If you were one of the 3 people reading my blog 7 months ago, you would have read about the problems that Barack Obama would have when his membership in an arguably racist church got more attention. In my post, “Is This Candidate Racist?” I linked to the website of his church, Trinity United Church of Christ. I concluded that if he was white, and belonged to a church with a similar statement of beliefs, but focused on Caucasians instead of African-Americans, that he would have a huge problem.
It looks like people have begun to listen to Rev. Jeremiah Wright, his now retired pastor, and they don’t like what they are hearing. Among other things, the pastor said “God damn America,” in a way that suggested that he really wanted it to happen. Meanwhile, some of Obama’s response to the criticism of his pastor was of the “I wasn’t in church when he said that” variety, mixed in with “if I was in church that Sunday, I must not have been listening to the sermon.” This is not inspiring confidence at all, but Hillary Clinton, whose pastors have all been much more laid back, is certainly happy.
Pastor Doug Wilson, of Blog and Mablog, is beginning to make good sense of this situation from the perspective of “a fellow incendiary pastor.” Rev. Jeremiah Wright believes that the government invented the AIDS virus to kill black people. Pastor Wilson believes that this is a nutty charge, but he does believe that the government is killing black babies by funding Planned Parenthood. (Indeed, nearly half of the babies killed by abortions are members of minority races, so he does have a point.) Therefore he thinks that Rev. Wright is actually a “useful idiot” who is, if anything, making the white oppressor’s job easier.
So, he wonders, what makes Rev. Wright wrong? Pastor Wilson wants to make sure that Rev. Wright is not criticized merely for being “anti-American”, or “critical of the government.” He develops his thoughts in the following posts:
Fox News Indignation – Where he introduces the problem.
A Chilling Effect – Where he wonders what would happen if one of his church members ran for President.
Why Jeremiah Wright is no Jeremiah – Where he comes to some conclusions about why exactly Rev. Wright is wrong, but he also explains why most of his critics are wrong too. Here are a few quotes:
First, the original Jeremiah did not deliver his jeremiads with a sense of bad boy glee, accented with a gaudy shirt, and with a choir dancing in the background. The real Jeremiah delivered a grim sentence condemning a city that he deeply loved. Jeremiah was accused of a lack of patriotism, but he was actually one of the few patriots in the city…
…A story is told of a conservative Methodist congregation in the backwoods that lost their pastor, and so in their letter to the bishop they asked for him to be replaced with a “real hellfire and damnation” preacher. The bishop didn’t have many of those left, but he shrugged his shoulders and sent one. He lasted two weeks. The next one lasted for one. A third was sent (the bishop’s last one) and he settled in as the pastor of this congregation for the next thirty years. This naturally baffled the bishop, and one day when he was visiting with one of the old-timers from that church, he asked about it. “Why did you all reject the first two hell-preachers, and keep the third?” The old guy scratched his chin and said, “Well, the last one sounded like he didn’t want us to go.”
Wright is being condemned, not for having the list of sins wrong (which he did), but for being un-American with a camera running.