Apr
23

My Battle with Glenn Beck

By

In mental toughness training, we talk about the importance of logic-based, rational thinking devoid of emotion. Political pundit and talk radio host turned TV superstar Glenn Beck appears to be a serious student of U.S. History, but can’t seem to remove emotion from his decision making process. Yesterday I wrote a letter to Mr. Beck asking him to please stop blending his political comments with his religious beliefs. Invoking God and organized religion into an argument on the current administrations policies clouds the message and damages the credibility of the thought leader. I asked Mr. Beck to reserve his religious beliefs for Sunday service and ground his political philosophy in logic. Please watch this post and give us your opinion. America is at a crossroads, and we need every voice to speak out while we still have the freedom to do so. As always, I’ll look forward to a highly spirited, yet civil debate.   Steve Siebold

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Comments

  1. Bert says:

    To Karlo,

    Thanks for replying. Your answers prompted more questions. You said, “From my own experience…we create our own reality.”

    Isn’t it dangerous to base beliefs about what is true based on experience? Place one hand in hot water, the other in cold, then place both in a bucket of room temperature water and each hand will feel opposite their previous state.

    The Mayans used to believe it was their drumbeat which awakened the Sun to rise each morning. Their experience was that A preceded B, therefore A caused B.

    Steve makes another kind of error in “177 Mental Toughness Secrets” in #5, where he confuses Truth and Belief. He says ‘Fact is reality’ and ‘Truth is our perception of reality.’ Tell me if this is something you agree with.

    Steve would be better saying, ‘Truth is reality, and belief is our perception of reality.’

    Without Truth being reality, everyone has the same claim of truth. That renders truth useless. And since we know certain things are true, the proposition that truth is subjective isn’t a valid claim. It has to be wrong.

    A whole generation of folks have been indoctrinated to post-modernism. This yields the ‘There is no truth’, only a narrative that manifests itself in statements like, “What’s true for you is true for you.”

    Sure we give meaning to experience. No experience has meaning without interpretation. But we have to be careful about calling our experiences true. They are a belief, which as we know can correspond to truth – or not.

    As to the ‘challenging beliefs’ answer: If as you say you come to truth after experience and after challenging your beliefs, then truth is still dependent upon you. If you have enough experience and if you challenge yourself enough, then you can arrive at truth or at least ‘deeper truth’. How is 2+2 = 4 not true – regardless of what experiences you have or how much you challenge your beliefs?

    I’ve enjoyed our dialogue, and I pray that you will see the truth, for as Jesus said, “I have come to testify to the truth.”

  2. Karlo says:

    To Bert,

    I apologize I have not gotten back to you earlier, been busy. Thank you very much for your questions and I would like to also add thank you for trying to understand my point of view by asking questions. So, to answer your questions…

    “Those that believe in their religion are right and have every right to believe what they want to believe and those that don’t believe are also right.” This seems like you are saying Q is true and not Q is true.

    A: What I am trying to convey is (and maybe there is a better way to say this)
    What ever you believe is true is in direct relation to your current perception of reality. Meaning: we all act in accordance with what we believe constantly, which then forms our perception of what reality is. Those that believe in God will live their life with a different meaning then someone who does not. However, does that mean that a non-believers life also lacks meaning and significance? Speaking from my own experience, my answer to that is this…We create our own reality. I was raised a Christian for most of my life and I was taught to believe in a philosophy in which I never questioned. I just took it as truth. It wasn’t until my mid-twenties until I started questioning my own thinking and I considered asking myself, “why do I believe what I believe?” I never came to these truths on my own I sort of just followed the crowd, you know what I mean? Henry Ford has an awesome quote that kind of sums up what I am trying to say…”Whether you think you can or can’t either way you are right”. This is true for me only based on my own personal experiences. If I believe in God (which I do) then I will only attract situations, people, circumstances that support my own version of reality. The same is true of a non-believer. It’s no different then a liberal turning on Keith Olberman and feeling justified in getting their daily dose of truth then a conservative turning on Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck and getting theirs. Who’s right? and Who is wrong? I hope I am coming through clearly.

    Again, only speaking for myself because that’s really all you can do is speak for yourself; God can only be experienced thru a direct inner personal experience and not experienced thru somebody else’s personal experience.

    Your 2nd question…Karlo, if all our beliefs are equally valid, then why would we need to challenge them?

    A: Again, excellent question! I challenge my beliefs all of the time, not cause i am being wishy-washy but because I want to be as introspective as I possibly can. A belief is nothing more then a repeated thought, so essentially we are able to create anything to become a truth it’s just a matter of saying to yourself over and over again. The point I am trying to make by saying challenge your beliefs is I believe you will find a deeper meaning and a deeper seeded truth by doing so. Once I was able to come to my own truths based on my own reflection WITHOUT the influence of others then I was able to take total responsibility for my truths and it gave my life new found meaning. It could be what you believed before you still believe it but you now have a stronger connection to your beliefs because you came to them on your very own without anyone else telling you what they think is right or wrong. It has been the most incredible life lesson I have learned up to this point in my young 31yrs of age. I am not trying to teach philosophy here just providing a different perspective in hopes that it will help people find deeper meaning to what they believe to be true about the life they have chosen and the results are without a doubt positively significant. I believe you understand me sincerely because you at least asked questions to further understand a different point of view other then your own and this world would be a much more connected place if more people would attempt to put themselves in the other person’s shoes before they jump to their conclusions of what is true, and what is right and wrong.

    Anyhow, I appreciate your time and please provide feedback and ask anymore questions as I to am learning from you. Have a great night and God bless.

