Thursday, March 27, 2008

Is Obama Wrong About Wright?

For those readers I have left, if I have any, which I probably do not, here are my thoughts on recent political events.

I don't get too excited about hearing a preacher "damn America". I've been hearing it from conservative evangelical Christians for the last 50 years. I grew up hearing Billy Graham on the radio predicting that any day now God would strike out at America for failing to heed his commandments.

More recently, conservative superstars like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and James Dobson have built empires on blaming American decadence for such natural disasters as hurricanes in Florida and New Orleans, and the AIDS epidemic. John McCain stood by smiling as right wing preacher, John Hagee, who calls the Roman Catholic Church "the great whore," and who claimed Hurricane Katrina wiped out New Orleans because of gays, endorsed him. Although there was a minor brouhaha about McCain seeking Hagee's support, it was nothing compared to the firestorm over Obama's former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright's intemperate remarks. I don't defend Reverend Wright, any more than I defend the white preachers who get carried away with their own rhetoric. But the snippets of sermons played endlessly on the cable news networks did take some of his most inflammatory statements out of context. Anderson Cooper of CNN has an interesting article here. The long and short of it is that the "chickens coming home to roost" quote after 9/11 was a quote from an American ambassador on Fox News. If you have 6 minutes and 48 seconds, take time to listen to the more complete context of the famous "God damn America" snippet by Reverend Wright. It is probably not something I would say, but it is completely within the parameters of what has been said in pulpits many times by other ministers.

More importantly, Reverend Wright is not running for president of the United States. If he were, he wouldn't get very far, as other preachers, including Pat Robertson and Mike Huckabee discovered (interestingly, Huckabee defended both Obama and Wright, pointing out that ministers speak extemporaneously and get carried away with their words sometimes.)

No one can reasonably say that Obama hates whites -- how could he, he is as much white as he is black. About the only thing they can say is that he should have left the church. Maybe he should have, if he was concerned only about his political future, he probably would have. I'm sure Hillary was telling the truth (for once) when she said that she would not have stayed in the church; of course, she would not have because she would have been afraid of the political fall out. (The same reason she voted for the war in Iraq; she was afraid if she didn't it would affect her political future.) I realize I have long been an Obama supporter and am inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I was very impressed with his speech on race in Philadelphia and his refusal to do the expedient thing and throw Wright under the bus.

So, we will see how it all plays out. I am not as confident that Obama will wind up with the nomination as many pundits apparently are. Too many things can happen and I do not believe Hillary will ever give up voluntarily. If Obama wins the nomination, I am very confident that he will win the general election.

So, way too much politics here, but at least I'm writing.


Gretchen said...

Thanks for articulating many of the same thoughts I've been muttering under my breath since this ridiculous story got waaaaay too much press. BTW, I don't remember noticing if you ever said what SNO said about Juno and whether he had indeed heard of what's her name. I'm eager for the DVD since I missed it in the theater for reasons too numerous to regurgitate.

rdl said...

Thank you, thank you for writing this!!!
keep em comin. I think you should make this a political blog - at least until the muse comes back or you see a good movie.
I pray that he will win. I don't think i could take the disappointment.

Crockhead said...

Thanks, Gretchen and rdl. Gretchen, SNO hasn't seen Juno, had heard of Laura Linney, but not the other people in it. Rdl, there are more political things I could say, but unfortunately, a lot of what is on my mind, politically, is pretty negative towards Hillary and in the spirit of what Obama is trying to do, I have to restrain myself.

Momo said...

Excellent blog. Thank you for doing my research for me. Now I will know what to say while defending MY Obama!

I hope he wins...nothing is a sure thing.

But, I hope and pray change will come!

Catch Her In the Wry said...

Welcome back to the blogosphere. We missed you.

rdl said...

I don't think you should hold back, she (or Bill) doesn't. :D

Debra Hope said...

Okay. AL's back to politics. Now I can talk. First, I've been to Trinity, was welcomed warmly, have friends who are members, met Rev. Wright and heard him preach. Heard the same kind of stuff at Bethel for years. Think Chris Rock and "pissed off old black men." Second, Obama's campaign is being run by Daley's guy, Axelrod. Thnk political genius. Methinks the Obama folks put this out there to get it out of the way, control it, respond to it and move on. My political Chicago friends suspect the same. Now, can we all just move on, already?

easy's daughter said...

Thanks for telling it like it is. Anybody who's ever been a member of a church has surely at one time or another disagreed with what the minister said on sunday morning. Wright sounds a smidgen bitter, but everyones got issues. Even those in the pulpit.