Obama: Double Standard?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 15, 2008 8:58 PM GMT
    For those who have not been following the news recently there has been some concern over the messages and words by Jeremiah Wright, the pastor of Obama's Trinity church. The church's mission has several goals. A few are:

    -A congregation with a non-negotiable COMMITMENT TO AFRICA.
    -A congregation committed to BIBLICAL EDUCATION. (Don't we hate evangelicals for this?)

    Something to note: the Trinity church always talks about BLACK empowerment, BLACK rights, BLACK influence, BLACK education, etc... If you replaced the word's BLACK with WHITE wouldn't that be a racist organization then? So why is nobody heated over Jeremiah Wright and his church?

    The same pastor also believes the greatest challenge today is the supremacy of rich whites who control society, subject and support racist regimes, bomb and terrorize third world countries, support Zionism, and created the AIDS virus.

    Now Huckabee and Rommey were both fairly conservative christian candidates. They received plenty of attention over their faith. Yet Obama seems to have steered clear of this kind of questioning. Ron Paul had ties to an organization that was racist and although he denied the ties people ON THIS SITE claimed he was lying and just another christian racist right winger.

    So why don't we apply the same standard to Obama? He has only just recently come out to claim he does not agree with all off the teachings of his pastor. Why do we not look at him with the same doubtful glare. He is after all a member of a church that has some very hardcore "leftwing" stances. Can we trust a president who belongs to a church that promotes "commitment to Africa?" Does that mean sending aid and money to Africa instead of fixing domestic problems?

    Why do we cast republicans as religious bigots but not Obama? Evangelical churches have some of the same mission goals as the Trinity Church. Just thought I'd pose the question since the forum's here have attacked republicans on their faith quite often, yet we don't see any problem with Obama and his faith.

    Here are some Video's of his pastor Jeremiah Wright's words:






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    Mar 16, 2008 12:22 AM GMT
    Let's see, where to start?

    First, let's talk about racism. Racism is not promoting the interests of your own race. Racism is the belief that your race is somehow superior to all others. Blacks can be just as guilty of this as whites (I've heard Spike Lee say some ridiculous things) but simply wanting to increase the level of education of your race - when on the average you're behind the curve - doesn't qualify.

    As far as "rights" are concerned, this is a non-issue in America. Blacks have just as many rights as anyone else. In fact, having grown up as a lower middle class white and paying my own way through college, I found on more than one occasion that things would have been easier for me if I had been black. But American blacks may feel they have fewer rights than whites, because that's what they've been told all their lives - by their own leaders and by the white-dominated media. Any talk about "rights", "influence", or "empowerment" is really just feelgood rhetoric that black leaders use to win the support of their own people. There's no political teeth there.

    "Commitment to Africa"? This doesn't scare me much either. It certainly doesn't mean Obama would send aid to Africa INSTEAD OF fixing domestic problems - and it wouldn't matter if it did. The president doesn't have the power to do that. Congress decides where the money goes. The president can veto bills (which can be overridden by Congress), appoint Supreme Court justices (if one dies unexpectedly or chooses to retire), and send troops to far-off hell holes (which eventually will come under Congressional scrutiny too). Something tells me Obama wouldn't last long in office if he sent our troops to settle an African tribal war.

    Having said all of this, you have a point that the media has been ignoring Obama's religion while focusing on Romney's and Huckabee's. But please don't confuse the rantings of an individual with the teachings of a religion. The real question here isn't what Obama's pastor says, but what Obama believes. He doesn't have to automatically go out and do what his pastor says, any more than you or I do (when JFK was running for office, critics complained that his allegiance would be to the Pope). Granted, Obama could choose a church with a less volatile pastor - I assume he attends the one he does largely for political reasons, and like most top-level politicians (including Romney, Huckabee, and Bush), his personal religious beliefs are most likely far outweighed by his own inflated ego.

    Personally I'd be extremely wary of any politician who makes decisions based on what his pastor, his religion, or his God tells him. But no major candidate in this presidential election has given me much to worry about.

    And by the way, just to head off any misunderstandings - I don't think I'll vote for Obama. And I don't think he has a chance of winning.
  • HndsmKansan

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    Mar 16, 2008 1:18 AM GMT
    riptjock saidLet's see, where to start?

