January 15, 2008

"I don't for a moment think that Obama shares Wright's views on Farrakhan."

"But the rap on Obama is that he is a fog of a man."

That's Richard Cohen
, casting aspersions in the Washington Post. Barack Obama belongs to Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. Is he responsible for everything done by its minister Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.? Are all the candidates responsible for the opinions of their ministers, or only candidates that seem foggy?

53 comments:

Simon said...

"Are all the candidates responsible for the opinions of their ministers ... ?"

Huckabee certainly is. ;)

Balfegor said...

Is he responsible for everything done by its minister Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.? Are all the candidates responsible for the opinions of their ministers, or only candidates that seem foggy?

Well, there's the foggy.

And there's all those media reports indicating that Wright isn't just Obama's minister. Wright was responsible for Obama's conversion. His campaign book is even titled after one of Wright's sermons. Their relationship doesn't seem particularly distant. With nothing else to go on, there's a sort of "company he keeps" logic to looking at the opinions his spiritual mentor holds.

George said...

This is a very pro-Obama story.

Condemning anyone for the views of their minister (or denomination) will backfire, particularly if whites use this against blacks.

Doug said...

The next time Cohen writes something substantive or insightful, it'll be the first.

This isn't even an "Obama is friends with Louis Farrakhan" issue, it's an "Obama is friends with a guy who's friends with Louis Farrakhan" issue. Is it Cohen's intention that we map out every single connection Obama has until we've gone the Kevin-Bacon-mandated six degrees, then demand that Obama condemn every person in that network that Cohen doesn't like?

peter hoh said...

After Clinton is held accountable for everything she's done, then we can talk about whether or not Obama is responsible for everything done or said by some other person.

Blue Moon said...

This is a big fat changeup down the middle of the plate:. Obama could point to a copy of the New Testament and say "Hold me to Jesus' beliefs, not my pastor's."

Ding, ding, ding -- more crossover votes please.

tightspotkilo said...

Hey, I got an idea. Let's give Obama a total pass on his racist anti-semitic xenophobic minister, but reserve the right to skewer any repug who, for instance, gives a speech at Bob Jones University. Leftards are so much fun. And fair too.

PatCA said...

Obama is a member of a church that has written and spoken values that are controversial. We have a right to know if he agrees with them or not, or why he is a member, just as if he were answering questions about being an evangelical or being in the Federalist Society or any other group, and how that would affect his decisions as president. Or are these questions only relevant when posed to Republicans?

Finally, the media notices.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

The Left gives minorities a Rousseauian Pass for any and all religious expression. It adds to the exoticness and helps confirm ytheir Otherness that they have noisy church services and give campaign speeches in revival-tent oratorical tones. Racial paternalism on the left keeps secular whites and jews from feeling threatened by the religious values of minorities.

White people are supposed to be above such nonsense, which is why any Republican's expression of faith is viewed as fair game. Religious faith on the right is viewed as a manifestation of either stupidity or cynicism.

All George Bush had to do was set foot on the campus Bob Jones University in order to be tarred as a theocratic segregationist, while the most repugnant views of Obama's spiritual leader and friend are glossed over.

PatCA said...

Good article, Balfegor. I think Obama's "conversion" was really political expediency. One of his mentor, Saul Alinsky's, rules of organizing was to organize within the experience of the group-- PTA's, churches, and clubs. The church and its pastor became his base.

Rules for Radicals

Trooper York said...

The real problem is that Obama has accepted the endorsement of Oprah who recently put forward the ridiculous notion that Chicago Deep Dish Pizza is the best Pizza in America! Communist.

former law student said...

PatCA: How could Alinsky have been Obama's mentor, given that he died in Carmel in 1972, when Obama was 11 years old, and had just moved from Indonesia to Honolulu?

Alinsky would seem to have had a much greater influence on Hillary, who was impressed enough by him to make him the subject of her senior honors thesis at Wellesley College

Alinsky did set down a list of community organizing techniques, used by such radical outfits as the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council, and the United Farm Workers (Cesar Chavez was trained by a man, Fred Ross, who had been trained by Alinsky.)

