“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
The story of Barack Obama’s pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, hit the MSM over the last few days. But it is a story that has been simmering for quite some time. A quick Google search reveals a Rolling Stone story from over a year ago,with quotes from Wright that I’ve never heard in a pulpit. Obama, no doubt realizing that Wright might be a problem, disinvited him from his presidential announcement. Yet until the stuff hit the fan, Wright remained a part of the campaign, his testimonial only having recently been removed from the candidate’s website.
In January 2007, Obama had this to say:
Obama says that rather than advising him on strategy, Wright helps keep his priorities straight and his moral compass calibrated.
“What I value most about Pastor Wright is not his day-to-day political advice,” Obama said. “He’s much more of a sounding board for me to make sure that I am speaking as truthfully about what I believe as possible and that I’m not losing myself in some of the hype and hoopla and stress that’s involved in national politics.”
This is what Obama had to say in his HuffPo blog last week:
I first joined Trinity United Church of Christ nearly twenty years ago.
The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation.
I’m having a bit of trouble with Obama’s statements here. The only plausible explanations I can come up with for not hearing these kinds of statements is that he didn’t go to church very often or he wasn’t very close to the pastor. Neither of those things makes much sense. After all, this is the church he was married in. This is the church that his children were baptized in. And this is the church that he has donated a lot of money to.
For Obama to say that he’s never heard these things strains credibility. And at least one Obama supporter agrees with me.
Unlike Donna Brazile, who said on Sunday’s TV show that she attends a mostly white Catholic church (and, therefore, should have kept her mouth shut instead of adding fuel to the fire), I’ve attended mostly black churches as well as mostly white churches. I can say without hesitation that I’ve heard black pastors say things that would make white people uncomfortable. Heck, I’ve heard black pastors say things that make me uncomfortable. (As a matter of fact, the pastor at the church that I grew up in, the one that I was baptized in, the one that my father was ordained in, said something that has kept me away for a number of years.) But the language of Wright? Never.
I’m not buying that Wright only said these things when Obama was absent. The very things that Obama says attracted him to this church and its pastor -“a congregation that does not merely preach social justice but acts it out each day” – belie that. Obama’s statement was an attempt to mitigate the damage, just as his disinvitation was. What Obama has demonstrated that he’s just another politician, willing to do and say whatever is necessary to get elected.
Or, as MLK Jr., said, he’s just dangerous.
UPDATE2: The dates mentioned in that article are wrong. See here.