  3. Paul Armenat says:

    Steve,

    I recall reading that within 2 years of signing the Constitution, the founding fathers installed a Senate chaplain. I am guessing that this chaplain did not serve for free. Why did this happen? If you do some digging, you will find that most of the founding fathers were Christians although some of them were deists. The founding fathers did not want to keep God out of the public square which includes the political square, they just didn’t want one Christian denomination to impose itself on the state.

  4. Bert says:

    To Karlo,

    Your post confused me to no end. Would you mind answering me a couple questions?

    You said, “Those that believe in their religion are right and have every right to believe what they want to believe and those that don’t believe are also right.” This seems like you are saying Q is true and not Q is true.

    And then you said, “…there is a better way to live our lives if only we are willing to choose to challenge our beliefs.”

    Karlo, if all our beliefs are equally valid, then why would we need to challenge them?

  5. Karlo Salgado says:

    Steve,

    This is and will always be a heated debate. There is no doubt that there is a shift in consciousness taking place in the world right now and it is our perception of God that I believe will inevitably change. Now please let me be clear that I do believe in a Higher Power whether you call it God, Allah, Yahweh, Jehovah, Jesus, The Holy Spirit, Source, Energy, Soul, Spirit, Inner Being, Higher Self, it doesn’t matter what you call it, as philosopher Alan Watts once said, “You can’t get wet from the word water”-meaning water is not water because we call it water, water is what it is and you have to experience it directly. The same is true of God. Only thru direct personal experience can you know if such a power exists. it is impossible to experience it secondhand. Then again, this is the overall dilemma with religion. We are believing what someone else has told us and yet never really experiencing it for ourselves. The reason I believe people on this blog or everyone for that matter will defend their religious beliefs to the core is because like me, it was the ego in me that was being threatened which in turn fueled my fire to feel justified in defending my religious position. “If you are right, then I could be wrong”-is what the underlying tone was causing my insecurity. This lead me to debate and argue my views almost every time to the point of a serious verbal confrontation. Many people may not get to that extreme but none the less you believe others are wrong for not seeing it like you, and let’s face it right now during these times it is clear many people do not see the world as it is but rather as they have been conditioned to see it.

    Now with that being said “organized religion” is at a crossroads in our society right now. Myself being someone that used to label himself a Christian I came to a point in my life that there has to be more then this arguing, defending and drama stuff. It seems to me that when people talk about religion it is always something that has to be argued and defended, because that’s where I was. For this country to move to the next level the solution is we must raise consciousness. Those that believe in their religion are right and have every right to believe what they want to believe and those that don’t believe are also right. So, then who is wrong? There is a dichotomy here which is why both sides will fight tooth and nail in order to feel right. Contemporary Religion believes that the more you remove “God” from society, society as a whole will begin to collapse which in turn causes fear. The non-believers will also argue that religion is constantly being shoved down our throats and just the same the end result is fear of being a non-believer in an overwhelmingly believing world. Both sides are valid concerns. It will only be until we raise the collective consciousness of our society that we will see an end to this seemingly never-ending dualistic philosophy.

    To give a great quote by renowned author Dr. Wayne Dyer, “Everything you are for empowers you. Everything you are against weakens you”. What this means to me in political terms is being to far to the left or right is unhealthy. By being so against the other side you actually become what it is you are fighting against only in it’s extreme polar opposite. Hence, the current administration’s seemingly extreme agenda only to be combated by an aggressive tea party movement that is also behaving extreme and portraying acts of racism and hate. The separation of church and state is just what it reads “literally” there is a reason for this. We are no longer just a Christian nation anymore. The face and culture of America has evolved. If you look at it religiously, we are also a Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Mormon, Agnostic and Atheist nation as well. I have learned so much from all of these belief systems only thru the process of accepting their views while simultaneously challenging my own beliefs with an open mind. This is the beauty of living in this country coupled with a desire for personal growth. You will find only when a person can open his heart and mind thru the process of raising his/her awareness thru conscious growth can we accept the present “what is” of our society. This means acceptance without fear. I believe that we are still maybe a generation from that realization, but there is none the less something brewing in the air in these present moments.

    This country has changed drastically and for the leaders of this country to not acknowledge this obvious change we will cease to grow to a higher level of awareness of ourselves and more importantly each other. We are so much better then this and capable of raising the bar higher then it’s ever been raised before if we could just learn to listen, acknowledge and accept each others existence in terms of religious beliefs, way of life, and political ideologies. If we do that then maybe our kids or grand kids will see the day our country will exude a true unified front. Then just maybe “We the people” as a majority could elect a leader that exemplifies not only leadership qualities but conscious awareness as well. I did not respond to this blog to bash anyone’s point of view or defend mine. This is what personal growth and raising consciousness has taught me. I simply believe with all my heart that there is a better way to live our lives if only we are willing to choose to challenge our beliefs. It must be done individually, for someone else to do it to you would be no different then a zealot trying to proselytize to you or an Atheist trying to disprove to you that there is a God. Ask yourself, “Why do I believe what I believe?” And challenge your thinking deeply underneath the surface to see if there may be other points of views that may prove beneficial to you. Oh yeah, most importantly…CHECK YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR. I promise you will be surprised at what you discover within yourself. I appreciate all of you that took the time to read this. God bless.

  6. Edgar Z. says:

    I understand why some of you get so frustrated that you need to write 1000 words responses, presumably you have great interest in the church, including your family. In this case your argument is worthless. I have found god, i know who god is. But, that is how far god gets. God does not need to be address in anything else such as politics. reading the blogs i felt like some were attempting to show of their debating skills. There are those who don’t know anything about god. They think god is in the sky. And my opinion on Obama Policy is that i just don’t know enough to talk about that issue.

