What we know about Beck's Black Robe Regiment

This weekend, Glenn Beck announced the re-creation of a revolutionary force called the Black Robe Regiment. At his Restoring Honor rally on Saturday, Beck claimed that “our churches have fallen asleep” and that the “thousands of clergy” in the Regiment who subscribe to his particular views on the role of religion in American life, will “start the heart of this nation again and put it where it belongs: our heart with God.”

On his radio show this morning, Beck delved into a little more detail about how the group was formed and who, exactly, some of these members of the Regiment are.

Apparently, the idea began with Beck's favorite historian, David Barton. When Beck told Barton he wanted to “get religious leaders together,” Barton suggested forming a Black Robe Regiment -- named after what Barton had said was a group of preachers who supported the American Revolution from their pulpits. Beck decided that was “exactly” what he was looking for because it was a movement supposedly like his that was “not about politics.”

Beck then described the first meeting he held with “the largest evangelical leaders in the country” some of whom had been involved in the Christian Coalition. Beck explained that at first the leaders he was recruiting were “very skeptical,” as David Barton told him, “because of [Beck's] faith.” When Beck spoke to these “skeptical” leaders, he apparently told them that “we're about to lose our country, and we need to teach the correct principles of liberty and freedom, and it has nothing to do with politics.” He also warned that: “we're all going to lose our religious freedom if we don't” stand together.

This apparently swayed televangelist James Robison, a former guest on Beck's radio show, who Beck claims “pounded the table” and said “I can testify that the things that this man says are true because I've felt them too.”

However Beck explains that others were still wary of Beck's initiative and were concerned that if they joined him they would “lose half [of their] congregation.” But then Focus on the Family's James Dobson came to Beck's defense. According to Beck, Dobson “looked [Beck] right in the eye ... and he said; 'I will start tomorrow.' ” And thus, Beck's Black Robe Regiment was formed.

Later in the show, Beck elaborated on his call to “mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes,” calling on his listeners to “tithe 10 percent” and encouraging them to “sacrifice our fortunes so our children don't have to pay for our lifestyle.” Beck implored his listeners: “You must tithe because these people [the Black Robe Regiment] are going to be in trouble. They're going to come under attack.”

Beck then emphasized the urgency of the support needed by the Regiment with some loaded Biblical imagery. He suggested that "[t]he media hasn't noticed" the leaders yet “quite honestly, because the adversary hasn't noticed them yet.” While Beck does not make it clear who the “adversary” is, the word is closely associated with Satan. Various dictionaries note that adversary is among the definitions for Satan. The term also appeared in Milton's Paradise Lost where it was defined in the endnotes: “For 'the Adversary' = Satan, according to the meaning of the name.” In addition, the Church of Latter Day Saints describes Satan as “the adversary or the devil.”

Building upon this notion, Beck warned that “the great thing is, darkness does not understand light” and “has no idea where we're headed,” but “once it does, the very gates of Hell are going to open up.”