Sunday, March 16, 2008

If The Obama were a conservative (—glad not to be on the Obamawagon)

...right now, the lamestream media would be fastening on this statement that The Obama just made to Fox's Major Garrett:
“None of these statements were ones I had heard myself personally in the pews,” Obama told FOX News. “Once I saw them I had to be very clear about the fact that these are not statements that I am comfortable with. I reject them completely they are not ones that reflect my values or my ideals.”
(He made further similar claims here.)

And here's what they'd do:
  1. They would get a date of every despicable, racist, inane, insane, inciteful thing that The Obama's pastor Jeremiah Wright Jr. had ever preached.
  2. They would find out exactly where The Obama was on each and every one of those dates.
  3. They would report the relationship of those dates; and
  4. If he happened to be in church on any of those dates, they would demand that he explain his comments and stand.
  5. And they'd never let rest the fact that The Obama somehow managed to remain silent about all this pain and discomfort he now professes to have had, until the story broke.
If they do this, I'll commend them...though I confess I'd wonder how many muddy Clinton fingerprints there would be on it.

Here are some more specifics and reflections on the issue of The Obama and his pastor:
From Ed Morrissey
From the Wall Street Journal
From NRO's Kathryn Jean Lopez
Does Obama's association with this pastor, and his recent feeble attempts to distance himself (after twenty years' association) matter? Previously, The Obama had spoken in consistently admiring and affectionate terms of this man. He has been a member of that church for twenty years. He'd baptized the Obamas' kids, married the Obamas... do you think that a man gripped by such virulent, racist hatred never would have shared a bit of it with someone he views as in a position to do something about it?

Victor Davis Hanson points out that there isn't much distance between lunatic pastor Wright's positions and Mrs. Obama's breathtaking statement that she had no reason to be proud of America until her husband's presidential candidacy. And with his characteristic panache, Mark Steyn drives the point home still further.

And do you think verses such as these wouldn't apply to The Obama?
Proverbs 13:20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
Proverbs 14:7 Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: "Bad company ruins good morals."
Believe me, I'm not looking forward to trying to make a case for John McCain. I'll be candid as ever, but... I doubt it will be fun, and I doubt John and his mouth will make it easy for me.

But I'm gladder still I don't have to try to be a Christian Obamapologist.

UPDATE: continuing the digging, The Obama's church has issued a statement about (and the current pastor has made references to) this controversy. Is it a statement of humbled repentance? Not at all: just another blast of defiant self-pity, and a circling of the wagons. It also includes the sort of reasoning I parody in teaching ethics to my kids: "Officer, you must put this bank robbery into context. On the way to the bank, I drove the speed limit, paid the correct amount at the toll booth, and came to a full stop at every red light and stop sign. I kept all those laws. Why focus on this one little boo-boo?"

UPDATE II: the Ace of Spades gives the church's statement a pretty good going-over.


Carlo said...

I'm glad I don't have to be an apologist for Sen. Obama either. Apparently, ABC News had these videos for some time (A year I think?) but held on them because of their obvious bias for Obama. The media is simply not going to touch this, unless fair and balanced organizations like the FNC or the WSJ and others look at it. But I won't hold my breath.It was laughable to see anchors like Anderson Cooper apologize so much for even talking about the Wright bigotry sermons.

The liberal bias extends far beyond the liberal media or the liberal universities and public schools. It's even extended to economists (and this may shock many, many of them are liberals). The WSJ did a survey recently and 71% of say the economy is in recession (never mind that the actual definition of a recession is two quarters of negative growth which we haven't even had one). So, expect the bias to get worse. It's times like these I'm glad the Lord is in control of all this.

icthys said...

As a Christian who knows the Rev. Wright (I reside in the greater Chicagoland area) I can state the following unequivocally:

1) Reverend Wright is not a racist nor is he "virulent" nor does he hate anyone and;

2) The snippets shown by the mainstream media have been shown outside of the context of the sermons in which the statements were made.

The comments shown by Rev. Wright are remarkably similar to those made by conservative icons Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson shortly after 9/11. Those who do not immediately rally around the flag and hold America out as the greatest do gooder nation in history can clearly see that there is some truth to what Reverend Wright and the others have said.