  7. Brian Kirk says:

    The most destructive and genocidal government ever, the USSR, was atheistic.

  8. Dave says:

    A real church reading the bible should see that the church has little to no relationship with govenment. I see this wrote in “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” And another place Paul mentions how the affairs of state are of no concern for the church. This clearly shows that the bible does not support Church involement in government.
    We are encouraged to pray for our leaders as they have been placed there by the will and fore knoweldge of God.
    Bad leadership is better than no leadership as none would cause anarchy. Maybe we need to pray more for our leaders.
    Anyone watching Glenn Beck can see the show is not raw news but rather editorialized events and observations. I watch Beck from time to time and appreciate his passion and many of the ideas and pricipals he promotes.
    The bible is the source of many of our laws as in murder, stealing, false witness etc and is ok as a discussional reference.
    I agree religion in politics can be a disaster after all the most religious people petitioned to have Jesus crucified and the governor was afraid of his Diety Cesar finding disent as well.

  9. Bob says:

    I like your mental discipline concepts, Steve, but you’re sounding an awful lot like Bill Maher here. Everyone is entitled to their opinion for sure, but organized religion typically promotes a foundation of morality and decency. Our founding fathers trusted in God. Whether you believe in a god or not does not change the fact that the greatest government the world has ever known was based on principles of morality and decency. The more people try to remove those fundamentals from government, the less structural integrity it has… and it will surely fall… as all others devoid of that foundation have.

    There is a difference between right and wrong and legal and not legal. Lawyers will always find loopholes and ways to get their way, regardless of right and wrong. That’s what they do… and our government is too full of people with that kind of thinking.

    • Steve says:

      Bob,
      Thanks for your comments. Interesting you mention Bill Maher. I don’t always agree with him, but I study what he say’s because he’s smart. Maher is a Harvard educated multimillionaire with the guts to express his opinion, and I respect him for that. Many of my clients and friends refused to watch his documentary on organized religion, (Religulous) and that’s a mistake. Maher’s stance on religion in the movie is “I don’t know”. Yes, he makes fun of some of the stories in the Bible that most biblical scholars agree are metaphors; but he’s respectful to people who present intelligent opposition to his point of view. Bob, I don’t know if Maher is right or wrong. I do know he’s smart, and for that reason, I study him. That’s what mental toughness and critical thinking is all about. Thanks again for your comment.

  10. Laura Ingraham and Bill O’Reilly are two commentators who speak clearly of issues without using religion in their discourse.

    Obviously there’s strong opinions on this thread regarding Steve’s assertion that Beck should keep out the religion because it dilutes the message and is counter productive to “his” or a right agenda.

    “You are right that Beck is marginalized. But doesn’t that say more about the critic than the criticized?” Bert

    I’d say both – not one more than the other.

    Thoughts?

    Mike

  11. Bert says:

    Steve,

    Actually you make numerous mistakes. One was the error about Obama’s administration spending more than any administration in history.

    Actually FDR’s administration at the peak of government spending topped 116% of GDP.

    The clear difference was that FDR’s spending was a sort of investment with a payoff. The rest of the producing world was involved in war. Post war, the U.S. had a virtual productive monopoly for many years. This is a luxury we no longer have, and which makes the kind of political patronage spending done by Obama both ineffective and long-term dangerous.

    Your errors regarding the doctrine of separation of church and state hampers your thinking quite a bit. That you don’t admit your own negative bias toward religion is quite a bit more troubling. If you are interested in world class thinking on this issue, please read Dr. Daniel Dreisbach’s “Thomas Jefferson and the Wall of Separation Between Church and State”. He is probably the foremost academic authority on this subject. He teaches at American University.

    One additional point to argue is your assignation of a Modus Operandi of religion as fear mongering. Actually it is carrot and stick.

    “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” John 3:16
    Do you see the carrot and stick? Perhaps you can factor that into your thinking….

    I can appreciate the depth to which you abhor Obama’s policies. They are destructive to say the least. Let’s work hard to make sure that if the GOP gets another chance at governance, they do so wisely.

    The call to mental toughness should go out to all citizens, to hold both their GOP and Democrat candidates to common sense and principled solutions.

    Your admonition to Beck (I invoke the principle of charity and accept as true your given reason) might be politically effective, but it would be asking him to give up his principles.

    “But he that denies me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.”
    Luke 12:9

    For him to divorce his thoughts from his religion would be to deny his love of his creator (Champions Remember their roots # 22). It would not be showing gratitude (Mental Toughness secret 11) and it would be caving into fear of losing his position of authority. (Champions never bow to criticism # 23).

    You are right that Beck is marginalized. But doesn’t that say more about the critic than the criticized?

    Read Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena” speech for context.

