Beck: Jesus Conquered Death But If He Hadn’t, He Would ‘Make the Jews Pay’ for Killing Him

There’s so much packed into Glenn Beck’s latest peroration on religion that it’s hard to know where to begin:

“This is kind of complex, because Jesus did identify with the victims. But Jesus was not a victim. He was a conqueror…Jesus conquered death. He wasn’t victimized. He chose to give his life….If he was a victim, and this theology was true, then Jesus would’ve come back from the dead and made the Jews pay for what they did. That’s an abomination.”

Of course, right up front — if you believe the story of Jesus, the Gospels are unequivocal about who had Jesus put to death: the Italians. Here’s Elizabeth Dias in Time Magazine:

But the Jews did not kill Jesus, the Romans did. And revenge does not exactly sound like Jesus’ command to love one’s neighbor. Moreover, liberation theology does not mean Christians must be victims to be saved. Liberation theologies emerged across the globe in the 1960s to respond to social injustices, often at the hands of colonizers. Black liberation theology certainly is not the only version out there — Latin American liberation theology, Palestinian liberation theology, and Minjung liberation theology also draw attention to suffering around the world in order to find hope from a God who has suffered too.

A core Biblical command is to follow Jesus’ example of humility, not of conquering, and to show compassion for the least of those in our midst. A different commentator, the Apostle Paul, quickly sets straight Beck’s account of Christian service: “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus, who being in very nature God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross.”

The twisting of the narrative in the Gospels to deflect blame for the execution of Jesus away from the Romans onto the Jews is thought to have begun back in the 4th century when Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. The lie metastasized during the Dark Ages into anti-semitism, which is still with us six decades after its ultimate expression in the Holocaust.

For context, it should be noted that the chief target of Beck’s rant was not Jews, it was blacks and liberals who adhere to the Christian social justice and black liberation theology movements. For what it’s worth.

23 Comments

  • July 16, 2010 - 9:10 am | Permalink

    “…it should be noted that the chief target of Beck’s rant was not Jews, it was blacks and liberals who adhere to the Christian social justice and black liberation theology movements.” That’s because Beck is a Mormon. They have a strange fixation/affinity thing about Jews while eschewing blacks and poor people. They treat blacks as unclean and unworthy, and the poor as stupid, pitiful, and projects the Mormons are forced to take on because Mormons are so much cleverer and more capable.

  • majii
    July 16, 2010 - 11:01 am | Permalink

    I can personally validate the beliefs that some Mormons may have toward African Americans. After graduating from college I worked a retail job at Sears with a Mormon female who told me that it wouldn’t be possible for me to go to Heaven because I’m African American. She said this to me with a straight face, having no sense of how deeply she had offended me. From that point on, I limited my contact with her on the job because it was obvious to me that she thought that she was somehow better than I. I was glad when I found a teaching position and left that job. I never looked back.

  • Mel
    July 16, 2010 - 6:37 pm | Permalink

    I watched that Beck episode while waiting in a doctor’s office – the channel was locked on Fox News. I think the worst part of it was where Beck was saying that nowhere in the Bible does God or Jesus espouse taking from the rich to give to the poor. God’s character is a model for our own, and He says (Deut 15:7) “you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand to your poor brother; but freely open your hand to him, and generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks.” That is an order from God. God is delivering an ultimatum. And in so doing, God is taking from the rich and giving to the poor by demanding the rich to obey this order. And God’s character is our model.

  • Dieter Heymann
    July 16, 2010 - 7:59 pm | Permalink

    I have not the foggiest idea what the screwiness of this Beckianism means. Beck ought to go back to college and take English 101 to learn to speak and write cogently. In the meantime I am not even sure that he meant to say that the Jews killed Jesus. And if they did is that not exactly what his God intended them to do? I am totally confused by it all but I am not going to lose one microsecond of sleep because of it.

  • new
    July 16, 2010 - 8:57 pm | Permalink

    They checked the shroud of Turin, and the DNA of the semen stains were definitely Roman in origin.

  • July 16, 2010 - 10:35 pm | Permalink

    To refute the beliefs you would have to understand the beliefs.

    There is a belief among the Christian community, I know there are exceptions, that the Jewish people are responsible for Jesus’ death.

    Pontius Pilate was directed by leaders of the Jewish religious community to bring Jesus up on charges. He had not broken any of Rome’s laws only those of Jewish law and even then the law was being stretched to do away with what the religious Jewish ruling elite considered a trouble maker.

    Pontius Pilate didn’t want to do away with what he felt was a innocent man so gave Jesus one last chance by giving the Jewish citizens a chance to free Jesus.

    Instead the crowd called for the release of Barabbas, a known murderer.

    Not saying any of these are facts or not. Not saying this is why Glenn Beck is doing the crazy. Am saying that many Christians blame the Jewish people for allowing Christ to die.

