Friday, March 14, 2008

The politics of cursing America

David Knowles of Political Machine is a supporter of Barack Obama. I don't often agree with Knowles politically, but I do think he is a fine writer and political analyst and I have come to read his work often for a glimpse into what the politically astute people on the other side are thinking. This is what Knowles says about the damage of Barack Obama's pastor damning America:

Hillary Clinton's campaign has shown a pattern of injecting racial divisiveness into the contest. Though I applaud her for finally coming to her senses, her response to the Ferraro controversy was much too long in the making. And while Obama has repeatedly denounced Louis Farrakhan, he seems hesitant to criticize Wright for what he is: a bigot. Because you offer large slices of truth in your sermons does not mean the whole pie isn't degraded by those bits that are contaminated by race-baiting passages.

Why is this dangerous, some say, when Reverend Wright's opinions are entirely his own? Because this isn't a matter of someone's doctrinal or religious opinions with which we can and may frequently disagree-this man has wished accursedness upon the United States of America. He didn't merely say "this religion is wrong" or "that church is bad," as many preachers often do if it is a religious belief that doesn't jibe with their own. Jeremiah Wright didn't declare, as I have heard several priest pastors of mine say (and many Protestant ministers for that matter), that God may not continue to bless America if we do not mend our sinful ways. Wright proclaimed that God either was going to curse America or that America was already damned. This is a man who Barack Obama has publicly admitted is his spiritual mentor. Barack Obama's spiritual mentor has declared "G-- d--- America," and Obama is now running for the presidency of the United States-that is a very big deal and it is not easily explained if you are Barack Obama.

Unlike many liberals and other self-hating Americans, I do believe that God has uniquely and especially blessed this great nation-and I am not ashamed to admit that. I love America, and I believe she is the greatest nation on God's good Earth. I'm sure others feel that way about their country, and I think that is a fine way to think because you should be devoted to your country. None of that means that we have no problems, that we are a perfect people, or that we have always acted in a right or a just way throughout our history-we have not. We have been blessed in spite of those things because I believe we collectively have given honor to the God who made us, and we have often had enough of a sense of justice to admit when we've been wrong-even if that has often taken many years. Our greatest fault may be that we do not use our blessings as a nation to bless others.

Whether you agree with what I've just said or not isn't the biggest issue that Obama has to deal with, it is the fact that many of the voters that Obama will need to appeal to in order to win the General Election feel just the same way about America that I do, whether they are Republicans, Democrats, or independents-and Obama won't condemn Jeremiah Wright.

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