Saturday, April 26, 2008

Wright's Jeremiads

Bill Moyers did his best last night on PBS to put Barack Obama's controversial pastor into perspective. He succeeded in showing the man's brilliance but created unease in an observer who, by taste and temperament, is not attracted to apocalyptic preaching about the human condition.

From the interview, it's easy to see what Obama found in Jeremiah Wright and his church that gave a new dimension to his secular desire to help the poor and dispossessed during his early days in Chicago.

Wright's church apparently did and does good work in uplifting its community, but the social benefits come with a moral price--the preacher's selective view of good and evil in the political world.

Consider Wright's use of Martin Luther King to justify his own history. "Dr. King, of course, was vilified," he told Moyers, asserting that, after King talked about racism, militarism and capitalism, he was "ostracized not only by the majority of Americans in the press; he got vilified by his own community. They thought he had overstepped his bounds...He was vilified by all of the Negro leaders who felt he'd overstepped his bounds talking about an unjust war."

Martin Luther King's opposition to the war made him unpopular with Lyndon Johnson but not the rest of America, least of all African-Americans and, unlike Wright, he did not use it to condemn all of American history, from the mistreatment of Native Americans to plotting drug addiction in black communities.

The Rev. Wright's need to "damn" America leads him to a peculiar view of history. He goes back centuries to mine our national past for evil but, when asked about Louis Farrakhan's racist and anti-Semitic speech, dismisses it with "That was twenty years ago" and praises him for getting African-Americans off drugs and giving them self-respect.

Perhaps most troubling of all is his smiling intimation that Barack Obama is only distancing himself from his views for political expedience: "(W)hat happened in Philadelphia where he had to respond to the sound bites, he responded as a politician. But he did not disown me because I'm a pastor."


dave in boca said...

Bill Moyers played a silly game of pattycake with The Unrevered Reverend Wrong last night as they both tried to avoid the nasty topic of the pastor's hate-filled, incendiary sermons accusing the CIA of plotting to spread AIDS among black youth & a lot of other spurious lies and black agitprop appropriate for a Robert Mugabe or Muammar Qaddafi [before MQ wilted under US pressure].

Moyers' journalistic credentials are nil, and only his long dialogue with Joseph Campbell two decades ago gives this PR flack for ultra-left fantasies any cred at all. He is a prime example of what the shrinks call "displacement" a psychological mind trick whereby libs take their hysterical temperament to other spots when their little cloud-cuckoo land is beset by too much reality.

"Displacement" is the psychological phenomenon which takes a situation that is simply too terrible to grasp by an observer, and switches the concern to a different topic. I.e., Islamic terrorism is simply too awful to contemplate for a whining Euro-weenie, and the spineless libtard instead switches his/her anxiety to a substitute, such as "Global Warming," a fact which is occurring, but may not be caused by humans.

Nevertheless, the chattering classes latch onto GW & dismiss Islamic terrorism, allowing them to divert their hysteria into "progressive" memes that fit into their world-view paradigm.

Dr. Sanity is a highly-acclaimed blogger/scientist with a degree in psychology who has extensively examined the various ruses leftists use on themselves to follow the Party Line as emitted by the Political Commissariat in the NYT/WaPo/LAT editorial board rooms as well as prominent Ivy specimens of academentia & bizarre "thinkers" & "writers" whose imagination overwhelms their critical faculties [Kurt Vonnegut Jr. comes to mind.]

When you see a double-digit IQ dude like Al Gore who got a "D+" in the only science course he took at Vanderbilt getting a "Nobel Peace Prize" for a book/movie on AGW, you know that an elaborate set of intellectual Potemkin villages line the road of the Progressive path to Liberal do-goodism.

And this way, no terrorists need be insulted as they continue to plot additional attacks on the USA & other Christian nations.

Anonymous said...

Martin Luther King's opposition to the war made him unpopular with Lyndon Johnson but not the rest of America, least of all African-Americans

I'm not so sure about that. My recollection is that King caught a great deal of grief in the black community over his speaking out on Vietnam, which many believed detracted from the civil rights struggle.

And this is how Andrew Young describes the reaction to King's "Time to Break the Silence" speech on Vietnam:

"The reaction was like a torrent of hate and venom. As a Nobel prizewinner we expected people not to agree with it, but to take it seriously. We didn’t get that. We got an emotional outburst attacking his right to have an opinion."

Anonymous said...

How many of us would want to be judged according to the statements and political views of our pastors? My pastors have, as far as I can tell, been magical thinkers who believe in the Nycene Creed.

Church is a bunch of people. I enjoy mixing with folks I would't meet otherwise. That I take the resurrection metaphorically (they can kill the man but not the plan) hasn't gotten me booted out of church, yet.

As Doug Wilder said about Obama's problem with Wright, "If that's all they've got in the tank, we'll be driving up to Obama's inauguration."

Carl said...

How many of us would want to be judged according to the statements and political views of our pastors?

Some of us had the gumption to leave the church of our ancestors because of the idiotic things our ministers taught us, like the Pope was the Anti-Christ.

Why Obama, who made his choice and was not born into his church, did not leave is a very telling point about his ambition...hell, why would a black politician leave a congregation of 3,000 on the South Side?...and speaks to me of his abject moral decay.

Anonymous said...

Yeah sorry, but you're an ignorant moron Stein, a simple trip on google will show you that MLK was villified, by the media, Time called him a demagogue, and the Post said he had lost his usefulness, he lost support of President Johnson and even support amongst the civil rights movement.

Also you don't have to go back centuries to find America's sins, we gave Iraq chemical weapons, we toppled a growing democracy in Iran, we supported dictatorships in Pakistan against democratic India. So yeah he's right in his opinion that the US has done a great many dishonorable and even criminal things and that 9/11 was partly due to our own actions.

Amicus said...

@Dave in Boca

In the final redux, the critics of Wright are left with his comments about AIDS. The rest has found a context. What's revealing is how long his critics - including the idiotic Tucker Carlson - have taken to get to this last bastion, IMHO.

All of Wright's other statements (that we've heard looped, at least) have found a context that frames an opinion one might not agree with, but is nevertheless not "wacko".

Governments lie, including in America.

Most ministers, of almost any faith, do not talk the same way about war and conflict as politicians must. You don't have to make any special appeal to apocalyptic preaching to grasp that basic distinction.