March 14, 2008

Barack Obama responds to the criticism over Jeremiah Wright.

I've been feeling remiss that I hadn't done a post yet about the Jeremiah Wright controversy, but since I'm entering the dispute late, let me start with Obama's response:
As I have written about in my books, I first joined Trinity United Church of Christ nearly twenty years ago. I knew Rev. Wright as someone who served this nation with honor as a United States Marine, as a respected biblical scholar, and as someone who taught or lectured at seminaries across the country, from Union Theological Seminary to the University of Chicago. He also led a diverse congregation that was and still is a pillar of the South Side and the entire city of Chicago. It's a congregation that does not merely preach social justice but acts it out each day, through ministries ranging from housing the homeless to reaching out to those with HIV/AIDS.

Most importantly, Rev. Wright preached the gospel of Jesus, a gospel on which I base my life. In other words, he has never been my political advisor; he's been my pastor. And the sermons I heard him preach always related to our obligation to love God and one another, to work on behalf of the poor, and to seek justice at every turn.

The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation. When these statements first came to my attention, it was at the beginning of my presidential campaign. I made it clear at the time that I strongly condemned his comments. But because Rev. Wright was on the verge of retirement, and because of my strong links to the Trinity faith community, where I married my wife and where my daughters were baptized, I did not think it appropriate to leave the church.
Isn't that enough?

ADDED: Here's the NYT article about the controversy, with an interesting photograph that makes Jeremiah Wright appear to be a white man.

148 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Isn't that enough?

Oh, you know it won't be.

Elliott A said...

Absolutely not. To claim to be oblivious to his years of spewing hatred against anybody and everybody is beyond credibility. Considering the number of times he has ranted, one video was from Christmas, Obama either doesn't go to church too often or is not being truthful.

His claim of superior judgement falls flat when one considers his judgement here. While you can't choose your relatives, or those who like you, you can choose your pastor and church. For a person of faith, this is a major life decision. To aspire to politics, and to give a damn about justice and country and still be a member of Rev. Wright's church registers a big fat ZERO on the judgement meter.

Bob said...

Basically, it's Rev. Wright made those statements when I wasn't there to hear them.

Yah, right. Rev. Wright spouts the same sort of racist bullshit as the Nation of Islam, and Obama is clueless.

XWL said...

Isn't that enough?

Not hardly.

If a candidate was running around with Fred Phelps' merry band of bigots and jerks, so long as that candidate said they didn't agree with the bigoted aspect of Fred Phelps religious philosophy, you'd give him or her a pass?

Rev. Wright isn't all that far different from Pastor Phelps (or an idiotarian like Rev. Pat Robertson, for that matter) in my opinion. And it's not at all credible that in 20 years of a close relationship with Rev. Wright's church and with Rev. Wright personally that Sen. Obama had never heard any inflammatory statements slip from Rev. Wright's lips.

Elliott A said...

It's not an accident that today's Rasmussen poll ha McCain with a 6 point lead over Obama in Pennsylvania. The suburban Jewish voters are leaving him in droves. Ditto New Jersey and Northern Virginia, taking Virginia out of play.

This is why Hillary didn't quit. She was waiting for him to selfdestruct.

Maguro said...

So Obama went to this guy's church for 20 years and never heard him preach anything but sweetness and light? For some reason, I don't think that story is going to hold up.

Expect more backpedaling on this from BO once it's discovered that he was present for some of Rev Wright's "kill whitey" sermons.

MadisonMan said...

I'm curious about the decision to highlight those three paragraphs. Why not include the following as well?

Let me repeat what I've said earlier. All of the statements that have been the subject of controversy are ones that I vehemently condemn. They in no way reflect my attitudes and directly contradict my profound love for this country.

Beldar said...

If Obama wants his different positions from his pastor's to be taken seriously, he needs to address those one by one and leave no doubt.

To pick an example, does he agree that God should damn America? Will he condemn someone who quite literally calls for that judgment as being anti-American, or does he instead think this is an invocation about which reasonable Christians and/or reasonable Americans may all differ?

Or: Does he agree that the HIV virus was distributed by the CIA to afflict the black race in America and elsewhere? Will he condemn those who spread such misinformation as being themselves guilty of racism?

What he's said so far is weak sauce, and it's being compared to extremely fiery rhetoric — rhetoric for which the word "inflammatory" is inadequate. He doesn't need to match Wright's own venom. But he needs to feel, and show, some passion and some detail of his own to even begin to offset the impression that's left by his close ties to this "man of the cloth." Failing that, I think it's fair to conclude that his mild disassociation is simply insincere.

UWS guy said...

I bet Rev. Wright is old enough to remember when white Americans wouldn't let him drink from the same drinking fountain.

Wouldn't you have a chip on your shoulder too?

Heck, Condoleezza Rice, as young as she is, had a friend who died in a church firebombing. How dare a black man be ungrateful, why we've given them such a great time this past 250 years. My father (b. 1923) as a grown man saw road signs in the South that read:

"Nigger don't let the Sun set on you here." This was in the 50'-60's.

My point? Cut an old black man a break.

Elliott A said...

He should have vehemently condemned the statements when he wasn't there to hear them in the first place to

TMink said...

I think he is now toast.

His "pastor," hatemonger is a more appropriate term, is still on his African American Leadership Council.

Pass the butter.

Trey

Middle Class Guy said...

Back in 2000 the Democratic controlled Legislature passed a resolution condemning Bob Jones University for it’s racial policies because, and only because, George Bush made a campaign speech there. Where is the Democratic Controlled Legislature now? How come Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are not crafting a resolution to condemn Trinity Church? It makes you want to go Hmmmmmmmmm.

George said...

What sort of Christian minister shouts "G*d damn" and "sh*t" from the pulpit...in front of children?

What sort of United States Senator respects such a man or even wants his children to hear such vulgarity?

17 years as a church member x 52 weeks = 884 sermons.

--

Anyway, Chris Mathews appeared visibly shaken on TV a few minutes ago. Right now, Olberman and Alter are paddling hard. Alter says Wright is "fiery."

Yeah, like a Klan cross.

Zeb Quinn said...

I thought Wright married Barack and Michelle, baptized their children, and Barack lifted the title of his book, "The Audacity of Hope", straight out of one of Wright's sermons. If so, full tilt boogie simpatico is what that sounds like to me.

rhhardin said...

His rev is not so clean and articulate.

Yachira said...

No Ann, that's not enough.

Not only is it not enough, but Obama is, quite simply, lying when he says he never heard Wright say these kinds of things. From the New York Times:

In Monday’s interview, Mr. Wright expressed disappointment but no surprise that Mr. Obama might try to play down their connection.

“When his enemies find out that in 1984 I went to Tripoli” to visit Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, Mr. Wright recalled, “with Farrakhan, a lot of his Jewish support will dry up quicker than a snowball in hell.” Mr. Wright added that his trip implied no endorsement of either Louis Farrakhan’s views or Qaddafi’s.

Mr. Wright said that in the phone conversation in which Mr. Obama disinvited him from a role in the announcement, Mr. Obama cited an article in Rolling Stone, “The Radical Roots of Barack Obama.”

According to the pastor, Mr. Obama then told him, “You can get kind of rough in the sermons, so what we’ve decided is that it’s best for you not to be out there in public.”


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/06/us/politics/06obama.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

titusgrandjete said...

As a jew, who knows many jews, I can tell you they do not like Obama.

