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Barack Obama, Jeremiah Wright & Leadership

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 8:23 pm - March 25, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,Post 9-11 America

I wonder if, after finally sitting down and slowly reading Democratic presidential frontruner Barack Obama’s speech on race, I will have anything more to say than I have already said. When I read certain passages, it strikes me that the Illinois Senator does have something to say, but that he dodges the real issue, that is, he fails to explain why he never challenged his pastor for his crazy comments.

As Lionel Chetwynd put it today in a must-read “letter” to the Senator on Pajamas: “That is the teaching opportunity I hoped you would evoke: not explaining Wright’s outrage to me, but explaining his outrageousness to him.” To me, that failure signals a man who is not ready for the presidency. (The problem for the Democrats is that this item item in today’s reminds us that neither is his only remaining opponent for their party’s nomination.)

We all have friends, mentors even, whom we admire on any number of issue, but have some significant flaw. We may admire her ideas on mythology, yet decry her politics. We may like someone’s writing style and economic arguments, yet object to his sexual behavior. We may find someone to be a tremendous conversationalist and loyal friend except when he drinks too much (which happens on all too many occasions).

Or, in my case, you have a rabbi with a deep commitment to the traditions of our faith and an ability to draw profound insights from weekly Torah readings, yet who, in a Yom Kippur sermon, misrepresents the President’s policies on torture. Perhaps, I should have raised my objection with the rabbi. Instead, I left the synagogue.

A couple months ago, I learned that a friend of mine opposed Obama for all the wrong reasons — he didn’t think a black man should be president. As soon as he raised the issue of the Senator’s race, I challenged my friend on his bias. I don’t know if I succeeded in changing his mind for we soon changed the subject. It would have been easier to remain silent.

Sometimes many of us, most of us perhaps, don’t call our friends on their flaws because we appreciate other qualities of them. Perhaps, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright had a gift for explaining Christian doctrine to his parishioners and articulating how subscription to the tenets of this faith help an individual lead a richer life. It seems Obama found comfort and inspiration in his pastor’s teaching.

So inspiring did he find the pastor’s theology that while he may have grimaced when heard the pastor’s angry diatribes, he remained silent. That Barack Obama was silent does not necessarily reflect poorly on the man nor does it suggest he agrees with his pastor’s dark vision of America, but it does raise serious questions about his ability to lead.

If he wants to be President of the United States, shouldn’t he challenge a man close to him who regularly denounces the great nation he wants to lead?

I know I’m repeating a point I have made in previous posts (e.g., here and here), but it is a point which bears repetition. For me (and for Stephen Spruiell, Lionel Chetwynd and others as well), the issue is not so much what Senator Obama said in his speech, but what he didn’t say to his pastor. Do we want a man as President of the United States who can’t challenge the bigotry of his own friend?



  1. All immigration, legal and illegal is a threat.Politicians who say otherwise are on the take or stupid.America needed mass immigration in the past but no longer does. See for facts about out of control immigration.See, for more information about immigration.  Most of the 09/11 hijackers were here perfectly legally.  What difference does it make? Of the 6 would-be terrorists that were recently arreseted, planning to attack Fort Dix, NJ, 3 were here legally, 3 were here illegally.  What difference does it make? The more immigration, the more terrorism and the more people inside America who identify with other countries. Do you want to live in a country where women are second-class citizens and homosexuals are ruthlessly persecuted? Help expose the immgration lie.Forward this to as many people as possible before America becomes a third world hell like Iraq. For information about how corrupt officials are railroading U.S. border guards for trying to do their job, see and 

    Comment by Philip J — March 25, 2008 @ 9:04 pm - March 25, 2008

  2. GPW  I couldn’t have said it better. I expect my President to be righteous, my country to be righteous. And for the most part America is a country that does good. For candidates for high office is it too much to ask them to not only say the right things but to do what is right? When I look at the former Governor of NY and now the current Governor of NY it sadens me so much. We don’t have to settle for such mediocre character in those we chose to lead us. Amid all the debate about Iraq and Afganistan for example, seldom do we talk about the 49 million free people. Able to choose how they will now live. Not knuckled under to some horrible dictators. It starts with the character of our leaders who should reflect the character of our nation.
    Barack saw evil and ignored it. I expect more. We should all demand more.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — March 25, 2008 @ 9:35 pm - March 25, 2008

  3. Watch Bill Clinton get testy when a college reporter asks him about his support of DOMA

    Comment by Vince P — March 25, 2008 @ 10:15 pm - March 25, 2008

  4. Not only did Obama not challenge the bigotry of his "friend" (really guru), he rewarded the guy with tens of thousands of dollars.

    Obama isn’t the great post-racial leader he was sold to be, or even a great bi-racial leader.

