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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Going to Church With Senator Obama and Jeremiah Wright

Senator Obama finds himself at the center of his first real controversy. Is it fair and does his relationship with Jeremiah Wright have any bearing at all on the Senator's ability to govern this country?

Now over the weekend Senator Obama has been in damage control mode even appearing on FOX News to explain himself. Now you have to understand, a Democrat appearing on FOX news is analogous to... what can I compare this to, oh I know, Me a conservative who happens to be black; need I say more. So for senator Obama to appear on FOX News must indicate that this story is gaining some traction out there in the citizenry. So is it fair: Well I can tell you as a protestant Christian that church is an integral part of the Christian’s life. Someone who refuses to go to church on Sundays has very legitimate reasons to doubt their standing as a Christian. Furthermore and I’m just speaking as a Christian here, God through his word (the Bible) appoints Pastors as the spiritual leaders over His that is to say God’s people. Anyone who knows me personally will attest to the influence my Pastor has in my life and the amount of respect I have for him. This relationship; pastor to flock and its importance in the life of a Christian, is at the heart of protestant Christianity. I know some of you reading this are not professing Christians and if you were running for president then all this would be a moot point. Senator Obama however is a professing Christian, he says things like, and “Pastor Wright is the one that lead me to Jesus.” Now since senator Obama is a professing Christian, what his Pastor professes on the pulpit most certainly comes into play in assessing who Senator Obama is. And let’s face it; we don’t have a lot to go on, inasmuch as he does not have a track record.

Now as I see it, Senator Obama is on the horns of a real dilemma here; for if he says that Pastor Wright has no influence on him then his profession of faith is not as he says it is and his over 20 years of attendance was a waste of his time. Either way, the trustworthiness of the Senator’s word will be severely undermined. If he maintains his good standing in the church then that implies an influential pastor who he listens to. A pastor who says that the murder of over 3000 Americans’ was, “Americas’ chickens coming home to roost.” A Pastor who prays to God for the damnation of America. How could a Senator running for president hear this hatred for his country and not be affected by it. On this horn his patriotism is called into question. The first job of any U.S. President is to the protection of this country and to uphold the constitution: Article II, Section I of the constitution reads - Before he [the President] enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation: — "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." How can Senator Obama be President if his Heart does not beat with a deep love for this country?

Now Senator Obama has stated loyalty to a friend as the reason why he has not been clear and precise in denouncing his Pastor. The problem however is that Barack Obama is no stranger to protest against things he claims to love; against the United States for example when he refused to wear his U.S. Flag lapel in protest of our foreign policies. Now if he is not able to stand on principle against his pastor by leaving the church (changing the dynamics of their friendship so that the Pastor to student relationship is severed) but he is able to stand against his country then I say Senator Obama has a serious problem with priorities as it pertains to the presidency.

In the final analysis I suspect that the Senator did not leave this church or find what was being said on the pulpit deplorable because some part of him was sympathetic to what was being said.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

You make an interesting argument. This pastor's words tend to alienate the black community. It's us against them. It certainly makes one wonder whether Obama will really be a "uniter"? On the other hand, I don't know how many of these types of sermons were given. Maybe one is too many, but I believe it's fair to go to church and not agree with everything that's being preached. God gave us free will to think for ourselves and decide how to live our lives. Hopefully Obama is wise enough to disagree with his pastor's controversial sermons.

March 17, 2008 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger Danian Michael said...


The pastor’s words indeed alienate the black community especially when you listen to the sermons and hear the thunderous applause behind him, the man has influence. However I don’t want to make this about the Pastor; dealing with people like that is a whole different battle. Senator Obama however is of concern to us as he stands a very legitimate chance of becoming the next U.S. President. It is fair and indeed expected that attendees to a Church may not agree with everything being said by the Pastor or Priest or Rabi or whoever. I would say though that it is one thing to disagree with a Pastor on say, should we use wine or grape juice for communion. It is an entirely different thing however, to disagree on whether or not white people are generally evil or if 3000 innocent people deserved to be murdered. I could not go to such a church with a clear conscience but that’s just me.

Great comments Anonymous, I hope you write again.

March 17, 2008 at 12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an independent whom typically votes Democratic, I agree with you. It also reminds me that Obama's wife made a controversial statement several weeks ago saying she has never been proud of the U.S. goverment in her adult life until now. I want to vote for someone who clearly loves this country and wants to make it even better.

March 17, 2008 at 12:51 PM  
Blogger The Terror said...

See I disagree with Anonymous and Danian on this one, I think you are being unfair to Obama. Let me ask you this; now you would agree that the vast number of university professors are liberal right, I see you nodding your heads in agreement. If you both went through college, a place where people go to learn and soak up information, then I would say that it would be fair for me to sum both of you up, at least in some part, based on the views of your professors. Now Danian and Anonymous, do the views of your professors sum up who you are? And if not why didn’t you leave, assuming you both went to college? Are all the students who were taught by what’s his face, oh yes Ward Churchill automatically precluded from ever being President?

What say you?

March 17, 2008 at 1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BIG difference! We took classes, but the Institution CHOSE the instructors, not the students. We could not just walk out. I had years of liberal ideologies spewed at me. If I wanted to gradute, Yes, I HAD to endure it. Omama could have walked out freely.

