Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Obama Denounces Pastor Wright's Recent Rantings...

Please listen to the announcement below and then read on...


Looks like Senator Obama finds Pastor Wright's most recent proclamations (the ones that took place after the Bill Moyers interview) as distressing as most others do (of all races). Although the Senator deferred throwing his pastor under the bus when he spoke out against him in Philadelphia a month or so ago in his longer address regarding race issues (being the gentleman he is), he has definitely come out in a forceful way today to reassure all of us that he does not agree with Pastor Wright's outrageous conspiracy theories (i.e., that HIV was an instigated attempt at genocide for people of color by the US government, etc); nor does he hold in high esteem other folks whom Pastor Wright listens to with what seems to be utmost respect.

I listened to all Pastor Wright had to say at all three events (primarily because I was reassured of his decency by the extended coverage of the sermons shown during the interview with Bill Moyers). I understand completely the theological points he was making. (Pastors answer to a higher authority than human authority and struggle to make all God's children inheritors of the benefits of being His.) Whenever he speaks of God's love, Wright seems to get it right.

It's when he speaks of "God's wrath and judgment" against many former, and some present, U.S. policies that causes others to tremble and fear his presumed influence on those in his congregation. (He cited American history against Native Americans, the history of African-American slavery, Irish and Chinese treatment in America in earlier times, Jim Crow laws, lynchings, sending soldiers of color to fight our wars while regarding them as second-class citizens and denying them the vote).

Pastor Wright didn't make up any of this part: these things happened. We are a nation of greatness and of pettiness; of compassion and brutality; of mercy and injustice. I love America -- but I cannot defend everything it has ever done, nor will I.

What the pastor seems to overlook is that we are living in days of grace (unmerited favor) since Jesus walked the earth in the flesh. As such, in God's eyes we're utterly forgiven in all the areas where we screwed up (and still screw up) as long as we recognize it, feel remorse over it, and repent of it. It is our responsibility as Christians (which is what Pastor Wright professes to be) to love the sinner and hate the sin.

I don't see a lot of forgiveness or love in Pastor Wright for American government. I don't understand where he got the notion that white America is the source of evil in this country -- but if I were born black in the era in which he was reared, I'm sure I, too, could create an extensive list of evils without much trouble. So could you, no doubt. It's amazing to me that more African-Americans aren't as riled as he is. I know I would be, had I been treated the way they have been until relatively recently. And they're still not home free in this regard. But thank God , the vast majority of African-Americans are, and have been, non-confrontational Christians... whose ancestors, including parents and grandparents, endured much worse than they have had to face... and as Americans, they recognize the progress that has been made, while Pastor Wright seems to be "a fly caught in amber" back in the 50's, when things were admittedly atrocious for the black members of our society.

But white America was never the source of the evil. ("We struggle against powers and principalities, not against flesh and blood.") Reverend Wright should know this, theologian that he is. Satan and his minions have been the source of all evil in the world; have been ever since they were cast out of heaven! Because Satan is the presiding prince here on earth until Jesus comes again, we're all fallen! And if not for the love and the willing sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we would all stand condemned in our sins, major and minor --- Americans, Europeans, Africans, Asians, everyone!

I know that Barack Obama does not believe as Pastor Wright does in numerous areas. Just looking at and listening to him confirms that, and comforts me. Senator Obama couldn't conceal (beneath his surface) the vitriol that Wright displays in his bearing. It would show, as it surely shows in the Reverend.

Reverend Wright is an angry man with a chip on his shoulder, wanting someone to knock it off so he can be proven right and get into a fight for legitimacy again -- to keep the 50's as alive to us as they still are to him.

Barack Obama is not an angry man. He is a patient man whose time, in my opinion, has come. As the product of a bi-racial marriage, he "gets" both sides of the story and has a much clearer perspective. In Barack Obama is the DNA of a hope we all possess: that we can come together and live up to our nation's creed.

He hasn't given up. I pray he never will!

Barack Obama's voice remains one of measured hope and reassurance that we can, indeed, address the many perils and issues that we all face in this economy and around the world.

What scares me most is this thought: "If we don't honor rationality over emotional paybacks -- and soon! --we may not get another chance. Too many people have too many weapons of mass destruction, with too many ways to deliver them."

We need a leader who's mature enough to realize that unless we sow fruitful discussion, we court fearsome destruction.

Most of the world's people just want to live their lives, raise their familes, and get along. It's governments and terrorists that seem bent on playing the blame game and on "making things right" -- as they measure "right" ("My way or the highway").

"America, right or wrong?" Hmmm... With that attitude, we may end up being "dead right" ... along with everyone else who's cause seems "right" to them.. and along with all the innocents residing within their territories!

I still love America. I want to love her more. I want our nation's originators to be able to look down on us from heaven in the next ten or twenty years and smile and say, "Now, that's more like it!"

This surely ain't it -- people at each other's throats:

Red state, blue state
Black eyes, checkmate

Who won?
No one...

Let's get into the boat and row in the same direction -- and see what common courtesy and working in tandem can do.

We can do it, if it's deemed important enough.

And of course it is!


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