Glenn Beck: The non-violence pledge

GLENN: What was the civil rights movement about with Martin Luther King? It was about honor. It was about people who stood and they knew, they knew that it was going to be tough for them. They knew. They knew that they would be thrown in jail. Not for anything that they had done but just for standing up. There are tough times coming. I hope nobody's thrown in jail, but I could see a time. But we have to be people who are nonviolent. We have to be people because that's who we are. But they are painting us into something that we're not. So we need to go the extra step, and I don't think the extra step is to convince anybody because the media is going to do whatever they want. This is for us. As I read what Martin Luther King had people take, the pledge of nonviolence and the five principles of nonviolence, what he was doing was not sending a statement to the press that we're not violent. That wasn't the only goal there. The bigger goal, I believe, was to ingrain these thoughts and these principles into people because when it gets hard, you have to have rock solid, something that you really, truly understand in your gut. Something that you know. It's like Ben Sherwood says, you know, those who survive are the ones who have looked out at the plane and said if this thing did catch on fire, how the heck would I get out of here? You've made a plan. You've already war gamed it in your head. That's what I think the pledge of nonviolence and the five principles of nonviolence was. So I've put them up temporarily now on my website, but I want you to read them and I want you to ponder them. And I'm going to ask you to do what Martin Luther King did with his people and that was sign your name to it. Sign your name to it.

Here they are on the website at GlennBeck.com. The Pledge of Nonviolence. As you prepare to march, meditate on the life and teachings of Jesus. If it's Buddha, it's Buddha. If it's Moses, it's Moses. But meditate. Understand the peace that these people brought. Understand. Jesus, he's my guy. Your guy might be different.

Remember the nonviolent movement seeks justice and reconciliation, not victory. What does that mean? I don't need to be right. Quite honestly I don't want to be right. I want justice. What I want is I want Timothy Geithner to pay his damn taxes because I have to. I want Charlie Rangel to pay his taxes because I have to. I want Goldman Sachs to stand on their own two feet because I have to. I want to help people because I want to. Because it's the right thing to do. I want the government to stop enslaving people. I want the government to stop spreading justice because their justice is never equal. That's not victory. That's justice.

Number three is walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love. This one's going to be hard. It is going to be hard, but we have to discipline ourself. That doesn't mean we stop talking truth. We just make sure that we don't become bitter or angry. Bitter and angry. Think of Darth Vader: Yes, yes, feed your anger. No, don't. Walk and talk in the manner of love.

Number four is pray daily to be used by God that all men and women might be free. Pray. You're here for a reason, I know it. We all are. And we are a special group of people. We were not only born at this time think of the millions of years that you could have been born. Think of all of the time on this planet that you could have come here at this, and you come now at this time. You could have been born in the Dark Ages. You could have been born you could have been born quite honestly in 1900. But you were born now, at this time, to be alive for this purpose. What is it? You were here to stand, that others may be free.

Number five, sacrifice personal wishes that all may be free. So in other words, I want to be left alone. I want to go back and just have fun again. I want to do fun shows and funny shows and I want to live my life. I want to raise my kids. I want a nice car. I want a nice vacation. It's not about that now. It can't be. We have to change. We have to be willing to sacrifice personally. It means that you may lose your house. It may mean that whatever it is that you don't first entrap yourself into the slavery of this government. You don't take the handouts. Don't enslave yourself.

Number six, observe with friend and foe the ordinary rules of courtesy. This is what they are trying to do. They are trying to push you. They are trying to. Don't. Now, why was that one important? Why was that one important for Martin Luther King and why is that important now? Why did the march to Selma happen? Why did they march to Birmingham? Capital, yes, but it's a 57 mile trek. They marched to Birmingham. They knew that there would be losers on the way. They knew that something would happen.