Now, I’m betting now he wished he had. Or, at least, now he wishes he could ‘Say” he did. He’s BIG on Words, actions… Not so much!

March 17, 2008 at 8:53 PM  
Blogger Kitty said...

Yes, I agree with anonymous here...big difference in where someone chooses to go to church for twenty years (and chooses to listen to and be under the spiritual guidance of a pastor) than a semester with a liberal prof--or four years with a variety of them in order to get a degree...a means to an end. And this choice of church and pastor is somewhat disturbing. I've been to many different kinds of Christian services--from Catholic Masses and traditional Protestant to "swing from the rafters" Charismatic. I've been to churches where the majority of parishoners were people of color to all caucasian. I've been to tiny churches, mega churches and many sizes in between--but I have never heard this kind of language coming from the pulpit. I mean "GD America"...I was offended at GD! And the language and gesturing used to describe Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinksy--I think belongs in a bar, not a place of worship--from a pastor!

March 18, 2008 at 8:01 AM  
Blogger Danian Michael said...

I am not so ready to dismiss The Terror on his comparison. When I entered college I was expecting to get an education that was somewhat objective in nature. I expected the professors to tech me what I needed to know about Engineering and that what I would learn would be what ever other Engineering student was learning all over the country. Senator Obama entered his church on the same premise; his goal was to learn of God. Neither I or the senator were held at gun point at our respective place of learning; I could have left the moment I heard something that bothered my conscience, even if it would be difficult; for what reasons, no matter their degree of difficulty would preclude me standing on principle. So what makes Senator Obama culpable in his attendance to such a church and a conservative student in a liberal leaning university absolved of theirs? Consider this; a Pastor (from a Christian worldview standpoint) represents what the church believes and a rogue professor does not. If Engineering as a subject for learning was morally reprehensible then yes, I would be culpable. If a University had as its charter to teach the inferiority of white people, then no, I could not attend that college and I would be morally responsible to walk out of that school up on learning such a sinister goal. A better analogy Terror would be if Pastor Wright was in the mainstream and say one of the Elders held the extreme views. In such a case Senator Obama would be perfectly ok in staying at that church in the same way a student could remain at a school that had liberal professors. While I agree with Anonymous and Kitty in denouncing your analogy as weak at best, I do so for slightly different reasons.

What say you Terror…

March 18, 2008 at 4:15 PM  
Blogger The Terror said...


March 19, 2008 at 3:41 PM  
Blogger The Terror said...

To be at the center of all this attention, I like. Danian probably didn't intend to do this but he basically rebutted Kitty and Anonymous for me. Daninan is right (although he didn't say it quite like this), difficulty in leaving a school or finishing a degree is not a good reason to bind one's conscience. I thinks Anonymous that you should forfeit your degree if you thought your school had a sinister (as Danian puts it) reason for existing. No offense But I thought Danian had the most compelling reason basically a rogue professor vs a Pastor who represents the Church's positions. I hadn't thought of that but even Danian's argument as holes: Think with me here, think of the Church as a whole; all churches everywhere, Pastor Wright could be seen as a rogue Pastor, Obama is simply taking his duty as a Christian to be in church every Sunday seriously but is willing to deal with the Pastor's idiosyncrasies where they occur. Much like you did Anonymous when you take a class hosted by a nutty professor. I know I am stretching here but can you not see some analogies? But of course you need an open mind.

What say you Danian and others?

March 19, 2008 at 3:59 PM  
Blogger Danian Michael said...

Yes Terror,

That is a stretch. You have nothing, magic beans as it were. Although Christians everywhere are one family, they do not operate anything like a University. Each local expression of a Church is its own entity and one church does not hold sway over another, in protestant circles.

March 20, 2008 at 10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand your point, but I agree with Danian, it's quite a stretch.

Everyday, each of us chose the influences we allow into our lives. We do this by the kind people we associate with, the kind of TV shows we watch, the blogs we read & respond to, etc. If we continue to absorb messages, positive or negative, over time we begin to shape our own views based upon (maybe not solely) but definitely somewhat, those influences. If we continue to do that, say for 20 years, it's because we, at some level, accept the plausibly of the message.

If Osama let this man into his mind for 20 years, is it really a stretch to think that he might believe even a small portion of his radical, racist rantings?

March 20, 2008 at 11:40 PM  
Blogger Kitty said...

Great points Danian and anonymous! And really, Terror--from his perspective makes sense's why and this is just a guess.., I think the reason The Terror may see this as on par with a wacky college prof is that he fails to understand the kind of relationship a serious Christian normally has with his church and pastor. Christians are to put God first in their lives, so where he or she chooses to worship is key--AND so is the pastor. I understand that there are more casual church goers, C&E's (Christmas and Easter) is one expression frequently used. I'm not making a judgement on The Terror or anyone who chooses to treat church casually or not go at all (unless they are profeesing to be serious Christians)---I'm just saying I can see why he wouldn't recognize a pastor's importance. And remember this too, Senator Obama even referred to him as his spiritual mentor. If I had a very left professor in school, but I stuck with the class...I certainly wouldn't be referring to him or her as a mentor....

March 21, 2008 at 6:07 PM  

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