"Is That Crazy?" Beck Responds To Earthquake Controversy

Blog ››› ››› BEN DIMIERO

In the opening moments of his radio show on Monday, Glenn Beck informed his audience that "today's show may be a little apocalyptic, but that's only - no, that's only because Japan has moved eight feet."

Over the next fifteen minutes, Beck led a meandering discussion with his cohosts involving the destruction from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, shaky bond markets, and unrest in Libya (with an aside about his apparently frustrating new diet).

During the discussion, Beck explained that he was "not saying that Jesus is coming, I'm just saying things are changing. The world, I mean literally, the world is moving under your feet. I mean, could there be a bigger sign than -- oh, by the way, I mean, in casual conversation somebody said, 'did you hear the earth moved off its axis?' No."

After relaying a story about a man who was killed when trying to photograph the tsunami in California and a family at Yellowstone Park that had ignored warnings not to feed the animals, Beck lamented that "we can't see the connections here."

He then explained that "he's not saying God is, you know, causing earthquakes," and clarified that he was "not not saying that either":

BECK: We can't see the connections here. Now look, I'm not saying God is, you know, causing earthquakes. Well -- I'm not saying that he -- I'm not not saying that either.

God -- what God does is God's business, I have no idea. But I'll tell you this: whether you call it Gaia or whether you call it Jesus -- there's a message being sent. And that is, 'Hey, you know that stuff we're doing? Not really working out real well. Maybe we should stop doing some of it.' I'm just sayin'. And -- yesterday I got home and I was thinking about all the messages that I could bring in, all the things that I could tell ya, and oh I've got stuff on Hezbollah. Oh, I have stuff on radical Islam in America that'll make your eyes fall out. Or I could just tell you the answer, and the answer is: Buckle up. Buckle up, 'cause it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Make sure you keep your arms and legs inside the car at all times. Because, things are gonna get bumpy and, just a few reminders there at the beginning as this rollercoaster takes off, always a good safety tip: Keep your arms and legs in. Don't do anything stupid, what do you say we follow the big top ten. You can call them Moses' ten commandments, or ten rules of thumb. What do you say we start doing those things? Because the things we are doing really suck and they're not getting better.

[Hear the full opening segment from Beck's Monday show here: http://mediamatters.org/blog/201103140010]

Responding to the controversy over these comments on his radio program today, Beck sought to further explain what he was trying to say on Monday.

After playing a clip of The View hosts discussing his comments -- and co-host Joy Behar saying that earthquakes have been happening for billions of years -- Beck directed his listeners to check out Businessinsider.com, to see a "chart of disasters" that shows "a pretty dramatic line up on all the things from 1970 to now." Beck said he personally thought the apparent increase in natural disasters is a result of "better reporting, but maybe not."

He went on to explain that "God does not punish us," saying that the Book of Revelation was not about the "punishment" we would be receiving, but just a series of signs foretelling the return of Jesus Christ. (Elisabeth Hasselbeck mentioned during the View segment that she thought Beck had been talking about "end of days"):

BECK: The point is, God does not punish us. The Book of Revelation is not like, "hey, here's your punishment coming." The Book of Revelation was written so you would know what it looks like, you would know. Warning: in these days, these things will happen. Now, I don't know if it's these days. They've been saying that for, you know, two thousand years. The Apostles thought he was coming back in their lifetime. Everybody has always said, "oh, well Jesus is coming back." I don't know. I have no idea. He could be here today. I doubt it, I don't think so. I'm not packed, but then again, I don't think that he comes down in a spaceship like Louie Farrakhan.

I don't know when he comes. He just said, "In those days, these things you will see: wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, fires, floods, volcanoes." All these things, and they're happening. And yes, you're right, they have happened before.

Brief aside while we're on the subject: While Beck remarked that people have been saying that it is the end times for two thousand years, he certainly doesn't have a problem promoting people who are currently convinced that Armageddon is imminent. As we have documented repeatedly, Beck has hosted, among others, self-proclaimed end times prophet Joel Richardson, end times-obsessed pastor John Hagee, and end times author Joel Rosenberg. In fact, both Richardson and Rosenberg have pointed to the Japan earthquake as evidence that we are living in the final days before Christ's return.

Moving on -- today Beck suggested that even if viewed through the lens of the Book of Revelation, the earthquake should not be interpreted as "a punishment to the Japanese," nor as "a punishment to us." Instead, Beck said, "it's just a signal that these are the days. Are they? I don't know." Beck said that "man's actions don't control the planet's earthquakes, but man's actions do control the earthquakes that are happening in our society." Beck described these problems in our society as "the riots, the tearing each other apart, all of these things, those are earthquakes from our soul."

All of this led him to conclude that "there is something wrong." In order to cure this wrong, Beck said that "we need more personal responsibility. We need faith in something and adherence to universal principles":

BECK: It's not as a punishment to the Japanese, not as a punishment to us. It's just a signal that these are the days. Are they? I don't know. I will tell you this: man's actions don't control the planet's earthquakes, but man's actions do control the earthquakes that are happening in our society. The riots -- the exact opposite of what the Japanese are doing right now. The riots, the tearing each other apart, all of these things, those are earthquakes from our soul. There is something wrong.

So what is it that we're doing wrong? It's not that we need more government or less government or anything else, it is that we need more personal responsibility.

We need faith in something and adherence to universal principles. What do you say we start with those top ten? Those are the ten. I think we should do all ten. What do you say? I mean, I've got the thou shalt not kill thing down. I've got it down. I haven't made any false idols lately.

