What are you going to do today to make America good?

Glenn has been open about the fact that he has been struggling to conjure up the kinds of feelings and emotions he once did when he thinks about the United States. Earlier this week, he explained that – for the first time in a long time – he did not cry while watching a Fourth of July fireworks display.

On radio this morning, Glenn shared something he wrote while he was vacationing with his family in a tiny Idaho town. He grapples with the idea of patriotism and rediscovering the true meaning of America. It is not the flags, songs, and red, white, and blue that makes America great. It is the diversity of the people and what they bring to the table that not only makes America great but, more importantly, good.

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“Let me share something that I wrote towards the end of my vacation,” Glenn said before reading from his journal.

I have been in our small town in Idaho for the last ten days surrounded by simple farmers, salt of the earth. People who rely on God for their crops. Pray when to plant. Pray for rain. Pray that there’s not too much. They pray for heat, but not too much. Pray on when to cut the fields, and then pray that there is no rain until you can bale it (three days). Pray for thanks, and begin again.

Most farmers are broke financially. Yet spiritually they are the richest people I know for two reasons:
1. You must remain a partner with God and trust He knows what He is doing because at best you are still guessing when to plant and cut.

2. Because someone around your farm is going to fail even if you don’t and if you succeed this year, you may be the one that fails next year. Thus: You have a reason to help your neighbor. Everyone in this community knows that ‘there by the grace of God go I.’

As I watched these people on my vacation, I watched how they live. And I saw solutions. Nations forget as they become industrialized. They move into cities and no longer even see the canvas of the master painter, the full expanse of the sky. It seems as we grow rich financially, the more arrogant and spiritually bankrupt we become. We no longer see ourselves as partners with The Eternal. We begin to see life as dog eat dog and our problems become bigger as our neighbors become invisible.

What a simple answer to our problems. Yet, how difficult – and possibly impossible – to actually do without a farm.

As I was in church today I listened to the choir. For a while we attended church right at Lincoln Center in NYC. I remember the first Sunday that I went there as we all began to sing. I though, somehow, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was visiting and all sitting all around me in the pews. It was unbelievable to hear everyone sing in harmony. But that wasn’t it. This church just happened to be the place one spot on earth where some of the most talented performers happened to attend church because it was Lincoln Center and across the street from Julliard.

Today, in the small town in Idaho, my neighbors stood to sing – the farmers, the guy who works at the car lot, a few retired heroes, their wives and children. What I heard was not what those at Lincoln Center would describe a technically flawless. But the music I heard was more perfect than I ever heard in any of the great concert halls.

I carried that sound in my head all day and tried to understand why it effected me the way it did. There was something more to it than just lyrics, notes and singers. As I went home that afternoon, I picked up John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath to read. That’s when it hit me. Almost every word in that book is poetry. Beautifully written. But, at first, you are left with the impression that he as a writer is almost mocking who and everything these Okies are. I don’t know Steinbeck’s history well enough to know his motivation, but in his writing I found the answer I was looking for.

What I heard today was the original. It was authentic. It was real.

In the big city, it is easy to find things and talented people that can paint, act, write, or sing songs that make your heart swell with that warm, sweet feeling of something bigger than you, me, or the piece of art. But, most times, what you are finding is what I found in Steinbeck: A mere reflection or echo of the authentic art that those simple people in the small no name towns live every single day. All of the great art of America was composed to reflect the people I listened to in this small church on the edge of a town that only has maybe two stop lights.

What we are looking for, we’re finding in the wrong places. What we’re looking for to uplift, inspire, and model is found in every small town. And I found it at the base of a mountain in Idaho. Real people who rely on something bigger than themselves and in the end each other.

The world mocks these people and the way they live. The children, including in my case as a teenager, race to leave these towns to head to the cities. If you tell people you’re going to one of these towns, people will tell you, ‘Why? There’s nothing to do there. There’s nothing to see there. Those towns don’t have any culture.’ Well, they would be with right if you would believe that art hangs only on a wall.

There aren’t any museums, concert halls, or poetry corners in America’s small towns because the music is in the people’s spirit love and charity. The art is in their weathered faces and calloused hands and the poetry is in the way they live their lives.

If you were one of those people who failed to connect to the Fourth of July the way you have in the past, it is probably because we are now celebrating in a way that lacks authenticity.

“We can’t get away with just the songs anymore. We can’t get away with just show us the flag. We don’t know what any of that stuff means anymore,” Glenn said. “That was a marketing campaign. That was something to stir us up. It’s a good sign that we’re no longer stirred up by those images… It’s a very easy step to go from that to fascism.”

“This is America being called back to goodness, not to the flag,” he concluded. “What are you going to spend today doing to make America good?”

  • landofaahs

    Spread the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ alone. We need to do these things through acts of charity without photo ops and breast beating in order that people see the acts as they are from Jesus and not me or us. Charity starts at home and we must also support missionaries overseas. If we do not support the spread of the gospel overseas, God will bring them here so they will hear. The only reason for the existence of America and it’s rise was for the spread of the gospel and we have not done a very good job of it. That includes myself of course and probably foremost.