They don't trust him.

Many of them are not going to vote for him.

None of my jew friends in NYC voted for him-they all voted for Hilary.

And the gays all voted for Hilary too.

MadisonMan said...

Middle Class Guy, are you seriously advocating that the US Government should condemn a church?

madawaskan said...

Why does Obama himself-omit his-
$22,500 donation to the church?

It reminds me of this statement of his-

I am member of the Unity Church of Christ, Trinity United Church of Christ, been there for 20 years. And although this is an improvement because you don't think I am Muslim, which is the other... [laughter] You know, so, slowly we are progressing here. It is a very conventional African American church. If you go to, if you were there at the church, you would be hearing gospel music and people preaching about Jesus. It is very conventional in that sense.

It is true that my pastor, Jeremiah Wright, who will be retiring this month, is somebody who on occasion can say controversial things. Most of them, by the way, are controversial directed at the African American community and calling on them [to] start reading books and turn off the TV set and engage in self-help. And he is very active in prison ministries and so forth. It is also true that he comes out of the '60s -- he is an older man. That is where he cut his teeth. That he has historically been interested in the African roots of the African American experience.

[...]

He does not have a close relationship with Louis Farrakhan. Louis Farrakhan is a resident of Chicago, and as a consequence he has been active in a range of community activities, particularly around ex-offenders and dealing with them. I have been a consistent, before I go any further, a consistent denunciator of Louis Farrakhan, nobody challenges that. And what is true is that, recently this is probably, I guess last year. An award was given to Farrakhan for his work on behalf of ex-offenders completely unrelated to his controversial statements. And I believe that was a mistake and showed a lack of sensitivity to the Jewish community, and I said so. But I have never heard an anti-Semitic [remark] made inside of our church. I have never heard anything that would suggest anti-Semitism on part of the pastor.

He is like an old uncle who sometimes will say things that I don't agree with. And I suspect there are some of the people in this room who have heard relatives say some things that they don't agree with. Including, on occasion, directed at African Americans that maybe a possibility that's just -- I am not suggesting that's definitive.

***

Why does he think it is an improvement-that they don't think he's Muslim-he's suppose to be a great communicator and persuader-but here it's too much trouble?

Then it's a conventional African American church? Really? So move along...they're all like my church?

Hell there's lots of problems in this "effort" aren't there? And he doesn't do much to re-address them here.

He's never heard anti-semitic comments inside their church-damn he's equivocated so much now on other things-really makes you wonder what he heard outside...

Then if I had an old uncle like that I wouldn't spend every Sunday with him, and I'd bitch at him if he said racist stuff-started many a fight on Thanksgiving but Barack thanks for automatically assuming the worst of us your immediate neighbors while wanting to talk nice to and about the intentions of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Oh and guess what Barack I wouldn't give that uncle that you describe-

$22,500.

I think if he wants to sell us a Bridge-we've got a right to look for integrity.

Crimso said...

"How dare a black man be ungrateful, why we've given them such a great time this past 250 years."

Maybe someday we'll change the laws so they can run for POTUS...

"My point? Cut an old black man a break."

I'll be happy to, if we're talking about, say, Thomas Sowell or Bill Cosby (or, dare I say it, MLK?).

Yep, easy to understand this crackpot's belief about HIV, what with the history of slavery and all.

UWS guy said...

Guess what folks, the type of sermons and speeches that go on in many black churches aren't the same as what you see in movies.

Many of you think that watching "Sister Act 1, 2, and 3 (there is a 3rd right?) with Woopi Goldberg means you have a sense of the African-American community and their religious practices.

Sid said...

Isn't that enough?

No. There is no mythical line between a spiritual leader's political views and his/her spiritual views. Rev. King was an all too brief example of faith in action. Your faith and beliefs come out in your words and deeds.

As Lewis Grizzard put it in his future advice for his stepdaughter "if your date is polite to you but rude to the waiter, he is not a polite person."

Obama attends a church led by a bigot with conspiracy delusions. He can work in the church to remove the leader or pick another church. But to have the character to be the leader of the US, patiently waiting for the preacher to die of natural causes is not okay.

rhhardin said...

I'd prefer a church founded on pecks of pickled peppers.

``Thou art Peter...''

madawaskan said...

UWS guy-

My point? Cut an old black man a break.

Ya but Obama ndoesn't want to do the inverse of that here...

Look what he is accusing the audience of here-

He is like an old uncle who sometimes will say things that I don't agree with. And I suspect there are some of the people in this room who have heard relatives say some things that they don't agree with. Including, on occasion, directed at African Americans that maybe a possibility that's just -- I am not suggesting that's definitive.

He's accusing me of tolerating racist comments-the same as him.

We're in this together.

Bull- Obama.

You don't know me.

I'm not YOU.

Gahrie said...

So Obama has decided to go with the Casablanca defence.

"I'm shocked, shocked to find that hate, racism and divisiveness is going on in here!"

UWS guy said...

Someone has yet to explain why a 65 year old black man shouldn't harbor ill will towards the United States. (Wright never said, "the white man blah blah". He said "America.")

Why is it racist to say "God, Damn America?" Unless you're implying that America is white?

An old black man angry at the treatment his own government has shown to him, is not in any way racist, nor undully bigoted.

Synova said...

Well African-American churches do tend to have pastors that holler and sort of get all worked up. (Is it racist to say so?)

It's entirely possible that most of the congregation isn't listening to the words so much.

Maybe the people don't feel like they've been to church unless they've been yelled at for half an hour.

I've gone to charismatic churches with people who simply didn't feel like they'd been to church unless the pastor got worked up and spoke in tongues. They could sit through a fabulous sermon by a brilliant scholar and learn so much about God but not *feel* like they'd been to church.

But still... I don't know how someone who actually believes that God is real and that words have power could say the words "God" and "d*mn" *anyone* without actually, you know, taking the "d*mn" part literally and considering what that really means.

I grew up in church and bad language comes in two categories... potty language... and taking God's name in vain. And d*mning is real. And the bible says that what we bind on Earth is *bound*.

I can only conclude that for all his good works in the community, Rev. Wright does not believe.

Synova said...

UWS guy....

I didn't notice that someone said "God D*mn America" was racist.

It's vile.

And that makes the good Reverend either vile... or an unbeliever.

Revenant said...

Isn't that enough?

Well no, because it isn't true. Obama's trying to make it sound like Wright's an old man who just *recently* said some crazy stuff. But Wright's been saying crazy stuff for a long time now, and Obama knows it. Even if he wasn't aware of it at the time (which strains credulity well past its breaking point), he is aware, now, that it has been going on for a long time.

Obama needs to start being honest about this. He needs white America to be completely convinced that he's not an Al Sharpton in sheep's clothing.

Skyler said...

If the apology is true, then it's enough. But I find it impossible to believe that the preacher's statements and sentiments were unknown to Obama, especially when coupled with his wife's similar statements.

Frankly, there is nothing he can say to redeem himself because I won't believe it.

UWS guy said...

Synova read the other posts, They are calling Rev. Wright a bigot and a racist.

It is not vile to make the point he did which is this:

The next time you utter the phrase, "God bless America", you need to be mindful of the the things for which God would "damn" America.

God give us your blessing for the great things we have done as a nation, but spare us your damnation for our collective sins, which are real.

Did we really let the KKK run rampant in the south for 100 years?

God damn....

UWS guy said...

