Posts Tagged ‘Trinity’

Jesus, Son Of Man, Son Of God (Part 4): The Trinity In The Old Testament

December 23, 2013

There are a lot of spiritually and scripturally ignorant people who view the doctrine of the Trinity as a problem.  The doctrine of the Trinity is not a problem at all; rather, it is an OBVIOUS ANSWER to the “problem” of the biblical data which assure us that the Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God.

Question: Does the Old Testament allow for the doctrine of the Trinity?

Answer: You betcha it does.
I. Uniqueness, Unity, and Diversity: a brief study on the nature of the God who would send the Messiah and give us the Bible.

A. God’s Uniqueness and Unity presented in the midst of a pagan world.

1. The fundamental point of OT theology is the uniqueness and unity of Israel’s God as opposed to the polytheism of Israel’s neighbors.

a. All the religions of the nations surrounding Israel were basically nature cults, designed to enlist the aid of the pantheon and ensure the fertility of the land.
b. Humans were basically created because the gods were lazy and needed someone to do the work so they could play and stay drunk.
c. In contrast, Duet 6:4 claims, “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one.”  Yahweh alone is the true and living God.  He is unique and it is therefore humanity’s obligation to worship Him alone.  We also find that, unlike the pantheons (e.g. the Baal pantheon) God is not divided.  In Num 6:27, God’s “name” is singular in number (“put My name upon the people”).

2. But the above emphasis on the unity of God’s being seems to be supplemented by a kind of mulitiplicity suggesting distinct centers of consciousness, as we are about to see.
3.  And further, Israel knew that the “Lord is one,” but it also became aware of one called “Seed,” “Branch,” “Wisdom,” “Prophet,” and “King” (as well as [another?] one called “Spirit of God” and “Holy Spirit.”).

B. The diversity of the one true God revealed in the Pentateuch.

1. A study of “the Lord is one” (‘ehad /echad. Strong’s #259) in Deut 6:4.

a. “’Ehad” is closely identified with “yahad” (“to be united”) and “ro’sh (“first, head).” It stresses unity while also recognizing the potential for diversity within that oneness. A good translation for this sense would be “a compound unity/oneness.” The word “compound” is defined as being “composed of two or more parts, elements or ingredients.” Read Num 13:23 and Gen 1:5 for illustration.
b. Here are a FEW of the MANY times when ‘ehad/echad is used in this manner:

1) Gen. 1:5: The yom echad (first day) is a combination of two things – the evening and the morning as a compound unity.
2) Gen. 2:24: Adam and Eve became l-visar echad (one flesh). They were one, but two and they were two, but one.
3) Gen. 3:22: Adam and Eve became “one” (echad) with God. But they did not lose their personhood when they became “one” with God.
4) Gen. 11:6: The people were one (echad). They were, thus, “one” and “many” at the same time.
5) Gen. 34:16, 22: The Shechemites wanted to become “one people” (l-`am echad) with the Jews.
6) Ex 24:3 describes all the people as speaking “with one voice.”
7) In Ex 26:6,11; 36:13 the NIV translates “‘ehad” as “a unit.” The tabernacle curtains were fastened together to form one unit.
7) II Chron. 30:12: God gave the people “one heart” (lev echad). Obviously, the thousands of individual hearts were “one” in a compound or composite sense.
7) Ezra 2:64: The “congregation” (kol-haqahal) of forty two thousand, three hundred and sixty persons was described as “one” (k-echad). Similarly, in Jud 20:8 and 1 Sam 11:7 the word “’ehad” is used in the phrase “as one man” (all the people arose as one man).
8) Jer. 32:39: Under the New Covenant, God will give His people “one heart” (lev echad).

c. There ARE times where the word ‘ehad/echad is used as “one” in the sense affirmed by strict Unitarian monotheists (such as Deut 17:6 (“only one witness” as opposed to “two or three witnesses”) and Ex 9:6 (“but not one animal”). But all Christians need to demonstrate here is that there is a powerful sense of ‘ehad/echad as a compound oneness throughout the Bible. Thus the Trinity is in the door EVEN in the Shema of Deut 6:4, the monotheistic Jews’ most powerful claim of strict monotheism. It is simply intellectually dishonest not to recognize that fact. And NOTE that when we speak of human witnesses and animals, we are speaking of one AMONG MANY. We are merely speaking about one particular human or animal among many others. So this is hardly the strongest case for ‘ehad being used in a strict Unitarian sense.
d. By contrast, there IS another Hebrew word – “yachid” (Strong’s #3173) – which means an absolute or solitary oneness. It is even translated “solitary” in Psalm 68:6 and refers to someone who is absolutely alone. This is its general meaning throughout Scripture. Unitarians should naturally expect to find that the word yachid applied to God in the Bible. On the other hand, Trinitarians would not expect to find yachid used of God because they believe that there are three Persons within the Godhead. So who is right? When we turn to the Bible, what do we find? The authors of Scripture NEVER applied yachid to God. They never described God as a solitary person. This is simply devastating to the Unitarian position of strict monotheism.
e. “The Lord is one” of Deut 6:4 is a powerful contrast with the polytheism that surrounded Israel. It is clear that God is one in some profound sense, and that, as one, He is unique and worship is to be accorded to Him alone. But it does NOT in any way rule out the doctrine of the Trinity. Quite the contrary: it allows for it as much as “one team” allows for 11 or even 53 49er football players to be on the field.

2. A study of “In the beginning God created” (Elohim).

a. The 3rd word in the Hebrew Bible (‘In the beginning God’) conveys a clear sense of plurality in God.
b. “Im” (in “Elohim”) is a masculine plural suffix, which clearly allows – if not demands – for a plurality of persons.
c. This plural form (the singular is “’Eloah”) occurs ONLY in Hebrew and is not found in any other Semitic language (including Aramaic). THERE IS NO PLURAL FORM OF GOD IN ARAMAIC, ONLY IN HEBREW.  You seriously have to wonder why ONLY the Jews used the plural form if they were supposed to be strict Unitarian monotheists.
d. The singular form “Eloah” IS used in the Old Testament, but why is the plural form “Elohim” used FAR, FAR more???   Note that the singular form does NOT damage Trinitarian doctrine because Trinitarians AGREE that “God is ONE in His nature; we hold that God is ONE in Nature and THREE in Person.  The question here is why the plural form of God “Elohim” is used at ALL if God is the strict Unitarian entity of the radical strict monotheism of Islam and Judaism???
e. It is simply a fact that Israel, in distinction from all the nations, had a unique sense of plurality in the one true God whom they worshipped in addition to the fact that God is One.

3. A study of the use of plural pronouns and verbs.

a. Plural pronouns are used to describe the actions of God (Gen 1:26; 3:22; 11:7).

