Archive for March, 2008

In Defense of Life

March 27, 2008

There are many people who oppose the abortion industry, but they generally can’t do a very good job explaining why. The Republican Party is officially pro-life in its platform, but I’ve never heard a GOP candidate offer a good reason for being pro-life. But there are excellent reasons for being pro-life, and it is way past time that society heard them.

Democrats and “pro-choice” proponents offer “a woman’s right to choose” as the primary reason to support abortion. But let us think about that for a moment: should women have “a right to choose?” Sure they should, up to a certain point. But should that right extend to anything a woman might want to do? What if she wants to drive her car through a crowd of people? What if she wants to hijack an airplane and fly it into a skyscraper? Clearly, a woman doesn’t – and shouldn’t – have a right to do anything she chooses. The first question needs therefore needs to be, “the right to choose to do what?”

If you were busily working on peeling potatoes over the kitchen sink when your oldest child came in and said, “Is it okay if I kill this?” What would you do? Would you say, “Sure! Go ahead! Since I’m not certain of the ontological status of whatever you’re considering killing, I’ll leave the decision up to you!” Or would you turn around and look to make sure your little gremlin wasn’t talking about your youngest child? (Or maybe it wouldn’t matter, because you’d figure your firstborn was exercising that sacrosanct “right to choose“?). The ability to use rhetoric to cast metaphysical doubt on the meaning of “being human” does not mean that ignorance is bliss, and one can abort at will. The fact of the matter is, we haven’t even begun to understand the miraculous – and it truly is miraculous – process of a baby forming in mommy’s womb. The age of viability has decreased dramatically; medical experts have been repeatedly proven dead wrong again and again in determining brain function in comatose patients who later recovered after being declared ‘brain dead’; the Hippocratic Oath recited by doctors for centuries explicitly banned the performing of abortions; and so on, and so on. When in doubt, why not choose life?

And there really is no doubt, once we truly consider the issues. Ever hear the argument that fetuses aren’t human beings, so it’s okay to kill them? Think again. Both science and logic assure us that – from the moment of conception – that thing in the womb of a human mother is fully a human being. Take a moment and consider the taxonomic system by which every living thing is rigorously categorized and classified. By that system a human embryo is of the kingdom Anamalia, of the phylum Chordata, of the class Mammalia, of the order Primate, of the family Pongidae, of the genus Homo, and of the species Sapiens – same as any other human being. Put even more simply, that embryo is a human by virtue of its parents, and a being by the fact that it is a living thing: it is a human being.

And then there’s that whole “It’s a woman’s body” line. That one falls rather flat as well. The fact is that that from the moment of fertilization there is a separate, distinct, unique genetic individual in the mother’s womb; every cell in its little body is different from that of its mother. Half of children are male, for goodness sake! We are clearly not talking about a woman’s body; we are talking about her child’s body.

Then there’s the notion of a woman’s rights to her own body, which views the baby in her womb as a hostile invader forcing itself upon her. Why should she carry it to term if she doesn’t want to? Well, for one thing, because it’s her child. The so-called “violinist argument” is fatally flawed from the outset by casting a woman’s child in terms of an unwanted intruder whom the woman has no moral obligation to care for. Furthermore, we would never consider that rather despicable line of moral reasoning after a child is born – when it actually requires a far greater sacrifice and burden to care for (ask a new mother whether her child required more chasing around the house before or after birth). We go from the rather passive act of “being pregnant” to the extremely active act of caring for a newborn – and that burden proceeds to continue for years as the child grows up. Leave your five year old at home and go gamble in Las Vegas for a week and see what happens when you come back home if you don’t believe me. See how far that, “But I have a right to my own body” line takes you. It ought to take you all the way to jail for abandoning your child.