Why, you'd think it wasn't a pastors job to talk about sin or somethn'...

madawaskan said...

UWS Guy-

OK now your just in denial or haven't viewed the video-.

I didn't see much but I did hear-

more than a few negative referrals to "the white man's"

Revenant said...

Someone has yet to explain why a 65 year old black man shouldn't harbor ill will towards the United States.

A 65 year old black man would have been 21 years old when the Civil Rights Act banned all state and federal discrimination against black people. So for 44 of the 47 years of his adult life the United States has been openly fighting against racists and racism.

I have four words for any black guy who still hates America after all that time: "f*** you, grow up".

Revenant said...

The next time you utter the phrase, "God bless America", you need to be mindful of the the things for which God would "damn" America.

Even if there were a God, it would make no sense for him to "damn" America for things we did decades or centuries ago. The people who put those old policies in place are all dead. The people alive today are the ones who tried to *fix* those old, bad policies.

Crimso said...

"The next time you utter the phrase, "God bless America", you need to be mindful of the the things for which God would "damn" America."

While I'm not a Christian, it's my understanding that the whole "Judge not lest..." thing refers to the judging that is rightfully God's and God's only. One would think that Wright would be aware of that. Of course, one would also think that he would be aware of the Ten Commandments as well.

madawaskan said...

UWS Guy-

Want to respond to Obama accusing the audience of tolerating racist comments from their old uncles?

Making those negative assumptions about the electorate when relatively he's willing to be more than accomodating to those that wish us ill on the world stage.

Titan said...

Sen. Obama adds:

"I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies." Obama said on Friday. "I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it's on the campaign stump or in the pulpit. In sum, I reject outright the statements by Reverend Wright that are at issue."

UWS guy said...

again...is it racist for a black man who--living through a time where signs outside a city threatened violence to any black family that even spent the night there--to be angry? To feel a sense of betrayal and shame at his country and (white) countrymen?

It seems white people love to love MLK. MLK wasn't jesus...he didn't die for white american sins. You are not absolved. Do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars.

Middle Class Guy said...

I made a serious error. I meant to say Democratic legislators, not Democratic controlled legislature. I apologize.


Madison Man,
They condemned, or tried to condemn, a private Christian college. Also, Harry Reid on two occasions over the past two years used his position as a Senator to inhibit free expression; he sent a threatening letter to Disney over some dumb movie that portrayed Bill Clinton in a bad light. He made it a point to state he sat on the FCC licensing comittee. He sent a demanding letter to the people who distribute Rush Limbaughs show.

There is a larger record of Democrats inhibiting free speech and expression stretching back to the Johnson days.

Crimso said...

And I would further add that I'm sure God would let him slide on all that anyway. Since he is, you know, a black man stuck in America. Canada is relatively similar culturally. Perhaps he could go live there, where the opportunities are greater (as is the tolerance).

titusgrandjete said...

OK, I gave this whore house a donation today. What do I get for it?

I am expecting tits!

titusgrandjete said...

I am going out to dindin and drinkies tonight with friends.

Fabulous new vegan hotspot opened just down the street from my loft.

Then drinks at a fierce loung where only the A list are admitted.

I am masquing as I type- with seaweed and dill.

Tonight, I will be dressed in....

Crimso said...

"he didn't die for white american sins."

Please enumerate my particular sins.

"I reject outright the statements by Reverend Wright that are at issue."

A bit like saying I reject all the child porn that's been on my computer for all these years. After the cops find it.

titusgrandjete said...

Fellow republicans there is going to be quite a bit of society tonight where I am going.

My stock needs to stay high.

One small slip and you can call me Bears and Stearn-and I can't have that.

Original Mike said...

It strains creduity that Obama "never heard" this side of Wright, but whatever. I'm not worried about Obama. I'm worried about the congregation in Wright's church, and others like it across the country, shaking their head in affirmation, 'yes, the government unleashed AIDS to kill blacks', 'yes, the government imports drugs to keep blacks down', etc. This is very corrosive. If Obama truly "transcends race", he'd address these comments directly and specifically. He'd be specific, not mealy mouth (no vague 'I condemn "those comments"'). He needs to say that the charge that the government inflicted AIDS on blacks is crap, etc. This could be a huge service to race relations in this country. Until he does something this bold, I just see another pandering politician.

titusgrandjete said...

I'm listening to Haircut 100 as I get ready.

A little to summerish for this time of the year but it always makes me feel terrific.

Boy meets Girl, WAA

Love....Plus....One

B said...

Isn't that enough?

Add this from Ben Wright at Politico:
Wright leaves Obama campaign

Spokesman Tommy Vietor emails:

"Rev. Wright is no longer serving on the African American Religious Leadership Committee."

That cuts Wright's only formal tie to Obama, and answers what was sure to be a question in Obama's interviews tonight: If Geraldine Ferraro had to leave the Clinton campaign, why is Wright different.


Now, is that enough?

To this anti-Obama conservative, ironically:

Yes. It is enough.

THERE ARE ENOUGH PROBLEMS WITH OBAMA's JUDGMENT calls to worry about. The Obama camp dumped additional damaging info into the Friday news cycle while everyone was paying attention to the "Not so smart Pastor" story.

From Today's CHICAGO TRIBUNE:

OBAMA REVEALS REZKO PLAYED BIGGER FUNDRAISING ROLE

It keeps gettin' better and better!

Paul Zrimsek said...

Guess what folks, the type of sermons and speeches that go on in many black churches aren't the same as what you see in movies.

Obama himself appears to be rejecting this "we're all batshit" defense. Perhaps he knows what he's doing.

titusgrandjete said...

The rare clumbers are totally pissed, laying by the door, knowing I will be departing soon.

Those rare clumbers are smart I am telling ya fellow republicans.

titusgrandjete said...

Pre-going out lighting-thanks for asking-is track lighting for days on little steal wires dimly lit.

madawaskan said...

Again we're talking about Obama's actions or inactions.

His responsibilities.

He's selling himself as a bridge.

A bridge acros divides and so far I have'nt seen anything that daring-or bold just essentially waiting-waiting for his time.

B said...

Here's the meat of the Rezko article from today:

ndicted Chicago businessman Antoin "Tony" Rezko was a more significant fundraiser for presidential candidate Barack Obama's earlier political campaigns than previously known. Rezko raised as much as $250,000 for the first three offices Obama sought, the senator told the Tribune on Friday.

Obama also said for the first time that his private real estate transactions with Rezko involved repeated lapses of judgment. The mistake, Obama said, was not simply that Rezko was under grand jury investigation at the time of their 2005 and 2006 dealings. "The mistake was he had been a contributor and somebody involved in politics," he said.

In an extensive interview that he hoped would quell the lingering controversy over his relationship with Rezko, Obama said that voters concerned about his judgment should view it as "a mistake in not seeing the potential conflicts of interest."


Judgment.

What was that again that you were sayin' about Obama being "inspirational"?

UWS guy said...

I'll take Rezko and raise you Keating 5.

titusgrandjete said...

Scent-clean beewax soap, no deodorant-just a hint of BO.

EnigmatiCore said...

I wanted to vote for the guy. But I cannot.

I am candidate-less now.

Revenant said...

a black man who--living through a time where signs outside a city threatened violence to any black family that even spent the night there

If living through racist times was the cause, all the black men in Wright's age group would hate America. The fact that most don't proves that wasn't the cause.

B said...

UWS -

DONE!

Your boy Obama will lose every time on that one!

