After Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” event in DC last weekend, there have been some evangelicals concerned about the prospect of a Mormon wanting to lead an ecumenical spiritual revival:

From a different perspective, William Saletan wrote that the rally showed conservatism’s unique way of incorporating previous liberal achievements into contemporary conservatism.



  1. I don’t know what to make of Beck’s rally; I didn’t really see it. I’ve heard it had some really good parts. Still, it seems vague and broad to me. But that is often the nature of big political events — be everything (or at least something) to everyone.

    I think the key accomplishment was to evince the significant (Christian) dissatisfaction with present day politics as it has strayed from the principles of the Founders. Some people focused on the specific Christianity and prayers being “in Jesus’ name” which would be remarkable if said in Congress, but to me less so at a rally.

    The pages you link make some fair points and highlight some potential pitfalls. I like Wilson’s especially. But it’s hard to effectively capture and critique such a large event since there are so many independent parts.

    The whole Mormon angle is interesting. Unfortunately, democratic accomplishment require us to set aside our differences and form at least glancing alliances with those we may disagree with on other issues. It is a struggle to stay on topic and hold firm to our principles, but that is what is required.

    Saletan paints with an even broader brush. He seems mildly condescending in conflating progress and progressives, and confused about which dreams of King’s conservatives embrace. But in his defense, it seems many conservatives are confused about King as well. e.g. What do you think of this?: Myths of Martin Luther King. To me, it highlights the danger of idealizing men rather than select principles since we can end up defending aspects we should not.

    Saletan makes an interesting point about conservatives embracing progressive issues, but I think it is a schizophrenic embrace wherein conservatives oppose socialistic policies such as social security, insurance, subsidies, etc. and also depend upon them. But it’s not clear to me that progressive socialism will be the victor from this paradox, as he argues.

    I also wonder whether Saletan sees the difference between the morality of being racist (or unjustly prejudiced) vs. the freedom to be so. I thought that was once a liberal principle, but perhaps that is a distinction between liberals and progressives?

  2. Kevin, I’d agree with your comments. Well said!

    As far as Dr. King goes, I have read that link that you included and actually I have read the book that he references (Dyson’s “I May Not Get There With You”).

    Here are two things that I wrote about King in early 2009, which bear on some of your questions:



    The second link is actually a comment on the link from Lew Rockwell.com.

    As far as “the difference between the morality of being racist (or unjustly prejudiced) vs. the freedom to be so,” that’s something that I wonder about too. How would you draw the line between sin and crime on that?

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