The chryon in the screen capture above pretty much crystallizes Glenn Beck's Bizarro World show yesterday on Fox: Um, wait, lessee, isn't the state the same thing as the government? So how do you keep it out ... ?, OK, don't you mean to say that church-state separation was actually about keeping the state out of the church? And wasn't it equally about keeping the church out of state business? .... Oh, nevermind. It's hopeless.
I'd like to think the confusion was unintended. But you watch the segment, and you realize that it was just as likely intentional. It certainly fit in with the perversely and proudly irrational argument Beck presented over the course of the show. In essence, this was it:
- Hitler seized control of the churches during the course of the Nazi reign in the 1930s and '40s.
- The exact same thing is happening when progressives like Jim Wallis bring "social justice" doctrines to American churches.
- The only way we can prevent this from happening is to elect Tea Party Republicans to control of the House in November.
Yep, that's pretty much it. And people lap this stuff up.
The key moment came when an audience member stood up and asked the question Beck had been gearing them up to ask all hour long, and he was answered by Kitty Werthmann, a right-wing Austrian who survived the Nazi regime and now loves to compare Obama to Hitler:
Audience member: There seem to be a great deal of similarities between early Nazi socialism and what we're going through right now in this country. I mean, what's the answer? Where -- how do we turn that back?
Werthmann: Well, right now we are very blessed that this is an election year. Uh, educate the voters. It's already happening. So we can take at least the U.S. House back, and hopefully the Senate.
Really, sometimes you just have to gape in wonder.
But the really disturbing aspect of all this is: What are these people going to do if they lose in November?
We're going to have millions of Beckians out there who will believe that a Nazi state is about to descend upon them. And God only knows how they will react then.