However, I do think that we worship ourselves, our car, our job, our money, whatever it is. I have worshipped false idols. I try not to now. Are we gonna be perfect on those? No. Could we try? Is it that crazy?

Beck specifically addressed people who thought it was crazy to say "God may be sending us a message," but didn't think it was crazy for "global warming people" to say the earthquake was caused by climate change. He clarified by saying "not that [God] caused that. That he knew! And in these days, you would see these things. Is that the message? I don't know. I will tell you that we should hear the message that our lives are out of control. All of our lives. Including mine."

Beck closed the discussion by saying that we "should try to peacefully, with love in our heart, follow a set of principles -- Judeo-Christian values," and adding that "all of us should be able to connect with the top ten."

He ended by asking, "what do you think, is that crazy?"

Full transcript of the segment below.

BECK: On The View yesterday -- was it yesterday? They were taking an aside of my comments and making it into a big deal yesterday. Is it even, do you have any part of it that's worth playing?

GRAY: Yeah, I've got --

BECK: OK, here's a little bit.

[Starts Clip]

GOLDBERG: Glenn Beck says that the disaster in Japan could me a message from God --

BECK CREW: Blaaaaaa

GOLDBERG: -- that we're not doing the right things and advises us all to start following the ten commandments.

BECK CREW: Yaoooyeahya

BEHAR: Which commandment does he want us to follow?

[crosstalk]

BECK: Ten of 'em.

BEHAR: Thou shalt not build reactors near the water?

BECK COHOST: Yes, that's the one, that's the one.

[crosstalk]

GOLDBERG: Is he talking about us as human beings on the planet, or is he just talking about Japanese people? Who is he talking about?

VIEW HOST: I think he's talking about everybody.

BECK COHOST: Everybody.

[crosstalk]

HASSELBECK: I think he's talking about end of -- like, there's a huge, in Christianity, the most studied thing is end of time, or end of days, and Revelations.

GOLDBERG: But what if you're Jewish?

[crosstalk]

BECK: It's for all of us.

HASSELBECK: This is an aside -- Glenn Beck is coming from his faith, right?

GOLDBERG: Is he a Catholic?

BEHAR: I don't know what he is.

BECK: Yes, you do.

HASSELBECK: It's a very seriously studied topic, and I think given the tsunamis, the earthquake, et cetera. It's just, it's come up even more.

GOLBERG: He's a Mormon, actually.

VIEW HOST: He's a Mormon?

GOLDBERG: He's Mormon.

[crosstalk]

BEHAR: Over the centuries and centuries and centuries and billions of years that the Earth has been in existence, billions of years, there have been earthquakes. Somebody told us yesterday there were earthquakes every--

[END CLIP]

BECK: OK, stop, that's it. I don't need to hear any more. Out of the billions --

GRAY: It's great to hear atheists, though, discuss scripture.

BECK: It is. Out of the billions and billions of years that the earth has been in existence, they're gonna tell me now that, that things are always in chaos. But out of the billions and billions of years we should disregard the, uh, the Ice Age? Because we have global warming now, or maybe global cooling is coming our way. Out of the billions and billions of -- you're gonna make that case with me now? By the way, if you go to businessinsider.com right now -- and I personally believe this is because of better reporting -- but if you look at the charts, there is something on the front page of Business Insider, it's a chart of disasters and it says "no, it's not just you, it really is happening more." And you'll see the chart, and it's a pretty dramatic line up on all the things from 1970 to now. I personally believe that's because of better reporting, but maybe not.

The point is, God does not punish us. The Book of Revelation is not like, "hey, here's your punishment coming." The Book of Revelation was written so you would know what it looks like, you would know. Warning: in these days, these things will happen. Now, I don't know if it's these days. They've been saying that for, you know, two thousand years. The Apostles thought he was coming back in their lifetime. Everybody has always said, "oh, well Jesus is coming back." I don't know. I have no idea. He could be here today. I doubt it, I don't think so. I'm not packed, but then again, I don't think that he comes down in a spaceship like Louie Farrakhan.

I don't know when he comes. He just said, "in those days, these things you will see: wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, fires, floods, volcanoes." All these things, and they're happening. And yes, you're right, they have happened before.

It's not as a punishment to the Japanese, not as a punishment to us. It's just a signal that these are the days. Are they? I don't know. I will tell you this: man's actions don't control the planet's earthquakes, but man's actions do control the earthquakes that are happening in our society. The riots -- the exact opposite of what the Japanese are doing right now. The riots, the tearing each other apart, all of these things, those are earthquakes from our soul. There is something wrong.

So what is it that we're doing wrong? It's not that we need more government or less government or anything else, it is that we need more personal responsibility. We need faith in something and adherence to universal principles. What do you say we start with those top ten? Those are the ten. I think we should do all ten. What do you say? I mean, I've got the thou shalt not kill thing down. I've got it down. I haven't made any false idols lately.

However, I do think that we worship ourselves, our car, our job, our money, whatever it is. I have worshipped false idols. I try not to now. Are we gonna be perfect on those? No. Could we try? Is it that crazy?

It's not crazy when the global warming people say -- and they said it after the earthquake in Japan -- they said that that was caused by global warming. How, exactly? But that's not crazy. But to say, "God may be sending us a message." Not -- not that he caused that. That he knew! And in these days, you would see these things. Is that the message? I don't know. I will tell you that we should hear the message that our lives are out of control. All of our lives. Including mine. And we should try to peacefully, with love in our heart, follow a set of principles -- Judeo-Christian values. All of us should be able to connect with the top ten.

What do you think, is that crazy?

Person
Glenn Beck
Show/Publication
Glenn Beck Program
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