March 18, 2008

Does Barack Obama’s religion matter? [Karl]

Earlier today, Barack Obama gave a major speech, ostensibly to to contain the damage from noxious and hateful comments made by his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.  The first notable aspect of the speech is how little of the speech was actually devoted to the controversy surrounding Wright, Obama’s church and its theology.  Indeed, almost everything Obama said about Wright merely repeated Obama’s prior defenses, with a notable exception which will be explored shortly.

The second notable aspect of the speech is how much of the parts of the speech devoted to those topics — and to other race issues — exploited racial division, even as Obama suggested that voting for him would mark a great leap forward in race relations.  For example, Obama referred not once but twice twice to white people being angry about their jobs being shipped overseas.  Apparently, Obama finds it acceptable to stoke grievances against brown and yellow people in other countries to exploit working-class white voters.

Obama’s sense of proportion on racial matters was revealed as well, as he posited a spectrum of divisiveness occupied on one end by his own pastor, who has repeatedly race-baited and made the most vile anti-American comments — and occupied on the other end by former Democratic Veep nominee Geraldine Ferraro, who suggested that “if Obama was a white man, he would not be” the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination.  Ferraro’s comment is debatable, and seemingly shared by people like Shelby Steele, suggesting the comparison is more than a stretch. 

However, given that Obama placed Rev. Wright at one end of that spectrum, his comments on Wright and his church are all the more telling:

Like other predominantly black churches across the country, Trinity embodies the black community in its entirety – the doctor and the welfare mom, the model student and the former gang-banger. Like other black churches, Trinity’s services are full of raucous laughter and sometimes bawdy humor. They are full of dancing, clapping, screaming and shouting that may seem jarring to the untrained ear. The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love and yes, the bitterness and bias that make up the black experience in America.

And this helps explain, perhaps, my relationship with Reverend Wright. As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children. 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. He contains within him the contradictions – the good and the bad – of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community.

This is grossly condescending to white Americans, who are fully aware that historically black church services may include dancing, clapping, screaming and shouting — just as some predominantly white churches do.  What distinguished Trinity was the hateful and paranoid comments of the Rev. Wright and the apparently joyful reaction of his congregation to them. Indeed, Tom Maguire notes that after the speech, MSNBC presented black ministers who insisted that Wright is way out of the mainstream, and that most black churches preach a more traditional Christian message of love.  That Obama insists on claiming Wright is like part of his family whom he cannot disown, when he self-evidently chose the association — and that he compares Wright to “the entire black community” tells Obama’s audience much more about Obama than about Wright or the black community.

In light of Obama’s refusal to disassociate himself from Wright, Obama’s supporters must ask themselves what it is about Wright that drew Obama inexorably into Wright’s orbit if it is not Wright’s most extreme comments.  On this point, Obama said this:

But the truth is, that isn’t all that I know of the man. The man I met more than 20 years ago is a man who helped introduce me to my Christian faith, a man who spoke to me about our obligations to love one another; to care for the sick and lift up the poor.

He is a man who served his country as a U.S. Marine, who has studied and lectured at some of the finest universities and seminaries in the country, and who for over thirty years led a church that serves the community by doing God’s work here on Earth — by housing the homeless, ministering to the needy, providing day care services and scholarships and prison ministries, and reaching out to those suffering from HIV/AIDS.

In my first book, “Dreams From My Father,” I described the experience of my first service at Trinity:

“People began to shout, to rise from their seats and clap and cry out, a forceful wind carrying the reverend’s voice up into the rafters….And in that single note — hope! — I heard something else; at the foot of that cross, inside the thousands of churches across the city, I imagined the stories of ordinary black people merging with the stories of David and Goliath, Moses and Pharaoh, the Christians in the lion’s den, Ezekiel’s field of dry bones.

“Those stories — of survival, and freedom, and hope — became our story, my story; the blood that had spilled was our blood, the tears our tears; until this black church, on this bright day, seemed once more a vessel carrying the story of a people into future generations and into a larger world.

As it turns out, these comments very closely reflect the theology of Rev. Wright and Trinity — a point Obama chose not to make.  That theology is the subject of this posting. 

In a prior interview with Sean Hannity, the Rev. Wright objected that people were taking his views out of context.   Wright made it abundantly clear that his views must be seen within the context of liberation theology, particularly Black Liberation Theology as formulated by Dr. James H. Cone in the 1960s, as well as the writings of Dwight Hopkins (who, as we will see, a member of Trinity and a professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School).  The transcript also makes clear that neither Hannity nor his co-host Alan Colmes was at all conversant with those theologies.

It would likely be fair to suppose that the vast majority of Americans are not conversant with those theologies.  Thus, there is a great potential for misunderstanding Wright’s beliefs and his church’s theology.  This is true of critics of Wright and Obama, like Hannity.  It is also true of Obama’s defenders, like Andrew Sullivan, who asserts that he can find absolutely no evidence that Obama believes in Black Liberation Theology, even as he admits his ignorance of that theology.

Accordingly, I have endeavored to research these theologies.  I do not pretend to be an expert in theology.  Nor do I pretend to be an expert in hermeneutics, a field that turns out to be directly relevant to these issues.  Our esteemed host, Jeff Goldstein, is far more knowledgable in that field.  However, I think I can say that I now know more about them — and Obama’s attitude toward them — than any number of Obama critics or defenders in the establishment media.  What follows is some of what I have learned to date about liberation theology (about which I already had some knowledge), Black Liberation Theology, Obama’s church and Obama’s attitude toward his church and its theology.

In order to encourage you to read through the rather lengthy exposition which follows, I will share one conclusion upfront.  The ultimate questions which many rightly ask — is Barack Obama’s church relevant to his candidacy and if so, how — have been almost as obscured as they have been revealed by the establishment media’s focus on the Rev. Wright’s more outrageous comments from the pulpit.  The foundation of these theologies raise a very serious question about Obama’s candidacy which the media cannot address without an effort to understand it.

Liberation theology is a hermeneutics of various faiths, primarily Christianity, though some have applied it to Judaism as well.  Liberation theology is concerned with viewing one’s faith through a prism drawing many elements from Marxist socialism (omitting the atheism, obviously).  The term “liberation theology” was coined by Gustavo Gutiérrez, a Catholic priest who employed Marx’s critiques of ideology, class, and capitalism as part of his theological analysis of how Christianity should be used to make people’s lives better on Earth now, rather than simply offer them hope of rewards in heaven.

Surprisingly, the Wikipedia entry on the subject is not terrible in its overview:

The main methodological innovation of liberation theology is to approach theology from the viewpoint of the economically poor and oppressed. According to Jon Sobrino, S.J., the poor are a privileged channel of God’s grace. According to Phillip Berryman, liberation theology is “an interpretation of Christian faith through the poor’s suffering, their struggle and hope, and a critique of society and the Catholic faith and Christianity through the eyes of the poor.”

Emphasis is placed on those parts of the Bible where Jesus’ mission is described not in terms of bringing peace (social order) but bringing a sword (social unrest), e.g. Matthew 10:34, Luke 22:35-38 and Matthew 26:51-52. These passages are interpreted as a call to arms to carry out what proponents see as a Christian mission of justice — literally by some. Marxist concepts such as the doctrine of perpetual class struggle are also significant.

Liberation theology also emphasizes what proponents describe as individual self-actualization as part of God’s divine purpose for humankind.

In addition to teaching at some Roman Catholic universities and seminaries, liberation theologians can often be found in Protestant-oriented schools. They tend to have considerable contact with the poor and interpret sacred scripture partly based on their experiences in this context — what they label praxis.

Indeed, it is often said — by supporters and critics alike — that liberation theology emphasizes orthopraxis over orthodoxy.  Those familiar with the history of commuism will recall that Antonio Gramsci called his brand of Marxism a “philosophy of praxis”; there are numerous similarities between liberation theology and Gramscian thought, particularly the desire to persuade Christians to identify themselves according to their economic status. 

Those familiar with our host Jeff Goldstein’s writings on intentionalism will recognize that under the liberation hermeneutic (which makes praxis the first step, and theology the second), the authority of Scripture no longer derives from the plain meaning of the text as commonly understood.  Instead, Scripture takes on whatever meaning an ideologue — or a community of ideologues – chooses to give it.

As Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) wrote in a critique:

Initially we said that liberation theology intends to supply a new total interpretation of the Christian reality; it explains Christianity as a praxis of liberation and sees itself as the guide to this praxis. However, since in its view all reality is political, liberation is also a political concept and the guide to liberation must be a guide to political action…

Conversely, any objection to liberation theology is to be dismissed as an expression of the ruling class’s determination to hold on to its power.  The Cardinal noted the radical shift in interpretive authority that occurs under liberation theology:

Previously it was the Church, namely, the Catholic Church in her totality — a totality which spanned time and space and embraced laity (sensus fidei) and hierarchy (Magisterium) — that constituted the hermeneutical criterion; now it is the “community”. The experience of the “community” determines the understanding and the interpretation of Scripture.

At this juncture. an example of how this interpretive approach does violence to Scripture might be useful.  In liberation theology, the Exodus story is a central paradigm for various revolutionary social movements.  However, the point of the Exodus was not only liberation from slavery under Pharaoh, but also service and obedience to God.  If liberation was the only point, God might have been just fine with the Exodus afterparty featuring Edward G. Robinson and the Golden Calf, but the Bible clearly says otherwise.  Other examples abound (positing collective notions of sin and salvation, etc.), but the purpose here is not to debate specific points as much as to describe the essentially partisan (in the sense that God or Jesus takes the side of the oppressed over that of the oppressor) and political nature of the movement and its method.

Black Liberation Theology is a variation on this basic theme, seeking to foment a similar quasi-Marxist revolutionary fervor based on racial rather than class strife.  It is said by those who espouse it that it has existed for as long as Africans have resisted slavery — and it draws upon a history inlcuding the insurrectionist slave preacher Nat Turner, Henry MacNeal Turner and Marcus Garvey — but it did not emerge as a formal, systemized school of thought until the 1960s, influenced not only by the civil rights movement led by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., but also by the black power movement led by Stokely Carmichael and Malcolm X, which emerged among blacks disenchanted with King’s emphasis on Jesus’ demand to love the enemy. 

It is fair to say that there is no one so identified with Black Liberation Theology than Dr. James H. Cone.

The concept of “blackness” is central to Cone’s work.  In his groundbreaking 1969 book, Black Theology and Black Power,  Cone wrote: “The fact that I am black is my ultimate reality,” and “Black Theology knows no authority more binding than the experience of oppression itself.  This alone must be the ultimate authority in religious matters.”  Cone has been ambiguous about the concept of blackness, sometimes referring to “a particular black-skinned people in America,” at other times asserting it is “an ontological symbol for all people who participate in the liberation of man from oppression.”  People familiar with the past writing of our host, Jeff Goldstein will recognize the latter as the substitution of one pernicious fiction for another.

Cone has also offered varying views of God.  Cone has written that God is “black” in the sense of being identified with the oppressed.  However, Cone later responded to criticism that his work relied too much on that of German Protestant theologian Karl Barth by making “the black experience” central to his theology.

Barth remains an influence, even in that formulation.  As Ron Rhodes, Th.D. notes:

From the above, one may immediately suspect that Cone has a deficient view of the authority of Scripture. Indeed, his view seems very close to the neo-orthodoxy of Karl Barth, as when Cone writes: “It is true that the Bible is not the revelation of God, only Christ is. But it is an indispensable witness to God’s revelation.”[James H. Cone, A Black Theology of Liberation (Philadelphia: J. P. Lippencott, 1970), 66] Moreover, “we should not conclude that the Bible is an infallible witness.”[Ibid., 67] Cone believes the meaning of Scripture is not to be found in the words of Scripture as such, but only in its power to point beyond itself to the reality of God’s “revelation,” which–in America–takes place experientially in God’s liberating work among blacks.

However, as Edward Antonio notes in The Cambridge Companion to Liberation Theology, inasmuch as Cone still acknowledges that the doctrine of God must precede the doctrine of man, the gospel and blackness are ultimately equated with each other, with Cone converting the gospel into an ideology for a black political cause.  (Indeed, in a paper titled “Black Power, Black Theology,” Cone wrote, “Black Theology is the theological arm of Black Power, and Black Power is the political arm of Black Theology.”)  As Antonio writes, after quoting Cone on the essentially subjective nature of his worldview: “Because truth arises out of the historical situation of blacks, and because [Cone believes truth] is subjective, truth is black; it has no objective content other than that given to it by blacks.”

