Some people think that Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity are sincere believers in God, and they take them at their word when they call themselves Christians.
I think that all three of them, in their religious expression, are faking their religious beliefs. Take Glenn Beck as an example. He trucks in insincerity. His very schtick is that of the television evangelist transferred to politics: he cries on cue, sets an earnest eye on the viewer through the television camara’s lens, runs his voice up and down the emotional range, and rhetorically casts out “demons” (read Democrats) via theatrics. Like the televangelist, he appeals, not to one’s adult reason, but to one’s most infantile hopes, fears, and passions.
Also, on strictly religious terms, it is an oxymoron to suggest that one can be a follower of Jesus AND fabulously wealthy; or a follower of Jesus AND in persistent violation of the ninth commandment (“Thou shalt not bear false witness”). Beck, Limbaugh, and Hannity all make their living distorting the views and characters of their political enemies—and engaging in ad hominem. Such behavior is a form of false witness. And given their media reach, it’s hard to think of three other people on the planet who have more egregiously, pervasively, and persistently flaunted that commandment. And yet they are, curiously, beloved by people who call themselves religious believers and followers of The Book.
It is an ugly spiel that the three of them engage in, and if Barack Obama ends up assassinated before the end of his presidency it will be, in large measure, the product of the flames of defamation and demonization fanned daily by these men to the emotionally unstable listeners in their audience.
One can oppose ideas without destroying people personally or distorting their views and character. If Beck, Limbaugh, and Hannity really believed in the values preached by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, they would trust that God’s will can get done without the assistance of their defamations. Winning an argument by defamation reveals a lack of faith that truth and reason really can prevail over irrationality and error. But if you choose to use such a method as part of your rhetorical arsenal, at least have the decency not to call yourself a follower of Jesus.