Glenn Beck's Parenting Advice: Push Your Kids “Up Against the Wall”

What Women Really Think
Oct. 11 2013 10:39 AM

Glenn Beck's Parenting Advice: Push Your Kids “Up Against the Wall”

Glenn Beck worked himself into a tirade on his talk show Wednesday, telling his large and worshipful audience to push their children into walls. 

Amanda Marcotte Amanda Marcotte

Amanda Marcotte is a Brooklyn-based writer and DoubleX contributor. She also writes regularly for the Daily Beast, AlterNet, and USA Today. Follow her on Twitter.

Beck was ruminating on an imaginary debate that the Christian right thinks it is having with liberals over the question of where rights "come from." Beck was deeply upset about liberals he's made up in his head, who are trying to end the Bill of Rights because they're anti-religion or something—it's hard to follow—and somehow this morphed into a lecture on child-rearing. Marshaling every ounce of his trademark tool-ish intensity, Beck railed: 

Ask your kids tonight at dinner, "What gives you the right?" Challenge them. Get in their face.
You talk about, "I've got rights, you know." Really? Who issues them? Teach 'em a lesson. Push 'em! Well, they're gonna cry, it's gonna hurt their feelings. Well, push 'em!
Because if you don't do it now, it's going to be much worse when they're pushed and they're shoved and they're shot. Push them! Teach them! The need to know the truth and they need to be pushed up against the wall once in awhile so they know they can defend themselves. They know they can survive! They don't run around like little girls crying at the drop of a hat! Push 'em!
Advertisement

If I bolded for emphasis, the whole quote would be bold.

The ostensible purpose of Beck's rant is religious instruction, to teach your kids that rights come from God. How kids will learn that from being physically intimidated and screamed at by a parent is hard to understand. (Presumably by the same mechanism where screaming at kids until they cry teaches them not to cry.)

Only Beck knows if he is instructing us to push our kids emotionally and intellectually, or actually, you know, push them. "They need to be pushed up against the wall once in awhile so they know they can defend themselves" could, I suppose, be a metaphor. It also might not be. The more important question is: How will the audience read it? And either way, Beck is still recommending that you pick fights with your children over obscure points of religious right dogma and holler at them until they cry and, most likely, agree with whatever the hell you're yelling about in a desperate attempt to get you to stop yelling at them. Even if you don't lay a hand on your child, that's abuse. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.