The influence of Barth on Cone is ironic beyond the fact that Barth was white.  Barth’s messianic theology was a reaction to the collapse of 19th Century “liberal theology” in Germany after World War I.  Prof. Mark Lilla  explains:

In modern Britain and the United States, it was assumed that the intellectual, and then institutional, separation of Christianity and modern politics had been mutually beneficial — that the modern state had benefited by being absolved from pronouncing on doctrinal matters, and that Christianity had benefited by being freed from state interference. No such consensus existed in Germany, where the assumption was that religion needed to be publicly encouraged, not reined in, if it was to contribute to society. It would have to be rationally reformed, of course: the Bible would have to be interpreted in light of recent historical findings, belief in miracles abandoned, the clergy educated along modern lines and doctrine adapted to a softer age. But once these reforms were in place, enlightened politics and enlightened religion would join hands.

Protestant liberal theologians dreamt of a third way between Christian orthodoxy and the Great Separation, but this liberal theology failed to inspire younger generations, who ultimately turned fully against it because so many liberal theologians had hastened the arrival of World War I, confident that God was guiding history.  Yet the liberal theologians, by reviving the idea of biblical politics, had primed the German people for even more messianic and apocolyptic theologies.

For example, Barth’s contemporary, Marxist philosopher Ernst Bloch, was an atheist Jew who used the Bible to extol the utopia then under construction in the Soviet Union.  Bloch would ultimately be a great influence on liberation theologists like Gutiérrez.  Yet Cone chose Barth, who ultimately proved an exception among his fellow German Protestants.  As Prof. Lilla recently noted:

[I]t was among young Weimar Protestants that the new messianic spirit proved most consequential. They were led by the greatest theologian of the day, Karl Barth, who wanted to restore the drama of religious decision to Christianity and rejected any accommodation of the Gospel to modern sensibilities. When Hitler came to power, Barth acquitted himself well, leading resistance against the Nazi takeover of the Protestant churches before he was forced into exile in 1935. But others, who employed the same messianic rhetoric Barth did, chose the Nazis instead…

All of which served to confirm Hobbes’s iron law: Messianic theology eventually breeds messianic politics.

Cone’s theology often bears more resemblance to Barth’s fallen contemporaries, as noted by “Spengler” in the Asia Times:

Theologically, Cone’s argument is as silly as the “Aryan Christianity” popular in Nazi Germany, which claimed that Jesus was not a Jew at all but an Aryan Galilean, and that the Aryan race was the “chosen people”.

Indeed, in addition to places the primary emphasis on Christ’s humanity, Cone applies the liberationist dialectic relationship of the black experience to Scripture to conclude that the Jesus of the Bible is the Jesus of the black experience.  Indeed, Cone believes that it is important to the psychic and to the spiritual consciousness of black people to see Christ as black, “with all of the features which are so detestable to white society.”  Conversely, in Black Theology and Black Power,  Cone wrote, “Theologically, Malcolm X was not far wrong when he called the white man ‘the devil.'” 

As with other forms of liberation theology, Cone is not much concerned with eternal salvation, which he views as an idea fed to slaves to make the unconcerned about their plight: “The most corrupting influence among the black churches was their adoption of the ‘white lie’ that Christianity is primarily concerned with an other world reality.”  As for sin, Cone wrote in A Black Theology of Liberation: “If we are to understand sin and what it means to black people, it is necessary to be black and also a participant in the black liberation struggle… Sin then for black people is the loss of identity.”

When Cone is asked where his theology is institutionally embodied, he always mentions Obama’s church, Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.  Dwight Hopkins, a member of Trinity and a professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School, told Jayson Byassee of The Christian Century magazine that the church is within the mainstream of black churches, socially conservative, and not strongly activist.  Byassee might not have known that the Rev. Wright appears to have been openly campaigning for Obama from the pulpit.  But Byassee could have informed his readers that Hopkins — who is vouching for the church — believes that Christianity was historically used as a tool to oppress blacks.  Hopkins also told PBS:

One of the incentives for Africentricity is to pass on the positive, holistic black values, African values to a younger generation. A lot of people who were part of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and early ’60s and part of the Black Power and black consciousness movement of the 1960s and 1970s are now all middle-age and older adults, and we have children.

The American electorate is beginning to learn that this is no small part of Trinity’s mission, though few grasp its underlying theology.

Viewed in light of that theology, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright does not appear to have gone wildly off-script in: damning America; calling it “white America, the U.S. of KKK A”; comparing the the enslavement of the Hebrews in Egypt and the enslavement of blacks in America, suggesting that “criminal justice system, the ‘miseducation’ system and the inadequate health care system” were part of a “subtle plan of genocide” (when the fact that biblical Egypt had neither an education or healthcare system tells you the identity of Wright’s real target); claiming that the US deliberately infected black men with syphilis (exaggerating the Tuskegee Syphilis Study that needs no exaggeration to be horrific), which is likely the foundation for his insane claim that the US created the HIV virus, presumably for deliberate infection of certain populations, and so on.  Certainly, the joyful reaction of Wright’s congregation in those videos suggest his hateful and paranoid messages were warmly received.

Barack Obama has claimed:

When I saw these statements, many of which I had heard for the first time, then I thought it was important to make a very clear and unequivocal statement.

None of these statements were ones that I had heard myself personally in the pews. One of them I had heard about after I had started running for president, and I put out a statement at that time condemning them.

The other statements were ones that that I just heard about while we were — when they started being run on FOX and some of the other stations. And so they weren’t things that I was familiar with.

However, when FNC’s Major Garrett asked Obama whether he would have quit the church had he heard them personally, his first answer was not “No.”  Rather, he defended Wright and suggested these statements were unusual:

He is somebody who is a biblical scholar, has spoken at theological seminaries all across the country, from the University of Chicago to Hampton. And so he is a well- regarded preacher. And somebody who is known for talking about the social gospel.

But most of the time, when I’m in church, he’s talking about Jesus, God, faith, values, caring for the poor, family, those were the messages that I was hearing.

Obama ultimately claimed he would have quit the church had he heard such statements repeated.

Of course, since that interview, it has been pointed out that Obama fibbed in claiming Wright was never a political — as well as spiritual — advisor.  It also has been noted that Obama was well aware of the controversies surrounding Wright from the outset of his campaign.  Indeed, Obama wrote about hearing similar statements in the first sermon Obama heard from Wright, “The Audacity of Hope” — in the book he named after the sermon.  Obama further touched on his attraction to the church in a lengthy essay for TIME magazine:

I was drawn to the power of the African American religious tradition to spur social change. Out of necessity, the black church had to minister to the whole person. Out of necessity, the black church rarely had the luxury of separating individual salvation from collective salvation. It had to serve as the center of the community’s political, economic, and social as well as spiritual life; it understood in an intimate way the biblical call to feed the hungry and clothe the naked and challenge powers and principalities. In the history of these struggles, I was able to see faith as more than just a comfort to the weary or a hedge against death; rather, it was an active, palpable agent in the world.

And perhaps it was out of this intimate knowledge of hardship, the grounding of faith in struggle, that the historically black church offered me a second insight: that faith doesn’t mean that you don’t have doubts, or that you relinquish your hold on this world. Long before it became fashionable among television evangelists, the typical black sermon freely acknowledged that all Christians (including the pastors) could expect to still experience the same greed, resentment, lust, and anger that everyone else experienced. The gospel songs, the happy feet, and the tears and shouts all spoke of a release, an acknowledgment, and finally a channeling of those emotions. In the black community, the lines between sinner and saved were more fluid; the sins of those who came to church were not so different from the sins of those who didn’t, and so were as likely to be talked about with humor as with condemnation. You needed to come to church precisely because you were of this world, not apart from it; rich, poor, sinner, saved, you needed to embrace Christ precisely because you had sins to wash away–because you were human and needed an ally in your difficult journey, to make the peaks and valleys smooth and render all those crooked paths straight.

It was because of these newfound understandings–that religious commitment did not require me to suspend critical thinking, disengage from the battle for economic and social justice, or otherwise retreat from the world that I knew and loved–that I was finally able to walk down the aisle of Trinity United Church of Christ one day and be baptized. It came about as a choice and not an epiphany…

Strip that passage of Obama’s usual flowery rhetoric and what remains is Obama’s declaration of commitment to his church and its theology.

The question is thus squarely presented as to whether Obama’s belief in the theology of his church matters.  One might have thought that Obama’s speech today would recall John F. Kennedy’s famous speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, a group of Protestant ministers, on the issue of his Catholicism.  In the key passage of that speech, Kennedy remarked:

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.

However, the nature of the theology at issue largely foreclosed that option.  Black Liberation Theology is not a standard theology like Catholicism, as Cardinal Ratzinger made clear with respect to the plain Marxist version of liberation theology.  It is at its very core a marriage of religion and politics.  As with all liberation theology, it takes a kernel of truth about most churches’ concern for the poor and wraps it in a pernicious quasi-Marxist hermeneutics that generally inverts the function of faith, placing politically correct activisim above personal salvation.  It is the heir to messianic and apocalyptic schools of thought that run directly contrary to the America’s intellectual and institutional, separation of Christianity and politics.  Its founder converts the gospel into an ideology for a black political cause.  And Obama was drawn to Trinity precisely because he is attracted to the idea of this church as the center of the community’s political, economic, and social as well as spiritual life.

In short, even giving Obama the benefit of the doubt regarding his statements condemning Wright’s worst comments, Obama’s own words mark him as a follower of Black Liberation Theology or its standard Marxist version.  As such, Obama’s election would mark a triumph for the Religious Left on a scale never attained by the Religious Right.  Yet those who never hesitate to decry the threat of Theocons or Christianists in American politics are not only silent about this turn of events, they seem to be rooting for the election of our first Theolib orBlack Christianist president.

Posted by Karl @ 1:26pm
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Comments (282)

  1. that was excellent Karl.
    but you have failed to provide me with any hard proof watsoever that O is a black liberation theologist.
    i think…u could provide me with some proof that Michelle Obama might be, or that Rev. Wright is.
    until u do, i shall consider this guilt by association.
    which doesnt fly in America.

  2. and furthermore …….if u can offer me such hard data…ie something O has written or said that makes him a black liberation theologist, i will despise him as equally as i despise the theocons, for the destruction of my grandfathers party, the Republicans.

  3. Karl: Wowee! That is some tasty analysis. I need some time to absorb.

    nishi: The roads are paved with the ruined careers of politicians found guilty by association by the public. You were more than happy to bury McCain for Hagee even though he had no, nothing, nada connection to the man or the campaign. If you are willing to live by the guilt by association card, you must be prepared to die by it as well.

  4. until u do, i shall consider this guilt by association.

    And we’ll still consider “u” a clumsy, illiterate liar who isn’t owed a bloody thing.

  5. and furthermore …….if u can offer me such hard data… I will just ignore it.

  6. Oh, and well done, Karl. I don’t have time right now to give this the careful reading it deserves (not being a Sooper Jeenius like nishi), but it looks like an excellent essay.

  7. Cone has written that God is “black” in the sense of being identified with the oppressed.

    How that can be one of the base assumptions when presuming an omnipotent God? That is a level of cognitive dissonance even the most rabid moonbat would envy.

  8. oh noes…i buried mccain for pandering to the theocons.
    and for his age, and his melanoma…..
    ;)

  9. but i wud still vote for him over bilary.
    ;)

  10. and mccain doesnt believe in hagees whacktheory…..it bothers me that he will pretend to believe in it to get the theocon vote.

  11. BJ – Don’t let her distract you. It is not guilt by association with Baracky and Wright. Baracky talks of how it was a choice to go to Wright, seriously contemplated. It was his knowing decision to be married by Wright. A conscious decision to have his children baptized by Wright. A thought out decision to remain a parishoner for 20 despite the paranoid racist ranting of Wright. A conscious decision to give tens of thousands of dollars to Wright. A conscious decision to use Wright as the muse for Audacity of Hope. A conscious decision to make Wright his own personal spiritual advisor.

  12. Does Barack Obama’s religion matter?To me? Before I can answer that I must know whether it matters to him.

  13. he will pretend to believe in it

    It bothers me that you will pretend to be organic life.

  14. It really sucks that nishi is too stupid to be properly embarassed by that first post.

  15. Oh. Barack thinks he knows about teh happyfeet. Hah. Him is so deluded. But for real, this post needs to stay on the front page I think until it gets really read and thought about, which will take coffees and cigarettes and a bit of time I think.

  16. and certainly from wat i’ve read and heard from Michelle Obama i think she may be a black liberation theologist.
    but she is not running for president, is she?
    have u considered….that Trinity maybe her choice of church?

