The last thing the liberal media wants now is another conservative personality "talking about God" who might energize Americans, or worse yet, witness a Christian revival.
The media strategy, as always, is to destroy the conservative messenger, and sow seeds of division of Christian America.
-- From "Beck's marriage of politics and religion raising questions" by Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post Staff Writer 8/31/10
Two days after Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally drew a crowd that stretched from the Lincoln Memorial to the World War II Memorial, many Americans were still trying to figure out if the commentator had just seized the mantle of the religious right.
Conservative Christian talk radio was crackling with debate about Beck's Mormonism. Religious progressives were assailing his attacks on President Obama's Christianity. Scholars of religion and politics were analyzing Beck's evangelical-like talk of being saved from drug and alcohol addiction. Some pastor-bloggers were bemoaning what they consider the conflation of celebrity, politics and spirituality.
"Politically, everyone is with it, but theologically, when he says the country should turn back to God, the question is: Which God?" said Tom Tradup, vice president for news and talk at Salem Radio Network,which serves more than 2,000 stations, most of them Christian. "How much of this is turning to God? How much is religious revival and how much is a snake oil medicine show?"
Yet [Beck,] the Mormon convert seems an unlikely leader for conservative Christians, many of whom don't regard Mormonism as part of their faith.
"I'm a little nervous about that kind of talk," said Janet Mefferd, a nationally syndicated Christian talk show host who said most callers Monday wanted to talk about Beck. "I know he means well and loves this country, but he doesn't know enough about theology to know what kind of effect he's having. Christians are hearing something different than what he thinks he's saying."
Although he doesn't consider Mormons to be Christians, [Southern Baptist leader, Richard] Land said he agrees with Beck's basic premise that American society must be "rebuilt from the bottom up."
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From "Beck's Christian credentials scrutinized" by Elizabeth Tenety, Newsweek posted at Washington Post
At his public events this weekend, Beck emphasized that he viewed his 'Restoring Honor' event and the emerging movement behind it as spiritual, rather than political: "This is the beginning of the great awakening of America," Beck said Friday night.
But to what version of religion should Americans be awakened?
"Mormonism is not a Christian faith," Focus on the Family's Tom Minnery said during the 2008 election campaign, when GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Mormonism became a political liability.
R. Albert Mohler wrote in 2007 that he did not believe Mormons are Christians, as he found their theology "incompatible with "traditional Christian orthodoxy."
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