Beck: 'I blew it' comparing rabbis to Islamic radicals
Glenn Beck at last summer's 'Restoring Honor' rally.
February 25th, 2011
12:07 PM ET

Beck: 'I blew it' comparing rabbis to Islamic radicals

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Glenn Beck is apologizing for remarks he made on his radio show comparing rabbis from a major Jewish tradition to Islamic radicals, saying, “I was wrong on this and I also apologize for it.”

“In this case I didn’t do enough homework,” Beck told radio listeners on Thursday, while his website said his comments contained “one of the worst analogies of all time.”

On Tuesday, Beck said on his show that “reformed rabbis are generally political in nature.”

“It's almost like Islam - radicalized Islam,” he continued, “in a way to where radicalized Islam is less about religion than it is about politics."

Beck’s comments came after a group of 400 rabbis, many from the Reform movement, took out a full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal blasting him for comments he made about the Holocaust.

Beck, who also hosts a show on Fox News, had aired a radio series about financier George Soros that accused him of collaborating with the Nazis to send Jews to death camps, according to the Jewish Funds for Justice, which sponsored the ad.

Soros is Jewish.

The Reform movement, founded in 19th century Germany, counts a million and a half Jews in North America, according to the Union for Reform Judaism.

Beck sent a letter to the Anti-Defamation League, a group that works to combat anti-Semitism, to apologize for his remarks.

“I was admittedly misinformed on Reform rabbis, and made a horrible analogy that I immediately attempted to clarify - quite honestly, I blew it on this one,” Beck wrote, according to a copy of the letter released by the Anti-Defamation League.

Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham H. Foxman says he accepts Beck’s apology.

“Glenn Beck has shown that he understands how his remarks were offensive and out of line,” Foxman said in a statement Thursday. “We welcome his words of apology and consider the matter closed.”

The Jewish Funds for Justice, meanwhile, said Beck’s apology did not go far enough.

“Glenn Beck’s apology for comparing Reform Judaism to ‘radicalized Islam’ is welcome but incomplete,” the group said in a statement.

“While we are heartened to hear him recognize his ignorance,” the statement continued, “he still has not acknowledged that the letter signed by 400 rabbis and organized by Jewish Funds for Justice represented a cross-section of denominations, including Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and Renewal rabbis."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Holocaust • Judaism

soundoff (1,083 Responses)
  1. Beckinator

    Sometimes I dres up like Glenn and watch his show without my pants

    February 26, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
  2. Beckinator

    I sometimes dress up like Glenn and watch his show in my under-pants!

    February 26, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
  3. Brian

    Bow to the Zionist master.

    February 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  4. GsySgt Hartman

    Whose your daddy numbnuts?

    February 26, 2011 at 9:08 am |
  5. Reality

    G. Beck is a Mormon. He therefore is influenced by his religion that was founded by one of the great con artists of all time. Said con game today has grown into a very large business cult fronting as a religion.

    To wit:

    From: lds-mormon.com/time.shtml (Time Magazine)

    "The first divergence between Mormon economics and that of other denominations is the t-ithe. Most churches take in the greater part of their income through donations. Very few, however, impose a compulsory 10% income tax on their members. Ti-thes are collected locally, with much of the money pas-sed on informally to local lay leaders at Sunday services. "By Monday," says Elbert Peck, editor of Sunstone, an independent Mormon magazine, the church authorities in Salt Lake City "know every cent that's been collected and have made sure the money is deposited in banks." There is a lot to deposit. Last year $5.2 billion in t-ithes flowed into Salt Lake City, $4.9 billion of which came from American Mormons."

    "The Mormons are stewards of a different str-ipe. Their charitable spending and temple building are prodi-gious. But where other churches spend most of what they receive in a given year, the Latter-day Saints employ vast amounts of money in investments that TIME estimates to be at least $6 billion strong. Even more unusual, most of this money is not in bonds or stock in other peoples' companies but is invested directly in church-owned, for-profit concerns, the largest of which are in agribusiness, media, insurance, travel and real estate. Deseret Management Corp., the company through which the church holds almost all its commercial as-sets, is one of the largest owners of farm and ranchland in the country, including 49 for-profit parcels in addition to the Deseret Ranch. Besides the Bonneville International chain and Beneficial Life, the church owns a 52% holding in ZCMI, Utah's largest department-store chain.

