Are Christians Forgiving Glenn Beck for Calling Them Nazis?

Glenn Beck was in the spotlight this week for his failed interview with former Democratic Congressman Eric Massa. But he’s also caught the eye, and ire, of progressive Christians angered by his call for believers to break away from any church that preaches “social justice,” linking such churches to Communists and Nazis, and holding up cards with a swastika and hammer and sickle to drive home his point. 

The Reverend Jim Wallis of Sojourners, a Christian antipoverty group based in D.C., this week issued a call for Christians to boycott Beck. Yesterday The New York Times wrote about Wallis's quest to get Christians away from Beck (who has converted to Mormonism, prompting some to question whether he was suggesting people also leave the Mormon church).

But is the boycott going anywhere? Where are the other Christians? Beck didn’t hold back in his assault, saying “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!"

Wallis is clearly outraged, but why haven’t other Christian leaders followed his lead? One blogger-of-faith writes “Come to think of it, as a hard-shell Protestant, I believe that picking on Glenn Beck is akin to slapping a slow child, but sometimes? You just have to call a person out on their nonsense.” Another blogger adds: “Beck is a special case: He is too prone to say any dumb thing that pops into his head and too ignorant about history and religion to truly understand the implications of his statement. This doesn’t excuse him, of course, but it certainly is reason not to be too shocked when a self-professed 'rodeo clown' advises people to leave their churches over Catholic 'code words' like 'social justice.' ”

Perhaps Christians aren’t yet fighting back too loudly because they’ve just decided to be Christian about the whole thing, and forgive the weak.