Glenn Beck: Hurricane Irene is a 'blessing'
Glenn Beck appeared to be echoing Mormon doctrine on preparing for adversity.
August 27th, 2011
09:44 PM ET

Glenn Beck: Hurricane Irene is a 'blessing'

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Conservative radio host Glenn Beck told listeners Friday that Hurricane Irene, the Category 1 storm that’s working its deadly way up the Eastern Seaboard, is “a blessing from God.”

Beck has long urged his fans to stockpile food in their homes in anticipation of a global food disruption. He said Irene should be construed as a divine warning for those who have ignored that advice.

Here’s Beck on his show Friday:

How many warnings do you think you’re going to get, and how many warnings do you deserve? This hurricane that is coming thorough the East Coast, for anyone who’s in the East Coast and has been listening to me say ‘Food storage!’ ‘Be prepared!’

… If you’ve waited, this hurricane is a blessing. It is a blessing. It is God reminding you — as was the earthquake last week — it’s God reminding you you’re not in control. Things can happen. Be prepared and be someone who can help others so when disaster strikes, God forbid, you’re not panicking.

The Washington Post reports that in encouraging home stockpiling, Beck, a convert to Mormonism, is echoing Mormon church teaching. The church encourages members to build home storehouses of food that could last for at least three months.

According to a website run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the official name of the Mormon church:

Our Heavenly Father created this beautiful earth, with all its abundance, for our benefit and use. His purpose is to provide for our needs as we walk in faith and obedience. He has lovingly commanded us to “prepare every needful thing”… so that, should adversity come, we can care for ourselves and our neighbors and support bishops as they care for others.

The site includes a food storage calculator. To build a three-month supply of food for a family of four, the calculator recommends 300 pounds of “wheat, white rice, corn and other grains” and 60 pounds of “dry beans and other legumes.”

The Post notes that food storage is one pillar of the Mormon emphasis on self-reliance.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Mormonism

soundoff (3,354 Responses)
  1. Jennifer

    Glen Beck is a nut, but food storage is smart. 3 months is far more than you need for a serious hurricane, but it's a really good amount to have if say you lose your job. You are able to cut your grocery bill over that period of time, while you try to get a new job and get back on your feet financial. It's less of your savings that you have to use during that period. I know LDS families that do this, and it's really easy and simple. You buy bulk non-perishables and cycle through them, so your food supply is always on the fresh side. The LDS church also has food canneries in certain cities that focus on a particular item. They're run by volunteers, and people can buy the food for cheap. Houston has a peanut butter factory, and they use this not only to service those who practice food storage, but they have teamed up with the Houston Food Bank, and volunteers can go and can peanut butter for the food bank. I think that's awesome!

    August 27, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
  2. Nosmoht nhoj

    This is just going to turn into a child arguement. People taking a small portion that seems idiotic out of a larger logical picture. I'm sure that you could go and take any great speech and shuffle it up to make it seem like ignorant babble. Glenn Beck is not crazy or ignorant. You people must actually seek for truth rather than believe what you told from someone whom you neither know or should trust. Don't let CNN treat you like sheeple.

    August 27, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
    • PopeJon

      No, no, he is very crazy and extremely ignorant. I have watched his show when he was still on tv. It would have almost been a comedy if I didn't know that people actually take him seriously. Let me repeat that, he is very crazy and extremely ignorant. And if you want to talk about a child argument, if you distrust CNN so much, why are you even wasting your time posting anything on here?

      August 27, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
    • Not JulieMS

      And you let Glenn "Babbling fool" treat you like sheeple.

      August 27, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
    • Spydyee

      I want to reply to the first post so this does not get lost. Glenn Beck is an idiot. The idea of having a supply of food is not. I have been a Latter day Saint for over 20 years. Let me explain the logic behind the food storage and a little more about our emergency preparedness. we believe in self reliance as much a possible. When a person is working they should be building a food storage as best they can. Some families can do this easily while others struggle. 3, 6, 9, or 12 month supplies of food are suggested by the church. The minimum is a 3 month supply and what is on the website.

      Food storage is not for things like Irene. Food storage is for things that trap you in your home or economically make you where you cannot purchase food. Of course those that are stuck in their homes during Irene can benefit from their food storage. However, those evacuated to emergency shelters cannot. Food storage is great during winter snow and ice storms. However, the primary purpose is not for short term relief. The primary purpose for food storage is to lessen the blow of unemployment whether it is from job loss, disability, or death of the primary income earner. Food storage is to make sure you eat until your situation is afforded some kind of relief from the financial change.