Bring

It

ON!

titusgrandjete said...

Hair, freshly cut-minimal highlights-short.

Gel-a touch of Crew

titusgrandjete said...

Wardrobe:

New Diesel Jeans-low waist, skinny

Shirt-new FCUK-white and light blue

Belt-AX-size 34

Shoes-Prada Sport

Jacket-Burberry Sport

Watch-All Steal silver-Rolex

titusgrandjete said...

Teeth-recently whitened, pearly white with a perfect bite (my dentist told me that)

Ass-you could bounce quarters off of. My doctor said I have a prostate of a 13 year old boy.

Complexion-flawless.

UWS guy said...

Revenant...Chris Rock has a great skit about an old black man.

When he meets white people it's, "hi sonny, how ya doin', good day to ya!".

when the white person leaves, "cracker!" "cracker!", "cracker-ass!".

You're young Revenant, My father use to have an office in Berkelely California. His window overlooked the ally of the police station. That's where they use to beat the black subjects (early 60's).

So, I'd like love to see you tell that fellow in the alley to "grow the F' up". America is a wonderful place, of some things we are blessed, others we should be damned.

titusgrandjete said...

Hog and Pucker-completely waxed.

Sack-soft and hairless.

B said...

UWS -

DONE!

Your boy Obama will lose every time on that one!

Bring

It

ON!

titusgrandjete said...

Berts Bee chapstick.

titusgrandjete said...

Tits-hard, round, sculpted, waxed and ready.

Revenant said...

I'll take Rezko and raise you Keating 5.

Somehow I don't see "sure I might be doing crooked stuff crooked TODAY, but John McCain did crooked stuff twenty years ago" as a winning ad campaign for Obama.

UWS guy said...

Revenant...knowing someone who turned out to be a crook is different that actually being one...

titusgrandjete said...

Arms toned, defined, nice round bi; tris are hard and large.

Shoulders-good definition-nice crease in the middle.

Synova said...

"MLK wasn't jesus...he didn't die for white american sins."

MLK wasn't racist. Yes, white people like to like him. He wanted a color blind world. What happened to that?

Now we've got people saying that a black man *can't* be racist and then explaining how if he *is* well, what do you expect?

What? Racism is okay if someone has a reason? It's okay to view one race as the cause of evil when so many people in that race worked so hard against racism too?

It's not okay.

titusgrandjete said...

back-angel wings tatoo across back but still able to see nice defintion and the hard work that has been put into the back.

Paul Zrimsek said...

It's only natural that a 66-year-old black man would feel that way about America. But don't worry-- it's inconceivable that a 46-year-old black man would feel that way about America.

titusgrandjete said...

Waist-30 inch pair of jeans which I am thrilled about tonight.

Nothings hangs over the jeans.

Normally, I am a 31.

Balfegor said...

Obama needs to start being honest about this. He needs white America to be completely convinced that he's not an Al Sharpton in sheep's clothing.

There's no need to go that far. I don't think anyone thinks Obama is anything near as bad as Sharpton. At most, he's guilty of having too much sympathy and affection for people who spew race-hate. We know Obama himself has never promoted race hate in his public statements. That's a meaningful difference.

Re: Wright, everyone is focusing on anti-Semitism, I think because we are familiar with virulent Jew-hate in the Black community. But just as not every White racist is David Duke, not every Black racist is going to be Al Sharpton. It's quite possible that Wright has no particular animus against the Jews. I may have missed some reported outburst against the Jews, though -- is there a report of one?

Anyhow. That said, if you listen to Wright's Audacity to Hope sermon, it's a perfectly normal sort of sermon, at least from my (extremely) limited experience of sermons. He has a pleasant voice -- much higher than I had expected -- and a decent message there. So while he's probably been giving the odd spittle-flecked speech every once in a while the past 20 years, it's not like he preaches race-hatred nonstop 24-7. He has a positive message to preach too.

titusgrandjete said...

Fellow republicans, it is show time.

Wish me luck.

It is a jungle out there and if you can get hog in NYC you can get hog anywhere-that's the saying.

Original Mike said...

UWS guy: You don't know what happened with the Keating 5, do you?

titusgrandjete said...

I think I want exotic foreign hog tonight.

Crimso said...

"So, I'd like love to see you tell that fellow in the alley to "grow the F' up". America is a wonderful place, of some things we are blessed, others we should be damned."

I would, but my time machine is in the shop this week. Funny how THOUSANDS of years after the Egyptians freed the Jews (and no, I'm not Jewish), a black man in America has more freedom and opportunity than a Jew in Egypt. Wonder what Wright thinks of that...

George said...

Und Jesus gingen die Augen ├╝ber.

And Jesus' eyes overflowed.

titusgrandjete said...

I would consider cabbie terrorist hog tonight if it is super dangerous and religious.

Any americanized-westerned aspect to the muzzie would be a turn off.

Especially if he called me dude.

UWS guy said...

Synova I'm not saying it's right for Wright to feel the way he does, I'm just saying we gotta give black people who actually lived through that stuff a break.

It wasn't that long ago.

B said...

Paul said:

It's only natural that a 66-year-old black man would feel that way about America. But don't worry-- it's inconceivable that a 46-year-old black man would feel that way about America.

What about the 44-year-old wife of that 46-year-old man?

titusgrandjete said...

I think some of the Farrakan guys in the suits handing out literature are kind of hot.

I would do some of them.

titusgrandjete said...

I wouldn't mind going into a madrassa for a day either to get some radical muzzie hog.

I heard there is quite a bit of man on man going on in there.

Middle Class Guy said...

Oh yes. The Keating Five. Let us ask Hillary Clinton if she will denounce and reject the endorsement from one of the Keating Five. John Glenn.

UWS guy said...

Well Crimso, Blacks in America had a better life than bronze age slaves in a mesopotamian dictatorship...huzzah!

I never thought about it like that, so lucky not to live in Africa right now amirite?

Middle Class Guy said...

I would, but my time machine is in the shop this week. Funny how THOUSANDS of years after the Egyptians freed the Jews (and no, I'm not Jewish), a black man in America has more freedom and opportunity than a Jew in Egypt. Wonder what Wright thinks of that...



Truth to power!!!!!!!!!!!!

Crimso said...

Blacks in America had a better life than bronze age slaves in a mesopotamian dictatorship

"had" is indeed the operative word here. No thoughts on the current status of Jews in Egypt? Surely they've achieved parity after all of this time. No doubt the Egyptians have done far better than we have, given the much longer length of time they've been striving to right their wrongs.

titusgrandjete said...

I am a proud jew.

I love being a jew.

I would never want to be a gentile.

I don't go to synagogue or anything but I love my jewishness.

If anyone, ever, slams it anyway, I am disgusted and generally hate them.

Most jews feel the same way as me.

I voted for Barack but I hate the comments of Jeremiah Wright.

I find them repulsive. It makes me think of the sterotype that all blacks really do not like jews.

Many jews think black do not like them.

As a result many many of the jewish liberals are voting for Hillary.

titusgrandjete said...

My doc, whom I absolutely love, and is a huge jew, and lives in a large jewish area of Mass said the jews will not vote for Obama.

He goes to Israel a couple of times a year and said Israel is not liking Barack.

I do believe this could be a huge problem for Barack.

I think many jewish liberals would vote for Mccain over Bararck (if he is he candidate).

