…The Punditry, et. al., Speak Even More!
Anyone wondering when Sen. Barack Obama was going to throw Rev. Jeremiah Wright under the bus doesn’t have to wait any longer. In a press conference today, Obama condemned his former pastor in the harshest terms yet.
Obama is only just now getting around to realizing this? For the past month and a half, Wright’s hateful comments have been all over the news, and Obama has bestirred himself only to criticize them in the vaguest terms.
I tend to agree. Hugh Hewitt pointed out on the radio last night that there are really only two options, at this juncture, for Obama vis-a-vis his pastor: He is either incredibly naive or he is now, or then was, lying. Taranto goes on to point out the incredible nature of the reversal Obama has here undertaken.
I remain concerned that this passes for religious speech in some circles. As the Washington Post was quick to point out, a number of black pastors have lined up behind Wright’s outrageous charges and comments. As has been pointed out many times, much of Wright’s thought flows from something called Liberation Theology, which sprang from Latin American oppression and which one writer describes as:
…a harebrained economic and philosophical prescription expounded in 1971 by a Peruvian priest, Gustavo Gutiérrez.
Much of what Wright and his Liberation Theology compatriots say, they can claim to be rooted in theology, and as we have argued extensively here, theology should be out-of-bounds in political discussions. But the press is insisting on putting it front and center, certainly more intensively, and perhaps more generally, than even Mormon theology was when Romney was in the race. The “On Faith” question of the week is:
Jeremiah Wright’s sermons continue to be an issue in the presidential campaign. Why? What do you think of his preaching style? What do you wish you understood better about it?
So now we are in the position that we are going to parse the sermons of a pastor in the pulpit and try to divide his words between religious and political speech. Is this really where we want to be in America? And yet, Wright gives us no choice. He mixes the two so deeply that exegetical skill is required to separate them.
This should be a warning shot to Evangelicals, as our leadership seems to be proceeding down the same path of mingling the theological and the political. Even if your political stances are rooted in your theology, you need to learn to defend them in a secular fashion. If you cannot offer a secular defense then you best be prepared to either lose the debate or subject your own faith to this kind of scrutiny.
Think for a moment about the IRS complications alone. What would happen if, based on all this scrutiny, the IRS were to decide that the Trinity Church (Wright’s church) were a political organization? Or worse, they tried to subdivide its activities. Now, imagine it for your church.
Lowell chimes in: Just a couple of thoughts. First, Newsweek’s assumption that all we are talking about is Wright’s “preaching style” is typical of the light-handed treatment the MSM wants to give this man. We are not talking about style; this is 100% about the substance of Wright’s preaching. Second, the man’s substance is simply kooky. It does not represent responsible or even sound thinking. Yes, Wright dresses his rantings up in religious clothes and uses the cadences of the black church to present it. But nonsense dressed up is still nonsense.
Speaking of Evangelicals…
John Mark Reynolds lists five good things about them. Hey, I’m entitled!