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Posted by on Feb 22, 2012 in Guest Contributor, Politics, Religion | 38 comments

Sorry: Glenn Beck is NOT a Catholic

The question here isn’t whether Glenn Beck is a delusional idiot. The real question is WHO at the Washington Post decided that this hogswallop was worthy of publication in any serious newspaper?

Why we are all Catholics now
By Glenn Beck

Photo: Beck meets the newly elevated Cardinal Timothy Dolan in the Vatican.

I am a proud member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but today, I call myself a Catholic. Why? Because the state is telling the Catholic Church to violate its principles and teachings. So if you are a person of faith, you must call yourself a Catholic.

Today, the Catholic Church is defending a historic American freedom. We tend to forget that many of America’s earliest European settlers were religious refugees. Europe was not a kind place to the faithful if the state didn’t approve: Jews in Spain, Puritans in England, Protestants in France and so on. You were cast out, or worse…

Self-righteous, pseudo-persecuted moron.

This is a hilarious internal contradiction, when you realize that the Jews in Spain and the Protestants in France were being PERSECUTED BY THE CATHOLIC CHUCH!

Here is the Catholic Church’s position on Mormonism (note the “Nihil Obstat and Imprimateur at the bottom of the document.):

Distinctive Beliefs of the Mormon Church

Are Mormons Protestants? No, but their founder, Joseph Smith, came from a Protestant background, and Protestant presuppositions form part of the basis of Mormonism.

Still, it isn’t correct to call Mormons Protestants, because doing so implies they hold to the essentials of Christianity—what C. S. Lewis termed “mere Christianity.” The fact is, they don’t. Gordon B. Hinckley, the former president and prophet of the Mormon church, says (in a booklet called What of the Mormons?) that he and his co-religionists “are no closer to Protestantism than they are to Catholicism.”

That isn’t quite right—it would be better to say Mormons are even further from Catholicism than from Protestantism. But Hinckley is right in saying that Mormons are very different from Catholics and Protestants. Let’s examine some of these differences. We can start by considering the young men who come to your door.

They always come in pairs and are dressed conservatively, usually …

And, at the bottom of the page:

NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials
presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors.
Bernadeane Carr, STL,
Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004

IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827
permission to publish this work is hereby granted.
+Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004

I don’t have a dog in this fight: I am neither a Mormon nor a Catholic, but, if both are honest intheir commitment to “truth,” then the plain facts need to be stated.

Glenn Beck is not a Catholic, and the church considers the Mormon faith to NOT be Christian. (There is a wealth of additional material here. If you are further interested, just put “MORMON” in the search box at the top of the page.)

And there is a difference between “freedom of religion” and imposing your religious beliefs on others.

“Nobody expects the Spanish inquisition …” — M. Python

But that is a topic for another day. Here’s the explanation for the doctinal purity of the aforementioned piece from “Catholic Answers“:

If the Catholic writing the book is a member of a religious order, the manuscript is first sent to his religious superior before it is sent to the Censor and Bishop. If the religious superior finds no impediment to publication, he will give the book his stamp of “Imprimi Potest,” which means “it can be printed.”

Nowadays, after the Imprimatur, you might see these words:

The “Nihil Obstat” and “Imprimatur” are official declarations that a book or pamphlet is free of doctrinal or moral error. No implication is contained therein that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat and the Imprimatur agree with the content, opinions or statements expressed.

Please know that the presence of an Imprimatur does not mean that a book is an official text of the Church. It doesn’t make the book the equivalent of an encyclical, say. It’s not the approval of the work by the Pope or a dogmatic Council, and it’s not a stamp of infallibility. It doesn’t even mean that everything in the book is accurate, only that there is nothing in it that contradicts Catholic dogma.



Religious Superior’s stamp: IMPRIMI POTEST “it can be printed”

Censor’s stamp: NIHIL OBSTAT “nothing stands in the way”

Bishop’s stamp: IMPRIMATUR “let it be printed”

Chief Justice John Roberts attends “Red Mass”

I hope that this clarifies the situation somewhat.

Good grief.

