Friday, March 14, 2008

911: America's fault?

I just saw a tape of Barack Obama's pastor preaching a sermon on how 911 was basically America's fault. That's like saying a woman brought on her own rape by wearing a skirt that was too short! America did nothing in the Middle East that deserved the deaths of 3,000 innocent people and the fact that Obama has remained under the teaching of this pastor for so long is deeply concerning.

18 comments:

Robert said...

Obama "Spiritual Mentor"

Brent said...

Two facts that won't otherwise be reported here:

1) Obama has denounced the statements made by Wright. "I vehemently disagree and strongly condemn the statements that have been the subject of this controversy. I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies. 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. In sum, I reject outright the statements by Rev. Wright that are at issue."

That may not be good enough for you, but at least report all the facts.

2) When will you talk about John McCain going out of his way to seek the support of people such as televangelist John Hagee? Hagee has made the following comments:
* "(Catholicism is) a Godless theology of hate that no one dared try to stop for a thousand years (that) produced a harvest of hate."
* "It was the disobedience and rebellion of the Jews, God's chosen people, to their covenantal responsibility to serve only the one true God, Jehovah, that gave rise to the opposition and persecution that they experienced beginning in Canaan and continuing to this very day... Their own rebellion had birthed the seed of anti-Semitism that would arise and bring destruction to them for centuries to come.... it rises from the judgment of God upon his rebellious chosen people."
* Hurricane Katrina was an act of God, punishing New Orleans for "a level of sin that was offensive to God."

Brent said...

For Obama's full comments on this issue, read "On My Faith and My Church" at huffingtonpost.com (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
barack-obama/on-my-faith-and-my-
church_b_91623.html).

jazzycat said...

Brent,
To compare Obama's long relationship and membership with a hate spewing preacher and church with John Hagee's endorsement of McCain is absurd. I might add that Obama's "church family" (congregation) is shown wildly cheering in these anti-American hate filled racist sermons.

This is the church Obama joined and the church family he fellowships with. His actions speak much louder than his words denouncing this hate mounger....

jazzycat said...

Brent,
The following is a quote from Obama's pastor in a NY Times article from June of 2007:

“If Barack gets past the primary, he might have to publicly distance himself from me,” Mr. Wright said with a shrug. “I said it to Barack personally, and he said yeah, that might have to happen.”

This was one year ago and sheds some light on his vehemently denoucing his pastor.

The proper comparison would be a Republican belonging to a church that was a hotbed of KKK type thinking with a pastor preaching segregation and racial hatred. Would such a person have a chance in a presidential race? Would his denounciations mean much?

Dennis said...

I agree with Jazzycat, "To compare Obama's long relationship and membership with a hate spewing preacher and church with John Hagee's endorsement of McCain is absurd."

John McCain has never been a member (and as far as I know, has never even attended) Hagee's church. Obama, on the other hand, has been a member of his racist church for 20 years!

Jazzycat's comparion of "a Republican belonging to a church that was a hotbed of KKK type thinking" is accurate. Just imagine if John McCain had been a member of a white supremacist church for 20 years, but then to keep his presidential bid alive, he denounced his pastor's views--but still remained a member of the church! Neither Republicans or Democrats would buy that. Nor should they.

Brent said...

Explain to me how all these KKK analogies are relevant? And what's your point in all this, anyway? Do you think Obama agrees with the comments that have come out in the last few days and will govern accordingly as President? Please. This blog is going to be fun to read on the morning of November 5. I'm already looking forward to it.

Finally, I know you're not prone to introspection while in the midst of getting your hate on, but this piece might offer you some food for thought (although you'll dismiss it just as you dismiss everything else I have to offer): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
frank-schaeffer/obamas-minister-
committe_b_91774.html

_____________________________________
"It's no mystery. You have a very unhappy electorate, which is no surprise, with oil at $108 a barrel, stocks down a few thousand points, a war in Iraq with no end in sight and a president who is still very, very unpopular. He's just killed the Republican brand."
Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.)

Dennis said...

Brent, quite frankly I see very little difference between white supremacists like the KKK and black supremacists like Barack Obama's pastor. Racism is racism in any color.

In fact, if someone is only against racism when it is directed against their group, they are really not against "racism" at all. They're just against the mistreatment of their own group.

Thank you for bringing this article by Frank Schaefer to my attention. It brings up an excellent point and it deserves more than just a quick blurb for a response.

Brent said...

How is he a black supremacist? If I've missed something, enlighten me. I hope you're not saying that because the members of the church embrace their African heritage.

