Latter Day Taint

Paul Harvey

Earlier we posted a bit on Glenn Beck's connection to W. Cleon Skousen and the Mormon version of the paranoid style in American politics. Just a bit more to follow up here -- Chris Jones of Juvenile Instructor (whose summary post on all this is here), along with scholars such as Jan Shipps and Mike Quinn, are quoted in "Latter Day Taint," from the Boston Phoenix, which further explores these connections, as well as Beck's relationship to Ezra Taft Benson. A little excerpt:

. . . writing at the Mormon-history blog the Juvenile Instructor, Christopher Jones — a doctoral student in history at William & Mary — noted that Beck seemed to be plumbing the disturbing depths of Mormon millenarianism, and marveled at the press’s seeming disinterest.

Once the link between Beck’s faith and politics gets made, intriguing questions emerge. Without his unsettling brand of Mormonism, would Glenn Beck still be Glenn Beck? Should members of the LDS Church be cheering or lamenting Beck’s protracted moment in the spotlight?

Could Beck’s forays into stealth Mormon sermonizing make his conservative evangelical fans rethink their loyalty? And if Beck’s religiosity finally becomes a story, what might that mean for the lingering presidential hopes of 2012 Republican contender Mitt Romney?

And there's more still in Joanna Brooks (author of the great book American Lazarus: Religion and the Rise of African American and Native American Literatures), in her piece "How Mormonism Built Glenn Beck," from Religion Dispatches (a post that also contains some fascinating reflections on the socialization process in Mormon masculinity). The comments section of Joanna's piece is interesting too, to say the least -- anti-LDS paranoid polemics are alive and well it would appear.

This may be my last post on this subject. Since first bringing it up a while back, my fantasy football team has gone on a 4-game losing streak. Since I can't blame Canada, I'm going to blame Beck. You don't need a Weatherman to know which way to connect the dots.


David said…
Has anyone investigated the ideology behind Fox News as a whole. There seems to be a common thread beyond leaping into the abyss beyond the right wing.
Randall said…
Superb. I'm just glad we finally got the word "Taint" in the title of a blog.
Matt Sutton said…
Paul--I hear Randall does cleansing services and casts out demons. Maybe that could help you with your football management (no) skills?
Randall said…
I also do saint-day ear candling. That does wonders for fantasy football-related troubles.
Christopher said…
Thanks for the link. And I'm tired of the subject, too, to be honest. And now that I think of it, I am on a 3 game losing streak in fantasy football. Maybe Beck is to Blame.
Brad Hart said…
Sorry to hear that everyone's fantasy football team is sucking it up as much as Glenn Beck's new book, "Arguing with Idiots" (the most ironic book title in the history of humanity). If it makes you feel any better, my team is 5-0! You gotta love having Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Andre Johnson and Cedric Benson all being on the same team! A thing of beauty!

As for Beck, haven't we reached the point where it is FINALLY acceptable to call the man what he is: a dumbass!

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