Sunday, March 16, 2008

Barack Obama And The Reverend Jeremiah Wright Jr.

Trinity United Church of Christ/Religion New Service
Senator Barack Obama with the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. in a 2005 photograph.

On Friday, Obama called the seemingly racist and anti-American statements by the minister of his church, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright Jr, "inflammatory and appalling". Is his denouncement believable? Methinks the Senator now doth protesteth too much - and only because he is in very close reach of becoming Commander In Chief.

Earlier in the week, several TV and radio stations played a variety of audio and video clips in which the Reverend Wright, of Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago, referred to the US as the "U.S. of K.K.K.A." as well as saying "God Damn America" and a host of other disturbing and incindiary comments.

These video clips did not just catch the Reverend "on a bad day". They absolutely and totally embody this man's true thoughts and feelings about many issues - which he is certainly entitled to - but which Obama must have known about and had not renounced until now.

Obama said, "I reject outright the statements by Reverend Wright that are at issue," as he attempted to diffuse the media frenzy over statements made by the pastor that in the past married him and his wife, and baptized his children. Obama's statement was intended to be a public disavowal of his pastor's views.

Obama also said, "The statements that Reverend 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".

Obama has been a member of this church for the past 20 years. Unless Obama had been habitually sleeping during sermons over the past 20 years, I cannot imagine how this rhetoric or even his pastor's opinion on these volatile issues had not been otherwise communicated or noted. I just cannot believe this statement that Obama has made to be truthful. If he doesn't agree or believe in what this pastor has been saying over the years then why does he continue to be a member of that church? Personally, if my pastor, or any religious leader, had made any of those statements in a House of Worship, I probably would have found the nearest exit and never returned, and not even because I agree or disagree with him, but mostly because it is just purely inciteful rhetoric and not in the least spiritually satisfying. In fact, based on clips of his sermons, I can see someone coming away from his sermons and wanting to do harm to someone.

Instead, Obama had given him an honorary post on the senator's Spiritual Advisor Committee. Now, that alone is unsettling especially in light of the fact that The Reverend Wright has in the past been a key supporter of Louis Farrakhan and last month went so far as to honor the Nation of Islam leader for lifetime achievement. Farrakhan endorsed Obama's campaign, and did not outright reject that support.

Now we are all aware that Farrakhan has repeatedly made hate-filled statements targeting Jews, whites, America, and homosexuals. His race-baiting rhetoric is documented. He has described Jews as “bloodsuckers” who control the government and the media, as well as some black organizations. He has called whites “blue-eyed devils” and the “anti-Christ.”

Reverend Wright and Mr. Farrakan certainly have the right to say what they think - although sometimes it does border on hate speech - but this Obama connection should be a red flag on many levels.

To say the Reverend Wright is a liability to Obama's campaign is a gross understatement - but I honestly cannot see how anyone can support Obama in light of the respect he gives this pastor and the initial inclusion of this pastor into the Obama campaign in the first place. No one can convince me that Senator Obama was totally oblivious to the rhetoric that Reverend Wright has espoused over the years. That Senator Obama is a member of that church at all is something to be very concerned about. Obama has removed Wright from the campaign - but he has yet to leave his church.

Concurrently, Michelle Obama has even made similar but veiled Anti-American comments, and while that may not have been taken as a major issue, it probably should have been another red flag. We cannot have a First Lady who runs at the mouth like Michelle Obama obviously has. She said, “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country … not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change,” she said. It is disturbing to think that this woman has never been proud of this country in her whole life, and yet she is on the verge of becoming First Lady. Was she not proud of this country when her husband became a senator? Was she not proud of this country when she and her husband were able to get a decent education here? Apparently she will only be proud of this country if it puts her and her husband in the White House.

Even more troubling is this pseudo-messianic nature of this Obama candidacy, and I really hope that people will wake from their Obama trance and really look at what the man and his wife really stand for in their politics and their social and economic views of what change really means - total and utter radical leftism.

Yes we want change - but what brand of change?

(My apologies to William Shakespeare)