Kathleen Parker's column ("Beck rally pours on addiction themes," Sept. 5) on Beck's so-called spiritual, tentless "Beckapalooza" revival is cleverly and carefully contrived, but any discerning reader clearly recognizes Parker's arrogance and disdain toward people who believe in the necessity of redemption and forgiveness for all sinners, including her - not just the recovering addict and alcoholic, for whom she conveys undeserved contempt and reproach.
It is so easy to fall prey to Parker's supercilious condemnation of the sins in which she seems not to have indulged. Oh, how wonderful to be so perfect yet so full of reproachable pride. Her writing reeks with sarcasm not only toward Beck, whom she summarily dismisses with the parting words, "hope Glenn gets well soon," but also toward Christians and evangelists, whom she accuses of capitalizing on sickness and addiction by taking lost souls "along for the ride" to "healing, recovery and restoration."
Oh, to be so righteous as not to need salvation or redemption. Somehow, Parker has placed herself on a pedestal of immunity from sin. In the age of enlightenment and reason, Ben Franklin aspired for perfectibility, but ultimately learned that often "a speckled ax is best" as he tried to eliminate every blotch from his body and soul. Even when Franklin partially succeeded in his quest, he added one overarching virtue to his list - humility, a special virtue which seems nowhere to be found in Parker's derision of Beck's "picnic of patriotism and worship."
Parker does not exempt even those poor, pathetic souls who "talk about God all the time these days," as they turn to their faith (and I suppose their guns) when they face a world of darkness and "creeping communism." As the darkness grows, they engage in "conspiracy theories and paranoia," so common to recovering alcoholics. Oh, how wretched they are as they attempt to share their healing and redemption. They "cannot remain healed without helping others find their way." King had a dream, whereas Beck has a nightmare of faith being in short supply "as darkness begins to grow again."
For everyone who has struggled with alcohol and other addictions, for everyone who has succumbed to temptations or idolatry of one kind or another, who has gotten his priorities all "messed up," and that is probably most of us, Kathleen Parker's article is an insult. She masterfully and not so subtly condemns Beck's confession of sin ("My name is Glenn," she writes, "and I'm all messed up"). As she begins her new gig at CNN, I hope Parker will show more humility, and that she will realize that many people's lives in America are, indeed, messed up in the ravages of divorce, broken homes, child neglect, materialism, unemployment, addiction, immorality, corruption and our nation's monumental indebtedness.
Beck may feel our country is "messed up," just like he is, but he believes faith, hope, and charity provide a way to heal ourselves and our nation. God bless Glenn Beck, and God help and heal Kathleen Parker.
The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.