    The truth about race is: it’s a set of false divisions… it shouldn’t be recognized in our society, in any direction… the only way to really stop racial discrimination is to really stop racial discrimination.  But Obama never told those truths.  He thinks in racial categories.  He is stuck in a world of black and white.  And even at that, he’s distant and unsympathetic to one of his own categories (white)… bending over backwards to justify nutty bigots in his other (black).

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 25, 2008 @ 10:18 pm - March 25, 2008

  5. Good point, ILC, I should have mentioned the Senator’s generosity in my post.  Giving that much to a church, wow!  (Did the church require tithing?)

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — March 25, 2008 @ 10:48 pm - March 25, 2008

  6. Black liberation theology sneaked up on me. I am blind to its purposes. Since it is a child of the 60’s it is still in its infancy, so far as strains of theology are concerned.

    Jeremiah Wright is given some prominence in the movement, although he has not published anything I can find that is specifically about black liberation theology.

    It is my concern that black liberation theology might be so amorphous that it is being made up on the fly and is perhaps just a cover for a certain charismatic approach that is manipulative in nature.

    With the drubbing that John Ashcroft took for being a Pentecostal and the just below the surface concern about Romney’s Mormon faith, I think black liberation theology is a matter worth understanding.

    Is there a section of heaven where the followers of black liberation theology go? Is there an intersection where black liberation theology merges with the general Christian masses?

    With 20 years in the church, a smart man like Obama must know the answers. I am struck that Obama credits Wright with bringing him to Christ. What are the special black liberation theology attributes of Christ? The only thing I know for sure is that, according to Wright, Jesus was a black man. (I have no problem with that, but I wonder if that is settled history.)

    Obama and Wright make a curious pair. Obama wants to be my president and I think I have every right to know his religious belief system.

    Comment by heliotrope — March 25, 2008 @ 10:49 pm - March 25, 2008

  7. I’m sure people have seen the articles citing James H. Cone as the founder of black liberation theology.

    Blacks weren’t the only slaves.  One forgotten part of history is that as late as the early 19th century, Muslims were still capturing Europeans and selling them as slaves.

    The "white church" (so-called) in America wasn’t the anti-Christ.  The Abolitionists were Christians, as well as capitalists.  It took 100 years but they ended slavery… systematically, emphatically, unequivocally within the sphere of their reach, for the first time in human history.

    And of course, races are a lie.  For all these reasons, "black liberation theology" is founded on untruths.  Just as much as such an abomination as "white theology" would be, if it existed.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 26, 2008 @ 12:33 am - March 26, 2008

  8. Muslims were the ones who started the african slave trade. The European slave trade was an extension of that.

    The Muslim enslavement of Non-Muslims is a core component of Islam.. and to this day there is still African enslavement by Muslims going on.

    This is one of those unspoken things.

    Comment by Vince P — March 26, 2008 @ 6:37 am - March 26, 2008

  9. Check out this pattern of behavior by “Mr. New Politics”… When running for office in Chicago, and lately Illinois State-Wide. The real election is the Democratic Primary. In Chicago itself, the Republicans don’t even exist. And State-Wide, the Republicans have collapsed.So its the Democratic Primary any candidate really needs to win to get elected.Obama has stacked the decked in his run for State Senate and US Senate by viciously and unethically attacking his Primary Election foes.– DEMOCRATIC PRIMANY FOR ILLINOIS SENATE

    The day after New Year’s 1996, operatives for Barack Obama filed into a barren hearing room of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.There they began the tedious process of challenging hundreds of signatures on the nominating petitions of state Sen. Alice Palmer, the longtime progressive activist from the city’s South Side. And they kept challenging petitions until every one of Obama’s four Democratic primary rivals was forced off the ballot.

    One of the woman he got kicked off the ballot said:“Why say you’re for a new tomorrow, then do old-style Chicago politics to remove legitimate candidates?” Askia said. “He talks about honor and democracy, but what honor is there in getting rid of every other candidate so you can run scot-free? Why not let the people decide?”- DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY FOR US SENATE