– This phenomenon of plural pronouns points to a plurality of persons within the Godhead.
– Religious liberals who like to call this a “plural of majesty” fail to be properly disappointed by the fact that there is NO example of a “plural of majesty” in the Ancient Near East. (And no Hebrew king ever uses “we” or “us” to describe himself). The very earliest usage of such a plural of majesty is in 4th century AD Byzantine – some 800 years AFTER the OT was written.

b. The OT occasionally uses plural verbs when God is the subject and a singular form of the verb would be expected.

– wooden literal translation of Gen 35:7 is “because there the gods they had revealed themselves to him [Jacob].”
– Liberals don’t want to acknowledge the deity of Jesus Christ, and they therefore refuse to acknowledge any grounds for the doctrine of the Trinity in the OT. If the facts get in the way, so much the worse for the facts!

4. A study of the enigmatic figure called the angel of the Lord (Gen 16:7-14). The angel of the Lord is apparently distinguished from “Yahweh” (v. 11b) and then identified with Yahweh, El, and Elohim (v. 13).

– Note that in Gen 16:10 the Angel of the Lord says, “I will multiply your offspring.” Contrast that with appearances of angels who are NOT “the Angel of the Lord,” such as Gabriel in announcing to Mary.
– In Luke 1:28 Gabriel says, “The Lord is with you.” In Luke 1:30 Gabriel says, “Do not be afraid, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive…” And when Mary asked, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” Gabriel responded in Luke 1:35, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.”
– Contrast Gabriel’s “God will do these things” with the Angel of the Lord who said “I will do these things.”
– Who is this Angel of the Lord? He is the Preincarnate Christ

5. A study of the three “mystery men” who appeared to Abraham. Yahweh appeared to Abraham (18:1); when he lifted up his eyes he saw three men (v. 2).

– Notice in Gen 18:1 “the LORD” (Yahweh) appeared to Abraham. How does “the LORD” appear? In the form of three men standing before him.
– Why three men? Because God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  If you think you’ve got a response that somehow rules out the doctrine of the Trinity, let’s hear it.
– The doctrine of the Trinity is MORE than allowed in the Old Testament.  And as we continue to study the Person of Messiah as revealed in Old Testament prophecy, the fact that God is three Persons will scream louder and louder and louder.
– Just as God progressively revealed His sacrificial system and His law and His Messiah in the Old Testament prophecy, He similarly progressively revealed His Triune nature.

6. A study of the three-fold repetition of divine blessing with the three-fold repetition of the divine name. Paul saw in Num 6:24-26 a foreshadowing of the Trinity (2 Cor 13:14).

– Numbers 6:24-26 says, “‘”The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.”‘
– 2 Corinthians 13:14 says, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.”

THIS is the language of the Bible that revealed the coming of the Person – the DIVINE Person, the Second Person of the Trinity – of the coming Messiah.

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Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama’s Mentor In Marxist Racism

July 2, 2010

From the family photo album: you can call it “Obama with his uncle,” or “Obama with his spiritual mentor,” or “Obama with his pastor for more than 20 years.”  I prefer to title it, “Racist-in-Chief Poses With His Guru.”

Jeremiah Wright is Barack Obama’s guru in Marxism and racism.
No human being of principle or virtue would have spent 20 seconds in Jeremiah Wright’s demonic cesspool.  Barack Obama spent 20 years there.  He asked Jeremiah Wright to marry him to Michelle.  He raised his children under this evil man.
From the New York Post:
Obama’s race-rant Rev. rages on
‘White folk done took this country’

By MAUREEN CALLAHAN
Last Updated: 5:00 PM, June 27, 2010

CHICAGO — He’s been keeping such a low profile since nearly derailing Barack Obama’s campaign for president in 2008 — is it possible that the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright has mellowed?

Hardly.

During a five-day seminar Wright taught last week in Chicago, he was back at it, claiming that whites and Jews are controlling the flow of worldwide information and oppressing blacks in Israel and America.

“White folk done took this country,” Wright said. “You’re in their home, and they’re gonna let you know it.”

The course, advertised as focusing on politics and public policy in South Africa and America, was taught in a small, ground-floor room at the Chicago Theological Seminary, where Wright’s voice echoed out an open window. The class was composed of about 15 to 20 students, mainly older African-American women who would arrive early and giddily linger during lunch breaks and after class, looking for the reverend’s attention. (The course cost a little over $1,000 if taken for college credit and $300 if taken without.)

The absence of young people was telling: The lectures seemed ossified, relics of a pre-civil-rights America — a point that Obama himself made during his famous speech on race in March 2008, prompted by the incendiary comments (“God damn America!”) made by his former pastor and mentor.

“Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect,” Obama said.

Yet during this course — which was described as asking, “What is the response and public witness of persons of faith to ongoing developments in both countries?” — Wright made many statements about what he believes are the true aims of whites and Jews.

“You are not now, nor have you ever been, nor will you ever be a brother to white folk,” he said. “And if you do not realize that, you are in serious trouble.”

He cited the writings of Bill Jones — author of the book “Is God a White Racist?” — as proof that white people cannot be trusted. “Bill said, ‘They just killed four of their own at Kent State. They’ll step on you like a cockroach and keep on movin’, cause you not a brother to them.’ ”

Wright referred to Italians as “Mamma Luigi” and “pizzeria.” He said the educational system in America is designed by whites to miseducate blacks “not by benign neglect but by malignant intent.”

He said Ethiopian Jews are despised by white Jews: “And now the Knesset [Israeli parliament] is meeting with European Jews, voting on whether or not these African Jews can get into [Israel].”

The civil-rights movement, Wright said, was never about racial equality: “It was always about becoming white . . . to master what [they] do.” Martin Luther King, he said, was misguided for advocating nonviolence among his people, “born in the oven of America.”

“We probably have more African-Americans who’ve been brainwashed than we have South Africans who’ve been brainwashed,” he said, and seemed to allude to President Obama twice: “Unfortunately, I got in trouble with a fella for saying this . . . All your commentaries are written by oppressors.” At the mention of Nation of Islam head Louis Farrakhan — whom Obama disavowed during the campaign — black leaders “go cuttin’ and duckin’,” he said.

In March, Wright told The Washington Post that he expects to speak to Obama again, when “he is out of the White House.” Last June, he told a Virginia newspaper that the only reason he and the president were not speaking at the moment is that “them Jews ain’t going to let him talk to me.”

From 1972 until May 2008, Wright served as pastor of Trinity United Church of Chicago, located in a rough area of the city’s South Side. Today, he is “pastor emeritus” and identified as such on the rugs that line the doorways at Trinity.

Until very recently, Wright lived with his wife and children in a nearby two-story house, in a more affluent subdivision surrounded by roadblocks; the line between rich and poor is literal. His former neighbors all say he kept to himself.

A few months ago, Wright and his family moved into a brand-new million-dollar home located near a golf course and made of stone with a recessed doorway surrounded by pillars. It’s the only house on a cul-de-sac. Records show it was sold by Trinity United Church to a company called ATG Trust and paid for in cash.

