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    March 28, 2008

    The audacity of 'huh?'

    Posted by: Chris

    The Blade published a provocative guest editorial today by former Log Cabin political director Chris Barron, arguing that Barack Obama's relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright ought to disqualify him from the presidency. It covers the usual ground concerning Wright's controversial sermons, but veers into new territory here:

    I wonder what the reaction from the gay left would have been if it were revealed that Jerry Falwell had been John McCain’s pastor for decades or that David Duke had been the best man in his wedding. I am fairly certain that such an intimate association with men with such divisive and repulsive views would certainly be grounds enough not to support his candidacy.

    I don’t believe in simple guilt by association, but I do believe it is fair to assess a candidate, particularly their judgment, by looking at those they choose to so closely associate themselves with. Rev. Wright is no different than Jerry Falwell or David Duke, and the consequences for Obama should be no different than they would be for a Republican.

    Let's count the holes here, shall we? First off, McCain did choose to associate himself with Falwell, as well as Rev. John Hagee, who said Katrina was God's smiting the sodomites in New Orleans gathering for Southern Decadence weekend.

    Second, the comparison of Wright to Falwell or Duke is strained, to say the least. Wright never inserted his oddball politico-religious beliefs into public policy debates and he certainly never argued that his own theological beliefs were a basis for limiting the individual rights of others. One would hope a Log Cabin Republican would understand that critical difference.

    Finally, Barron acknowleges that (a) he doesn't know if Obama ever confronted Wright about the extremist sermons he did hear (Obama has said he did); and (2) he doesn't believe Obama shares Wright's outrageous views. Add that up with Barron's failure to analogize Wright to right-wing religious extremists who push their view into our politics, and you're left with a "huh?"

    I would count myself alongside Hillary Clinton, who (opportunistically) said yesterday that she would have quit Wright's church if he were her pastor. But I cannot see the relevance of a political candidate's personal decision of whether or not to do the same. What about Mitt Romney, whose church didn't consider blacks equal to whites until 1978?



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    1. BB on Mar 28, 2008 10:35:48 PM:

      If anyone bothers to listen to the sermons that the excerpts were taken from (they are on You Tube) you think, SO WHAT? Wright said NOTHING to apologize for, and Obama has nothing to apologize for, BUT NO ONE in the News Media apparently has the CURIOSITY to listen to the sermons, and ACCURATELY discuss them. They just stay with the excerpts. Sentences came BEFORE and AFTER the excerpts. And as Obama Told the DREADFUL Elizabeth on The View today, imagine someone taking the 5 stupidest things that she’s said. OH how I loved him for that. BUT he wasn’t being mean. He was just making a point.

      One of the sermons was given the FIRST Sunday after 9/11, when the Nation was in shock. He QUOTED a WHITE Ambassador that he had seen on FOX NEWS, who said that "the chickens had come home to roost". And he made a sermon on what the WHITE AMBASSADOR had said. The sermon ended BEAUTIFULLY, GENTLY, graciously.

      In the second sermon Wright listed ALL the injustices of the American Govt. From slavery, to the continued mistreatment of the Brown Community when slavery had ended, that was OKAY with the Govt. The Supreme Court had ruled that the Brown Community had NO RIGHTS. Then there were the Japanese American internment camps in WW2. The bombing of Hiroshima. Other atrocious bombings. A LONG list. And he said that Govt. can change, sometimes for the good, and sometimes for the bad. And when America is being BAD, it is god damn America. Why ask God to bless a Government when it is being bad, was his point, it seems. BUT God does not change was his point. God is always love. He is a PREACHER after all. SO he is seeking to bring the congregation to God an the principles of that God. I'm an atheist, and even I can understand and appreciate that. His HATE for George Bush made me chuckle, with some of the comments he made. NOTHING there to be offended by. AND, as a gay man, god damn America, until it does right by the gay community.


    1. Kary on Mar 29, 2008 10:11:43 AM:

      I am a 63-yr old white gay man, raised (sic) in Texas. Until I was drafted in 1968, I had never been in a classroom with a Black person, had never been in a restaurant with a Black person and had never been in a public restroom with a Black person. Our little Ozzie and Harriett town of racism, homophobia, and ignorance had lots of segregated churches....and all the "Nigras", as polite people called them, lived in a separate part of town and had a separate (massively inferior) school. Rev Wright is 65. He lived under segregation. I have read all Rev Wright's comments in context, just as Barry above. I find none of them outrageous or offensive in any way, given context and who Rev Wright is. I think it appalling that any white cracker faggot Republican like Chris Barron would have the balls to think he gets to vote on a Black person's experience of the Land of the Free. But then I find gay Republicans appallingly stupid and offensive.

    1. Brian Miller on Mar 29, 2008 6:05:21 PM:

      OK, Chris, so your candidate Obama is just as duplicitous, opportunistic, and willing to cozy up to bigots as John McCain and Hillary Clinton.