This could make a big difference in states with large jewish populations: NY; New Jersey; Massachusetts; Florida; California. States that are typically slam dunk democrat states.

I would be curious what the breakdown of the jewish vote was for Hilary compared to Barack.

Revenant said...

Revenant...knowing someone who turned out to be a crook is different that actually being one...

Now you're just trolling. McCain's role in the Keating scandal was identical to Obama's role in the Rezko scandal. Both cases involved a politician accepting financial favors from criminals in exchange for political favors. The difference is that McCain's scandal is old news, while Obama's is current.

Another key point, of course, is that all of the other politicians involved in the Keating scandal were Democrats -- another reason the Democrats aren't going to want to rehash it in 2008. When paired with the Rezko scandal it provides McCain with a line of attack that he's learned his lesson but the Democrats obviously haven't.

titusgrandjete said...

I do know that Hillary won pretty big in the jewish areas of NY and Mass.

titusgrandjete said...

And Hilary won huge with the gay vote in Mass and NY which actually is pretty big-in comparison to other states.

Oh, she also won the California gay vote by enormous numbers.

Gays will not like seeing these comments by Jeremiah Wright.

Revenant said...

You're young Revenant

I'm in my mid-thirties.

That's where they use to beat the black subjects (early 60's).

I.e., 45 years ago. But thanks for using Berkeley to illustrate the horrors of racial oppression, because it really underlines just how outdated your world-view is.

So, I'd like love to see you tell that fellow in the alley to "grow the F' up".

Gladly. Anyone who holds a grudge against an entire country because he got his ass kicked there a half-century ago is obviously an asshole. The Jews made their peace with Germany faster than that.

John K. said...

"Isn't that enough?"

Absolutely. What uws guy said above. It's actually somewhat refreshing to see religious leaders letting the Man have it for a change.

Elliott A said...

Wright railed against the Jews several times. Jews were more active in the civil rights movement than anyone. It is amazing what havoc such a small group of people has caused in the last 5000 years.

lurker2209 said...

Would I argue that a 66 year old black man doesn't have the right to be still angry about abuses and injustices that happened long before I was born, no.

But I might question the wisdom of putting an angry man in a position of spiritual authority.

The thing about churches, though, is that they get comfortable with a Pastor. And many people are going to find themselves disagreeing with their Pastor at some point or another. There are some minor points of theology my Pastor holds that I don't agree with.

So one day in church your Pastor says something you disagree with, something a bit more important than a minor theological point and I can understand that struggle. Because going to a church isn't just about listening to a pastor speak, it's a community. And if you leave that church, you have to pull your kids out of the Sunday School classes they love and stop meeting with that men's bible study you enjoy and and basically extract yourself from an entire social network.

I'm not saying that Obama's choice not to leave the church was right, but I can certainly sympathize with it.

caplight777 said...

I don't assume Wright has been saying all those things though out his whole career. He could have devolved into that schtick in his later years especially as he achieved iconic status in his church and city.

His delivery is like other Black preachers I have heard in terms of style.

I feel for Obama and his wanting to find a way not to crucify a man who had a deep impact on his life when he was young and searching. I would say most of the intelligentsia do not go to church (85% of the Media by one oft quoted survey)have no clue how attached a person can become to a church and/or a pastor.

Elliott A said...

What is missing in the discussion is the fact that this church has been clearly political and should not be eligible as a tax exempt entity.

Elliott A said...

Do you hear John McCain spewing hate against the Vietnamese every day? They only tortured him for 5 1/2 years. I don't mean to belittle the recipients of racism, but only a handful ever saw anything like what McCain went through. He could have spent his life ranting, but decided to serve his country instead. Rev. Wright is not helping African Americans by teaching them to hate everyone.

Balfegor said...

I never thought about it like that, so lucky not to live in Africa right now amirite?

Uh, yeah. Living in Africa? Mmm. Pretty awful, I hear. Better than being a slave, I guess, but on the downside, flies may eat your eyes, militants on horseback may shoot you or rape you to death, religious fundamentalists may capture your family and force your children to kill you, and political parties may hack off your arms so that you cannot vote. It's not all bad, though. If you're lucky, you might not die of war, famine, or pestilence.

What is missing in the discussion is the fact that this church has been clearly political and should not be eligible as a tax exempt entity.

This is, in varying degrees, true of an awful lot of churches. For example, Huckabee did so well in part because his fellow Baptist clerics spread the word about him. They might not have done it from the pulpit (I don't know), but many of them certainly used the influence of their office on his behalf. I think this is just one of those situations where we ought to let things slide.

caplight777 said...

This is to the point by Richard Miniter at Pajamas Media.

http://pajamasmedia.com/xpress/richardminiter/2008/03/14/in_defense_of_obamas_pastor.php

Elliott A said...

Another's bad behavior is never a rationalization for your own

Balfegor said...

Do you hear John McCain spewing hate against the Vietnamese every day?

No, but he still called them "Gooks" until fairly recently. Some American Vietnamese don't seem to mind a whole lot when he does it, probably because they're the people (or descendants of the people) who had to flee their homeland when we abandoned them to die. But it is a nasty racial epithet, and some do take offense. I suspect this is why he doesn't do it any more.

PatCA said...

No, it isn't enough. Obama talks about the social gospel and Wright talks about liberation theology. It's Marxism, because Jesus was really a Marxist, don't you know, and guess who the Great Satan is in Marxism: Capitalism, the US.

The Catholic Church tried to stamp it out when the Catholic priests sided with the revolutionaries in Central America but apparently it lives on in black liberation theology. Of course, people like Wright like their money and their freedoms, so nothing much happens--except that they build a political base to exploit and get even more money and power.

No, it's not enough.

Gahrie said...

they're the people (or descendants of the people) who had to flee their homeland when we abandoned them to die

And by "we" you mean the Democratic Party, liberal media and loony Left right?

Zeb Quinn said...

If Obama had been hitherto properly vetted by his opponents and by the media, as he should have been, this wouldn't be the Big Issue it is now. So why now? Cui bono?

wfhenning said...

Obama said, quite carefully: "The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation."
But he heard him say statements just like it, perhaps. If he had never heard similar statements, Obama's ignorance defense would have been much more categorical.

If Obama will allow it, and all sermon audios are extant (I bet they are, at least for the past few years), let's match up the audio with Obama's check register, which could be evidence of attendance. Did Obama fill his pew during Wright's hate-filled spew?

TMink said...

"Did we really let the KKK run rampant in the south for 100 years?"

You mean the terrorist branch of the Democratic Party? Yes.

Grant almost had them snuffed out in South Carolina, then the folks up north got tired of the fight against terrorism and we pulled out before the job was done.

History, what a bitch!

Trey

rhhardin said...

Obama interview Nov 22, 2004 with Imus (missing perhaps a minute of the end when the affiliate cut away) here

He sounds reasonable there.

He professed historical hatred of Imus after the nappy headed ho remark ; which shows he lies for effect when convenient.

(File discovered on the HD from back when I noticed I had 8 25MB mailbox allocations unused, and mailed a few consecutive shows to myself; this is one that happened to be preserved there.)

The Drill SGT said...

