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Glenn Beck's Tears and Mormon Masculinity

If there is one thing that sets Glenn Beck apart from others in his league of media windbags, it's the tears. In an essay called "How Mormonism Built Glenn Beck" published over at Religion Dispatches, Joanna Brooks tries to help us understand Glenn Beck (those of us who are still trying, that is). And she doesn't neglect the tears:

Beck’s oft-ridiculed penchant for punctuating his tirades with tears is the hallmark of a distinctly Mormon mode of masculinity. As sociologist David Knowlton has written, “Mormonism praises the man who is able to shed tears as a manifestation of spirituality.” Crying and choking up are understood by Mormons as manifestations of the Holy Spirit. For men at every rank of Mormon culture and visibility, appropriately-timed displays of tender emotion are displays of power.

(Thanks, Get Religion.)

Source: Religion Dispatches