Here's the letter going to Beck's Executive Producer/ Head Writer:

Recently I watched a clip from the Glenn Beck Show about the moment of silence being removed from public schools. I must confess I was both shocked and disgusted with the way in which Mr. Beck conducted himself. It's not his opinion about the issue that I found so appalling, in a free society we have a right to dissent. It was his bigoted juvenile antics and use of false information to support his claims. It one thing for him to be passionate and colorful about the issue at hand. It's another to use the issue as an excuse to attack and deride a minority.

Non-believers are the largest religious minority in the country. We take up 16% of the population and are growing. That's compared to the 4.6% of the population that is all other non-Christian religions combined.

During the clip Mr. Beck and his guest suggesting that the founding fathers were all Christan and that the United States of America was founded on Christian principals.. This is simply not true. Take a look at the information and historical documents we have on this topic. It's pretty clear. America was not founded on Christianity. For example the term“wall of separation between church and state” was coined by President Thomas Jefferson in a letter written to Danbury Baptists of Connecticut in 1802. Also, Article 11 of the US treaty with Tripoli, a document signed by President John Adams in 1797, says “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense founded on the Christian religion...”

The quote Dr. Dobson, Mr. Beck's guest during the clip, was reaching for,“...they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights...” was not in the Constitution. It was in the first sentence of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence. It's also worth noting that in the original draft it was a far less religious statement, “All men are created equal and independent. From that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable.” It's also not very good evidence for the founders being Christian. Most of them were Deists. Deists believe that the universe has a creator that does not concern himself with the daily lives of men, or communicate with them through sacred texts and revelations. When they did refer to God or a Creator they were referring to a God of nature not the Judeo-Christian God.

The spreading of misconceptions by both parties and Mr. Beck's tasteless behavior was completely unacceptable. It's unbecoming of an organization that advertises itself as fair and balanced, and it's the reason why Fox News has a reputation for having no integrity.

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Comments are closed for this blog post

Comment by Deborah on January 27, 2009 at 10:23pm
Excellent letters - both! I also wrote an email much shorter, just saying that my child does not need to be exposed to Christian 'values' in school, he's there to be educated, not to worship. Also the statement that Christians should not have atheism shoved down their throats is preposterous. Atheists have to contend with hateful Christians showing open disrpect for them everywhere they go. Didn't the pilgrims leave England because they were seeking relief from a suffocating government forcing them to 'believe' as the government mandated? A concept otherwise known as freedom of religion? I was shocked at the crying child tactic, so completely mocking non-believers. Anyway, that was my input.
Comment by Creature on January 27, 2009 at 7:01pm
Pheonix, the more intelligent letters like yours the better. I hope that we'll be able to flood their inboxes with reason not just anger.
Comment by PhoenixFlash on January 27, 2009 at 4:56pm
Here's mine little two cents that I emailed in... I'm new at this so I hope I didn't frick it up too bad.

I am writing to you to voice my disgust at the bigotry of the piece on the striking down of the Illinois school prayer law. The type of behavior displayed by Mr. Glenn Beck was immature, rude, and ignorant. If he was trying to be funny, he was not. This type of behavior toward any minority would not be tolerated on any respected national newscast however your program and FOX seems to think that it was acceptable. How would this newscast have been perceived if you had ridiculed Native Americans, Jews or Hispanics in the same way? Perhaps the network would have at least apologized.
Apparently Mr. Beck and Mr. Dobson are so uneducated that they do not know the text or purpose of either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States. Specifically, the laws of the land, based upon the Constitution (as is the recent judgment against school prayer), NEVER mention a Creator or a God. It is the Declaration that uses deist (not Christian theist) language. The Declaration is NOT a governing document. As a national media broadcast company, I would have expected superior knowledge from your newscasters and the educated perspective that knowledge brings - even if the newscaster does not support a particular court decision.
Atheists do not worship a broom, in fact we worship nothing at all. Atheists are not afraid of prayer nor are we weak, we simply feel we should not waste time on something that has no scientific evidence for efficacy. According to the latest Pew poll, 16% of Americans are now "unaffiliated". The 10% number cited by Mr. Beck has apparently grown.
The children of atheists should not have to be pushed, bullied or ostracized by educators or peers because they choose not to pray. They should not have to tolerate adults making fun of them, or looking down on them as your Mr. Beck does. Mr. Beck said he didn't want atheism shoved down his throat. Our children deserve the same - to be left alone in a public school where attendance is mandatory and they cannot escape from the pressure of the Christian majority.
Children do have large latitude to pray in school. I am fairly certain all the Christian children say grace before lunch and none of the atheist children belittle them. They can pray before or after school, with groups or alone. They can pray in-between classes or silently before a big test. But most of all, they can pray at home or in church, where their private religious life is just that - private.
We all know FOX news is not an unbiased network and that is fine, it is your network. But at the minimum, please refrain from uncontrolled bigotry in the future.
Thank you



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