If you’re like me, you’re still trying to get a handle on Barack Obama’s speech yesterday. Was it a “profile in courage” or was it “politics as usual”? As you sort through it all, I encourage you to read this post over at Bilerico Project:
If Obama can throw his pastor under the bus, what will he do to us?
by Rev Irene Monroe
When the religious narrative you tell about your life to the American public is revealed to be vastly different than the one you actually lived, you have more than a credibility problem – you have a dilemma as Obama is finding out.
And the dilemma is not just that Obama’s religious narrative is fictitious, but so too is the media spin on his pastor.
While the moral high ground to address the public’s shock with Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s condemnations on America’s foreign and domestic polices appeared to be Obama’s address on race, Obama actually ran aground with many African American Christians by anchoring the public’s outrage and his fear of losing the presidential bid on the back of one of this nation’s most revered African American ministers.
“He’s used Jeremiah, and Trinity is his strongest base. He handled the media abysmally, and the uncle reference was demeaning. Many of us said we saw it coming,” a member from Trinity told me in anonymity not to have the press come after him.
Rev. Wright was the man who brought Obama to Christ, presided over his nuptials baptized him and his daughters, and was the inspiration for his bestseller, The Audacity of Hope.
And while Obama has now denounced Rev. Wrights’ incendiary remarks, after twenty years of hearing them, suspicion nonetheless still surfaces about his professed faith as a Christian.
As a central, powerful and revered institution within the African-American community, the Black Church captivated Obama’s attention. He says he came to understand “the power of the African-American religious tradition to spur social change.” However, how much Obama really covets the power of the Black Church for his own political aggrandizement, rather than for its religion, now raise questions in the minds of many black Christians since his address.
While MSNBC talk-show host Tucker Carlson was the first to publicly suggest Obama’s faith is “suddenly conspicuous,” suggesting that Obama has only recently begun addressing his religious background as part of “a very calculated plan on the part of the Democratic Party to win” religious voters in the 2008 presidential race, the suspicion is now looming even larger.
If Obama, however, is indeed using religion to win votes, he unfortunately placed himself in a difficult quagmire – not only with LGBTQ and liberal voters, but also by still being a member of Trinity. Why? Because he worships in a conservative black church within a liberal denomination. And Trinity is provisionally opened to the idea of same sex marriage.
In July 2005, the UCC General Synod overwhelmingly passed a Resolution of Marriage Equality. But in August 2005, Wright spoke against the Synod’s position causing many LGBTQ parishioners to leave.
So, while yesterday’s speech was a glorious example of Sen. Obama’s oratorical skills, I still don’t know where he stands on issues of basic equality for all Americans. In stating that Rev. Wright provides him with spiritual guidance, Obama only undercuts his message of unity and hope for all Americans, and adds further murkiness to his positions.
The more I find out about Barack Obama, the less I know what he stands for.