    Thanks,
    Bert

  12. Steve says:

    Jay,
    If a post like this offends you this much, you should throw my books out. Mental toughness and critical thinking are not for the easily offended. That’s why we call it “Mental Toughness”. If you’ve studied my work at all, you know the masses are threatened by any idea, philosophy, or ideology that’s different from their own because it frightens them and threatens the way they make sense of the world. If you’re interested, listen to my February 5th podcast entitled: Sex, Politics and Religion: Why the Masses Attack. http://mentaltoughnessblog.com/?p=251 This post is based on 26 years of research with behavioral psychologists.
    My post about Glenn Beck is not about religion. It’s about keeping the message clear. I’m trying to stop Beck from being labeled a “far-right extremist” by liberals, which they are already starting to do. That’s what political operatives do. Their job is to marginalize anyone on the opposing side who starts to gain what they call “voice-share”, or influence on the public. Since the majority of Americans are “center-right” and not “far-right”, its smart strategy to persuade people that pundits like Beck don’t represent their views and should be seen as radicals. That’s what I was fired up about. Politics is a tough game, and religion is used as a tool on both sides of the aisle. It shouldn’t be, but it is. I’ve seen it up close, all the way to the White House. For the last 12 years, I’ve had a backstage pass to national politics and religion, including being appointed to a select committee by President Bush after 9/11. I’ve seen the corruption and manipulation of the masses in Washington and in the Church. I didn’t read this in a book; I’ve experienced it first hand from leaders sitting across board room tables and backstage in green rooms, convention halls, and TV and radio stations across the country. If most people had any idea what happens behind the scenes in religious and political circles, they would be shocked. But they never will. Most simply do what they’re told to do and believe what they’re told to believe, and few of them will challenge their leaders. These are smart people, but they’re operating only on the information their leaders and institutions want them to know. People in power have controlled the masses with this strategy since the beginning of time. It’s all based on fear, because that’s what the masses respond to. Whether it’s government threatening them to comply (to laws) at the point of a gun, or religious doctrine threatening them with burning in hell. They use fear because fear works. Always has, always will. That’s why fear-based leaders are afraid of independent thinkers. Anyone who has the courage to challenge their fear-based tactics, and subsequently gains a following that believes the same way will be targeted and sometimes even eliminated. History is full of examples. Isn’t that why Christ was crucified? He was gaining far too much popularity. That scared the leadership, so they publically tortured and killed him as an example to the masses, and it worked.
    I want to defeat Obama’s socialist agenda before its too late, and while Beck is gaining voice-share fast, he loses control of his emotions on a regular basis and it kills his credibility. And bringing in religion makes him more emotional and susceptible to be labeled an extremist. The left is out to destroy his credibility and I’m not sure he’s politically savvy enough to tighten his message and delivery to avoid it. He’s giving them more ammunition every day. That’s what this post was about.
    I appreciate your passion, Jay. I’ll unsubscribe you to the blog.
    All the best,
    Steve

  13. Religion doesn’t have to be a part of every conversation or problem solving situation and it can get in the way when that zeal discredits ideas and diminishes opening all fields of inquiry.

    No one can deny world view whether religious/spiritual oriented or secular is involved in everything we think and do.

    Thoughts?

    Mike

  14. Brian Kirk says:

    Wow, Jay Rollins. Great points! To anyone who doubts Jay, I would recommend “The Myth of Separation” as reading material (author is David Barton).

    One of the most enlightening tidbits from that book has to do with our doctrine of separation of powers (executive, legislative, judicial branches in federal govt).

    Our constitution’s concept of the separation of powers came from the French philosopher Montesquieu, who was inspired by this passage of scripture… Isaiah 33:22 “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.” Meditating on this passage of scripture, the idea of US separation of powers was conceived.

    Perhaps some judge will strike down the Constitution because it was partly influenced by a religious text? ; )

  15. Jay Rollins says:

    Brian, I admire your courage to speak up, and you make excellent points when you reference Jackson, Sharpton, and helping others stems from and understanding of right and wrong, which is rooted in Godly principles and teachings. I couldn’t agree more.

    Mike, It’s interesting that you are having to explain Steve’s point for him. Regardless, I will say that I think you have made several valid points in this blog, and I appreciate some of your enlightening views.

    Bert, Don’t let Steve fool you. He’s not accurate about the separation of church as state issue. He just thinks he is. He’s read just enough to think he has all the answers, and he’s convinced himself that he’s more logical and smarter than everyone else. I guess he could accuse me of the same thing but I’m giving some significant proof of my points. He just tells you to “do some research”. If he already knows where it says otherwise, why doesn’t he tell you where to go? Yes, Jefferson, did make some comments in his writings about his concern with Religion being in government, but he had far more writings, and more passionate writings, about Government being in religion. Here’s three key points to consider.

    First, It is well documented that our founding fathers were almost unanimously “practicing” men of faith and they recognized the guidance that a strongly rooted faith in God provided, both personally and as a nation. It appears, however, that some, including Jefferson, were struggling with the same challenge the rest of us do. How do you provide enough Religion to give the people some structure and keep Government on the right track, without repeating the problems that happened in Europe, where the Church of England had such influence on Government rule? Jefferson did NOT have the perfect answer so he warned future leaders of too much religious influence on Government in some writings, but MOST of his writings were more about Government not being involved in Religion, not the other way around. Regardless, consistent with their playbook, the liberals love to jump on the few instances that serve their cause, and use it without reference to the other writings and other references to God in virtually everything they established, including government documents, our money, government buildings, monuments, statues, and even our supreme court.

    Second, Steve’s comments about Jefferson imply he was the only one writing our constitution. Even if Steve was correct about Jefferson’s intent, which he’s not, he’s only one man. Many others were involved and their faith is well documented as well.

    Third, Instead of taking writings out of context and guessing what our founders wanted, why don’t we look at the proof that is all around us, like the things I mentioned previously. Steve conveniently didn’t address those, and Frank just responded to my message by attacked “religious people” as a whole, implying we are idiots and are incapable of thinking logically. Sounds like “emotional” rhetoric to me to dodge the real issue. It appears that anything that conflicts with their thinking is simply written off as emotional; that their the intellectuals who are logical. Notice neither made an effort to provide an explanation for why so many obvious and profound references were made to God by our founders including once again, our money (In God We Trust), The “God” reference our Pledge of Allegiance (which has been upheld in recent attempts to get it removed), the courtroom oath for witnesses (Nothing but the truth, so help me God), and every historical monument in DC, INCLUDING the Supreme Court which has Biblical references and statues chiseled in its original stone. I have many more references; too many to include here, but I will add one more. Two Latin words are displayed on the top cap of the Washington Monument. They are Laus Deo, which translates to, “Praise Be To God”. Someone please explain why our founders and previous leaders put all these references to God in plain sight if they intended for religion to have no influence at all on our Government. We are so arrogant to we think we can do it alone. We are but a speck in time and our lives our meaningless without something greater giving our existence purpose.

