Thursday, March 13, 2008

Unabashed Obama Bashers

Oh, for heaven's sake. Now there's a "controversy" out there about Senator Obama's pastor, despite the fact that Senator Obama has already stated that he doesn't agree with numerous things his pastor has said over the years.

This campaign used to be kind of fun to watch, but the way it's going now, it is beginning to seem like "politics as usual" except in the Obama corner.

I don't know any parishioner who agrees 100% with every concept floated from their pastor's pulpit. I certainly don't agree with my pastor every time. In fact, there are times when the man truly ticks me off (not when he's teaching the word of God, but when he's pontificating on matters where I have disagreements with him outside theology)! Pastors are, by nature, controversial creatures -- counter-cultural consciences. It's part and parcel of their job description. Show me a pastor who never ruffles feathers and I'll show you a pastor who's a theologically impotent misfit.

I didn't think what the pastor in question said was all that controversial in this instance: He said that Obama has a better sense of what black people need, and where they are emotionally, than does Hillary Clinton, since he was raised by a single parent and has had to learn to survive and thrive in a culture that hasn't been terribly sympathetic to the unique trials and tribulations of people of color and other needy folks. While we have made huge strides in America -- we have Barack Obama's serious candidacy for President as proof of that -- we certainly aren't "home yet."

There has been an undercurrent of rumors, gossip and innuendo surrounding Obama's candidacy lately that is verging on ridiculous: among them, is he a closet Muslim; is he a black supremacist; what was he doing wearing African duds during a "photo op" in Africa?

Fer gosh sakes, look at him, listen to him... and let your intuition decide what kind of American he is. My intuition -- and ears and eyes-- tells me he's an articulate, intelligent, visionary gentleman who can heal the divisions in our land because he doesn't view those of us in America who disagree with him as "enemies" or mental midgets. He respects their opinions, listens without rancor, and finds ways to honor the effort to communicate -- and to compromise when people are better off for it.

I find him thoroughly honorable. When he "fights back" against challenges, he takes care to give the other person space to "agree to disagree." He doesn't attempt to metaphorically "blacken eyes" to score. His goal and focus is to "reason together."

I think he'll be a fabulous President. I think Clinton would be a less-fabulous President because she has caused such animosity and division during her years in the spotlight to date. Not that it has always been her fault... but recently some of the stuff she has been bringing up against Obama makes her seem willing to burn the village (and both Obama's and her own bridges to the White House) to the ground to smoke him out and destroy his candidacy so she can win.

That's a shame. If she's the Democratic candidate, I will support her, but not with the fervor or the hope with which I support Obama's candidacy.

Obama has earned my support by remaining sane and humane all along, no matter what kind of stones are tossed his way.

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