If this isn’t enough to dispel the “woman’s right to her own body” argument, then let us think about the way they are using the term “rights.” We must realize that in virtually every case one person’s right presupposes someone else’s duty. One person’s right to freedom of speech imposes the duty upon the remainder of society to tolerate what might be offensive to them for the greater good of a free society. In other cases, the duty imposed is far more selective: When liberals describe the duty of the rich to pay their fair share of taxes, they are imposing a duty on a small class of people. The wealthiest 5% of Americans already pay 57% of the taxes, and the wealthiest 10% pay 68% of the tab. The top 1% earn 19% of the income but pay 37% of the taxes; meanwhile the “poorest” 50% of Americans earn 13% of the income but pay only 3% of the taxes. This introduces a legitimate question for some future discussion: just how much more should the wealthy be expected to pay? [Don’t allow the issue of taxation to distract you from my argument: I merely raise taxation as an issue in which certain advocates subjectively claim that a few should have a duty to pay more, while the majority should have a right to pay less]. But in the case of abortion, the right given to the mother presupposes the most extreme duty upon one single individual – her child – the duty to die for the convenience of its mother. On the side of the “right of a woman to choose” are not only women who suddenly find themselves pregnant and their anxious parents, but hedonistic men and women who want to abdicate any responsibility for their “sexual expression,” along with a powerful media culture that aggressively pursues the same end, a powerful abortion industry and its lobby, the stem cell research lobby, unelected judges who impose their will on society, etcetera. Who is on the side of the right of the unborn to live? The Constitution – which guarantees the right to life as preeminent over all others – but other than that, far too few allies. One side has sole access to the megaphone; the other cannot speak. If we were to stop focusing on the Constitutionally-invisible “right to choose” and focus just for a moment on the DUTY OF PARENTS to nurture and care for their children, we would have a very different discussion indeed. I cannot help but remember the slogan of the Ministry of Health vans that Nazi Germany used to haul away retarded children, epileptics, children with malformed ears, chronic bed wetters, and the like to their deaths: Lebensunwertes Leben – “Life Unworthy of Life.” Today I still see cars bearing bumper stickers with the equally oxymoronic – but far more deadly – slogan, “Pro child, Pro choice.” What a shame that so many Americans have so blithely come to champion Nazi morality.

Then there’s that, “It’s only a potential human being” pseudo-argument. First of all, I’m not even sure what it means to be “a potential human being” – and neither do those who are reciting it. I do understand what it means to be “a human being with potential.” Let us begin this discussion with the straightforward observation that had your mother decided to have an abortion during her pregnancy with you, that you would not have been born. It would NOT have been some potential you that perished; it would have been you. You would have been one of the nearly 50,000,000 babies in America alone who were killed by abortion. Just as you were once a child, once a toddler, once an infant, you were also once a fetus, once an embryo, once a zygote. Killing you while you in any of those stages would have killed you just as dead.

And let us pause for a moment to consider what murder actually does to the victim. The character Clint Eastwood played in Unforgiven put it pretty well: “When you kill a man, you take away everything he has and everything he’s ever going to have.” A human baby will naturally inherit every quality of human life unless someone steps in and unnaturally ends that life. It is simply his or her nature as a human being to do so. You merely have to contemplate your own life to consider what would have been taken away from you had you been among the abortion statistics. This idea of “potential” as some ambiguous term that allows a mother to kill her baby is as ridiculous as it is amoral. If I were to walk up to you in a parking lot as you got out of your car and shoot you to death, what would I be guilty of? I certainly didn’t take away your past, as it has already happened. And if your future – when is clearly merely “potential” – doesn’t count, all I truly deprived you of is the two or three seconds of immediate conscious awareness. And I could have deprived you of at least that much had I merely asked you for the time instead of shooting you! For murder to be a serious crime, “potential” has to be a real, tangible thing that has intrinsic, incommensurable value. To attempt to argue that an unborn baby’s potential is somehow meaningless but a born person’s matters is both a fundamentally irrational and immoral distinction that leads inevitably to a degradation in the value of human life. Tyrants have routinely made the same type of “status of humanity determined by selective criterion” distinction when they said that Jews, or blacks, or any other class of people should not matter.