Since leaving Trinity, Wright has traveled the country, preaching and lecturing. He said he’s been working “all year long” with Trinity’s preschool program and called US Education Secretary Arne Duncan a disaster. Duncan, a former college basketball star, was given the job only because Obama enjoys his “good jump shot in the back yard,” Wright said.

Wright gives interviews intermittently but declined to speak to The Post. He recently headlined a two-day “men’s empowerment revival” in Florida but in mixed company is careful not to say anything racist or inflammatory.

The most he had to say about the African-American experience that day was “God is working on your behalf.”

You look at the anti-Semitic race hatred of Barack Obama, as epitomized in the words of his mentor and spiritual leader for over 20 years, and then you have this result in Obama’s policy:

Israel-US relations suffering ‘tectonic rift’
Israel’s ambassador to US says Washington-Tel Aviv ties worse than a crisis under Obama
.

TEL AVIV – Israeli-US relations have undergone a huge shift amounting to what Israel’s ambassador to Washington has termed “a genuine tectonic rift,” media reports said on Sunday.

Briefing officials at the foreign ministry last week, ambassador Michael Oren described the state of ties between Israel and its closest ally as worse than a crisis, something akin to that of two continents drifting apart.

According to one diplomat quoted by the Haaretz daily, Oren used bleak terms to explain the changes which have taken place under the administration of US President Barack Obama.

“Relations are in the state of a tectonic rift in which continents are drifting apart,” Oren was quoted as saying by the diplomat.

Another diplomat who spoke to the top-selling Yediot Aharonot daily said there had been an historic change in Washington’s approach to Israel.

“There is no crisis in Israel-US relations because in a crisis there are ups and downs,” he quoted Oren as saying.

Both papers quoted Oren as attributing the shift in sentiment to “interests and cold considerations” by Obama who did not have the same historical-ideological bent towards Israel as his predecessors.

We’ve got a crystal clear trend emerging from Jeremiah Wright to the coldest and most hostile relationship with Israel in the history of US-Israeli relations consisting of both Democrat and Republican administrations.

Obama promised he would transcend racial and political divides.  He lied.

Liberals looked at Obama and saw nothing but whatever the lying rhetoric of the moment was, but this is what I saw: Barack Obama’s “value system” from his church of 23 years:
1. Commitment to God
2. Commitment to the Black Community
3. Commitment to the Black Family
4. Dedication to the Pursuit of Education
5. Dedication to the Pursuit of Excellence
6. Adherence to the Black Work Ethic
7. Commitment to Self-Discipline and Self-Respect
8. Disavowal of the Pursuit of “Middleclassness”
9. Pledge to make the fruits of all developing and acquired skills available to the Black Community
10. Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting Black Institutions
11. Pledge allegiance to all Black leadership who espouse and embrace the Black Value System
12. Personal commitment to embracement of the Black Value System.

I would have similarly boldfaced the word “white,” but alas, it never managed to appear as a group that Obama’s church of 23 years gave a damn about. No Asians, Indians, Arabs, etc either, I couldn’t help but notice.

It’s an ugly thing to look at the Democrat Party’s vile history of racism.  Then or now.

During the election, New Black Panther thugs brandished weapons and directly threatened people who were trying to vote.  Obama’s response was that no charges would be filed if the intimidator were black and the voter was white.  It’s fine to violate a white man’s civil rights, as long as a black man is doing it.  Why?  For the same reason he assumed “the police acted stupidly” without knowing any of the facts simply because the cop was white and the man breaking into his own home happened to be black.

Mind you, Barrack Obama is a man who has told so many lies in his brief career as president that it would be a shorter endeavor to list the truths he’s told.

Black civil right leaders of today despise the movement that registered Republican Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned.  They pay lip service to it, of course, because they have to, but in their heart of hearts, it’s all about “becoming white” to them.

Men like this talk about racism, when they themselves are racist to their very cores.

I wrote the following as part of a comment less than two weeks ago.  Tell me how true it sounds in light of Obama’s pastor:

Let us never forget that Democrats were the party of slavery. And that Democrats were the creators of the Ku Klux Klan. It literally took a war in which Democrats had to be militarily crushed to keep them from enslaving people based on the color of their skin. And thank God for the Republican Party and a Republican president for freeing the slaves from Democrats. Let’s not forget that Woodrow Wilson – Democrat president and the father of the progressive movement – RE-segregated the military after Republicans had DE-segregated it. Let us not forget that Wilson cheered the racist propaganda film “Birth of a Nation.” Let us never forget that the national party convention that was so directly tied to the Ku Klux Klan that it was called the “Klanbake” was the 1924 DEMOCRAT convention. Let’s not forget that FDR’s New Deal directly attacked blacks and kept them from getting jobs.

Few know about the incredibly racist history of pro-Democrat labor unions (see also here), but it is both very real and very ugly.  And progressive Democrats were at the very core of it.

As we move into the 1950s we find that a Democrat Governor, Orval Faubus, called out the National Guard in 1957 to prevent black children being integrated into white schools. And again, a Republican president had to rise to the occasion, with Dwight D. Eisenhower sending in US Army airborne troops to enforce racial equality that had once again been opposed by Democrats. And of course Alabama Democrat Governor George Wallace would fight for racist segregation all over again in 1963. It was Democrat John F. Kennedy who sent in the troops this time. But that same John Kennedy had previously voted AGAINST the Civil Rights Act.

And let us not forget that both the famous Martin Luther King, Sr. and his even more famous son were both registered Republicans. It’s a shame that the pseudo civil rights leaders of today aren’t fit to carry Martin Luther King’s shoes, much less criticize his party affiliation.

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Frederick Douglas BOTH fundamentally opposed the quotas and preferential treatment that Democrats have employed to create the equivalent of the “house negro.” Jack Greenberg of the NAACP said in the 1950s that “The chief problem with quotas is that they introduce a potentially retrogressive concept into the cherished notion of individual equality.”

Let’s listen to Frederick Douglas, escaped slave and greatest of all champions of civil rights, has to say:

Frederick Douglass ridiculed the idea of racial quotas, as suggested by Martin Delany, as “absurd as a matter of practice,” noting that it implied blacks “should constitute one-eighth of the poets, statesmen, scholars, authors and philosophers.” Douglass emphasized that “natural equality is a very different thing from practical equality; and…though men may be potentially equal, circumstances may for a time cause the most striking inequalities.”77 On another occasion, in opposing “special efforts” for the black freedmen, Douglass argued that they “might ‘serve to keep up very prejudices, which it is so desirable to banish’ by promoting an image of blacks as privileged wards of the state.”

So now conservatives are suddenly racists for agreeing with Frederick Douglas and Martin Luther King, Jr. and against liberals and the vile pseudo values that the greatest civil rights leaders in history condemned?

Richard Nixon, whom Democrats love to make the poster boy for Republican racism, was the first president to introduce the racial quotas that Democrats have been trying to implement and expand ever since. Democrats have been swimming in Nixon’s racism ever since.

