So Barack Obama, that much-heralded agent of change and ensign of hope, is desperately trying to come up with a believable explanation of what he knew and when he knew it – the what and when in this case referring to the anti-white, anti-U.S., anti-Israel invective spewed for decades by Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s longtime pastor and spiritual adviser, the cleric who presided at the Obamas’ wedding and baptized their children, the Afrocentric radical who bestowed an award on Louis Farrakhan, the man Obama refers to as “family” and compared to a beloved “old uncle” as recently as three weeks ago, before the media finally, belatedly, made an issue of their relationship.
Rolling Stone magazine, which fawns over Obama nearly as incessantly as MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, had the truth about Obama and his pastor a year ago, though of course it was packaged in as laudatory an article as possible, a lengthy essay originally titled “The Radical Roots of Barack Obama.” (Tellingly, in an obvious act of damage control, the article has been renamed “Destiny’s Child” in the magazine’s online archive.)
The Rolling Stone piece delves into the history of Obama’s church and quotes from one of Rev. Wright’s signature sermons, larded with anti-American calumny and the kind of profanity one doesn’t expect to hear from a pulpit on Sunday morning:
We [the U.S.] are deeply involved in the importing of drugs, the exporting of guns and the training of professional KILLERS [caps in original]…. We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God…. We care nothing about human life…. And. And. And! GAWD! Has GOT! To be Sick! OF THIS [EXPLETIVE]!
The article’s author, Ben Wallace-Wells, had this to say of Obama and Wright:
This is as openly radical a background as any significant American political figure has ever emerged from….Wright is not an incidental figure in Obama’s life, or his politics. The senator “affirmed” his Christian faith in this church; he uses Wright as a “sounding board”….Both the title of Obama’s second book, The Audacity of Hope, and the theme for his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 come from Wright’s sermons.
“If you want to understand where Barack gets his feeling and rhetoric from,” says the Rev. Jim Wallis, a leader of the religious left, “just look at Jeremiah Wright.”
Obama’s apologetics, disclaimers, rationalizations and what have you concerning Wright just don’t ring true – and are rife with internal contradictions. The author Gerald Posner, a liberal, outlined the problem at The Huffington Post:
If the parishioners of Trinity United Church were not buzzing about Reverend Wright’s post-9/11 comments, then it could only seem to be because those comments were not out of character with what he preached from the pulpit many times before. In that case, I have to wonder if it is really possible for the Obamas to have been parishioners there – by 9/11 they were there more than a decade – and not to have known very clearly how radical Wright’s views were. If, on the other hand, parishioners were shocked by Wright’s vitriol only days after more than 3,000 Americans had been killed by terrorists, they would have talked about it incessantly. Barack – a sitting Illinois State Senator – would have been one of the first to hear about it….
Some of Obama’s defenders have tried to make the case that there’s not much difference between Obama’s relationship with Wright and John McCain’s relationship with Rev. John Hagee, the controversial Texas pastor who recently endorsed the presumptive Republican nominee. To which John Podhoretz responded on Commentary magazine’s Contentions blog:
Obama credits Wright with his religious awakening. Obama had Wright officiate at his wedding. And he donated $22,500 to Wright’s church in 2006. McCain has no personal relationship with Hagee whatsoever. Wright is one of Obama’s mentors…. The difference between Wright and Hagee is that while Hagee endorsed McCain, Obama has long endorsed Wright.