Sociologist Michael Lindsay examines Glenn Beck’s speech from this past weekend and argues Beck illustrates what Evangelicals do so well:
With those seven words, Glenn Beck accomplished two complementary but seemingly opposite objectives, much like [Rick] Warren does at the outset of his [The Purpose Driven Life] book. He diminished the crowd’s sense that they can do anything ultimately important while simultaneously endowing their attempts with a sense of sacred purpose. It’s as if Beck said to the throngs, “Put away your placards, and give up on your political machinations. We’re not in control.” But using the exact same words, he was exhorting, “We have a bigger obligation to play whatever role we are given in this larger divine drama.”
This relativizing/sacralizing of actions is precisely why evangelicals are so successful in American politics.
What Beck’s call to action will lead to remains to be seen. But, as Lindsay suggests, his uniting of faith and political action may very well influence the Republican Party in the near future.