To hear them tell it, you’d think that folks likes Glenn Beck or Mike Huckabee or others who cry wolf on a daily basis are going to be rounded up and tossed into prison any moment now. With the impending Supreme Court decision that is expected to make marriage equality the law of the land across the United States, they’ve been screaming into any microphone that they can access that Christians are going to be persecuted and turned into criminals for discriminating against the LGBT community. Just the other day, presidential candidate Mike Huckabee sounded the alarm and claimed that Christians would become criminals.
Now, Glenn Beck and his fringe religious friends are sounding their own alarm and proclaiming that there are at least 10,000 members of their “Black Robe Regiment” who are willing to die resisting the fictitious persecution of Christians in America that they’ve been predicting for years.
Via Right Wing Watch:
“The number in the Black Robe Regiment is about 70,000 now,” Beck said. “The number that I think will walk through a wall of fire, you know, and possible death, is anywhere between 17,000 and 10,000. That is an extraordinary number of people that are willing to lay it all down on the table and willing to go to jail or go to death because they serve God and not man.”
Garlow was in complete agreement, saying that the necessity of being willing to die is “honestly where we are.”
“We’ve come to that moment,” he said. “People like you and me and, thank God, many others are digging in very deeply and laying the benchmark of where we’re going to stand on these issues.”
“You’re going to see these 10,000 to 20,000 pastors begin to stand up,” Beck promised, “and say ‘it doesn’t matter if I lose my church, it doesn’t matter if I lose my building, it doesn’t matter if I lose my life, I will not sit down!’” (Source)
Martyrdom and sacrificing yourself for your religion? Where have we heard that before? Doesn’t that sound an awful lot like radical jihadists, the same people who right-wing alarmists want us to declare war on, even though they share a lot in common?
If you were wondering who the Black Robe Regiment is, it’s an organization of right-wing clerics created by David Barton and Glenn Beck back in 2010. Here’s David Barton himself explaining it on Glenn Beck’s show in April 2010, before Fox News decided Beck was too radical even for them:
“The Black Brigade or Black Regiment were the preachers, because they wore black robes. Black preachers, white preachers — they all wore black probes. And the British specifically blamed the preachers for the American Revolution. That’s where the title “Black Regiment” came from. One of the British officials talked about that.
It’s interesting that the British so hated what the preachers — they claim if it hadn’t been for the preachers, America would still be a happy British colony. So they blamed it on the preachers.
When they come to America, they start to decimating churches. They went to New York City. Nineteen churches — they burned 10 to the ground. They went across Virginia burning churches. They went across New Jersey burning churches. Because they blamed these preachers.” (Source)
The truth is that Glenn Beck and others of his ilk aren’t going to do a damn thing once marriage equality is the law of the land, other than beat their chests and find something else to get their followers riled up about.
What is alarming is the fact that there are many unhinged individuals out there who aren’t aware that people like Glenn Beck or Alex Jones are little more than clever scam artists selling fear to anyone who can’t see through their act. Some of these people will see the Supreme Court’s expected decision as the beginning of the persecution Glenn Beck and David Barton have been predicting, and it is very possible that they will take it upon themselves to commit acts of domestic terrorism.
Unfortunately, there’s little that can be done because the First Amendment protectsfree speech, even when it is hateful and irresponsible. Unless Glenn Beck were to call for armed rebellion against the government – which he won’t do because he’s not stupid enough to lose his show – he can continue to flirt with that fine line between inciting violence and free speech, while laughing all the way to the bank.