Glenn Beck: Peaceful Revolutions

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," September 17, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: Well, hello, America. We've got a great show for you today. We have a studio audience.

And today, one of our guests said right before we get on the air, "It's quite an ambitious project you're working on here." Yes, it could be — it may be too ambitious.

All we're going to do is talk about revolution. The history of revolution, not revolution like the French Revolution or even the American Revolution, but the revolutions that have lasting power — the revolutions that changes the world.

We're going to talk a little about this guy — that's global revolution. And the thing I find interesting about — don't — don't talk about him tonight as a — as the son of God. Instead, let's talk about him as a man. The theory is that some people might have missed him — if he is indeed the messiah — missed him because he wasn't a revolutionary or didn't think — didn't think so at the time.

If you read the words of Josephus, who was a historian back in the day, he wrote Jewish antiquities. And he talks about Jesus as just being another guy they nailed to a tree, and as he is another revolutionary. And he talked about — Josephus talks about all these revolutionaries, all these so-called "messiahs" that are up in the hills.

Well, we don't really know any of the other names of the revolutionaries that lived at his time. What is it that he did that changed the world, global revolution?

This guy. There's a lot of people — a lot of people that helped Mahatma Gandhi free India. But how come we know him? And what does he have in common with this guy?

And then there's this one, here in America, civil rights revolution. Because that's what it was, Dr. Martin Luther King. Now, there's Malcolm X. But Malcolm X isn't Dr. Martin Luther King. What's the difference?

And what does this guy, this guy, and this guy have in common? Because these things may be necessary for us now, as we go into the future. Where are we headed and where are the answers?

I have to tell you that about a year ago, I was trying to figure out, 8.28. I was trying to figure out what was going on. And what I was supposed to do, and what I was supposed to talk about.

And people ask me all the time — so, where do we go from here? Where is the guy? Where is the president? And where is the — and the more I went down the road of trying to figure things out, the more I realized that the answer isn't in Washington. It's not in politics. It's in here. We have to fundamentally change ourselves.

So, as I'm looking to the future, the thing I did a year ago was I went back to the beginning. I went to this guy. The first real revolutionary, Moses, and the Ten Commandments.

So, we're going to have a discussion with people who know about these — these guys.

With us: Dr. Alveda King. She's the director of African-American outreach for Priests for Life. She is the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She is the author of "Who We Are in Christ Jesus." She also stood with me on 8.28 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, a brave, brave woman and dear friend.

Also someone else who was there with me: Rabbi Daniel Lapin. He is founder of American Alliance for Jews and Christians and an amazing man.

And someone I'm meeting for the first time, Dr. Robert Franklin. He is the president of the distinguished Morehouse College where Martin Luther King graduated and first introduced to the non-violent movement.

And joining us also from Illinois on our TV set is Rajmohan Gandhi. He is one of eight surviving grandchildren of Mahatma Gandhi. He's a former member of India's upper house and parliament. And he is also research professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

He is the president of Initiatives of Change International and he is the author of the monumental biography, "Gandhi." In fact, in the middle of it, some place, there is a picture — here it is — of him on the lap of Mahatma Gandhi. The biography, "Gandhi: The Man, His People, and the Empire.

It is an honor to have all of you with me today.

And I — what I want to do is I want to start at the beginning.

So, Rabbi, I want to start with you. And what I want is — what was the thing that — your revolutionary, because you're going to — you're revolutionary is Moses. So, we're going to go Moses, Jesus, Gandhi and then Martin Luther King. What was it they were trying to conquer? And what was the main tool that they used?

RABBI DANIEL LAPIN, AMERICAN ALLIANCE OF JEWS AND CHRISTIANS: Well, I think in the case of Moses and I think, Glenn, instead of calling him my man, I think you have to call me his man.


LAPIN: But the main tool, first of all, let's start with that — the main tool is that for a revolution to be successful, it requires a higher purpose. It isn't enough to say, "Hey, get us out of this predicament,"
or, "We've got to get out of here, this is really uncomfortable." It's got to be —

BECK: In other words, this is not a — it's not do something. We've got to do something.

LAPIN: No. Exactly, it's not that.

And, so, contrary to popular belief, Moses never ever said, let my people go. What he really said every single time was, "Let my people go so that they may serve me in the desert." So, there was always a significant consequence, and the value of that is that every revolution exists on a public, as well as on a personal level.

And so, the Book of Exodus is not just a history of a 3,000-year-old movement that reshaped everything, including all western civilization. But it is also a blueprint of personal redemption.

So, each and every one of us has an Egypt. I don't know what it is. For some people, it's alcohol. It's an addiction. It's a marriage that needs to be salvaged. Somebody wants to get it.

Everybody has an Egypt. It goes by definition in the Hebrew language, Egypt means "something that oppresses, confines, restricts and prevents me from reaching my fullest potential."

BECK: All right.

Doctor, what is — what it was — tell me about Jesus.

DR. ROBERT FRANKLIN, MOREHOUSE COLLEGE PRESIDENT: Well, I would say that Jesus is revolutionary of love. And two challenges, there are many that he addressed, but the two that I'd isolate here now. Number one, a religion of external behavior, outer — outward acts of piety. He really called for a religion of the heart. He wanted people's dispositions toward others to change and to make neighbors —

BECK: He was — am I wrong by saying, Rabbi, you might know, too, the Josephus story, do I have that — that's just from memory from years ago, but he was not understood at the time because they were looking for a messiah, a conqueror, right? And so, he was so misunderstood, they're like, you're nobody.

FRANKLIN: Right. He was not seeking to establish a new form of government on earth. But he did talk a lot about the kingdom of God, the reign of God in the world — which had to do with compassion toward the poor and those who were outcast, and showing greater compassion and mercy and love toward them.

BECK: OK. So, higher purpose — high purpose and love.

Now, we go to Gandhi here.

Rajmohan, what was the thing that Mahatma Gandhi was trying to conquer and what was his main tool?

RAJMOHAN GANDHI, GRANDSON OF MOHANDAS GANDI: He was certainly also a passionate fighter for love. He was equally a passionate fighter for justice. He was a fighter for freedom. He wanted not only the people of India to be liberated. He wanted all the oppressed peoples of the world to be liberated.

He, of course, was committed to nonviolence. But to him, nonviolence was not — was love, it was forgiveness, but it was also struggle and a fight for justice. It was also an identification with the weakest and the poorest person, the outcasts of India.

He also was attested believer that all of us were the same. That everybody in his India, the Hindus, the Muslims, the Christians, the Jews, the Sikhs, all were at the bottom absolutely the same.

And so, his was a revolution also of friendship, of unity, of building bridges.


GANDHI: I could say more, but that's —

BECK: No, no, we'll come back. We'll come back. But, I mean, we're already starting to see the patterns.

And, Dr. Alveda King, Martin Luther King, revolution, civil rights, right?


My uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was a follower of Jesus Christ. He implemented the principles of Gandhi and then he went to Moses' mountain top. And so, he really embraced all of those tenets and certainly, his greatest example was Jesus Christ and then the nonviolence that Gandhi practiced just compels my uncle.

He looked at violence. He looked at everything else that going on. He said that nonviolence is going to be the method.

BECK: Help me out, Rabbi, on Moses. Because I know Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Jesus, committed to nonviolence.


BECK: But —

LAPIN: Those Ten Commandments were pretty violent, let's say face it.

BECK: Right.

LAPIN: At one point or the another, but that was the Lord.

BECK: Right. Right. But was he — was he — because he was —



BECK: Yes. I mean, he didn't do anything, right?

LAPIN: Yes, right.

BECK: Yes.

LAPIN: I mean, earlier on, he did kill an Egyptian that he saw attacking his — one of his brethren.

BECK: But that's kind of what he — he got out of the desert.

LAPIN: Right.

BECK: That's what the desert was all about, right?

LAPIN: But here's one thing that immediately leaps out as a common denominator, Glenn. And that is that when the revolution is God-centric, when the revolution is motivated is by a deeper and higher purpose, the personality is trumped by the cause. And so, whether it's Dr. Martin Luther King or Moses specifically, there is a willingness to not be the center of the scene. Moses was willing to die and he knew somebody else would take the children of Israel out of Egypt.

Whereas a revolution on the left, secularized revolutions, tend to be very personality-driven rather than idea-driven.

