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.