As for the allegations that his comments are racist can you tell me exactly what part of his comments are untrue? Since when is it racist to point out that America has a horrible history when it comes to racial equality? Conservatives should not even begin to label the Rev. Wright as racist when the vast majority of them are one step away from their white robes and burning crosses on the lawns of black families!

Now to your main point, I hope that the media DOES verify where Senator Obama was on each of those occasions. If he is found to be lying about it then he should stand up and take the consequences.

In closing:

Judge not lest ye be judged. For as ye judge so shall ye be judged.

If you think it fair to judge a man who has devoted his life to Jesus Christ by a few seconds of tape lifted from a few sermons then apply those same standards to your own lives and your own theological icons.

Let the one who is without sin cast the first stone.

Glory be to God almighty and Him alone! Amen!

Carlo said...

Well, Markus, I only wish Obama was just as honest as you. I mean let's just state some of his comments which apparently you find nothing wrong with:

"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. 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 into our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost."

It's all what we've been hearing from people about the Iraq war in the last 5 years (by the way, things are getting better and more Americans believe now we should finish the job in Iraq). Many liberals believe that our reputation has gone down the toilet, that we have brought this on ourselves (including 9/11) and that we deserved it.

I appreciate Obama's wife being honest in saying for the first time in her life she feels proud about her country. I appreciate the people from the Daily Kook being honest about what they believe. But Obama's wife, and the folks at the Daily Kook are not running for President.

Now, for the rest of us, who are concerned about the future foreign policy of this government, what is fascinating and troubling about all this is all these liberals are coming out agreeing with Wright's statements (that's fine), but we're to believe that Obama doesn't??? Obama is quick to disavow these positions by Wright???

Maybe Obama thinks like other liberals that the US is evil in the world. Maybe, he thinks like other liberals, that the United States is more of the problem rather than the solution. I just want to know what Obama believes.

Sen. Obama should simply come out like other liberals and says he believes the US started the AIDS virus, trained killers, imported drugs and created a racist society that never would elect a black candidate.

Why doesn't Sen. Obama come out and say like you did, Markus, about his pastor and mentor for over 20 years and tell the media, "tell me what about Rev. Wright's statement is untrue?" But he doesn't.

That tells me something. He really believes in what Wright says just like you can't find anything he's said that was untrue, and worst, he is LYING about it.

David Castor said...

Well, I can tell you one thing that wouldn't be happening if Obama was a conservative - we wouldn't be exposed to inane attacks based upon association. This seems to be the exclusive province of the Christian Right. Although, I suspect if Obama was conservative, we would be seeing the Right finding ways ignoring the logs in their candidate's eye so as to more carefully focus upon the splinters in the eye of the new Democrat candidate. The characteristics that the Right so despise in Obama would be all but overlooked were he the Republican candidate.

DJP said...

Castor, Ichthys, can't say I love the smell of absolute, white-eyed, by-the-fingernails desperation in the morning.

And Icthys -- oopsie: Conservatives should not even begin to label the Rev. Wright as racist when the vast majority of them are one step away from their white robes and burning crosses on the lawns of black families!

Your credibility = circling, circling, down, down, down....

Game, set, match.

There is no context that would make Wright's rants remarks other than nauseating, nutball stuff... unless, immediately before them, he'd said, "As an adult American Christian, I want to denounce in the sternest tones the paranoid, hateful, racist, self-defeating plantation-thinking of racist hucksters who keep us down in the name of raising us up. You know the ones I mean. Here's the way they talk...."

And then immediately afterwards, said, "I abhor and abominate such despicable nonsense."

Yes, that would make a difference in interpreting his rants. Can't conceive of anything else that would.

DJP said...

I have a different idea -- and, since this is my blog, this is the one we'll do.

How about if I do a post filled with substance, and all sorts of links? Check.

And then, when you give desperate, ridiculous responses, and ignore the content, I say as much, up-front and in so many words? Check.

And then, if you try to get an endless do-loop going, and turn this blog into a clearing-house for your issues, I don't let you?


David Castor said...

With all due respect Daniel, I read the post. Having read to the post, I responded by suggesting that if seemed fairly weak that slur through association was the best you could manage. This was not at all irrelevant to the post.


DJP said...