    So Steve, in case you missed it, the reason Beck makes references to religion is because like it or not, this country was clearly and unmistakable founded on Judeo-Christian values and principles. And when we lived by those principles we thrived as a country, and were the envy of all people and every nation. Beck’s point (as well as my own view) is that the reason our country is falling apart in literally every category is because we have strayed from those principles and values. We stand for nothing, so we fall for anything. Humans have argued since the beginning of time and it’s very clear we as a human race will never completely agree on how to live our lives, which is why we need a guiding message. Government can’t do it becuase Governments are made up of flawed people. Faith is NOT about “bringing us comfort” as you sarcastically implied in your video. It’s about living a life of significance and meaning. Without foundational principles, which Beck draws on from the Bible and his Christian values, his message would be no different than the liberal’s baseless views; just opinion. Beck would still have an opposite opinion, but it would carry no significance, it would just be just an opinion. The scripture and references to God, however, give him structure, history, and sound basis for his arguments. That’s why he combines the two. Are you telling me we would all agree with him (or anyone else) if he would stop mentioning God or religion? If not, then what does he have to gain by taking your advice.

    I’m done with this subject. May God bless everyone!

  16. If selling is a transfer of emotion more than information, then what when it comes to influencing voters? This is one red hot year emotionally and one luke cold year rationally and dispassionately. So how to argue?

    My vision board of intellectual discourse shows a population of voters all speaking in measured, analytically astute and politically as much as historically savvy conversational tones AND media voices all doing the same.

    Steve argues Beck’s religious inclusions cloud his otherwise secular musings about the administration and government actions and that lack of clarity isn’t good if his intention is to have a voting public vote against this administration.

    Thoughts?

    Mike

  17. Brian Kirk says:

    P.S. It’s not a battle if your opponent isn’t engaged. I’d love to see you and Beck go at it on the air!

  18. Brian Kirk says:

    And I mean that in a good way. In a secular world of Darwinism and survival of the fittest, helping the poor, and strangers, and otherwise being “good’ makes no sense. It is only with God and theology (the logic of God) that we can even make value judgments like good & bad, right & wrong.

  19. Brian Kirk says:

    P.S. The First Amendment places restrictions on the government, not on the religious (or non religious).

    Glenn is doing just fine competing in the marketplace of ideas.

    Are you going to tell Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to leave their faith at the door? They might argue that Jesus’s words about helping the poor is what animates them. Hardly logical. In fact, the words of Christ on this and other matters is anything but “logical.”

  20. Brian Kirk says:

    Steve – I thought moral relativists were all about tolerance? Apparently not.

  21. Steve says:

    Bert,
    Thanks for your comments, but you are incorrect. There are no factual errors in this post. The separation of church and state is a about keeping religion out of government and government out of religion. If you watch the video, you’ll see that’s the context it was presented in. Do some research and you’ll find out what Jefferson thought about the impact of religion on government and on free thinking. This post has nothing to do with censorship. It has to do with common sense. Beck wants the GOP to regain control. To do that, the message must be clear. Confusing people by mixing religious emotional messages with political strategy is a train wreck. If the GOP and it’s political puppets in the media keep going down this road Obama will be a two term President. Can you imagine what America will look like in 2017 if that happens? Thats my main concern, and the reason for the post. Thanks again for your comments.

  22. Albert Camus, Ayn Rand, Soren Kierkegaard, Rienhold Niebuhr, C. S. Lewis to name a few – these are writers, thinkers with different world views all passionate about their beliefs and holistic in expressing them in religious or non religious terms as they relate to political systems, economics, culture, etc.

    They are also as dispassionate as they are passionate – there’s a topic worth exploring, how the these seemingly opposites work together – in presenting their own brands and blends of critical thinking.

    Glenn Beck may or may not be the complex thinker these people were nevertheless what they have in common is that blend of emotional and logical, rational and irrational expression forged together in their own unique responses to living.

    Thoughts?

    Mike

  23. Bert says:

    Steve,

    I didn’t know you endorsed censorship?

    You make so many factual errors in the first 4 minutes I had to stop it right there and just correct one thing, which is a central flaw in your argument.

    You lament Beck’s infusion of religion into his rhetoric and ask why he cannot follow separation of church and state (and stifle himself with the religious talk).

    You really, really need to know the true meaning of that statement.

    The ‘Wall’ of separation Jefferson referred to in his letter to the Danbury Baptists is a one-way wall. It keeps government out of religion’s business to protect citizens’ liberty of religion, not keeping religion out of the government’s business. Jefferson saw no problem with the Federal government engaging in religious activity since public prayer and even using Federal buildings for worship services was a common practice at the time.

    That phrase is not a censorship device to be used by government or even you, Steve. What you are in essence saying to Beck is ‘shut up’ with the religious talk. You certainly have the liberty to express your point of view, but aren’t you really asking for censorship?

    Better to argue, if you can, what he says is wrong, rather than ask him to tie his beliefs behind his back.

  24. Jason says:

    Throwing out Steve’s material? Wow that’s like me throwing out Dave Ramsey’s books because he’s an Obama hater. Or throwing out Rick Warren’s books because he’s homophobic. Not very constructive is it? I have never heard of the founding fathers to be religious people until I watched Fox news. Many of the founding fathers were not religious, they were deists and made it clear that America is a secular nation. If you are religious you have every right to be. But when it comes to politics, the founders wanted our laws to be created by the state, not by religion.

