Apparently, Obama's long time pastor, the one who converted him to Christianity and the one that inspired the title of one of his books, has made a statement that Obama very clearly does not want to be associated with.
In a sermon on the Sunday after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Wright suggested the United States brought on the attacks.
"We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye," Wright said. "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. America's chickens are coming home to roost."
In a 2003 sermon, he said blacks should condemn the United States.
"The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme."
I find this story very interesting, from a number of angles. There is the religious angle, the political angle, and the social justice angle.
On the religous level, anyone who knows me well knows that I am an atheist and would really rather have someone in the most powerful office in the world be lead by reason and not by faith. Please, no more faith-based foreign policy!
I'm also wondering if this church is still tax exempt, as they have clearly been endorsing a candidate.
As for the political level, I think the influence of religious zealots on the American political system is ludicrous in a country for which there is supposed to be no religious test for office. There have even been rumors circulating that Obama is a Muslim and is trying to destroy America. Knowing full well the prejudice against Muslims in this country, this can only be a rather nasty smear tactic. But it seems to have been swallowed hook line and sinker by a number of people in this country including a lady who works in the same office as myself.
As for his needing to openly reject these remarks of his pastor, I am a bit torn. Yes, I think if you are a public figure and you have have publicly tagged someone as your spiritual leader, in cases like this it would be appropriate to go on the record as seriously disagreeing with what they have to say. On the other hand, I think it is stupid for the media to latch on to this. First Obama's a Muslim, now they seems to conceded that he is a Christian, but his pastor's a hate-spewing anti-American! Where does it end?
Finally, on the issue of social justice, I am deeply disturbed by what this pastor has to say. America has most definitely committed some terrible foreign policy snafus in the past...hold on, did I just call Hiroshima and Iraq snafus? When all is said and done, I think there needs to be some people in America who are speaking about against these sorts of atocities. It's not popular and not politically correct. Not good publicity for a presidential candidate, whatever his views really are, that is for sure. Anyway, it's part of the job of a politician to try and make sure only their popular views make it to the public light I suppose. So even with the candidates I like, and I do like Obama, I still don't believe half of what they say. Sad state of affairs, isn't it?