March 14, 2008

Obama and Pastor Wright

A little update on how Senator Obama feels about Pastor Wright

Many are wanting something more than Senator Obama saying, "Obviously, I disagree with [what Pastor Wright has said]." I think the pundits want Obama to switch churches and repudiate Pastor Wright's positions in the strongest possible terms.

I think he's stuck, though, kind of like Senator McCain is stuck with his vaccine problem. They have associated themselves with fringe groups which believe what few Americans believe. With McCain, it is that standard childhood vaccines can cause autism, with Obama it's that (among other things) the American government developed AIDS to rid itself of people of color. The data doesn't support either claim and both Senators lend credence to those beliefs by their association with the believers. Senator Obama's problem is the worse, though, because of the obvious derangement of the views his Pastor expresses and his fellow parishioners apparently believe wholeheartedly.

Update: Some say Pastor Wright speaks in metaphor, placing current events into the context of past crimes against Blacks, placing Blacks into the context of Biblical stories. If such were the case, Senator Obama would have clung to that explanation like the life-saver it is meant to be. Instead, he decried the language and gave it no quarter at all. If a well-read US Senator, a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School and member of the church where the sermons were preached cannot tell they are metaphors then I contend they are not.

If the sermons are not metaphoric, then Pastor Wright either believes that the United States Government planned and executed 9/11 and created the HIV virus to kill people of color, or else he is a demagogue, raising the passions of his flock for his own fame and gain. Since demagogues never admit to demagoguery, we have to submit his words to a test: does he, or those who listen to him, behave as if the words are true? No, of course they don't. If you lived in a country you truly believed was infecting people of color with a deadly virus and shooting missiles into buildings full of people you would be behaving like Oskar Schindler or Harriet Tubman, not like Jeremiah Wright. You would be getting people out, into Canada or England, not spouting conspiracy theories in front of Internet cameras.

No comments: