Many of you are aware that an article featuring an interview with radio and TV personality Glenn Beck and highlighting Beck’s new book, The Christmas Sweater, was pulled from Focus On The Family’s web site when that organization caved in to pressure from Evangelicals who objected to the magazine covering the spiritual rebirth of a Latter-day Saint.
For an excellent summary of the affair, including some insightful commentary from an unbiased observer, check out Dan Gilgoff’s God and Country blog for U.S. News & World Report.
While this latest expression of “Christian” exclusivity and intolerance was not surprising, Beck’s response may have been. Showing neither offense nor vindictiveness, this is what he posted on his official web site:
“The Christmas Sweater is a story about the idea of Christmas as a time for redemption and atonement. Whatever your beliefs about my religion, the concept of religious tolerance is too important to be sacrificed in response to pressure from special interest groups, especially when it means bowing to censorship. I’m humbled and grateful that hundreds of thousands of people from different faiths have read the book and have appreciated its uplifting message for themselves. At a time when the world is so full of fear, despair, and divisions, it is my hope that all of those who believe in a loving and peaceful God would stand together on the universal message of hope and forgiveness. “
Beck’s restraint, mildness, and good spirit in the face of religious bigotry is a refreshing example of what it is to be a Christian.
It’s a Christmas message worth remembering – and sharing.