  25. Religious faith is an almost impossible conversation unless you’re singing to the choir or everyone involved has agreed to accept other faiths or same faith but different interpretatons and or look at religious beliefs from an intellectual non emotional perspective.

    I’m amused, educated and entertained by Glenn Beck and don’t care that he mixes up his religious beliefs with his constitutional interpretations and everything else he talks about on his show. BUT I also see the validity of what Steve says in that you can get a different kind of clarity when you look at an issue without religious fervor and that the blending of religious fervor with non religious topics does a disservice to the mental toughness you need to solve serious problems and connect with like minded people who want to do the same.

    One of my financial consultants is a Christian man who attends professional men’s Christian prayer groups. He knows my religious background and from time to time we talk religion and since he has memorized many parts of the Bible he uses for spiritual guidence, he brings them up in the context of making money, saving money, the value of money, what is money, what should we do with money and so on.

    BUT when we look over my investments and what I want for the future, we look at all that from a non religious perspective – we get into performance, the market, the instruments, etc. I don’t want any emotional or religious/spiritual truth to color these kinds of decisions.

    In that same light I interpret what Steve posted and have to agree with his point from that perspective.

    Thoughts?
    Mike

  26. Frank says:

    Religion clouds REASON and LOGIC at best.
    At worst it prevents the use of both.

    Trying to get a religious person to think Logically and remove emotion is like trying to teach a cow to sing.

    You just waste your time and piss off the cow.

  27. Jay Rollins says:

    Steve,
    Your message was a complete disappointment. I’ve thrown out everything I have that you authored or recorded, and will never endorse you again. For the record, I see God every day, just not the way you “define” he should be seen. I know it’s unfortunate for your “Logic based” approach, but you don’t get to define how the universe works. Not all things are seen by your eyes. Wind, for example, can’t be seen, it has to be felt, and no one understands its origin. But no one questions if it’s really there. Likewise, the fact that you can’t see God with your physical eyes or understand his greatness with your human brain does not mean he’s not there. In fact, I’m very confident in your final days you will be calling out to him for help or comfort. So, since one of the premises in your video is “No one has seen God”, try thinking at a higher level. Your current approach is child like.

    Second, regarding the Church as State issue. Your argument is based on what “YOU” have been conditioned to think our founding fathers intended in their original language. Your previous blogger is correct when he said, “Our founders ideal was that there would be no State sanctioned religion or State prohibition of the free exercise of religion.” It is blatantly obvious that there was a CLEAR Godly influence on our founders, as indicated by everything they created including our money (In God We Trust), The “God” reference our Pledge of Allegiance (which has been upheld in recent attempts to get it removed), the courtroom oath for witnesses (Nothing but the truth, so help me God), and every historical monument in DC, INCLUDING the Supreme Court which has Biblical references and statues chiseled in its original stone. In fact, I was in DC last month and visited the House of Representatives chamber where every president of the United States gives their state of the union address, and where the recent controversial Health Care bill was voted into law. Did you know that around the perimeter of the room are the faces of some of the world’s greatest leaders and thinkers. Only one is facing straight ahead, (the others have a side profile), and that one is directly in front of the speaker, above the center aisle, (where the presidents exit after their speech), so whoever is addressing the audience has to look directly into that face. It is the face of Moses. The reason it was put there is based on the biblical story of Moses delivering the ten commandments, and our leaders wanted a reminder to whoever was addressing the hall to remember that they are to be true to the law. Do you think they would have used Moses for that role if they had intended for church and state to be separated as the liberal side has twisted it over the years? I don’t think so. Unfortunately for your arguments, this is logic speaking to you, not emotion. And consider this, the very reference of God and divinity in the Declaration of Independence and the concept of trying to explain a functional way to separate Church from State in our constitution are prime examples that our founders DID believe in God. Why would they even try to define a productive way to separate the two if they didn’t acknowledge God existed? The problem is, over time, non-believers moved into various powerful positions in our Government and began undermining our founders’ intentions. While this was happening, the people of the United States had no idea what was happening. They were conditioned to believe our government was pure and true, and had the best interests of the people at heart, so passive believers, in the interest of peace and tolerance, let the interpretation of separation of church and state be skewed over time. And in all honesty, they also didn’t know how to stop the dismantlement of everything they believed in. But when they saw how easy our constitution could be manipulated when President Clinton was literally impeached for unspeakable behavior with a young, impressionable intern, but never had to leave office. Or when our current administration began manipulating and making a mockery of the constitutional process with unbelievable ear marks and special deals to get votes, topped off with the unprecedented use of reconciliation to pass major legislation that the clear majority of citizens disapproves of, they realized they could organize their efforts and make a difference. Thus the tea party movement. Now it’s at a boiling point and Godly people have had enough. In contrast to the way we’ve been behaving over the past 50 years as the moral fiber of this country has been completely dismantled, it appears we are over the top, but the truth is, we’ve been disgusted and concerned for many, many years. In closing, there are very clear atheistic undertones in your message. Please don’t try to hide them. Have the courage to tell people what you believe instead of trying to present yourself as an intellectual, and without bias. With that said, please know that I sincerely hope and pray you will keep searching for your maker, because you are missing out on so much more than your “Mental Toughness” and “Logic Based Thinking” approaches will ever provide.

  28. That’s fantastic, Steve – it’s a summary of much you’ve written and spoken on – I hope everyone reading it keeps a copy – lots there!

    We also spend time helping people decide what they want in a clear picture – the vision board as you posted – and adding why, why not, and what the end will look like, feel like, etc. it’s a great exercise you know when’t it’s kept up.