    First, Obama had to secure the nomination… and that didn’t look too likely. His main opponent was the front runner, Blair Hull — a self-financing securities trader. Hull was running far ahead of Obama as late as mid-February, 2004.But then a funny thing happened on the way to the primaries: For some reason, never explained, journalists and TV broadcasters suddenly became obsessed with gaining access to Hull’s divorce records from six years earlier.They went to court; despite such records normally remaining sealed, they persuaded the judge to open them to the general public. I can only conclude that some person or persons unknown gave them a significant piece of evidence indicating there was something in there that was “important” for voters to know.What they found was that Hull’s wife alleged that, at one point during the proceedings, Hull had threatened to kill her. Now, I have never threatened to kill a woman; but I’ve never been divorced. I understand it’s not that uncommon when the divorce is bitterly contested. Hull was not charged with that offense.She also alleged that he had battered her (which could mean anything from beating her to grabbing her arm). He was arrested, as I suspect was required under Illinois law (we have a similar law in California); but he was not charged with that offense either.Despite the lack of any evidence for anything other than the usual allegations that spouses make in acrimonious divorces (especially when hundreds of millions of dollars are involved), Hull’s campaign collapsed. From front runner, he ended up finishing a distant third with only 10% of the vote.The beneficiary of Hull’s electoral free-fall was none other than Barack Obama… who once again found his most dangerous opponent suddenly sidelined by something completely unrelated to the campaign. This time, however, Obama had nothing to do with it — or at least not as directly as the last time… no fingerprints. It was the local news media who suddenly (goodness knows why) got bees in their bonnets about Hull’s divorce proceedings.


    Now Obama rolled into the general election. In the GOP primary, the intimidatingly named Jack Ryan had cruised to the nomination. In many ways, Ryan was an ideal candidate: a self-financing investment banker worth hundreds of millions of dollars, who had nevertheless spent years teaching poor, black kids in inner-city Catholic schools. Ryan was tall, slender, and as good looking as Obama. He was a solid conservative but not a scary evangelist. And he was formerly married to a Borg.Obama jumped out to an early lead, after a rookie gaffe by Ryan; however, there was still plenty of time (almost five months) for Ryan to recover come back strong. But then, a funny thing happened on the way to the general election: For some reason, never explained, journalists and TV broadcasters suddenly became obsessed with gaining access to Ryan’s divorce and child custody records from five years earlier.They went to court; despite such records normally remaining sealed, they persuaded the judge to open them to the general public. I can only conclude that some person or persons unknown gave them a significant piece of evidence indicating there was something in there that was “important” for voters to know… something big enough to overcome the natural desire to maintain the privacy of their child, Alex. Particularly so, since both parents had requested that the court not release those records.Once again, a little bird appears to have whispered into the ears of reporters from the Chicago Tribune and the local ABC affiliate. They found an unproven allegation from Ryan’s actress wife (Jeri Ryan, “Seven of Nine” on Star Trek: Voyager) during the custody fight that on a couple of occasions, Ryan took her to a sex club and expressed a desire for the two of them to have sex while in the presence of other couples and spectators.Jeri Ryan swore in the affidavit that she was appalled (though I would have paid good money to see Six of Nine naked), and that this contributed to her no longer being attracted to her husband. In spite of this claim, husband Jack Ryan won custody, leading to the conclusion that the judge either didn’t believe Mrs. Ryan’s claim or didn’t take it as seriously as did she.Nevertheless, the revelation shattered Ryan’s conservative campaign (I reckon conservatives don’t like pree-verts): Within a week after the story broke, Ryan dropped out of the race… leaving the Republican Party with no nominee. After a few weeks of increasing desperation — during which Democrats were in court trying to prevent the GOP from substituting anybody at all — they finally accepted carpetbagger Alan Keyes as their nominee. He went on to lose in a landslide to Barack Obama… which is hardly surprising, since Keyes was not an Illinois resident and had never even considered running in Illinois until the collapse of Ryan’s campaign.

    There is a wonderful aphorism by Ian Fleming, found in the James-Bond novel Goldfinger:Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time is enemy action.

    Comment by Vince P — March 26, 2008 @ 7:13 am - March 26, 2008

  10. to this day there is still African enslavement by Muslims going on

    If that’s true – and, I’d need to check into it but I could see how it might be – then American race hucksters are even crazier than I suspected. In the same territory as our Left gays who ignore what most Muslim countries do to gays, or our Left feminists who ignore what most Muslim countries do to women.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 26, 2008 @ 10:25 am - March 26, 2008

  11. ILC is dead on about the myth of race. But, like the "man caused global warming" mantra, race serves an important political purpose in the pandering to and manipulating of people to gain the vote in order to control the treasury.

    Comment by heliotrope — March 26, 2008 @ 10:56 am - March 26, 2008

  12. #9 – Of course, you have to also ask yourself why the media is so eager to do Obama’s work.  That’s another pattern: the media pushing Obama like no one else.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 26, 2008 @ 10:57 am - March 26, 2008

  13. […] My confidence in the Democratic presidential hopeful began to slip when I read his then-celebrated (now all but forgotten) speech on race.  He was then tryingt to contain the political damage caused by the revelation of his pastor’s hateful sermons.  As I put it at the time, he dodged the real issue, failing to “explain why he never challenged his pastor for his crazy comments.” […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Obama Voted Present on Reverend Wright’s Bigotry — October 30, 2008 @ 1:28 pm - October 30, 2008

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