Deep down, I believe that even the Democrats and other abortion advocates realize the immorality of abortion in their choice of language. They demonstrate this by reciting the new mantra, “Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.” But why on earth should it be rare if it is a fundamental human right? How many other basic rights should be rare? Put “free speech,” “freedom of the press,” “the right to peaceably assemble,” or any other right that liberals hold as sacrosanct into this “____ should be safe, legal, and rare” equation and see how it flies. If abortion is a good thing, why on earth should it be rare? In point of fact, we should be encouraging more of it, not less.

During the Lincoln-Douglas presidential debates, when Douglas said that states ought to have a right to choose the institution of slavery, Lincoln famously said, “One cannot say that people have a right to do wrong.” Fortunately the country chose Lincoln’s moral reasoning over Douglas’. The Civil War was subsequently waged by a Confederacy which argued that their own rights were being systematically violated, even as they inhumanly violated the most fundamental rights of the blacks they oppressed. Apart from the fact that the party of Lincoln, the party of abolition, was the Republican Party and the party of Douglas, the party of institutionalized slavery, was the Democratic Party, I cannot help but see the parallels between the Party of Slavery and the Party of Abortion. For one thing, the Party of Abortion uses the identical arguments to justify its abominable institution that the Party of Slavery relied upon. For another, the Party of Abortion is just as insistent upon its “rights” as was the Party of Slavery, even as they systematically violate the rights of the most innocent and most helpless.

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Toward Genuinely Overcoming Racism in America

March 21, 2008

I begin by pointing out that I am white (well, caucasian, anyway: my skin is actually a fair shade darker than ‘white’). To many, this fact alone disqualifies me from talking about racism. In fact, quite a few would say that my being white is sufficient to condemn me as being responsible for racism. I frankly have little to say to this group, because it is impossible to have rational debate with irrational people. But to those who are susceptible to reason, I would offer that my ancestors on both sides of my family tree fought in the Civil War on the side of ending slavery, and in fact even made the ultimate sacrifice for that cause. Why doesn’t this count? Why doesn’t it count that so many other [white] Americans’ ancestors similarly championed the right side of freedom and equality?

As is now well known, Barack Obama’s pastor – the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jr. – has been repeatedly quoted as having made despicable statements about “white America,” even going as far as pronouncing America with three Ks in a transparent effort to characterize the United States as the United States of the Klu Klux Klan.

Some – such as former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich – have said that Jeremiah Wright’s statements shouldn’t be characterized as being particularly racist, given that just about any committed member of the left (regardless of skin color) basically agrees with the sentiment that America is a terrible place with a racist and immoral past. That doesn’t excuse Wright, and it certainly shouldn’t make Americans feel any better that an even larger number of Americans than we might think hate and despise their countries’ past. But the central problem with Wright’s view is not racism per se, but rather that if you hate and demonize America’s past, then in what meaningful sense can you say you love America? You’re essentially saying we need to overthrow histoic, traditional America and replace it with something entirely different. But how would that different thing still be America?

Wright has gone all the way back to our founding fathers and our most cherished traditions and applied the label “racist” to the whole lot. Remember, Barack and Michelle Obama’s pastor is the one who said, “Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run!… [Americans] believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God.” When Wright gets through cutting away all of what he views as the racist and immoral parts of America, what would be left over? Is it any wonder that a man who so profoundly despised America and everything it has stood for would come to embrace liberation theology, which is Marxist (and fundamentally anti-American) to its very core?

The revelation of Wright’s views certainly helps us trace the origin of Michelle Obama’s views that she is proud of her country for the first time in her adult life, and that “America in 2008 is a mean place.” We now can understand that her attitude was substantially influenced by her pastor. Is it beyond the pale of reason that the same ideology that clearly seems to have influenced her thinking similarly might have influenced her husband’s? Barack Obama gave a beautiful speech yesterday, but he didn’t even attempt to answer why he chose to keep going to such a church, under such a pastor, for year after year after year.

In flat out disagreement with Jeremiah Wright, I would argue that from its very outset, America was founded by good people with great ideals. And also from its very outset, America has been a country that has had its share of not-so-good people who have frequently undermined and perverted many of those ideals. On the balance, the United States of America has been a beautiful face marred with some blemishes. So called “white America” needs to confront the blemishes; but so called “black America” surely needs to look at the face and begin to appreciate its beauty.