      What will help in a situation like Irene is a 72 hour kit. I have three kids ages 17, 10, and 8. Each small kid has one rolling bag and one backpack. The backpack has toys, books, crayons, paper, pens, and pencils. The rolling suitcase has 3 changes of clothes including socks and underwear. There is also a toiletry bag in the suitcase that holds their soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, brush, hair ties and bows for my daughter, and a towel and washcloth. The suitcase also has 3 small water bottles and some granola bar snacks for each child.

      The teenager and his dad each have a backpack. One is filled with food and water and the other is filled with their clothes and toiletries. The trade carrying these when we walk. Whoever is carrying the clothing backpack also pulls the blanket suitcase. it contains one blanket per person in space bags and one large blanket to put on the floor for everyone to sit, lay, or play on in the shelter.

      I carry the important family papers like birth certificates, marriage license, church records, insurance policies, and other family papers. These go in the back pack with my laptop. I carry my clothes and toiletries in a rolling suitcase along with my son's laptop.

      We have had the opportunity to use these on two different occasions in the past 8 years when we have been evacuated from our homes. The first time we could leave in the van so we loaded more of our water and food before we left but we still had to be out in under 15 minutes before the smoke cloud with the chemical in it reached our home. it took us 8 minutes and 39 seconds to pack 3 kids, our 72 hour kits,and extra food and water into the van. The kids were asleep when the officers knocked on our door and told us be out in 15 minutes before the second set of officers arrive. They tagged our home and told us that we could not remain nor could we return until the tags were removed.

      Last year we had a walk out situation. A construction worker on a backhoe cut into a natural gas line in our next door neighbor's yard. We could not crank our car because of its proximity to the gas leak. It took us under 5 minutes to get everyone's 72 hour kits distributed, backpacks on, and us out the door. We walked the two blocks to our church and stayed there until the police called us with the all clear 10 hours later. We had a great time eating the goodies in our bags.

      If we had needed to stay away overnight we had enough cash to get a hotel for up to two nights. We are admonished to keep some cash on us in our 72 hour kits because if the power is off so are the ATMs.
      These are some basic self reliance measures in case of an emergency. If we are self reliant then we relieve the strain on an already overburdened governmental system that needs to focus on those that cannot be self reliant including members of our church. If 75% of our membership here in the US meet these basic requirements that means that 4,125,000 people will not need food stamps for at least 3 months after losing a job. It also means that those very same people would not need food or water for the first 72 hours of a disaster. Think of it. In case of a major nationwide natural disaster over 4 million people will be able to care for themselves for at least 72 hours if they are forced from their homes on foot. Over 4 million people will be able to survive for at least 3 months if they can stay in their homes. How much of a relief that will be on the charities and government agencies that have to help after natural disasters.

      Glen is an idiot. I hate to even tell people I am a Latter Day Saint any more because of him. However, emergency preparedness is a good sound practice.

      August 28, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  3. Shep Smith

    The real blessing was when Fox cancelled Beck's show. What a nut.

    August 27, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
    • JP

      Too much of a wack-job for FNC... that speaks volumes by itself

      August 27, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
  4. mark in nyc

    irene....please take direct aim at this tool and finish him off once and for all. THAT would be the ultimate blessing.

    August 27, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
    • Bertrum Redneck

      Now that would be divine intervention!!

      August 27, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
  5. JP

    People pray to God after a disaster, never questioning why he would send them a hurricane/earthquake/tsunami in the first place. Sorry Glenn, you have no clue what God intends–it's all a myth to begin with

    August 27, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
  6. David

    Not a blessing to the people who died. God must hate them!

    August 27, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
  7. angryirish

    It's one thing to have "God speak through you," it's quite another to "interpret for God."

    August 27, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • JP

      Is it? One level of make-believe against another?

      August 27, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
  8. mark in nyc

    irene....please aim directly at this doosh tool and finish him off once and for all. THAT would be considered a blessing.

    August 27, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • Cell


      August 27, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
  9. Joshua

    As we saw with katrina, the government can't and won't save you.

    Good luck with your unpreparedness and lack of self sufficiency.

    August 27, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • David

      Actually the government helped them very well. Some of the New Orleans Katrina survivors are still living in Houston and the government is still paying for their rent, food, etc. Epic Fail comment by you.

