Saturday, March 15, 2008

Obama and his Pastor

Obama denounces pastor's 9/11 comments

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?


Stardust said...

If Obama was smart, he would disassociate himself with that church. Obviously the church holds the same views our they would have ousted this pastor years ago. But they wave their arms in the air and shout their amens.

Obama, despite him being a Democrat, is way to fundie for me. Obama uses Reagan type charismatic rhetoric to woo people to vote for him. I ask people why they want to vote for him. Because he has vision, they say. Vision of what I ask. They say he brings hope. I say hope for what? They just repeat the pretty words, and can't really tell anything about where he stands on anything, what his big plans are, and how he is going to pull off and pay for those plans.

If Obama is elected, I hope I am wrong, but I predict his supporters are going to be sadly disappointed when he doesn't deliver on whatever they are hoping for. I would have rather seen Hillary win the nomination because she has experience, things were good during the Clinton years. We know what we are getting with her. With Obama, we don't know what we are getting. On the other hand I don't want another Rethuglican in office. That's another concern of mine. Obama is not squeaky clean, and has many skeletons in his closet that the Republicans are going to pull out and use against him if he is the nominee. Call me a pessimist, but I think he will not be able to hold up to the scrutiny. We shall see, like I said, I hope I am wrong.

Mikayla Starstuff said...

I guess he has a to be associated with some church or the Christians won't vote for him. And a black church or the black christians won't vote for him. Rant rant rant.....

You have a good point. I've gotten so cynical about politicians that I don't trust a word they say. But I'll still go to the polls on election day.