    Having said all of this, you have a point that the media has been ignoring Obama's religion while focusing on Romney's and Huckabee's. But please don't confuse the rantings of an individual with the teachings of a religion.

    And by the way, just to head off any misunderstandings - I don't think I'll vote for Obama. And I don't think he has a chance of winning.






    Very well thought and stated Ript...and most of which I would tend to agree with...but

    Remember that blacks didn't start out with the same rights as whites and had to earn them, through a war and riots so I think blacks are probably a little more sensitive than whites may be (and probably prudent for us to have a certain sensitivity about that.. to a point).

    The religion question.. I know that Obama was accused of being Muslim, I think thats ridiculous and stands about like the "Obama isn't saluting the flag" commentary... but certainly I think that if the public wants to know Obama's religious background, just like the others, it should be forthcoming.

    And finally.. why don't you think he has a chance of winning?? Curious.
  • Starboard

    Posts: 242

    Mar 16, 2008 1:44 AM GMT
    People like Sean Hannity try and use role reversals to argue black racism: "what if a church leader talked about the importance of protecting "white values"?".

    When Group A is guilty of oppressing and even enslaving Group B, I think it's ridiculous for Group A to try and claim the same moral high ground as Group B in this argument.

    That being said, I think it's fair to expect Obama to explain his relationship with this church and this particular minister. Obama's political message has been to bring all Americans together which seems contrary to some of the teachings of his church.

    But as a Roman Catholic, I personally intend to accept any reasonable explanation that Obama provides very generously, as my own church often adopts views that I find offensive if not morally questionable. Hopefully no one will judge me for being affiliated with this particular institution...or consider me unfit to be elected POTUS!

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    Mar 16, 2008 1:53 AM GMT
    Kansan, you're right of course. Blacks did not have equal rights for a very long time, and both blacks and whites should be sensitive to that fact. But it does no one any good to push for "equal rights" now - when they are in fact equal.

    And yes, Obama should be forthcoming about his religious beliefs. I would certainly want to know, for instance, if he intends to push the idea of teaching "Creationism" or its ugly stepchild "Intelligent Design" in public schools. I'd also want to know about it if he'll be going around saying "Jesus was a poor black man" like his pastor did in that video Trance posted.

    As for why I don't think he'll win - primarily because presidents are still mainly elected by older voters living in America's heartland. And I don't think they're ready for Obama yet. They might have been ready for Colin Powell had he found a major party to back him... but not Obama.
  • auryn

    Posts: 2061

    Mar 16, 2008 2:14 AM GMT
    From 3/14/2008's Countdown with Keith Olbermann



    From the NY Times: "Obama Decries Racial Rhetoric"
    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Obama.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=obama+mother&st=nyt&oref=slogin


    From the NY Times: "A Free-Spirited Wanderer Who Set Obama’s Path"
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/14/us/politics/14obama.html?scp=2&sq=obama+mother&st=nyt

    Have a look.

    Trance23 said He has only just recently come out to claim he does not agree with all off the teachings of his pastor. Why do we not look at him with the same doubtful glare. He is after all a member of a church that has some very hardcore "leftwing" stances. Can we trust a president who belongs to a church that promotes "commitment to Africa?" Does that mean sending aid and money to Africa instead of fixing domestic problems?

    Why do we cast republicans as religious bigots but not Obama? Evangelical churches have some of the same mission goals as the Trinity Church. Just thought I'd pose the question since the forum's here have attacked republicans on their faith quite often, yet we don't see any problem with Obama and his faith.


    I'll try to give answers to your other questions later. Perhaps some others that grew up in the Black church culture will also offer opinions and information for you and others that have questions. You post good questions, and I hope to give a little insight on, at least, one component, and I hope this won't become another brawl against religions. What Former Pastor Wright says in those clips, have nothing to do with religion or the Christian Faith.

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    Mar 16, 2008 3:48 AM GMT
    riptjock saidKansan, you're right of course. Blacks did not have equal rights for a very long time, and both blacks and whites should be sensitive to that fact. But it does no one any good to push for "equal rights" now - when they are in fact equal.

    And yes, Obama should be forthcoming about his religious beliefs. I would certainly want to know, for instance, if he intends to push the idea of teaching "Creationism" or its ugly stepchild "Intelligent Design" in public schools. I'd also want to know about it if he'll be going around saying "Jesus was a poor black man" like his pastor did in that video Trance posted.