Original Mike said...
It strains creduity that Obama "never heard" this side of Wright, but whatever. I'm not worried about Obama. I'm worried about the congregation in Wright's church, and others like it across the country, shaking their head in affirmation, 'yes, the government unleashed AIDS to kill blacks', 'yes, the government imports drugs to keep blacks down', etc. This is very corrosive. If Obama truly "transcends race", he'd address these comments directly and specifically. He'd be specific, not mealy mouth (no vague 'I condemn "those comments"'). He needs to say that the charge that the government inflicted AIDS on blacks is crap, etc. This could be a huge service to race relations in this country. Until he does something this bold, I just see another pandering politician.


OM made great points long before I could. but let me restate them:

1. Nobody believes Obama. This statement is completely unbelievable. The statement made things worse. It is going to hurt him badly. Now in addition to being a clear racist, he's a liar as well.

2. The lawyerly, "I reject the things that may have upset people" is too cute. He needs to itemize the statements and disavow each of them one by one. The problem is, he's afraid to do that, because on the one hand, it itemizes a long list of evil statements, and secondly a lot of his black voters believe that stuff.

3. It puts a lie to the whole "post-racism, healer of america stuff" How can Obama claim to be the solution to America's racial problems, if we would only make him president, when he would not confront racism in his own church over the past 20 years. "Politican, Heal thy self first"

MTfromCC said...

Anne - you did your readers a tremendous disservice by editing Obama's remarks in your above the fold quotation, especially the opening passages in which his renunciation of what Wright said is far more direct. Many of the comments from your readers, above, reflect ignorance of his full statement.

With all due respect, editing source material, particularly the first time you weigh in on a debate, is always a mistake. Here are the first three paragrpahs of his statement in its entirety:

"The pastor of my church, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who recently preached his last sermon and is in the process of retiring, has touched off a firestorm over the last few days. He's drawn attention as the result of some inflammatory and appalling remarks he made about our country, our politics, and my political opponents.

"Let me say at the outset that I vehemently disagree and strongly condemn the statements that have been the subject of this controversy. I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies. I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it's on the campaign stump or in the pulpit. In sum, I reject outright the statements by Rev. Wright that are at issue.

"Because these particular statements by Rev. Wright are so contrary to my own life and beliefs, a number of people have legitimately raised questions about the nature of my relationship with Rev. Wright and my membership in the church. Let me therefore provide some context.

[NOW PICK UP WITH YOUR QUOTATION]

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/barack-obama/on-my-faith-and-my-church_b_91623.html

A little different, huh?

The Drill SGT said...

This statement by Obama is like the Clinton Grand Jury deposition. Both of them tried to weasel word their defense. Many of those racist sermons are on video tape and out there for all the networks and bloggers to see. the videos have crowd shots, if one of those videos or witnesses can now place Obama at a particular sermon, like say Christmas 2001, when racist hatred was preached, it's all over, he'll be convicted of lying by the voters.

Balfegor said...

And by "we" you mean the Democratic Party, liberal media and loony Left right?

No, I mean the United States of America. When we abandon our allies, we don't get to point the finger and say "it's their fault." It's all our fault.

Gahrie said...

MTfromCC:

My problem is not with whether or not Obama denounces Wright now, it is the fact that he sat in the church for 20 years, brought his family to that church, and considers(ed) Wright to be his mentor.

Obama has every right to be a member of such a church, and to believe as Wright believes. But he doesn't have the right to do that and at the same time claim to be a healer and a uniter.

The Drill SGT said...

Not directly on the topic of Obama and the racist paster, but sort of a close.

A lot of folks confuse Obama's charisma, for leadership, but the 2 traits are not the same. Obama has a lot of charisma but has demonstrated little ability to be a leader. Leaders have to have a sense of purpose, make tough choices and comvince followers toward a common goal. It is a tough job. I have seen nothing in Obama's result that demonstrates much leadership.

certainly not this affair.

MTfromCC said...

PS - The caustic and cynical judgments made by some of your more conservative readers is compelling evidence of the timeliness of Obama's broader message. The reality is that he will almost certainly be the next President. Not even Colin Powell or Condi Rice can save McCain from the dustbin of history now that he has made it clear that he wants to be Bush's third term. There was a time I respected McCain and thought that, despite his edginess, he would make an independent and open minded President for a relatively conservative republican. Now, he has sold his soul to George W. Bush, the Neocons and the religious right in order to win the nomination (but is still detested by the wingnut talk radio conservatives -- go figure), and to people like me, he has more or less squandered the one thing that made him attractive to centrists, which was his willingness to speak truth in an unpopular setting. Not any more.

So now he is firmly tied to:

Iraq
The Recession/economic meltown
No Domestic Accomplishments
Govt meltdown under GOP control
Abuse of power for political ends
Lobbyists for the powerful multinationals
Foreign Policy Failures
The failure toi repudiate torture
GOP corruption scandals
Domestic Wiretapping
Constituional Overstepping

Add to that his old age, his lack of charisma, his fractured political party, and deep national discontent with the GOP, which has been in control for the last two terms, and then add to that the fact that his opponent is one of the highest integrity, most intelligent, calm and collected and charismatic political figures since Kennedy, and you are looking at a potentially broad based transformational election -- like a 60-40 win.

There is really only one person who has a chance to prevent that, and her name is Hillary, and despite her best efforts to change the dynamic with negative crap, her efforts are failing badly. A day late and a dollar short. His campaign has made their two campaigns look amateurish, and while he is far from perfect, he is defintiely the ,ost interesting candidate I will have had the pleasure to vote for these past 32 years.

Do people really want the country to be doomed to another 4-8 years of "more of exactly the same" lobbyist-centric government with ever increasing polarity between red and blue? There is only one candidate who offers anything different.

Revenant said...

"Did we really let the KKK run rampant in the south for 100 years?"

You mean the terrorist branch of the Democratic Party? Yes.

Actually, no.

The original Klan only lasted a few years before being wiped out during Reconstruction. It was re-founded in the early 20th century, peaked in popularity during the 20s, and rapidly declined in influence thereafter. The government began actively opposing it again beginning in the 1930s.

So no, "we" didn't "let the Klan run rampant for 100 years". It didn't even exist for much of the period in question, and the USA was actively trying to rub it out for most of the remainder.

MTfromCC said...

Gahrie - I am a pretty secular person at this point in my life, but I have belonged to congregations and have had several rabbi's who I could not have disagreed more on any number of "Jewish-centric" issues.

This is one of the major Christian churches in the Southside of Chicago and the Rev. Wright has not always been as outspoken and as sharp edged as he has been since 9/11. As Obama points out, he is a respected figure in Chicago, he was a marine veteran, and is a deeply spiritual man, and yes, he is black man who is prone to Afro-centric ramblings, as one would expect with the Pastor of a large black congregation in Chicago. This is the city where Obama lives, and this is the community in which he has been a public servant most of his adult life. And with all due respect, I think it is unfair for anybody to judge his motives for belonging to a particular congregation.

People who smear him by his association with the man because of his most extreme statements -- statements that Obama has repeatedly denounced -- are holding him to an unfair standard. He has been extremely up front about wher he comes out on these issues, and there is absolutely no basis to conclude, based on anything we know about his public and private life -- which is quite a bit, by the way -- that there is any lack of integrity there.

Politically, he has been inclusive and bi-partisan, and I really don't see why he should have to answer for his choice of congregation in the way you or others suggest, particularly when so much of this media circus is being fomented by staunch political opponents who desperately want to smear him for their own political gain. I personally don't think there is a racist bone in his body. What you see is what you get.

Glen said...

You really have been culted, Ann. Wake up.

As someone already wisely wrote on another blog: "I did not inhale that sermon."