    All told, TIME estimates that the Latter-day Saints farmland and financial investments total some $11 billion, and that the church's nont-ithe income from its investments exceeds $600 million. "

    "Members of the church celebrate the Lord's Supper with water rather than wine or gra-pe juice. They believe their President is a prophet who receives new revelations from God. These can supplant older revelations, as in the case of the church's historically most controversial doctrine: Smith himself received God's sanctioning of pol-ygamy in 1831, but 49 years later, the church's President announced its recision. Similarly, an explicit policy barring black men from holding even the lowest church offices was overturned by a new revelation in 1978, opening the way to huge missionary activity in Africa and Brazil. "

    February 26, 2011 at 8:58 am |
  6. Rob

    Beck = tool

    February 25, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
  7. Muneef

    Imam Bukhari
    consciousness of responsibility
    108. A man is the shepherd of his family
    212. Ibn 'Umar reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, "All of you are shepherds and each of you is responsible for his flock. A man is the shepherd of the people of his house and he is responsible. A woman is the shepherd of the house of her husband and she is responsible. Each of you is a shepherd and each is responsible for his flock.
    (Bukhari, Nikah, 91)
    In a hadith reported by Abdullah b. Omar Prophet Muhammad said: "We are all shepherds and we are all responsible for those who are under our hands (i.e. in our flocks). An administrator is a shepherd. The man is the shepherd of the family. A woman is the shepherd of her husband's home and children. We are all shepherds and we all are responsible for our duties as such.
    Search for more with googling (Consciousness of Responsibility – Ismail Hakki Unal
    Consciousness of Responsibility ... the importance of the consciousness of responsibility is emphasized; while attributing responsibility to all sane and ...)lastprophet.

    February 25, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • Muneef

      Realities for all here found to be very interesting and very informative.
      Kindly visit the link;
      [Divisions in our world – Not the Result of Religion-Karen Armstrong talks German journalist, Andrea Bistrich]  .
      Western people have a responsibility for everybody who is suffering in
      the world.
      The divisions in our world are not the result of religion or of
      culture, but are politically based.
      The three religions of Abraham - Judaism, Christianity and Islam -
      can and should be viewed as one religious tradition that went in three
      different directions.  

      February 25, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
  8. J

    "Beck, who also hosts a show on Fox News, had aired a radio series about financier George Soros that accused him of collaborating with the Nazis to send Jews to death camps, according to the Jewish Funds for Justice, which sponsored the ad."
    I'm sorry but George Soros is a Jew turned Nazi during WWII that turned in other Jewish families to the SS for relocation to Concentration Camps where they WERE killed. How can you defend a man you have not done your homework on?

    February 25, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • JR

      and your homework consisted of... listening to and believing BecK? Soros stayed alive during the holocaust. period. his record over the past 60+ years makes it clear to anyone with a brain that he is neither an anti-semite nor a nazi apologist. Beck has no such record of being anything other than a race-baiter.

      February 25, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Flappy

      J. You are the one who has not done your homework. Soros was 13 years old at the time and all he did was deliver pieces of paper he was told to in order to survive. Would you do any different in that situation? Do you seriously think a 13 year old delivery boy masterminded sending jews to their death? Maybe you should cross reference some of your "facts". If you use Beck as a source of information you will very often end up looking foolish.

      February 25, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
  9. Colvinatch

    So Mr.Beck can say any hate filled anti-semetic racist thing that pops into his head and when he is called out on it then it's mea culpa time and everythign is ok. What a loser.

    February 25, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  10. james

    Glenn beck is an idiot! How any rational human being finds him anything but offensive, dangerous and plain idiotic is beyond me. God help our country if people believe in Beck.

    February 25, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  11. Anthony

    Glenn Beck is nothing more than a bigot who has an audience who does not see him for what he really is. Sad that even in this day and age the gullible stil believe in this nonsense.

    February 25, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  12. G.W.Bush

    I started AIDS!!!

