Beck and the Beast (He just won't go away . . . . . )
At twilight on a late-summer day at the southern foundation of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount—the cradle of three religions and a place of pilgrimage for centuries—a most unlikely collection of worshippers has gathered. They include Herman Cain, the oddball Republican presidential candidate whose campaign would later implode amid allegations of infidelity; Jon Voight, the Oscar-winning actor and father of Angelina Jolie, who has evolved from an anti-Vietnam War activist into a virulent critic of Barack Obama’s; Randall Terry, the veteran anti-abortion crusader, armed with a video camera, shooting footage for his syndicated television show back home; and hundreds of American tourists, many of them evangelical Christians, who have paid up to $5,000 for package tours to witness the proceedings.
Danny Danon, a hard-right Likudnik member of the Israeli Knesset well known for his alliance with evangelical-Christian supporters of Israel, is explaining to Terry and a group of journalists why he is so willing to work with Evangelicals, whose view of theology is, to put it mildly, radically different from his own. “One day, if the Messiah comes, we can ask him if it’s the first or second time in Jerusalem,” Danon explains. “But, for now, we have to work together.”
As waning sunlight warms the ancient walls, solemn music and the sound of a shofar fill the open-air pavilion. The familiar, sonorous voice of an unseen presence emerges from a concert-quality sound system: “We always come back to God, and we always come back to Jerusalem.” Then the owner of the voice, a tall, stocky man with a white brush cut, takes the stage of the makeshift amphitheater. He wears a dark suit and purple tie. A stage performer’s mini-headset microphone curves around his cheek. The man is Glenn Beck, and he is the reason everyone is here.