The complications of the faith-based politics seems to be building. First, McCain has been criticized for his support — and warm acceptance of support — from religious bigots and extremists. Now, Obama is facing statements from his minister, Rev. Jeremiah Wright that blame the U.S. for 9-11 and encourage blacks to sing “God Damn America” rather than “”God Bless America.” This recent video also shows Wright attacking Clinton.
The problem with campaigning on one’s faith and commitment to religious values is that such faith-based politics tie you to your spiritual advisers. Wright appears to mix religion with a raw form of race-based rhetoric. He has not only tied himself to Nation of Islam, leader, Louis Farrakhan, but supported giving the extremist the award in this video. There is no question that Obama should not be responsible for Wright radicalism, but the minister has clearly been central to his life and even coined the title of Obama’s book.
A video shows Obama’s minister attacking Hillary Clinton.
For the full story, click here
As noted here, Wright and his church may now be in serious trouble with the IRS.
It appears that nothing can occur that does not fit into a racial lesson plan for Wright. On 9-11, Wright noted that “In the 21st century, white America got a wake-up call after 9/11/01,. White America and the western world came to realize that people of color had not gone away, faded into the woodwork or just ‘disappeared’ as the Great White West kept on its merry way of ignoring black concerns.”
Even the murder of Natalee Holloway is fodder. Wright objected to all of the attention and seemed to call her a slut. “Black women are being raped daily in Darfur, Sudan, in the Congo and in Sub-Saharan Africa. That doesn’t make news . . . [but] One 18-year-old white girl from Alabama gets drunk on a graduation trip to Aruba, goes off and ‘gives it up’ while in a foreign country, and that stays in the news for months! . . . Maybe I am missing something!” I think he is missing a great deal since many newspapers and television shows have focused on the genocide of Darfur and these other stories.
All of the major candidates – including Clinton, Obama, McCain, and Huckabee – have made plays for the religious vote by voicing positions on faith and seeking the endorsement of religious leaders. However, they are also discovering that mixing politics and religion is a risky business. This week, both McCain and Obama face some serious baggage that came with religious allies.
John McCain was delighted when he received the endorsement of Rev. John Hagee, a San Antonio pastor with a worldwide broadcast ministry. He had sought the endorsement and said that he was “very honored by Pastor John Hagee’s endorsement.”
However, Hagee has long been viewed as one of the most anti-Catholic and downright weird voices on the religious rights.
This video shows just how bizarre Hagee’s views are on the subject of Catholics, for example. Click here.
He has called the Catholic church “The Great Whore” and “the anti-Christ” as well as a “false cult system.”
In 2006 Hagee called for an attack on Iran to fulfill religious predictions: “The United States must join Israel in a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God’s plan for both Israel and the West… a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation, and Second Coming of Christ.”
He also said that New Orleans gays caused Hurricane Katrina: ” … All of the city was punished because of the sin that happened there in that city.”
McCain later distanced himself from Hagee’s statements: “Yesterday, Pastor John Hagee endorsed my candidacy for president in San Antonio, Texas. However, in no way did I intend for his endorsement to suggest that I in turn agree with all of Pastor Hagee’s views, which I obviously do not. I am hopeful that Catholics, Protestants and all people of faith who share my vision for the future of America will respond to our message of defending innocent life, traditional marriage, and compassion for the most vulnerable in our society.”
For the Hagee story, click here.
Of course, McCain is not alone. Obama was grilled recently at the Cleveland debate over his support from Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan. Obama was quick to reject the support, to his credit. Click here. He has also been challenged about his connections to Rev. Wright who is viewed as equally extreme. All of the candidates have courted Sharpton, even as he deals with ongoing criminal investigations. Click here
Of course, while Hillary Clinton attacked Obama over Farrakhan, she does not have any qualms about receiving support from Rev. Al Sharpton in past campaigns despite his own controversial background.
As noted in this here, the incorporation of religious themes and positions into presidential campaigns has only invited this type of problem. Candidates cannot cloak themselves in the support of religious leaders but then try to embrace only their votes and not their ideas.
14 thoughts on “Obama’s Minister: Sing “God Damn America””
Want some endtime shocks that can outdo even Rev. Wright? Google “Pretrib Rapture Desperados,” “Famous Rapture Watchers,” and “Pretrib Rapture Diehards.” Great reads that Lindsey, LaHaye, Hagee and Van Impe do NOT want you to read! Jon
True, but it is one thing to proclaim: “The wages of sin are death” and exhort repentance among ye faithful, and quite another to damn an entire nation to hell, if that is really what the good Reverend was trying to do. His previous racially charged comments make him just another loud-mouthed racist black leader along the lines of Farrakhan and Big Al. His comments regarding 9/11 make me more inclined to think that he actually wishes our country ill, rather than bemoaning its degraded ethical state, as many religous leaders are wont to do. I have listened to enough of that crap to distinguish between hatred and wistful longing for a purer, more respectful time. Like I say, it is a Fine Line.
“”There’s a huge difference between religously inspired critcism and religously inspired hatred for America. As flawed as this country is, it is a safe and mostly tolerant country. That in it itself, in my opinion, makes America a holy place, despite its gaping moral and other flaws. If the preacher had merely critcized America, I would agree with your dismissive rational. However, this hatred is uncalled for and Obama should distance himself from this.””
