It’s not every day that a little ol’ city boy from San Francisco gets to have dinner with mega-media-giant-turned-gospel-patriot Glenn Beck. No sir indeed; however, every once in a while, something extraordinary happens and the impossible, well, becomes possible. In this case, it took the murder of a girl and a friendship with her brother, a little coffee and a long drive from Washington, DC.
So there I was, on a classified mission for my coffee company, minding my own business in Washington, DC, when, out of nowhere, I found myself having breakfast in the Capitol Hill Club and getting ready to set sail to Philadelphia. The contents of the meeting being secret and beside the point, I can say that my mission entailed putting bags of coffee on a benefit dinner table at the Union League and an evening with my friend, Bobby Schindler.
But let me back up for a second.
In 2005, somewhere near the middle of March that year, the devil got a hold of a woman’s husband and some very important people, judges and the like; the President, Congress and a few people tried in vain to mount a resistance to it; yet, by and large, the rest of us stood idly by and watched a young woman from Philadelphia get starved and dehydrated to death on live television. You may have heard of her at the time and perhaps even since, her name was Terri Schiavo. Bobby Schindler is her brother.
Some ten years on from her murder, our country no closer to being pro-life than it was then, I found myself driving to Philadelphia to help support the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network created in her honor. Our coffee can only do so much, but people can buy it and thereby financially support the work of the Network.
At the benefit dinner, I met a host of interesting people who all came to support the Network. The speaker of honor was a man whose radio career, in part, turned around when he began covering Terry’s story. That man was Glenn Beck.
Admittedly, I had a secret fantasy of Glenn seeing my coffee, having me on his shows and propelling our company into the national spotlight. So in anticipation of the big night, I crafted a special bag of coffee with a custom label just for him. I called it: “Beck’s Concord Blend.” It featured a water colored image of the Battle of Concord, April 19th, 1775.
As a big fan of history, surely, I thought, he would “get it”!
When I arrived at my table, it was obvious that Glenn’s security would not let me near him, so I simply asked for the ‘agent’ to give him the bag. It was a little funny. He said he would, and then he crumpled it up and tried to palm it; then, he handed it to another ‘agent’ on the other side of the stage and he tried to palm it; then he set it on the stage and the both of them kept looking at it as if it were a pleasant-smelling bomb. The second agent picked it up again and walked it over to the stage manager who, interestingly, handed it directly to Mr. Beck, with a look in my direction (I was only ten feet away) and Glenn just looked down at it, chuckled, handed it back to her, and…walked away.
Then that girl handed it to another girl who, looking puzzled, put it in a pouch and then, you guessed it, she walked away too.
So much for my big first impression.
The emcee for the event was third runner-up Miss USA 2000, who had a delightful personality. Dinner was served, and was of the caliber one might expect from a place as distinguished as to have once featured such prestigious speakers as Abraham Lincoln, albeit a few years earlier.
Then Mr. Beck took the stage.
His presentation was magnificent! Everything you might expect from someone so steeped in history, politics and, yes, theatre. His dramatics were punctuated by his treasures from the past – items from his own impressive personal collection. He showed us such things as the “Inquisitors’” notes from the Spanish Inquisition; Tyndale’s bible – yes, the actual one; a silver coin from the time of Christ, to accentuate Judas’ betrayal; a hood from the KKK; and amazingly, he had Oskar Schindler’s actual typed list from World War II.
The thing was, all of this was used by Mr. Beck in an attempt to prove that the “Church” and — we her members — had lost our way, and had done all of these horrible things, as his story went, officially in the name of Christ and His Church.
Holding his own Bible in his hand, he exclaimed that we should all “set aside our differences,” (Read “religious differences”) and return to Scripture and that the Truth of it all would set us free.
Ahhh, Indifferentism. Bravo.
Would it surprise you that all of these things were collected and spoken of by a Mormon, whose core belief is that a physical deity came to earth, had sexual relations with the Blessed Virgin Mary, who then gave birth to a physical Jesus but who also had spirit-brothers – Satan and Jesus – and that at some point in the future, he too (Glenn) would have his own planet where he can populate it with a people much like us and there he will rule as “god”?
But Glenn’s assault on the Catholic Church founded and continued by Christ actually stands to reason since Mormons, like Glenn, think that Peter was the last Pope and that the “Church” crashed and burned until a 19th Century figure named Joseph Smith (who was born a Christian, formed the Mormons, quit the Mormons to be Methodist and then quit the Methodists after 14-years and returned to forming Mormonism again) put the world right with the Church of Latter Day Saints.
But wait, Glenn Beck was baptized and raised (to some point) Roman Catholic, right?
To highlight the evening, he capped-off his command performance with a mini-lecture on Artificial Intelligence and the end of death.
Despite its problems, it was undeniably all so breathtaking.
In the dénouement, Glenn said: “I don’t think it is any accident that the family’s last name is Schindler – and I talked to Bobby before dinner and tonight, call on him to use the Life and Hope Network to start the second ‘Schindler’s List.”
Queue the applause.
I wonder if Mrs. Schindler and Bobby and his sister felt as saddened by Glenn Beck’s presentation as I did. It’s not as if the presentation wasn’t slick and wonderful and gorgeous and shrouded in half-truths and punctuated with amazing props; it’s simply that all things that are typically bad for us are presented in such a way – candy, booze, fornication, and so on and so forth. If I were to synthesize his presentation, it would read thus:
Religion is bad. Bible is good. Set aside your different religions and simply unite in the fight for life and truth as you cling to your Scriptures.
I love Bobby Schindler, the important work of the Life & Hope Network and his family, and I know that Mr. Beck’s presence raised the ticket price and the attendance level, so that’s all very good. At one and at the same time, however, the Catholic Church gave the world the Bible and is the ONLY Church in the world that has stood against the evils of abortion and its allies – contraception, euthanasia and the destruction of marriage. Therefore, unless I grotesquely misunderstood it (which lies within the realm of possibility), I couldn’t disagree with Glenn’s message of indifferentism any more than I do.
At the same time, I can’t help praying that he will revert to the Faith he was given at Baptism. I really do. He would be a force to be reckoned with if he came to the fullness of the Faith, which is the Truth and Light of Christ Himself given to us by the Holy Catholic Church in the Most Blessed Sacrament at every Mass and in every tabernacle in the world.
Jesus said: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.”
I suppose that’s like the motto of the Life & Hope Network: “Where there is Life, there is Hope.”
Do you think Glenn will try that coffee I made him?
If you would like to purchase your own gourmet coffee to drink while supporting the work of Bobby Schindler and the new Schindler’s List, please go to www.terriscoffees.com.
John Lillis is the founder and president of Lifeboat Coffee, which sends Cash Back Pro-Life Rewards from purchases to nearly 100 front-line pro-life groups across the United States. He is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville and a 20 year veteran of the media industry. He and his wife Paula have seven children and one grandchild.