BECK: OK. Well, let me — let me do one more thing before we move on. And that is, I know Jesus built up of Moses. He didn't come to destroy, he came to add on.

FRANKLIN: Fulfill the law, yes.

BECK: Yes, fulfill. I know that Dr. Martin Luther King looked to Jesus and also looked to Gandhi, but also looked to Moses.

So, we have Dr. Martin Luther King, Jesus and Moses, they're all coming back really to Moses.

Did Mahatma Gandhi — did he look back to Moses as well? Did he — was there any— we may not get there together to "The Promised Land"?

GANDHI: No, he certainly was inspired by Moses and very much so by Jesus. He was profoundly moved and stirred by Jesus, and by the sermon on the mountain, by the call to forgiveness, to poverty, to simplicity, to equality — so — to purity.

So, Gandhi was profoundly stirred by Moses and by Jesus. Of course, Christianity came to him, to India, with empire, with colonialism, with oppression. So that was something that Gandhi was aware of. So — but there's absolutely no question that Gandhi was deeply stirred by Jesus.

BECK: All right. So, the only one here — as I'm looking for patterns — the only one here that didn't — that didn't see the success.
There's two differences that I see. Moses is the only one that wasn't killed for what he did, right?

LAPIN: Well, he was punished by not being allowed into "The Promised Land." So, he was never able to really fulfill his mission. So —

BECK: Yes.


BECK: But that's still — crucifixion or being shot or —

FRANKLIN: He gets to die an old man.

BECK: Yes, he gets to die an old man. The other ones don't. OK. So, there's one difference.

The other difference is Moses actually accomplished the path of stopping of the oppression. Martin Luther King did. Gandhi did.

But Jesus didn't see it in his lifetime. He didn't, he didn't stop it, right?

FRANKLIN: That's right. That's right. He builds a movement. He builds what he understood would become a world transforming movement. But he didn't live to see that on earth.

BECK: Right.

FRANKLIN: So, the church emerges to carry that forward.

BECK: OK. So, are there any other important differences or similarities before we move into the —

LAPIN: Well, one of them is that, I think, certainly, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Moses were not looking for greatness. They were not seeking to lead a political movement. For heavens sake, Moses was a shepherd in the desert and all he did was be alert and noticed that a bush didn't get consumed. And from that noticing, he received a calling — as opposed to having exposing naked ambition, which is a feature often found with some of the revolutions.

BECK: Jesus didn't. I mean, Jesus was, "Please take this away from me. I don't want to do that."

GANDHI: And I think here, I may add that Gandhi, also — although he was the leader of the Indian independence movement, it's worth noting he did not take any position after India became independent. He was not the prime minister. He was not the president.

He was always keen to let others take the lead and to make the other person great or a great passion with them, and Gandhi identified himself with the least and the weakest in India, and did not take any position of any kind after India became independent. So, certainly —

BECK: What do you remember? What do remember — what do you personally remember? Do you have any real memories of being with him?

GANDHI: Sure. I was 12 1/2 when he was killed. I was going to school in New Delhi, which is where he spent the last several months of his life. And, of course, when I was with him, that was a time when India was becoming independent, but also, India was witnessing these tremendous clashes between Hindus and Muslims.

BECK: Was —

GANDHI: There was great violence.

BECK: Was he — Alveda and I have talked about this before on Martin Luther King. He new, he knew, didn't he? He knew.

KING: Yes, he did. He definitely —

BECK: And he was — he was not afraid, but he was afraid. Was Mahatma afraid? Because Jesus was.

GANDHI: Well, he certainly knew — he certainly knew that he was going to be killed. He expected to be killed. And he often said that he — he asked people who met him, please pray for me, (a), that I will have the courage when the moment comes, and, (b), that I will also have the courage to forgive those who kill me.

BECK: Right. And —

FRANKLIN: And also here's — I mean, in Jesus, you know, in the prayers at Gethsemane —

BECK: Yes.

FRANKLIN: — you know, "Take this cup from me, I do not want to suffer."

BECK: Right.

FRANKLIN: No human does and yet, there's an acceptance, "Not my will, but thy will be done."

BECK: All right. And I've got to take a break. But the same with Moses, Moses was saying the same thing, "Who am I?"


BECK: Send somebody else. Yes, not me.

Back in just a second.



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