See, Martin Luther King, his whole point was "I trust the American people. If they see racism, they will reject it." I still believe that and so do those in power. That's why they play that racism card. But you have to show it to them. You have to be that person. If you are always quiet and silent, if you are the crowd that we've had each time at the American Revival, 8,000 people somebody is hurt, we break out spontaneously into Amazing Grace? There's no way to paint that any other way. If they cover it, it would be covered as an amazing thing and people would say, wow, I want to be a part of that. The protestors outside are the ugly ones and those are the ones that America says, I don't want anything to do with those people. It's ugly and dark. It's evil that is going on. Americans are not like that. Why do you think they keep saying, this is a civil rights movement, this is akin to the civil rights movement. A, they need dogs and fire hoses. They need violence. They need racists. That's why they keep saying you're a racist. It's kin to the civil rights movement. These are civil rights, and they're using all of the images of the civil rights movement, except they don't have they are not on the wrong they are not on the right side. They are not right on the right side. Why do you think Nancy Pelosi went into that crowd? That was Selma! That was the march to Birmingham. They just didn't want to walk 57 miles. They go into what they think are a bunch of hating racists. They stir the pot, they anger them, they get them going and then all of the old leaders of the civil rights movement that were in that march, they lock arm in arm just the way Martin Luther King did and they recreate that march through the sea of haters, racists. When you didn't respond that way, they didn't know what to do. They just had to make it up, look at the racists. You are not. The louder they get, the quieter you must become.

Number seven, perform regular service for others in the world. Number eight, refrain from violence of fist, tongue and heart. Number nine, strive and be good spiritual and bodily health. My wife loves that one. Number ten, follow the directions of the movement leaders and the captains on the demonstrations. That one doesn't make any sense because there are no leaders at this point.

Listen. I want you to go to the website at GlennBeck.com. You'll also find the five principles of nonviolence. Please print them out, live these things, become those people. We already are those people. Cement yourself in those things, those teachings, those ideas and sign the pledge at GlennBeck.com.

The themes of healing and redemption appear throughout the Bible.

Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. — 1 Corinthians 15:43
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. — Mark 2:17.

So, for many Christians, it's no surprise to hear that people of faith live longer lives.

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. — Jeremiah 17:14.

But it is certainly lovely to hear, and a recent study by a doctoral student at Ohio State University is just one more example of empirical evidence confirming the healing benefits of faith and religious belief.

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Moreover, the study finds that religious belief can lengthen a person's life.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. — Proverbs 17:22
Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live! — Isaiah 38:16

The study analyzed over 1,000 obituaries nationwide and found that people of faith lived longer than people who were not religious. Laura Wallace, lead author of the study, noted that "religious affiliation had nearly as strong an effect on longevity as gender does, which is a matter of years of life."

The study notes that, "people whose obits mentioned a religious affiliation lived an average of 5.64 years longer than those whose obits did not, which shrunk to 3.82 years after gender and marital status were considered."

And He called to Him His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. — Matthew 10:1

"The researchers found that part of the reason for the boost in longevity came from the fact that many religiously affiliated people also volunteered and belonged to social organizations, which previous research has linked to living longer. The study provides persuasive evidence that there is a relationship between religious participation and how long a person lives," said Baldwin Way, co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology at Ohio State.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

In addition, the study showed how the effects of religion on longevity might depend in part on the personality and average religiosity of the cities where people live, Way said.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. — Luke 5:17
Heal the sick in it and say to them, The kingdom of God has come near to you. — Luke 10:9.

In early June, the Social Security and Medicare trustees released their annual report on the fiscal health of these programs, and the situation looks dire. Medicare is scheduled to run out of money in 2026 (three years sooner than anticipated), while Social Security is expected to run out in 2034. The rising national debt is only one of the well-known financial struggles the millennial generation faces. The burdens of student loan debt, high housing prices (thanks to zoning restrictions), stagnant wage growth, the rising cost of healthcare and lingering aftershocks of the Great Recession are among the biggest sources of economic anxiety millennials feel.

Progressive politicians have been very successful at courting the youth vote, partly because they actually promote policy ideas that address many of these concerns. As unrealistic or counterproductive as Senator Bernie Sanders' proposals for single-payer health care or a $15 an hour minimum wage might be, they feel in theory like they would provide the economic stability and prosperity millennials want.

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Republicans, on the other hand, have struggled to craft a message to address these concerns. Fiscal conservatives recognize, correctly, that the burden of the $20 trillion national debt and over $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities will fall on millennials. Some conservatives have even written books about that fact. But the need to reform entitlements hasn't exactly caught millennials' attention. Pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, in her book The Selfie Vote, notes that millennials generally view protecting the safety net as more important than reducing the deficit.