Yes, in a fantasy parallel universe where I had posted a "fairly wek...slur through association," perhaps you'd have had a point.

In this universe, where I made a strong and well-documented case, it doesn't.

(And BTW to any open minds who are keeping score at home — have you noticed that even The Obama hasn't tried the lame "context" argument on this? At least he's bright enough to know it's indefensible and radioactive.)

Counter-check, and, if you've nothing substantial (which is to say, other than what you've tried and failed at), you're done here.

CraigS said...

David, the grown-ups are trying to have a conversation here...

mikepettengill said...

Never worry my friend...very few people ever care about Democrats and their relation to religion. I bet you a tacito that before it is all said and done McCain's religion has more of an impact then Obama's does...and that is even with the fact that Obama is making a big deal about his religion(because being thaught of as a Christian is better then being thaght of as a Muslim).

LeeC said...

Everything else aside, if I was an elder in a church that had basically a carte blanche to say whatever I wanted and get it on the front pages of the news I assure you of this.

I would not be content to preach a damning hell sent "social gospel" but I would preach a life and soul saving one.

Helping the poor and needy of ALL ETHNICITIES is a command of Christ. But first and foremost is the saving of souls. The very fact that Christians of any stripe talk of "Race" shows biggotry at it's best. God only made one race of men.

And you know what?

The only thing they need to really hear is that they are sinners seperated from God who is Holy and can have nothing to do with sin, but he loved mankind so much taht He sent His only Son to the earth to be brutalized by them and murdered so that God the Father could pour out His wrath against our sin upon His Son Jesus Christ.

So that if we ask Jesus to forgive us our sins and we repent of those sins and follow Him His Father will forgive us and adopt us into his family forever.

And that would be my statement to the press because I LOVE THE LOST, more than my personal reputation. not because I am some great selfless guy but because God has changed me when He saved me and He has made me love them.

help people with thier temporal and social needs abslutely. it is a part of obeying Christ.

Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.
25"For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

26"For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

For some reason I do not see that in the churches statement.

Gilbert said...

I have a better idea.

Let's go to the root of the issue,
and see where the problem lies.

Read this, and then let's talk.

Carlo said...

The great architect, Karl Rove, said something interesting on FNC. He says that we should not be assuming that Wright's beliefs are Obama's beliefs. If I'm to believe someone like icthys who asks us what is untrue about what Wright says, my tendency is to believe that Obama in his heart of heart believes what Wright said - certainly his wife probably believes what Wright believes.

But Rove says what we have a right to ask is when someone like Obama says that his principal goal is to unite the country, then what does this say about Obama's willingness to do that or more importantly his ability to do that when someone like Obama is so tone deaf that for 20 years he was sitting in a pew and being a member in good standing under a preacher who has Wright's philosophy (like Jesus was a poor black man oppressed by rich white men). Obama says that Wright preached the gospel. Is this the gospel, that Jesus was a poor black man oppressed by rich white men?? Obama considers him an advisor and an uncle. Was he aware over the past 20 years that Wright routinely said these things? Also, wasn't he aware that Wright went to Libya to vist Qadafi with Louis Farakahn (sp?).

LeeC said...


Good article, but I would say it only points out the symptoms of what I mentioned. A church, or professing Christian that does not offer real salvation has no claim on being Christian.

As for guilt by association being a member of a church is an action taken by a person with the explicit purpose of associating with what it stands for.

Throw in comments and pictures of he and his wife that have raised eyebrows in the past and in the context of his church and Mr. Wrights comments those actions make much more sense.

Theophilus said...

Notice the absence of surprise or objection among the audience in response to any of the incendiary remarks in the videos shown on tv.

Consider, too, the purpose of belonging to a church: discipleship.

A pastoral ("mentor" in his words) relationship is different than relationships with other professionals like doctors etc. It direclty shapes attitudes, beliefs, ethics.

Either he was, in good faith, sitting there, and having his values influenced in such an environment -- he saw fit to stay for 20-ish years -- OR he wanted to be SEEN TO BE associated with a congregation that was involved in Social Good Works, without any committment to the Core Beliefs as preached from the pulpit. (One could hope the reasons are something more noble than pure political posturing.)

Neither of these are particularly good.

I've also blogged my observations on this, but they basically center on the discipleship / discernment angle.