Glenn Beck: What Is 'Social Justice'?





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Everything we see pushed down the throats of the American people right now — TARP, the stimulus, health care, immigration reform, bailouts, cap-and-trade — they all have one thing in common: Their PR campaigns contain two words: "social justice."

You've probably heard it a lot lately:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I think that there is a strong tradition of social justice in the Catholic Church that had a profound influence on me.

OBAMA: I received one of those letters a few days ago. It was from our beloved friend and colleague Ted Kennedy.... "What we face," he wrote, "Is above all a moral issue. At stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice."

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: So the measure here is what can we do with the major initiatives in the areas of the economy — economic recovery — jobs, education, housing, health care, are all designed to advance social justice.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

What is that? It seems like such an innocuous phrase. It paints a picture of fairness — many churches use the term as a substitute for "outreach to the poor." Who could possibly be against that? Well, if you've read the news lately: I am. In fact, I even learned from TIME magazine recently that I hate Jesus.

I'm just full of hate and I want to stop justice!

I'm glad to see Time suddenly cares about God... or am I? The other "news" from The New York Times was that I recommended leaving church if those churches help the poor. And I would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for those pesky, meddling "journalists"!

I'm not sure why I would expect the media to start searching for the truth now, when they've never let it get in the way before. The truth is this: The term "social justice" has been completely perverted and hijacked by progressives. It doesn't mean simply "help the poor" to them. It does to some people, but not to radical progressives.

And now, just for The New York Times and everyone else who thinks I hate poor people — I know your attention span is about 20 or 30 seconds, but try and pay attention — we'll set the record straight for you here on social justice. The kind I am talking about vs. the kind that they are talking about.

Ready?

Here's my definition of social justice: Forced redistribution of wealth with a hostility toward individual property rights, under the guise of charity and/or justice.

On my radio program, I said if your church is promoting Jeremiah Wright-type "social or economic justice," you should run from it or at least get educated on what progressives mean by this.

Here's someone who took my advice: Barack Obama.

Rev. Wright's church teaches "economic parity" and claims that God is not pleased with "America's economic mal-distribution." Progressives are good at changing words — for instance:

"Federal assistance" has replaced the word "welfare"

"Welfare" replaced the word "handout"

"Subsidy" has replaced the word "self-reliance"

"Bailout" has replaced the words "corporate accountability"

The "stimulus bill" becomes the "jobs bill"

They do this over and over again.

Churches that preach his type of "social justice" are what I was referring to when I said "run." This kind of social justice being preached in Rev. Wright-style churches not only resembles what many of these radical progressive and socialist and communist groups preach today, it is what they preach: Government forcibly taking wealth and spreading it around — leveling the playing field, so there's no "economic inequality."

When you are in church sometimes it's not so easy to see it. But here's a simple rule of thumb: Make sure your church puts God first and politics and government last. Here are the clear warning signs: "social justice" or "economic justice" or "ecological justice."

A couple weeks ago, I told you about Father Charles Coughlin. Coughlin founded the National Union for Social Justice, co-opted the phrase and began publishing Social Justice Weekly. Coughlin, an anti-Semitic religious broadcaster in the 1930s, used the publication to attack capitalism and promote his adoration for Italian fascist Benito Mussolini. He used social justice as cover and it's happening again.

I want to make this clear: Some people look at social justice as going out on mission and going out and doing good works for God. That's great — as long as it's Jesus and the church or your synagogue or whoever is who you are serving, not a government-bloated program.

For example: If your church is preaching social justice and education, your church is doing it, great but remember the Defend Education rallies that happened recently? Of course everyone wants to "defend education." But if you go to the National Day of Action to Defend Education Web site, you'll find a list of endorsers and you'll realize that you've just entered a hot-zone of activist, progressive, socialist groups trying to hijack another movement.

If you go to Jeremiah Wright's United Church of Christ Web site, it looks fine and dandy. But check out the "related links" page and you will be recommended to visit the Ella Baker Center. The Ella Baker Center — why does that sound familiar? Oh that's right, it was co-founded by Van Jones, the communist.

That's the "social justice" they are fighting for and the kind of social justice you need to be fighting against.

You are going to hear a lot of crazy things, including that Glenn Beck hates Jesus, etc. Let me make it extraordinarily clear to you: Every issue this government is bringing up right now is being framed as moral issues.

Remember, we are talking about the extreme left. Does Moral Majority come to mind? What about the Christian Coalition? They were enemy No. 1 to the left. Why is it that the extreme left is talking about social justice and moral responsibilities?

The left understands that if there is a wall you can't get around, then go through the cracks like a mist — infect it and use it for yourself.

So it's interesting to me that we are now being taught by social justice extreme leftist preachers about your Christian duty to have a big government or a big government program. And all of the issues are being framed around morality.

Americans are a moral people; we care, we have big hearts. So if there's a problem — say, global warming — you've got to sell it to people: You don't want to hurt the planet, do you? How do you fix it? Ecological justice. What is ecological justice? Cap-and-trade: The United States — a country with a lot of wealth — will go to a country with no wealth... and we'll buy their air. Wow, that sounds like socialism or the forced redistribution of wealth, which is Marxism.

Health care: Don't you just want to help people without health care? Yes, I do — I don't want to see anyone hurt. I want to help. Well, they can't afford it — we need economic justice to fix it. Now wait, that sounds like socialism or the forced redistribution of wealth, which is Marxism.

Education: Who doesn't want to help people get an education? Some people didn't have an opportunity to get an education. It's just about social justice and balancing the scales. No, it actually sounds like socialism which is the forced redistribution of wealth, which is Marxism.

Let's hear what the FCC's diversity "czar" Mark Lloyd has to say about social justice:

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

MARK LLOYD, FCC: We're in a position where you have to say who is going to step down so someone else can have power.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

It's a moral thing to do! It is social justice.

What makes us a moral people? God. God teaches us to be moral so that we care about issues like health care and education and so on.

But what if you're a Marxist and you really want the forced redistribution of wealth? Let's call it socialism? No, that doesn't work. How about we call it "social justice"? And we use a topic like education and we can sell it to people because they are moral.

We can't sell socialism, but we can sell "economic justice." And we can point out that it's about health care, because they are moral — they'll serve God.

Our foundation needs to be restored. What is our foundation: God, which makes us a moral people; which makes us charitable; which makes us care about health care. And the government is the smallest part — they should administer what we can't.

But if you want to fundamental transform America, you turn that pyramid on its head: Government is your foundation, from which flows social justice. If they can convince you that God is the smallest part of the pyramid, they win.

Notice what they all have in common: Taking from one and giving to another. The second half of that equation — giving to another — is charity. But then President Obama's spiritual adviser says this:

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

REV. JIM WALLIS: We have to be very clear about this. Voluntary, faith-based initiatives with no resources, no resources to make any serious difference in poverty reduction, is not adequate. That's a charity that falls far short of biblical justice.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

Voluntary charity doesn't go far enough? Give to the poor by taking from the rich? Unfortunately that means theft.

You can boil these justices down to one thing: It is a fancy name for socialism, which is forced redistribution of wealth, which is a fancy name for Marxism.

Jesus preached many things, but he never preached socialism. If you voluntarily wanted to live in a commune, Jesus would be cool with that. But he never said take from someone and not give to anyone else.

— Watch Glenn Beck weekdays at 5p & 2a ET on Fox News Channel

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.