There is a foolish notion that “religious tolerance” means that one should never criticize ANY religion, no matter how bizarre, hateful or strange their means or ends, but that is NOT religious tolerance, that is intentional self-blinding.

I can easily and happily tolerate Catholicism and Mormonism, and I can love my Mormon and Catholic friends (and I have loved a few, if you get my drift), but that does NOT mean that I blindly accept every notion advanced by the representatives of either faith.

There is a difference between religious freedom and religious license. Check the founders.

No word, yet, on whether Beck is a jelly donut.



A writer, published author, novelist, literary critic and political observer for a quarter of a quarter-century more than a quarter-century, Hart Williams has lived in the American West for his entire life. Having grown up in Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico, a survivor of Texas and a veteran of Hollywood, Mr. Williams currently lives in Oregon, along with an astonishing amount of pollen. He has a lively blog His Vorpal Sword. This is cross-posted from his blog.

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Copyright 2012 The Moderate Voice
  • zephyr

    “Self-righteous, pseudo-persecuted moron.”

    To the extent this is true (and it is) then the Washington Post is catering and pandering to self-righteous, pseudo-persecuted morons. Is this the way the Washington Post wants to be seen??

    “There is a foolish notion that “religious tolerance” means that one should never criticize ANY religion, no matter how bizarre, hateful or strange their means or ends, but that is NOT religious tolerance, that is intentional self-blinding.”

    Thank-you. The utter nonsense about a war on religion is really about people who have so little faith in their version of god they think he’s going to fly apart like a cheap watch if he”s scrutinized too closely. Religion can’t be given a pass when it comes to bad behavior. That’s just more moron stuff.

  • dduck

    I vote for the Monty Python branch of a disorganized religion.

  • adelinesdad

    I am a Mormon but I have no love for Beck (Speaking colloquially, not in the “love thy neighbor” sense, of course). So, I guess you could say I have a dog in this fight, but it’s a dog I’d rather see strapped to the top of the pope-mobile.

    But, my point is that I don’t see what the point of your argument is. Beck’s argument is not based on any common understanding of Christianity or any other doctrinal commonality. His argument is based on the opinion that the rule that the Obama administration is implementing violates the free expression of religion. That’s a debatable point but entirely separate from the argument you are countering here.

  • slamfu

    I love how guys like Beck love to lay down some assumptions that help them jumpstart their arguments, even if they aren’t accurate.

    “We tend to forget that many of America’s earliest European settlers were religious refugee”

    Really? Do we really tend to forget that? No, every American knows that the earliest folks were fleeing some persecution. That is, except for the first few folks, they were looking for gold. And possibly fleeing persecution.

  • Let’s be very clear here: the “religious freedom” being invoked is the freedom to deny health care to women. Period.

    When the Christian Scientists do this to their children, we rightly prosecute them for manslaughter or murder.

    The issue that seems to have evaded the Religious Right is that, while ideology might bind them together, the second that religious issues become paramount, they will happily stab one another in the back as readily as they’re willing to stab women in the back (or elsewhere) based on the most tenuous of justifications.

    Seldom have so many crocodile tears been shed in the service of such perfidy.

  • The_Ohioan

    Mr. Beck would align himself with other “We are all” statements that will be remembered down through history because they were the first to be uttered.

    “Ich bin ein Berliner” 6/26/1963

    “Today we are all Americans” 9/11/2001

    Mr. Beck, like Mr. Gingrich likes to think he is a leader of men, but is unsure if he wants to lead a political movement or a moral rejuvenation movement (it could be a combination, he’s not locked in yet). Note that he’s included the date and place of his next revelation.

    This last is certainly one of the reasons, we know all the others, that the WP should have declined this opinion piece. Grifters shouldn’t be given space to sell their snake oil.

  • dduck

    Ohio, said “Grifters shouldn’t be given space to sell their snake oil.”
    Are you advocating getting rid of politicians?

  • The_Ohioan


    No, just not giving them space in WaPo. Not all politicians are grifters. Some are actually trying to serve the public good. We tend to forget that.

  • dduck

    If you say so……….

