It's a fact of human nature that you shouldn't mistake haters uniting against a common hatred for friendship. Once the object of their mutual hatred is vanquished, they go right back to despising each other.
After the success of the Evangelical-Mormon lovefest otherwise known as Prop 8, I was really looking forward to reading what Glenn Beck might write over at James Dobson's place. Would Glenn use the opportunity to ask Dr. Dobson about that time back in 2004 when Dobson's wife, Shirley, excluded Mormons from the National Day of Prayer? And would Glenn suggest that maybe, in the afterglow of Prop 8, now was a good time for Dr. Dobson to offer an apology to Mormons for not letting them use the word "Christian" to describe themselves? And would it be an apology as heartfelt as the one that Beck delivered to Dobson on-air in 2007? And, considering how successful the Mormons were at helping the Evangelicals keep the word "marriage" all to themselves out in California, would Dr. Dobson perhaps finally be moved to graciously begin sharing the "C" word with the Mormons? I mean, Beck and Dobson are both good "Christians" right?And by December 24th, Beck had been booted. Merry Christmas, Glenn!
The potential was there for an absolutely riveting read.
So, what happened?
Well, it turns out that apparently Dr. Dobson has agreed that the "C" word does apply to Mormons. The problem now is that it's that other "C" word. See if you can spot it while I try to sort out the story behind this gripping tale of a dead link.
December 19: A story goes up on Focus on the Family's CitizenLink website promoting Mormon TV host Glenn Beck's latest book, "The Christmas Sweater."
Later that same day, a Christian blogger pens a brief diary under the title Focus on the Family Embraces Mormonism.[snip]
December 22: A press release goes out over the ChristianNewsWire announcing that Focus on the Family Promotes Mormon Glenn Beck at CitizenLink and that:
Clearly, Mormonism is a cult. The CitizenLink story does not mention Beck's Mormon faith, however, the story makes it look as if Beck is a Christian who believes in the essential doctrines of the faith ... to promote a Mormon as a Christian is not helpful to the cause of Jesus Christ. For Christians to influence society, Christians should be promoting the central issues of the faith properly without opening the door to false religions.
I think this sordid little tale illuminates our path. If we want to eliminate the threat posed our liberties and our civil rights from fundamentalist bullshit religious groups, all we have to do is stir things up again. Whisper in some ears. "Did you know the Mormon cult has a plan to take over the US government and sell all evangelical Christians into slavery?" "Focus on the Family axed Glenn Beck - you're next!"
Then sit back and watch them tear each other apart. Brilliant!
There's one disturbing coda to this happy tale. You see, Glenn Beck was up on the FotF site to promote his new book. Here's what he said about it whilst responding to Dobson's snubbing:
Glenn Beck thinks he can preach a "universal message of hope and forgiveness?" Is he insane?
Beck bites back:The Christmas Sweater is a story about the idea of Christmas as a time for redemption and atonement. Whatever your beliefs about my religion, the concept of religious tolerance is too important to be sacrificed in response to pressure from special interest groups, especially when it means bowing to censorship. I'm humbled and grateful that hundreds of thousands of people from different faiths have read the book and have appreciated its uplifting message for themselves. At a time when the world is so full of fear, despair, and divisions, it is my hope that all of those who believe in a loving and peaceful God would stand together on the universal message of hope and forgiveness.
I think his book provides clear evidence in the affirmative.
(Tip o' the shot glass to Ed Brayton)