Don’t Feed the Trolls

The more I think about all the pixels that have been spilt over Glenn Beck’s comments on churches that preach “social justice,” the more I think we’ve been had. (And yes, I bit, too, so that makes me equally guilty.)

For one thing, Beck’s hardly the first right-winger to attack the tradition of social justice. Personally, I think charging the mainline churches with being in bed with the Sandinistas is much more creative than anything Beck has come up with.

For another, Beck is just using the same routine perfected by the likes of Ann Coulter, Pat Robertson, and Fred “God Hates Fags” Phelps:

  • Say something stupid, outrageous, or outrageously stupid.
  • Wait for predictable liberal reaction.
  • Make sure the papers spell your name right.
  • Profit!

It’s attention-seeking, in other words. In Fred Phelps’ case, it’s done for no better reason than to hurt people. The rest of them do it to raise money and/or sell books.

The remarkable thing about all of this is not that they do it, since it works. It’s that they keep throwing the chum in the water, and we keep snapping it up. Which makes them, yes, master baiters. The rest of us are just chumps.

Don’t take the bait, please. Ignore Glenn Beck and don’t buy crappy products from his crappy sponsors. Eventually he’ll change his tune. Maybe he’ll even go away.