American Madness

Intelligent Criticism in the Service of a Better Nation

The only man who could ever reach me…

Posted by Josh Friedlander | No Comments

…had a crazy preacher man.

While Hillary proved in no uncertain terms that she’s capable of telling huge and easily verifiable lies, the Obama preacher issue continues to fester in the back of my mind. Here we reprint a dialogue between two family members (one pro-Clinton / one pro-Obama) as they debate the issue. We join in mid-discussion:

You are so blinded by Obama’s ability to talk bullshit you can’t see the reason his affiliation with that pastor and church is troublesome. Of course black people have negative feelings about whites, duh. The problem is Obama’s 20 years of sitting in that nasty church, hearing those sermons and now saying he personally never heard anything but a call to Jesus.

Well, I would separate out Obama’s explanation from the political content of the sermons. If he said he never heard anything but a call to Jesus, he’s bullshitting.

But I can think of a lot of valid reasons he would stick with a church where he didn’t agree 100% with the sermons – pretty much everyone who goes to church does this. What, for instance, do you think of Catholics, whose priests fulminated against gays at the beginning of the AIDS crisis?

Or, better yet, Catholic politicians who remained in the Church and prayed every Sunday for the salvation of the “perfidious Jews” – a part of the litany that is returning with the Latin mass? Moreover, how do you feel about Orthodox Jew Joe Lieberman, who starts each day thanking god that he was not born a woman?

Virtually every religious person is compromised in this way.

Obama’s explanation – that he was attracted to the church because it offered him a way into the “authentic” black community (I’m paraphrasing) – resonates a lot with me personally.

My approach to Judaism over the last few years has taken place in a congregation that practices gender segregation. It’s also been conducted under a certain amount of guidance from a Hasidic rabbi whose political opinions would make your hair curl, not to mention he’s a creationist!

But I’m not learning about evolution or politics from him, am I? Obama’s religious journey isn’t about you or me. What matters in politics is what OBAMA says and does. (I note with interest that less than a month ago the issue was that he might be a Muslim, now he’s the wrong kind of Christian.)

Good Lord, what does that say about his ability to know what’s going on around him and what does belonging to a church like that and clutching that preacher to his hearth, home and campaign say about his judgment?

This is where you have a point. Although he has put some distance between himself and the preacher (who is not the same as the church, by the way – it’s a big church with lots of preachers), it would have made sense to confront this stuff early on. I certainly think he understood the liability, though, which is why he avoided the topic.

It’s a church for God’s sake (pun intended) and even I expect places of worship to forward an agenda of tolerance at the very least.

You’re kidding, right? Churches aren’t tolerant. They are temples of righteousness!

That preacher sounded like a member of the Klan in reverse: anti white and anti Semitic.

You see, this kind of sentiment makes my blood boil. The difference between an angry black preacher and the Klan is that the Klan member raves about the removal of privileges that were unfair in the first place – and blames the wrong party! – while the angry black man NEVER FUCKING SAW A PRIVILEGE IN HIS GODDAMNED LIFE and knows exactly who is at fault.

What, in practical terms, does it mean for a black man to be “anti-white” in America? Why are white people so upset about what is essentially an aesthetic problem, i.e. one of appearances, while for the most part not giving a shit about real racial injustice?

So black people express a lot of private anger about white people. Big deal. This is an opportunity for white people to learn something about the reality of American race relations but I can see already there’s little interest in the lesson.

A huge gulf between black and white perceptions gets revealed on this issue and the white reaction isn’t “my god, there is so much I don’t know,” but, rather, “fuck you black man – it’s all your fault.” Talk about bad faith.

Let’s think back to Dr King for a minute OK? You know, the guy everyone imagines Obama is the reincarnation of?

Oh my god, didn’t King share a platform with Malcolm X, who hated America? Quick, the smelling salts!

On the big issues, King and Malcolm X were both right but the one who gets remembered fondly is the one who flattered white people by telling them how great their country was despite his actual experience of said country telling him precisely the opposite.

Look, there’s only one person in this race who even approaches the aspirations of King, and we both know who it is. You want your ego stroked, vote for Clinton.


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