About 2,500 screaming, adoring Glenn Beck fans packed the concert hall of Washington’s Kennedy Center on Friday night to shower affection on their hero. Beck used the event, dubbed “America’s Divine Destiny,” to portray himself as an instrument of God prepared to lead America out of its spiritual darkness.
Beck, who seems to view himself in increasingly messianic terms, says he is helping to launch another religious “Great Awakening” that will shape American history and promised attendees that on Saturday they would be “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”
Action film star Chuck Norris read long passages from writings by George Washington, Ben Franklin and Samuel Adams, intended to show their piety and their belief that America’s future depended on Americans acknowledging the country’s dependence on God. Norris was an energetic supporter of Mike Huckabee’s presidential bid and later endorsed “Ten Commandments” Judge Roy Moore’s gubernatorial bid in Alabama. “What does it take to get Gina and I off our ranch in Texas?” Norris asked. “An act of Congress? No way. What it takes is God or Glenn Beck.”
What took the pundits and the opposition off-guard at the Lincoln Memorial was not Beck’s play to the center, but his hard turn toward the heavens. His obsession with the deity and the use of the God card — overriding what, up-to-know, has been the separation of church and Tea house — was as surprising as it was deft.
If Glenn is in the grip of a messianic syndrome, however — which is what this second photo toys with — the obsession, from a political standpoint — is merely an instrument to fire up the patriotism.
In the Red Guy and Blue Gal, for example, besides playing on the theme of bi-partisanship, you can see that the nationalism has become biblically- supercharged.
Beck and his backers get much more clever and subtle, though, about the way they “church up” the founding fathers. The paragraph above, about Chuck Norris’s story time, helps explain the lead photo of the contemplative-looking guy with George Washington in his pocket. The thing is, it’s not your typical George. It’s George accompanied by a Godly glow.
Not content just to wrestle God and Country away from the Democrats, though, this shot of an official “Restoring Honor” t-shirt demonstrates Beck’s mission to morph and lay claim to every potent contemporary political symbol he can possibly draw a line around.
As a result, and like a slap in the Administration’s face, we see the Beck/Tea Party brand consisting of three founding fathers and three words representing biblical saints — not to mention, a powerful spiritual phrase with the capability of echoing through the mind — packaged seamlessly together adopting Fairey-Obama visual design.