Within the last week, Senator Barack Obama has been forced to explain his relationship with his pastor of 20 years, Dr. Jeremiah Wright. Dr. Wright, now retired, has been the pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago for over 30 years. During that time, he became close enough to Senator Obama to perform his marriage to Michelle and to baptize his two children.
The controversy bubbled to the surface for basically two reasons. One, Jeremiah Wright said some pretty incendiary things, such as the government was responsible for AIDs in the black community, and that instead of "God Bless America", it's really "God Damn America". The second is that this is the pastor of a leading candidate for the presidency. Had Obama still been a state senator in Illinois, this would never have made the Chicago papers, let alone U-Tube and the endless stream of talking head morons (yeah you Glen Beck, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson).
Ok, he shouldn't have said that the government is the cause of AIDs in the black community. Dumb. However, the "God Damn America" was taken way out of context in that the pastor was paraphrasing US Ambassador Edward Peck.
Nonetheless, the damage is done. Obama is being eviscerated in the press and in the blogosphere for not leaving Wright's church and making a more strident condemnation of Wright's message. Forget the facts that Wright is someone who is a veteran, served his country, and has preached many more positive messages to his flock than negative. Forget all that. He said two stupid things and now a presidential candidacy is taking water as a result.
The rank and rampant hypocrisy here is that most of the noise is coming from the conservative right, who have repeatedly knelt at the feet of such bastions of Christian ethic as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, John Hagee, and many others who have said such idiotic things like God caused Katrina as retribution for our moral decay. No one (listening John McCain?) on the right has repudiated them. No one in the media (Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Hannity, Beck, Savage, Carlson, Blitzer, et al) have covered their outlandish behavior and comments with the scrutiny they have Obama's pastor.
It is enough that Obama made a speech that repudiated Wright's comments. He spoke to us as Jon Stewart of The Daily Show said: "He spoke to us as adults". He took on race. He discussed white as well as black resentment and anger and he did so with understanding and class. He noted positive improvements in our racial story, but reminded us we have much to do. His speech was exactly the right thing to do. He acted with good judgement, not blaming someone else, but explaining and separating the preacher from the candidate. He was presidential.
For the rest of the masses out there using this as a cudgel to bash Obama around the head, stop it. "Ye who are without sin, cast the first stone".
For Limbaugh and his crew of festering carbuncle's who think this is a way to take Obama down: "Go Cheney Yourselves",
Tell me what you think,