    As for why I don't think he'll win - primarily because presidents are still mainly elected by older voters living in America's heartland. And I don't think they're ready for Obama yet. They might have been ready for Colin Powell had he found a major party to back him... but not Obama.



    I bolded that part of your argument b/c it is remiss for you to simply suggest that everything is equal. Theoretically, yes, everyone is supposed to have an equal opportunity. However, it is quite evident that consistent and significant inequalities in access to specific social constructs still exist (constructs on which we all depend to eventually contribute to this society).
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    Mar 16, 2008 3:51 AM GMT
    Something to note: the Trinity church always talks about BLACK empowerment, BLACK rights, BLACK influence, BLACK education, etc... If you replaced the word's BLACK with WHITE wouldn't that be a racist organization then? So why is nobody heated over Jeremiah Wright and his church?

    Please tell me you typed that without considering how pointless that "note" is

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    Mar 16, 2008 7:22 AM GMT
    Former Pastor Wright was obviously expressing personal beliefs from behind the pulpit. Many pastors do that... I know my dad did, and I'd always leave because I disagreed with his words. However, you can not assume that the church, or any particular members of the congregation, ascribe to such rantings. Obama has denounced those statements publicly, and I believe what he's said.

    Secondly, we should have a commitment to Africa to help with the AIDS epidemic over there... in the form of making appropriate medicines and education available. It is possible to take care of things here and help Africa, too.

    Third, I'd be surprised if Trinity didn't talk about black empowerment, education, rights, etc. It's no different from me attending a Tribal Council or Powwow where the topics being addressed are Native American empowerment, influence, education, rights, etc. After all, we're a group of Native Americans, we'd hardly discuss the price of eggs in China. Neither example fits the definition of "racism".

    Republicans have a history of being far more detrimental to the GLBT community, and of using their faith as a justification, than Democrats - and that's one reason I view most Republican politicians as religious bigots. Obama's history with the GLBT community shows me he's not a religious bigot.
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    Mar 16, 2008 8:10 AM GMT


    Uhm, excuse me for interrupting...sadly, you all seemed to forget one additional topic that Mr. Barak Obama's all important Pastor's preaches: anti-semitism.

    That's right dear friends - his Pastor is a flaming anti-semite. This guy believes that, among other things, "...the Jews should be stopped..."

    I wonder if Sally Kern and Obama's Pastor get together for tea and crumpets after they've verbally burned all those they detest and/or believe need to be cleansed from the country or planet during their respective sermons?

    B787

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    Mar 16, 2008 8:54 AM GMT
    Wright is no longer the pastor of that church. Further, Wright isn't running for President... and while I detest what he's said... his words and/or opinions don't have any bearing on who I vote for. I don't judge the character of a man based on who he associates with, rather, I judge his character based on his own words and actions.

    As for the assumption that Obama or anyone else in that congregation actually agrees with Wright's beliefs... my dad was a Baptist preacher... I can't begin to count the number of people I've known who stayed at a particular church even though they didn't like the pastor. Eventually, one pastor leaves and another takes his place... whether by retirement, being dismissed by the congregation, or some other means. To assume that everyone in the congregation believes the same thing the pastor does is ridiculous.
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    Mar 16, 2008 9:18 AM GMT
    Who cares?

  • calipally

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    Mar 16, 2008 10:00 AM GMT
    I just don't get the whole Obama thing. Really. The man pays people to write his speeches and others to write his policy. It doesn't make sense other than Americans are notorious for simply creating a trend and following it to our own detriment.

    I know I'm gonna get flack for writing this. GIVE ME SIMPLE, CONCRETE PROOF WHY A MAN WITH PRACTICALLY NO POLITICAL EXPERIENCE WOULD BE CAPABLE OF RUNNING THIS COUNTRY! PERIOD.
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    Mar 16, 2008 12:15 PM GMT
    pdxpally saidI just don't get the whole Obama thing. Really. The man pays people to write his speeches and others to write his policy. It doesn't make sense other than Americans are notorious for simply creating a trend and following it to our own detriment.

    I know I'm gonna get flack for writing this. GIVE ME SIMPLE, CONCRETE PROOF WHY A MAN WITH PRACTICALLY NO POLITICAL EXPERIENCE WOULD BE CAPABLE OF RUNNING THIS COUNTRY! PERIOD.


