In light of the recent, and still continuing, ill informed media “backlash” that seems tantamount to a mindless feeding frenzy by a school of sharks – stupid, stupid sharks – I have a suggestion for Cornel West. He has written Race Matters. He has also written Democracy Matters. How about writing, Religion Still Matters to round out a trilogy.
Despite how much I do I like Jon Stewart, even he recently bought into the idea that this whole fiasco is not a topic on religion, but one on race. Its both actually, that and people attempting to score cheap political points off of racial fear.
Dr. Wright constructed his sermons out of a complex tradition and to pull a Davis:
I personally regarded many of Rev. Wright’s sermons as filled with hate words and bigoted generalizations base on race (in this case, all Whites). One could even call them racist. His remarks post-9/11 were nothing short of reckless and unforgiveable.
…1. If a white minister preached sermons to his congregation and had used the “N” word and used rhetoric and words similar to members of the KKK, would you support a Democratic presidential candidate who decided to continue to be a member of that congregation.
or a Ferraro:
‘To equate what I said with what this racist bigot has said from the pulpit is unbelievable,’ Ferraro said today. ‘He gave a very good speech on race relations, but he did not address the fact that this man is up there spewing hatred.’
is spectacularly uninformed, or racist, or both. Religion still matters, no matter how much people on the political trail want to act like it does not.
For instance, Obama in his speech would not abandon his former pastor (well done), but however, in distancing himself from his pastor, he made his pastor his “spiritual advisor,” which seems to reject or question the possibility that Christianity is inherently political. Quite simply, Christianity becomes defanged and subservient. And as far as I can tell, Obama is the most charitable of the three presidential contenders which is why I even mention him.
The good news is, there are some in the media (actually just one so far) that I’ve seen approach this issue with a critical eye and actually want to understand what Wright was saying.
[Wright’s] sermon thesis [from September 16, 2001]:
1. This is a time for self-examination of ourselves and our families.
2. This is a time for social transformation (then he went on to say they won’t put me on PBS or national cable for what I’m about to say. Talk about prophetic!)
“We have got to change the way we have been doing things as a society,” he said.
Wright then said we can’t stop messing over people and thinking they can’t touch us. He said we may need to declare war on racism, injustice, and greed, instead of war on other countries.
“Maybe we need to declare war on AIDS. In five minutes the Congress found $40 billion to rebuild New York and the families that died in sudden death, do you think we can find the money to make medicine available for people who are dying a slow death? Maybe we need to declare war on the nation’s healthcare system that leaves the nation’s poor with no health coverage? Maybe we need to declare war on the mishandled educational system and provide quality education for everybody, every citizen, based on their ability to learn, not their ability to pay. This is a time for social transformation.”
3. This is time to tell God thank you for all that he has provided and that he gave him and others another chance to do His will.
By the way, nowhere in this sermon did he said “God damn America.” I’m not sure which sermon that came from.
Yes, oh my, can you believe it, such a “crazy pastor” said those sane words. Religion still matters.