Synova said...

His broader message, huh?

Why do you think for even a moment that Obama can heal the rift between "red" and "blue"?

Because he's "reddish?"

A purple fella? Wow... he's sorta *conservative?* I never knew!

No, if he wins (and it is quite a long time until November) what will happen is that the rift will not be healed. Red and Blue will still not get along. And Blue will start to whine that it's not their fault that the Red folks are mean old party poopers.

Obama shoots for the middle and people like you will hate him for it. Obama shoots for the middle and he'll be reamed politically.

"Getting along" simply means doing it the Blue way and no one is unaware of that other than those far left sorts fainting at Obama speeches.

Because they simply can not *conceive* of anything like different opinions honestly held. Someone tells them what *they* want to hear and they figure *everyone* will love it and agree.

How silly is that?

Michael_H said...

Obama's kid-glove treatment by the mainstream media must really be pissing off Trent Lott.

vnjagvet said...

Balfegor:

As one who served in Vietnam, and who supported our presence there after I returned, I will not accept responsibility, collective or otherwise, for the foolish decisions brought on by the likes of those who knuckled under to popular opinion before the war was won. I resent your attempt to impose that responsibility on me.

Balfegor said...

As one who served in Vietnam, and who supported our presence there after I returned, I will not accept responsibility, collective or otherwise, for the foolish decisions brought on by the likes of those who knuckled under to popular opinion before the war was won. I resent your attempt to impose that responsibility on me.

It's our country. When talking among Americans, sure, anything goes. But once we're talking about America vis-a-vis outside parties like South Vietnam (or Germany or Japan or Korea or Iraq or Afghanistan), there's no reason a foreigner should look at one group of Americans and another group of Americans and see this American group responsible for this action taken by the democratically elected government of the USA, and this other group responsible for this other action. Whether it's a Democratic congress or a Republican congress that does it, that's our government acting there, in our name, as citizens, for better or worse.

Iraq is not Bush's War, it's America's War. Vietnam wasn't Kennedy's War, it was America's War. Korea wasn't Truman's War, it was America's War. WWII wasn't Roosevelt's War, it was America's War. That's our shared name out there, our shared reputation on the line. For good or ill.

And when we betray our allies abroad, it's not "Liberals and Peaceniks." It's the United States of America whose name gets dragged through the mud.

Revenant said...

he is black man who is prone to Afro-centric ramblings, as one would expect with the Pastor of a large black congregation in Chicago

Why would we "expect" a pastor of a major church to be a nut?

But what does it matter that he's been respected for a long time and has a lot of followers? The same is true of Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, and Al Sharpton, all of whom are racist scumbags and crooks. That a lot of black people support them doesn't excuse treating them with undeserved respect. It just means that there is a subset of the black community that needs to be kept far away from the reigns of power.

People who smear him by his association with the man because of his most extreme statements -- statements that Obama has repeatedly denounced -- are holding him to an unfair standard.

Yes, Obama makes a point of denouncing racist statements by his supporters and associates... after the press catches wind of them and his opponents start to raise a stink. But is that a sign that he actually disagrees with the statements, or just a sign that he wants to get elected?

there is absolutely no basis to conclude, based on anything we know about his public and private life -- which is quite a bit, by the way -- that there is any lack of integrity there.

His financial dealings with Rezko are ample reason to suspect a lack of personal integrity. Hell, the fact that he's a Chicago politician is sufficient grounds to suspect a lack of personal integrity, since if he ISN'T crooked he'd probably be the first Democratic politician out of Chicago to not be. Then there's the fiasco with a campaign insider telling the Canadians he was just bullshitting the American rubes about NAFTA. Lastly, his disturbing habit of establishing long-term friendships with bigots is reason to suspect a lack of integrity.

What there isn't, is reason to assume he has personal integrity. Let him show some, first.

Revenant said...

And when we betray our allies abroad, it's not "Liberals and Peaceniks." It's the United States of America whose name gets dragged through the mud.

Just because others assign collective guilt to Americans doesn't mean they are right to do so.

If the United States pulls out of Iraq, I'm not going to accept any guilt for our leaving our Iraqi allies in the lurch. *I* want us to stay; I might get outvoted, but I'd still be doing all that I could to get the United States to do the right thing. That's all anybody has a right to ask of me.

Joe said...

Enough? Are you kidding?

Obama attends this guy's church for 20 years and magically never hears the trash he preaches every Sunday?

Oh, please.

Whatever happened to "cruel neutrality?"

Joe said...

I should add:

Obama says he never "personally" heard Wright say such stuff. Even if this were true (and who really believes that it is?), there's absolutely no way that he could remain ignorant of his pastor's rantings--he did talk to members of his church every now and then? What happened to being involved in the community? And yet he went back every Sunday with his wife (as proud of America as she is) and his daughters.

Somehow I fail to find his belated attempts to distance himself from Wright's message believable.

rdkraus said...

It's his first big problem. As Hannity was saying yesterday, It's hard to see how he can distance himself from a minister of the church where he went for 20 years, who is his mentor, who married him, who baptised his kids, who is still active in his campaign and who he donated more than $20K to.

Whatever excuses or explanations you dream up for this minister (and you really have to look at the video to get the full impact), it's not going to play well with Mr. and Mrs. middle American voter.

PS In this very contested election, why didn't our mass media "discover" this until now?

MadisonMan said...

I wonder how many of the commenters here actually go to a church where they actively and constantly question what's coming out of the Priest's mouth. (Like I do).

AJ Lynch said...

Well I read every comment except those from Titus. This topic has gotten some heated reactions on Althouse.

Ann is oddly quiet - "Isn't that enough" to hint she is getting anxious about her candidate? Is he not defensible in this Wright case?

Gahrie said...

Balfegor:

I've got to give you points for originality at least.

Usually when the Left's disgraceful behavior concerning Vietnam is brought up, we are treated to long diatribes about how our facts are wrong. (we were losing Vietnam, not winning; the media and the Left wasn't undermining the war effort; ect.)

You have introduced a whole new deflection: shared guilt.

"Sure the media and the Left were responsible for undermining the war and abandoning Vietnam. But we are all Americans, thus we all share the guilt."

Despicable and wrong...but at least original.

Omaha1 said...

I have read almost all of the comments on this thread and will try not to repeat points that have already been made.

From Obama’s statement: “a diverse congregation” – certainly, if you consider 100% African American to be “diverse”. Wonder if the church had any non-black members.

“Unashamedly Black and unapologetically Christian” is part of TUCC’s mission statement. Where I find nothing intrinsically wrong with this, I perceive from perusing the church’s website that the “black” part takes precedence over the “Christian” part. Christ himself preached a message of grace, mercy, and forgiveness through an individual’s faith in the sufficiency of His sacrifice (death on the cross, and subsequent resurrection). I am not seeing a lot of forgiveness towards whites in Rev. Wright’s messages.

Finally, I suspect that Obama chose this church for reasons of political expediency, at a time when he needed more credibility within his mostly black district in Illinois. I also suspect that Rev. Wright’s views on whites and the US in general are quite common among a certain not-inconsequential segment of politically active blacks. Even in the cow-town of Omaha we have a black state senator who regularly makes outrageous, racist statements about white people, and insults black conservatives such as Clarence Thomas and Condoleezza Rice, and he has been re-elected several times.