Liberals are biblical – and never in a good way:

PSA 52:3 You love evil more than good, Falsehood more than speaking what is right.
MIC 3:2 “You who hate good and love evil, Who tear off their skin from them And their flesh from their bones

History proves again and again that DEMOCRATS are the racists, and conservatives have stood for genuine equality again and again.

Barack Obama chose as his spiritual mentor a man who is every bit as racist as any Exalted Cyclops or Kleagle of the Ku Klux Klan.  You don’t willingly place yourself in the hard-core racist environment of a Jeremiah Wright unless you are pretty damn racist yourself.

A Few Details That May Not Come Up During Michelle Obama’s DNC Speech

August 25, 2008

I figured that Michelle Obama – in introducing herself to America, might forget a couple of important details. So – gracious, charming, and frankly wonderful fella that I am, I thought I’d help jog her memory.

The best way to get to know Michelle Obama is to watch a video showing what she’s been up to:

Here’s a few remarks from Michelle’s speeches that you may want to know about as you listen to her DNC presentation:

“Sometimes it’s easier to hold onto your own stereotypes and misconceptions. It makes you feel justified in your ignorance. That’s America.” [Youtube].

And:

“Let me tell you something. For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country, because it feels like hope is making a comeback.” [Youtube].

And how could we forget the views she expressed to The New Yorker:

[Michelle] Obama begins with a broad assessment of life in America in 2008, and life is not good: we’re a divided country, we’re a country that is “just downright mean,” we are “guided by fear,” we’re a nation of cynics, sloths, and complacents. “We have become a nation of struggling folks who are barely making it every day,” she said, as heads bobbed in the pews. “Folks are just jammed up, and it’s gotten worse over my lifetime. And, doggone it, I’m young. Forty-four!”

And let us nor forget that Michelle and Barack – like many Americans – found themselves a church that represented their views about life and the world:

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,” he said in a 2003 sermon. “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 addition to damning America, he told his congregation on the Sunday after Sept. 11, 2001 that the United States had brought on al Qaeda’s attacks because of its own terrorism.

“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,” Rev. Wright said in a sermon on Sept. 16, 2001.

“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,” he told his congregation.

I’m sure many of you mothers can imagine the joy of taking your young kids to hear such sermons. If so, then Michelle will resonate with you.

There’s an amazing treasure trove of good old fashioned American spirituality to draw from in Barack and Michelle’s longtime pastor and spiritual mentor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

I hope this helped round out the DNC presentation.

I’m sure Michelle will mean to tell us tell us all this stuff about herself, but in all the excitement, she may forget. Don’t worry, Michelle; I’ve got your back!

Obama’s Breaking Promise On Campaign Finance Just One More Lie

June 23, 2008

A few news articles frame the story better than I could:

Barack Obama made it official today: He has decided to forego federal matching funds for the general election, thereby allowing his campaign to raise and spend as much as possible.

By so doing, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee becomes the first candidate to reject public funds for the general election. The current system was created in 1976 in reaction to the Watergate scandal.

In a video e-mail sent to supporters, Obama said he was opting out of public financing because the system “is broken, and we face opponents who’ve become masters at gaming this broken system.”

The nastiest liars have always have that extra little bit of sheer chutzpah that allows them to blame the other guy for why they break their promises. “Ignore the fact that I am openly going back on my promise. Somehow it’s my opponent’s fault. You really should understand that I am the victim here.”

Just 12 months ago, Senator Barack Obama presented himself as an idealistic upstart taking on the Democratic fund-raising juggernaut behind Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

That was when Mr. Obama proposed a novel challenge aimed at limiting the corrupting influence of money on the race: If he won the nomination, he would limit himself to spending only the $85 million available in public financing between the convention and Election Day as long as his Republican opponent did the same.

When Obama was the guy who wasn’t raising all the campaign contribution dough, he was high-and-mighty hoity-toity self-righteous in trying to get everyone to agree to limit their fund raising so he could compete with the big boys.

In November 2007, Obama answered “Yes” to Common Cause [and to a questionnaire by the Midwest Democracy Network] when asked “If you are nominated for President in 2008 and your major opponents agree to forgo private funding in the general election campaign, will you participate in the presidential public financing system?”

Obama wrote: “In February 2007, I proposed a novel way to preserve the strength of the public financing system in the 2008 election. My plan requires both major party candidates to agree on a fundraising truce, return excess money from donors, and stay within the public financing system for the general election. My proposal followed announcements by some presidential candidates that they would forgo public financing so they could raise unlimited funds in the general election. The Federal Election Commission ruled the proposal legal, and Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has already pledged to accept this fundraising pledge. If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.”

Not so “aggressively,” according to the McCain campaign, which argues that Obama did not discuss this or try to negotiate at all with the McCain campaign, despite writing that he would “aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.”

Michael Dobbs, the Washington Post‘s esteemed Fact Checker, wrote, “Obama’s affirmative answer to the Midwest Democracy Network seems unequivocal,” Dobbs writes. “Now that Obama is raising $1 million a day, his enthusiasm for public financing appears to have waned.”

Barack Obama isn’t just a hypocritical liar; he’s a self-righteous hypocritical liar, which is the very worst kind. It’s bad enough when someone breaks his promises, but when he does it with a smarmy “holier-than-thou” attitude, that’s when you know you’ve got the rarest breed of demagogue on your hands.

This isn’t the first time Barack Obama has promised one thing, and then done the complete opposite. The man began his presidential run by breaking his promise, as a transcript from Meet the Press reveals:

MR. RUSSERT: Well, nine months ago, you were on this program and I asked you about running for president. And let’s watch and come back and talk about it.

(Videotape, January 22, 2006):

MR. RUSSERT: When we talked back in November of ‘04, after your election, I said, “There’s been enormous speculation about your political future. Will you serve your full six-year term as a United States senator from Illinois?” Obama: “Absolutely.”

SEN. OBAMA: I will serve out my full six-year term. You know, Tim, if you get asked enough, sooner or later you get weary and you start looking for new ways of saying things, but my thinking has not changed.

MR. RUSSERT: But, but—so you will not run for president or vice president in 2008?

SEN. OBAMA: I will not.

(End videotape)

MR. RUSSERT: You will not.

Every politician does some flip flopping and reconsideration of formerly-held positions. Believe me, in his short political career, Barack Obama has accumulated a whopping load more than his fair share. But it’s one thing to change your position in the proverbial “flip flop,” and quite another thing to flat-out break your word. Doing the former shows you are responding to the changing nature of the political climate; doing the latter shows you are a bald-faced liar.

For example, had John McCain said of his earlier position not to allow offshore drilling, “I will never change my position on this. Count on it.” That would have been tantamount to a lie.

Barack Obama is a demonstrated, documented liar. The guy who began his career undermining a clearly more popular candidate by using every cheap tactic to get the signatures of voters thrown out is now cynically, deceitfully, and despicably presenting himself as the candidate of “hope” and “change.”

