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Glenn Beck Apologizes for Reform Judaism Comments

Glenn Beck Apologizes for Reform Judaism Comments

glenn_beck_today_headshot.jpgJewish Americans were shocked and angered Tuesday morning when Fox News host Glenn Beck compared Reform rabbis and Reform Judaism to "radicalized Islam" on his radio show. Reform rabbis, he said, "are generally political in nature. It's almost like Islam, radicalized Islam in a way." His was careful to state that his comparison was "not about terror," but "about politics, and so it becomes more about politics than it does about faith." Needless to say, Jewish leaders from across the country spoke against Beck's comments, including URJ President Rabbi Eric Yoffie.

In his statement, Rabbi Yoffie explained that, "Beck's sweeping dismissal of the religious faith of a million and a half North American Jews was both tragic and outrageous. Reform Judaism, a proud and venerable religious tradition, does not accept Mr. Beck as the arbiter of what is spiritual and what is not, of who has faith and who does not, of what constitutes real religion and what does not."

Needless to say, media outlets, bloggers and political pundits have been following this story closely. Check out coverage and commentary from Alan Colmes, Salon.com, Haaretz, and JTA.

But in a surprising turn of events, today on his radio program, Beck expressed his regret and apologized for the comments he made about Reform Judaism, citing that he hadn't done enough research before making the comparison. He also went as far to admit that he made one of the "worst analogies of all time." Beck continued by stating, "I do this because I've always told you to do your own homework and in this case I didn't do enough homework.  I also tell you that you have to guard your word.  You have to guard your honor and your integrity because people have to be able to believe you.  The only way people will believe you is if when you get it wrong, you do apologize and you point it out." 
Despite his acknowledgment, some Jewish groups think that Beck's apology is too little, too late. Read the latest statement released from Jewish Funds for Justice and you be the judge!

Published: 2/25/2011

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