    Yeah, that is my issue with him. That is why for so long he shied away from providing specifics on his budget/program proposals.

    I just hope that he has an all star administration that can literally run the country and just use him as a facade for who is actually completing the difficult tasks.

    What's sad is that I consider myself pretty well educated (still have a long way to go though) and yet I still fell into the "Yes we can!" one-dimensional rhetorically based mentality. But I also detest the idea of either of the other two candidates running this country.
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    Mar 16, 2008 12:27 PM GMT
    Theodore Roosevelt entered politics in 1898 as Governor of New York. By 1900 he was Vice President. 1901 he became President when McKinley was assassinated.

    Very little experience in politics. People helped rocket him up in status because they saw something - political talent.

    Take any other talent - Who's a better singer? Someone who has been singing for 2 yrs or someone with 20 yrs experience. Answer - you don't know till you hear them.

    Who's a better athlete? Someone with 2 yrs experience or 10 yrs. Ask LeBron James if it's all his experience on the court that's made him so good. Pretty much most of the guys on the court with him have more experience.

    The world abounds with examples of talent beating out experience.

    It also abounds with money and connections beating out talent i.e. GWB.


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    Mar 16, 2008 12:35 PM GMT
    Normally one's church or pastor says should not be held against a candidate. In this case Obama's pastor, Obama's history with Rev. Wright is long and of a personal nature. Rev. Wright, until yesterday, served as a campaign adviser. The name of Obama's book came from a sermon given by Rev. Wright.

    Based on the brief clips the media are playing of Rev. Wright's sermon I would say they would qualify as hate speech. Clearly his sermon given a few days after 911 was as insensitive and morally reprehensible as the post-911 comments made by Revs. Falwell and Robertson.

    I have always had concerns about how Obama's conservative religious beliefs would impact on how he would govern. Obama's refusal to remove Donnie McClurkin, the well known homophobic gospel singer, from his South Carolina campaign tour has made me wary of supporting Obama's candidacy.

    If Obama is to be the Democrats nominee it is better to get all the dirt out now and deal with it. Clinton's attacks on Obama are tame compared to what will come Obama's way in the general election. Actually there are many parallels between Obama and Bill Clinton. They both ran as change agents and have shady real estate deals in their backgrounds.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Mar 16, 2008 12:55 PM GMT
    pdxpally saidI just don't get the whole Obama thing. Really. The man pays people to write his speeches and others to write his policy. It doesn't make sense other than Americans are notorious for simply creating a trend and following it to our own detriment.

    I know I'm gonna get flack for writing this. GIVE ME SIMPLE, CONCRETE PROOF WHY A MAN WITH PRACTICALLY NO POLITICAL EXPERIENCE WOULD BE CAPABLE OF RUNNING THIS COUNTRY! PERIOD.




    I think pdxpally kind put his finger on my underlying concerns about Obama.
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    Mar 16, 2008 2:27 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan, PdxPally, et al,

    Some of you guys have Shanhaied the thread about Obama with the "experience' argument again. That's been debated at length on several other threads, so I'm not responding to that one as it veers from the issue at hand. Back to the topic of the thread --

    Trance makes a legitimate criticism. And, to answer his question, "why don't we apply the same standard to Obama," I will add that I have never seen more focus on a candidate's pastor/preacher/etc. than now. So, I think that on the contrary, there is no double standard. Obama is getting his due on this one.

    Point: This is a legitimate criticism and a significant blow to Obama. They (the remarks) cannot be excused; the remarks should be disavowed, repudiated, and apologized for. Obama has done that.

    This association/relationship disappoints me as an Obama supporter. Of course, every candidate I know of has disappointed their supporters at one time or another.

    Having said that, he has repudiated the remarks and is not sidestepping, dodging or placating this issue.

    He, like other candidates and/or humans, is not perfect. Politics and human nature will hold him accountable at the polls for this association/relationship, fair or not. He's taken a hit, now, it remains to be seen what impact it will have.

    So, a chink in the armor has finally been exposed. I look for my candidate to offer no excuses and to "own it" and move on.

