Hiding One's Faith to Get Ahead

Glenn Beck

Many atheists hide their lack of faith for fear of negative consequences (e.g., being fired from their jobs, family conflict, physical assault, social ostracization). It is understandable that some would need to do so, and I would imagine that Muslims, Jews, and other non-Christians living in rabidly Christian communities might feel similarly. But it rarely occurs to me that some prominent Christians might have to hide their faith for fear of not being perceived as the right kind of Christian. According to Think Progress, Glenn Beck may be just such a case (update: link no longer active).

The article describes how Beck, who makes Mormon promotional videos in which he discusses his Mormon faith in detail, conceals his Mormon religion from his largely evangelical fundamentalist Christian audience. He is smart enough to realize that the sort of Christians who make up his core audience do not generally consider Mormons to be Christian at all. So he pushes a vague sort of pro-faith position and omits details about his own Mormon beliefs.

Now Beck has been called out by Bill Keller, a prominent fundamentalist Christian. Keller has accused Beck of lying and deceiving his audience by glossing over his Mormonism.

Beck likes to call out people for their lies and deception, yet he portrays himself daily as a Christian. The fact is, the beliefs of the satanic Mormon cult are totally inconsistent with Biblical Christianity. He uses the words “god” and “jesus,” yet the god and jesus of the Mormon cult are NOT the God and Jesus of the Bible!

One might think that such an ongoing conflict between his Mormon faith and how much of his audience feels about Mormons would make Beck a bit more sympathetic to atheists, Muslims, Jews, and other non-Christians. Of course, one would be wrong.