This paper presupposes that readers have been following (to some extent, anyway) the goings-on of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and his pastor and "spiritual mentor" Rev. Jeremiah Wright, of the ultra-liberal United Church of Christ denomination. I was struck by several ironies and inconsistencies in his rhetoric, especially after he has now taken to giving public speeches, defending himself and his ludicrous positions. I felt compelled to express myself, because of the hypocrisy of this man.
Oddly enough, I myself have been exceedingly critical of America, from a generally conservative political perspective (largely due the scandal of legal abortion), but also one that is a Catholic "third way". It is not only political liberals who take such positions, and being intensely critical does not necessarily equate with a lack of patriotism or love for one's own country, any more than we would claim that the prophet Jeremiah did not love his nation because he (like all the prophets) scathingly criticized it. He spoke truth to his people, and condemned rampant sins and institutional sins. The Christian message (especially when applied to socio-political situations) contains an inherent prophetic element.
I've often argued in the past that the existing tragedy of the abortion holocaust should have been many many times more scandalous and troubling to Americans on an ongoing basis than 9-11 was, since it, too, involves the slaughter of "innocent" people, and -- even worse -- receives legal sanction in America, and the ethical sanction of many Christian denominations. And the numbers are exponentially greater: 50 million or so murders compared to some 3,000, or roughly 16,667 times more murders than on 9-11.
America is (so I have also contended more than once) arguably the most wicked nation in history, in light of abortion (not to mention other great sins in our past such as the near-genocide of the Indians and slavery), and in light of the biblical principle of "to whom much is given, much is required." I defended this at length in a paper, entitled: Is America the Wickedest Nation Ever? Yes (a Strong Biblical Case Can Be Made).
Rev. Wright has opined that 9-11 was a judgment on America. But he does so for the wrong reasons (or the Wright ones, as it were: to follow the wordplay in the title). Wright seems to think (as we see in the latest video being shown on the cable news stations) that America's foreign policy is literally the equivalent of that of the Islamic terrorists. This is not my position at all. I have defended the War in Iraq, twice (one / two). Like most people, I think we should get out as soon as we can (and made that clear at the time of my defense years ago), but I'm not at all sure as to how soon that might be.
Wright thinks that our military habitually and deliberately attacks innocent civilians as a matter of course. Though we did a lot of that in World War II, and I have condemned it in no uncertain terms, as has -- somewhat indirectly -- the Catholic Church, I submit that the truth of the matter is quite the contrary. We are fighting against those who do do such things. There is no "immoral equivalence" at all. But for some reason, Wright thinks this is the case.
He claimed that 9-11 was "America's chickens coming home to roost." For what, though, is the question? He would say it is all these imagined things that we are doing around the world, being a force more for evil than for good. It is typical left-wing, historically revisionist, selectively indignant anti-Americanism. He has to distort facts and argue like a radical Marxist handing out fliers on a college campus, to maintain his thesis.
Rev. Wright thinks that it is entirely possible that the American government deliberately spread the AIDS virus as a way to commit genocide against black people (because of the documented Tuskegee experiments that exploited black men with VD).
Rev. Wright calls our country the "US of KKKA", as if there has been no progress at all in race relations these past 50+ years, since Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus (I recently sat in the very bus in a local museum), and Rev. Martin Luther King became a civil rights activist.
The most amazing thing is that he believes that America (well, he qualifies this to primarily the government) is still out to "get" African-Americans, despite the fact that one of his own church members (a black man) is almost certainly going to be the Democratic candidate for President. You try to figure that out. I can't. My powers of reasoning and analysis completely fail me on this one. But of course, Wright's feelings here are not based on reason, but rather, emotion over the many legitimate past grievances of African-Americans.
But back to the point I was advancing towards: Rev. Wright makes up imaginary present sins and proceeds to conclude that 9-11 was a judgment for those. He has talked about America "killing babies" in various wars. But to my knowledge, he hasn't uttered one peep about the gigantic legally-sanctioned wickedness of child-killing that we call legal abortion.
He is now covering himself in the mantle of the prophetic tradition of the Old Testament: one that is steeped in social justice and decrying of societal outrages and discrimination, and he makes out that the criticism of him is really an attack on this tradition of speaking truth to power, that is historically characteristic of the black churches. But he fails to see how much of that same prophetic tradition would condemn abortion as well.
