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A public conversation about our worlds.

  • Monday: Morgan J. Locke
  • Tuesday: Madeleine E. Robins
  • Wednesday: Maureen F. McHugh
  • Thursday: Bradley Denton
  • Friday: Steven Gould
  • Saturday: Caroline Spector
  • Sunday: Rory Harper

Brain Activity



What He Said

March 16th, 2008 by Morgan J. Locke

Jeff Fecke at Shakesville has really been on a roll. He’s been blogging the Obama-Rev. Wright controversy, and has this to say:

Look, I know many of the readers of this blog have wandered from the religious paths we once followed. But having belonged to churches over the years, I can tell you that I didn’t always agree with what my minister was saying; still don’t, always. Nobody’s said anything as outlandish as Wright’s anti-Hillary sermon, but I’ve definitely heard people say things I disagree with, and say them from the pulpit. And criminy, I’m a Unitarian.

I have a good friend who’s Catholic, as is his wife. They’re also in favor of birth control, pro-choice, pro-gay rights, pro-women’s equality. So why do they remain in the church? Well, it’s where they feel most connected spiritually. That doesn’t mean there aren’t things they disagree with in their church, nor that they weren’t disappointed by the selection of the current pope. But they still feel grounded in that church.

So do I tell my friend that he’s horrible for staying in a church that sometimes preaches things at odds with what he believes? No, I don’t, because I’m quite fine with him finding and staying in a church he feels connected to. And I feel the same way toward my friends who are atheists and agnostics and Lutherans and Methodists…all of us find things we disagree with in our chosen faith traditions, but that doesn’t mean we must chuck them all.

Obama seems to be saying that he found faith in his church, but not necessarily a political ideology. Unstated, but also true, Obama found a community in that church — one of the major reasons people join churches is to find community, after all. …
Will the conservatives make an issue of this in the fall? Of course they will, but they were going to blow something up ridiculously out of proportion. If they didn’t have this, they would have run ads comparing Obama to Farrakhan. If Clinton somehow gets the nomination, they’ll run ads saying Hillary Clinton was a secret lesbian who killed her lover Vince Foster. If John Edwards is given the nomination somehow, we’ll hear that he used his wife’s cancer to get ahead.

If 2004 taught us anything, it’s that the conservatives will seize onto anything, no matter how small, and use it to tar good people. Barack Obama joined a large, prominent African American church, one that included among its membership Oprah Winfrey, Tiger Woods, and Michael Jordan. And at that church, he found community and a faith that fit him — as well as a minister who sometimes went over the top. Obama’s now said, flatly, that when his minister went over the top, that was wrong. I was satisfied when the Clinton campaign rebuked the statements by Ferraro, and I’m satisfied with Obama rebuking these statements by Wright. As for this sentence — “I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it’s on the campaign stump or in the pulpit.” — everyone’s chosen candidate should tattoo that to their foreheads.

I have to say, I have been impressed with how Obama has been handling this controversy.

Jeff goes on in a later post on the subject to point out that calling out racism isn’t racist, and anger isn’t hate.

Anyway, go RTWT.

Posted in Morgan, Politics, Religion | 7 Comments »

7 Responses

  1. Christian Prophet Says:

    It’s not about a ministers statements. Barack Obama is lost if a spotlight is shined on his THEOLOGY. See:
    http://miraclesdaily.blogspot.com/

  2. Rory Harper Says:

    I’ve googled a bit, dude or dudette, and it looks like you’re just kinda generically going around spamming comment boards about Obama while you hide behind your bible.

    I think I’ll leave your non-thoughtful post up, unless a fellow Brainiac objects, as another minor object lesson in hypocrisy and disingenuous fake Christianity.

    If you ever bothered to read the Bible that you use to justify unrestrained Randite avariciousness, you might notice that ol’ JC hated on them rich people pretty regularly, much more so than any mainstream American politician ever has.

    And if you think that the US currently runs on a system that allows even the vaguest correlation between financial reward and contribution to society, I advise you to start taking some better drugs.

    You, and the vast majority of the rest of us here, have had so much stolen by these self-righteous predators, following the last three decades of de-regulated corporate fascism, with laws crafted by the best Congresses that money can buy, in order to make the rules as unfair as possible, that it makes me weep.

    The tragically hilarious part of this is that your life has already been thoroughly fucked-up by the people and system that you think you’re promoting. And you still keep coming back for more, and trying to get other people to buy into your special brand of stupidity.

    Because you, and the people like you, ENJOY having your chains yanked by your owners. And, if you were one of the people that benefit from the system that’s now in place, you’d have better things to keep you busy than spamming EOB and other sites. You’re just another willing victim.

    …I know, guys, don’t feed the trolls. But this one isn’t coming back. He’s strictly hit-and-run. If anyone here wants to delete his post and my reply rant, it won’t hurt my feelings. I’m just finding myself tonight to be especially pissed at the idiotic bullshit that passes for political and social discourse all the time in this country.

    We need a smarter electorate, or we’re fucked.

    And I don’t think we’re going to get a smarter electorate, with polls showing McCain likely getting 40+% of the vote. Every time I get a little hope here, I”m forcibly reminded that the majority of the US population has become too stupid to support a free participatory democracy.

  3. Steven Gould Says:

    Rory’s reply is worth putting up with the initial bile, but I did block Christian Prophet’s (!) futher “participation” here.

  4. Martin Says:

    Yes, I especially enjoyed this bit.

    And if you think that the US currently runs on a system that allows even the vaguest correlation between financial reward and contribution to society, I advise you to start taking some better drugs.

    And it’s interesting how people who insist on going off on Obama on account of bullshit remarks his pastor said (as if pastors weren’t in business to offer bullshit remarks as a matetr of course) don’t seem to have any problem with McCain not only declining to repudiate the plethora of bigoted and insane things John Hagee has said over the years, but with McCain’s actively courting Hagee’s endorsement. I long for the day when a candidate’s viability in this country isn’t based on how sycophantically he genuflects to religious psychotics.

  5. Michael Shannon Says:

    I’m always amazed by the current crop of ‘christians’ who rail against communism as anti-christian – apparently very few have actually read the bible, since Acts 1:44-45 (All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.) sounds very much like ‘from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs’ to me. On the other hand, I’ve never been able to find the bit in the bible where it said that the mark of a good and moral man was a high net worth…

  6. neen Says:

    Wow, I use to feel articulate, but now all I can say is: “Yeh what you said Rory.”

  7. Rory Harper Says:

    Thanks for putting up with my spewing, guys. I’ve been working way too much lately, and it’s making me less able to restrain my inner Grumpy Old Man.

    If this clown had been an isolated instance, I’d have just shrugged and deleted his post. But this country seems to have an endless supply of these sorts of self-destructive morons, and it’s been wearing my ass out for a decade or so.

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