      August 27, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
    • JP

      That's funny... FEMA is the first place the whole East Coast is turning to for help, even those Repub's who swear gov't is the problem

      August 27, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
    • Pravda

      Exactly how is a large supply of food helpful when you have to leave it in your flooded home for weeks?

      August 28, 2011 at 1:18 am |
  10. Jose Wan Sekiavich

    Wow, at one time I thought Glenn Beck had something worthy to say but he's getting about as nutty as Pat Robertson.

    August 27, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
    • JP

      I think the label "Radical cleric" could apply here. It's hardly a term to solely denounce Muslims with.

      August 27, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
  11. Brad

    Very sensitive to the families who have lost loved ones to the storm. Grandiose and egomaniacal...just makes me sad....he has no idea what he's doing.

    August 27, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
  12. Eltrip

    I fail to see how a natural disaster is a blessing. Only a nut job would proclaim this. But for hucksters like this guy, there is no 'bad' publicity.

    August 27, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
  13. Richard Reyman

    Glenn Beck is one sick man...the things he says are indicative of someone with a brain tumor....the way he twists things to fit his teachings...or rather...preachings...is very scary. I thought he was going blind? The sooner the better...this man needs to the see the light for one last time...

    August 27, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
    • JP

      Too bad he's not going mute instead...

      August 27, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
  14. mac jones

    Man he's lost it. LOL

    August 27, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
    • JP

      Did he ever have it?

      August 27, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
  15. Ray H

    This guy is an insensitive, narcissistic, crazy jerk.

    August 27, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
  16. doug

    Two words: Nut job

    August 27, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
  17. Lucy Fur

    I swear to god himself I will punch glen beck in the face if I ever meet him. What a tool

    August 27, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
    • misch

      I will pay money to watch you do it

      August 27, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
    • jdurand

      I'll post your bail...lol

      August 27, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
    • mark in nyc

      bravo, sister.

      August 27, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
  18. Leslie

    Nothing wrong with being self reliant and prepared for anything INCLUDING financial hardship in your own life. Shame on you for dinging him. People like you are the reason why we need FEMA> Take care of yourself and family and not rely on government agencies.

    August 27, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
    • Reason & Logic

      Beck is a kook and you are a kook for defending him.

      August 27, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
    • Jose Wan Sekiavich

      Are you even able to think for yourself at all, or do you just follow everything Glenn Beck says. Do you wait to go to the bathroom until he tells you to? Get a life Leslie and learn how to think on your own. Otherwise, you're just one of the sheep.

      August 27, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
    • regertz

      Frankly, I see this "self-reliance" mantra as a cover for hoarding and a person like you as someone who would happily profiteer on food and water in an emergency. FEMA is simply one good tool used for the nation coming together to help each other. Community, ma'am. Something you may use when you need and spurn when you're lucky enough not to require it.

      August 27, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
    • KittyKatastrophik

      Yeah, that's easy to say when you haven't had your whole existence (including your job) taken away from you in a natural disaster. It must be nice to live without problems.

      August 27, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
    • JP

      When a town gets levelled by a hurricane it's gonna take more than an individual or single family to fix that

      August 27, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
    • Maens

      @Leslie, I agree with you about preparedness. Everyone, Glenn will be Glenn. He was given a podium and an audience so he is using it. I don't agree with all the things he says. (free speech-the American way). However, I love him as a human being. Given a podium we all would have use it not perfectly. Remember "Pobody is Nerfect"

      August 27, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
    • PopeJon

      Sure Leslie, and when when one of these tornadoes that's being spawned from this storm levels your house and scatters your can goods stash in a 3 mile radius all in about 10 seconds, you'll be the first one in line looking for a government hand out. You give the words "human being" a bad name....

      August 27, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
  19. Suresh

    Common, CNN - Anything Glen Beck does is meaningless and self-centered. Please (Please) quit covering him. He is irrelevant to our society. He has made his money and let him sunset. His opinions or commentaries have NOT created ONE useful and meaningful job. Quit hero-worshipping this character.

    August 27, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
    • regertz


      August 27, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
    • kat

      well said Suresh

      August 28, 2011 at 1:37 am |
  20. JakeF

    Glen, I truly mean this...

    Go screw yourself.

    August 27, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
    • Reason & Logic

      Right on. Beck has way overextended his 15 minutes of fame.

      August 27, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
    • Cell

      Too bad he wasn't limited to 15 seconds of fame.

      August 27, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
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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.