Let’s take a moment to look at some of Obama’s more famous recent flip flops.

We can remember Obama pledging that he would meet with leaders of the very worst regimes on earth without preconditions, and then subsequently “clarifying” his remarks with so many caveats and qualifications that his position became identical to the Bush-position which he had originally demonized in the first place.

We can remember Obama claiming that Iran didn’t pose a serious threat to the United States, to (when confronted with the stupidity of his view) saying “Iran is a grave threat. It has an illicit nuclear program. It supports terrorism across the region and militias in Iraq. It threatens Israel’s existence. It denies the Holocaust…”

Glenn Kessler wrote a story titled, “Obama Clarifies Remarks on Jerusalem“:

Facing criticism from Palestinians, Sen. Barack Obama acknowledged today that the status of Jerusalem will need to be negotiated in future peace talks, amending a statement earlier in the week that Jerusalem “must remain undivided.”

Obama, during a speech Wednesday to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-israel lobbying group, had called for Jerusalem to become the site of the U.S. embassy, a frequent pledge for U.S. presidential candidates. (It is now in Tel Aviv.) But his statement that Jerusalem should be the undivided capital of Israel drew a swift rebuke from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

If “clarifying your remarks” means saying the exact opposite thing to what one had said before, then I suppose we can say Obama “clarified.” But given the fact that he told a Jewish audience exactly what it wanted to hear, and then almost immediately afterward told an Arab audience exactly what it wanted to hear, I would use a different verb such as “pandered” and “lied.”

Considering the fact that there is a real probability that World War III will be fought over the status of Jerusalem, and considering that our next armed conflict will likely be with Iran, I dare say that these “flip flips” are NOT trivial issues. He has repeatedly trivialized the most important issues of our time with his back-tracking and pandering nonsense.

Doing a google search, I quickly found other flip-flops, some big, some little:

1. Special interests In January, the Obama campaign described union contributions to the campaigns of Clinton and John Edwards as “special interest” money. Obama changed his tune as he began gathering his own union endorsements. He now refers respectfully to unions as the representatives of “working people” and says he is “thrilled” by their support.

2. Public financing Obama replied “yes” in September 2007 when asked if he would agree to public financing of the presidential election if his GOP opponent did the same. Obama has now attached several conditions to such an agreement, including regulating spending by outside groups. His spokesman says the candidate never committed himself on the matter.

3. The Cuba embargo In January 2004, Obama said it was time “to end the embargo with Cuba” because it had “utterly failed in the effort to overthrow Castro.” Speaking to a Cuban American audience in Miami in August 2007, he said he would not “take off the embargo” as president because it is “an important inducement for change.”

4. Illegal immigration In a March 2004 questionnaire, Obama was asked if the government should “crack down on businesses that hire illegal immigrants.” He replied “Oppose.” In a Jan. 31, 2008, televised debate, he said that “we do have to crack down on those employers that are taking advantage of the situation.”

5. Decriminalization of marijuana While running for the U.S. Senate in January 2004, Obama told Illinois college students that he supported eliminating criminal penalties for marijuana use. In the Oct. 30, 2007, presidential debate, he joined other Democratic candidates in opposing the decriminalization of marijuana.

Believe me, this is a short list.  One site I came across provides a long litany of lies, flip-flops, and disingenuous use of language. The author is clearly partisan, but he backed up his smack-talk with plenty of sourced research.

Apart from the sheer, vile, despicable nature of Barack Obama’s 23-year relationship with Jeremiah Wright and Trinity United Church – which offended me enough to get involved in politics – the thing that most bothers me about Barack Obama is that he has taken this above-it-all, lofty, holier-than-thou approach as the “new politician” when he is every bit the scheming, manipulating, lying, lowdown, snake-in-the-grass politician from the shadiest tradition of rotten Chicago politics.

Obama Leaves Trinity 23 Years Too Late To Matter

June 2, 2008

Well, Barack Obama has left Trinity United Church. He has demonstrated that he is morally qualified to be president.

Oops. It’s 2008, and NOT 1985, when the move would have demonstrated that he actually had a functioning moral compass.

Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago was no more toxic last Sunday than it was over twenty-three years ago when a young Barack Obama first arrived. In his 1993 memoir “Dreams from My Father,” Barack Obama recalled a vivid description recalling his first meeting with Wright back in 1985. The Rev. Wright warned Barack Obama that getting involved with Trinity might turn off other black clergy because of the church’s radical reputation. It’s not that Obama didn’t know about the radicalism at Trinity. It’s that he didn’t care.

Obama has said that Jeremiah Wright was instrumental in attracting him to the church he joined and has acknowledged he titled his book, “The Audacity of Hope,” after one of Wright’s sermons. One of Wright’s sermons, “The Audacity to Hope,” was so inspiring to Obama that he titled his book “The Audacity of Hope” after it. That message, by the way, contained the phrase, “white greed drives a world in need.”

So you can only imagine how Jeremiah Wright must have felt when Barack Obama threw him under the bus and denounced his views when they were the exact same views he had been preaching the day Obama came to the church 23 years before. Obama was fine with them before they became national public knowledge, and disapproving of them after. But Wright had been preaching the same message when he married Barack and Michelle Obama; he’d been preaching the same message when he baptized their daughters; he’d been preaching the same message when Barack Obama asked him to serve on his campaign’s spiritual leadership council. And in point of fact, he had been preaching the same message the day Barack Obama dis-invited him to speak at the event announcing his candidacy for president.

Of Jeremiah Wright and Barack Obama, one of these men has been consistent his entire career; and that man has been Jeremiah Wright, not Barack Obama. Jeremiah Wright didn’t just begin saying this stuff at age 72; he’s been preaching the same message to the same choir for well over thirty years. Does anyone actually believe that Jeremiah Wright just discovered his message?

Wright spoke out to defend himself and the views he had held over his long career in ministry. He said that Obama was denouncing him because he was a politician, and was saying things that politicians say and doing what politicians do. Obama attacked the man who he had once so proudly endorsed as his spiritual mentor following that revelation, saying, “What I think particularly angered me was his suggestion somehow that my previous denunciation of his remarks were somehow political posturing.”

Which is, of course, exactly the sort of thing that would make a posturing political demagogue angry.

With this prelude, let me interact with Barack Obama’s press conference announcing his withdrawal of membership from Trinity. But let me begin by asking the questions that pointedly WEREN’T asked at the press conference:

* How on earth can you possibly justify having remained in that church environment for 23 years?

* Are you suggesting that Jeremiah Wright just recently discovered these views, and in no way harbored them all along?