    These same people not realizing that if they read their own book, Christ was supposed to die. He pleaded with God for it not to have to happen. God’s silence or inaction on the subject was confirmation enough for Jesus that it had to happen.

    The Jews of that day probably had more Ethiopian blood lines rather than european blood lines. Eurpean bloodline Jews are usually from blood strains who converted during the Ottoman empire so as to allow free trade between Muslim forces to the South and their European Neighbors to the North. Because in those days it was a recognized fact that both Judaic religions and Muslim relgions extended from the same blood lines.

    Don’t blame Christianty for Reich Wing nutjobs. They drape themselves in the flag too. You blaiming the flag?

  • Lou Kaye
    July 16, 2010 - 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Glenn Beck is a loon. Every hour, every minute, every second.

    My only surprise was that he didn’t twist the crufixion of Jesus Christ into a nonsensical rhetorical analogy with the passing of George Steinbrenner. Afterall, according to windbags like Beck, Steinbrenner also sacrificed his life this year to save his heirs from the social and economic injustice of the estate tax. Just like Jesus, Steinbrenner identified with the victims. But Steinbrenner was not a victim. He was a savior…he conquered the estate tax. He wasn’t victimized.

  • Karen Green
    July 16, 2010 - 11:23 pm | Permalink

    What would have happened if Jesus had not been crucified and died of old age? Would there even be Christianity? Wasn’t Jesus’ death and subsequent resurrection his destiny? If one Jewish man actually killed Jesus shouldn’t he be thanked for his role in aiding Jesus to fulfill his destiny?

  • July 17, 2010 - 12:29 am | Permalink

    Meh, it would have happened as it did on account of the “offenses” occurring within the jurisdiction of the prefect of Judea. Arguments over whether Roman overseers or my Phariseeic ancestors were killers are unimportant, and hardly a proper focus when finding fault with Glenn Beck.

  • Karen Green
    July 17, 2010 - 12:38 am | Permalink

    Barry, I believe your ancestors are also mine. Basically I do not disagree with you, but I do get tired of being called a “Christ killer” so I try to point out from time to time that even if it were true that Jews are responsible for Jesus’ death, we should not be hated but thanked.

  • Paul Winkelmann
    July 17, 2010 - 1:05 am | Permalink

    Since Jesus voluntarily gave up his life, shouldn’t Beck be announcing “Jew took own life”?

  • Kitty Tanaka
    July 17, 2010 - 6:02 am | Permalink

    IXLNXS:

    You are correct, to the best of my knowledge. A corrupt jewish power establishment sought the death of Jesus as he was a threat to the status quo and their own power. The clearing of the money changers from the temple was probably enough to earn their ire alone, let alone all the other radical ideas of peace and equality he was preaching. Entrenched power conservatives always hate voices of peace and equality, it was no different in his day than in ours.

    The crowd, if I understand correctly, was largely angry at Jesus because they had expected a messiah to lead a rebellion against Rome, and Jesus wasn’t interested in leading any revolutions or promoting violence of any kind. So, they turned on him.

    How any of this has a damned thing to do with modern jewish people, I don’t know. I mean, unless some jews are immortal and were alive two millennia ago, all this happened before they were born so they can’t possibly be responsible. Unless christians want to have the inquisition and the genocide of the native americans and lots of other things laid directly at their own feet, it would behoove them not to blame living people for the crimes of those long dead.

    So to sum up, a corrupt entrenched elite of priests and royalty acted to eliminate a radical preacher who they judged to be a political threat –if you’re going to blame a modern people for an event like that in their past, you’ll pretty much have to blame everyone who’s ever had a right wing authoritarian government in their history, meaning pretty much everybody.

    Good luck with that one, haters.

  • WDRussell
    July 17, 2010 - 6:48 am | Permalink

    I was going to make one comment but after reading the first comment, I will make two.
    The third president of the Mormon Church declared that all dark skinned people worldwide were children of satan. I understand that was a long time ago, but how many of them still believe it.
    If Jesus didn’t die at that specific time at that specific method, there would be no salvation for any of us. If you think the Jews killed Jesus, then you should thank them.

  • Mel
    July 17, 2010 - 7:16 am | Permalink

    Most evangelicals have conflicting belief systems. They believe that today’s Jews are guilty of their father’s crimes. They get that idea from the Bible and original sin. They assert that since the father of mankind is Adam, then all of mankind (his sons) are guilty of their father’s indiscretion. But they pardoxically believe that if your white father intentionally deprived a black man, you are not responsible for the consequences of his indescretion. Yet they believe that today’s Jews are responsible for Christ’s death. Yes, most evangelicals have conflicting belief systems and are not even aware of it. Nor can they be made aware of it. They’ve made rationalization into an art form. (Rationalization is “substituting good reasons for the real reasons.”)