  17. Karl – An epistle worthy of an award. Ranks right up there with the damning posts on media bias. Well done.

    nishi – you are a fucking liar.

  18. Yes, nishi, I considered that. But I figured that it would be best to let Baracky’s words be the final arbiter on that, and he indicates that after much reflection, it was his choice and obligation to join that community of hate.

  19. OT: German Beer Girl on The “The trouble with Oktoberfest” post

  20. Karl – holy crap that was excellent. Seriously good shit… though I did cringe for a moment at the mention of the Catholic Church in the same paragraph as the schismatic society of black jeebus. Comparing the two is sort of like Comparing their missions: Salvation for Sinners vs… erm… dis-disenfranchisement. I know I am supposed to be diversificationally sensitive and all… but I get that sort of church like I get bull fighting. It just looks fucking strange to me. And the only value I can find in either would be an argument that it reflects some alien culture… but even that holds water like an old paper towel.

  21. err..Karl are u attemptin to use hermeneutics to prove O is a Black Liberation Theologist?
    i totally think that is gonna go right over most ppls heads.
    hehe.
    ;)

  22. …have u considered….that Trinity maybe her choice of church?

    She beamed it into his mind four years before she even met him. They really are Magic Negroes, you see.

  23. B Moe – erm… they go by “African-Americans” now… so it should read: “They really are Magic African-Americans, you see.” But I dont know your context… or, rather, your life experience… so, fuck it… I take it back… proceed. It’s a free for all now!

  24. The Philadelphia Inquirer has a front page article quoting the pastor of Wright’s father’s church in Gemantown, PA. He just thinks that what Wright said was special:

    Some people mellow with age. Others grow more passionate.
    If the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.’s weekly sermons seem overly zealous, Barak Obama’s outspoken minister has earned his outrage over decades of social injustice, a longtime friend said yesterday.

    “I look at Rev. White as controversial but prophetic,” the Rev. G. Daniel Jones said. “He is informed and he informs. He is a religious analyst coming out of the biblical tradition who denounces social ills and warns people on how to become more just and more humane.”

    Jones is pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Germantown, Wright’s spiritual home when he was growing up in Philadelphia.

    Wright’s father served as pastor there from 1938 to 1980.

    Well, g#d d*mn but that Wright sure is a prophet.

  25. well..im just sayin that cuz Trinity seems much more Michelle’s style of church.
    perhaps she insists on goin there.

  26. Nishi: Did you get the explaination that Baracky joined the church four years before he married Michelle?

    Sadly, no.

  27. Having skimmed this more quickly than usual, I want to throw in one little datum that’s probably irrelevant, but crossed my mind: all societies that embrace Christianity traditionally depict Jesus as being of their particular ethnicity. So I’m not any more offended by a portrayal of Jesus as black than I am of a fair-haired, blue-eyed, gentile-ey Jesus.

    White people as being “the devil”? Not so great; some of my best friends are white . . .

    I’d give it a real read tonight, Karl. Thanks.

  28. well..im just sayin that cuz Trinity seems much more Michelle’s style of church.
    perhaps she insists on goin there.

    Well I am just saying if you would do two minutes of fucking research instead of just flinging shit non-stop the adults here could have an intelligent conversation. Barrack adopted Wright long before he met Michelle.

  29. OT: German Beer Girl on The “The trouble with Oktoberfest” post

    Not OT if you consider that now we’re shipping our Beer Girl jobs overseas to Germany. WHAT NEXT!? MIMES?

  30. Karl, I thought you said this was going to be thorough? :)

  31. BJ, yah so?
    praps he wud have changed churches if not for michelle.

    hi little miss.
    have u heard from beautiful atrocities jeff lately?

    Karl….i dont think u can PROVE O is a black liberation theologist by word or deed.
    u can only imply guilt thru association.

  32. B Moes, again, so?

  33. so Karl….ur premise is that O is a closet Black Liberation Theologist?
    or a stealth one?
    i know a lot about stealthy technology.
    from work.
    but that only works for radar.

  34. i know a lot about stealthy technology.

    I really wish you would start implementing some of it.

  35. Goddamn nishi!

    A tip: you’ve “typed” the question once. It stays up and it might be read and it might be answered. I swear you’re like a toddler.

  36. I snapped a little there

  37. Finally! I have been raising the Black Liberation Theology issue since the Wright controversy arose, because the constantly cycled clips of Wright have been treated as isolated events rather what they really are, snapshots of a comprehensive mental model and world view. Progressive-Liberal activists in San Francisco/Oakland abt 1970 – as I was – are familiar with BLT. It was as Cone wrote the theological arm of Black Power while the Panthers were its military arm. The common foundation is an entire belief framework which rests on a central tenet: That the “entire reality” of America – its “theology, ideology, sociology, military, legal system, health care system, education system” – is based on “white supremacy”. In today’s speech, Obama capitalizes on the lack of awareness of the BLT, being able to cleverly minimize Wright by a comparison to his white grandmother. The fundamental question remains how it is that Obama would choose to sustain such a close relationship with an individual adhering to a belief system of this *scope, magnitude, and nature*.

  38. Karl, you have been doing some really good work and it’s appreciated.

    I’m not going to lie, my first reaction reading some of those doctrinal points was that I should let Hagee know that he might need to update his designation of the “Great Whore” of Rev. 17.

    In all seriousness, your post has highlighted the need for more clarification from Obama and the ultimate ineffectualness of his speech today.

    The man and his campaign are sending out mixed messages, trying to have it both ways. Embracing the racist and denouncing the racism, seems like a woefully inadequate response given Obama has a documented 20 year affiliation with prominent Black Liberation Theologians.

  39. nishi

    I started writing a serious response, but everyone here pretty much knows that if 20 different people caught O on video blowing someone’s head off with a shotgun, you would argue it didn’t happen. Go over to Andy’s if you want jock-sniffing.

  40. B Moe: Now you know why the kids used to eat at a separate table.

    I used to think that was awful when I was a kid. Now, not so much.

    That Nishi – impenetrable ignorance combined with…. ummm….. errr…..

    Nope, that’s it.

  41. Karl- very good post, well researched. Thank god you did it and not me.

    Here’s my thought- do we really want a black president, who may (or may not) agree that blacks anger against white’s is justified. Thats what it comes down for me- if there’s even a chance Obama has absorbed even a portion of that philosophy, he is not fit to be president, period.

    And yes, you are judged by the company you keep. Especially over a 20 year period of time. In some ways, I think it would greatly HELP race relations to have Obama ultimately be defeated because of his association with an obvious racist. The reverse racism angle doesn’t get much play but Wright’s church is a prime example of it. If a white pastor was saying even a quarter of the things Wright said about the black community, the white candidate attending his church would be out of the race faster than you can say “uncle tom”.

  42. Thanks, Karl. I’ve learned a few somethings today. I blush to admit my prior ignorance of liberation theology, but once exposed it makes a lot of sense. The idea of grievance politics is an old one, and having it spill over into religion is pretty much a logical trend. The fact that IMO it will tend to keep people more on a track to failure than a track to success is lost on most.

    I forget who said, and I paraphrase, “Not every religion needs a god, but they all need a devil.” And with Wright and his followers, the devil surrounds them daily.

  43. errm…im sorry Karl…that was an excellent and well researched post.
    but it still doesnt prove that O is an actual Black Liberation Theologist.
    does it?

  44. It’s definitive proof I think that McCain is not a Black Liberation Theologist. That counts for a lot these days I think.

  45. If a white pastor was saying even a quarter of the things Wright said about the black community, the white candidate attending his church would be out of the race faster than you can say “uncle tom”.

    Abso-fricking-lutely.

    And for the talking telephone pole — if I had attended a traditionalist (pre-Vatican 2) Catholic church for 20 years, had been married there, had my children baptized there, had used the pastor’s sermons as the basis for speeches and books, then you could assume I found something I liked in the traditionalist Catholic church, that I accepted the values preached there and attempted to live by them.

    For everyone else — the way the Obamacolytes are dancing around this issue makes it clear they know there’s something wrong with what Wright was saying, and with Obama’s association with it. The problem is, they just can’t bring themselves to admit what that sense of wrong means. If only they could.

  46. Comment by Merovign on 3/18 @ 3:08 pm #

    That Nishi – impenetrable ignorance combined with…. ummm….. errr…..

    Nope, that’s it.”

    An invincible ignorance coupled with an aggressive stupidity.

    Better?

  47. hehe
    oh u so rawkin feets.

  48. Comment by alppuccino on 3/18 @ 2:52 pm #

    I snapped a little there

    Kids ‘ll do that to ya.

    Great post Karl. Thank You.

  49. hahahaha

    if u think about it……im the child u all want to raise.
    a child of privilege with a 145 IQ.
    and im ur worst nightmare.
    ;)

  50. nishi,

    My IQ is higher than yours and you are an annoying, petulant child, not a nightmare.

    A man goes to the church agreed to be the best embodiment of BLT for 20 years, gets married there, christens his kids there, tithes tens of thousands of dollars to it, continues going even when it is apparent that it is a political liability, and defends the pastor based on the whole of his message.

    But, yeah, maybe he’s a Buddhist.

  51. Possibly a Druid.

  52. a child of privilege with a 145 IQ.

    Hint: after you’ve been caught lying, oh, I don’t know, 5 or 6 hundred times, people stop believing you.

  53. Possibly a Druid.

    Probably a Night Elf. Would explain the ears.

  54. Barack Obama is a liar,,,

    To all
    Obama speech ,,,, Not sure if you caught Not only did Obama,,, Refuses to denounce him,, but even More,, He say in his own words,,,
    Barack Obama was in church when Jeremiah Wright,, was spewing Anti-American, Racist ism ,,,, Those were his own words,,, barack was there
    After going on keith Oberman ,Show obama said he would denounce that if he heard that language he would leave and not tolerate it , and denounce it
    After he went on MSNBC,, he went on FOX CNN ABC

  55. a child of privilege with a 145 IQ.
    and im ur worst nightmare.

    I am a hillbilly kid with a Doctorate in Hard Knocks. I have day dreams that could whip your ass.

  56. nishi – lame. bet you have a vanity plate.

    Rob – “traditionalist Catholic church” – as distinct from?

    Rob – “pastor” – erm…. priest

    Rob – Also, pls do not compare or contract such a magnificent timeless treasure with a one-man show. It will not do… and is a bit offensive. Again, I don’t know your context/background… yadda, yadda.

    nishi – you are no America Shaftoe.

    Rob – sorry I bunched my nit-picky stuff (and your fine name) with that of she that should not be named.

  57. And me? I’m just a hooker with a heart of gold.

    karl- this post is meaty and enlightening. You astound me.

  58. A man goes to the church agreed to be the best embodiment of BLT for 20 years, gets married there, christens his kids there, tithes tens of thousands of dollars to it, continues going even when it is apparent that it is a political liability, and defends the pastor based on the whole of his message.

    yup.
    just as i suspected.
    u got nuthin.
    “better 99 guilty men go free than one innocent man should suffer”
    ;)

  59. a child of privilege with a 145 IQ.

    *snort*

    Scratch a lefty, and an elitist bleeds.

    (And, yes, it should be clear by now that nishi’s a lefty. Claims to be a “born Republican” are pure Moby tactics; her complete willingness to toss over issues like, oh, trade, regulations, national sovereignty, and a color-blind society for the candidate who makes her thrill for “hope” and “change” is evidence enough.)

  60. That was a great post; I’ll have to think about it for awhile. And look up a bunch of stuff. I feel too undereducated to actually comment on it seriously. Not that that seems to stop anyone else.

  61. trade, regulations, national sovereignty, and a color-blind society

    but Rob….sadly…those arent conservative brandings anymore.
    anti-abortion, anti-gay, and social-con issues like school vouchers and school prayers are wat the repubs stand for now.

  62. Karl: I’ve had time to read the entire post now. It’s a devastating critique, and I really appreciate you taking the time to do the research.

    Nishi: How about you put that “145 IQ” to work and write a cogent rebuttal, in standard English, of Karl’s post?

    You won’t, because you can’t. You’re a lying, illiterate poseur.

  63. you yourself told me gay was like a disease.

  64. SPB, but i totally agree with Karl’s post!
    its brilliant.
    but absolutely he has no proof that O is an actual Black Liberation Theologist.

  65. SPB, but i totally agree with Karl’s post!
    its brilliant.
    but absolutely he has no proof that O is an actual Black Liberation Theologist.

    Translation: “I’m a lying, illiterate poseur.”

    Have a great evening.