And I think – ultimately – that loving one’s country is rather like loving one’s spouse. It is only when you love despite the imperfections and blemishes, love in spite of past hurts and wrongs, that you truly love. It is easier for some to love the United States of America than it is for others; but I think that they who know her flaws and still love her passionately love her more deeply than the those who don’t.

But even as “white America” examines America’s blemishes, and asks itself why the nation founded on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution somehow managed to tolerate slavery for another century, and why the greatest and freest nation in the history of the world has continued to struggle with inequality to this very day, “black America” needs to examine itself as well. If we refuse to look critically into a mirror, it is as impossible to see our own imperfections as it is easy to notice the imperfections of everyone else. Let me now mention some blemishes that “black America” desperately needs to work to resolve.

It is fairly well known that black men are incarcerated at a significantly higher rate than whites, Asians, or Hispanics. It is also fairly well known that black apologists commonly cite “racial profiling” as the reason for such high rates of incarceration; it is not that young black men are either so unable to control themselves, or are so morally depraved that they have become predators, it is rather that the police are always looking for them and therefore finding them. It is an almost impossible argument for society to refute, because it amounts to proving a negative (i.e. Prove to us you didn’t do it).

But the incarceration rate of black men does not stand by itself. There are a lot of other facts to consider, which, when taken into account, actually do refute the “racial profiling” polemic. Recently, the Center for Disease Control released data pertaining to teenage girls having sexually transmitted diseases. This new study (April 2008) reveals that 50% of black teens have STDs, as opposed to only 20% of whites. Was this the result of some kind of “profiling”? Obviously not. Rather, a significant sample of whites, blacks, bispanics, and asians were tested, and the percentages emerged from the test results. Likewise, a 2005 study also finds that nearly 70% of black births are “out of wedlock,” as opposed to the still tragically high numbers of 25% of white births. Now, it is fair to ask: did black single girls and women become pregnant because they were “profiled”? Again, no.

We commonly see the diversity agenda in media and academia emerge in its shameless flogging of racial “disparities” in such areas as education, law enforcement, public health, business ownership and even mortgage interest rates. There’s almost always a clearly-stated assumption of “institutional bias” or racism against blacks. But what we don’t see is the numbers in these categories being balanced with the statistics relating to crime, out of wedlock births, and STDs. But when we look at the entire picture, a very different story emerges than the one we are commonly told.

Black children are more than twice as likely to live in poverty than are white
children–but not because they are “born black in America,” according to a new
study from The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis (CDA). Examining
data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s National Longitudinal Survey of Youth,
Heritage analysts determined that child poverty rates are driven primarily by
single-parent households and dependency on welfare benefits. When these and
other, less significant, factors are taken into account, the disparity between
black and white child poverty rates disappears. “Race alone does not directly
increase or decrease the probability that a child will be poor,” says Robert
Rector, Heritage’s senior research fellow in welfare and family issues and a
co-author of the report. The study notes that 68.8 percent of black American
children were born out of wedlock in 1999, compared to 26.7 percent of white
children. And black children were five times more likely to be dependent on Aid
for Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), the government’s largest welfare
program. Black children also live in poverty longer than whites-46.9 percent of
their time since birth vs. 26.7 percent for whites. Yet when black children and
white children are grouped by levels of single parenthood and welfare dependence
the poverty rates for both groups are nearly identical, Rector found. The
analysis also found that nearly half (44.5 percent) of all children born to
never-married mothers depend on AFDC, compared to a fifth (20.4 percent) of
those born out of wedlock, whose mothers later married. Only a tenth (10.7
percent) of the children born to married couples who subsequently divorce end up
relying on AFDC, as do a mere 2.5 percent of those whose parents’ marriages
remain intact. The press release can be read below, and the entire paper,
“Understanding Differences in Black and White Child Poverty Rates,” is available
online at http://www.heritage.org/library/cda/cda01-04.html.
Cited in a posting from Smart Marriages Listserv on May 29, 2001. (source: http://www.divorcereform.org/pov.htm).

