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Beck Amends 'Obama is Racist' Charge, Questions President's Belief in 'Collective Salvation'

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Saturday: Glenn Beck waves as he arrives to speak at his 'Restoring Honor' rally in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.AP

Radio and TV host Glenn Beck said Sunday he doesn't want to retract his controversial charge last year that President Obama is racist, but does want to amend it since reading more about "liberation theology."

"I have a big fat mouth sometimes and I say things, and that's not the way people should behave," Beck said, adding that he regrets saying a year ago that Obama has a "deep-seated hatred for white people" because it's not accurate. 

"I didn't understand, really, his theology," Beck a Fox News host, told "Fox News Sunday." "I think that it is much more of a theological question that he is a guy who understands the world through liberation theology, which is oppressor and victim." 

Beck described liberation theology, which teaches that salvation for the individual is dependent on salvation for the collective through economic and social justice, as the message that was preached by Obama's ex-pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

"I'm not judging (Obama) for that," he said. "I'm not demonizing it. I disagree with it."  

Beck, who is Mormon, said most Christians don't believe in liberation theology. 

"That is a direct opposite of what the gospel is talking about," said Beck."It's Marxism disguised as religion."

Beck spoke after hosting his "Restoring Honor" rally in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, which attracted hundreds of thousands of Americans. Beck said the event, meant to honor the U.S. military, was not supposed to be political, and for the most part, politics were left out of the conversation.

"The message I was trying to send was be your highest self and stand in the burning bush, stand in the fire, because that's the only thing that's going to save us," he said. "I've come to the place where I believe there's no way to solve these problems, these issues ... unless we solve it through God, unless we solve it through being our highest self, and that's a pretty tall order."

But Beck said the message of the event was that Americans should reclaim the nation from politics.

Beck added that he never intended the event, scheduled on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, which was also held at the Lincoln Memorial, to be about civil rights.

But many of his critics claimed he was trying to usurp the civil rights message by holding the rally on Aug. 28. A counter-rally to commemorate the speech, organized by Rev. Al Sharpton, also attracted thousands to the nation's capital on Saturday.

Beck, 46, noted that he wasn't alive yet when King delivered his speech or the civil rights movement was in full swing, and he grew up in the Pacific Northwest, which wasn't a hotbed of civic activism during his youth.

But he said he believes that people of faith are proponents of "equal justice," the broad message of the civil rights movement. He also said he thinks it's a "good thing" if he has done damage to "racial politics" as some of his critics claimed. 

"Race should not be in politics. Race is a negative that is a heart condition honestly," he said."The real agenda should be equal justice.

"People of faith ... believe that you have an equal right to justice, that is the essence, and if it is not the essence, than we've been sold a pack of lies." 

Beck, who described himself as a "hard-living, hard-drinking," ignoramus until he decided to clean up his life 15 years ago, brushed off suggestions that he should run for president. He said he has "zero desire" to hold the office and warned against using popularity as a measurement of the right candidate for the job.

"If that's the case, then we should either elect Billy Graham or Paul McCartney," he said, adding, "We should be looking for people with ideas. The country is in trouble and I don't see a political solution. I think both parties have sold their souls."

Beck noted that the Founding Fathers warned that if people turned from God, the country would be at risk. 

"Let's take them as people who knew what they were talking about. Let's try the whole turning back to God thing and see what happens," he said.