  • landofaahs

    Do everything possible to bring the truth of Jesus Christ to the muslims who are sadly heading for eternal damnation.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Glenn, I have news for you. The comments you made today are what YOU feel. How pompous and arogant of you to believe this is what everyone feels. As far as what my friends and family feel has no corelation to what you said today. You stand alone with the sychophants.

  • Jon Bar

    Jesus would first encourage not breaking the law to gain entrance. Mark 7:27

  • Jon Bar

    You don’t encourage more to come by giving them toys, nor breaking the law. Jesus taught law and order first! Mark 7:27

  • Anonymous

    Wow, Glenn! The way you talk about these small towns I’m wondering why YOU don’t give up everything and be an example by choice. Of course, making the big bucks in Dallas is too much now to get away from the money machine. I’m so sick of all these preachers and televangelists spreading the word of God while themselves getting richer than those who follow them.

  • gregg

    Those farmers sure pray a lot. Are they Muslims with their 5/day? Are they diverse? Rush said America is great because of freedom, NOT diversity…whose right? You are Jim & Tammy Faye Bakker all by yourself! What are your credentials to preach the Gospel over FCC airwaves? Why is your second hour of the radio show a Bible study? Is it the 700 Club? Since diversity is great, how about using devotional studies from ALL religions in your second hour on radio M-F. Is Penn J., your Atheist buddy, coming around on religion? It’s hard living a lie, isn’t it? But what a new niche you have found! New markets sending in $$$$$$$$$! And Mika & Joe on MSNBC calling YOU Christ!

  • Glenn Coughlin

    Glenn probably didn’t cry because there weren’t any cameras recording him.
    He is a fake patriot.
    He never served in the military or ran for public office.
    Instead, glenn focused on flunking out of school and abandoning his family. Those are such wonderful qualities?!

  • shans

    why do you people even watch Glenn If you have nothing good to say about his program.

  • Donnie St

    What like another crusade? Kill millions in the name of god again? LOL! If it weren’t for religions like christianity, islam and judaism this world would be alot more peaceful. No one would kill each other over conversion or in god’s name.

  • Donnie St

    I am making America good today Glenn by not listening to your holier than thou show, this way my ears won’t make your money bags bigger.

  • IT 2 IT 1234

    Still MORE Polish joke franchise slum ‘normalcy’?

    You must be Polish NO joking!

  • 1Chiye

    I was so inspired Glenn, by your letter that it made me remember this by Paul Harvey in 1978 called:
    ‘So God Made a Farmer’ Speech’
    And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker.” So God made a farmer.

    God said, “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, and work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board.” So God made a farmer.

    “I need somebody with arms strong enough to rustle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to wait lunch until his wife’s done feeding visiting ladies and tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon — and mean it.” So God made a farmer.

    God said, “I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt. And watch it die. Then dry his eyes and say, ‘Maybe next year.’ I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make harness out of haywire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And who, planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, pain’n from ‘tractor back,’ put in another seventy-two hours.” So God made a farmer.

    God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop in mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor’s place. So God made a farmer.

    God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bails, yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-combed pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken leg of a meadow lark. It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week’s work with a five-mile drive to church.

    “Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply, with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life ‘doing what dad does.’” So God made a farmer.

    I believe Glenn is a farmer & I’m willing to be a farmer too & hope that others will want to be a farmer when they “GROW UP”!

  • The Merchant

    Your trusty beacon in the ever-shifting mirage of illusions conjured up by today’s progressives: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0094KY878

  • Alisa

    A. How is he a sycophant? A sycophant is someone who sucks up to another person in order to gain an advantage. Granted, Glenn Beck has made a lot of money from all his various business ventures (which is an advantage), but that implies that there’s like-minded individuals that want to listen to him and hear what he says, and that there’s an awful lot of that type of people around, which implies he isn’t standing alone.

    A. i. You could be trying to say that the people he’s standing with are sycophants, not that he is personally. I do see some reflection of reality there: A lot of the people in the comments are either like you (hates Glenn) or the exact opposite (they love him). So you could say that a lot of the people who comment are sycophants. However, in order to be a sycophant, one must fulfill both parts of the definition: 1. one must be sucking up 2. in order to gain an advantage. I don’t see how anyone is greatly or even slightly advantaged by commenting over-enthused comments on this website.

    B. How arrogant of you to think that what you feel is what all of your family and friends feel. Who are you to speak for them? (No, I don’t actually think you’re arrogant. You could be a very nice, honorable person. I have no way of knowing. I’m just applying your own logic to your own words.)

    C. If Glenn is standing alone, he isn’t standing with sycophants. If he’s standing with sycophants, he’s not standing alone.

