Obama, Glass Houses and Rocks
By: Erik Rush
The â€œpot and the kettleâ€ clichÃ© might have been just as applicable apropos statements made by presidential candidate Barack Obama at the United Church of Christ in Hartford, Connecticut on June 23, 2007 on the subject of faith and politics.
History: February 20, 2007 â€“ My column, â€œObaminationâ€ (which covered Chicagoâ€™s Trinity United Church of Christ [tucc.org] and the unbiblical teachings of its pastor, Dr. Jeremiah Wright) is published. The resulting media coverage (Fox, CNN, The New York Times, The Chicago Sun-Times, and many more) results in Obama distancing himself from Wright and a vitriolic response from the church against me personally and â€œpeople likeâ€ me (whatever that means) that continues to this day.
To be perfectly honest, I have no idea how sincere Obama is about his faith, despite stating in the exposÃ© and later on Fox Newsâ€™ â€œHannity and Colmesâ€ that I questioned his Christianity, a fact which hasnâ€™t changed.
Given the unwanted national media attention that my column generated, that his decision to publicly take the faith issue head-on is puzzling to me would be a mammoth understatement. Attacking an adversary (or an issue) is best done from a position of strength, one which this candidate certainly does not occupy. In fact, in this area Obama possesses such a prominently gleaming, soft underbelly that it practically begs to be speared.
“Faith got hijacked, partly because of the so-called leaders of the Christian Right, all too eager to exploit what divides usâ€¦”
- Barack Obama, June 23, 2007
Hereâ€™s where we get into the pot calling the kettle black (no pun intendedâ€¦Really). Which is the political party whose members, both white and black, insinuated themselves into the black community (which was extremely socially conservative and largely concentrated in the South at the time of the â€˜Sixties Civil Rights Movement) and subverted its church leaders, thus diluting the message its members heard and leading to the lionâ€™s share of problems blacks face today? Which political party has exploited and divided us through the creation of the civil rights activism industry and the racial tension it so energetically perpetuates (A hint: Barack Obama belongs to this party.)?
“There was even a time when the Christian Coalition determined that its number one legislative priority was tax cuts for the richâ€¦ I don’t know what Bible they’re reading, but it doesn’t jibe with my version.”
- Barack Obama, June 23, 2007
A blatant lie followed by a big, fat target of a platitude. One of the issues I addressed in â€œObaminationâ€ was that Obamaâ€™s pastor at Trinity United (Dr. Wright) preaches Black Liberation Theology, a doctrine which is manifestly and undeniably unsound scripturally and socially divisive â€“ period. Wright himself is a black militant; though heâ€™d never admit it, his decidedly unpleasant, caustic demeanor when discussing the issue of his teachings, and snarling phrases such as â€œThe United States of white Americaâ€ speak for themselves.
â€œIn 1972, the church [Trinity United at large] was the first to ordain an openly gay man. Two years ago, the church endorsed same-sex marriage, the largest Christian denomination to do so. Obama believes that states should decide whether to allow gay marriage, and he opposes a constitutional amendment against it.â€
From â€œObama: Some in Christian Right Have ‘Hijacked’ Faithâ€, Saturday, June 23, 2007, the Associated Press.
By the Associated Press â€“ characteristically no friend to conservatives or Republicans, religious or otherwise. If you happen to be a Christian, liberal or conservative: How does your version of the Bible â€œjibeâ€ with that?
As many have noted, this candidate is being handled by some very savvy individuals, who I am certain were largely responsible for his distancing himself from his pastor, if not his church. So why let him audaciously court the crosshairs? The initial uproar created by â€œObaminationâ€ (which, all humility aside, was significant) had pretty much died. Iâ€™m reminded of a horrific scene in the film â€œThe Deer Hunterâ€ in which Robert De Niroâ€™s Vietnam vet character was forced to watch his heroin-addicted best friend (Christopher Walkenâ€™s character) play Russian Roulette in the filthy inner sanctum of a Vietnamese gambling house. The outcome was, shall we say, not good.
It is true that no party or person can legitimately claim to be the sole arbiter of what constitutes true faith (or has a â€œlock on faithâ€, in the emerging colloquial). To presume that the brands of Christianity espoused by the Religious Right (again, whatever that is) are â€œthe only true Christianityâ€ is moronic.
Let us never forget that Obama is a Democrat, a party whose leadership and a significant number of its members are secular socialists in word and deed if not in name, and who have been waging a war on Christianity for years â€“ despite some even claiming to be Christians (the Clintons, for example). Barack Obama is now apparently attempting to sell the most watered-down, â€œpolitically-convenientâ€ variants of Christianity to a wider market, a faith poisoned by the party that advocates or tolerates unrestricted abortion, the stultification of parental rights, the abandonment of personal accountability, recreational drug use, sexual promiscuity, gender ambivalence, and a host of other morally, socially and economically damaging devices.
Their wealthy, elitist leaders sell themselves as the only party that cares for people, the poor in particular, yet the cyclopean system of entitlements theyâ€™ve instituted has done more to harm the poor than their poverty itself â€“ and all the while pointing to â€œthe richâ€ (who have more materially, thus fomenting resentment, class envy and learned hopelessness) and Republicans (â€œthe party of the rich and tax cuts for the richâ€) as the name of their pain.
And Obama has thrown in with them in a big way.
â€œâ€¦separation of church and state is not the enemy of religious freedom but its friend, as so many Founders knew from family experience.â€
- Barack Obama, â€œDiscussing God and government, in good faithâ€, from his official website, Sunday, July 9, 2006
While weâ€™re at it, letâ€™s review that â€œchurch and stateâ€ pointâ€¦
â€œCongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.â€
- Constitution of the United States of America, First Amendment
And that is all (an almost irresistible urge to utilize capitals suppressed here) the First Amendment says about â€œthe separation of church and stateâ€. Yet members of Obamaâ€™s party have been at the vanguard of perverting and misinterpreting this Amendment to attack religion and justify a wide range of irresponsible speech in all sectors of American society. Specious public battles (followed up with lawsuits filed by the ever-ready American Civil Liberties Union, of course) regarding â€œfree speechâ€ being â€œviolatedâ€ in areas in which the First Amendment doesnâ€™t even apply (because Congress made no law respecting the issue at hand) have become commonplace, with â€œProgressiveâ€ judges prepared to rule in favor of these subversives altogether too often. Even the Supreme Court has become either too over-educated, ideological, or confused to rule clearly on some of these cases. Just how much can one read into â€“ or out of â€“ one sixteen-word phrase?
Again, the Democrat-inaugurated ruin of our educational system (which helped lead to the death of critical thinking) is responsible for the fact that so few Americans even know what the First Amendment says, never mind what it addresses.
The question of whether Obama is sincere about his faith is more of an issue than was President Bushâ€™s evangelical Christianity because we may actually have a stealth black militant running for the highest office in the land. The more important question by far is whether Obama is sincere about serving the American people, just one segment of them, or if he is simply another opportunistic, self-serving, power-grabbing socialist who happens to be black.