  • roro80

    Bingo Ohioan. The ludicrous part of this statement is that he is implicitly comparing evil of the Soviet Union or the tragedy of 9/11 to Obama saying that employers need to offer birth control in their insurance plans. It’s not that he’s just not a Catholic.

  • slamfu

    I don’t get it. Obama’s compromise to outsource the parts of the insurance that the Catholic church doesn’t like solves the issue nicely. The church is simply being obstinate now. There is no violation of the 1st or anyone being forced into doing something they don’t want to do. Ironically its the church that is trying to prevent women from getting medical services, and crying foul that they aren’t exempt from labor requirements all businesses must adhere to. Essentially, they wish to oppress people in the name of their religion, and because they aren’t being allowed to do so, they are claiming they themselves are being repressed. It makes me want to knock my head into a cement block until the buzzing noises stop.

  • roro80

    slamfu — my concern here is that the suggestions now being made by some of the Catholic leadership and Republican leadership are actually extremely radical. They are saying that because the Catholic-run institution gave money to the insurance company for the employee health care, they can veto any agreement between the insurance company and the individual who carries the policy. This essentially means that any individual or company who buys a plan from the insurance company can veto any bit of the policy they dislike — for everyone else. This is really a remarkable position to take.

  • dduck

    Slam, you are forgetting that some of these organizations are self insured, there is no there there.

  • dduck:

    There, there.

  • dduck

    Have a jelly bean.

  • Rcoutme

    The Catholic Church is NOT trying to deny women access to health care. They are trying to not PAY for procedures that are against their doctrine. They are not forbidding their employees from using the stuff–they just can’t use Church money to pay for it! Get a grip!

    As for paying for employees insurance and having the insurance policy guarantee the stuff–that is the SAME THING! If the federal government had taken over all health care, the Church would not balk. Christ said, “Pay your taxes!” The early Church said the same–even though the government collecting those taxes often used them to crucify the Church members! The ACA does NOT HAVE a public option.

    A more ‘rational’ solution would have been to offer a public option for all women who want birth control pills. The Church might object, but they would not be forced to balk. That is NOT what Obama’s people are doing. They are insisting that the Church pay for women’s access to birth control without cost.

  • DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

    I wish rcoutme we could all choose where to put our money., When i pay my taxes, i always write, please use this only for head start programs. If catholic church can dictate what they are willing to pay for and not for public health initiatives, then so do we all get to refuse that our money in taxes be used for x or y. Glen Beck is only trying to get catholic listeners. No more, no less. He’s flagging.Needs arbitron ratings. Tomorrow he’ll be whateverother demographic that might bring a few more listeners=advertizers=keep glen beck on.

  • ShannonLeee

    “When the Christian Scientists do this to their children, we rightly prosecute them for manslaughter or murder”

    Ahh, but this doesn’t matter to those that worship the unborn….
    Your logical comment does not compute.

  • roro80

    Hey! Rcoutme! Lots of exclamations points (!) do not make your point any more correct! It doesn’t make me agree! with !you! Any! More! than! I! did! Before!!!!

  • zephyr

    “Have a jelly bean.”

    You slay me brother.

  • JDave

    ” If catholic church can dictate what they are willing to pay for and not for public health initiatives, then so do we all get to refuse that our money in taxes be used for x or y.”

    I don’t think anyone is arguing that we should be able to pick and choose how our tax dollars are spent, though it might be nice.

    Individuals should not be forced to act against their conscience. Private institutions should be able to act according to the consciences of their owners.

    I think Obama’s compromise on the contraceptive mandate takes care of all that nicely. (I don’t really buy some bishops’ argument that paying for insurance at large subsidizes the “free” pills they’ll give out because preventing pregnancies saves the insurance companies money.)

    Oh, and Glenn Beck is a collosal idiot.


    I think you do a great job here, but roro’s right about the exclamation points.

    Some of our opposition’s argument hinges upon “the bishops wanting to subjugate women”. It matters little what the bishops actually say because our opponents are convinced that they know the bishops true motivations.