I am sure that as in most urban areas there are other churches in Obama’s district that are more truly “diverse”. My own urban (for Omaha anyway), American Baptist church membership includes representatives of every age, race and socio-economic group, and the congregation would quickly terminate a pastor who preached any kind of racist, conspiratorial or anti-American rhetoric like Wright’s.

MadisonMan said...

I suspect that Obama chose this church for reasons of political expediency,

It was my impression that Michelle Obama was the church member, and BHO joined the church when they married.

That's how it worked for me, too. (Different church, though).

vnjagvet said...

I agree with you, Balfegor, to this extent: The entire USA (not hippies or anti-war activists)lost the Vietnam war. But that does not mean all of us were responsible for that outcome.

But those of us who did everything in our power to prevent that outcome then strongly believe now that all of us should do everything in our power to prevent such an outcome from recurring.

Paul Zrimsek said...

That wars are won or lost by nations rather than by groups within nations has always seemed to me to be almost too obvious to need saying. Why Balfegor is catching flak from the right for it, I cannot imagine.

dick said...

Paul,

Because there are a bunch of people here who do not want to see that debacle repeated and also see that the current democratic congress is headed just that direction. I for one do not want to see the kids of 40 years from now to look back at what happened after we left Iraq and wonder why we did not fulfill our pledge of aid and assistance and thus doomed the people to suffer as the Vietnamese did after the LLL dems threw the South Vietnamese over the cliff in 1974-5. All of us get blamed but if some of us can stop this from happening again it will be a blessing both for us and for the Iraqis who are currently working so hard to succeed no matter what the media report.

Paul Zrimsek said...

All the more reason to stress that we screwed the pooch as a country then, and that what's at stake now is our national honor and credibility-- not just whether conservatives will be able to score points off of liberals about it 35 years from now.

Rick said...

This story is swift-boating of the first order. Or perhaps Willie Horton is the more appropriate analogy. The whole strategy has been to brand Obama as the supposedly scariest thing in America: Angry Black Man. So the pastor is angry? Walk a mile in his shoes before you condemn his anger. Let's at least have some reasoned investigation of him instead of hysteria. And even if his rhetoric was way over the top ("G-d-m America"), it does not necessarily says much about Obama. Do you agree with everything your priest, pastor or rabbi says?

It turns my stomach that Clinton would stoop to such tactics. This suggests she's not fit for office. She will only tear him apart and hand the election to McCain. She puts her interests before the party's and before the country's.

One other thing: "titusgrandjete" is not credible. No one who's Jewish refers to their "jew friends ." This was very likely a bogus post.

Muslims Against Sharia said...

Muslims Against Sharia call on Senators McCain and Obama to cut all ties with their racist, Islamophobic, and anti-Semitic supporters.

McCain: http://muslimsagainstsharia.blogspot.com/2008/03/mccains-spiritual-guide-destroy-islam.html
Obama: http://muslimsagainstsharia.blogspot.com/2008/03/racist-congregation-cheering-racist.html

Gahrie said...

Paul:

All the more reason to stress that we screwed the pooch as a country then,

You're missing the point...we screwed the pooch as a country because of the actions of the radical left, Democratic Congress, and the left wing media. In fact we did win the war. North Vietnam needed two years of peace to rebuild their army before they could reinvade South Vietnam. Even then, if not for the betrayal of the Democratic Congress, South Vietnam could have resisted with the aid we promised and reneged on.

and that what's at stake now is our national honor and credibility--

You're assuming that the Left gives a damn about either of those two things. Frankly, I haven't seen any evidence to support that. The current left wants to abandon our allies and unilaterally abrogate our treaty obligations.

not just whether conservatives will be able to score points off of liberals about it 35 years from now.

If we can shame the Left and the Democrats now, by reminding them of what they did 35 years ago, hopefully there won't be any points to score off liberals 35 years from now.

Terry said...

If you want to better understand what Obama's church and pastor stand for you should familiarize yourself with one James H. Cone, Professor of Systematic Theology, Union Theological Seminary (NYC), and his 1969 book Black Theology & Black Power.

Before Obama's church 'about' page (http://tucc.org/about.htm) was updated late last year or early this year, Cone's book was required reading for Trinity parishioners so they would understand the church's theology and mission. The new about page no longer highlights the book. A link to the old page is here:

http://tinyurl.com/yrkdf3

Regarding Mr. Cone, Jason Byassee, of The Christian Century Magazine, wrote this about him and Trinity UCC in May, 2007:

"There is no denying, however, that a strand of radical black political theology influences Trinity [UCC]. James Cone, the pioneer of black liberation theology, is a much-admired figure at Trinity. Cone told me that when he's asked where his theology is institutionally embodied, he always mentions Trinity. Cone's groundbreaking 1969 book Black Theology and Black Power announced: "The time has come for white America to be silent and listen to black people. . . . All white men are responsible for white oppression. . . . Theologically, Malcolm X was not far wrong when he called the white man 'the devil.'. . . Any advice from whites to blacks on how to deal with white oppression is automatically under suspicion as a clever device to further enslavement." Contending that the structures of a still-racist society need to be dismantled, Cone is impatient with claims that the race situation in America has improved. In a 2004 essay he wrote, "Black suffering is getting worse, not better. . . . White supremacy is so clever and evasive that we can hardly name it. It claims not to exist, even though black people are dying daily from its poison" (in Living Stones in the Household of God)."

Now, given a theological foundation for Trinity UCC again view one of Wright's sermons and observe the visceral response his words generate from the congregation. They obviously could not be more animated and clear in their support for what Wright is saying. What we see is not the empassioned ministering about Christ of a garden variety evangelical of any particular color. This is a clear display of the power of hate to generate a strong emotional response to that which is hated.

So, Obama now wants us to believe that he sat through 20 years of such powerful emotional manipulation by Wright while being immersed in the passionate acceptance of the rest of the congregation around him, but unlike his fellow church members both he and Michele were intellectually and emotionally denouncing the entire experience.

Pogo said...

"Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak; and that it is doing God's service when it is violating all his laws."
~ John Adams


I have come to view Obama as both disappointing and frightening.

dick said...

Paul,

My point was that what is at stake is that we do not let the LLL dems in Congress do to the country and to those to whom we have promised our assistance what they did to the South Vietnamese 35 years ago. I really don't want to point fingers at anyone. I just want to ensure that those who have allied themselves with us receive the assistance they need to make it on their own.

What I am seeing from Pelosi, Reid and company is just the opposite. They truly do not care what happens to anyone allied with us so long as they can win an election. They will toss away everything that has been gained if they can get more power. Nothing else matters. No one else matters. They will promise anything, excuse anything, throw rocks at anyone if they can get more power.

It would be a blessing not to point fingers. The reason I mentioned it this time was to remember the history of what happened when the LLL dems mugged out South Vietnamese allies and to mention that we need to guard against that happening again.

TMink said...

"So the pastor is angry?"

You miss the point entirely. The pastor is a racist.

Trey

TMink said...

Sorry, I meant to put pastor in quotes.

Trey

Revenant said...

I wonder how many of the commenters here actually go to a church where they actively and constantly question what's coming out of the Priest's mouth. (Like I do).

Well, I used to attend a church, or rather be taken to attend one... and I didn't agree with what they taught, so when I got the chance I quit going to it forever. :)

TMink said...

Like Rev, I left a congregation too. The pastor was not talking about Jesus and living a Godly life. He was telling stories and offering vague platitudes. So we left. Now we go to a congregation that preaches the Gospel.

Trey