  66. Obama doesn’t have to apologize for what his preacher says or anyone else.

    Popped to the back the head! Obama swings the pimp head. Down go the Karls.

  67. Rob – “traditionalist Catholic church” – as distinct from?

    I thought I put that in there — it’s my shorthand for someone who attends a pre-Vatican 2 Mass.

    Rob – “pastor” – erm…. priest

    My bad — I can only plead a long, long day. :-)

    Rob – Also, pls do not compare or contract such a magnificent timeless treasure with a one-man show. It will not do… and is a bit offensive. Again, I don’t know your context/background… yadda, yadda.

    I was raised Catholic, but am not practicing. The idea wasn’t to insinuate the two are at all similar, but to point out that someone who willingly associates with a given religion for a long period of time, actively and with thought (citing as an inspiration, borrowing themes, etc.) must be assumed to be in agreement with what’s preached by that religion.

    I guess we shouldn’t be all that shocked by nishi’s insistence that attending a church for 20 years, etc. etc. doesn’t mean Obama believes any of it. — nishi herself doesn’t actually believe of the things within the religion she claims. I guess the rest of us — even the agnostics and atheists — have the ability to understand there are people who truly do believe, who don’t treat their church as a fashion statement or as Sunday morning entertainment.

    Given the particulars in this case — racism, conspiracy-mongering, the out-and-out hatred of the majority of this country — it seems prudent to not take the risk. Obama may not agree with Wright, but that’s not how any sane person would bet, and putting a person with even partial agreement with those views could be horrible.

  68. nishi – you are no America Shaftoe.

    of course not.
    im Nellodee.

  69. Nell was literate.

    Next!

  70. how sharp is nishi?

    so sharp that when I asked it whether she was Nijonjin, she hadn’t a clue what I was speaking of.

    she clearly qualifies as an Omanko. ;)

  71. u got nuthin.

    translation: i know you are but what am i? lalalalalalala (eleventy!)

  72. but it still doesnt prove that O is an actual Black Liberation Theologist.

    Obama almost surely isn’t a “theologist,” but that he went to a church that espouses BLT for twenty years is not in doubt. If you go to a church for two decades, I think that pretty much says that, even if you’re not an expert in its theology, you’re down with its message.

  73. nishi is looking for the smoking gun, Karl.

    Show us the fucking smoking gun?

  74. but Rob….sadly…those arent conservative brandings anymore.
    anti-abortion, anti-gay, and social-con issues like school vouchers and school prayers are wat the repubs stand for now.

    You really should get out more, because you, once more, have no idea what you’re talking about.

  75. I was a member of the KKK for 20 years… but it was weird… not one mention of hatred for blacks. I joined cause of all the good things some of them were doing for the community… who knew?

  76. Obama doesn’t have to apologize for what his preacher says or anyone else.

    Agreed, and it’s probably counterproductive to do so. I mean, he sat his ass in the pews for 20 years and didn’t say a discouraging word to the spittle-spewing crank. How hypocritical for him to declared how shocked, shocked!! he is now. He enbraced the hate for two decades…go with it.

  77. well, he joined because it was important for him to gain backing of “those who are black enough”… but now that he has been found out… erm it is tied to his neck… Wright’s burden is heavy….

  78. You know when you read this thread by skipping past all the moronic ravings of Nishi-whatever-the-fuck, it’s pretty interesting!

    I’m beginning to think that it doesn’t have anyone to talk to in the real world, given the way that it answers it’s own stupid questions, double-posts, and actually laughs and winks at it’s own lame ass ‘jokes’.
    ;)

  79. After sitting there for approximately 20 years, Obama states the good Rev did not often speak inflammatory of race. How delusional of you to believe yourself knowing better than Obama of how and how often the good Rev. spoke such foolishness.

    Are you on a temporary racist bender? Or do you honestly feel you can never trust a darkie to tell the truth?

  80. thor – maybe he was asleep in the stands? is that what youre saying? or when he calls teh ghoul his spiritual adviser, are we to take it that he hardly knew the man? and if that is the case, why is this man of “distinction” part of his hand-picked team? And if he did not know the man that well after 20 years of being under his tutelage, then what kind of judge of character is he? and if he has faulty judgment about people whom he eats meals with… racist or no… then what does that say about how he would do if it came to dealing with some of the more “distinguished” world leaders? I mean… there are so many questions… and so little answers. I guess I should just put aside cynicism and hope! Si se puede oir lo que quiera, Thor.

  81. “Comment by nishizonoshinji on 3/18 @ 4:03 pm #

    SPB, but i totally agree with Karl’s post!
    its brilliant.
    but absolutely he has no proof that O is an actual Black Liberation Theologist.”

    And guess what?

    Nobody gives a flying fuck.

  82. Or do you honestly feel you can never trust a darkie to tell the truth?

    How many of them race cards did they make? Because they seem to be inexhaustible.

  83. “Comment by Salt Lick on 3/18 @ 4:42 pm #

    How many of them race cards did they make? Because they seem to be inexhaustible.”

    Plus, if you hide them up your sleeve, it’s easy to pull one out.

  84. shit, N OBrian – you never have to actually show them… you just wink and nod… that way you can keep them… and eventually collect them all!

  85. All of your arguments are pretty convoluted. How will they play to the NASCAR crowd? Isn’t that who you conservatives want to continue to influence?

    I don’t think anyone would have problems comprehending there’s something sour in the theology of the church Obama attends. Given the spinning by his supporters — such as claims that he doesn’t agree with his “inspiration” and “spiritual advisor” — I think it’s something even Democrats can understand.

    (Isn’t it interesting how often the champions of the common man resort to elitism?)

  86. Karl, thank you for putting this together. Tremendous, cogent, broad, organized… and vital.

    I have always looked back wistfully at what could have been had I gotten off my ass and actually done the college lifting necessary to be a real historian… but I am grateful to be witness to the intellect on display here on a daily basis…

    Those familiar with our host Jeff Goldstein’s writings on intentionalism will recognize that under the liberation hermeneutic (which makes praxis the first step, and theology the second), the authority of Scripture no longer derives from the plain meaning of the text as commonly understood. Instead, Scripture takes on whatever meaning an ideologue — or a community of ideologues – chooses to give it.

    This post should be linked far and wide, starting at Insty and ending far, far away on the lowest traffic blog on the innertubes.

    I’ll cover that last part for you.

  87. Good grief. Of course Obama is not a BLT “theologist.” But consider: Obama is exceptionally intelligent and well-educated, his pastor talks about Cone’s book as a basis for his beliefs, a prominent Cone associate is a member of the same church, TUCC is recognized as a BLT flagship – now, don’t you think Obama knows what BLT is? Obama may not personally embrace BLT’s intensely poisonous beliefs, but if he sees them for such, why would he so closely associate with the leading propagator? Why would he look to the source of this venom for spiritual advice? Why would he permit his young children to be educated in these beliefs? Something is clearly wrong with this picture.

  88. OBLT!
    Osama bin Lettuce and Tomato.

  89. Karl … that was masterful. Thanks.

  90. Nishi,

    Just out of pure curiosity, what, exactly, does proof have to do with anything in politics? Pretty much every time I hear the word “proof” thrown around in an ideological discussion, it amounts to someone saying “Neener. Neener, I say. Neener.”

    Heck – for the bonus question – can you describe how the concept of proof within an ideological construct is anything other than a restatement of tautology?

    Oh yeah, before I forget, learn to type you twit.

    BRD

  91. All of your arguments are pretty convoluted. How will they play to the NASCAR crowd? Isn’t that who you conservatives want to continue to influence?

    I love it when a drive-by stops in, has no idea who he/she/it is talking to, makes some incredible broad brush assertion, and then waltzes away.

  92. “How will they play to the NASCAR crowd?”

    Scene One: Baracky With Arm Around Honky Hater’s Neck

    Scene Two: Honky Hater in the Pulpit [volume up] GODDAMN AMERICA!!

    Scene Three: Baracky With Arm Around Honky Hater’s Neck

    Fade to white….

  93. Jeff – It is usually better to waltz away gracefully. But thanx for showing your elitist ass.

  94. Comment by Jeff Johnston on 3/18 @ 5:11 pm #

    You really have no fucking clue, do you?

  95. the herd of people whom the GOP likes to keep well watered and grazed in order to keep power.

    Don’t go away. Expound on this idea. I would like to learn from you.

    Racist.

  96. when I asked it whether she was Nijonjin, she hadn’t a clue what I was speaking of.

    sry didnt see the question.
    ima Obamotaku, Enoch-san.

    watashi-wa gakusei desu

  97. The Democrat Party is nothing but a loose coalition of diverse voting blocs with little holding it together other than “I want me some government socialism” and Bush is Hitler. Take these diverse groups out of the politic and they fight like a bunch of children.

    Jeff Johnson, your barb aimed at Republicanism and Nascar is pure projection.

  98. And I happen to like NASCAR, but was using shorthand to refer to the herd of people whom the GOP likes to keep well watered and grazed in order to keep power.

    I find your ideas intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

    Moron.

  99. sry didnt see the question.

    Still waiting on that coherent response to Karl, illit.

    I’m guessing we’ll be waiting for a long, long time.

  100. entonces, tienes que estudiar mas, Nishi-omanko

  101. Karl, sorry I am late to this thread and discussion, and I generally skip the posts I am late to. But this time I would like to congratulate you on the best post in the blogosphere regarding this thematic.
    Excellent job. Let me know if you will come back and see my comment.

    P.S.
    I would say one thing only( the whole theme is of course a tad complicated to the guy who has been American citizen for a little over 14 years).
    Remember like you always tell me not to worry about surveillance state, that can never happen in the USA?
    So , do not worry about theolibs or Marxists getting power , that will never happen here is well, regardless how well M.Atwood described that possibility in her novel…

  102. Oh, Karl and if the stomach flue affects the brain function that well, then i would like to have similar condition more often….lol

  103. Also, do not worry about waking up to find tiny people have tied you down to the ground, regardless how well Jonathan Swift described that possibility in Gulliver’s Travels.

  104. I work my way through an insightful, exciting learning experience of an article and am dumb-smacked by two nishidiot comments.

    Talk about an intellectual buzz-kill.

  105. Excellent post Karl, a nice primer on something I knew nothing about. Thanks.

  106. Or do you honestly feel you can never trust a darkie to tell the truth?

    Wow. I was under the impression that Obama was the one who wanted to be elected. Thanks for letting me know that it’s really “a darkie”.

  107. For anyone interested in the distance between Cone and Barth, a perusal of Barth’s Theological Declaration of Barmen, which unequivocably separated his church from the Nazi attempt to suborn it, provides some insight. I don’t believe that Barth (or Bonhoeffer) would be terribly amused to see Cone’s (or Wright’s) dismal misuse and abuse of concepts whose development and implementation extracted such a high cost from both men. In Bonhoeffer’s case, the cost was his life.

  108. You put admirable effort into this piece, Karl. I’m saving it to read more thoroughly later. If I recall correctly, Ratzinger was not a big fan of liberation theology.

  109. Ratzinger was not a big fan of liberation theology.

    Ratzinger? the Bad Sheperd?
    the same guy that always puts the good of the Catholic Church above the good of the sheep he is supposed to protect?
    it iz to laff.

  110. Shepherd

  111. Karl, if O is such a fan of liberation theology, how become it isnt mentioned in his books?

  112. i unnerstand perfectly how some one can go to a church for nearly twenty years and not agree with a single thing that was said.
    that is why it is so hard for me to believe that u, Karl, can ascertain without doubt that O subscribes to this memecomplex.

  113. Great post, Karl. I’ll be sending it around.

    I really need to know something, and maybe the drive-by trolls can help me with this:

    How does it help the black community to be told that the U.S. Govt. invented AIDS to exterminate them, or that the gubmint is behind the drug trade in the inner cities, or that their entire country is pretty much trying to get rid of them? Especially when the rest of the country outnumbers them by an 88-12 margin?

    Because it seems to me that when you keep telling people that they’ll never get anywhere because of the Powers That Be, all you’re going to inspire is despair and learned helplessness.

    Unless that was the point…

  114. i unnerstand perfectly how some one can go to a church for nearly twenty years and not agree with a single thing that was said.

    LIAR

    Now, explain yourself, in Engligh. Baracky claims that he learned to love God at that Church. He became a Christian there. He went out and chose it, yet somehow, you and your nishidiocy would have us believe that he really does not believe the fundamentals of the Church he attended for 20+ years, gave tens of thousands of dollars to?

    It takes a special brand of teh krazy to understand your babble.

