Chastened by negative public reaction to his recent comments that “real Christians” don’t support Donald Trump and “all throughout the South the Evangelicals are not listening to their God,” radio talk show host Glenn Beck is walking back his criticism of Christians who support the New York City billionaire and GOP frontrunner.
But now he’s claiming that Sen. Ted Cruz, whom he has endorsed for President, “was anointed for this time.”
On Friday, less than 24 hours after he proclaimed on his television program that “no real Christian says ‘I want that guy'” Donald Trump, Beck issued an apology in an article posted on his website.
“I’d like to apologize for any of the comments that I’ve made that offended anyone’s religious sensibilities or implied that I thought you weren’t good Christians,” Beck wrote in the article that appears to be an edited version from the transcript of his lengthy monologue on his radio program Friday.
“If that’s what I had said, but that’s not what I said,” he added as a qualifier to his apology.
Beck was eager to blame Breitbart News for his self-inflicted woes.
“That’s what Breitbart and Drudge and the paid-for Donald Trump media wants you to believe I said,” he continued.
Beck, however, did not deny the accuracy of the quotes about “real Christians” and Donald Trump attributed to him by numerous media outlets, including:
The Blaze (part of Beck’s own media company), ” ‘You’re Damn Right’: Beck Slams Religious Trump Backers, Says ‘No Real Christian’ Would Vote for the New York Mogul”
International Business Times, “Glenn Beck Says ‘No Real Christian’ Should Support Donald Trump”
The Washington Times, “Glenn Beck: ‘No real Christian’ supports Donald Trump”
The Daily Caller, “Beck: ‘No Real Christian’ Should Vote For Donald Trump”
Newsmax Media, “Glenn Beck: ‘No Real Christian’ Would Vote for Trump”
Instead of disputing the quotes attributed to him by these many media outlets, Beck offered this “trust me” defense, which specifically referenced the Breitbart article about his criticism of Southern Evangelicals:
Here’s what concerned me: What concerned me was the way this article attempts to characterize what I said and believe, that I had to step back and rewatch the videos and listen to my comments that I made at campaign rallies over the weekend and make sure that I hadn’t said what the article and the comments within the article imply.
Beck went on to explain his view of the specific mechanism all Christians, including those who support Trump, should follow before deciding the candidate for whom they will vote in the 2016 GOP Presidential contest:
I believe evangelicals and Christians and Jews and Muslims are in this together, that we all have access to God’s inspiration.
That’s all I’m asking for: On this Easter weekend, that you would take the time and ask for God’s inspiration.
Take the time to examine the principles and put them up to your Christian values and principles. Just side by side, the principles, God’s principles and the candidate’s principles, without excuses. Question with boldness. Realize where our country is. Realize what’s at risk in this election if we choose a candidate whose positions seem to be based on anger, hatred, greed. It’s easy to get caught up in a crowd carrying pitchforks and torches, but look at the records of these men. Listen to the words they use. Look how they live their lives. What they’ve built. How they’ve built it.
And then ask yourself soberly, truly, and then seek God’s counsel. If having done that, you’re still confirmed in your choice to support Donald Trump, I can’t fault you for that, just like you can’t fault me for believing and supporting Ted Cruz.
Earlier in the article, Beck said, “I happen to believe that Ted Cruz actually was anointed for this time.”
That statement was made as he disputed a comment made to Breitbart News by Dr. Thomas Kidd, a leading academic expert on religion in America and Associate Director of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University:
But then he [Dr.Kidd] says, ‘But God has not revealed Ted Cruz as the divinely anointed alternative either.’
To you, Dr. Kidd. To you. To you God hasn’t revealed Cruz as divinely anointed. I understand that. And I respect your opinion on it.
But here’s mine: I have seen this man’s life. I have watched this man. I have prayed about this man. I have prayed about it by myself, out loud, in quiet, with my family, with my staff, and I happen to believe that Ted Cruz actually was anointed for this time. Would there not be someone that was in the pool that might have the right qualifications for God?
Is he that disinterested in all of us? Or is it perhaps possible that just like in the Bible, people were raised from birth for a specific time? Are we that inconsequential, Dr. Kidd? Are we really not that important enough for him to raise someone up, at this critical juncture?
At least one radio talk show host is publicly asking if Beck’s outspoken support for Sen. Cruz has become a liability for the presidential campaign of the junior Senator from Texas.
During an interview on Friday, Tulsa, Oklahoma radio talk show host Pat Campbell, talking with Dr. Everett Piper, President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, on his program heard every week day on 1170 AM KFAQ, told his guest, “I’m of the belief, and I want to see if you’re in agreement with me on this, that Beck endorsing Cruz I think, actually is a negative,” adding:
I think Beck is just, I don’t know what it is, he’s too obsessed with Donald Trump and he’s almost blinded by that obsession. I think that having him go out in places like Utah and talking about, you know, how the white horse prophecy and all these other things out there, presenting Ted Cruz as some sort of savior. I’m not looking for a savior. I’ve already got a savior, thank you very much.
“I am looking for somebody to clean up this mess here, and I do believe that Ted Cruz is the best choice out there and I have since he announced he was going to run over a year ago. But the Beck thing, I think it’s actually more of a negative than a positive,” Campbell told Piper.
“What do you see?” Campbell asked of Piper.
“I am an evangelical Christian, therefore Glenn Beck’s theology and my theology do not agree,” Piper answered, adding:
There are many theological issues that Glenn Beck would take that I would challenge him on. If ever given the opportunity in a debate I would hopefully have a cordial and polite discussion with him on theological differences rather than theological syncretism.
That aside, I agree with, I think, the premise of your point that you just made, and that is Beck, or Breitbart, or you or me, is a distraction. The issue here isn’t what Beck says or his endorsement. And in fact it may be a distraction because of Beck’s personality and his public persona.
But I’m not going to allow Beck to become the issue when people ask me are evangelicals being faithful to the very Bible that they hold dear.
“That’s what I believe we should be doing as a church,” Piper elaborated later in the interview.
“Not getting distracted by endorsements by Glenn Beck or challenges by Breitbart or any other people of power or privilege out there that want to distract the discussion and distract the debate,” he concluded.
Other public figures who are supporting Ted Cruz may soon join KFAQ’s Campbell in questioning whether Glenn Beck’s endorsement is a negative or a positive for the Cruz campaign.