Doug said...

All George Bush had to do was set foot on the campus Bob Jones University in order to be tarred as a theocratic segregationist, while the most repugnant views of Obama's spiritual leader and friend are glossed over.

What are the "repugnant views" of Jeremiah Wright that you think are equal in seriousness to those of Bob Jones U.? All guilt by association is not created equal. And "Bush got tarred as a theocratic segregationist, so Obama should have to be tarred as one too" is not logical grounds for condemnation of the Obama-Wright friendship.

Ken said...

I don't think AA is being fair here. Obama has made a point of emphasizing his attendance at this church. He has sat unprotesting through sermons. He could go elsewhere. Foggy or not it is fair to ask why he keeps the company he keeps.

AlphaLiberal said...

Why is Obama's pastor the only clergy to the candidates put under the microscope?

Let's hear more about John McCain's church leaders. I hear they're supportive of the Palestinians. Shouldn't McCain answer for that?

And how about Huckabee? he's running on religion with the rest of the GOP and should have to defend everything his pastor says.

Bullshit.

Doyle said...

Wherein I defend Ann:

Cohen demands that Obama disavow Louis Farrakhan... while conceding that Obama has never embraced Farrakhan, and it's Ann who's being unfair?

It's guilt by association. A congregant of any black church is going to be linkable to Farrakhan if you go through enough degrees of separation.

We shouldn't demand that the black Baptist candidate disavow Farrakhan unless we're also going to demand that all Catholics disavow Bill Donahue, etc.

That column was pure garbage. It brought nothing to the table but innuendo.

SGT Ted said...

Wrights a racist and a bigot. His own website touts a "Black Values System".

Wright on Eurocentrism: "African-centered thought, unlike Eurocentrism, does not assume superiority and look at everyone else as being inferior."


Wright on 9/11: "White America got their wake-up call after 9/11. White America and the Western world came to realize people of color had not gone away, faded in the woodwork, or just disappeared as the Great White West kept on its merry way of ignoring black concerns."

John Salmon said...

Why is he a member of this church if he doesn't agree with the views espoused by its pastor? There are plenty of other churches out there that don't bash Whitey.

Barack's got a lot of 'splain' to do.

former law student said...

Wrights a racist and a bigot. His own website touts a "Black Values System".

Wright on Eurocentrism: "African-centered thought, unlike Eurocentrism, does not assume superiority and look at everyone else as being inferior."


Why do people view the desire to build up the black man as racist? Blacks are still two rungs down in our society. In their heart of hearts, white fathers would rather their daughters marry a Hispanic than a black, and would prefer a white son-in-law most of all.

Doyle said...

Salmon -

Do you know any pro-choice Catholics? Because every single one of them disagrees with the Pope on abortion.

e.c. dan said...

I like Obama. He was obviously raised well and if he told me more perhaps I might find myself in agreeance with some of his ideas for the country. But I wonder how it is he finds himself belonging to a church that would not be a welcoming place for his grandmother and grandfather to attend--the very two who were primarily responsible for his upbringing. Obama could transcend much that is problematic in America, and would probably thus get my vote as a result, but instead it seems, and this church thing is perhaps only a small example, that in his choices and rhetoric he is doing something very different.

A campaign based on detailed policy considerations, boring nuts and bolts, instead of pleasently vague platitudes bordering on demagoguery; and an emphasis on a life story that's all about uniqueness and individuation (at every chance belittling narrow group-think of which this church is an example), an approach like this could have won this thing for him. As it is, he doesn't stand a chance. Or at the very least, he won't be getting my vote.

I guess I should know read the Cohen piece. But Shelby Steele's new book on Obama is probably time better spent.

e.c. dan said...

know--now

Doyle said...

I'm sure E.C.'s right that if Obama's campaign had been lighter on stirring rhetoric and heavier on boring policy details, he'd be in much better position to win the presidency than he is now.

