Both Mr. Beck and the bloggers could have used their “bully pulpits” more wisely. 
     On Monday, Mr. Beck could have dropped his radio persona momentarily and asked his audience, the “third most listened to talk radio show in America”, to stop what they were doing and literally pray for the inhabitants of California. He is, after all, a devout Mormon who “gets on his knees every day” seeking guidance from God.
    I think it’s a safe guess to say God would not tell him to mock a tragedy in the making wherein His children were suffering.
    The bloggers need to use their space and time to uplift others, not to daily troll the media for opportunities to attack individuals who are politically or philosophically different than they.
    We all must learn two vital lessons of this century:

    1.  United we stand, divided we fall.  This does not mean we agree on everything. It means we honor the diversity and differences among us toward the common end of Oneness.
    2.  When one of us suffers, we all suffer.  This does not mean that we need to take on the suffering of others. But it does mean that we must open our hearts, and use our minds, to support them in the way out of their suffering.
    Personally, I’d like to thank both Glenn Beck and the liberal bloggers for this opportunity to give voice to something we can all rally behind.


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