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Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Strange Logic of the Obama Attacks

I'm confused. A few weeks ago he was a secret Muslim. Now, I find out he's a Christian, and a member of some extreme black church that hates America and white people. Though a few months ago he was neither black enough, and aren't all liberals godless anyway?

All of this points to the absurdity of political campaigns in America. We aren't talking about the economy, or Iraq, or Iran, or Al Qaeda, or Immigration, but rather the opinions of their religious associates.

The main question that the media has been asking is how could Obama not know about these statements?
Well first off, the statements in context are crazy, but not that crazy when it comes to how far religious fanatics have gone. I have heard other pastors state that 9/11 was brought on by America in some way or another. It's just that Obama's said it was because of we supported state terrorism overseas, not because we tolerate homosexuals, which I have heard several pastors either say or hint at. In fact, while his delivery is crass and confrontational and has no place in a church, he does have some points that can be founded in facts.
But if this is like every other large church I know of, the pastor probably runs at least two services a day, and if he's like a lot of pastor's he tailors it to the audience. Second, Obama was a politician,and either out of town, or at other churches. Still, he knew of the pastor's reputation. But the thing to keep in mind is that these are excerpts from three speeches, out of the 20 years Obama has attended that church. To ask why he didn't leave is ridiculous. If someone is that thin skinned than they shouldn't be in office. It is a universal law that people say stupid things at church. I've heard wildly offensive things spoken at church, and in the LDS faith since we have a lay ministry you have to give them the benefit of the doubt and take it with a grain of salt, and that should be the Christian view of it. If I was judged by, or believed to condone every stupid comment someone said at my church, I couldn't run for crossing guard. And its the same in every church.

In the end it doesn't matter where the person goes to church, but it matters how the practice what they believe in. All religions teach similar ideals of peace, justice, honesty, and compassion. While these statements by Rev. Lewis don't fit under any of those ideals, Sen. Obama, being at the top of his class at Harvard Law, and a constitutional scholar, probably has the sense to ignore these comments over 20 years, of church attendance and hopefully shows us that one can think for themselves. I sure hope a presidential candidate doesn't believe whatever his pastor tells him to believe.
There is also a cultural component here. Ethnic churches are more than churches. They are cultural centers, community centers, and social centers.To the WASP or the evangelical who go to church and then assimilate easily into their communities, this is a concept that is lost on them.

The point of all of this a plea for common sense. Can we stop talking about race, religion, gender, and get to the issues? Is that such a difficult thing to ask? Sure, the company a person keeps is important. But not this sort of company. I want to know who their security advisers are, who their policy makers are, who is consulting them in the areas which are directly tied to their ability or inability to serve as president.

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