* How can you have endorsed Jeremiah Wright, calling him your spiritual adviser, your uncle, your mentor, your moral compass, and then disavow this man who has been preaching the same message all along? How are you not responsible for his teachings and views when you so completely endorsed the man for so many years? What about other friends and spiritual advisors you have similarly endorsed over a period of years, such as Rev. Michael Pfleger? What about Rev. Otis Moss, who you again endorsed this very day? He embraced Pfleger as a friend of Trinity, and then specifically thanked God for Pfleger’s hateful remarks immediately after he made them! How on earth can you claim not to in any way be responsible for these peoples’ views when you have endorsed the people who have been saying these things for years?

* Do you endorse Malcom X and Louis Farrakhan as your church has officially done? Why on earth would you remain in a church that would endorse such figures of hate and divisiveness?

* As an ostensible intellectual, are you completely ignorant of the teachings of the black liberation theology embraced by Trinity? Are you ignorant of where it derived from or what it represents? How do you – as a self-acknowledged intelligent man – justify sitting under the teaching of what is clearly a blatantly racist and anti-American theology?

Now let us look at Obama’s version of reality in his leaving Trinity Church as given in his prepared remarks:

We have many friends among the 8,000 congregants who attend there. We are proud of the extraordinary works that the church continues to perform throughout the community, to help the hungry, and the homeless and people in need of medical care.

I have tremendous regard for the great young pastor who has taken over – Rev. Moss – and continue to admire the work that Rev. Wright did in building up the church. But it’s clear that now that I’m a candidate for president, every time something is said in the church by anyone associated with Trinity – including guest pastors – the remarks will be imputed to me even if they totally conflict with my long held views, statements, and principles.

We obviously saw an example of that in the recent statements by Father Pfleger, who is someone I have known, who I consider a friend, who has done tremendous work in Chicago, but made offensive statements that had no place in our politics and in the pulpit; that unfairly mocked and characterized Senator Clinton in ways that I think are unacceptable.

It’s also clear that Rev. Moss and the Church had been suffering from all the tension my campaign has visited on them. We’ve had news organizations harassing members at their homes and their work places. We had reporters grabbing church bulletins and calling up the sick and the shut-in in an attempt to get news about the church. We’ve had news organizations scrutinizing Rev. Moss’s sermons and attempting to make political hay out of even the most innocuous or innocent remarks by him. That’s just not how people should have to operate in their church. It’s not fair to the other members of the church who seek to worship in peace.

Barack Obama speaks of the politicization and news coverage of his church as though both he and the church are somehow victims. It is true that no president in recent memory has ever had his church become such an issue. But, in the words of Rolling Stone Magazine (which is liberal to its core):

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 senator “affirmed” his Christian faith in this church; he uses Wright as a “sounding board” to “make sure I’m not losing myself in the hype and hoopla.” Both the title of Obama’s second book, The Audacity of Hope, and the theme for his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 come from Wright’s sermons. “If you want to understand where Barack gets his feeling and rhetoric from,” says the Rev. Jim Wallis, a leader of the religious left, “just look at Jeremiah Wright.”

The thing that makes Trinity United Church so incredibly relevant politically is because it is 1) such an intensely radical church environment, and 2) because Barack Obama is so intimately connected with a pastor who has been demonstrated to be a purveyor of anti-Americansism and racial hatred. You’re just not going to find anything like that in an examination of the church affiliations of John McCain, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and on and on. None of our presidents who have come before would ever have dreamed of joining such a radical church, or so deeply embracing such divisive pastors.

As I have pointed out before:

When Jeremiah Wright talked about “white greed” in his now-famous “Audacity of Hope” message, he was perfectly expounding on black liberation thought. When he claimed that white America deliberately created the AIDS virus as a genocide against blacks, he was accurately exegeting black liberation ideology of class based warfare against the oppressed black class. Or, expressed negatively, when he said that anti-crack cocaine penalties were instituted by racist legislators for the purpose of incarcerating as many blacks as possible, how was that in any way contrary to his central theological beliefs? When Wright denounced Israel as a Zionist state that imposed “injustice and … racism” on Palestinians, how was this not in perfect accord with his theology? When Wright railed against “AmeriKKKa” in his sermons, just how was that contrary to black liberation thought? And when Wright lectured American society that it deserved 9/11, was this in any way out of bounds with either the teachings of black liberation theologians or the Marxism from which they derived their message?

As for his “many friends among the 8,000 congregants who attend” at Trinity, is Barack Obama referring to those thousands of cheering congregants who gave the hate of Michael Pfleger a standing ovation, and who similarly rose to cheer the rants of Jeremiah Wright? Michael Pfleger, by the way, is not merely a “guest speaker,” but a regular speaker at Trinity. Was he referring to the Rev. Otis Moss, who called Pfleger a “brother beloved, he is a preacher par-excellence, he is a prophetic powerful pulpiteer” before his message and said “We thank God for the message, and we thank God for the messenger. We thank God for Father Michael Pfleger. We thank God for Father Mike” after the message? How on earth could Barack Obama continue to call Otis Moss a wonderful young pastor and speak of his tremendous regard for this man who so embraced and applauded anti-American hate and anti-white racism?

In the same message in which Pfleger mocked Hillary Clinton and spoke of her feeling that she was entitled to the presidency because she was white – and that many white Americans were crying with her – Pfleger also said, “Racism is still America’s greatest addiction. I also believe that America is the greatest sin against God.”

And I cannot help but watch and read Barack Obama’s statements – as well as the Democrat’s embrace of this man – with stunned amazement. He is not outraged by the statements themselves as much as he is offended that they have been broadcast and covered in a way harmful to his candidacy. There is simply an appalling lack of outrage over appallingly outrageous statements that we now know so thoroughly characterize the life and soul of his church.

Obama said, “I am not denouncing the church. I am not interested in people who want me to denounce the church because it’s not a church worthy of denouncing. And so if they’ve seen caricatures of the church and accept those caricatures despite my insistence that’s not what the church is about, then there’s not much I can do about it.”

Obama’s description of “caricatures” hearkens to his previous statements that his pastors’ views had been taken out of context in endless loops. But we now know that the views we have heard are neither caricatures or statements out of context: rather, Wright defended them one by one, and they accurately represent the pastor’s position. Furthermore, the church congregation that embraced these radical preachers wildly cheered and applauded all these terrible remarks – including the very worst ones. How one earth does one NOT find all the church worthy of denunciation?

And Obama said, “I have to say this was one I didn’t see coming. We knew there were going to be some things we didn’t see coming. This was one. I didn’t anticipate my fairly conventional Christian faith being subject to such challenge and such scrutiny,” said Obama. He said it has been months since he has been at the church, on Chicago’s South Side. “I did not anticipate my fairly conventional Christian faith being subjected to such…scrutiny.”

I ask, how can a candidate for the highest office in the world be so uncomprehending? How can he show such idiotic personal judgment? How can he even condemn these remarks when he sees them as “conventional”? There is no question that he is taking a whining tone here; it’s not that outright offensive vile hate was coming out of the church; it’s that he didn’t anticipate his “fairly” conventional Christian faith being subjective to scrutiny. He still doesn’t get it. He has said he disapproves of or disagrees with the remarks that now number in the dozens; but there is simply no demonstration even yet that he was genuinely offended by anything other than the attention these many statements of hate received.