Wait a minute... no I'm not. I'm not sure of that at all!

AlphaLiberal said...

Perhaps that great media whore Richard Cohen is running with another right-wing smear on Democrats.

Dude knows whence comes the butter on his bread. He serves his masters well. Hope he gets a nice pat on the head.

Middle Class Guy said...

This is nothing more than the Clinton noise machine keeping our eye on the race issue they deny bringing up.

The real wuestion we should be asking is where is the scrutiny of Hillary? The media is aiding and abetting Clinton and going after any of her opponents and detractors.

What are Hillary's beliefs- not her religion, how about her husbands, does he have any?

Peter hoh said it best:
"After Clinton is held accountable for everything she's done, then we can talk about whether or not Obama is responsible for everything done or said by some other person."

Ok major media go for it.

AlphaLiberal said...

former law student sez:
"Why do people view the desire to build up the black man as racist?"

I had the same question.

On one hand conservatives say blacks should raise themselves up.

Then, when they try to raise up their community from the inside, conservatives bash them as racists.

Conservatives: They don't like blacks no matter what.

PatCA said...

Yes, former law student, I should have said Obama's inspiration rather than mentor.

Middle Class Guy said...

former law student,
I have the answer to your question. Progressives do not want Blacks to build themselves up, or anyone else for that matter.

They want Blacks to stay in a constant state of dependency on government for their needs- financial and civil rights. That is why Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are so valuable to them.

Self reliance, self determination, and individual achievement and responsibility are an anathema to progressives. It is a a form of racism they refuse to acknowledge.

Freeman Hunt said...

Is he responsible for everything done by its minister Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.?

No, but he should probably address the church's emphasis on race. Imagine if one of the Republicans went to a church where the minister was known to associate with white separatists--I think people would, rightly, expect him to address it.

antiphone said...

Self reliance, self determination, and individual achievement and responsibility are an anathema to progressives. It is a a form of racism they refuse to acknowledge.

Sounds like someone’s playing a “card”, engaging in “identity politics”. Only “the left” does that, right?

e.c. dan said...

Doyle,
I'm full of praise for Obama's political skills. I thus think he has the unique ability to do nuts and bolts in a way that would take care much of the public's thirst for demagoguery. A plus, plus in my book. Thus your use of the word "boring" I find telling. Tragic really. He's taking the easier road rhetorically. And truth be told his association with this church is also an easier road. I don't find either to be examples of great leadership.

George said...

Which politician belongs to the radical Caucasio-centric denomination whose national spokesman and leaders have called for

...

the impeachment of Pres. Bush...the impeachment of VP Cheney...the immediate withdrawal of all US forces from Iraq.....the legalization of late-term abortions (under some circumstances)..bilateral talks with Iran...unilateral nuclear disarmament...and divestment of the denomination's holdings from Caterpillar Corp.?


a) Hillary Clinton
b) George Bush

c) Dick Cheney

d) John Edwards



Answer: All of them are Methodists and all must explain why they are or are not in absolute compliance with the views of their denomination.

SGT Ted said...

Why do people view the desire to build up the black man as racist?

Because he could build up the black man without sneering at and putting down the white man. Like Bill Cosby does when he addresses black communities.

But, no. His ticket is to trash whites in order to validate his hatred towards them. A bigot is a bigot, regardless of color. You libs just give the colored bigots a pass.

Conservatives: They don't like blacks no matter what.

Another leftwing bigot spews his ignorance.

Balfegor said...

Then, when they try to raise up their community from the inside

By . . . rejecting middleclass-ness as White and selfish? Oh yes, I can see that as a recipe for certain success.

Revenant said...

Hasn't Romney already faced questions from the media about past Mormon racial attitudes towards blacks? If that was fair game then I don't see how it can credibly be argued that the beliefs of Obama's church are off the table.

Doyle said...

Thus your use of the word "boring" I find telling. Tragic really.

"Boring" was your word!