Can't wait to see how you find a way to dismiss what Schaefer wrote, looking forward to it.

jazzycat said...

Brent,
Connect the dots.
1. pastor who spews venom and hate for rich white folks, US government.
2. Congregation in wild approval with standing ovation.
3. This is the church Obama chose to be a member of and regularly attend and support.
4. Black liberation theology is a false teaching. (Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.)
5. Obama has called him his spiritual advisor.

This is not like a crazy uncle. You do not choose your uncles, but you do choose your churches and Obama has chosen to be a member of this church. He is responsible for his decision. Seems like I recall that Sam Alito was grilled for a membership in a club he had in college. With the double standard we have, I suppose that was O.K?

Brent said...

Either you don't understand black liberation theology or you're even nuttier than I thought. Do you have a problem with Germans, Norwegians, or Russians recognizing and celebrating their cultural history and uniqueness? Or them recognizing the historical issues they have faced and how they shape who they are today? Do you cower in the corner on days like St. Patrick's Day?

jazzycat said...

Brent,
Obama's church professes to be a Christian church. Christian theology is a study of God as presented in the Holy Bible and in the New Testament.

Studying one's culture history is quite different than studying biblical theology. If Black Liberation theology is a study of black culture, then it is misnamed. Show me one scripture reference to affirm black liberation theology or either I will have to say that you are the nutty one in this conversation!

jazzycat said...

Brent,
From the website of Trinity:

Systematized Black liberation theology is 40 years old. Scholars of African and African American religious history show that Black liberation theology, however, has been in existence for 400 years. It is found in the songs, the sermons, the testimonies and the oral literature of Africans throughout the Diaspora.

As I said Christian theology is developed from the study of God through Holy Scripture and not from songs, testimonies, sermons, or literature. By their own admission, there was no such theology for 1600 years after Jesus. Christian theology must be validated and supported by The Holy Bible in general and the New Testament in particular. If you can develop a case for black liberation theology from the Bible, then I’m listening.

Brent said...

The church in question does study God as presented in the Holy Bible and in the New Testament. There are a lot of things not specifically mentioned in the Bible, that doesn't make them automatically wrong. No protestant denomination has been around for 2000 years.

I'm not a member of that church, so I'm not the one to fully defend it. I'll restate the question I asked earlier that Dennis didn't answer: do you really believe Obama agrees with the controversial statements that came out a few days ago and would govern accordingly as President? Unless you do (and that's plain ridiculous), then why are we even having this conversation other than to serve the right-wing noise machine? I'm not really interested about a President's religion (or lack thereof). I'm interested in what he or she will do for the country.

jazzycat said...

Brent,
does the following help about the concerns with Obama's ties to this church:

More>>>>Quote from enjoying God Ministries:
”At its core, liberation theology calls for a radical break with the status quo in which Christianity has aligned itself with the ruling classes. Christian commitment requires identifying with the exploited and oppressed. This has often expressed itself in a call for the integration of Christian truth with socialist, leftist, and often Marxist economic policies. Most liberation thinkers believe capitalism to be inherently evil and the principal culprit in the exploitation of the masses. Obedience to God is expressed through (on occasion, violent) opposition to the present system and the reconstruction of society on socialist principles.”

It is all about secular humanist, anti-capitalism (thus anti-American) marxist socialism. It is a false teaching. Does this explain the anti-capitalism, anti-american hate rhetoric by Rev. Wright?

Unfortunately the Democratic party has been headed toward socialism for years now and Obama is ahead of the curve.

jazzycat said...

Obama's membership in this church speaks volumes about his thinking does it not?????

Brent said...

Once again: I'm not here to necessarily defend absolutely everything this church does or does not believe (although I'm not familiar with your source and its biases). My only concern is what Obama would do as President. Do I think he believes capitalism is evil, wishes a violent overthrow of the government, or wishes to institute a Marxist government? No. Do I think he agrees with the controversial statements of the last few days? No. That church can do as it sees fit, as can the rest of us. Obama is the one who will affect our lives if elected, and I don't believe for a second he agrees with any of the things listed above.

Dennis said...

Earlier in this string of responses, Brent cited an article in the HuffingtonPost in which Frank Schaeffer, the son of the Evangelical philosopher and evangelist, Francis Schaeffer, attacked Evangelicals for their hypocrisy in accepting Francis Schaeffer when he denounced America, and yet attacking Obama's pastor when he denounces America.

My resonse to the article is below:

FRANK SCHAEFFER: When Senator Obama's preacher thundered about racism and injustice Obama suffered smear-by-association.

