Saturday, March 15, 2008

Barack Obama Backs off his Pastor

Barack Obama has done exactly as I predicted and has backed away from his "pastor". (Please see the video below)

Though distancing himself from Rev. Wright, he still calls him "pastor" and "spirtual mentor" and more.

Here is the story that came out today:

On Friday, Mr. Obama called a grab bag of statements by his longtime minister, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., “inflammatory and appalling.”
“I reject outright the statements by Rev. Wright that are at issue,” he wrote in a campaign statement that was his strongest in a series of public disavowals of his pastor’s views over the past year.

Earlier in the week, several television stations played clips in which Mr. Wright, of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, referred to the United States as the “U.S. of K.K.K. A.” and said the Sept. 11 attacks were a result of corrupt American foreign policy.

On Friday, Senator John McCain’s campaign forwarded to reporters an article in The Wall Street Journal in which Mr. Wright was quoted as saying, “Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run,” and accusing the United States of importing drugs, exporting guns and training murderers.

Later in the day, Rush Limbaugh dwelled on Mr. Wright in his radio program, calling him “a race-baiter and a hatemonger.”
In the statement he released a few hours later, Mr. Obama, known for his uplifting messages about national unity, professed a certain innocence about his pastor’s most incendiary messages.
“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,” he said.

The eight-paragraph statement, first posted on the Web site The Huffington Post, did not recount Mr. Wright’s claims but addressed concerns about whether his beliefs reflected Mr. Obama’s. “He has never been my political adviser,” Mr. Obama wrote. “He’s been my pastor.”

Mr. Obama has belonged to Trinity for two decades. He was married by Mr. Wright, and his two daughters were baptized by him.
Mr. Obama credits a sermon of Mr. Wright’s, “The Audacity of Hope,” with drawing him to Christianity, and he used those words as the title of his second book.
But the evening before he announced his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, Mr. Obama started to distance himself from Mr. Wright, canceling an invocation he had asked the minister to give at his presidential announcement.

Mr. Wright, 66, who last month fulfilled longstanding plans to retire, is a beloved figure in African-American Christian circles and a frequent guest in pulpits around the country. Since he arrived at Trinity in 1972, he has built a 6,000-member congregation through his blunt, charismatic preaching, which melds detailed scriptural analysis, black power, Afrocentrism and an emphasis on social justice; Mr. Obama praised the last quality in Friday’s statement.

His most powerful influence, said several ministers and scholars who have followed his career, is black liberation theology, which interprets the Bible as a guide to combating oppression of African-Americans.

He attracts audiences because of, not in spite of, his outspoken critiques of racism and inequality, said Dwight Hopkins, a professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School, in an interview last year.

But Mr. Wright’s blistering statements about American racism can shock white audiences.
“If you’re black, it’s hard to say what you truly think and not upset white people,” said James Cone, a professor at Union Theological Seminary and the father of black liberation theology, who has known Mr. Wright since he was a seminary student.
Mr. Wright is no longer on Mr. Obama’s African American Religious Leadership Committee, though Mr. Obama’s aides would not elaborate on the circumstance of his departure, and Mr. Wright did not answer a message left on his cellphone requesting an interview.

The minister’s defenders say the statements that have been playing this week on television are outliers, taken out of context, and that he is not antiwhite. The United Church of Christ, the denomination of the Chicago church, is overwhelmingly white. And Mr. Wright is an equal opportunity critic, often delivering scorching lectures about black society, telling audiences to improve their education and work ethic.
“I can remember Jeremiah saying in probably half his sermons: Everyone who’s your color ain’t your kind,” Richard Sewell, a church member, said in an interview last year.

One of the statements that have been most replayed this week comes from the sermon Mr. Wright delivered following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
“We have supported state terrorism against the
Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards,” he said. “America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”

Asked in an interview last March to explain the sermon, Mr. Wright said he had been questioning the country’s desire for vengeance against the perpetrators, counseling his congregants to look inward instead.

Immediately after the attacks, the country’s response was “to pay back and kill,” he said. But before it got “holier than thou,” he said, the nation should have considered how its own policies had led to the events of that day. (Last year, Mr. Obama said, “The violence of 9/11 was inexcusable and without justification,” and added that he and his wife were at home on the day of the sermon, tending to their new baby.)
In the interview last spring, Mr. Wright expressed frustration at the breach in relationship with Mr. Obama, saying the candidate had already privately said that he might need to distance himself from his pastor. But perhaps the two could repair things, said Mr. Wright, pointing out that Mr. Obama’s opponent, Senator
Hillary Rodham Clinton, had faced worse.
“At least there are no semen stains on any dresses,” Mr. Wright said, one of several digs he has taken at the Clintons.
“That kind of frankness scares people in the campaign,” he added.

I still have some questions for Barack Hussein Obama and I can't ask them any better than a man named Jay whom I have met in the blogger world. I humbly ask his permission to print the following from his blog:

Some questions for Barack Obama:
1. Do you believe that the HIV virus was invented by the United States government in order to commit genocide against people of color? If not, then why did you sit under a pastor for twenty years, who preaches that?

2. Do you believe that America deserved the attacks of 2001? If not, then why did you ask a minister who does believe it to perform your wedding ceremony and to baptize your children?

3. Do you believe that the United States government gives illegal drugs to people? If not, then why did you quote a minister who believes it in the title of your book, The Audacity of Hope?

4. Do you believe that God has damned or should damn America? If not, then why are you a member of a church where the minsiter said repeatedly, “God damn America”?

If my church pastor preached things that I completely disagreed with, I would probably choose to attend a different church. Your pastor is your spiritual teacher and adviser, and if you believe that his teachings are wrong, then you should no longer submit to his leadership.

The Reverend Jeremiah Wright has been Barack Obama’s pastor for many years, and now Obama has condemned many of his recorded statements. What’s going on? Why did Obama listen to him preach all those years, but now, when his presidential hopes are at stake, Obama condemns some of his statements.

This is not just a casual acquaintance or a peripheral political supporter. This is the minister who performed his wedding ceremony and who baptized his children. This is the minister whose words he quoted in the title of his book, The Audacity of Hope. For about 20 years, he has been Obama’s spitirual mentor.

So why were Wright’s beliefs acceptable to Obama for the last twenty years, but now they are not?

1 comment:

mick b; Real World Man said...

Can you say "moral relativism"? There is no perfect candidate, but are any willing to announce what they believe, back up the "talk" with a "walk" and have the courage to say "this is how I will vote. You cannot change my mind. Vote for me if you want a leader."? It's hard to respect a person who bows to the squeaky wheel. If the candidates are up front about EVERYTHING, then we, as voters, should have no excuses. Even McCain (on his website) discusses his "faith" and calls God his "higher power." Last time I heard that was in an AA meeting. It's PC, legal babble for "I don't know or I don't want to offend anyone." Matthew 10:33