Clearly, Republicans have a problem. They need to craft solutions that address the millennial generation's struggles, but they can't seem to sell entitlement reform, their biggest policy preference that addresses those problems. The Republican approach to wooing millennials on policy is failing because talking about stopping the debt from reaching an unsustainable level is long-term and abstract, and offers few immediate tangible benefits. A new approach to both pave the way for entitlement reform and give millennials an immediate financial boost is to first reform not entitlement spending, but the payroll tax: specifically, by partially (or wholly) replacing it with a value-added tax.

Under the current Social Security model, workers pay for the benefits of current retirees through the payroll tax. This system creates the illusion of a pension program, in which what you put in is what you get out, but in reality Social Security is a universal safety net program for the elderly paid for by taxes. The payroll tax falls on workers and is a tax on labor, while the value-added tax (VAT) is a tax on consumption imposed at every part of the production process. Assuming that this policy change is revenue-neutral, switching to a VAT will shift the responsibility for funding Social Security and Medicare away from workers, disproportionately poorer and younger, and onto everyone participating in the economy as a whole. Furthermore, uncoupling Social Security funding from payroll taxes would pave the way for fiscal reforms to transform the program from a universal benefit program to one geared specifically to eliminating old-age poverty, such as means-testing benefits for high-income beneficiaries, indexing benefits to prices rather than wages or changing the retirement age.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences. As the Tax Policy Center notes, the change would actually make the tax system more progressive. The current payroll tax is regressive, meaning that people with lower incomes tend to pay a higher effective tax rate than people with higher incomes. On the other hand, the value-added tax is much closer to proportional than the payroll tax, meaning that each income group pays closer to the same effective tax rate.

For Republicans, such a change would fit conservative economic ideas about the long-run causes of economic growth. A value-added tax has a much broader base than the payroll tax, and therefore would allow for much lower marginal tax rates, and lower marginal tax rates mean smaller disincentives to economic activity. According to the Tax Foundation's analysis of a value-added tax, the VAT would be a more economically efficient revenue source than most other taxes currently in the tax code.

Not only would replacing part or all of the payroll tax provide an immediate benefit to millennial taxpayers, it would also open the door for the much-needed entitlement reforms that have been so politically elusive. Furthermore, it would make the tax code both more pro-growth and less regressive. In order to even begin to address the entitlement crisis, win millennial support and stimulate the economy in a fiscally responsible manner, Republicans must propose moving from the payroll tax to the VAT.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate. His writing has appeared in Townhall and The Federalist. He is a federal policy intern at the Tax Foundation. Opinions expressed here are his only and not the views of the Tax Foundation. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Glenn was joined by Alanna Sarabia from "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios on Thursday for an exclusive look at Mercury Museum's new "Rights & Responsibilities" exhibit. Open through Father's Day, the temporary museum features artifacts from pop culture, America's founding, World Ward II and more, focusing on the rights and responsibilities America's citizens.

Get tickets and more information here.

Watch as Glenn gives a sneak peek at some of the unique artifacts on display below.

History at the Mercury Museum

Alanna Sarabia interviews Glenn Beck for "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios.

Several months ago, at the Miss Universe competition, two women took a selfie, then posted it on Instagram. The caption read, "Peace and love." As a result of that selfie, both women faced death threats, and one of the women, along with her entire family, had to flee her home country. The occasion was the 2017 Miss Universe competition, and the women were Miss Iraq and Miss Israel. Miss Iraq is no longer welcome in her own country. The government threatened to strip her of her crown. Of course, she was also badgered for wearing a bikini during the competition.

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In an interview, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, said:

When I posted the picture I didn't think for a second there would be blowback. I woke up to calls from my family and the Miss Iraq Organization going insane. The death threats I got online were so scary. The director of the Miss Iraq Organization called me and said they're getting heat from the ministry. He said I have to take the picture down or they will strip me of my title.

Yesterday, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, posted another selfie with Miss Israel, during a visit to Jerusalem.

In an interview, she said that:

I don't think Iraq and Israel are enemies; I think maybe the governments are enemies with each other. There's a lot of Iraqi people that don't have a problem with Israelis.

This is, of course, quite an understatement: Iraq, home to roughly 15,000 Palestinians, refuses to acknowledge Israel as a legitimate country, as it is technically at war with Israel. The adages says that a picture is worth a thousand words. What are we to do when many of those words are hateful or deadly? And how can we find the goodness in such bad situations?