Recently a major flap started over a comment that radio and television personality Glenn Beck made saying that people should leave their church if it is promoting “social justice.”

Glenn Beck was slammed for days because of his flip remark, and some even accused him of being anti-Christian. In order to get a good read on what he meant, one should examine exactly what he said.

Beck said that “social justice” and “economic justice” are “code words.” Of course they are: they are code for economic redistribution. “Pro-life” is also a code word—it means anti-abortion.

For the record, the Catholic Church embraces both a social justice and pro-life position. It is pro-union, believes in universal health care, promotes a “preferential option for the poor,” and is opposed to abortion, assisted suicide and embryonic stem cell research.

There was no shortage of people who hammered Beck for saying, “Am I advising people to leave their church? Yes!” A closer read of what he actually said shows he closed his statement by saying, “If I am going to Jeremiah Wright’s church. If you have a priest that is pushing social justice, go find another parish.”

Beck didn’t say that Christians should abandon their religion and those who misappropriated his comments are disingenuous. He recommended shopping around to find a more conservative parish if one is dissatisfied with constantly hearing left-wing sermons. Nothing new about that.

In the Catholic Church, there are priests who are stridently left-wing and stridently right-wing; many parishioners shop accordingly. Protestants shop by leaving one denomination for another. And so on.

Some of those who have criticized Beck have done so in a sincere way. Most of them are just phonies.

Just the day before we addressed the Beck situation, we dealt with an issue which was far more serious than his sarcastic remark—we called out a radical feminist leader for branding pro-life Catholic congressman Bart Stupak “un-American.” And the day before that we protested news stories accusing the bishops of “polluting” the health care debate. But we heard nothing from the social justice crowd about these matters. Wonder why.

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