So what we see is a crystal-clear connection between family status and poverty. The institution of marriage, and the presence of a father in the house, is the ultimate determiner of poverty, not race. And I find it more than passing interesting that “Black children are more than twice as likely to live in poverty than are white children,” given that more than twice as many out of wedlock births occur in the black community than in the white community, and that more than twice as many black teenage girls have STDs than white teenage girls. Do you see how the former would be expected to result from the latter?

Every time an individual or a societal or government institution makes mention of facts such as these, they are immediately set upon as racist. I vividly remember Bill Cosby making some of these observations and being labeled an “Uncle Tom.” And I similarly remember hearing Rev. Jeremiah Wright shout out the names of “Clarence, Colin, and Condoleezza!” to defame Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman and Secretary of State Colin Powell, and current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as white collaborators. I believe that no one has served “black America” more terribly than the perversion of the civil rights movement and the current leadership of that community. The day when a man would be judged not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character has been replaced with a shrill demand for race quotas. And there has been a refusal to examine the real issues that have had the most severe impact on the black community, and one vicious attack after another on anyone – regardless of skin color – who has attempted to address the issue squarely and legitimately. There can be no improvement when one refuses to look at the actual problem.

The ugliest blemish on the beautiful face of America was the institution of slavery. One of the most terrible outcomes that occurred as a result of slavery – at least according to some sociologists and cultural anthropologists – was the conception of something called the “vicious cycle.” As a matter of simple history, the American institution of slavery routinely resulted in the breaking up of black families. Fathers and mothers were separated from their children by being sold to new owners individually rather than as families. And black men and women were bred like animals to produce more slaves. The vicious cycle theory holds – accurately, I believe – that several generations of this practice created a dynamic that has been incredibly difficult to overcome. And had this dynamic been perpetuated against ANY racial group, the vicious cycle would be born out in that group for generations to follow.

what I’m trying to say here is that one does not need to “blame the victim” to recognize the obvious increasing breakdown of the black family in America. Rather, Americans black and white can come together and acknowledge that a despicable institution – slavery – created a long-term disaster that has yet to heal. And Americans – black and white – need to be allowed to come together and focus on the healing of the black family. If whites continue to be labeled as “racist” every time they try to come to the table and express their views, there will be no coming together.

The problem is – as I see it – that the moment we begin to focus on “family values,” liberals tend to become extremely fidgety. They do not want the focus to be on practices such as guilt-free sexual expression, the diminishing of the role of the father, rampant divorce on demand, teenage pregnancy, and out-of-wedlock births, because they have championed all of these things for the past 40 years. Rather, they want to focus on discrimination, race quotas, glass ceilings, and the like. But the figures I’ve provided clearly demonstrate that the former dwarfs the latter as the real cause of racial inequality. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wanted blacks to be judged by the content of their character, but nothing shapes and strengthens the content of one’s character more than a solid family structure!

Does it seem completely unreasonable to claim that if a baby is born to a poor, uneducated single mother on welfare, that that child will grow up twice as likely to be poor? Does it seem completely unreasonable to claim that such a child is far more likely to turn to drugs, gangs, and crime than a child born into a married family with a father? Why can’t we try to resolve these problems?

In 19th century England there were slums that shocked the senses. Filthiness, criminality, prostitution, drunkenness, sloth, and every other imaginable vice had come to completely characterize entire sections of cities. William Booth – the man who founded the Salvation Army – came into these places and preached not only salvation, but individual responsibility. He told the inhabitants of these slums that no one would help them because no one even viewed them as human in their current condition, but that if they began to clean up their streets and start to take control of their own lives, that others would see their efforts and begin to provide the economic assistance that they needed. And history proves that William Booth was exactly right. It wasn’t that the wealthier class didn’t want to help people in the slums; rather it was that they had never seen these people begin to act responsibly and demonstrate that assistance would change anything. But when residents of the slums began to clean up their streets, willing help came from all directions. This ought to stand as a template for any social movement.