    D. I don’t see anywhere that Glenn was claiming everyone felt this way, nor have you made any argument that what he said was false. Sure, he feels this way and you do not. However, does that mean that he is wrong and you are right? No. Nor have you claimed that. You’ve also claimed that he stands “alone with the sycophants,” a claim I’ve already addressed. Now, let’s say for the sake of argument that he is, indeed, standing alone with the large group of people that agree with him. Does that mean he’s wrong? 6 billion people (or so) who disagree with him can be totally wrong, no matter how much they believe that they are right. Perhaps his feelings are an accurate reflection of how the world works. You have addressed the topic of feelings, not of truth, and of feelings only briefly.

  • Alisa

    I’m not sure you understand how currency works.

  • Alisa

    He said nothing about breaking the law. He was criticizing America’s culture. Christ Himself spent a lot of time criticizing the culture He was surrounded by. Luke 11:29, 12:1, John 5:42, etc. Flip open to a random page in the four gospels and you should be able to see a place where Christ is either telling us what to do differently or criticizing the Pharisees and their culture.

  • Donnie St

    Who said anything about currency? Let me it explain it as simply as I can for someone who does not know how media works and how media makes money. Show like Glenn Beck’s gets something called Ratings which is how many people listen or watch. The more ratings you have the more people will want you to advertise for them and the more money they will pay for the advertising. When Ratings drop, you will lose advertisers meaning you earn less money. Therefore me saying my ears won’t make him money means, that by me not listening to him on radio anymore his ratings will drop, and therefore advertising will drop. Now I may be 1 person saying this, but I am sure there are many who are thinking it. But there you go, your lesson on the economics of media.

  • Anonymous

    Comment by:
    David R Stone Sr.

    Independent Contributor: 7/13/2014

    Eric Holder blames people wanting to see Obama to get
    Impeached is all due to his Race, Really he got re-elected overwhelmingly by
    whites so all this crap talk by Holder is just another way for him to redirect
    American from the real reason that he knows why We The People want him out and
    it’s because he knows we know the TRUTH. Why does this Congress want to give up
    more of their powers to the courts, the MAJOR problem is they don’t want to
    hold this Imperial President Accountable with the Powers the Constitution gave
    them and the reason is that they don’t have the Intestinal Fortitude to do what
    is needed to save this Country from a President who talks to them with
    contempt. And a President that has not once taken responsibility for a single
    one of his decisions that have backfired because his EGO is bigger than the
    Office he holds. They are afraid to be the Congress that Impeaches the First
    Black President. Being Black isn’t the only reason Obama was selected to run
    for Office of President of the United States the other reasons were that he being
    a Marxist/Progressive Super Radical, they needed him to be Black so that
    Congress wouldn’t stop him from running rogue because they would just be called
    Racist. Our Congress should have Impeached him long ago. He has Broken his oath
    of office so many times it hurts. And it’s too bad that Sarah Palin is the only
    one brave enough to stand up and tell the truth. Well GOP and the Ruling Establishment
    Republicans have to be put in their place by the Conservative Republican Base.
    The manipulative Progressive Establishment Republicans are helping the
    Progressive Establishment Democrats destroy our Great Nation. Abraham Lincoln
    was right when he said Our Country would be destroyed from no outside source
    but from WITHIN and he was right. It is happening right before our eyes. This
    President said that he was going to Fundamentally Transform the United States
    of America and he is doing just that. He thinks that The United States of
    America has had it too good for too long and it was his job to knock us down
    quite a few pegs. You know it was a time if you succeeded that if you wanted a
    Great Health Insurance Policy you could get whatever one you wanted, But this
    Egotistical and Arrogant President decided that we should all have the same
    except for the deductible. He believes that the haves and have knots should be
    all equalized and starting off with Health Insurance is his way of starting.
    And within this Law 40 Hour a week Jobs are now a thing of the past. So how can
    the Affordable Care Act (ACA) possibly be a job creator like Obama and Nancy
    Pelosi and the Democrat Congress and Senate and supporters like
    MSNBC,CNN,NBC,ABC and CBS told us over and over again. Now for those who still
    want to disagree with me, how many people do you personally know someone who
    has been negatively by this horrific law. And the worst part is that we were
    originally told that we needed this Law because there were 30 million persons
    without healthcare. Well if you go to the Governments own web site you will see
    that nothing has changed with the amount of persons without healthcare and
    there probably won’t be in the future any difference according to the
    Congressional Budget Office(CBO) which is a nonpartisan group of people
    selected by the Presidents Administration. Please consider calling your
    Congressman or Senators regarding the flagrant disregard of his Oath of Office
    and the Constitution he swore to uphold protect and defend.

  • Chris Layton

    You can’t make America good because America has an over abundant supply of evil people who have been in the business of robbing the widows and murdering innocent children for decades. Now all mention of God is being banned from the public places. God’s not going to ignore that. All you can do is be the embodiment of goodness yourself and hope others around you follow suit but it’s not going to change the destructive path this nation is heading down. History will repeat itself and the modern day Rome will fall. It’s not a matter of if but when. So just prepare yourself and your family and friends is all you can do. Handing out Teddy bears and soccer balls does nothing.

  • IT 2 IT 1234

    ARMINIAN HERESY operator —–RED ALERT!

    TAKE HEED!