Former Fox News host Glenn Beck is revealing for the first time one of the reasons why he left Fox News in 2011 to form his own cable channel: Fox told him to stop talking about God.
At a pro-Ted Cruz rally in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on Saturday, Beck told a crowd of more than 200 people he believes God now wants him to share the story.
Beginning at the 1:14 mark in a video posted on Facebook, Beck says he was called into an office at Fox and told, "Stop talking about God."
"I was told, 'Stop telling people to pray.' I was told not to tell people to pray on their knees because there's a lot of people in the audience whose knees hurt and I make them feel bad," Beck said to laughter from the crowd at a conference room at Springmaid Beach Resort.
"I was told, 'Stop praying because that takes God's focus off the important things like war,'" he continued. "I was just like, 'Uh huh. Wow. I thought I was gonna get this speech at CNN.'"
Beck said he told the person he understood the viewpoint, but was called in again four months later.
"Do you remember that conversation?" the person, whom he did not identify, said.
"Yes, I do," Beck said he replied.
"Do you realize how many times you've said the word 'God' on the air since?" he said the person told him.
"I said, 'You counted?'"
The person told him he had done so 91 times.
Beck said he and his wife felt God was telling them they were in the wrong place, so he decided to move on.
"I wanted to stay there," Beck said, adding that "the guy who runs the place told me, 'You're not leaving.'"
He did not say if that was Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes or News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, who both have offices at Fox headquarters in New York.
"I said, 'Yes, I am," Beck said, but was told, "No, you won't. … Because, you're famous, make good money, you're living a great life. Nobody leaves.'"
"I said, 'Well, I'm going to.' And that's because God said to me, 'If you don’t leave now, you're not going to leave without your soul. Because once you start wanting it, that's when you start compromising."
Beck in 2013 told a group at New York University, "If you stay in it too long, you become Norma Desmond. … I remember feeling, 'If you do not leave now, you won’t leave with your soul intact.'"
Fox News disputed that claim at the time, saying that although Beck's program was popular, it was losing sponsors.
"Glenn Beck wasn't trying to save his soul, he was trying to save his ass," a Fox spokesman
told Politico's Mike Allen at the time.
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