Glenn Beck is asking members of Congress and the leaders of other organizations to lend their support to his Restoring Courage rally slated to take place in Jerusalem in August, according to documents obtained by Media Matters.
In an email to a congressional office, Beck staffer Natalie Costantino insists that the event will be “non-partisan, non-political, and non-denominational” and writes that “Glenn would like to invite” the member “personally to support the country, whether it be joining us in Israel or supporting in spirit.”
We are asking supporters to participate in two things that will help strengthen the message of Restoring Courage:
First, we are asking if [Member of Congress' name redacted] could write a support letter on official letterhead to be posted online. An archive of letters will be created to help encourage others to take the courageous step of standing with Israel. Please note that your letter of support may be posted on glennbeck.com, theblaze.com, GBTV, our Restoring Courage Facebook page and Glenn may talk about your organization's support on TV or radio.
Secondly, please visit www.facebook.com/824restoringcourage and like our page! Reciprocally, we will add your page to our likes.
Attached to the email is a “concept letter” stating that the event is “apolitical, non-partisan and will not promote any particular religion but focus on the need for individuals to have the courage of their convictions and take a stand with Israel.”
While the rally may indeed be nondenominational, Beck's focus on Israel is fueled -- at least in part -- by an interest in End Times theology. As we have documented extensively, both Beck and his chosen religious “experts” have repeatedly suggested that Israel is especially important at this point in time due to its role in End Times prophecies and the possibly impending Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
During the monologue on his radio program announcing the Israel rally in May, Beck evoked Ezekiel and the End Times. As he often does when suggesting we may be living in the End Times, he was sure to clarify that he personally has “no idea if these are the times”:
BECK: There will be people who will say, 'oh, you are crazy - that's not gonna happen. People have been saying that this is Ezekiel for five thousand years. Yada Yada Yada." I have no idea if these are the times, I just know that the old hatreds are starting up, and as Dietrich Bonhoeffer, said, 'God will not hold us blameless.'“I choose to stand and be counted.
Currently featured at Glenn Beck's GBTV website is a video titled ”Understanding the Holy Land," wherein a series of religious experts present a brief history of Israel. Among these experts are several frequent Beck guests that believe the End Times could be imminent, including Left Behind author Tim LaHaye, Joel Rosenberg, and Joel Richardson.
The documentary repeatedly references the potentially imminent End Times, and at one point portrays the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 as especially important due to its fulfillment of the “one major prophecy that was yet to be fulfilled” about “the end of the world.”
In the video, Rosenberg explains why it is uniquely important for people to support Israel at this point in time by pointing to a “prophecy that doesn't get much attention” from the Book of Joel indicating that God is going to “judge all the nations who have divided his land” when “history comes to an end.”
Beck's focus on End Times theology in relation to Israel isn't limited just to radio rants and GBTV documentaries. Last week, Beck gave the keynote at the Washington, D.C. summit for Christians United for Israel. The group is headed by controversial pastor John Hagee, whose name appears on a list of “supporters” included in the email to Congressional offices (also appearing on the list are numerous Republican presidential candidates, several members of Congress, religious leaders like David Barton, Jerry Falwell Jr., and Billy Graham -- as well as, somewhat inexplicably, Ted Nugent).
Hagee strongly believes that we are the “terminal generation” that will witness Rapture and the End Times, and published a book last year laying out his 10 Prophetic Signs That We Are The Terminal Generation.
While Beck is eager to portray his support of Israel as “apolitical” and “non-partisan” when asking for support from members of Congress, that seems like an empty promise based on his history. Apparently as evidence for this assertion, the letter claims that at Beck's 2010 “Restoring Honor” rally in Washington, DC, “there was no political or partisan talk at any time.” In fact, Beck's 2010 event featured attacks on abortion and same-sex marriage as well as the promotion of prayer in schools. That event also featured Sarah Palin, who took a not-so-subtle shot at President Obama.
Beck has repeatedly attacked President Obama and expressed confusion as to why the Jewish community has given Obama “a pass” following his supposed “absolute betrayal” of Israel. In the past few months, Beck has claimed Obama is “stabbing” Israel “in the back,” suggested the left doesn't “care about Israel or the Jews,” and implied Obama doesn't believe Israel has a right to exist or defend itself.
Given his falsehoods about Obama's Israel policies, it seems unlikely that Beck will be able to hold an entirely apolitical rally.