    February 25, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  13. David

    Glenn Beck is vigorously pro-Israel, has visited the Holy Land and often interviews a Rabbi on his show. I heard his comments live when he made them, and I winced. Even his staff jumped in to say, "that's going to be taken out of context." And, of course, it was. Very little of what you read in this story is accurate, but Glenn did apologize for painting a particular movement with much too broad a brush. Like he said, that was ignorant. The end.

    February 25, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  14. SteveTx44

    I just love how people hear the word "rabbi" and they immediately assume it is referring to a Godly, righteous, and authoritative individual, who walks closely with God. But, in fact, these so-called and mostly self-proclaimed "rabbis" hardly meet the qualification of the word. No more do I qualify as being called a tree because I am standing in my front yard do these interesting characters qualify as rabbis. In fact, it is more easy to compare them to those that Moses was a little angry with when he descended that mountain then to raise these so-called rabbis onto the pedestal their so self-serving nature desires. Glenn Beck has apologized for "one of the worst analogies of all time" and for "not doing his homework" before commenting on the full page ad. Apology accepted, in my book.

    February 25, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • OhSuzieQ

      Steve Tx, I'm with you!

      February 25, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • JR

      so when the guy in the seat behind you on the plane bangs into your seat and apologizes that makes it OK. and then he does it again and apologizes. OK? How about the third, fourth or tenth time? at what point do his apologies ring hollow? at what point do you start considering him an inconsiderate ay whole?

      February 25, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • Flappy

      Steve. I am confused. Are you a rabi or a tree? You accepted Gelnn Beck's apology so you must be a rabi since they were the one's insulted. On the other hand you blog a lot on the internet which I imagine someone pro tree might do since it saves paper. Please clarify so I can figure out if I should rebutt or endorse you.

      February 25, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
  15. Todd the Secessionist

    He look's really cool when he dresses up like Ernst Rohm.

    February 25, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  16. G.W.Bush

    Hey, y'all! Cut this guy a bit of slack. He only meant the Sand People are in some ways like the Money Grubbers. This is America, where wings take dream.

    February 25, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  17. fromtheblueline

    Let us not forget other propagators of hate:

    Racism is unexceptable, unless of course the RACIST is a DEMOCRAT.

    Franklin "Lock up the J@ps" Roosevelt, Bill "this guy would have been getting us coffee" Clinton, Robert "Kleagle" Byrd, Hugo Black, Joe "He's Clean" Biden, Dan "Buckwheats" Rather, Dick "Metro South Citizens Council" Gephardt, Andrew "racial contract" Cuomo, Al "I oppose the Civil Rights Act" Gore, Sr, Harry "N3gro Dialect" Reid.

    February 25, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • Flappy

      Racism is always unacceptable. What is your point exactly? Are you saying it is okay for Glenn Beck to be racist because someone else is? That is a poor defense.

      February 25, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • Brian, San Francisco, CA

      Obviously, you don't have children or you would have learned that "But Dad... he started it" isn't a good defense and the only response is "I don't care who started it–you're going to finish it!"

      February 25, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
  18. Sam

    Glen Beck is off-the-wall insane. I'm stunned anyone listens to a word he says.

    February 25, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • tommas

      You truly underestimate how many fearful little sheep their are in this country.

      February 26, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
  19. Phillip

    Why is it, these days, that people get so offended by words? There's always someone whining in the media about how they're so offended by the comments of this guy or that bloke blah blah. Doesn't anyone remember 'sticks and stones' anymore? Granted, Glen Beck is an idiot – but shouldn't that make his words LESS offensive? I mean, I know for sure that if some guy, with the IQ of a turtle, that I never met, made a few comments about how I was similar to something unappealing it wouldn't bother me in the least bit. Doesn't this whole thing show a lack of self confidence? Hey, don't call me fat and ugly – I want public apology or i'm guna tell momma. Stop whining. Of course this post will probably result in the demand for a public apology from me.

    February 25, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Ron

      Words have meanings and consequences, and when you get a clown like Beck saying these things they are taken as the Gospel by his legions of followers, you would be amazed at how often I hear someone tell me that "It's a Fact" "I heard in form Glenn Back and he has people that research these things extensively!" This takes an ominous turn when Religion is involved, just look at the what is being stated as fact about American Muslims today.

      February 26, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
  20. DoodleSheep

    Like he ever does any homework.

    February 25, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.