  115. nishi,

    anyone dumb enough to trudge off to a church every Sunday for 20 years where they didn’t believe or agree with anything that was said has got some serious esteem issues. Or intelligence. Or both.

  116. Liberation Theology is basically leftist pseudo Christianity, it’s the kind you hear when some left wing twit shows up with “judge not lest ye be judged” and “Jesus never condemned homosexuality.” It’s socialism with a crucifix, it takes it’s cues from leftist ideology and slaps some Christian sounding terms and themes onto it to sound valid and theological. It’s nonsense, it violates the Bible, it treats political action and economic equality as Christ’s primary concern in life. Liberal (in the theological sense) twaddle.

  117. i unnerstand perfectly how some one can go to a church for nearly twenty years and not agree with a single thing that was said.
    that is why it is so hard for me to believe that u, Karl, can ascertain without doubt that O subscribes to this memecomplex.

    No one can ascertain anything without a doubt nishi, stop being an idiot. I don’t have to believe something without a doubt for it to influence my decisions, nor do you.

    Karl, if O is such a fan of liberation theology, how become it isnt mentioned in his books?

    Because it would be political suicide. Please go find a pop science blog to preen on, nishi, this is really getting painful.

  118. i unnerstand perfectly how some one can go to a church for nearly twenty years and not agree with a single thing that was said.

    LIAR

    Sadly JD, I think the ‘toon is telling the truth here — and what it says about her mental state, I’ll leave for others to judge.

  119. Crap my big problem with Obama’s denial of Wright’s philosphy is I don’t believe him. And the comparison, from a racism standpoint (ie we think whites have kept us down) is we certainly know of a candidate for president (not of the US) who hated Jews and Blacks and ran against them and one. He had a little mustache and almost destroyed the world.

    I’m saying ideology, especially liberal ideology, unchecked leads directly to what the little man with the mustache came up with. I find it amusing conservatives are most associated with nazis and racists when republicans are, ironically, the big tent party. I judge every single candidate on their merits. I agree Obama is “inspirational” if you buy into his rhetoric but if you don’t drink the koolaid, its a bit scary. For example, if I was elected president, there would be no anti-african legislation during my entire tenture. Does anyone think if Obama gets elected, there will not be at least an attempt by the chief executive to “even the score”. If it was Condi Rice, I wouldn’t think so – but with Obama, who is an empty suit and has ascended due to a combination of talent and race- he has not even remotely proved that the black anger, preached by Rev. Wright, is not going to factor into his decision making.

    George W may be a racist (according to Kanye) but I honestly can’t think of one thing he’s advocated that hurts black folks (or any other minority).

  120. my big problem with Obama’s denial of Wright’s philosphy is I don’t believe him

    That is exactly my beef, just written more succinctly.

    The only reason this speech happened today was because he was catching political heat for his relationship.

    The media will treat this just like they did Baracky and Rezko. It was a mistake, move on, nothing to see here.

  121. #49
    You just can’t help lying. Can you?

  122. What’s creepy and stupid is how Baracky intimates and NPR assertively declares is that Obama’s church is representative of the black church in America. You can’t universalize this sort of hatey trashyness and tar all Black people with it. That’s a hate crime I think.

  123. You can’t universalize this sort of hatey trashyness and tar all Black people with it. That’s a hate crime I think.

    I truly hope that bites him on the ass, too.

  124. NPR had a whole piece today on how God damn America does not mean what you (not Karl, you) think it means.

    They actually have a transcript for a change if anyone wants to take a closer look…

    In the now-famous sermon from 2003, Wright said black people’s troubles are a result of racism that still exists in America, crying out, “No, no, no, not God bless America! God damn America — that’s in the Bible — for killing innocent people.”

    According to Hopkins, that was theological wordplay — because the word “damn” is straight out of the Bible and has a specific meaning in the original Hebrew.

    “It means a sacred condemnation by God to a wayward nation who has strayed from issues of justice, strayed from issues of peace, strayed from issues of reconciliation,” Hopkins says.

    God sacredly condemn not America, land that I love is what I say. But I am little and Barack is very very big.

  125. The media will treat this just like they did Baracky and Rezko. It was a mistake, move on, nothing to see here.

    I agree that this is likely, except this scandal benefits one person more than any other and she still wishes very much to get the Democratic nomination.

  126. you sillies, why can’t you accept that America is a hellhole? thx NPR! and happyfeet, who listens to that crap so I don’t have to.

  127. Karl – there’s some history there you might find interesting, but what’s so NPR is how they outright lie about Wright and his kooky hateful Marxist religion being what all black people embrace.

    Black liberation preaching can be a loud, passionate, physical affair. Linda Thomas, who teaches at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, says the whole point of it is to challenge the powerful and to raise questions for society to think about. Thomas says if white people are surprised by the rhetoric, it’s because most have never visited a black church.

    “I think that many black people would know what white worship is like,” Thomas says. “Why is it that white people don’t know what black worship is about? And I think that is because there is this centrality with white culture that says we don’t have to know about that.”

    What black worship is about is Marxist hate-whitey conspiracy theories? Someone tell Oprah Spielberg done played her with that Color Purple bullshit then I guess.

  128. But for real. NPR can’t have blacks just be a political monolith, now they have to be a religious monolith too. Arthur C. could have explained better what this means I think.

  129. Pingback: The Art of the Possible » Blog Archive » First Obligatory Obama/Wright Post

  130. The next paragraph after the two hf quotes:

    Obama presents himself as uniquely situated to bridge those two cultures because of his biracial heritage. In his speech on race Tuesday, the presidential hopeful said he could no more disown his controversial pastor than he could disown his white grandmother.

    Since his white family are apparently all atheist, how is he attuned to White Religion? How many White Churches has he been to in the past 20 years, do you suppose?

  131. Pingback: Barack Obama’s speech: Fine, if you’re from the Left, I guess | MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

  132. Pingback: The Speech « Liberty Street

  133. Outstanding, Karl.

    happyfeet, NPR is fulla shit. They’re saying all black churches are like this? In their dreams!

  134. I really do not want to call “it” a speech. What Barack Obama did was so much more than give a speech. While it did not equal The Gettysburg Address primarily because it was six or seven times longer, it far surpassed JFK’s inauguration speech.

    This was the first step of solving , no acknowledging in public, this intractable problem the United States has of treating all people of color including Native Americans and Hispanics as second class citizens.

    This was not a speech, nor a manifesto, nor a lecture but an attempt at starting a dialogue among disparate Americans on the one issue that will not go away.

    Whatever one wants to call it, it is well beyond anything else I have ever heard a politician say.

  135. Has it occurred to anyone that maybe nishi is actus posting through a LOLCAT filter?

  136. I’ll bet every salesman you ever met calls you Chief, too.

  137. This was the first step of solving , no acknowledging in public, this intractable problem the United States has of treating all people of color including Native Americans and Hispanics as second class citizens.

    You’ve got to be kidding. First, if you think that this is the first time such sentiments have been “acknowledged” in public, you must have just come out of the coma you’ve been in since birth. Second, this “intractable” problem has been resolved over many, many years. While some Americans of all ethnicities continue to have issues with other ethnicities, America the nation does not. Unless, of course, you believe that America invented AIDS to kill minorities. In which case, you’re insane.

  138. ai has eated ur actus. Srsly.

  139. It’s a question of leadership, or lack thereof ..

    Obama’s denunciation of Wright’s bigotry amounts to too little too late. The time to stand up to him wasn’t now, when his association with Wright is sinking his hopes for the White House. The time to have stood up to Wright was when Obama was just another member of his church. If he truly believes in what he says he believes, he should have walked out of Wright’s church or grabbed Wright’s microphone and told his fellow churchgoers that Wright was wrong and that they mustn’t hate. In twenty years of attending Wright’s church, why didn’t Obama once stand before his fellow church members and tell them that they mustn’t hate their country and their fellow Americans?

  140. ok….i read abunch of stuff and im more confuzzled than ever.
    i have two questions.
    The title of this post is “Does Barack Obama’s Religion Matter?”
    So my first question is….is O’s religion Black Liberation Theology?
    That is not the official denomination of the Trinity Church.
    so what is O’s religion?

    And two…..is Black Liberation Theology a religion?
    Rev. Wright is being given an award by the Brite Divinity School at TCU for black ministers of Christian churches.
    and if the IRS can strip tax exempt status from Wright’s for preaching politics…it seems Black Liberation Theology is NOT a religion…since it seems to be black grievance politics convolved with christianity.

    so Karl…is Black Liberation Theology a religion?
    if it is…then we can attack the question of whether it is O’s particular religion.

  141. Excellent Karl. I saved [reading it] until this morning, and it took TWO cups of coffee. I would have to think that if/since Wright, admittedly, subscribes to BLT – that theory would leach through into ALL of his sermons. Not just the, obviously, hateful ones featured on YouTube. I call BS on Obama. He either is down with it for political purposes (which is likely) or subscribes fully.

    Of course, I can see one situation in which he attended, but didn’t fully believe BLT. That situation would be … if the church was simply the most “prestigious” in the neighborhood. It looked good to attend. The cool people all went there. Plus, it had a built-in benefit of having a ready-made support for his political aspirations. I have no idea, but perhaps some who live in Chicago would know? Of course, he couldn’t admit that -either – because it would make him look like an empty suit. Which he may be. Kerry went to Vietnam, Obama went to Trinity church. Gotta get your cred somehow.

    In addressing the TTP, who attended church as a MINOR for 18 years and didn’t believe a single thing— totally irrelevant to Obama’s situation. How many adults do you think attend church regularly -and have done so for 20 ADULT YEARS – who doesn’t “believe” a majority of what is said there every Sunday. Unless, of course, you are a poser. I can’t believe this needs to be spelled out, but apparently it does since the question keeps getting repeated.

  142. am white, and I can say whatever the hell I want about other white people who have not worked as hard to get somewhere in their life. Kind of broad in your assumptions there, no?

    Who was the last elitist you know … blah, blah, blah. The answer, Jeff, is you are the last one to drop by and show their ass. Valpo must be proud. Nascar fans are a herd of people kept watered and grazed to support GOP power? If that does not strike you as elitist, then you should demand your money back from Valpo.

  143. That is not the official denomination of the Trinity Church.

    Denomination has nothing to do with it, as the denomination has very little actual doctrine. Black liberation theology and the “black values system” are the guiding principle of TUCC and if you aren’t aware of that, then you haven’t listened to Wright himself.

    You’ve said a million times that religion is tribal memetics, so in using your standard, yes it is his religion. It is the memetic of the tribe he embraces.

  144. Says Jeff:

    I by definition cannot be an elitist.

    Says the definition for elitism:

    Elitism is the belief or attitude that those individuals who are considered members of the elite — a select group of people with outstanding personal abilities, intellect, wealth, specialized training or experience, or other distinctive attributes

    Nothing in there about humble beginnings or overcoming adversity. I think you should ask for some of your money back because that education you received clearly did not involve looking things up.

    You are, on the other hand, a seeming master at laying forth your victim creds.

  145. I find the argument that by definition, an elitist cannot have humble origins to be laughable.

  146. Jeff Johnston – How is your overt disdain and scorn of NASCAR fans anything other than an elitist condescending attitude?

  147. Great! More fascists. Just what we need.

  148. This was the first step of solving, no acknowledging in public, this intractable problem the United States has of treating all people of color including Native Americans and Hispanics as second class citizens.

    You’ve met them all and asked them about their treatment? you are a busy person, you are.

    Chief, you are a scary dude (or dudette) and cannot see the forest, trees, clouds or even the blue sky as to your own moral absolutism and transcendant race victimization by assumption. I reject your sweeping condemnation of an entire caucasian power structure marginalizing all people of color. That view is just a ignorantly racist (not to mention unsupported and simple minded) as the worst trailer trash cracker racist in Alabama. Your statement typifies one of the barriers to real racial equality in this country: The constant victimization pimping that demands national shame and apology and constant entitlements to atone for said “original sin.”

    You, sir or madam, are a big part of the problem.

  149. well….is Black Liberation Theology a religion?
    Wright is gettin an award for being a black christian minister.
    theology means the study of god.
    Karl’s title is a query about O’s religion….but the only religion O has claimed is christianity.

    and yes, facism per se is tribal memetics, but it is not a religion.

  150. pablo hunnie, religion is not the only tribal memetics.
    democrat is tribal memetics.
    citizen [of w/e country] is tribal memetics.

    I still have those two questions.
    Is Black Liberation Theology a religion?
    And if it is, is it O’s religion?