Hoosier Daddy said...

FLS said: Why do people view the desire to build up the black man as racist? Blacks are still two rungs down in our society.
You do realize that someone’s social status has nothing to do with whether or not they are racist don’t you? Considering that Barack Obama is a serious contender for the Democratic nomination, I think your characterization of black social standing is a tad 1950s.
In their heart of hearts, white fathers would rather their daughters marry a Hispanic than a black, and would prefer a white son-in-law most of all.
Oh yes and black women are overjoyed at seeing white women marry black men. Racism isn’t confined to white people as much as you want to believe it.
AlphaLiberal said
Conservatives: They don't like blacks no matter what.

Does that mean people like Clarence Thomas or Thomas Sowell hate themselves? Or is painting a black man as self loathing racist? Or maybe you just showed your ass to the world with that comment.

Blue Moon said...

AlphaLiberal: Conservatives: They don't like blacks no matter what.

I guess this black man who is married to a white conservative is in trouble. Although she was kind of annoyed the other day when I hadn't unloaded the dishwasher -- it must be because she hates black people.

Obama should explain, and it'll take all of 5 seconds. He can choose a couple of soundbites:

a. I follow Jesus, not pastors

b. I don't see you asking Rudy to explain the Pope's positions, why are you asking me?

former law student said...

His ticket is to trash whites in order to validate his hatred towards them.

O rilly? By claiming black people are less bigoted than white people is a hate-motivated trashing of whites? Are you sure that it's not the beam in your own eye that is preventing you from clearly seeing the mote in Wright's eye?

former law student said...

You do realize that someone’s social status has nothing to do with whether or not they are racist don’t you?

Sure, sure. Black racists believe that whites are lazy, ignorant, baby breeding subhumans. Further, blacks believe that any whites of accomplishment got there through preferential treatment, not merit.

Somehow I don't buy this argument.

paul a'barge said...

Why is Obama's pastor the only clergy to the candidates put under the microscope?

Good lord.

Why would you even attempt to make the point that Obama's pastor is the only one being singled out for the microscope?

You know full well that if a pastor of any of the other candidates were publicly supportive of Farrakhan, that pastor would be under the microscope in a New York minute (c).

You can not possibly be capable of using a QWERTY keyboard and actually postulate otherwise.

Balfegor said...

Re: FLS:

O rilly?

OTL. Do it right! It's O RLY?

Black racists believe that whites are lazy, ignorant, baby breeding subhumans.

No . . . they believe something much weirder than that.

Elijah Muhammad believed that the white race was created by Yakub, a black scientist, and that Allah had allowed this devilish race to hold power for 6,000 years.

Yes, that's right. You White people? You're the creation of a mad scientist.

In fairness, not all Black racists subscribe to this looney theory. I'm sure many others subscribe to the usual beliefs about Whites stealing all their inventions from Blacks and maintaining their racial power through a network of good ol' boys that shuts out Black people and makes them suffer out of sheer malice.

Revenant said...

O rilly? By claiming black people are less bigoted than white people is a hate-motivated trashing of whites?

Well, it may simply be an ignorance-motivated trashing of whites, since it is objectively false. :)

But what is troubling about Wright's theology isn't its denigration of other races, but its doctrine of deliberate, voluntary racial segregation. He doesn't advocate integrating blacks into American society; he advocates keeping apart from American society and improving as a separate culture. That's a pretty un-American attitude, and certainly one which is directly at odds with the vision of the civil rights movement. The "I Have a Dream" speech did not enthuse about the wonderful future where blacks had nothing to do with white people -- King left that rhetoric to the kooks in the Nation of Islam.

e.c. dan said...

Doyle,
" "Boring" was your word! "So it was. And/Or you didn't catch my hard to catch irony. Not a problem and perfectly understandable. I'll just restate the point that "boring" need not necessarily be so in the hands of talented speaker like Obama and he'd stand a better chance in the general election (and I hope he makes it that far) not to mention against the Clinton machine by being spectacularly "boring." I'll concede a pinch of "stirring" is always a plus. "Stirring" of course is your word, I used " pleasantly vague platitudes bordering on demagoguery." We seem to disagree about things here as well.

