DALLAS - Tens of thousands of volunteers and conservatives have gathered here for the third and final installment of Glenn Beck’s Restoring America trilogy.
This week’s Restoring Love event here follows last year’s Restoring Courage rally in Israel and 2010’s Restoring Honour rally in Washington, D.C.
For Beck, a celebrated conservative pundit who has become an iconic warrior for the Tea Party movement, if government is to shrink as he and his supporters would like, then private citizens have to “stand in that gap” especially when it comes to helping those in need.
“The phrase Restoring Love, you probably wonder, ‘What are you talking about? Are you giving away hugs and kisses? How is this going to change the world?’ Well, read Ghandi,” Beck said on his Internet television show promoting the event recently. “Love is about charity. Love is about personal individualized service. Love is about the work of our hearts.” To that end, the volunteers who have gathered here, organizers say they’ve come from 20 different countries and all 50 states, are here to work.
Friday is being called a day of service, and armies of volunteers will fan out across the city to provide manpower to local churches and other charitable groups to help the communities they serve.
And while there is a Tea Party rally as part of the event (it’s being co-hosted by Freedom Works), Beck said restoring love in America is not about politics.
In fact, he hopes it’s a movement that transcends partisan and religious divisions.
“It’s important to reach across all boundaries that normally separate us,² Beck said on his show. “Christians, Jews, atheists - I don’t care. I really don’t. Time to put our differences aside just like Thomas Payne and John Adams did. I’ll meet with anybody. I’ll stand with anybody.” Restoring Love also includes a vendor fair, and book signings from notable conservatives like Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and political commentator Oliver North. Texas Governor Rick Perry is also expected to attend a breakfast session on Saturday.
The three-day event culminates in a huge rally Saturday night at the Dallas Cowboys’ Stadium with musical performances as well as Beck himself.
In an odd twist, the Westboro Baptist Church, made infamous for their anti-homosexual protests at funerals of dead U.S. soliders, are planning to demonstrate outside Beck’s rally Saturday.
According to the church’s website, “Glenn Beck despises God, and he proudly says so,” a statement reads, adding, “He is wholy (sic) incapable of seeing the Hand of God at work in this earth, and he flatly refuses to give the Glory of God’s work, TO GOD! He worships Mr. Peanut.” Brian Lilley, who hosts Byline on Sun News Network, interviewed Beck last month. The video of the interview is available at sunnewsnetwork.ca.