Similarly, it isn’t that whites don’t want to put racism behind them, help blacks, or recognize that it is in their legitimate interest to do everything they can to reach out to fellow Americans. Martin Luther King, Jr. was successful because he led his people to stand up for themselves in a positive manner and begin to take individual responsibility. He literally shamed whites who had held blacks as being somehow inferior into changing their attitudes. Over in India Ghandi accomplished a similar success. Clearly, it can be done. It is only a matter of choosing the right approach and framing the discussion in a way that does not begin by attempting to frame any subsequent discussion in terms of bitterness and blame. But that is exactly what has been done, over and over again.

What is racism? I would define it simply as holding negative views about a person or group of people on account of race. And it can’t be a despicable thing when whites hold racist views against blacks, but permissible when blacks hold racist views against whites. And any justification for such a double standard – such as the frankly self-serving notion that black racism isn’t racism because blacks aren’t the group in power – will do nothing but create bitterness and anger and continue the division. It’s not that whites don’t want white people who make despicable comments to be held accountable; it’s that they expect blacks to hold themselves to the same standard that they demand whites adhere to. If “black America” really wants “white America” to overcome its incipient racism, then they must work toward doing the same. It’s as simple as that.

Does anyone seriously doubt for a moment that, were it discovered that Senator John McCain had attended a racist white church for twenty years, that Democrats en masse would be screaming for his resignation, much less the end to his presidential campaign? And Senator Barack Obama in the past couple years called for Senator Trent Lott’s resignation for his comments honoring 100 year old retiring Senator Strom Thurmond, just as he called for Don Imus’ firing over his line against the Rutgers women’s basketball team. Bad as their words were, can anyone say that they descended to a lower level than blaming white America for a genocidal campaign to murder blacks with the AIDS virus? Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have made numerous racially charged comments against whites and Jews in their pasts, but they to be allowed to serve as the judge and jury of selective black outrage. Frankly, anyone who believes that continuing the politics of the dual-standard will lead to racial healing is a fool.

“White America” and “black America” need to arrive at a consensus on how to – in the words of our founders – “form a more perfect union.” And I would recommend we begin by focusing on issues in which both sides can come to common agreement. If “black America” demands that conservative whites either support a socialist-liberal redistributionist program or be labeled as racist, then nothing will happen except the continuation of the historic division and bitterness. Conservatives don’t believe in welfare as a general principle; they don’t want white people to live on welfare either. But if “black America” decides to truly begin to come to grips with the problem of the broken family structure in America, then “white America” – and particularly religious whites – will rally to their cause in huge numbers. Religious whites yearn to see a healthy black family structure; for that matter, they yearn to see a return to a healthy white family structure.

All sides in the racial divide need to understand that we are all in this nation – and the dilemmas we face as a nation – together. That “Why don’t you just go back to Africa!” line is pointless and hurtful; no one is going anywhere. We are all Americans. And Americans of every skin pigmentation need to come together in common cause and work – and do I mean WORK – to resolve and overcome differences and begin to make progress toward a better and stronger United States of America by focusing on common causes and common agreement.

Any naysaying aside, I do have a right to express my voice in the discussion toward racial harmony in America. My ancestors secured that right for me with their sacrifice and their blood.

Jeremiah Wright as Barack Obama’s Political Albatross

March 19, 2008

Senator Barack Obama’s campaign is suddenly in an awful lot of trouble. One of the things that Obama critics have been saying all along is that he has not been vetted by a clearly biased media – and now everyone is getting to see how true that argument has been. We are now in the process of learning that Barack Obama had a much deeper relationship with crooked developer Tony Rezko than the public had previsouly been led to believe. But that is nothing compared with the incredible bombshells that are now known to have come out of the mouth of Senator Obama’s pastor. The not-so Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s racist and lunatic ravings have been common knowledge to anyone familiar with Jeremiah Wright and the Trinity United Church of Christ for years, with conservative radio hosts such as Sean Hannity and Melanie Morgan having covered elements of this story a year ago. It only remained for someone to actually go to the church and fork over some cash for some of Wright’s sermons to blow the story wide open.

