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ReVision

Not the Revival We Need

The Fox News network is the most powerful and influential cable news network in the world. Two of its star commentators, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, are near the top of their field. Each of them commands a large following, both on television and through talk radio; each is devoted to a conservative political agenda; and there is in the programming of each them an overtone of revival that, we might think, would cheer a revival-hungry heart like mine.

But it does not. The view of revival hawked by Glenn Beck is misguided and misleading, and the self-serving way that Sean Hannity promotes revival is flatly offensive.

Beck's program on Fox News is routinely filled with all kinds of God-talk, especially when he harangues his audience about the faith of America's founders. He has even created icons of three of the founders with the words, "faith, hope, and charity", inscribed beneath them. Beck wants a revival of the civil religion that became the faith of America early in the 19th century and survived until the 60s. He's not really interested in a genuine revival of God's Spirit in His Church.

Hannity has a vulgar way, in "comforting" his audience, of saying "let not your heart be troubled" as he smiles his reassuring smile (Sean has landed; the situation is well in hand), as though Sean Hannity were the key to overcoming our present fears and discovering the way to a new future.

I find each of these men offensive, misleading, and misguided - which is not to say that I don't agree with much of what they preach. America does not need a revival of civil religion, and we don't need demagogic pundits who think their latest book is the answer to all our needs to rally us toward a conservative political renaissance.

America needs genuine revival, and genuine revival is God's work, which we must seek from Him in prayer. For if we do not, we will not be revived, and, given the state of things economically and morally in this weary land, not even a conservative renaissance will stay the hand of judgment against us.

T. M. Moore
T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore

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