Monday, March 17, 2008

Pastor Wright's Statements, In Perspective

If you have been swayed by the Con-men's incessant drumbeat to think that Sen. Obama's pastor is the Antichrist's motivator (being that a few Con-men's have thrown that label at Obama to see if it stuck. By the way, I disagree with the author's premise: Glenn Back is jackass, not a serious newsman), you need to read this article. It puts things squarely in perspective, while not condoning some of the statements made by Pastor Wright.


Jeff Burton said...

I'm not sure how much longer I'm going to be obligated to keep my promise, since some of my comments seem to have gone ... missing.

In any case, I have a question for you. Does Obama's multi-decade membership in this church call his judgment into question? If not, why not?

Sirfab said...

As an atheist, I believe that his belonging to a church, of any type, calls his judgment into question more or as much as belonging to this particular church. Otherwise, I echo the sentiments that John Ridley expressed in his article.

Besides, I wouldn't underestimate Obama's past as a community activist/organizer in the choice of the church he decided to attend. In view of the history of racism in the United States, it is understandable, if not entirely commendable, that a black congregation would want to stress the fact that black is as good as, or better, than white, and that black principles, a black work ethic, and commitment to the black community are things to be proud of, not anything to be ashamed of. There may be different or better ways, or more Christianly correct ways, of achieving the same results, but I think that the outcry of people like Denver Seminary's Dr. Groothuis on the black value issue is a bit exaggerated, as usual, for political gain.

Jeff Burton said...

OK - I understand the first part of what you say (in regards to your atheism, though I am a theist). I respect it as an honestly held view applied judiciously to the right and the left, which you seem to be doing.

But I think you are soft-pedaling the content of this church's message. Lots of repulsive things are "understandable, if not entirely commendable." I don't see why this would not count against him, regardless of the religious angle. I'm not even saying this disqualifies him from the presidency, but all I'm saying, it should diminish him even in the left's eyes. To give him a pass on this is just as political as what you accuse Groothuis of.

Prediction: your response to this comment will bring in Hagee.

Sirfab said...

Incorrect prediction: it did not even cross my mind. It would be too easy to bring Hagee, or Robertson, or Haggard, or other hypocrites beloved by the right, and it would do nothing to absolve Obama of his alleged lapse in judgment.

Look, however we want to dice and slice the issue, the ultimate issue in the upcoming election is this. The choice on the Democratic side is between Obama and Clinton. I do not like Sen. Clinton because she represents Washington at its worse.
(Keep in mind that my preferred candidate, Kucinich, never really had a shot.)

Assuming that the contest in November will be between McCain and Obama, the choice for me would be automatic, because in electing the next president I would want to vote for the candidate that most distances himself from President Bush and is legacy, and that is not Sen. McCain.

Say what you want about Sen. McCain, he represents a party that has literally wreaked havoc, in my opinion, on this country for the last eight years, and continues to do so even now that the Democrats have regained a slim majority in Congress.

Is Obama perfect? No. Is he infallible? No, but he seems to know it, which is better than what we have had for the last 7+ years. Are there inconsistencies in his positions? Yes. But we are dealing with politicians, not with superheros or philosophers. Obama is the best this election has to offer, simply put.

One more thing that troubles me about Sen. McCain, and is enough to convince me never to vote for him. In the campaign for the Republican nomination in 2000, he was viciously attacked by Gov. Bush and slandered by lies that had Karl Rove written all over
them. Mailers were sent to thousands of Republican voters saying that McCain had illegitimately fathered a black child. The child, as it turns out, was adopted. I believe this happened before the South Carolina Republican primaries. After that George W. Bush took the lead in the nomination process and the rest his history.

This did not keep McCain from endorsing George W. Bush for re-election in 2004, and it did not keep him from accepting George W. Bush's endorsement this year, as the president finally had the chance to make good to his former adversary. I keep stuff like that in mind when I judge a candidate's character.

Not only that, says that Karl Rove is now advising Sen. McCain's campaign. What a reversal, eh?

Things like these speak volumes about McCain's lack of integrity. In spite of his undeserved "maverick" label, he seems to be just another cog in the Republican machine, happy to do his part, and to reap his share of power. Does that disqualify him from running for the presidency? Unfortunately, it does not seem so.

Sirfab said...

Jeff: I inadvertently deleted your last comment which said

"Now who's off topic?"

A quick response. I don't believe it was off topic, because your original comment called Obama's judgment into question (for being the member of a church with what you hold to be questionable values.) If we are debating the candidates' judgment, I think that McCain's endorsement of Bush in 2004, and the fact that he is currently being advised by the person who conjured to destroy his candidacy in 2000, Karl Rove, speaks volumes about Sen. McCain's judgment and his questionable integrity. hence I did not consider the post off topic.

Obama has now answered his critics. Being how blindly relentless they are, I do not expect them to give an inch.

Jeff Burton said...

It must be comforting to have such Manichean view of politics.

Sirfab said...

What's Manichean about it? Or is it that you were just eager to use the word of the day from a site you subscribe to?

Jeff Burton said...

Fab (may I call you Fab? The sir part seems so formal), I'm starting to like you. Your ham-handed attempts at insulting me are starting to seem endearing rather than irritating.

Thanks for providing me with the best laugh I've had all day.

But to directly answer your question: from reading your blog and your comments here and at another site, I take it you see your political opponents as the forces of darkness.

Sirfab said...

Ham-handed is more like it. Speak like you think.

Manichean was an inappropriate definition of the distinction I made.

As for the "forces of darkness": if the choice is between seeing Bush, Cheney, Rice, and the rest of them as "forces of darkness" or as capable of walking on water, as many Evangelicals and conservatives have done and continue to do, then I do see them the forces of darkness. I truly believe they are evil, conniving, scheming and that they are in politics for personal reasons, not to promote higher ideals. McCain has nothing to gain by accepting their allegiance, in my view.

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