Kurtz Punts on “Social Justice”


Howard Kurtz’ article on Glenn Beck and how he makes some of his Fox News colleagues nervous is interesting and generally very good. But there are a few points at which Kurtz doesn’t, I think, offer enough context as to what Beck is actually doing on air that’s creating this nervousness. Since it’s been a bit of a hobbyhorse of mine, let me just focus on Kurtz’ treatment of the “social justice” episode:

Beck sparked criticism from some Christian leaders last week when he urged parishioners to leave churches that promote “social justice” or “economic justice,” saying these are “code words” for communism and Nazism.

To really understand the meaning of this episode, you need to understand which churches it are that promote social justice. The answer is: Almost all of them! Catholics, mainline Protestants, Jews, and Mormons alike are all enjoined to advance social justice. Among major American religious groups only the Southern Baptists seem to lack a significant social justice element.