The current media flap over the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama’s former pastor, strikes me as nothing short of strange. Anyone who attends church on a regular basis knows how frequently congregants disagree with their ministers. To sit in a pew is not necessarily assent to a message preached on a particular day. Being a church member is not some sort of mindless cult, where individuals believe every word preached. Rather, being a church member means being part of a community of faith—a gathered people, always diverse and sometimes at odds, who constitute Christ’s body in the world.
But the attack on Rev. Wright reveals something beyond ignorance of basic dynamics of Christian community. It demonstrates the level of misunderstanding that still divides white and black Christians in the United States. Many white people find the traditions of African-American preaching offensive, especially when it comes to politics.
Diana Butler Bass’ personal story about understanding the black church and its history are particularly moving. I’m disappointed that some commenters on Crooks and Liars couldn’t see the difference in criticizing your country as a member of its historically oppressed minority and actual hate speech that usually has historically violent and/or oppressive ties. The only way you’d ever think Wright or Louis Farrahkan’s words were akin to the Klu Klux Klan is if you had no actual knowledge of what it is like to be terrorized, abused, oppressed and subjugated with the consent of an indifferent majority.
2) Obama’s church defending itself on Huffington Post:
The statement begins: “Nearly three weeks before the 40th commemorative anniversary of the murder of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Reverend Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.’s character is being assassinated in the public sphere because he has preached a social gospel on behalf of oppressed women, children and men in America and around the globe.”
I’m not surprised that the church would jump in to defend itself. This is getting ridiculous. The way the media has played snippets of Wright’s sermons over and over I was starting to worry about possible vandalism and hate groups targeting the church. Considering that people will burn a black church down without provocation, I wouldn’t be surprised if people are harassing and trying to intimidate members. People are cruel and cowardly when they feel self-righteous. Just this weekend someone vandalized a mosque in St. Louis. It’s just ignorant. The Muslim citizens in the US and in my home state of Missouri are law-abiding, good people who just want to be left the hell alone like everyone else. Just because you worship Allah or cover your head doesn’t mean you’re cosigning for Osama bid Laden.
3) And Pro-Clinton bloggers go on strike at Daily Kos:
I’ve been posting at DailyKos for nearly 4 years now and started writing diaries in support of Hillary Clinton back in June of last year. Over the past few months I’ve noticed that things have become progressively more abusive toward my candidate and her supporters.
I’ve put up with the abuse and anger because I’ve always believed in what our on-line community has tried to accomplish in this world. No more. DailyKos is not the site it once was thanks to the abusive nature of certain members of our community.
I’ve decided to go on “strike” and will refrain from posting here as long as the administrators allow the more disruptive members of our community to trash Hillary Clinton and distort her record without any fear of consequence or retribution. I will not be posting at DailyKos effective immediately. I will not help drive up traffic or page-hits as long as my candidate – a good and fine DEMOCRAT – is attacked in such a horrid and sexist manner not only by other diarists, but by several of those posting to the front page.
A strike? How can you go on strike at a job you don’t get paid for? And you’re going to combat Hillary Hate by abandoning ship? At Salon.com the pro-Obama and pro-Hillary people beat the shit out of each other freely. Why the acting like 5-year-olds, pro-Hillary bloggers? If the Obama kids bite you, just bite back. Going on strike makes you sound like a bunch of defeatist whiners.