Sunday, 20 March 2016

Glenn Beck, White Horseman of the Apocalypse

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has never accepted the authenticity of the White Horse Prophecy that has just been very publicly invoked by Glenn Beck in support of Ted Cruz.

Unlike its attempts to get out of polygamy or the Adam-God doctrine, it is on firm ground with this one.

It is possible that Joseph Smith once prophesied that the US Constitution would hang by a thread and be saved by the Mormon elders.

But the evidence is scant, and the whole thing has never been anything like central to Mormon teaching or practice.

The White Horse Prophecy is more like a piece of folklore.

Since Beck is an unbookish man who converted in relatively recent middle age and who has no ties to the Mormon heartlands of the Intermountain West, one has to wonder that he has ever heard of it.

It is difficult to avoid the sense that someone has placed it in his fairly empty mind with decidedly political intent.

Moreover, the Southern Baptist Convention may care to consider Cruz's own standing ovation for Beck on this occasion.

But then, the Southern Baptist Convention may care to consider a great deal. American exceptionalism and "Manifest Destiny" are essentially Mormonish notions. They make no fundamental or ultimate sense in any other terms.

Some years ago, when I first speculated on a neoconservative neo-Judaism such as Nick Cohen now seems to have decided to launch, I also speculated on a Beckian neo-Mormonism of which we may also have witnessed the first stirrings.

Meanwhile, watch out for an attempt to invoke the Third Secret of Fatima when Cruz goes looking for a certain sort of Catholic vote.

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