MY RESPONSE: And rightly so! It was not the Right who imagined this association. It was Obama himself who maintained and admitted this association when he remained in Wright’s church for 20 years and called Wright his spiritual mentor!

FRANK SCHAEFFER: “But when my late father -- Religious Right leader Francis Schaeffer -- denounced America and even called for the violent overthrow of the US government, he was invited to lunch with presidents Ford, Reagan and Bush, Sr.”

MY RESPONSE: I’ve read Francis Schaeffer. I’ve seen his video series on “How Shall we then live?” I have his complete works in my office. I challenge anyone to produce a quote in which Francis Schaeffer “called for the violent overthrow of the US government.”

The best his son could do was this quote which in which Francis Schaeffer wrote, “If there is a legitimate reason for the use of force [against the US government]... then at a certain point force is justifiable.”

To say that there may be a time when force is justifiable is NOT the same as calling for the violent overthrow of the US Government! Francis Schaeffer was saying nothing different than what our own Declaration of Independence affirms:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government… But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

These words sound as treasonous to us today as they did to the King of England back then but Francis Schaeffer was saying that there can come a time when tyranny is so great that it is the duty of the people to rebel against it.

For example I think Francis Schaeffer would say that the people of Nazi Germany would have been right to violently rebel against Hitler when they knew that he was gassing millions of Jews.

I think Francis Schaeffer would say that the Jews would have been right to violently rebel against the attempted genocide of the Jewish people.

Just over 150 years before Christ was born, the Syrians, under the leadership of Antiochus IV, slaughtered about 40,000 Jews and sent 40,000 more into slavery. He then outlawed the worship of God (on pain of death). Eventually, some Jews, under the leadership of Judas Maccabaeus, rose up to violently overthrow the tyrant. Judas recaptured the Jewish temple and rededicated it to God. The Jewish people continue to commemorate this event to this day in a feast called Habakkuk. Even Jesus celebrated this festival!

Francis Schaeffer was arguing that there can come a time when the tyranny is so great, the people have a right to rise up against it.

But we are a long way from that in America. In fact, I am so opposed to individual rebellion against government, had I lived during the time of the Revolutionary War, I believe I would have sided with England and the loyalists.

FRANK SCHAEFFER: 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 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.

MY RESPONSE: No, that is not all Rev. Wright said. He blamed America for the 911 slaughter of 3,000 innocent Americans! (That’s like blaming 3,000 rape victims for the fact that they were raped )! He said that AIDS was a conspiracy by the U.S. government! He said that the U.S. government was responsible for black drug abuse! He has praised the racist, anti-Semite, Lewis Farrakhan. Contrary to Frank Schaeffer, these comments and actions are not “mild.”

Anyway, I think Frank Schaeffer is living in the past. The denunciation of America’s sins was much more common in the Christian pulpits when he and his dad were crusading than it is today. Many of today’s Evangelical preachers prefer to stick with psychobabble and are so spineless they wouldn’t take a stand on anything that violates modern standards of political correctness!

But be that as it may, America’s preachers are absolutely right to rail against the sins of America. It’s called “freedom of speech” and “freedom of religion.” It’s what our forefathers came to America for in the first place.
We are not attacking Jeremiah Wright’s freedom to say what he wants to say. We are attacking what he has to say! We condemn the racism of his church just as we condemn the racism of some white churches. We condemn his approval of Farrakhan who hates whites and Jews. We condemn Wright’s views about 911 being America’s fault. We condemn his views about AIDS being some kind of American conspiracy! We condemn what appears to be his deep hatred of America.

By contrast, Francis Schaeffer and the Religious Right do not hate America. We often hate the fact that America is being hijacked and turned into something that would make our forefathers turn over in their graves. But regardless of the fact that the Religious Right often condemns America’s injustices and sins, it is usually the Religious Right who are the most patriotic and most pro-American!

And when the Religious Right warns of America’s destruction, we are never threatening to bring about that destruction ourselves. We are warning that God may destroy this nation if we do change course. This is not hatred any more than it is hatred to warn someone that if they do not change their life, they will ruin their life.

FRANK SCHAEFFER: Dad and I were amongst the founders of the Religious right. In the 1970s and 1980s, while Dad and I crisscrossed America denouncing our nation's sins instead of getting in trouble we became darlings of the Republican Party. (This was while I was my father's sidekick before I dropped out of the evangelical movement altogether.) We were rewarded for our "stand" by people such as Congressman Jack Kemp, the Fords, Reagan and the Bush family. The top Republican leadership depended on preachers and agitators like us to energize their rank and file. No one called us un-American.