Barack Obama has been a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ under the spiritual leadership and personal mentoring of Jeremiah Wright, Jr. since 1991 or 1992. But by his own acknowledgment, Obama had been a regular at the church for several years prior, for a total of over twenty years. Jeremiah Wright performed his marriage and baptized his children, but by all accounts his relationship with Wright went much deeper than any typical pastor-member bond; Obama has said that Wright was his spiritual advisor and his mentor, and was actually the one who suggested the title for the book – “The Audacity of Hope” – that garnered him so much attention and set him up for his presidential run. For the record, the theme of Obama’s famous keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention was also derived from a sermon by Jeremiah Wright bearing the same title.

So it seems rather clear that Barack Obama’s pastor had more than a passing influence on him, and it is therefore entirely legitimate to look into Jeremiah Wright’s background and examine the content of that influence. To sum it up briefly, it aint good.

In a sermon delivered on the Sunday after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Wright argued that the United States brought the terrorist attack that killed 3,000 Americans upon itself, shouting, “We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye. We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”

In 2003, Wright said, “The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.” In that same sermon, Wright continued, “America is still the No. 1 killer in the world. . . . We are deeply involved in the importing of drugs, the exporting of guns, and the training of professional killers . . . We bombed Cambodia, Iraq and Nicaragua, killing women and children while trying to get public opinion turned against Castro and Ghadhafi . . . We put Mandela in prison and supported apartheid the whole 27 years he was there. We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God.”

Jeremiah Wright has called the United States “Ameri-KKK-a.” He has claimed that the AIDS virus was a white racist American plot to kill black people.

Wright detects racism in virtually every facet of American life, in nearly every aspect of both its domestic and its foreign policies. When we read his writings, his public statements, and his sermons, one cannot help but notice Jeremiah Wright’s passionate conviction that America is a nation infested with racism, prejudice, oppression, and injustice in every aspect. As he cried out in one of his sermons, “Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run!… We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God.”

Now we see why Michelle Obama was never able to find anything America has done worthy of her pride. Now we see why she claimed that “America is a mean place.”

When Barack Obama finally decided that at least one of these declarations was offensive enough to need to come down from his Olympian heights to explain, he basically claimed that he had never heard any of it. I suppose that this is the-candidate-of-hope-and-change’s version of “I never had sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”

Frankly, this country deserves much better than what amounts to a “I didn’t inhale” defense. One must remove one’s brain and stuff the empty skull full of liberal ideology to attain the level of suspension of common sense necessary to buy this explanation.

First of all, it is a frankly incredible claim. Barack Obama spent 20 years in this church, and 20 years in an intimate personal mentoring friendship with Jeremiah Wright. Jeremiah Wright, Jr. has been well-known for being a fiery radical way out of the mainstream ever since coming to the church in 1972. The fact that Wright married Barack and Michelle and baptized their children are only embarrasing details. And Barack Obama had no idea what his mentor for twenty years stood for? When the Reverend Wright delivered a particularly offensive, hateful and anti-American sermon, no one ever told Obama about it? The fact is, in his 1993 memoir “Dreams from My Father,” Barack Obama himself reveals this argument for the lie it is. In a vivid description recalling his first meeting with Wright back in 1985, the pastor warned Barack Obama that getting involved with Trinity might turn off other black clergy because of the church’s radical reputation. And when Obama disinvited Jeremiah Wright to give the convocation speach at his announcement of his presidential campaign, he essentially told his pastor that he was too extreme for Barack to openly associate himself with him. Obama knew.

But even allowing that Obama somehow never heard – and even more amazingly, never heard of – anything offensive ever coming from the mouth of his pastor, anyone even remotely familiar with Jeremiah Wright, Jr. and the Trinity United Church of Christ knows full well that both the pastor and the church are leading proponents of an extremely radical ideology known as “black liberation theology.” In short, liberation theology is a giant nut of Marxism covered with a candy coating of Jesus. Liberation theology is a reading of Christianity through Marxist eyes, and very pointedly NOT vice versa. Rather than forgiving its enemies, its adherents all over the world have routinely claimed that oppressors should be overthrown by violent means.