Obama’s defenders have analogized the toxic environment of Trinity with the revelations of the sex abuse of priests in the Catholic Church. But there is no similarity, unless the priests in mass after mass shouted out that they were abusing young teenage boys as the crowds screamed and applauded their approval. The abuses occurred in secret, and their revelation brought outrage; the sermons of Jeremiah Wright (and now Michael Pfleger) occurred at the pulpit in the midst of a cheering congregation.

Similarly, Obama’s defenders have attempted to create a moral equivelence between Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright and Michael Pfleger and John McCain and John Hagee and Rod Parsely. Again, come on! McCain barely knew these men. They weren’t his friends. They weren’t his “spiritual advisors.” They didn’t marry him or baptize his daughters. McCain didn’t write books named after their sermons. And McCain didn’t endorse them – as Barack Obama has specifically endorsed his growing list of radical reverends – they endorsed him. Only fools would accept such a ridiculous comparison.

And Obama’s defenders have said that a candidate for president ought to be able to hear divergent and even divisive views without having those views ascribed to that candidate. Obama himself said, “I do think that there is certainly a tradition in the African American church, but I think there’s a tradition in a lot of churches, to speak out about injustice, to speak out against issues like racism or sexism or economic inequality. And, you know, my hope would be that pastors who — well, let me put it this way. My hope would be that any presidential candidate can go to a church and hear a sermon and even hear some controversial statements without those views being imputed to them and being subject to the same exacting political tests that a presidential candidate or that presidential candidate’s statements would be.”

But then let all the people who hold this view go to a white supremacist church and listen to their views for 23 years. Let them bring their families into this environment, and let them say of the white supremacist church pastors what Obama has said of the radical pastors of his own church. You know that they would never do this, because they could not stomach the message. The point is that Obama – and these knee-jerk liberals who are defending him – do and have affirmed the radical, racist, anti-American message of Trinity United Church. Obama’s membership is no big deal to such people simply because don’t have a problem with the church’s teachings.

This is a church and a pastoral leadership affirmed by the church that has embraced the person and teachings of Louis Farrakhan and his Nation of Islam. It is a church whose poison has repeatedly been demonstrated for everyone to see. And anyone who would tolerate such an environment for any length of time has no business of ever being a president of the United States.

Oprah Left Trinity Church; Why Wouldn’t Obama?

May 31, 2008

You’ve heard the litany of terrible remarks that Jeremiah Wright has made from his pulpit at Trinity United Church:

“White greed drives world need.”

“The government gives them [African Americans] 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.”

“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 into our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”

“We’ve got more black men in prison than there are in college,” he said. “Racism is alive and well. Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run. No black man will ever be considered for president, no matter how hard you run Jesse [Jackson] and no black woman can ever be considered for anything outside what she can give with her body.”

“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 (Nelson) 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.”

“We started the AIDS virus. … We are only able to maintain our level of living by making sure that Third World people live in grinding poverty.”

“The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. The government lied.”

“We supported Zionism shamelessly while ignoring the Palestinians and branding anybody who spoke out against it as being anti-Semitic. … We care nothing about human life if the end justifies the means. …”

That kind of thing.

It turns out that there are – contrary to all the liberal explanations, counter-denunciations, (and my personal favorite: “context”) – people who were actually offended by such remarks.

One of them, it turns out, is Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah never made a big deal about her membership (two years: from 1984-86), and she never made a big deal about leaving the church (most likely because she didn’t want people like me to make a big deal out of it).

But Oprah left because – as a Newsweek article reports – she realized that “Something Wasn’t Wright” at Trinity United.

The 12 May 2008 issue article by Allison Samuels says:

Winfrey was a member of Trinity United from 1984 to 1986, and she continued to attend off and on into the early to the mid-1990s. But then she stopped. A major reason—but by no means the only reason—was the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

According to two sources, Winfrey was never comfortable with the tone of Wright’s more incendiary sermons, which she knew had the power to damage her standing as America’s favorite daytime talk-show host. “Oprah is a businesswoman, first and foremost,” said one longtime friend, who requested anonymity when discussing Winfrey’s personal sentiments. “She’s always been aware that her audience is very mainstream, and doing anything to offend them just wouldn’t be smart. She’s been around black churches all her life, so Reverend Wright’s anger-filled message didn’t surprise her. But it just wasn’t what she was looking for in a church.”Oprah’s decision to distance herself came as a surprise to Wright, who told Christianity Today in 2002 that when he would “run into her socially … she would say, ‘Here’s my pastor!’ ” (Winfrey declined to comment. A Harpo Productions spokesperson would not confirm her reasons for leaving the church.)

So she’s been gone for something on the order of twelve or thirteen years. She was only a member for two, and she began to become aware that her national television audience – which was mostly women and mostly liberal – would be offended by the tone of way too many of Jeremiah Wright’s sermons for Oprah to be comfortable.

One of the things conservatives have been pointing out over and over is that the Wright comments such as the ones I have posted above were by no means “infrequent” or “out of context.” They were entirely representative of his black liberation theology. You wouldn’t expect him to say anything else!

He’s been saying radical, controversial, racist, and hateful stuff for decades. He was saying it in the 1980s, when Oprah Winfrey began to attend. He was still saying in the 1990’s, when she stopped attending. And you darn well better know by now that he’s been saying it it in the new millennium. He chose no less an occasion than the Sunday following 9/11 to deliver one of his most anti-American sermons of all.

You have to be driven by such a desperately flawed ideology that you are totally unable to understand the real world in order not to realize that. In other words, you literally have to have willed yourself to be stupid not to comprehend that Jeremiah Wright is not only radical, but radically toxic.

And Wright himself blew up the notion that he had been taken out of context when he chose to defend every single one of his statements in numerous media appearances.

The amazing thing is that Barack Obama refused to genuinely renounce Wright until his now-former pastor may have said (for Obama) the most offensive thing of all: that Barack Obama was a politician who does what politicians have to do and says what politicians have to say.

Now, from the sounds of it, Oprah Winfrey left not so much because her moral compass was offended, but because her rational, businesswoman’s sense was offended. But the point is that she knew YEARS ago that the stuff that was coming out of Trinity United was radioactive, and she didn’t want her boat being docked to that kind of outrage.

What on earth is wrong with Barack Obama’s character and judgment that he didn’t long ago come to the same conclusion?

Obama’s Hypocritical Denunciation of Wright Is Too Little, Too Late

April 30, 2008

Barack Obama has decided it was time to pack up the campaign bus and move on. But before pulling out this time, Obama finally decided to throw his pastor under it.