  151. Carin,

    Of course, I can see one situation in which he attended, but didn’t fully believe BLT. That situation would be … if the church was simply the most “prestigious” in the neighborhood. It looked good to attend. The cool people all went there. Plus, it had a built-in benefit of having a ready-made support for his political aspirations. I have no idea, but perhaps some who live in Chicago would know? Of course, he couldn’t admit that -either – because it would make him look like an empty suit. Which he may be. Kerry went to Vietnam, Obama went to Trinity church. Gotta get your cred somehow.

    Trinity is big in Chitown (and nationally, it is the biggest UCC church). And it could be argued that even before Obama decided to run for anything, he would have been helped as a community activist by going.

    Two problems: Obama’s speech — and his TIME essay — do not give that excuse. Rather, he says he made the choice because Trinitiy emodies the church as central to all aspects of life, Exodus=the black experience rigamarole. Second, he has stuck with Trinity well beyond the point of it serving him politically. Oprah left Trinity; Obama could have done the same.

    Everyone,

    I want to emphasize Carin’s point, which is that the issue remains, even if Obama had been so fantastically lucky as to have been absent for Wright’s worst stuff. Those remarks are merely the most extreme and blatant expressions of BLT. That’s why I wrote in the original post that the MSM focus on the Wright videos obscured as much as it revealed.

  152. I still have those two questions.
    Is Black Liberation Theology a religion?
    And if it is, is it O’s religion?

    Check with his pastor. The answer appears to be “yes” if you suppose that ones also joins the religion of the you join.

    Karl’s title is a query about O’s religion….but the only religion O has claimed is christianity.

    Oh, so he believes the same things as Hagee, then? Stupid theocon.

    BTW, why is is that when you’re referring to Obama’s religion, you can bother to spell Christianity out?

  153. …ones also joins the religion of the *church* you join.

  154. nishi,

    I would refer you to Trinity’s website:

    The vision statement of Trinity United Church of Christ is based upon the systematized liberation theology that started in 1969 with the publication of Dr. James Cone’s book, Black Power and Black Theology.

  155. Two problems: Obama’s speech — and his TIME essay — do not give that excuse. Rather, he says he made the choice because Trinitiy emodies the church as central to all aspects of life, Exodus=the black experience rigamarole. Second, he has stuck with Trinity well beyond the point of it serving him politically. Oprah left Trinity; Obama could have done the same.

    I offered that theory because it could be true. It isn’t outside of the realm of possibility. He could have been an empty suit sitting in the pews. The downside of that, if true, is that it may cast him in an even WORSE light. Unfaithful to those he professed faith. A poser. He couldn’t have given my alternate theory as an excuse.

    IMHO, any of the options reflect poorly on O.

  156. Karl–How are you feeling?

  157. The chills and the splitting headache are gone, but I’m spending a lot of quality time in the bathroom.

  158. Carin,

    He couldn’t have given my alternate theory as an excuse.

    I half-agree. He could have switched (even to a DC or VA church) claiming convenience, or to one of the less radical churches in Chicago and said that he thanked Wright for bringing him to Christ, but that he realized Wright’s vision was limited, he wanted to be more inclusive, live integration, etc. And then had campaign staffers put out the more cynical explanation to journalists, who would have lapped it up and applauded his shrewdness.

  159. Karl- I hope you feel better. Did you eat some Hallmark Meatpacking beef?

    This(via clarice at JOM) is Steve Sailer excerpting Barack’s book. It seems to me the clues as to what drew him to Wright’s church are in it. What Wright preaches is an extension of what other male figures in his life told him.

    “What I’m trying to tell you is, your grandma’s right to be scared. She’s at least as right as Stanley is. She understands that black people have a reason to hate. That’s just how it is. For your sake, I wish it were otherwise. But it’s not. So you might as well get used to it.”

  160. Is Black Liberation Theology a religion?

    You claim to be a Sufi, is that a separate religion, or an over-riding philosophy? Is there a difference?

    Sufi orders or Sufi brotherhoods are traditionally known as Tariqa. They may be associated with Sunni Islam or Shia Islam, though the major ones, such as the QādirÄ« and NaqÅ¡hbandÄ« orders, are associated with traditional Sunni Islam and are accepted by the majority of ‘folk Muslims
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sufism

    Sufis do not define Sufism as a madhhab — what distinguishes a person as a Sufi is practicing Sufism, usually through association with a Sufi order. In this sense, traditional practitioners of Sufism don’t see it as an exclusive group but just as a form of training necessary to cultivate spirituality and Ihsan in their lives. Thus, sufis can be from shias or sunnis following any of the schools of jurisprudence.

    What you claim as a religion would not be considered such by many of your faith, apparently. But the real issue is what does it matter how you define it, the question is how does Obama and Wright define it. Wright has repeatedly called it the core of his ministry, and Obama does nothing to repudiate that. All he has said is he disagrees with anything that created controversy. No shit.

  161. I am trying to be polite because I want to know.
    And im sorry, Hagee and Wright are both hateful maniacs in my book.
    Although I would guess it is actually dementia praecox.
    They are equivalent. Both take a scant handful of facts and build an insane thought edifice on them.
    Both claim to be Christians.

    I fail to see what my sufism has to do with discussion.

  162. Wright has repeatedly called it the core of his ministry, and Obama does nothing to repudiate that.

    Yes, the core of Wright’s ministry, but is it the core of O’s belief system?
    O repudiated the hate/conspiracy theory parts of Wright’s preaching.
    I don’t think you can say that O’s religion is Black Liberation Theology.

  163. Ok….Trinity appears to be a non-denominational christian church.
    Black Liberation Theology is not a denomination, then, not a “religion”.

  164. O repudiated the hate/conspiracy theory parts of Wright’s preaching.

    No he didn’t, all he said was he disagreed with anything that caused controversy.

    I don’t think you can say that O’s religion is Black Liberation Theology.

    I really don’t give a fuck what you think, or what you call it. What they think is all that matters, and if a man is a loyal member of a congregation for over twenty years he either thinks that the core principles are the truth, or he is a fool or a liar.

  165. he said was he disagreed with anything that caused controversy.

    exactly.
    the AIDS conspiracy theory stuff, the goddamamerica, the 911 chickens, alla that.
    he repudiated it.

  166. How many presidents have been (pro white) christians! I think because he is a black man alot is being put on his shoulders… why?
    It’s been a long time since black voters have had a real voice.
    Mr Wright is ignorant for the comments he made, but O did not make those comments
    lets remember that

  167. I think because he is a black man alot is being put on his shoulders… why?
    Because he is a man running for president. It has nothing to do with him being black. The candidates for POTUS have a lot put on their shoulders because it is the most powerful position in the world.

    It’s been a long time since black voters have had a real voice.
    Why? Can’t a white person or an asian person be a real voice for black voters? Can a man be a real voice for a woman?

  168. Karl (im sry u dont feel well) your premise seems to be that Black Liberation Theology is a “stealth” religion for O.
    That O actually embraces Wright’s belief system whole heartedly and is merely concealing it so he can become president.
    I think I can argue that there should be SOME evidence in O’s writing or speeches.
    Something more substantial than Steve’s hints and clues.
    Surely, in 20 years, O should have some scant endorsement of Wright’s systemized BLT (heh).
    But he hasn’t.
    He has written books and never mentioned it.
    He has made hundreds of speeches and never mentioned it.
    Was O planning on the presidency for 20 years?

  169. Thanks for the enlightenment, Neal. Now, resume your bobbing.

  170. How many presidents have been (pro white) (members of churches calling for whites to rise up and kill blacks) christians!

    There, fixed that for you!

  171. nishi

    You go from asking whether BLT is the “core” of Obama’s belief system to “I don’t think you can say that Obama’s religion is Black Liberation Theology.”

    First, let’s get this “religion” label out of the way. BLT is not a religion. It is an interpretation of the American black experience through the lens of a very specific Christian interpretation as posited by James Cone. It is a belief system or framework. Note the wording, it is the “basis” for TUCC’s vision. It is also not a denomination, because there is not an institutional structure. But all of this is academic.

    What is relevant is in what way and to what extent, does it inform and influence political positions and behaviors. Herein lies the problem with Obama. In the first place, he doesn’t acknowledge that he has been in this environment for 20 years. He treats the Wright videos as isolated, and in fact non-representative events. In reality, these are snapshots of a long continuum consistent across Wright’s career. He treats these videos as such to avoid the fundamental question. Obviously, at one point, Obama was in agreement with Wright. If he were diametrically opposed at the beginning, where there was not any offsetting benefits from relationship or shared good works, he would have looked elsewhere. Rather, as he said in Dreams of My Father, Wright’s message resonated with him. Now, I have no doubt that Obama no longer holds the specific views expressed in the videos, as he said. But again, these should not be seen as stand-alone views, but as components in a larger framework. So the question is, what from this framework does Obama carry forward? From the way Obama frames the racial problem, we see a theme articulated within BLT, but in fairness, elsewhere among black activism as well. Is it logical to presume that Obama would maintain a close relationship with a mentor whose views were 180 degrees opposed to his own? No. There must be some overlap, some convergence – and quite possibly, a significant amount of political expedience and necessity. So what was the progression, and where is he now? We just can’t know. He tells us only a very little. And he’s trying not to have that conversation because it puts him in the position of having to explain maintaining an attachment which, when most people learn all of what it represents, will be viewed as unacceptable.

  172. Surely, in 20 years, O should have some scant endorsement of Wright’s systemized BLT

    I know the nishidiot cannot be bothered with things like facts, but attending the services for 20 years, claiming Wright as his spiritual advisor, utilizing his services for his wedding and the baptism of his kids, using Wright as a muse for one of his books, and donating tens of thousands of dollars to Wright’s church suggest, in no uncertain terms, an endorsement of the Church, pastor, and religion.

    That you cannot understand that, given your gifuckingnormous brain suggests that you have no desire to understand that. Willfully obtuse, you are.

  173. shukran jazeelyyan (a thousand thanks) creole.
    BLT is not a religion.
    Then is the title of this post badly-parsed or badly-framed?

    Is it logical to presume
    aye, there’s the rub.
    You presume with no evidence.

  174. And again, Wright is not running for president.
    PLease give me some hard data that O embraces the system: Black Liberation Theology.

  175. Let’s just focus on Hagee endorsing McCain, shall we?
    That’s so much easier to understand, I think.

  176. I think….that none of you actually believe that O is isomorphic with Wright on 911, AIDS, goddammamerica or any of the whackier pronouncements.
    This is a memewar.
    The more times the loop of wacky Rev. Wright shows on youtube or FOXnews, the more ppl will have questions about O.
    You are seeking to superglue Wright to O in the forebrain of the electorate.
    BLT is not a religion, it is a system.
    Because most of the electorate would never dream of disavowing religion, ur seek to paint BLT as O’s “religion”.

  177. Maybee, it is much easier.
    It is a symbiotic relationship.
    McCain desires theocon support without having Huckabee forced on him as VP.
    Hagee desires the preemptive bombing of Iran as an IFF (if and only if) condition for his endgame Rapture.

  178. PLease give me some hard data that O embraces the system: Black Liberation Theology.

    Fuck you nishi, stop spamming the goddamn threads like a petulant fucking child. Karl has given ample evidence to any rational, mature adult who understands politics in the least. If it isn’t enough to suit you, then say so and SHUT THE FUCK UP! You look like a fucking retard sitting in a corner, repeating yourself over and over. You used to be better than that.

  179. nishi,

    Thanks for you concern about my health. But for someone with a 145 IQ, you seem to enjoy playing dumb.

    You seem fixated on whether BLT is a religion. BLT, like LT, is not a religion in the sense you mean it, because (as noted in the original post) Leftists use a LT as a hermeneutic to subvert already established religions, to turn them into extensions of Leftist political thought — primarily Marxism, but also identity politics. In all cases, the focus on individual salvation is de-emphasized (or de fact eliminated) in favor of orthopraxis — politically correct action.

    No doubt the Latin American priests who advanced LT through through the 1980s were still claiming to be Catholic, though JPII and Ratzinger did not see it that way at all — and neither would nayone else honestly assessing Catholic theology. Those who were members of LT Catholic churches were subscribing to a complete inversion of Catholic theology. Whether you call that result a “religion,” a “denomination” or a “theology,” the practical real-world result is the same — a breakdown of the boundary between church and politics, and if successful, church and state.

  180. From the American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language:
    (emphasis mine)

    Theology

    1) The study of the nature of God and religious truth; rational inquiry into religious questions.

    2) A system or school of opinions concerning God and religious questions: Protestant theology; Jewish theology.

