BECK’S FAVORITE RABBI…. Before the show at the Lincoln Memorial could get underway, deranged media personality Glenn Beck helped get the festivities started last night with a “Divine Destiny” religious revival meeting at DC’s Kennedy Center. He was joined by the Republican Party’s favorite rabbi.
Tonight, at his “Divine Destiny” religious revival, Glenn Beck hosted right-wing Rabbi Daniel Lapin — presumably as part of his effort to “restore honor.”
If restoring honor was the goal, Beck probably should have picked a more credible rabbi.
Daniel Lapin isn’t exactly a household name, but in conservative and religious-right circles, he’s extremely well known as a go-to guy — when the right needs a rabbi to bolster its agenda, Lapin is ready to lend a hand, no matter how odious the request. (In one of my favorite examples, radical TV preacher Pat Robertson wrote a book based on post-World War I anti-Semitic conspiracy theory tracts. Robertson sought cover from a Jewish leader, and Lapin obliged.)
Lapin really made his name with the Jack Abramoff Republican lobbying scandal.
Abramoff had been nominated for membership in the Cosmos Club, an exclusive social organization in the nation’s capital. He was worried. Most members have received prestigious awards, and Abramoff lamented that he had not. Would it be possible, Abramoff asked Lapin in an e-mail, for Lapin’s group, Toward Tradition, to bestow an award upon him? Abramoff sought “something like Scholar of Talmudic studies” and noted that it would “be even better if it were possible that I received these in years past.”
In other words, Abramoff sought awards that he had not earned — and wanted them back dated. Lapin was happy to comply.
In 2005, the Washington Post explained that Lapin had perfected a type of theological prostitution: “For conservatives searching for biblical foundations for their political positions, Lapin is validation from the original source. His specialty is finding support in the Torah for what turns out to be the current Republican platform: lower taxes, decreased regulation, pro-traditional family policies.”
And Beck partnered with this guy as part of an effort to “restore honor.”
At some point, hopefully in the near future, some of the well-intentioned folks who’ve been caught up in this Beck nonsense may realize they’ve been taken in by a carnival huckster selling snake-oil. They’ll feel a little humiliated, which will be the appropriate reaction.
Update: Oh, and don’t forget that the radical Rev. John Hagee was also on hand to help Beck “restore honor.” He’s the end-times preacher who said Hurricane Katrina should be blamed on gay people.