This is in answer to the two comments by Patrick and j_g left on the post below this one:
I'm sorry you both have such violent feelings about this. It seems Senator Obama brings out the best and the worst in people.
I disagree with what you have said, Patrick and JG. And I do so because as many others have pointed out, and what you and other conservatives disregard or willfully ignore, is the fact that many white pastors have spoken against America.
The Reverend Jerry Falwell, along with Pat Robertson, two men who had and have a great deal of influence over millions of Christians in this country, have preached unAmerican sermons to their flocks, and even blamed Americans for the attacks of 9/11. Both of these men have been esteemed by President Bush and his Christian Right followers.
Of course, you'll say that President Bush didn't sit in Falwell's or Robertson's church for twenty years. True. But President Bush and his Christian Right followers approved and embraced what they have preached. Bush and his Christian Right followers never separated themselves from Falwell and Robertson and their toxic anti-American sermons.
President Bush even declared a national day of mourning when Falwell, who blamed Americans for 9/11, died.
Falwell was instrumental in galvanizing millions of American evangelicals into an intolerant, sectarian and authoritarian political movement. Gays, women, secularists, civil-libertarians and other groups who did not fit into Falwell's plan to construct 'One Nation Under God' were demonized on a regular basis and blamed for any catastrophe that happened to the US, natural or man-made. It was God's punishment to all Americans, Falwell and Robertson preached, because this diverse group of AMERICANS did not conform to their brand of Christianity.
And now we have another Republican running for president, John Sidney McCain, II, who felt “proud” to have Pastor John Hagee’s endorsement--another anti-American bigot who called the Catholic Church “the great Whore.” After some pressure, Senator McCain, said he rejected Hagee’s intemperate views and distanced himself—after McCain saw the potential damage it could do to his campaign.
Here are some of Pastor Hagee’s quotes:
On Hurricane Katrina: “All hurricanes are acts of God, because God controls the heavens. I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that… I believe that Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans.”
On the Catholic Church: “Most readers will be shocked by the clear record of history linking Adolf Hitler and the Roman Catholic Church in a conspiracy to exterminate the Jews.”
On women: “Do you know the difference between a woman with PMS and a snarling Doberman pinscher? The answer is lipstick. Do you know the difference between a terrorist and a woman with PMS? You can negotiate with a terrorist.”
Now I'll talk about the Reverend Francis Schaeffer, a good friend of and visitor to the Ford and Reagan White House. This Right Wing Funadamentalist Christian preacher, according to his own son who served with him (and has since rejected this brand of Christianity), preached the overthrow of the United States Government, otherwise known as treason, if it did not conform to his brand of Christianity:
“If there is a legitimate reason for the use of force [against the US government]... then at a certain point force is justifiable.”
(Imagine if Jeremiah Wright had spoken those words!)
Wright said “God damn America,” because of past injustices this country committed against Americans with black skin. He didn’t advocate the overthrow of its government. There’s a world of difference between saying “Damn you, America, for what you have done!” and “I’m going to destroy you, America, for what you have done!” The first example is a cry of frustration, (Wright) the second is a threat to do harm. (Schaeffer)
But I’ll let Pastor Schaeffer’s son speak for himself:
“Every Sunday thousands of right wing white preachers (following in my father's footsteps) rail against America's sins from tens of thousands of pulpits. They tell us that America is complicit in the "murder of the unborn," has become "Sodom" by coddling gays, and that our public schools are sinful places full of evolutionists and sex educators hell-bent on corrupting children. They say, as my dad often did, that we are, "under the judgment of God." They call America evil and warn of immanent [sic] destruction. By comparison Obama's minister's shouted "controversial" comments were mild. All he said was that God should damn America for our racism and violence and that no one had ever used the N-word about Hillary Clinton.”
Patrick, you say I’m full of shit for seeing this as a racial.
Can you tell me why Senator Obama has been so severely criticized for what his pastor has preached and why you and others like you have not been able to see a parallel to the toxic, hate-filled, anti-American preaching of Right Wing, white fundamentalist pastors like Falwell, Robertson, Hagee, and Schaeffer and many, many others?
These men have declaimed and called down imprecations on America for its sins. And they have been vile toward our fellow gay Americans; they have been mean-spirited toward our fellow Americans who had the misfortune to be living on the Gulf Coast during Hurrican Katrina, they have insulted and condemned our fellow Catholic Americans, and worst of all they have blamed our fellow Americans for the tragedy of September 11.
It is clear to me that some people are willing to ignore the fiery, anti-American and intolerant rhetoric white Christians pastors deliver on Sundays in their churches and on various Christian TV programs, but these same people are too willing to be shocked at the very same rhetoric coming from a black pastor.
I have heard over the last twenty years people dismiss some of Falwell's, Robertson's, Hagee's, and other crackpots, divisive, hate-filled rantings by saying, “Oh well, that’s just Pat, or Jerry, or John being weird again. “
But these same people, who dismiss these loony preachers when what they say is embarrassing or just plain nuts, want Senator Obama to be crucified for belonging to a church where his pastor criticizes and rails against America’s sins and says things that are loony or just plain nuts.
These same people are happy to denounce Senator Obama because his pastor has done exactly what politically connected Right Wing Fundamentalist preachers have done and still do every Sunday.
The only difference between the Fundamenalist Christian pastors and Senator Obama's pastor, Jeremiah Wright, is the color of their skin.