I am outraged by the comments that were made and saddened by the spectacle that we saw yesterday,” Obama said in a last-minute press conference today. The candidate said that after watching Wright’s appearance from Monday, “What became clear to me was that he was presenting a world view that contradicts what I am and what I stand for.”

I’d sure like to know whether Barack Obama was in his church – as so many Americans were – the Sunday following 9/11 when Wright offered one of his most inflammatory ravings of all. But this issue has exploded beyond such questions.

It’s frankly way past time Obama repudiated Jeremiah Wright. He should never have attended the extremely radicalized Trinity United Church in Chicago in the first place. He should have walked away in outrage twenty years ago.

Given full, repeated opportunites to show how he had been “taken out of context,” Jeremiah Wright instead demonstrated that he stood by every “sound bite” he had spoken exactly as it had been depicted. He does believe America is a terrorist nation who deserves terrorist attacks to be directed against it. He does believe that white America created AIDS as a genocide against people of color. He didn’t back away or in any way change the context of any of his radical statements.

By speaking out, Rev. Jeremiah Wright reveals that the “spin” that much of the media – and Barack Obama himself – had been putting on the story for the last couple months was a flat-out lie. These were not sound bites taken out of context. It was malicious to claim that Wright’s sermons had been deliberately taken out of context, because the charge was an attempt to assasinate the characters and reputations of men and women who are now revealed to have been right all the time.

You may despise Fox News’ Sean Hannity and love PBS’ Bill Moyers, but Hannity has been demonstrated to be the objective source, and Moyers the biased ideologue.

Conservatives keep saying that the elite media is biased to the left, and the elite media keeps proving that the allegation is completely true. You have only to go back and review every story that characterized Jeremiah Wright’s remarks as “soundbites” and “thirty second loops” spun “out of context” to see that the media was doing its own spinning out of a pro-liberal and pro-Obama agenda.

For the most part, there was simply no possible context that could have made most of these remarks palatable. America with three Ks, America as a terrorist state, America as a racist developer of genocidal death-viruses. Good luck with that, “What-the-Reverend-really-meant-to-say”-project.

But we still have another spin on this story. We still have the excuse that somehow Barack Obama never heard any of this stuff, and just didn’t know it was going on for all these years.

I can see it now:

Several thousand people settle into their pews as the worship team finishes leading the music.  Rev. Wright steps into the pulpit  to preach. The auditorium quiets down.

“Is he here?” The doormen charged with monitoring Barack Obama’s attendance shake their heads.

“Well, then, 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. 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.! 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!”

And then a security radio crackles in with a report that Barack Obama has driven in and is walking toward the auditorium.

“And Jesus said, love your enemies. Do good to them that hate you,” Wright sweetly and sublimely preaches as Obama files in and takes a pew.

The rest of the congregation smiles knowlingly. And the vast conspiracy, which has succeeded in keeping Barack Obama completely in the dark for twenty years, has succeeded yet again.

The problem with this scenario is that the facts simply say otherwise. Allow me to quote myself from 19 April:

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 he 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 last year, he essentially told his pastor that he was too extreme for Barack to openly associate himself with him.  Obama knew.

When the video of Rev. Wright’s hateful, racist, anti-American rants first became public, the Obama campaign indignantly indicated that there was nothing worthy of bothering itself about. They had no problem with anything Wright had said. Later in the day, as the video of the ranting pastor spread, the campaign offered a lame dodge. A little after that, Obama himself offered that he’s never heard any of the remarks. Then he gave his speech saying, “I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother — a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.”

And, of course, the left-leaning media swooned over the speech.

Well, I guess now he’s disowning the black church.  Sorry grandma. You gotta go.

Obama personally records the warning that Wright gave him about the church’s radicalism. The only thing that changed since that day in 1985 was that Barack Obama’s political ambitions have grown to the point where his twenty-year “association” (a word the liberal media loves to use to imply a bogus “guilt by association”) is no longer expedient for a man who had used the influence of Trinity United and its pastor to climb the ladder in Chicago politics. Obama had found the church offered him street credibility with common black folk as well as powerful local connections. And now he finds it politically expedient to bite the hand that fed him.

Obama chooses some interesting words to describe his reason for distancing himself from Wright. “What became clear to me was that he was presenting a world view that contradicts what I am and what I stand for.”

Jeremiah Wright’s worldview has not changed. He is presenting the same worldview that he has been presenting for twenty years.

Let me quote myself again from 15 April, and note that I specifically refer to Jeremiah Wright’s worldview:

When revelations of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s racist, anti-American remarks first began to surface, Democratic supporters of Barack Obama quickly claimed that these were just a few comments that were taken out of context. But when one considers black liberation theology, and when one listens to the words of numerous other black liberation theology theologians, this defense quickly becomes untenable.

When Jeremiah Wright talked about “white greed” in his now-famous “Audacity of Hope” message, he was perfectly expounding on black liberation thought. When he claimed that white America deliberately created the AIDS virus as a genocide against blacks, he was accurately exegeting black liberation ideology of class based warfare against the oppressed black class. Or, expressed negatively, when he said that anti-crack cocaine penalties were instituted by racist legislators for the purpose of incarcerating as many blacks as possible, how was that in any way contrary to his central theological beliefs? When Wright denounced Israel as a Zionist state that imposed “injustice and … racism” on Palestinians, how was this not in perfect accord with his theology? When Wright railed against “AmeriKKKa” in his sermons, just how was that contrary to black liberation thought? And when Wright lectured American society that it deserved 9/11, was this in any way out of bounds with either the teachings of black liberation theologians or the Marxism from which they derived their message?

Has Barack Obama, the Harvard Law School graduate, the former editor of the Harvard Law Review, and full-fledged elitist intellectual snob, somehow been totally unaware of black liberation theology? Was he totally unaware of the teachings of his church? Was he completely ignorant of the beliefs of the man who led him to his faith, who married him, who bapatized his children, and who taught him and mentored him for twenty years?

Get real.

Now the Obama campaign is pitching itself as the poor victim of this crazy Jeremiah Wright. And the media is just gobbling it up. But a New York Post story coming out today quotes a source that is problably closer to the mark; that the pastor felt betrayed by a man who had once embraced him as a friend, a mentor, and a spiritual guide. That the pastor feels betrayed that Obama is now distancing himself from views that he knew Wright had had for years and years.

Joe Scarborough is claiming that now that Obama has finally come out and denounced Wright that no one can bring this up any more, as though by sheer brute force of ultra-left-wing will can overcome every question and doubt that this relationship so justifiably raises. What is this guy putting in his coffee?

The media spins, and most of the media spins fast and furiously left. But the truth of the matter is that Barack Obama’s central campaign theme is, and has always been, a fraud. There’s nothing new about him, he isn’t the candidate of hope, and the change he will bring will only be for the worse.

Barack Obama’s close and long-term relationship with Jeremiah Wright calls his character, his honesty, his integrity, and his own beliefs into open question. Should we believe his current campaign spin, or should we believe his actions over the last twenty years?

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.