      So then where's the "change we can believe in?"

      You cannot claim to be for "changing the way things are done" and a "new politics," and then defend Obama's 20-year "father I never had" relationship with Wright by saying that Hillary and McCain have questionable affiliations too.

      That's the core of Barron's thesis. You, and all the other Obama boosters, are supporting an empty suit. Worse than that, a fraudulent empty suit who panders and triangulates and lies and cozies up with bigots just as often as his opponents, whose tactics he claims to abhor.

    1. Geena on Mar 29, 2008 6:19:31 PM:

      Log Cabin Republicans continue to make bad analogies. They need to stop trying to counter every position with a gay perspective. There are much more viable reasons to not vote for Obama, open negotiation with Iran, North Korea, raising the capital gains tax and other income tax brackets, unilateral changes to NAFTA. These may not be your positions, but they make a lot more sense.

      The two previous posts with "as a gay man, god damn America, until it does right by the gay community" and "white cracker faggot Republican", are about the least convincing rhetoric since ACT-UP staged a riot in St. Patrick's Cathedral.

    1. BB on Mar 30, 2008 2:15:24 AM:

      There is such a need for EXTREME thinking Geena, in order to belittle a candidate, isn't there? For example, Obama's point about Iran and North Korea is that he is against the NOT talking to them. He will sit down and talk with them. Ignoring them and calling them the axis of evil has been really helpful. Obama has said he wants to roll back the tax cuts on the wealthy, and give more tax cuts to the groups of people who REALLY need them. He has said he wants SOME changes in NAFTA, to benefit American workers. Obama is NOT an extremist. He comes across to me to be VERY intelligent, thoughtful, level headed and cautious. He is NOT a "fools rush in" kind of guy. That would be Bush.

      AND you completely missed my point with my god damn america comment. I was writing of the COMPLETE overreaction to Wright, if you LISTEN to his ermons that the excerpts came from that are driving some batty. There is just nothing there to be upset about, is how I see it. There are times when some just want to say god damn America. SO WHAT? There is no god to actually damn America, so we are safe, Geena. SO, it is just, in reality, a comment of frustration, like, oh shit!

      When America is not being it's best self, then god damn it, When Bush became President, god damn America. When he was reelected, god damn America. It is a comment of frustration, NOT a call for destruction. It is a cry for America to become and be its better self, when it is being its worst self. If we can not talk about when America has been bad and done wrong, and when it is being bad and is doing wrong, THEN how will it become right, and stay right? Wright's sermons were FINE. The true story is NOT of him, it is of the people OVER REACTING to him. What's up with them? Sanctimonious, much?

      And Brian, I feel like I "get" Obama. I trust him. He is a good guy. He wants this Nation to rise above its bigotries and small mindedness, and jump over the hurdles of hate that keep us from love. He is a man that has changed, and is changing. He is on a personal journey. Some people stay the same, until death. Rush Limbaugh has been the same ever since I knew of him, and he will die the same. BUT, I dare say that Obama is not the same man he was, when he was in his twenties, and went to Wright's church to try to find COMMUNITY. Nor will he be the same in years ahead. He is not the same as a year ago, when he began his campaign. He is being stunned by the power of the audacity of hope. He is being humbled by it. He is more relaxed, and more grateful. He has been, and continues to be moving into his heart, and into compassion. He reminds me of Jimmy Carter, who is the best example of a TRUE Christian on this planet, I believe.

      AND, a church is NOT just the pastor. A church is the people who go there, the friends made, the activities one gets involved in, with others, ETC. Obama out grew Wright, for sure. But, if those things are the WORST things Wright has said, in ALL his years as a pastor, trust me, he said NOTHING for anyone to get up and walk out the church about. NOTHING. It was a SERMON, in a CHURCH, where people are testifying about God and God's word. FEELING the holy spirit. LOL

      As an atheist, it is ALL stupid to me. BUT Wright is way less offensive than Robertson, the deceased Falwell, Hagee, the Pope (I call him The POOP) and other, WHITE, religious leaders. And if Obama says he was not present when Wright said those things that are just OH SO offensive to the delicate and weak sensiblities of some, then I believe him. IN FACT, research into it has shown Obama was NOT there.

    1. Brian Miller on Apr 2, 2008 5:55:51 AM:

      And if Obama says he was not present when Wright said those things that are just OH SO offensive to the delicate and weak sensiblities of some, then I believe him. IN FACT, research into it has shown Obama was NOT there.

      Incorrect (and foolish on your part).

      In fact, less than a week after Obama claimed not to have been aware of Wright's statements on these issues, he admitted in his overhyped "race relations" speech that he was indeed both there and fully aware of Wright's comments on these issues.

      The man is a fraud.

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