THIS WEEK IN GOD…. First up from the God Machine this week is the latest faith-based assault from Fox News’ Glenn Beck, who’s already blasted Islam and Catholicism’s commitment to “social justice” in the recent past. This week, it was Judaism’s turn.

Last month, 400 rabbis signed an open letter from Jewish Funds For Justice to Rupert Murdoch requesting that Glenn Beck be sanctioned for his false claims that George Soros collaborated with the Nazis.

Today, rather than apologizing, Beck lashed out at the rabbis. Beck falsely claimed that “all” of the rabbis who signed the letter came from the Reform movement of Judaism. Beck asserted that Reform Judaism is “more about politics” than about faith. Beck went on to liken Reform Judaism to “radicalized Islam.”

Making matters slightly worse, in addition to the attacks, Beck three times referred to “reformed” Jews, as opposed to the accurate “reform” Jews.

A day later, the Anti-Defamation League condemned Beck’s “bigoted ignorance,” describing his remarks as “highly offensive and outrageous.” The ADL’s Abe Foxman concluded, “Glenn Beck has no business discounting the faith of any people, and he should think twice before commenting on something he doesn’t know much about. He owes the Reform movement an apology.”

The deranged media personality ultimately agreed. “I was wrong on this … and I apologize for it,” Beck told his minions on Thursday. “In this case I did not do enough homework. Somebody has called me ignorant for what I said on Tuesday, and I think that’s a pretty good description of what I said.”

Also from the God Machine this week:

* Two right-wing lawmakers in Tennessee want to make it a felony to follow the Islamic code known as Sharia law. Specifically, state Sen. Bill Ketron (R) and state Rep. Judd Matheny (R) empower the state attorney general to investigate complaints and decide who’s practicing Sharia, even in their own personal lives. If approved, the proposal would obviously violate the First Amendment, and its existence only reinforces suspicions that hysterical conservatives don’t know what Sharia is. Imam Mohamed Ahmed of the Islamic Center of Nashville said, “What do you mean, really, by saying I can’t abide by Shariah law? Shariah law is telling me don’t steal. Do you want me to steal and rob a bank?”

* A hate crime conviction in Texas: “A Texas man pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime charge on Wednesday, admitting that he set fire to playground equipment at the Dar El-Eman Islamic Center in Arlington in July 2010.” Henry Clay Glaspell, 34, did a series of other disgusting things, motivated entirely by his bigotry, and is the 50th person to be prosecuted for hate crimes towards Arab and Muslim Americans since 9/11.

* And presidential hopeful Rick Santorum (R) said this week that the Crusades got a bad rap. “The idea that the Crusades and the fight of Christendom against Islam is somehow an aggression on our part is absolutely anti-historical,” Santorum told a South Carolina audience. “And that is what the perception is by the American left who hates Christendom.” Conservative Jonathan Tobin argued that Santorum is right about the left hating everyone, but also explained that when it comes to history and the Crusades, Santorum has no idea what he’s talking about. (thanks to D.J. for the tip.)

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.