    3) A course of specialized religious study usually at a college or seminary.

    Nishi, you either are not getting it or are just spamming the discussion for your own purposes. Liberation Theology and Black Liberation Theology are ties to the religious practices of any Christian denomination that states that they accept the theology! Obama’s church readily accepted and preached Black Liberation Theology as a religious imperative and belief system tied to the holy scriptures and infused with their understanding of the very nature of God. Please don’t argue with this because it’s on the church’s frakin’ website!

    Now that we’ve dispensed with your silly questions about religion and denominations, let’s talk about Barry O. The point that Karl made, quite clearly, is that Barry’s 20 year association with the church raises the question as to whether or not he believes as his church and pastor believe because that Theology has significant implications in the political theater. I would note that in Obama’s speech he never specifically addressed this issue. Now while this doesn’t prove anything, it does raise two serious questions:

    1) Does he, in fact, agree with his church’s and pastor’s views on Black Liberation Theology 9or at least in part?)

    2) Can we trust his denial of knowing about his pastor’s (and church’s) views on this and other topics of racially charged theological views?

    As far as his other writing, the good senator is a smart man who knows what will play for the majority of voters he needs to get elected to almost any public office. The fact that only hints of this have shown up in his books reflects the careful calculations of a smart politician (as evidenced by less calculating Michelle being yanked off of the public stage for some ill conceived remarks.)

    You need to look up the legal term “preponderance of the evidence” and understand that, despite not having “absolute proof” of Obama’s convictions, there is enough “there” there to raise questions.

    Which is really all Karl did in his outstanding post. Yet you continue to duck and weave like a punch drunk prize fighter rather than really sit down and try to understand the reasons for the questions.

  181. nishi

    re your desire for hard data.

    Example: You look out your window before going to bed. The ground is bare. You wake up the next morning and look out the window. The ground is covered with snow.

    Now, maybe elves put it there by magic. Maybe Karl Rove rolled up to your yard with a snow-making machine without awakening you.

    But most people are going to conclude that it snowed while you were asleep. It’s called circumstantial evidence. People all over this country are serving jail time at this moment based on circumstantial evidence. People are charged with racial discrimination in this country on the basis of circumstantial evidence.

    If you want to remain in denial by moving your mental goalposts as necessary, that’s your business, of course. But you aren’t going to convince many people in the process.

  182. Karl: Sorry I stepped on your orthopraxis argument, but I felt it necessary to connect theology and religion since are dealing with a … Oh what is it called … Christian Church! nishi let herself get all distracted (or was trying to distract) about denominations, religions and systems while forgetting that the UCC church is a religious organization proclaiming a scriptural exegesis for BLT and LT. Tyhis is not that unusual as my denomination (PCUSA) has a significant LT movement that has been the cause of some acrimonious debates.

    Nishi will be back to move the goalposts again in 3 … 2 … 1 …

  183. nishi –

    No, you presume contrary to logic. The logical presumption would be that 20 years of elective exposure is done for a purpose, and has an effect. Again, keep in mind that the mitigating factors cited yesterday by Obama for sustaining his relationship with Wright were experiences collected over the years; these would not have been factors when the relationship only began. At that point in time, Obama was responding to all he had to go on about Wright, which was Wright’s message and teachings. He says so in Dreams of My Father, citing sermons about “rich whites” and “Hiroshima.” Wright’s views have not fundamentally changed over these years (as Obama noted yesterday, saying Wright has been “static”). Logic and the evidence indicates there was some substantive embrace by Obama of Wright’s views (which is to say, Cone’s BLT, however it is labeled). Further, in Dreams of My Father he does not talk of anything he disagreed with, which given the radicalism of Wright, is noteworthy as well.

    Logic says that a close mentoring relationship, not making “bold political moves” without consultation, is not done with someone with whom you have an 180 degree disagreement. If that were so, what would be the basis for or credibility of such advice? That makes no sense. Nor would it make sense to involve a person whom you disagree with so much, in your campaign. To say there has never been any influence strains credulity beyond reason.

    So we are left with a picture where generally speaking at least 20 years ago there was strong agreement and now there is some strong disagreement, but still sufficient basis for receiving political advice and placing Wright on an advisory committee. What are the points of agreement? In what way does Cone’s philosophy continue to inform Obama’s views? We can only say that it does in some way, but not how. We see indication of Wright’s politics of grievance in how Obama frames racial and social issues. We see indication of Wright’s approach in Obama’s notions of activist government intervention to address such issues. We see a commonality between fundamental political ideology in BLT (and more broadly, the parent Liberation Theology) and Obama’s very Liberal positions.

    It is a mistake to base this analysis on looking for some “hard” policy position espoused alike by Wright and Obama. That is one-dimensional, binary thinking and would be simplistic. These are matters of degree, of influence, of perspective, of approach, of judgment, even of definition.

  184. The logical presumption would be that 20 years of elective exposure is done for a purpose, and has an effect.

    But..there is no perceptable effect.
    No text, no speeches.

    Activist government is a democratic philosophy, btw, not solely a BLT one.

    Perhaps O started going to Trinity for one reason, but continued to go for another.
    This passage from Crypt says it better than i can.

    Weirdly, the ones who adopted the sternest and most terrible Old Testament moral tone were the Modern Language Association types who believed that everything was relative and that, for example, polygamy was as valid as monogamy. The friendliest and most sincere welcome he’d gotten was from Scott, a chemistry professor, and Laura, a pediatrician, who, after knowing Randy and Charlene for many years, had one day divulged to Randy, in strict confidence, that, unbeknownst to the academic community at large they had been spiriting their three children off to church every Sunday morning, and had even had them baptized. . . .

    Randy hadn’t the faintest idea what these people thought of him and what he had done, but he could sense right away that, essentially, that was not the issue, because even if they thought he had done something evil, they at least had a framework, a sort of procedure manual, for dealing with transgressions. To translate it into UNIX system administration terms (Randy’s fundamental metaphor for just about everything), the post-modern, politically correct atheists were like people who had suddenly found themselves in charge of a big and unfathomably complex computer system (viz. society) with no documentation or instructions of any kind, and so whose only way to keep the thing running was to invent and enforce certain rules with a kind of neo-Puritanical rigor, because they were at a loss to deal with any deviations from what they saw as the norm. Where as people who were wired into a church were like UNIX system administrators who, while they might not understand everything, at least had some documentation, some FAQs and How-tos and README files, providing some guidance on what to do when things got out of whack. They were, in other words, capable of displaying adaptability.

    Perhaps…O had children and a wife an was plugged into the community of Trinity.
    And perhaps that is why we dont see any BLT in O’s works.
    Because he continued going to Trinity because of his family.
    Not because of Rev. Wright.

  185. Perhaps…O had children and a wife an was plugged into the community of Trinity.
    And perhaps that is why we dont see any BLT in O’s works.
    Because he continued going to Trinity because of his family.
    Not because of Rev. Wright.

    And your evidence of this is?????? … what?

    It’s all just your self serving speculation designed to pimp your Obama crush. There is significantly more circumstantial evidence of Obama embracing at least some aspects of BLT than there is to support any of what you wrote above.

    And of course there is nothing (or just hints) in his writings. The guy was trying to get elected to public office and even some blacks are scared of BLT.

    I’m done with this. You’ll never see how blind you are and will continue to say the same things over and over with no backup evidence. You should contact Andrew Sullivan and you guys can have a Willfully Ignorant Obama Lovefest.

  186. nishi,

    How is it that you demand hard data, while at the same time keep positing on the basis of no evidence that he kept going because of his wife? I mean other than rank hypocrisy and sheer mendacity?

    Also, why do you seemingly equate BLT only with Wright’s most extreme statements?

    I imagined the stories of ordinary black people merging with the stories of David and Goliath, Moses and Pharaoh, the Christians in the lion’s den, Ezekiel’s field of dry bones.

    “Those stories — of survival, and freedom, and hope — became our story, my story; the blood that had spilled was our blood, the tears our tears; until this black church, on this bright day, seemed once more a vessel carrying the story of a people into future generations and into a larger world.

    The substitution of “the black experience” into the Exodus, get it?

    Out of necessity, the black church rarely had the luxury of separating individual salvation from collective salvation. It had to serve as the center of the community’s political, economic, and social as well as spiritual life; it understood in an intimate way the biblical call to feed the hungry and clothe the naked and challenge powers and principalities. In the history of these struggles, I was able to see faith as more than just a comfort to the weary or a hedge against death; rather, it was an active, palpable agent in the world.
    … It was because of these newfound understandings–that religious commitment did not require me to suspend critical thinking, disengage from the battle for economic and social justice, or otherwise retreat from the world that I knew and loved–that I was finally able to walk down the aisle of Trinity United Church of Christ one day and be baptized. It came about as a choice and not an epiphany…

    The church as political agent and the center of all facets of life. Get it?

  187. It seems to me…..that the distallation, the essence of your argument Karl….is that O went to Trinity for 20 years….and therefore…must have absorbed BLT by osmosis…and must have endorsed it…else he woulf have left.
    But what if the reason he stayed was the reason you all tell me that you go to church?
    For your children, for your communities.
    I see scant evidence of BLT in O’s works.

    By their acts shell ye known them.

  188. I have a feeling that by this point, nishi’s father would have just bought her the pony.

  189. Nishi, Karl just showed you hard evidence of BLT in Obama’s insertion of the black experience into the Exodus story. That is textbook, classic BLT as if it came full grown from Cone’s head.

    You are just being willfully ignorant.

  190. Maybee I had two ponies.

  191. By their acts shell ye known them.

    Yet you continue to discount the act of attending the Church in favor of his politically expedient words.

    You are a fool even by your own definition.

  192. No, my argument is that Obama has been consistent in explaining why he joined and remained a member at Trinity, and that explanation refers to the essence of BLT, the breakdown of separation between religion and politics. Obama’s political acts make him the most liberal US Senator and as such thoroughly in keeping with the essence of LT. Obama is a Theolib. Worship, nishi, worship.

  193. Shit, a 145 IQ ain’t what is used to be, is it?

  194. I like Nishi’s fairy tale, though, explaining why O’s a member of that church. It would have been a bit more entertaining if it had unicorns in it. Everyone likes unicorns. You know, like he stayed with the church because on Sundays they gave free unicorn rides for all the children.

  195. I think in Obama’s church it was flying Dik Diks for the children. You know, for the continental connection.

  196. Obama’s political acts make him the most liberal US Senator and as such thoroughly in keeping with the essence of LT.

    And in keeping with being a Democrat.
    I think there is a high correlation between democrats and O’s voting record.
    Extemely tenuous Karl.
    You are reaching.
    No, everything you have cited so far is typical of a progressive, liberal democrat.
    Show me something specific to BLT.

  197. nishi –

    For children, community? This illustrates where academic excellence and native intellect suffer for want of common sense and real-life experience.

    Please, think about that. A major priority for Wright is inculcating in children from the earliest days, to view the “entire reality” of America through the BLT “white supremacist” prism. This is what Obama has been doing. Now, why would he do that? Most people would be out of there in 15 minutes, fewer would subject their children – for any reason – to this on an extended basis.

    The same principle applies relative to the community. If one realizes BLT for what it is, one sees the poison being fed into the community. Did Obama not see that? Why if he did, would he continue to support TUCC, regardless of short term social works?

    Your logic is convoluted.

  198. And..experiencing biblical stories as personally relevent?
    pfft.
    that isnt BLT..that is gospel.

  199. fewer would subject their children – for any reason – to this on an extended basis.

    creole, i think Mischelle Obama would.
    I think she would reguard BLT as immunizization more than anything, a sheild to protect them against racism and denigration.
    Like white christians reguard their church’s teachings as an innoculation against drug, sex and alchohol abuse.
    From what snippets I have read of her masters thesis, I would say she is very probably BLT.
    Does that mean O is?
    Should he divorce her if she is?

  200. Ok, nishi, tell me how close I am:

    Teenage nishi: Daddy daddy, I want a pony!

    Daddy nishi: But nishi, you already have a pony.

    Teen nishi: I promise I’ll brush it and feed it and ride it every day!

    Daddy nishi: But you don’t take care of the pony you have. Our Persian housekeeper does.

    Teen nishi: But Daddy! I want a pony. A prettyprettypretty pony.

    Daddy nishi: well…

    Teen nishi: I promise I’ll brush it and feed it and ride it every day! Pretty prettypretty

    Daddy nishi:Ok, you brilliant girl. You talked me into it. I sure am lucky to be your daddy, you clever girl.

