Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hot political topics

Right here in Chicago the battle of the clergy rages on. We thought the Reverend Jeremiah Wright controversy was over long ago. Then Wright embarked on a road trip to the National Press Club and the Detroit NAACP convention, only to rip open the wound again and create some new ones to boot.

(By the way, it is curious to observe that the NAACP did nothing to censure Wright for his blatantly racist comments in Detroit. In fact, their blog authors all support Wright’s rhetoric as typical Black Church sermonizing that must be allowed due to ancestral suffering. Is this the same NAACP who was so indignant about Minuteman Frances Semler serving on the Park Board in Kansas City, that they threatened to cancel their reservation to hold a convention there? Don’t they see that the rest of us view that as something of a double standard? I guess not. In their eyes if you are black, you are right. Well, except Bill Cosby who is too frank for their liking.)

So Obama eventually denounced Wright publicly and figured he could close that chapter in his campaign book. NOT SO! Along comes Father Pfleger (known to Chicago reporters as Father Flagrant for always being controversial) to be the guest speaker at Wright’s former church.

Pfleger, a white man, assumed his black preacher mannerisms and accent and proceeded to create more wounds of his own. Barack denounced not only Wright but Trinity UCC. What else could he do?

The Catholic Church was left with an albatross as well. Pfleger has been reassigned to other duties for an indefinite period of time. His parish council (St. Sabina’s) is complaining about the loss of their beloved Pfleger.

Religion has surfaced over and over again throughout this presidential race. Huckabee spoke in the Born Again tongue when he “innocently” asked, “Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and Satan are brothers?”

Then he had the subliminal cross in some of his campaign ads.

And who can forget McCain’s mother going after the “corrupt” Mormons for ruining the 2002 Olympics? (By the way, can McCain maintain any relationships with women his own age?)

Larry O’Donnell took on Romney over his religion. Romney was forced to give his version of the JFK-Pope speech in order to defuse his church troubles.

I think it is instructive that no cellphone videos surfaced of embarrassing Mormon church leaders. The anti-Mormon stuff thrown at Romney was historical in nature. (How do you distance yourself from things Brigham Young said 150 years ago? Well, you can’t.)

Race and religion seem to be hot topics in this election. I think I have something of an explanation here. I think it has to do with the nature of the topics. They are generally considered taboo in conversation. We have become so enlightened and tolerant that these two topics go into the “whatever” column.

So, political strategists dangle a little bait trying to expose a hidden position that will make an opponent seem extreme or intolerant. The candidates are left to either explain or denounce, neither choice being very effective.

Video of Obama’s religious surroundings are as foreign and radical to most Americans as a KKK rally. Most whites are left saying, “Wait a minute here. All my life I’ve been pushing my father’s prejudices from my life and the lives of my children. And all the while Blacks have been spewing out this garbage. They aren’t advancing unity; they are raising a generation of haters.”

We’ve never seen this brand of mud before. And it is particularly poignant due to Obama’s biracial bloodlines. Pass the popcorn.

1 comment:

  1. Tis a beautiful bunch of paragraph's!

    Most people will have forgotten the ranting of the religious hate mongers at the time of the vote and we will be left with the worse of both worlds.

    People to radical or too old to function. As there is a age limit of 35, there should be an upper age limit. In the back of your mind, you have to consider who is going to replace the President.

    I hate to think what "running" mates the two are going to foster as right hands.