  • ARosenthal
    July 17, 2010 - 8:59 am | Permalink

    Pontius Pilate was a monster. He crucified over 2,000 Jews. He was so cruel that the emperor fired him and called him back to Rome. It is likely that the temple priests turned Jesus over to him, but Pilate needed no coercion to order the crucifixion.

    At the time, most Jews did not know who Jesus was. Christian theologians say that he had around 25 followers. The “Jewish mob” is a fiction, invented to get the Romans off the hook, because Paul was trying to convert the gentiles, all of whom were either Roman citizens or non-Jews in the empire.

    The Book of Mormon proposes that the lost tribes of Israel came to what is now the United States. Today’s Mormons are therefore their descendants. Technically, Glen Beck is a Jew.

  • Billy
    July 17, 2010 - 9:19 am | Permalink

    The Bible clearly teaches about generational responsibility to the 3rd or 4th generation and more, it’s just descendents of people like slaveowners have that part of the Bible torn out, in their salute to the Jefferson Bible. But since Jesus said no one takes His life, He gave it up freely, technically, no one killed Jesus. All of this Beckism is just inflammatory talk for ratings, as usual.
    Not many years ago people like Pat Robertson preached about how Jews were taking over the world through the financial markets and other dastardly means. Then they finally read the end of the Bible and saw that Jews had to be around for the end times, and all of a sudden Pentecostals and Evangelicals LOVED Israel and Jews, and began many of the now profitable Israel tours. Selective ignorance and revelation must be bliss, with so many engaging in it.

  • Lisa Hunt
    July 17, 2010 - 9:26 am | Permalink

    This guy sounds more and more like Steven Colbert. The logic here is so absurd, it makes my head hurt.

  • oudiva
    July 17, 2010 - 9:29 am | Permalink

    This everlasting “the-Jews-killed-Christ” canard needs to be laid to rest. The Gospel says that Jesus died for the sins of the world. That means my sins. That means I killed Him. Since I’m guilty, I have no right to point fingers at anybody else – and neither does Glenn Beck!

  • Alice
    July 17, 2010 - 3:02 pm | Permalink

    If Glenn Beck had ever read or attended am in depth study of the New Testament, he would be better informed. However, he is a FIRST RATE KOOK!

    Of course the Jews ‘killed’ Jesus. Jesus was a Jew! He went to the Temple (read synagogue)and threw out the money changers; He told them that he had a better way; Pilot was a Roman and wanted nothing to do with a religious ‘crime’. The same sort of thing would happen today if a man claimed we was changing the ways of Christianity. Jesus never intended to start a new religion, He wanted to change the old ways of doing things.

  • Paul Grindle
    July 17, 2010 - 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Wow. I can’t believe that you are all so idiotic that you either a) can’t understand Beck’s logic or b) judged him before watching the whole video. Without getting into the deep theology, which makes sense here, he was actually saying that under the theological idea of black liberation theology, the Jews would be the oppressor of Jesus and, like the Whites in black liberation theology, would be killed by Jesus, if black liberation theology was true. Which he says isn’t.

    And for the record, the Romans and the Jews had their hands in his death. The romans did it, but it was the Jewish elite who were continually gunning for him. And for the record, the Jews did have to kill Jesus for his sacrifice to mean anything. It is long and complicated theology, and if anyone wishes to hear my thoughts on that, email me at superjudge3@gmail.com.

    Sorry if this post is rambly and disorganized, but it needs to be said that Beck isn’t in the wrong in this case. Pensito Review is for its shoddy isolating of a quote out of context.

  • Mel
    July 18, 2010 - 7:43 am | Permalink

    I did watch the entire show. Yes, Beck was right to condemn the radical Black Liberationists for espousing the murder of white babies (or the murder of anyone for that matter). But towards the end of the show he clearly made an attempt to tie Barack Obama together with the Black Liberationists. It was Beck who quoted Obama out of context pertaining to collective salvation. In a speech to the Wesleyan College graduates given 25May2010 Obama said:
    “It’s because you have an obligation to yourself. Because our individual salvation depends on collective salvation. Because thinking only about yourself, fulfilling your immediate wants and needs, betrays a poverty of ambition. Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential and discover the role you’ll play in writing the next great chapter in America’s story.”

  • Mitch
    July 18, 2010 - 9:23 am | Permalink

    Conservatives killed Jesus.

    Nevermind what religion they were! These were people who:
    1) wanted to maintain a corrupt status quo
    2) wanted to maintain economic and political control over every aspect of peoples’ lives.
    3) feared change to the point where they would kill anyone who threatened them.

    Sounds like the GOP to me.

  • Levi Borunda
    July 19, 2010 - 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Liberals killed Jesus.
    These people hated Jesus’ message of individual responsibility for sin and need for a Savior.
    They wanted Jesus to be the Government Head so that everyone would be fed by the “miraculous” efforts.
    They hated the Man who was so narrow-minded He said, “no one comes to the Father but by me.”

    Sounds like Liberal philosophy to me.

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