MY RESPONSE: I find it amazing (and truly sad) that Frank Schaeffer can not distinguish between, for example, the Right’s condemnation of the killing of unborn babies, and Jeremiah Wright’s support for Lewis Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism and racism!

FRANK SCHAEFFER: Consider a few passages from my father's immensely influential America-bashing book A Christian Manifesto….

If there is a legitimate reason for the use of force [against the US government]... then at a certain point force is justifiable.

MY RESPONSE: I already responded to this quote above.

FRANK SCHAEFFER: And this: In the United States the materialistic, humanistic world view is being taught exclusively in most state schools... There is an obvious parallel between this and the situation in Russia [the USSR]. And we really must not be blind to the fact that indeed in the public schools in the United States all religious influence is as forcibly forbidden as in the Soviet Union....

MY RESPONSE: This is absolutely true. I don’t know how anyone could even deny it.

FRANK SCHAEFFER: “Then this: There does come a time when force, even physical force, is appropriate [483]... A true Christian in Hitler's Germany and in the occupied countries should have defied the false and counterfeit state[...483]. This brings us to a current issue that is crucial for the future of the church in the United States, the issue of abortion...[483] It is time we consciously realize that when any office commands what is contrary to God's law it abrogates it's authority. And our loyalty to the God who gave this law then requires that we make the appropriate response in that situation...”[493]

MY RESPONSE: The numbers in brackets were added by me. Note that this quote actually pieces together a series of four quotes.

The first three are on in volume 5, page 483 of Schaeffer’s Complete Works. That final quote is on page 493...fully ten pages apart!

When you string quotes together like this over ten pages you can make an author say just about anything!

The fact is that in context, Schaeffer was not advocating violence at all. Just two paragraphs down from the last quote Schaeffer tells us what the action on abortion should be.

First, to “aggressively support a human life bill or constitutional amendment protecting unborn children.”

Second, to seek to “overturn the Supreme Court’s abortion decision.”

And third, to take legal and political action against hospitals and abortion clinics that perform abortions.

As far as I know, these are still perfectly legal and very much a part of legitimate American democratic processes.

Not only did Francis Schaeffer NOT advocate violence here, he did NOT advocate intimidating abortion clinic staff and he did NOT even advocate protests!

It would appear that Frank Schaeffer has deliberately distorted his father’s teaching for his own political agenda.

I respect Frank Schaeffer’s right to his own opinions, but when he apparently deliberately twists, and takes his father’s quotes out of context in order to leave a false impression (and thereby smearing his fathers memory), something other than objective reasoning is going on with Frank Schaeffer.

FRANK SCHAEFFER: My dad's books denouncing America and comparing the USA to Hitler...

MY RESPONSE: If Francis Schaeffer was companing "the USA to Hitler" as his son Frank contends, then I would agree that this was dispicable. But the point of comparison was the killing of Jews by Hitler with the killing of unborn babies in America. For those of us who believe that unborn babies are human, and that the taking of innocent human life is evil, the comparison fits.

FRANK SCHAEFFER: The hypocrisy of the right denouncing Obama, because of his minister's words, is staggering.

MY RESPONSE: No, it really is not. It would be hypocrisy if someone argued that we shouldn’t criticize America, and then supported someone who criticized America.

But no one is arguing that we should never criticize America! Criticizing America is a very American thing to do.

The religious Right is not criticizing Obama’s pastor for criticizing America. We are criticizing him for the nature of his attacks on America. We are criticizing his ideas.

We think that blaming America for 911 is as hateful as blaming a woman for her own rape! (Just as a woman did nothing that deserved her being raped, the U.S. did nothing to al Qaeda deserving the deaths of 3,000 innocent people)!

We think that blaming the government for creating and spreading the AIDS virus is stupidity.

We think that supporting Lewis Farrakhan is racist and anti-Semitic!

But there is absolutely nothing hypocritical about attacking such views, and yet, for example, criticizing America for promoting the slaughter of millions of unborn babies, or for promoting sexual lifestyles that cause untold misery, suffering and even death!

For example: a father may criticize his daughter for dressing immodestly and provocatively, but that doesn't mean he doesn't love his daugher. But if he she got raped and he called her a whore and said it was all her fault...that is no longer loving criticism!

Similary, the religious Right criticizes America for her sins (just as every other group in America does!), but in our opinion, the statements of Jeremiah go beyond constructve criticism to the point of anti-American hate speech. And it is not hypocritical to try to make that case.