Much of Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" weekend -- and the run-up to it -- focused on one thing: Glenn Beck. Beck introduced a Beck-sanctioned clergy group that he claimed represented "180 million people," repeatedly associated himself with Martin Luther King Jr., made outlandish claims about the impact of the events, and was praised as "one of America's most trusted and honored citizens."
"As Martin Luther King said ... ": Beck's litany of self-aggrandizing claims
Beck announces the creation of his own organization of clergy members, the "Black Robe Regiment." During his August 27 "Divine Destiny" event at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Beck said, "Tonight, you are going to witness something historic," and later added that "some of the best and bravest pastors, priests, rabbis, clerics in the country" were present at the event. He continued, "Tomorrow, we will announce the beginning of the Black Robe Regiment."
Introducing Black Robe Regiment, Beck claims that clergy in his crowd "represent 180 million people." During his August 28 "Restoring Honor" event on the National Mall, Beck said, "The Black Robe Regiment is back again today. These 240 men and women of all faiths are standing here today. ... These 240 men and women from all faiths represent thousands of clergy that we couldn't fit into this area that are amongst you now -- thousands that have come here to the Mall to stand with America and God. And those thousands that are here represent 180 million people."
Beck: "As Martin Luther King said, I don't know if I'll be there when we reach the promised land." Beck said on his August 27 radio show that "we are at the beginning of the awakening." He continued: "As Martin Luther King said, 'I don't know if I'll be there when we reach the promised land, I don't know how long it's going to take, but we are going to reach the promised land, or at least the edges of the Promised Land.' "
Beck: "I can relate to Martin Luther King probably the most." During "Restoring Honor," after reciting the names of Moses, Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington, Beck said that "out of all these giants, I can relate to Martin Luther King probably the most because we haven't carved him in marble yet."
Beck: "I have been looking for the next George Washington. ... I know he is in this crowd." During "Restoring Honor," Beck said, "Somewhere in this crowd -- I know it. I have been looking for the next George Washington. I can't find him. I know he is in this crowd. He may be 8 years old, but this is the moment. This is the moment that he dedicates his life, that he sees giants around him. And 25 years from now, he will come not to this stair, but to those stairs. And he can proclaim, 'I have a new dream.' That must be our goal: to raise the next great monument."
Beck compares himself to "the man who saw the iceberg" on the Titanic. During "Restoring Honor" Beck said, "I know that many in this country think that I'm a fearmonger. It is not a label that I think applies. I do talk about frightening things. But I don't think the man who saw the iceberg as the Titanic was about to hit it and said, 'It's an iceberg,' was a fearmonger. He was warning people on the ship."
Beck at Kennedy Center: "We are 12 hours away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America." During "Divine Destiny," Beck declared: "We are 12 hours away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America. And it has nothing to do with this city or politics. It has everything to do with God Almighty."
Beck: "America today begins to turn back to God." During "Restoring Honor," Beck said, "Something beyond imagination is happening. Something that is beyond man is happening. America today begins to turn back to God."
Beck says "there won't be a dry eye in the house" during his speech "because it is so stirring." On his August 27 radio show, Beck told listeners that they "will regret not being" at the event, adding that "there won't be a dry eye in the house at the beginning of" his speech "because it is so stirring."
Beck: "God's just like given me like hints on stuff, you know, like, come on, can't you be a little more plain?" During "Divine Destiny," Beck said to conservative activist David Barton: "Maybe he does it to everybody else, but God's just like given me like hints on stuff, you know, like, come on, can't you be a little more plain? And, he just gives you hints."
"Servant of God": Beck's honorees and associates heap praise on him
Jackson: "God sent his son to this earth so that we could all gather. And I think that's the dream and the vision of Glenn Beck." During "Restoring Honor," Rev. C.L. Jackson, the recipient of the Beck-awarded "faith" medal, said, "God brought us here through this bright young -- I call him -- servant of God, son of God, Glenn Beck. ... God sent his son to this Earth so that we could all gather. And I think that's the dream and the vision of Glenn Beck.
Huntsman: Beck is "one of America's most trusted and honored citizens." During "Restoring Honor," a medal honoring charity was awarded to businessman Jon Huntsman Sr. Emma Houston, a woman who was treated for cancer at Huntsman's namesake cancer institute, accepted it on his behalf. After saying, "May I quote him exactly," she said, "Glenn Beck is one of America's most trusted and honored citizens. I am grateful to him for presenting to me, through Emma Houston, this award for charity."
Gray: Beck is "America's history professor." At "Divine Destiny," Pat Gray, co-host of Beck's radio show, said about Beck, "You know him as, as someone described to me in line at the National Archive today, 'America's history professor,' someone who tells the truth about what's going on in America today," adding, "I know him as someone who cares so deeply about America that he loses sleep nightly. ... He is a man who now loves people with all his heart and loves the Lord with all his heart, might, mind, and spirit. I know him as a man -- and so do you -- as a man who works tirelessly fighting for this country."
Alveda King thanks Beck for using "his popularity and influence to bring us together." During "Restoring Honor," Alveda King, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s niece, said, "It's absolutely wonderful for Glenn to use his popularity and influence to bring us together to focus not on an election or political cause, but to focus on honor and on the content of our character, and not the color of our skin. God bless you, Glenn."
Beck associates himself with the divine
Beck: 9-11 was a "wake-up call" from God. During "Restoring Honor," Beck said, "The Lord will always send a people wake-up calls. And he has been sending us wake-up call, after wake-up call, after a wake-up call. ... [Y]ou can send two kinds of wake-up calls. One through fear, like 9-11. 9-11 woke us up, and we stood shoulder-to-shoulder for a very short period of time."
Beck's "message to you" at Kennedy Center: "Trust in the Lord. If he tells you to do it, do it." During "Divine Destiny," Beck said: "My message to you tonight is: Stand where He wants you stand, and trust in the Lord. If He tells you to do it, do it. If you can't figure it out, He will. Just do it."
Beck embraces statement that "this is the beginning of the end of darkness." During "Divine Destiny," Beck said that earlier, he asked Alveda King, "Can you feel it?" Beck added, "And she said, 'Yes, I can. This is the beginning of the end of darkness. We have been in darkness for a long time.' "
Beck promoted event with weeks of self-aggrandizement
Promotional video compares 8-28 to moon landing, Iwo Jima, signing of Declaration. In a video posted on a "Producers' Blog" at his website, Beck placed "Restoring Honor" in the context of the moon landing, the Montgomery bus boycott, Iwo Jima, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and other landmark historical events. It also suggested that Beck is following in the tradition of Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, most of the Founding Fathers, Martha Washington, the Wright Brothers, and other notable historical figures. The video was also shown at "Restoring Honor" itself.
The "spirit of God unleashed": Beck claims divine influence over his event. In the days and weeks leading up to the weekend of 8-28, Beck repeatedly promoted the idea that God was directly involved in the weekend's events. He predicted "a miracle" would occur at the event, said that attendees would "see the spirit of God unleashed," and claimed the rally will produce an "awakening."
"American miracle": Beck's outrageous predictions for his "historic" 8-28 rally. Beck promoted his rally with outrageous hyperbole, calling it everything from "an American miracle" to a "defibrillator to the heart of America." Beck also claimed that with the rally, he and his audience would be able to "reclaim" the "distorted" civil rights movement.