"I beg you, look for the words ’social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes! …
If you have a priest that is pushing social justice, go find another parish. Go alert your bishop and tell them, “Excuse me are you down with this whole social justice thing?” If it’s my church, I’m alerting the church authorities: “Excuse me, what’s this social justice thing?” And if they say, 'yeah, we’re all in that social justice thing'—I’m in the wrong place."
- Glen Beck.
You've probably heard that quote and heard of the kerfuffle over it at some point in the past few days. In order to better understand where Beck was coming from, I think it would help to read some excerpts from an article posted by one Don Feder, one of many right-wing laments about how American Jews vote Democrat in spite of conservative indulgence of Israel.
People like Norman Podhoretz (admittedly, a great man) keep writing books with titles like “Why Are Jews Liberals?" Every other talk show that I do begins with the question: “Mr. Feder, as a practicing Jew, perhaps you can explain why most American Jews are so liberal, when self-interest and common sense dictate the opposite....”
"The standard explanations for Jewish leftism are: 1. Like Judaism, liberalism calls for succoring the poor and downtrodden (now known as “social justice” – Marxism by another name) 2. In pre-war Europe, anti-Semitism was a phenomenon of the right and 3. Having been persecuted for most of their history, Jews tend to identify with victims.
These rationalizations can almost be dismissed out of hand.
1. Treating the stranger justly and providing for the widow and orphan aren’t the essence of Judaism. Saying Judaism is about charity is like saying Jesus is about love. (BTW, the Torah says you provide for the widow and orphan, not you take the income of others to support them.) If there was an identity between Judaism and liberalism, why are the Jews who are the most ignorant of Jewish law (the most Jewishly illiterate) the most liberal, while those who live, breath and (quite literally) eat Torah values are the most conservative?"
To say that "Treating the stranger justly and providing for the widow and orphan aren't the essence of Judaism" is tantamount to saying that empathy is not the essence of morality, and if morality is not based on empathy than what else could it be based on. Adherence to Torah of course, or the Bible, Koran, an "originalist" reading of the Constitution, etc, etc.
To be morally good than is to submit to a power higher than yourself and no more. To put it simply, poweris morality. We can make shows of mercy towards the weak, but only as much as power tells us to, and of course it is far preferable to show this mercy in the form of physical force, via the punishment of wrongdoers, (avenging the ethereal 'honor' of a wronged one instead of actually helping them.) than to betray any real tenderness.
If power is the essence of good, it follows that any historically favored group (or anyone suckered into believing themselves part of that group) has not only the right but the duty to cling to any mythology that justifies our privilege with the whole of our beings. Not only is it good for me to consider myself superior to non-Christian, non-Caucasian, non-male, non-American, liberal, city boy, homo, etc, but I couldn't possibly be good unless I considered myself superior to those folk. It is my burden to be loved by God more than you. Moral masturbation is my sacred duty.
It is this mindset that provides the link between fundamentalist religion and trickle-down economic theory. How glorious it is to believe that the market provides physical proof of power (or the lack of it) and morality being one in the same, that the poor and the rich are precisely where they cosmically deserve to be, that to question or attempt to flatten the social hierarchy is the ultimate evil. The fact that White Christian Americans are the most powerful ethnic group to ever exist is proof that we deserve to be, to doubt this is to be a Liberal Atheist Communist Fascist Monarchist Unitarian Muslim Faggot Slaveholding Elitist. And any church that preaches "social justice", that dares to do anything but tell me that I and only I am favored by God and entitled to strut on whoever I please, is nothing but Liberal Athiest Communist Fascist Monarchist Unitarian Muslim Faggot Slaveholding Elitism in sheep's clothing.
If God is love, than my own White dick cannot possibly be God, and it is better to believe any hateful absurdity that Glen Beck and his ilk come up with than accept that.