    Without an expectation of such a strong intention that nothing will compromise it, little happens.

    A. Most people don’t succeed in this, I’m one of most people, I may or may not but I’m giving it my best shot.

    1. Most people don’t is true.

    2. I’m one of most people is true

    3. I may or may not, etc. is made up.

    B. Most people don’t succeed in this, I’m one of most people, but I’m different and I will be successful in this.

    1. True

    2. True

    3. Made up

    People who are successful make up their minds about what they are going to achieve.

    Like you said, Steve: “We’re training people to question eveything they were programmed with in child and early adulthood through the lense of logic, devoid of emotion. We’re asking them to think for themselves and reach their own conclusions, instead of blindly following the people and institutions that pummeled them with beliefs and philosophies that may not be accurate or serve their best interests.”

    When you go into a company and speak or do a workshop, Steve, what’s the follow-up to keep on track? When I was in public education follow-up after speakers, workshops, and changes initiated were terrible to zero. At best it was inept at worse it didn’t exist. Two, three years later another round as teachers grew more and more cynical.

    I can’t help but believe it’s the same in business.
    \
    Thoughts?

    Mike

  29. Steve says:

    Mike,
    Great question, and one I get from corporate executives every day. In mental toughness training, it’s all about learning to control and manipulate your emotions to serve your best interests and get results. The basic strategy is to use logic-based thinking for strategy and emotion-based thinking for motivation. When results are the goal, we rarely mix logic and emotion. As you might imagine, very few people are capable of this skill without training. Since human beings are primarily emotion-based thinkers, it’s an uphill battle. Thats why companies pay millions for this high level training. We’re training people to question eveything they were programmed with in child and early adulthood through the lense of logic, devoid of emotion. We’re asking them to think for themselves and reach their own conclusions, instead of blindly following the people and institutions that pummeled them with beliefs and philosophies that may not be accurate or serve their best interests. In 26 years of doing this, I’ve found that this process terrifies the average thinker. In post training interviews, thousands of people have confessed that to question their core beliefs and philosophies and find them to be false, faulty, or simply untrue was too frightening a prospect. So instead, they choose to follow blindly like and refuse to seriously question the beliefs and philosophies they were programmed with. In 12 months of training, we’re able to train about 80% of them. The rest of them are simply too scared of what they’ll discover if they’re forced to think for themselves. Once the 80% are trained, we teach them how to use emotion to fuel their ambition and motivation. The secret is teaching them logic-based, critical thinking first, and emotional thinking second. An emotionally charged salesperson whose strategy and judgement is clouded by emotion is a disaster, and the primary reason most earn little money. But the critical thinker with the mental toughness to think for him/herself and reach his or her own conclusions, are worth their weight in gold. Long answer to a short question! Sorry, Mike!

  30. Am I wrong about this, that world class performers tap into the lava of emotion to reach peak performance, and that one aspect of critical thinking for the world class coach is to help the performer tap into that white heat of red hot emotion?

    If I’m not wrong about that, then one question has to do with the inter play between emotion and dispassionate critical thinking and how it works together or not.

    Mike

  31. Eve says:

    I am more inclined to agree with Eric on this one. I like how he explained the original Founding Fathers’ intents regarding church and state. For those of us with deeply-held Christian beliefs, they are not viewed as speculative or merely emotional notions; they are a way of life that is threatened on many fronts by the current administration. Previous administrations have not always been all that supportive either.

    Obviously, Steve, your opinions about religion differ from mine. That is your privilege in this free nation. Personally, I don’t believe it is possible to separate personal beliefs from political thought, because personal beliefs are expressed in our life choices and those include our political actions. I note that you are rather vehement in your protestation that religion is a purely emotional viewpoint, and should be separated from logical thinking. I could even say you sounded emotional about it.

    I do agree with you that the current administrations fiscal policies are completely irresponsible and will be disastrous if something doesn’t change quickly.

  32. Jon says:

    Steve,
    This great country was built on freedom of religion(the land of promise). I love your mental toughness secrets, but it seems like you may not GET IT. Our countrys biggest problem lies in the breakdown of morality, and deeper conviction to the higher power. If our country can’t be led by a god fearing group, kiss it all goodbye(History will repeat itself).

    As for your sapposed statements of FACT. It seems you’re crossing opinion with fact(as you see it).

    Nice job stirring the contentious(not healthy debate) feelings with Mr. Beck. You’ve now joined him in selling more advertising. Although I share beliefs with Mr. Beck, he may be focusing more on selling advertising than his faith/beliefs(are you, too?).

    What our country needs is a leader who’ll not stir contention, but inspire goodness, belief in a higher power, belief in ones self, belief in others, and action towards a better way of life. Yes; more Christlike behavior. Oh, did I just mix politics with religion? CASE AND POINT!

  33. Wilmer says:

    I like the way you make a point and then say, “That’s not the point.” Then you ask us not to address it. I agree that too many people don’t know how to control their emotions, but I don’t agree that a relationship with God based on emotion. I know that’s how many who lack understanding view it. I don’t agree with you that people who follow Jesus, in my case, are illogical. Once you learn to read the Bible accurately you’ll understand that God does speak. You’ll see how He guided kings in wisdom in order to live in a thriving nation. You say that no one has ever seen God, and you state it as a strong fact. That is very inaccurate.

