Glenn Beck has recently begun to backtrack on his statement that President Obama is a "racist" with a "deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture" -- a statement he previously defended. As Think Progress reported, Beck is now claiming that he said what he did because he "misunderstood" Obama's "philosophy and his theology, which is liberation theology." Similarly, he told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that he "didn't understand, really, his theology. He's -- his viewpoints come from liberation theology. That's what I think as in -- at the gut level I was sensing. And I miscast it as racism. And really, what it is, is liberation theology."
Beck's latest explanation only makes matters worse.
It's important to understand what Beck means when he talks about liberation theology, the philosophy that he has distorted beyond all recognition.
On Fox News Sunday, Wallace asked Beck about his comments that Obama's faith is "a perversion of the gospel." In his answer, Beck said, "The pope even said -- this is Pope Benedict -- that it is demonic, not divine, when theology crosses into the line of doing that which only the divine can do. He was speaking specifically about liberation theology." Beck went on to describe liberation theology as "Marxism disguised as religion" and connected liberation theology to "collective salvation" -- a theological concept Beck has repeatedly criticized Obama for invoking: "Four different speeches since he's been president, he has told -- and mainly students -- that your salvation is directly tied to the collective salvation. ... I don't -- I'm not demonizing it. I disagree with it. The pope has said -- I mean, he's actually demonized it."
Beck's claims on Fox News Sunday notwithstanding, he has demonized liberation theology virulently, even going so far as to connect it to the now-infamous video of a New Black Panther Party member raving about how black people should kill white babies if they want freedom. On the July 13 edition of his Fox News show, Beck said, "[I]t is critical that you understand how people like the Black Panthers are not just an isolated group, and how they arrived at the conclusion that it's reasonable to kill white babies. It's called liberation theology. And when you couple it with progressivism, it can be deadly."
Beck's attacks on liberation theology are part of his campaign against the notions of collective salvation -- which he has said is "evil" and can "lead to genocide" -- and social justice -- which he has described as "Marxism" and a "disease." Later in his July 13 show, Beck said, "The Black Panthers and anyone who subscribes to liberation theology are perverting the message of Christianity, and it goes straight to evil. It is the same way radical Islamicists pervert the message of Islam. But at this instance, they are perverting an already perverted message. The message of social justice and redemption through redistribution and collective redemption. There's no such thing as that." On his July 29 Fox show, Beck elaborated further: "Liberation theology is less of a religion than anti-capitalist political philosophy."
BECK: This isn't about race. Race plays a role. But so does Marxism. More importantly, it is social justice, the social justice of black liberation theology that was drilled into his head with Jeremiah Wright. This is not just Marxism, it's not just racism, it is black liberation theology. All of the things that you see the president do and say, it is black liberation theology.
It is the white, evil CEO. It is the white corporation that are exploiting minorities of any color. It is the evil Jew. It is the man keeping you down. It is take it from them and give it. That's black liberation theology.
His policies, what he says. And you have -- this isn't theory anymore, he's doing it.
When Beck responds to criticism of his comment that the president is a racist by saying that he misunderstood Obama's theology, which is liberation theology, he's not actually softening his statement. Beck thinks that liberation theology is part of a belief system that "can lead to genocide."
In Beck's hallucinatory world view, it seems that embracing liberation theology is as bad as, if not worse than, hating white people.