    I think he has.
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    Mar 16, 2008 2:57 PM GMT
    Trance23 --- this is a good forum topic !!! I think there is a short answer to your question about double standard. There is no double standard, here's why !!! You compared Obama's church (beliefs) to Huckabee and Romney's. There is a wide difference, Obama hasn't in any way "WORN" his church/religion on his sleeve like the other two you named, he did not refer repeatedly to connections between his church/beliefs as did Romney and particularly Huckabee, who obviously made is policies connect to his religion. Because Obama doesn't constantly connect his policies with his religion is why its not an issue to any sizeable degree. So again, I don't see a double standar at all.
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    Mar 16, 2008 3:12 PM GMT
    Transpose this argument: Gays have gay pride parades in part due to the oppression we've experienced. Do you see straight pride parades? No, because straight people have never been oppressed.

    "Black Pride"? Same thing. No need for white pride. No sir. We're all set.

    As for Obama, unfortunately at this point he merely needs to explain some of his background honestly and without ignoring nuance. He will, and it'll make sense. Soon enough the alarmist media and their willing enablers (*ahem*) will look foolish for their petty approach to all this.

    Controversy sells ads. Enjoy, suckas.

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    Mar 16, 2008 3:19 PM GMT
    Realife, Rugger,

    Good responses!
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    Mar 16, 2008 3:21 PM GMT
    Something about Obama just doesn't click. After you listen to all his silver oration he's like peeling an onion - you keep taking off layers and there is nothing there. These disturbing incidents keep popping up - the homophobic singer, the wife that makes the weird comment about the first time she has been proud of being an american, and now the preacher. these people are all close to him - yes he's quick to disavow their remarks but there is still the close connection. He could be a stealth candidate. At least with Huckabee we knew what we were getting. It's time to send Obama back to representing slum land lords
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Mar 16, 2008 4:00 PM GMT
    veniceman saidHndsmKansan, PdxPally, et al,

    Some of you guys have Shanhaied the thread about Obama with the "experience' argument again. That's been debated at length on several other threads, so I'm not responding to that one as it veers from the issue at hand. Back to the topic of the thread --






    I never "shanhaied" anything... I made a comment earlier in the thread regarding the Trance commentary then reacted to a statement that Pdxpally made.
  • auryn

    Posts: 2061

    Mar 16, 2008 7:38 PM GMT
    There's a lot of good things that have been said in this forum, and I almost didn't follow up, because, Rugger, NavtiveDude, and a few others have already said a lot. However, since I said I would try to give my own thoughts, here goes:

    Trance23 said
    Something to note: the Trinity church always talks about BLACK empowerment, BLACK rights, BLACK influence, BLACK education, etc... If you replaced the word's BLACK with WHITE wouldn't that be a racist organization then? So why is nobody heated over Jeremiah Wright and his church?


    --A) Rev. Wright and his kind aren't promoting Blacks as better than all other races of people. They still see that there is a struggle for many to have equal treatment, not just under the law where equality is on paper, but in the systems that run spirit of the law. Racism is still with us and, unfortunately, Black people have received the lions share. Here's a general, rhetorical question: What are you [general, not directed at any one in particular] doing to stop it?
    B) Your disdain for his remarks, shows that someone is heated, but are you willing to find out the broader context of what his remarks mean, or do you want to make this into a Barack bash? I'd like to know so I don't have to waste time talking about anything substantive.
    C) Were these questions also asked when Al Sharpton was running for the Democratic Presidential Nomination? I don't know the answer to that, but because not very many people took him seriously as a candidate, I'd bet the answer was no. And, don't forget, Sharpton made it public that he was for gays having full and equal rights.

    I disagree with the things that were said by Rev. Wright and I was in the Black church culture for 17 years, so I understand where he's coming from. I don't hold those same hardcore views as Rev. Wright and others that believe in a Black Jesus, so I believe Mr. Obama can make up his own mind about how to treat and and what to think about other people. I think his mother instilled far more compassion than what has been said. I also think that Barack lived with racism while he was with his grandparents and got through that pretty well. He may have stayed with that church and pastor to counter the negativity of his grandparents. Just a thought, based on a couple of news articles.


    But now for something light:



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    Mar 17, 2008 6:28 PM GMT
    I seriously doubt if Senator Obama knew this was coming. Which is troubling. If he didn't expect this Reverend Wright thing to be explosive, what else is he going to be naive about? He clearly has no idea of what he's getting himself into. Which is ultimately, what he's getting us into.