    As far as your letter to Glenn Beck is concerned, I understand why you feel the way you do. This blog answered a lot of questions that I had about you. The Bible has several sides to it. It is part history book and part a book of prophecy. So if someone can quote from it to gain a better understanding on a certain issue, what’s the problem? The Bible is not a bunch of fairy tales. I don’t want to miss your point about separation of church and state. In some aspects I totally agree, but that has more to do with people using their view of God to manipulate others. This nation was founded on principles that God put in, yes the Bible. That’s why this nation has been so prosperous. Soon you will see the results of taking God out of everything. The bottom-line for me is this, there is such a thing as absolute truth. There is also something called wisdom. Our so-called leaders today need to understand both and they need it more than ever. They need to understand the difference between truth and fact. When I hear people like you talk about separation of church and state, it says to me “lack of understanding.” There is so much wisdom in God and the Bible that it could change the destiny of this nation and turn it around. What I hear is separation of wisdom and state. I guess its how you look at it. But again, we are not illogical people. Sometimes before something is proved, it is experienced, thus proved. One last thing, don’t mistake passion for emotion.

  34. You pose some great critical thinking quesitons, Charles – great challenges to thinking in a specific context.

    Steve you’re right about how Beck mixes it all together – no on can deny it – and you’re right about how critical world class thinking should be devoid of emotional and non logical arguments and should be dispassionate and objective.

    From Maddow to Beck and everyone else on either side, outside and on any side, it’s easy if you look dispassionately to spot all kinds of agendas and postures or themes to the presentations.

    It’s not as heated as the 60s, but it’s heated and temperatures are rising.

    What strikes me is this: 2010 is an exciting year because of all the electricity in the air and it’s proof of our free press and freedom of expression – this is democracy in action at its best.

    Tea Party and anti Tea Party demonstratons, local organizations getting more politically active, individuals who have never taken much of a vocal interest in political culture are speaking up -great.

    Steve, I understand your letter to Glenn Beck – how about a letter to each of the diversity of rainbow personalities with opinions who posture news, feature and opinon all mixed together, a letter pointing out one significant emotional, religious, or polemical coloring of each that comes through their rants and rigors.

    Thoughts?

    Mike

  35. Don says:

    Steve, I am very disappointed with your views. Glenn Beck is a person that wants the best for America. He goes to church every Sunday with his family. All Mr. Beck wants to do is to keep are country from becoming a bunch of liberals and socialists.
    Mr. Beck has that Mental Toughness that you talk about. We need a person like Mr. Beck, before this country goes down the drain.
    We need to talk about JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, instead of health care. When is our president going to talk aboUt jobs? All our president is a master procrastinator and a socialist.
    Steve, I think you need to rethink what you wrote and study, Mr. Beck’s views. You might have a better understanding on where he is coming from.

  36. Charles says:

    Steve, more engagement on any topic is always welcomed. Beck goes a little bit too far sometimes–but that’s his schtick.

    Jason, you sound like you’re reading from liberal talking points directly from the White House. I’ll bet you don’t have a problem with Democrat ‘big business’ or corporatism–like taking over the auto industry, bailing out the handlers on wallstreet, or nationalizing the healthcare industry.

    In regards to a separation of church/state, we always hear people on the left going crazy when the church comes out against gay marraige etc; but when the church actually supports a leftist agenda, like illegal immigration they are COMPLETELY silent on the issue. Take Cardinal Mahony coming out against the new Arizona bill on immigration–not a word from liberals or the media.

  37. Matt says:

    Loved what you said in your video blog, Religion and state absolutely needs to be seperated. The current administration has buried this country with thier program, health care will not be an issue for the fact there is no money to pay for it, medicair and medicaid was 10x bigger concern than social security and that has not been addressed. The authors of a book I am reading predicted the economic condition with great accuracy with a book they wrote in 2006. The current book Aftershock- Next global Financial Meltdown will make this look like nothing. The money being spent by this administration is on a bad check that is going to have a very large bounce. Save your cash!!! Thanks Again

  38. Jason says:

    Steve, that letter you wrote to Beck was a waste of time simply because you’re not Roger Ailes or Rubert Murdoch, you don’t write his million dollar a month paycheck. He’s not interested in being a critical thinker, his job is to distort the facts and spread corporatist propaganda to his audience. Please tell me you don’t think he has any desire of being a critical thinker. About the spending, there is no party of fiscal responsibility, do you really think the republicans are fiscal conservatives?

  39. Eric D Barry says:

    Steve,

    I fully agree with the assertion that emotion – and religion can be a VERY emotional topic – should not enter into debate, especially political debate. Logic and reason breed better solutions in these debates.

    I do see the context of at least Glenn’s position. The idea of “separation of church and state” is not a policy that the Founders proposed. Their ideal was that there would be no State sanctioned religion or State prohibition of the free exercise of religion. The Founders, for the most part, were very religious people and believed that this Republic and the Constitution that formed it would survive only if the people were a moral (read then as religious) people. Glenn’s appeals are to the common moral structure that still binds much of our culture.

    I think that both political parties will ultimately fail this country because they base the majority of their policies and talking points on emotional pleas. The Democrats do it by demonizing anyone that does not want more if their pay taken via taxes as being bigoted or hateful of the poor. The Republicans do it by demonizing those who support the free actions of consenting adults as being supporters of moral corruption and decay. Both are highly charged arguments that divide this country more than unite it. This is not world-class thinking or mental toughness.

    I also think that the pudits of both parties will fail the American people for this same reason. We all have differing opinions. But we also have much in common. It will take mental toughness and world-class thinking, based on logic and reason to resolve the crises that hinder this nation’s growth.

  40. Molly says:

    The idea that religious beliefs should be restricted to Sundays is . Belief in religion – in my case Christianity – requires that my beliefs influence everything I do. Every decision, every word, every deed passed through the filter of the Bible.

    You’re right, we are at a cross roads. I think we need MORE people speaking out in faith, not less.