Stock photo.

Conservative pundit Glenn Beck addressed thousands at his “Restoring Honor” rally on Aug. 28 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Some feel the timing and placement of his speech was disrespectful and inappropriate.

Beck’s speech took place on the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and Beck spoke just feet from where King stood.

He’s claimed that the timing of the speech was purely coincidental and referred to the coincidence as “divine providence” on his radio talk show. Did the hand of God really play a role in Beck’s speech or do we just have another political pundit whoring out the name of God?

“This day is a day that we can start the hearts of Americans again. And it has nothing to do with politics, it has everything to do with God,” Beck said.

The coincidence might have been ignored had it not been for the multiple references to civil rights, equality and justice, and a strong need for change in the country. Many of the items addressed in Beck’s speech in fact were some of King’s main points in his speech, 47 years earlier.

Beck addressed many of the same problems that King did in his historical speech. But while King called for a dormant government to step up and do its part to create an equal playing field for all Americans, Beck along with other conservatives, calls for the government to back off and let the people be. With such opposing views to those of King’s why the hell didn’t Beck choose a different venue?

It’s this sort of ethos that led critics of Beck’s speech like the Rev. Al Sharpton to speak out against Beck. Sharpton even called for a counter march on the same day.

Sharpton called the speech a disgrace to what King was trying to do.

“When government stayed out of people’s lives women and blacks couldn’t vote. When government stayed out of people’s lives we were in the back of the bus. We need government to do what Dr. King came and asked government to do in ’63 and we need government to do that now,” Sharpton said.

Still, swarms of people of showed up to see Beck speak atop the memorial’s steps.

The crowd, referred to as “overwhelmingly white” by Los Angeles Times writer Michael Memoli, gathered around the Lincoln Memorial for the roughly 45-minute-long speech.

Originally, Beck chose Sept. 12 for the speech but said that he didn’t want to make Americans work on a Sunday and the next obvious date for the speech was Aug. 28.

Was it really coincidence that Beck chose this date and venue for his speech? Perhaps it was. Regardless, Beck’s speech would have been met with less opposition if he had approached the event with more tact and chosen another date and venue. But maybe that’s exactly what he was trying to do. It’s Beck’s controversy that puts butts in seats, not tact. And as long as Beck is making speeches like this and compares Obama’s administration to that of Hitler’s Third Reich, people like Jon Stewart will have a job. Not only will polical comedians have a job, but they will thrive.

Supporters of Beck have compiled a highlights video of the speech.

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