Eli Blake said...

Meanwhile, Pope Benedict XVI has cancelled a speech he was to give this week at La Sapenzia University in Rome because of remarks he made in a speech fifteen years ago calling the trial of Galileo for challenging the medieval church doctrine of an earth-centered universe, "reasonable and just." Then Cardinal Ratzinger went on to suggest that the church which convicted Galileo of heresy for daring to suggest that the earth went around the sun had remained more faithful to reason than had Galileo himself.

No, I guess I'll quit worrying now about creationists who want to edit my biology book. Now I'll have to start worrying about real fundamentalists, led by the Holy Father himself, who want to burn my physics book.

Trooper York said...

My parish is distributing tickets for the papal mass that will be held in Yankee stadium in April. We only get 3 tickets, so there will be a lottery. The security conditions are also very tight. You need to fill out paperwork and have a security check just to go to mass. The only good thing is that the mass is in Yankee stadium, just goes to show you that the pope knows that God is a Yankee fan.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Sure, sure. Black racists believe that whites are lazy, ignorant, baby breeding subhumans. Further, blacks believe that any whites of accomplishment got there through preferential treatment, not merit.

Somehow I don't buy this argument.


Ok so you're of the opinion that only white people are racist.

If that's sincerely the case, you live an awfully sheltered life sonny.

dick said...

Alpha Liberal,

You are really funny. Richard Cohen getting a pat on the head from his masters? He writes for the WaPo, a certified offshoot of the DNC. Do you think he will get a pat on the head for this article from them?

Kirby Olson said...

Feminism (Clinton) as it is pitted against multiculturalism (Obama):

No culture has more women's rights than the western European and North American democracies.

But, by supporting multiculturalism western women ironically are undercutting their own progress.

And yet the two things are often thought to be indistinguishable, as their alliance seems so important. But are they really the same thing? Don't they have radically separate agendas?

There has not been a general celebration among American feminists regarding the liberation of Afghan or Iraqi women. Because they are in support of multiculturalism, a trend which in fact causes them to hate the west and its so-called imperialism, when in fact, it's the only place on earth where they have voting rights, the right to be educated, to own property, to be educated, etc.

It's quite a peculiar contradiction, and is something you feel is almost palpable as Clinton talks with Obama. Neither one can afford to go against the other. They are chained together, like escapees, and have to continue along together, but one senses they want to go in radically separate directions.

PatCA said...

"Why do people view the desire to build up the black man as racist? Blacks are still two rungs down in our society. In their heart of hearts, white fathers would rather their daughters marry a Hispanic than a black, and would prefer a white son-in-law most of all."

Other posters have already commented on this but how can you say this is anything but opinion--mean-spirited and unsupported by any evidence at that? And using such antiquated terms like "the black man" is like something out of Mandingo, or are you saying all black men are the same? I guess black women are not included.

What do you mean by "build up" or "two rungs down"? How can you say you know what is inside anyone's heart of hearts, much less that of all white males?

You've drunk the kool-aid, kid.

Tom T. said...

So if a Republican candidate speaks at Oral Roberts University or Bob Jones University, is it fair to link that candidate to those churches' views?

Revenant said...

So if a Republican candidate speaks at Oral Roberts University or Bob Jones University, is it fair to link that candidate to those churches' views?

I don't know if it is "fair" or not, but it certainly happens. :)

But in any case, speaking at a university doesn't imply that you agree with what that university teaches. Attending a church, on the other hand, DOES imply that you agree with what the church teaches; otherwise you'd go to a different church, right?

Doug said...

Richard Cohen getting a pat on the head from his masters? He writes for the WaPo, a certified offshoot of the DNC.

Just like that wack-job liberal Kristol who recently got a gig with the New York Times, right?