    Teen nishi: Thank you daddy!!! You won’t be sorry. Daddy, can I have a new snowboard?

  201. Opps. That might not have been Rev Wright

  202. ha!
    :)

  203. Actually I got my first horse at 14.
    The ponies were earlier.

  204. 2 fucking ponies and the little tse tse fly still wanted more. Our sincere apologies. Agter reading this, we are kicking her out of our basement and demanding a refund from her, as it is obvious that the “tuition money” was misappropriated.

  205. Pingback: Dems 2008: Why did Obama reject the New Black Panther Party? [Karl]

  206. Ahhhhhh, BJ. Flying Dik Diks. If only we had gotten her a couple flying Dik Diks. That might have made all the difference.

  207. nishi,

    You’ve finally painted yourself into a corner. So the last excuse is that Obama is pussy-whipped? So badly so, that he would stand by with his children – and his community, with its children – to be poisoned. With you’re reasoning, you were born a few decades late – Jim Jones would have loved you.

    I hadn’t seen where this 145 IQ ref kept cropping up in posts from. Now I see it is you, self-proclaimed. But the operative term is not “IQ of 145″, it’s “child”. And you obviously think this is some game.

    Fortunately, it’s the adults that make the important decisions. Come back when you’ve grown up. Which with your snide condescending ego – and total lack of comprehension of logic or real-world experience – will be a helluva long time.

  208. P.S., nishi – By the way, I have an IQ of 142. I can’t remember the last time I told anyone that, since it doesn’t mean shit when it comes to judgment and maturity.

  209. Did we ever figure out if Baracky’s religion was a religion or not?

  210. creole said it was not a religion.

  211. Oh. There’s that then, really. Baracky should give a speech then to clarify all these misunderstandings about his religious beliefs. I think it could move the debate forward.

  212. When was this IQ measured?

  213. Creole, the context was…..that i am the child a lot of the posters here are striving to raise.
    “a child of priviledge with a 145 IQ.”
    And im also their worst nightmare.
    Because i question everything and i reject their values.

    For example, I dont believe gay is evil, that gay is like a disease, that gay is wrong.
    Of course samesex marriage should be legal…homosexuals are citizens too.

    Back on topic, I see absolutely no evidence that O embraces BLT.
    It is pure conjecture.

  214. Not so much really. He thinks America needs to tacitly apologize and promise to act more nicer cause it’s been bad. He thinks Jews are pretty sucky… you can tell from the advisers he picks. He thinks the tax code and fiscal policy should be changed for more better social justice … you can read his very socialisty economic agenda at his site. He’s very into creating national service leagues of Obama Youth to change lightbulbs and stuff, and he … more laters.

  215. Anyway, Obama’s very in synch with Black Liberation Theology. What would soft-peddled take whitey’s monies and disempower his white ass policies look like if not like Baracky’s policies?

  216. feets that is all democrat schitck.
    prog libs have always done the buy the world a coke stuff, and the guilty america stuff, and the poverty/injustice stuff.

    i truly dont understand why all of you believe O is closet BLT.
    i think it is generational.
    like Che!
    who is some guy in a t-shirt to me.
    and rev wright is like some old sixties guy stuck inna time warp.
    he isnt really relevent.

  217. Maybee I had two ponies.

    And now you’ve got jungle fever.

    145? Piker.

  218. Back on topic, I see absolutely no evidence that O embraces BLT.

    No, you’re willfully ignoring it.

  219. Pingback: William Faulkner Was Right « Liberty Street

  220. “I see absolutely no evidence that O embraces BLT”

    I, on the other hand, see no reason to doubt that Obama enjoys the occasionaly BLT, from time to time. With mayo, even.

  221. Bacon is haraam, slart.

    Oh wait, that’s nishi, not Barack. My bad.

  222. Occasional, even. Possibly I’m now as drunk as nishi is, as a threshold level for commenting. Still, I manage to not misspell everything.

    Ur thots r wat, xactly?

  223. There are no words on this page and there is no evidence that any words ever were on this page.

    And if there had been, I repudiate them.

  224. In summation…Karl’s title is wrong, because the only religion O claims is Christianity and because of Article 6.
    None of Karl’s cites prove O is anything but a good oldfashioned proglib democrat; greivance politics, redistribution of wealth, “sinner America”, buy-the-world-a-coke….all time honored democratic core themes.
    Experiencing biblical stories as personally or tribally rellevent is not emblematic of Black Liberation Theology, but of gospel, we had that in catholicism too.
    Certainly you can pillory O for associating with Wright for 20 years. The man is a hateful racist and a conspiracy theorist.

    But you cannot say O is an advocate of Black Liberation Theology without any proof.

  225. Meanwhile, the skillions of things nishi says that continue to go unsubstantiated are still stacked in an embarrassing heap in the garage, making it impossible to park a car there.

  226. Oooh, like Sanford and Son! Which was….genius.

  227. You can tell nishi is wound up. She forgot she’s supposed to be totally kewl and geek-trendy and thus she accidentally found the shift key a few times.

  228. But you cannot say O is an advocate of Black Liberation Theology without any proof.

    Hey, nishi: when I read through the Nuremburg Trial transcripts some years ago, I ran across some interesting testimony from one of the accused. It seems that there was a group photo in evidence which featured Hitler, the defendant, and several other high Nazi officials, all in full Third Reich regalia.

    His defense: “Yes, that is a picture of me with numerous high-ranking Nazis, and yes, I am wearing the uniform of an obergruppenführer in the Waffen SS. But I wasn’t a Nazi. Nope. I just happened to be at one of Hitler’s parties that day. He thought the photo would look nicer if we were all in uniform, so I put it on as a favor.”

    Hint: the tribunal didn’t buy it.

  229. buy-the-world-a-coke…

    Or sell, as the case may be.

  230. nishi of course is overlooking the parts where O says he was taken by the church as “the center of the community’s political, economic, and social as well as spiritual life.” Because it doesn’t fit her rote denial, and she’s clearly too invested in hating theocons to admit to herself that that she has fallen for a theolib.

  231. It’s worse. Baracky clearly sees radical religion as a useful tool. The religious right has always been a definable them… their views are polled, we know the extent to which they define the religious right and where America stands in relation to those views… Baracky wants to glibly mainstream radicalism in a wholly unexamined way.

  232. Baracky wants to change everything radically, and his vision is one that the Reverend Wright approves of really a lot … enough to retire cause with Baracky in the White House it’s mission accomplished for him.

  233. What I find amusing is nishi finds some conservative policy stances intolerable because they’re based on religious teachings, but when confronted with her knee-trembler taking his positions from his religious teachings, she excuses it with “oh, that’s just liberalism”.

    And she claims to be a “born Republican”… and now she’s claiming to have had a WASP childhood that seems more like something from Caddyshack than from reality.

    She’s a moby.

  234. Shit, a 145 IQ ain’t what is used to be, is it?

    Not since a high IQ took the place of experience, maturity and an actual education, no.

  235. And im also their worst nightmare.
    Because i question everything

    Except Obama.

  236. That’s the problem with kids of today (and progressives). They think questioning everything is some sort of accomplishment.

  237. I can’t help but wonder about the subtext of MayBee’s criticism. Clearly she’s attempting to hang some kind of frame on an issue that should be straightforward. But why?

  238. she= me, happs?

  239. Yes, ironically. But then you knew that, didn’t you?

  240. Pingback: Dems 2008: Views of Obama's pastor reflect black US tradition? [Karl]

  241. Can you prove it?
    Hey happs, stay out of Santa Monica. It’s getting dangerous there.

  242. Some of Merman’s neighbors fear the recent homicides signal a rise in violent crimes linked to the downturn in the national economy, including Jack Rothstein, 57, a bearded fiction writer who came to see the crime scene this morning, frisbee in hand, wearing a denim cap and a shirt emblazoned, “Revolution.”

    goddamn Bush

  243. “When crimes like this happen in Santa Monica, it doesn’t bode well for the whole nation,” Rothstein said.

    Ha ha ha ha ha! Thanks for that, happyfeet.

  244. They think questioning everything is some sort of accomplishment.

    I question gravity. Therefore, I can fly.

  245. Back on topic, I see absolutely no evidence that O embraces BLT.

    And you never will… what with your eyes closed, fingers in your ears and yelling “lalalalalalala”

  246. Pingback: Dems 2008: Obama gets HALP from John Kerry [Karl]

  247. “Surprisingly, the Wikipedia entry on the subject is not terrible in its overview”

    What have you got against Wikipedia?

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  249. First: I’m a day late and a dollar short, but I finally got a chance to read this whole thing, and I sincerely want to thank Karl for taking the time and effort to try to help idiots like me understand these things.

    Also: Nishi, would it help any if Karl changed the title of this epic to “Does Barack Obama’s church matter?” (Probably not, because then you’d declare that “O doesn’t run the church”, or something equally useless.)

    Finally: I too have a 145 IQ (certified by Mensa, which I used to be a member of), and I am often forced to consider myself one of the stupidest people reading this blog. (Until I read comments from the various TTPs, that is.)

    Again, Karl, thanks; I wish work didn’t intrude so much on my reading (hehehe)….

  250. Damn it; close the bold tag after “stupidest” (see? There I go again)….

    (Done — four years late. –ed.)

  251. Pingback: Dems 2008: Revisiting Obama's faith-based appeals [Karl]

  252. Pingback: Dems 2008: Can Obama disown Rev. Wright? Yes, he can! [Karl]

  253. Are you aware that there has been a lot of analysis of this subject at http://www.stop-obama.org?

  254. Pingback: Obama's church to echo Obama's dodge [Karl]

  255. Pingback: Dems 2008: Why did Obama join the Wright church, revisited [Karl]

  256. Seems to me there is some conflation of ideas in this essay. While the author uses the Catholic Church to link liberation theology and Marxism, it fails to consider the possibility that Obama may find other reasons for linking his faith and progressive/liberal views. There is a way of seeing Jesus as favoring the poor (given how he preached and with whom he hung out) without saying Christ is thus a Marxist. And given our culture’s emphasis on the individual — and thus Personal salvation — over another culture’s emphasis on the group — and thus Communal salvation — we need to remember the balance between just worrying about ourselves and “being our brother’s keeper.” I see no need to try to paint Obama as some sort of radical when, though he is indeed more liberal than most Republicans, he has always proclaimed thoughts well within the mainstream of American politics. You may not agree with all of them but it’s laughable to label them extreme in any way. Watch his Philadelphia speech with an open mind and listen to how he addresses the flap over his former pastor and learn how a man can be comfortable owning his own, his family’s, America’s and humanity’s full contradictions.

  257. One more thought, especially to Creole (#189, et al) who seems to have given some thought to this issue: Obama was a top student of Law at Harvard. I doubt much, religion or otherwise, goes into this brain without critical thought, evaluation and manipulation to conform to his own thoughts and experience. Unlike the present administration, and more like Lincoln’s, Obama appears ready to hear and indeed embrace many points of view, even those contrary to his own; he seems to find a way of synthesizing/balancing or at least understanding these opposing views albeit with a liberal bent. So while his former pastor may subscribe to some of radical thoughts in this essay and the comments expressed here (though I find it hard for anyone who wasn’t a member of the congregation to say it was part of a pattern or a long-term expression of disgust at America), I think we have to judge Obama by his pwn thoughts and words expressed in his books and speeches, and by his own deeds as a human being and legislator, not by others.

  258. erm, Another View, if you would look at more recent posts, you would see most of your points have been addressed. also, I’m not sure how being rated the most liberal Senator in Congress demonstrates his ability to embrace many points of view. but like I said, how bout you join us on the front page?

  259. Pingback: Andrew Sullivan accidentally attacks himself [Karl]

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  264. Pingback: Bill Moyers plays Whiffleball with the Rev. Wright [Karl]

  265. Pingback: Hot Air » Blog Archive » Video: “The View” salutes Wright’s “righteous rage”

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  270. Nicely done, Karl. Thank you.

  271. Pingback: Barack Obama will not be subscribing to the Christian Science Monitor [Karl]

  272. Pingback: Tennesseefree.com » Barack Obama , the “Affirmative Action” candidate

  273. Pingback: Barack Obama: Still exploiting the religion he won’t discuss [Karl]

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  275. Pingback: Tennesseefree.com » Barack Obama admits The Surge has succeeded. McCain was right, Obama was (and still is) wrong.

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  278. Pingback: Tennesseefree.com » Obama chose Marxism for the same reason he chose his Church: for the HATE

  279. Pingback: The Greenroom » Forum Archive » The Politico notices our Christianist-in-Chief

  280.  Â Â  ?

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