Just asking a few questions about the continuing blowback from the Rev. Wright affair:
1. Can any news organization laden with vast resources (Hello Fox, NY Times, WaPo) please give us some idea as to how representative were Wright’s Damned-in-the USA comments?
Is it possible that a Chicago paper or TV station might have a file on this? Obama defenders, of whom I’m sometimes one, say that the nation-cussin’ was an anomaly, a fluke, utterly out of context in decades of pastoral care devoted to explaining God’s message. It would be nice if some news org would show us something of that context. Maybe somebody could go and ask long-time church members–you know, “interview” them, as newshounds say–and just see how prevalent was such feisty chat.
Why, it’s even possible that during Obama’s years in the church, certain Chicagoans, some perhaps prominent, decided to leave Wright’s church for one reason or another, and they might be persuaded to tell the world whether the Sunday morning mix was 80% Love vs. 20% Hate, a 50-50 split, or whatever. If our reporters feel kinda shy and awkward asking these questions directly, consider this: Many big churches these days actually keep copies of sermons….why, some even sell cassettes or CDs of the preacher’s ruminations. You never know what you might find. (I don’t know how I think up these clever strategies…they just come to me.) Let’s stop arguing about “context” and establish just what the context was. My guess is that the most extreme “GDUSA” comments were pretty rare, but let’s get some facts, please.
2. Another anti-Obama tack right now is a spinoff from the above, and goes something like this: “Why, it’s one thing if Barry O and Mrs. O, being after all adults, want to marinate in such pulpit poison, but WHAT ABOUT THEIR KIDS??? How could they subject THE KIDS to such spewings?
And the question: Were the Obama kids actually frequent sippers from this foul chalice? Don’t the kids at that church go to Sunday School? Don’t they go sit in little desks or in circles on the floor and eat goldfish and draw pictures of the lilies of the field and make little crosses out of popsicle sticks and skittles? Are you telling me that 4- and 5- year old kids actually stay in Big Church for two hours? Awake? Newshounds, check it out.
3. Much of the Wright or Wrong brouhaha has focused on Obama’s Precise Location during The Spewings. O himself says he was not physically present during at least some of The Spewings in question. And the question is. . .
So what? If the question is to what extent Obama bought into Wright’s rants, and by extension how much influence if any Wright has/had on Obama, why would we settle the matter with a Sunday Morning Scorecard showing that O missed this one, attended that one, missed this one, and so on? If I belong to an Elks Lodge at which the Exalted Stag or whatever the leader’s called stands up on Thursday nights and talks about the good ol’ days of white supremacy, am I excused because I happened to miss the more inflammatory talks? Is it plausible that I would be utterly ignorant of the Stag’s rants? No fellow Elk ever mentioned them to me?
Assume for discussion that Obama missed half the sermons, or two-thirds if you like. Does anyone believe that Obama never got a report, a fragment, a “shoulda heard the Rev on Sunday” from any of his pewmates? That’s silly. Especially as he became a public figure in the state Senate and U. S. Senate, he’d want to be aware of such things even if he wasn’t there in person.
4. To set up this last question, let’s issue a King’s X to Rev. Wright on the Uncle Sam-bashing. Let’s assume for a moment that because of slavery and discrimination, the U. S. deserves Jehovah’s wrath just as the Rev. says we do. Guilty as charged.
That still leaves his far-out statements that the government A) sold drugs in minority neighborhoods and B) concocted the AIDS virus in order to decimate the black population. This stuff is skimmed from the cess-pool of paranoia. How frequent were such charges by Wright? What was the general reaction of the congregation to such lunacy? Does anyone recall Obama’s reaction to this idiocy?
As I noted a few days ago, I think Obama performed a great service with his gutsy speech on race. I think he did what he could to contain the damage right now. But if he should get the nomination, all these questions and more are coming back like Jason in Friday the 13th XVIII. I wonder if Obama is ready.