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July 23, 2014

Opinion: Beck's Charity to Migrants Produces Ugly Backlash

The far-right response to conservative radio personality Glenn Beck's plan to deliver aid to undocumented children being held in Texas shows a want of Christian charity among activists who otherwise favor giving over government as a means to help those in need, according to an opinion piece in newsmagazine The Week.

Mr. Beck said earlier this month that he would ship food, toys, and other supplies to a detention facility for Central American minors who crossed the border illegally and without adult accompaniment, saying he opposed the Obama administration's immigration policies but felt obligated to take action on humanitarian grounds.

Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig, who writes on religious ethics and public policy, notes that Mr. Beck's appeal generated a strong backlash from his listeners and in other conservative media, echoing what she says is anti-immigrant activists' demonizing of the tens of thousands of children who have entered the country illegally in recent months.

"So much for the Christian mission of mercy and tenderness," Ms. Bruenig writes. "For Beck's enraged audience, any act of kindness, no matter how small … was too great a risk."