This is, again, typical left-wing (or in this case, quite "mainstream liberal") ethical double standards and inconsistencies, with regard to its own ostensible rhetoric of being for the little guy: and the oppressed and helpless, etc., etc. ad nauseum. But not a peep about the ongoing slaughter of preborn children . . . The Old Testament that Rev, Wright likes to cite for his cause of anti-Americanism is filled with passages against abortion, child-killing in general, and the shedding of innocent blood:
You shall not give any of your children to devote them by fire to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the LORD. (Leviticus 18:21)I have been myself every bit as "prophetic" in my own denunciations of American law and culture due to this terrible evil as Jeremiah Wright has in his own fashion. I've even taken it deeper than he has. I don't confine myself to governmental blame, but say that all of us in this society have blood on our hands, as long as we allow the outrageous butchery and murder of children to continue. I'm taking my share of that blame, alongside everyone else, as I condemn the sin. I don't just stand here and preach and rail against everyone else's sins, or that of the government, or all the gazillions of white racists that Wright thinks are still out there: as he does.
"Say to the people of Israel, Any man of the people of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, who gives any of his children to Molech shall be put to death; the people of the land shall stone him with stones. I myself will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given one of his children to Molech, defiling my sanctuary and profaning my holy name. (Leviticus 20:2-3)
For he who avenges blood is mindful of them; he does not forget the cry of the afflicted. (Psalm 9:12)
they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with blood. (Psalm 106:38)
There are six things which the LORD hates, seven which are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, (Proverbs 6:16-18)
For behold the LORD comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth will also disclose her blood, and will no more cover her slain. (Isaiah 26:21)
Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity, desolation and destruction are in their highways. (Isaiah 59:7)
Also on your skirts is found the lifeblood of guiltless poor; . . . (Jeremiah 2:34)
if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own hurt, . . . (Jeremiah 7:6)
Because the people have forsaken me, and have profaned this place by burning incense in it to other gods whom neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah have known; and because they have filled this place with the blood of innocents, (Jeremiah 19:4)
Thus says the LORD: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place. (Jeremiah 22:3)
But you have eyes and heart only for your dishonest gain, for shedding innocent blood, and for practicing oppression and violence." (Jeremiah 22:17)
They built the high places of Ba'al in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech, though I did not command them, nor did it enter into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin. (Jeremiah 32:35)
Then he said to me, "The guilt of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great; the land is full of blood, and the city full of injustice; . . . (Ezekiel 9:9)
And you took your sons and your daughters, whom you had borne to me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Were your harlotries so small a matter that you slaughtered my children and delivered them up as an offering by fire to them?. . . Thus says the Lord GOD, Because your shame was laid bare and your nakedness uncovered in your harlotries with your lovers, and because of all your idols, and because of the blood of your children that you gave to them, (Ezekiel 16:20-21,36)
When you offer your gifts and sacrifice your sons by fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, says the Lord GOD, I will not be inquired of by you. (Ezekiel 20:31)
You have become guilty by the blood which you have shed, and defiled by the idols which you have made; and you have brought your day near, the appointed time of your years has come. Therefore I have made you a reproach to the nations, and a mocking to all the countries. (Ezekiel 22:4)
For they have committed adultery, and blood is upon their hands; with their idols they have committed adultery; and they have even offered up to them for food the sons whom they had borne to me. (Ezekiel 23:37)
For when they had slaughtered their children in sacrifice to their idols, on the same day they came into my sanctuary to profane it. And lo, this is what they did in my house. (Ezekiel 23:39)
"Therefore, as I live," says the Lord God, "I will prepare you for blood, and blood shall pursue you; since you have not hated blood, therefore blood shall pursue you." (Ezekiel 35:6)
So I poured out my wrath upon them for the blood which they had shed in the land, for the idols with which they had defiled it. (Ezekiel 36:18)
"Egypt shall become a desolation and Edom a desolate wilderness, for the violence done to the people of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. (Joel 3:19)
For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and he has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her. (Revelation 19:2)
But (unlike Wright) I haven't ignored those parts of the Bible that don't fit my political agenda: those that are in perfect accord with traditional Christian ethics, whether Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox. Most Protestant churches have, sadly, capitulated to the pro-death abortion culture. and Wright's United Church of Christ is at the forefront of such "progress." Here is its position on abortion:
The United Church of Christ (UCC) has strongly supported the legalization of abortion since 1971. The UCC supported FOCA and strongly opposed the PBA [Partial-Birth Abortion] ban to the point of joining the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARRAL) in a statement affirming President Clinton’s veto of the PBA Ban Act in 1996. The UCC has also called for the church to support abortion in any national health care bill.As we would expect, based on observation of the descent of many Protestant denominations into heterodox theological liberalism, the UCC is in the forefront of compromise concerning homosexuality and so-called "gay marriage" as well. It voted (by an 80% majority) to approve same-sex "marriage" in July 2005: making it the largest denomination to do so as of yet. Gee, what a huge surprise! Who would have expected such a development??!!
