Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama: Leaving Behind That Which is Pastor

Barack Obama’s in trouble . . . and for good reason.

Look, I don’t have a dog in this fight, but I’ve grown tired of political piety. You know how it goes: as a Presidential candidate it would be expedient to try and curry favor with the religious crowd by having a nice little church to call your own. Maybe casually carry a Bible under your arm as you enter the sanctuary and make sure you’re seen being all chatty with the minister after the service as you leave. But Barack has quickly realized just how dangerous it can be to flirt with religion for political gain.

By distancing himself from the racially-inflamed, America-damning tirades of his longtime Chicago pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack has cast serious doubt on his religious commitment. (By the way, if you were in a coma or on a space-mission last week, you might not know what I’m talking about – just Google the pastor’s name and you’ll quickly be informed.)

Basically, Barack has to admit to one of two things: either he agrees with his pastor (tantamount to political suicide), or he disagrees, but has chosen to remain under Reverend Jeremiah’s spiritual guidance and authority for the past 20 years. Barack has chosen the latter and claimed that, until recently, he was not aware of the Reverend’s ribald rhetoric.

How can this be? If you’ve seen the video clips of the pastor’s sermons (go to youtube.com and enter his name in the search box), you know that there is no middle ground with this guy. There is no misunderstanding his message. All criticism aside, Pastor Wright is a polarizing figure who forces you to make a choice.

Frankly, I find Obama’s sudden indignation over his pastor’s message to be disingenuous. It’s like eating at McDonald’s for 20 years and being shocked to find out they serve hamburgers. Pastor Wright’s hatemongering is well-known. If Obama was truly unaware of his pastor’s anti-Semitic, anti-American, anti-white message, he was one of the few people in Chicago so uninformed. Even new-age neophyte Oprah Winfrey claims she stopped attending the church years ago due to Reverend Wright’s inflammatory sermons.

Maybe Barack knew about Pastor Wright’s hate-speech, but simply chose to disagree. How can you disagree with the vehement rants of your pastor, and still allow yourself to remain under his spiritual authority? For 20 years??? Unless it really wasn’t all that important to you to begin with . . .

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