Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Beck-Chaput Script for America: Don't Let Me Lose Control (Or You'll Pay)

Courtesy Huffington Post, I've just seen Jon Stewart's commentary on Mr. Beck's "I Have a Scheme" event in D.C. today.  And here's what strikes me: the publicity footage for Beck's tea-party event might well have been written by Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver.

Saving and preserving the Republic of the United States: that's what Beck and his movement are all about, today's promotional ads tell us in a solemn voice.  A republic threateend by the erosion of its core values.  A republic in which religion no longer has the freedom to guide (read: control) the articulation of those values in the public square.

A republic under attack: we're about to lose control.  And when we lose control, everything is lost.  When we lose control, you lose control.  The demise of our control of everything is the demise of your control of anything.  There will be blood in the streets if this process of losing control doesn't stop.

Beck and Chaput: same script, same analysis, same dire warnings.  And that makes you wonder: who's writing this script, and why is it being written?  A script about the loss of control by heterosexual white males as the loss of control by an entire society.  An implicitly threatening script that promises blood in the streets if the historic power of white heterosexual males to control everything is checked.

A script that demands total freedom for corporate business leaders, and the traditional, submissive, stoic Protestant work ethic for everyone else.

It almost makes you think someone is pulling the strings (and here) of these out-of-control movements screaming for a return to old-fashioned control, doesn't it?  Someone who benefits from the manufactured rage, while the rest of us pit ourselves agaisnt each other as we do battle over issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious affiliation, etc.?

P.S. And, of course, Glenn Beck is a former Catholic who is now Mormon, so this posting provides a counterpart to this one a day or so ago.  The Mormon-Catholic "fit" is proving a natural one for theocratic right-wing Catholic leaders like Charles Chaput and Robert P. George.