Jeremiah Wright, despite all this, is delusional to such an extent that he actually thinks he is in the tradition of the Old Testament prophets and historic black churches, despite his denomination's belief in the moral propriety of sodomy and the slaughter of babies in the womb (or halfway out of it, on the way to be born, but for the butcher's knife of the abortionist). He uses the Christian religion the way a butcher uses a hog: to get what he wants out of it: no more and no less.
Alveda King, the niece of Rev. Martin Luther King, wrote:
I can remember the days when Jesse Jackson was pro-life, and he went across the country calling abortion genocide. I don't understand how he took that turn or why. I personally believe that any leader, especially African-American leaders -- and I can say this because I'm African-American -- should be compelled to remember the days of slavery and to remember their responsibility toward the children we call the unborn. They are real people too, and they actually have civil rights.Jesse Jackson eloquently defended the right to life of the preborn in a January 1977 article for Right to Life News:
(Illinois Leader, January 15, 2004)
Jackson spoke at the 1977 March for Life. But when he ran for President, he reversed his position. In that year he wrote:
Human beings cannot give or create life by themselves, it is really a gift from God. Therefore, one does not have the right to take away (through abortion) that which he does not have the ability to give.
Some argue, suppose the woman does not. want to have the baby. They say the very fact that she does not want the baby means that the psychological damage to the child is reason enough to abort the baby'. I disagree. The solution to that problem is not to kill the innocent baby, but to deal with her values and her attitude toward life . . . Deal with the attitude that would allow her to take away that which she cannot give. . . .Another area that concerns me greatly, namely because I know how it has been used with regard to race, is the psycholinguistics involved in this whole issue of abortion. If something can be dehumanized through the rhetoric used to describe it, then the major battle has been won. . . . Those advocates of taking. life prior to birth do not call it killing or murder; they call it abortion. They further never talk about aborting a baby because that would imply something human. Rather they talk about aborting the fetus. Fetus sounds less than human and therefore can be justified. . . .
What happens to the mind of a person, and the moral fabric of a nation, that accepts the aborting of the life of a baby without a pang of conscience? What kind of a person, and what kind of a society will we have 20 years hence if life can be taken so casually?
It is that question, the question of our attitude, our value system, and our mind-set with regard to the nature and worth of life itself that is the central question confronting mankind. Failure to answer that question affirmatively may leave us with a hell right here on earth.
If one accepts the position that life is private, and therefore you have the right to do with it as you please, one must also accept the conclusion of that logic. That was the premise of slavery. You could not protest the existence or treatment of slaves on the plantation because that was private and therefore outside your right to be concerned.But in 1988 he stated that "it is not right to impose private, religious and moral positions on public policy.''
Civil rights activist and comedian Dick Gregory has decried abortion as genocide:
Government family programs designed for poor Blacks which emphasize birth control and abortion with the intent of limiting the Black population is genocide. The deliberate killing of Black babies by abortion is genocide--perhaps the most overt of all.For more information along these lines, see BlackGenocide.org and another article on black genocide.
(Ebony magazine, October, 1971)
All this murder and self-destruction is going on day in and day out in the African-American community, with the sanction and blessing of black pastors like Wright and Jesse Jackson (who often won't speak out against premarital sex, either), and yet Wright wants to talk about idiotic conspiratorial rumors of a deliberate AIDS genocide perpetrated by an evil whitey "KKK" government?! And he preaches things like the following?:
The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color.May God help us all, with a nutcase like this parading around as a minster of the gospel. The only encouraging thing about it is that lots of people seem to know he is a nut. But conspiracy theories like this one (that Barack Obama today called "ridiculous") are believed by African-Americans in astonishing numbers. According to a 1999 scientific study of 520 black adults, 27% held to AIDS-conspiracy views, and 23% were undecided. A 1990 study of black church members discovered 35% who accepted the conspiracy theory. A 2003 study of 500 subjects produced similar remarkable results, with 27% opining that "AIDS was produced in a government laboratory."