Fox News personality Glenn Beck called for a restoration of faith in the United States at his “Divine Destiny” event Friday night at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Taking the stage in the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall to a standing ovation, Beck started off the night telling his audience of thousands — many of them preachers, ministers, rabbis, priests and other religious leaders — that they need to “sit down” because “we’ve got a lot to do.”
Beck gave out tickets to the event to the general public, but since the Kennedy Center has only so many seats, a limited number of Beck’s fans that have descended on Washington for his “Restoring Honor” rally were allowed inside. Beck’s Mercury Radio broadcasting company made a live-stream available on his website to those who weren’t able to get tickets, including one unlikely fan.
“There are thousands of people streaming this [event] right now,” Beck said. “And, it make me happy to know Keith Olbermann is one of them.”
The evening focused on religion and the importance of faith in the country’s founding. Nevertheless, Beck made it clear that he wasn’t advocating for a combination of Church and State.
“Pastors, priests, rabbis: tonight and tomorrow is a wakeup call,” Beck told the audience. “A call to action to serve your country. A call to let you know you are not alone and that we are here to help you.”
After a church choir sang three or four songs to open up the night, Virginia Republican Rep. Randy Forbes, the founder and co-chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, led those in attendance in prayer.
“There are still representatives in Congress –Democrats and Republicans –that believe in prayer,” Forbes said. “In the Congressional Prayer Caucus, we get down on our knees and ask God to heal our land.”
David Barton, head of WallBuilders, a national pro-family organization that promotes American history, joined Beck throughout the night as a co-host to “Divine Destiny.” He helped Beck introduce each of the night’s speakers.
The overwhelmingly Christian audience greeted speaker Rabbi David Lapin with a “Shabbat Shalom,” in reference to the fact Lapin was speaking at the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath, or day of rest.
“This [everyone in a mostly non-Jewish crowd wishing him a Shabbat Shalom] never happened before in history,” Lapin said. “It could not happen anywhere else but in America.”
Lapin spoke without a microphone because during Shabbat, Jews are not supposed to turn on electricity. His talk focused on returning America to its roots in faith.
“When you sever a flower from its roots, it dies,” he said. “I think what is happening in America is we’re being severed from our Biblical roots.”
Former San Diego Chargers defensive back and current pastor of The Rock Church in San Diego Miles McPherson urged the audience to get involved in their communities and start making a difference.
“All of your towns and my town are on fire,” McPherson said. “And nobody is doing anything about it.”
McPherson recommended people count and name the different places in their towns people are going to for help instead of the churches, go there and ask how they can help. He said it’s not enough anymore for people to sit around and not do anything to help their communities.
Television star Chuck Norris also made a guest appearance at the event with his wife, Gena, who, when he was on stage, he referred to as his “prayer-warrior.” Norris quoted many of the nation’s Founding Fathers’ writings as a way to show their support for faith in the United States.
“What does it take to get me and Gena off our ranch in Texas?” Norris asked the crowd. “An order of Congress? No — only God or Glenn Beck.”
Vietnam War veteran Dave Reever said he thinks God has a plan for America and praised all American troops, past and present, for their work protecting the country.
“There’s a reason the Taliban doesn’t have a grenade rolling down that aisle right now and there’s a reason al Qaeda doesn’t have a truck bomb out in the parking lot right now,” Reever said. “That reason is the United States of America.”
Beck wrapped up the night with a plea to the audience to take action and reclaim the nation’s honor.
“America is at a crossroads,” Beck said. “Every one of us is here for a reason. Tomorrow, I’m going to challenge you to figure out what it is. We are 12 hours away from fundamentally changing the United States of America.”