An evangelical leader in Washington called on Christians to boycott Glenn Beck, a week after the Fox News personality told his audience that "social justice," the term many churches use to describe their efforts to address poverty and human rights, is a "code word" for communism and Nazism.
On his "God's Politics" blog
, the Rev. Jim Wallis urged Christians to switch off Beck's popular radio and television programs for good because of his comments about social justice.
Beck told Christians to discuss the term with their priests and pastors and to leave their churches
if leaders would not reconsider their emphasis on social justice.
"I don't know if Beck is just strange, just trying to be controversial, or just trying to make money," wrote Wallis, who heads the antipoverty group Sojourners. "But in any case, what he has said attacks the very heart of our Christian faith, and Christians should no longer watch his show."
Wallis wasn't the only one Beck offended, The New York Times
With his comments Mr. Beck, in vilifying churches that promote "social justice," managed to insult just about every mainline Protestant, Roman Catholic, African-American, Hispanic and Asian congregation in the country -- not to mention plenty of evangelical ones.
Even Mormon scholars in Mr. Beck's own church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said in interviews that Mr. Beck seemed ignorant of just how central social justice teaching was to Mormonism.
"I beg you, look for the words 'social justice' or 'economic justice' on your church Web site," Beck said last week. " If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes!"
Later, Beck held up cards
, one with a hammer and sickle and the other with a swastika. "Communists are on the left, and the Nazis are on the right. That's what people say. But they both subscribe to one philosophy, and they flew one banner. . . But on each banner, read the words, here in America: 'social justice.' They talked about economic justice, rights of the workers, redistribution of wealth, and surprisingly, democracy."
Beck hasn't commented on the boycott.