Liberation theology was developed in the early 1970s to pave the way for the communist Sandinistas to infiltrate – and subsequently dominate – Nicaraguan society. The Sandinistas understood full well that they had no hope of installing a Marxist regime in a country that was well over 90% Roman Catholic unless they could successfully subsume Catholicism into their cause of Marxism. And the wedding of Marxism with Christianity was brought about in a clear effort of the former to crush the latter.

Marxism – atheistic though it is – has frequently been charicterized as a Christian heresy, in which a glorious new age utopia (a Marxist perversion of heaven) is to be ushered in by a transformation of human nature in a grand historical dialectic. In traditional Christianity, the ennobling of human nature takes place because of the creation of man in the image of God and because of the divine Christ’s Incarnation; in Marxism, the State assumes God’s place. Marxism offers rival theories of sin (private property) and salvation (collective ownership), a church that dispenses grace (the State), and a litany of saints (the proletariat and their Marxist leadership) and sinners (the bourgeoise and their capitalists enablers). In actual historical practice, in every single case, Marxism in a single century has led to more human slaughter and more degradation than all the religions of the world combined led to throughout all of human history.

Thus we see that it is not too much of a stretch for Christian heretics to embrace Marxism as a creed, since, as G.K. Chesterton pointed out, heresy is often truth gone mad. Liberation theology is the subsumption of one tiny truth (that God cares about the poor) wrapped by so much error that it resulted in a form of insanity that saw Christians embrace what clearly amounted to terrorism against governments and the very poor and innocent that they claimed to champion.

And the Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s nearly wholehearted embrace of a Marxist ideology – that has been irrevocably hostile to America and to its very way of life from its inception – somehow escaped Barack Obama’s awareness? And we should simply forgive him for this unfortunate oversight and move on, and not question what clearly amounts to an issue of profoundly poor judgment?

We are discussing a voluntary association that lasted for over twenty years. We are discussing a close personal relationship with a man that Barack Obama has openly and implicitly acknowledged as having more influence over him than any other man in his life. Democratic apologists want us to view this in the same context as George Bush speaking at a university which believes interaccial marriage is wrong, or John McCain’s accepting the endorsement of a pastor who believes that the antichrist of Revelation will be a Catholic pope. They are no where even close to being similar. Now Senator John McCain being discovered to be a member of Reverend David Duke’s church and coming Sunday after Sunday to hear him preach racist, white supremicist messages for twenty years while publicly acknowledging Pastor Duke’s profound personal influence in his life -now that would be similar.

As Rolling Stone magazine put it, “This is as openly radical a background as any significant American political figure has ever emerged from, as much Malcolm X as Martin Luther King Jr. Wright is not an incidental figure in Obama’s life, or his politics.” The moral equivocators who seek to point at that some Republican candidate spoke somewhere once or accepted someone’s endorsement once simply don’t understand the magnitude of Obama’s relationship with Wright. To draw from the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Jeremiah Wright is the dead albatross hanging from Barack Obama’s neck. It is the corpse left behind after a full two decades of harboring terrible ideas and demonstrating incredibly poor personal judgment.

Barack Obama does not merely need to repudiate a few remarks made by his pastor and mentor; he needs to villify everything the man stood for. There is no way that he should be able to have it both ways (the support of racist anti-white blacks as well as the support of Americans who condemn racism). Ultimately, Obama’s problem is he simply can’t explain why he sat in the pews all those years while such a despicable, anti-American and anti-democratic ideology was being spoon fed to him.

If Senator Barack Obama’s presidential aspirations aren’t done for now, they should be. If he wins the nomination, I have every confidence that he will be destroyed in the general election when the Wright issue comes back with a vengeance. Until this week, I believed Senator Hillary Clinton was a far more beatable candidate than Senator Barack Obama. I was wrong.

Barack Obama is far more wrong for sitting under the teaching of such a hateful man for so many years. In doing so, the most liberal Senator in the nation underscores just how extreme his views actually are, and just how dangerous a Barack Obama presidency would be for this country.