PostHeaderIcon Beck’s 9-12 Project

Rumor has it that Glenn Beck is to be featured in the NY Times tomorrow. I guess after refusing to review his three bestselling books, his TV ratings are too high to ignore. Or, perhaps they need to discredit his 9/12 Project. Actually, I made a post there yesterday that wasn’t very encouraging as to its ultimate success. After two weeks, it seems that half of the activity consists of arguing over the existence of gods. Principle #2 states: “I believe in God, and he is the center of my life.” Although Beck only asked for agreement on 7 out of the 9 principles, there is a surprising amount of discontent over this. A few freethinking trolls are tweaking the Christian fundamentalists there with predictable results, which is keeping folks from focusing on the real emergency. To wit:

Glenn Beck, et al:

Thank you for starting this project. It is providing an invaluable service for allowing disenchanted Americans to realize they are not alone, and connect with each other to try to do something about the feverish dismantling of our culture and its institutions by the Marxist Progressives. The non-partisan attempt to unite around basic principles and values was brilliant in principle, yet flawed in execution.

It has been interesting, if disheartening, to observe our struggle to find agreement on what we might accomplish with our potential as a grassroots organization. Alas, my prediction is: not much. There is still no organizing principle and common goal, and the wish lists I have seen are too ambitious and convoluted to achieve in the limited time we have left to avoid a revolution. I would like to suggest our overarching goal ought to be a return to the limited role of the Federal government enshrined in our original Constitution. No more – no less.

I applaud you for attempting to stand back and allow us to develop spontaneously without it being about you. That was most wise; but unfortunately our ultimate potential was already crippled by your personal passions and prejudices from the inception. I accept your premise that there is a dogmatic 15 or 20% on either side of the Left/Right duopoly who are blinded by ideology; but a center of 60 or 70% open to reason and potentially joining our cause. Unfortunately, the way you worded Principle #2 is an encouraging invitation to the righteous ideologues on the Right, and a deterrent to many moderates on the Left.

Glenn, I have been an Insider for two years, never miss a program, and love you like a brother. I have alienated associates elsewhere defending you from unwarranted characterizations by those who have never listened to you long enough to “get it.” Godless myself, I have tolerated your occasional serious preaching, because I understand what your faith has done for your life and family; and because you have the ability to be deliciously irreverent when doing your comedy shtick. Your decision to insinuate your faith into this project, however, was a serious and perhaps fatal mistake.

I think what most of us wish for, who understand our past, is a return to the extremely limited role our Constitution assigned to our Federal government. Those less well-informed, yet experiencing the same general foreboding, could be fairly easily persuaded to go along with that ideal, if we educated them in the nature of our constitutional republic and how America never has been, and never should be, a democracy. Arguing over the existence of gods, which ones are real, and whether the most popular one wishes to be worshiped on a Muslim Friday, a Jewish Saturday, or a Christian Sunday is pretty much what is wrong with the whole damn world, and a complete waste of valuable time for participants in this project.

I think a perusal of the comments here reveals that there are perhaps more conservative thinkers than is generally recognized, who either do not believe in a god, or if they do, could not honestly answer that their lives revolve around worshiping one. Yet, most all agree with the other eight principles, and are willing to place your twelve somewhere in their own hierarchy of values. I will say that did I not know you, and were I to wander into this forum now two weeks into the project, a quick look around would be all I needed to flee in horror. Even though I am a Right leaning libertarian who strongly supports our traditional American values and institutions, I find the Piously Correct (PC) ideologues every bit as tedious as the Politically Correct (PC) ideologues.

The simple truth is that individual morality and behavior have absolutely nothing to do with matters of state and good government in a secular nation. The cancer on our body politic is the perennial battle between the PC moralizers of the Left, and the PC moralizers of the Right, both pining for control of the levers of coercive government, in order to force the other camp to adopt their preferred morality. For individual Liberty and the minimal government necessary to preserve it to prevail, we must reject both camps’ claim to any legitimate use of force to attain their altruistic goals. We shouldn’t allow these moralizers to twist our candidates and statesmen into disingenuous knots, trying to meet the moral litmus tests of both camps. We shouldn’t even permit, much less require, our Federal representatives to vote on statutes that regulate citizen behavior.

All of the arguments over our Founders personal religiosity, the extent to which their beliefs and sacred texts may have influenced their work, or their use of pious flourishes in their writings, miss the point entirely. Their masterpiece, our Constitution, is a secular document defining a secular government. There is not a word in that document regulating the behavior of citizens. It is entirely an extremely well-crafted muzzle on the power of the Federal government, to preclude it from interfering in the personal affairs of individuals. At the rate that Wahabi Mosques are sprouting across the fruited plain, Christians might consider thanking their god for their wisdom, and let well enough alone.

I know it is too late now; but ponder the difference had Principle #2 been:

I cherish the original Constitution of the United States of America, and pledge to defend it against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I recognize that some imprudent Amendments and unconstitutional statutes have been enacted in and since 1913, which need to be repealed to return our Federal government to its rightful limited role in our lives.

I reckon that instead of all the pointless religious discussion for the past two weeks, which probably didn’t change a single mind, we could have been having some fascinating and educational discourse on our history and the nature of our government; what it was meant to be, where it went off the rails, and what we might be able to do about restoring it, during the process of wresting it back from the evil forces feverishly trying to dismantle it before we wake up.

Perhaps, if anyone is interested in kicking this subject around (a blessed change from religion), we could call it Principle #10 (October Surprise?) or just Principle #2B, and give it a go. â—„Daveâ–º

4 Responses to “Beck’s 9-12 Project”

  • John says:

    Fantastic post Dave, you summed up my thoughts with a clarity and eloquence I do not posess.

  • Thanks, John. Things have settled down a bit there, and the software is working a lot better, so there are actually some thoughtful discussions occurring now. I notice learning happening as a few light bulbs come on, which is a good thing and it encourages me to keep participating there. â—„Daveâ–º

  • Ann says:

    We need to keep our eye on the goal. Those Fundamentalists and Ayn Rand non religious types that still want the same form of Constitutional government, need to stick together. If we start picking at each other over this IT IS OVER for the USA.

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