Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I wonder if any of these preachers will be covered as well as Reverend Wright?

We've heard over and over the statements by Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama's pastor played on TV, in which he says, "Not God bless America. God damn America! It's in the Bible, for killing innocent people."

Now, I agree with Barack Obama when he said today that those statements are wrong and he does not agree with him. But when asking why Obama still attends that church, I wonder whether they are taking the time to ask whether the parishoners who continue to attend churches where ministers have made hateful statements about abortion, homosexuality and other perceived 'sins,' including that God will punish America for them, still attend those churches.

To cite just one group of examples, consider a few of the statements in 1998 by pastors who blamed the death and destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina on God, as damnation for 'killing innocent people' (which they defined as abortion) and other similar reasons.

*--Steve Lefemine credited God: "In my belief, God judged New Orleans for the sin of shedding innocent blood through abortion [...] Providence punishes national sins by national calamities, [...] Greater divine judgment is coming upon America unless we repent of the national sin of abortion."

*--Reverend Bill Shanks credits God; God's reasons: Abortion, debauchery, homosexuals, witchcraft...

"New Orleans now is abortion free. New Orleans now is Mardi Gras free. New Orleans now is free of Southern Decadence and the sodomites, the witchcraft workers, false religion -- it's free of all of those things now, [...] God simply, I believe, in His mercy purged all of that stuff out of there -- and now we're going to start over again.

*--Rev. Dwight McKissic, the senior pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas said "New Orleans flaunts sin in a way that no other places do. They call it the Big Easy. There are 10 abortion clinics in Louisiana; five of those are in New Orleans. They have a Southern Decadence parade every year and they call it gay pride. When you study Scripture, it's not out of the boundaries of God to punish a nation for sin and because of sin. When I look at our country, at what's happening, and what's happening in New Orleans in particular, it's not beyond the realm of possibility."

*-- [Reverend] Fred Phelps credited Katrina as God's retribution for homosexuals: "New Orleans, symbol of America, seen for what it is: a putrid, toxic, stinking cesspool of fag fecal matter. [...] Pray for more dead bodies floating on the fag-semen-rancid waters of New Orleans."

Doesn't sound to me like anything that Rev. Wright said is any more hateful (in fact not as hateful) compared to what some of these 'men of the cloth' were preaching. But I guarantee you that many of them will be sought out for their political support by the GOP (as they have been in the past) come November.

As far as Obama is concerned, it has been smear after smear after smear. Just to prove the point, there is one good thing about all the Rev. Wright controversy. At least the rumor that was being peddled about even a couple of weeks ago that Obama is actually a muslim who gets his world view from the Koran won't fly anymore.


wstachour said...

I think there's a silver lining to all this lunacy:

Obama, in facing the absurd charges head-on, has made an unimpeachable case for his fitness to lead. He has appeared a hundred times as presidential as W ever has, and he has made his critics look foolish.

Any idiot can make irresponsible claims--and our Rupert Murdoch media will happily take the rag of scandal and run with it--but Obama's answer brilliant.

Liza said...

What the conservative right wing has found in Reverend Wright are video clips that they can play over and over to exploit white fear of African Americans. This goes back a long way and it runs deep.

There has to be Swiftboat and for Obama, race is the obvious and easiest choice. All the right wing needs to do is spark that doubt about his ability to lead a white majority because he is black.

It is an exploitation of racism that is, in itself, a raw and brutal racist attack on a candidate who did absolutely nothing to deserve it.

The fringe attacks about being a Muslim and so forth have morphed into this and are now mainstream.

We should be screaming. Why is corporate media allowed to choose the candidates?

Eli Blake said...

The truth is, they want McCain. They will do anything they can to get McCain.

I don't blame Hillary for trying to still win (after all she is running for President and it's not reasonable to expect her to just roll over and quit) but I do blame the moguls in the media for doing everything they can to inject themselves into the race. As both of you have commented, the corporate types who run the major media outlets would prefer that if a Democrat is elected, it be a DLC type like the Clintons are (both of them.)

And if Hillary does win, it will largely be thanks to the 'help she is getting from Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter (all of whom have suggested that Republicans cross over and vote for Hillary). Certainly her margin in Texas was small enough that it is clear that those three probably did change the outcome.