Yesterday Glenn Beck struck out at Simon Greer, President and CEO of Jewish Funds for Justice for his recent statement of support for government as a tool for protecting and facilitating the common good in society. Beck quoted a statement by Greer:
The government is you, me, and 300 million whom we share with our nation. Government is one way which we care for our neighbors, and tradition tells me to care for my neighbor as I care for myself. Here’s what we do for each other as Americans: We grow food, we create jobs, we build homes, pave roads, teach our children, care for our grandparents, secure our neighborhoods. Government makes our country function. To put God first is to put humankind first. To put humankind first is to put the common good first.
BECK: This leads to death camps. A Jew, of all people, should know that. This is exactly the kind of talk that led to the death camps in Germany. Put humankind and the common good first.
Help me out, how did that lead to death camps? How does that lead to death camps? Because that’s what they’ll say: “Oh, Glenn Beck is talking about death camps.” Help me out. Let’s think of this logically, and we can back it up with documentation. How does that lead to death camps?
GRAY: Well, because if certain people are hurting the common good, they have to be removed from society.
BECK: They have to be liquidated. How about grandma and grandpa?
GRAY: Yeah, they’re pulling down the common good, they’re costing to society too much.
BECK: So we’re gonna have to let ’em die. How about the handicapped?
GRAY: Well they hurt the race. They can’t pull their weight for the common good. They can’t produce for society.
BECK: If they also reproduce, are we gonna let imbeciles continue reproduce? It’s all the same argument. Once you get into the common good, it’s over. And this is the perversion that every minister, pastor, priest, bishop — every single person in America, every rabbi should be at the pulpit saying the same thing — get away from anyone who talks about the common good. Because the common good — if you put that first, and you reject individual — you are headed for the death camps.
Jews for Justice has for several months been “actively engaging those who present scapegoats and demagoguery in response to the problems Americans face” by directly addressing both the Tea Party movement and Glenn Beck. To Beck’s most recent accusation, Greer replied:
Beck’s reflexive hatred for government is rejected by Americans of all backgrounds, who have seen the powerful role government can play in providing us with greater freedom, security, and opportunity. I am proud of the work we do at Jewish Funds for Justice, where our belief that we are all made in the image of the divine compels us to petition private enterprise, charities, and yes, the government, to do their part to ensure our shared divinity.