    Please don’t think I’m being snarky here. This is one of those rare cases where there is abundant evidence to support a claim that your opponent is not being honest. Even I’m convinced that the church was deeply misogynistic – before Vatican II. Though there is much less evidence since then, there is still a good deal even today. Moreover, the bishops will need decades or more to recover credibility after their deplorable handling of pedophile priests. I would have put a good many of the bishops in jail for collusion.

    Very few people are all bad or all good. In spite of their horrible flaws, I don’t think the bishops are as bad as our opponents think, but I’d be a fool to take up that argument here, or almost anywhere for that matter.

    A good many of our current crop of bishops have been installed since they learned that shuffling priests won’t work. As atrocious as all that was, I think they’ve learned a little. But I’m not defending them; I’m saying this to make another point.

    I think the bishops make pretty good Catholics, but horrible Americans. They really do want to spread the Gospel and I don’t think they care at all about pluralism.

    Truly, the bishops don’t want any of us using contraceptives, but I still don’t think they’d seriously try to outlaw it. But again, I’d be a fool to defend the bishops rigorously.

  • dduck

    So far nobody has explained how the self-insured institutions will handle the mandate. Is that too much to ask Obama.

  • JDave


    I was wondering about that too. My gut reaction was that the Catholic Church maybe shouldn’t be in the insurance business.

    Catholic institutions have been providing health care and education since long before the Mayflower. It is truly part of their mission. Insurance is not.

    Still, I think Rcoutme has the best solution. If people really, really want their contraceptives to be free, then ask the govt to supply them. Even with Obama’s compromise, Catholics are participating indirectly.

  • dduck

    I’m sorry, Obama is in full campaign mode and this is an important and embarrassing question with only a half-assed solution (he ignored the problem) of the insurance companies will provide everything for free. I’m pissed this guy gets a full pass on everything and the Reps get pilloried (some justified), even when it is some verbal flummox.

    And, Obama just glosses over stuff like the above and the close to $5/gallon price of gasoline, the f****up in Afg. with the bibles, and sends a budget 1,000 days late which as Locomotivebreath1901 has pointed out will, not get to the Senate floor- not stopped by a Rep- but by Harry Reid.

    Puhleez, let’s spread the criticism around a little at least.

  • roro80

    dduck, take a breath. We all know you hate Obama.

  • dduck

    No, I hate bull**** artists.

  • roro80

    “If people really, really want their contraceptives to be free, then ask the govt to supply them.”

    JDave — I’d really love to have all prescription drugs covered by a national plan, along with the appointments that lead to the prescriptions. I’d also love for unicorn farts to stop global warming.

  • roro80

    dduck, we’re talking about a pretty specific subject here, and whether or not Obama is in campaign mode does nothing to change the fact that on this subject, a lot of people think he is right, myself included. Not because of spin, not because of bullSh*t, not because of campaign this or that, but because he is just right. I know that you’re a cynical SOB, but I’m not kidding that this issue matters to me a lot more than who is in office. The fact that Obama actually got this one right doesn’t change the times he’s gotten it wrong, but the fact that he’s wrong on many things doesn’t mean that I think he’s wrong on this. And none of those statements rest on his party. So get your panties out of a twist, will ya?

  • dduck

    Roro, if you’ve ever read any of my comments on this subject, you would note that I favor any and all cont. devices/methods/etc. and as low a price as possible to any female/mail. So don’t wear your jock strap as a ear protector, earmuffs work better.

  • dduck

    Can’t edit anymore, sorry for misspellings.

  • roro80

    Then what’s with the tantrum, then? Why is your head exploding that nobody is criticizing Obama on this?

  • dduck


  • roro80

    No, really duck. You can’t throw a tantrum about OMG why is nobody criticizing Obama wahhhh! and say oh, well I agree with him on the subject we were talking about so …

  • dduck

    Yes I can, yes I can, I ask you to use thy brain and figure it out.

  • roro80

    Peptic upset is my best guess.

  • dduck
  • The_Ohioan


    Anything can happen in the next year. They’re “working it out”.

    [The White House gave itself a year to figure out how to deal with self-insured plans, meaning it won’t have to wade into the issue before the presidential election.]

  • dduck


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