Is there necessarily hatred involved? I don’t think so.
In the dogmatic conceptualization embraced by one hell of a lot of Christian faiths, the wages of sin is death and we are judged as nations as well as individuals. So when someone indicates that America is not living up to their conceptualization of Biblical standards, and their conceptualization also entails damnation for those who sin against God, then this actually is a religious criticism. “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin,” takes on a whole different meaning when the concept of collective sin (such as an ungodly democracy) is introduced. It’s the same underlying concept behind those bumper stickers that read “America, Bless God!” Is the message so different just because one exhorts us to act differently and the other decries how we currently act (again, under the conceptualization of Biblical standards of conduct as held by the speaker)? I would argue that, in this sense, Wright’s position is actually more theologically coherent.
In any event, Obama has distanced himself from these remarks, so I’m engaging in this discussion merely to point out the wisdom of excluding religious tests for public office, and the inherent hypocrisies that occur when we try to use religious associative guilt in politics.
“The problem with associating campaigns with faith leaders is that just about everyone in the world has a different conception of faith. And like every other person on earth, they all have some flaw in their logic and reasoning at some point. So while we can score points against a candidate by citing their faith supporters–the late Jerry Falwell, Jeremiah Wright, John Hagee, Al Sharpton, Pat Robertson, Donnie McClurkin, etc.–it’s really no different than the guilt by association that comes when people criticize candidates for having the support of Barbara Streisand or Sean Penn. It’s a sideshow, and it’s little more than an entertaining distraction for the guys who have 24 hours of cable time to fill.”
There’s a huge difference between religously inspired critcism and religously inspired hatred for America. As flawed as this country is, it is a safe and mostly tolerant country. That in it itself, in my opinion, makes America a holy place, despite its gaping moral and other flaws. If the preacher had merely critcized America, I would agree with your dismissive rational. However, this hatred is uncalled for and Obama should distance himself from this.
Lost my head for a moment, perhaps – certainly nothing ongoing.
However, you point is well taken…
Just a little suggestion about tactics in your ongoing verbal fusillade with msnbcbser: “Never try to teach a pig to sing – it wastes your time and annoys the pig.”
“The McCain religious supporters that concern you are practicing the age old right to call another man’s religion wrong headed.”
You must be Karl Rove in disguise!
The ‘wrong headed’ phrase was Obama’s aimed against Geraldine’s statement after she had a conversation about the Clinton campaign remarked about his ‘advantaged blackness’, spoken freely, which was obviously not well thought out, and which was then taken out of context for all to see.
It had nothing to do with religion.
Personally, I see your destructive remarks aimed toward divisiveness as a Democratic Party issue powered by the soured relationship between Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy which escalates more than any currently existing on the bases of ‘woman/man’ and/or ‘black/white’.
Perhaps our leaders in the Democratic Party, including Al Gore, should step up before June.
Turley, the difference between the religious supporters of McCain and Obama are as follows:
The McCain religious supporters that concern you are practicing the age old right to call another man’s religion wrong headed.
The Obama religious supporter that is all over the news tonight hates America and more importantly hates whites. Hating our country is permissable but stupid, and hating whites is just plain old RACISM.
By the way, Rev. Wright is still an OBAMA CAMPAIGN religious leader. When is Obama going to tell him to get out of his campaign and even more importantly, WHY did Obama bring his kids to church to listen to this lunatic preach his hate? WHY didn’t Obama walk out the first Sunday 20 years ago?
I am a big fan of Bill Maher’s smart brand of comedy, as a rule, and am tickled when he jokes about religion, generally, as a ‘neurological disorder’…
btw, I was in school with Carly, Carlton, as she was know then
– before she became a big deal and before she was taken down at HP.
She looks great!
You may have your opinions, but you don’t show any sign of being opinionated much less of being a blowhard!
On the contrary, you are one of the posters here whose posts I always try to read and always enjoy. Intelligent, nuanced and perceptive.
I do wish Gore would run again however.
I consider myself a Reform Jewish Universalist, so my take should probably come with a mote of sodium chloride, but…
…as an occasional campaign body-man, I’ve seen more church services and seen a wider variety of preachers than most. And I can say with some certainty that every one of them has said something I disagreed with, or made a statement I found intemperate or ill-founded, or declared the Bible to say something I’m pretty sure wasn’t in there, or called another religion and its adherents (often including me) something pretty damn stupid.
The problem with associating campaigns with faith leaders is that just about everyone in the world has a different conception of faith. And like every other person on earth, they all have some flaw in their logic and reasoning at some point. So while we can score points against a candidate by citing their faith supporters–the late Jerry Falwell, Jeremiah Wright, John Hagee, Al Sharpton, Pat Robertson, Donnie McClurkin, etc.–it’s really no different than the guilt by association that comes when people criticize candidates for having the support of Barbara Streisand or Sean Penn. It’s a sideshow, and it’s little more than an entertaining distraction for the guys who have 24 hours of cable time to fill.
Okay, thus spake the opinionated blowhard. 🙂
Basedon the title, I thought topic was about Obama’s minister.
Well, surprise, I see there were about 25 direct lines on McCain’s association with Rev. Hagee and only about 6 direct lines on Obama’s association with Rev. Wright.
Shouldn’t this have a different title?
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