Obama's Pastor "On the Couch" (He's Actually Pretty Accurate)

I looked into the supposedly inflammatory rhetoric of Barack Obama's pastor, Jeremiah Wright. Is he a lunatic? Many people seem to think so, but I don't. Some of the things he says are a bit odd, but some of them have more than just a grain of truth.

I don't share his appreciation for Louis Farrakhan (and I wonder if Obama does). After all, just read The Autobiography of Malcolm X if you want to know about the Nation of Islam. But we can't paint every picture with such a broad brush--as Rush Limbaugh is wont to do. Even though Obama (and Wright, apparently) belong(s) to a different political party than I do, it's not right or healthy for me just to dismiss everything his pastor says as inflammatory and wrong. Because it's not.

So, come along with me as I psychoanalyze the Reverend Jeremiah Wright--and I'll show you the nuances.

Drugs, "Three Strikes", and Bigger Prisons

Reverend Wright inveighed against all three of these in one breath:
"The government gives [black Americans] the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.'
We may not be giving them the drugs, but our war on drugs is a joke, and it has the effect of getting more drugs to more people, because drug pushing has become a profitable profession. I agree with Ron Paul--and I guess, then, Reverend Wright--that blacks are treated unfairly in this drug war. If we treated them more fairly, maybe a lot fewer of them would think that Radical Islam is the only place to turn.

Let me ask you--do you think the "Three Strikes" law is sound law? I think it is a fiasco. I agree with J. Daryl Charles, who said:
To abandon the criteria for just punishment—punishment commensurate with the crime—is to abandon all criteria for punishment. In truth, the sentences imposed by many state systems bear almost no resemblance to time actually served, thus breeding disrespect for the criminal justice system...
How can it be crime-commensurate punishment to levy
a minimum sentence of 25 years to life for [all] three-time repeat offenders[?]
I guess Reverend Wright isn't so far afield after all...?

American Supremacy
Reverend Wright went on in the same "diatribe" to say:
No, no, no, God d--- America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people," he said in a 2003 sermon. "God d--- America for treating our citizens as less than human. God d--- America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme."
America does act supreme. A lot of Americans think we have a good reason for it, though--but I don't. How can it be that we have spent hundreds of billions of dollars in Iraq, yet we can't spend a fraction of that amount to close our profusely open and insecure borders? Answer, because the American supremacists want to use our supremacist (read Establishment)-created insecurity as reason to have a military presence in about three-fourths of the world's countries.

What's worse, the fact that America acts as the world's supreme and only superpower gives a boatload of socialist countries a boatload of extra money (they don't have to have but the smallest of militaries) to continue to keep a boatload of soon-to-be failed socialist experiments afloat--just long enough perhaps for a preponderance of Americans to envy them.

Still think Jeremiah Wright is so wrong?
. . .

Don't get me wrong. I won't vote for Barack Obama, despite some previous praise I have given him on this site. But just because we don't like his politics is no reason to categorically lambaste his pastor.

To do so makes us look uneducated and silly.


  1. Personally I think the "Reverend" is cut from the same cloth as Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist "Church". Both use thier positions to spew hatred. People like them are the reason people strap bombs on themselves and blow up the non-beleievers that they say God Hates.

  2. I will admit that I don't know much about Jeremiah Wright. I'm just going by what he said. He may have a lot more "meaning" behind those words than I know.

    But from what I see him quoted as to have said, I mostly agree.

  3. Wright and Staheli are actually pretty wrong on several issues.

    The Hiroshima-9/11 connection is completely ridiculous. Only a hardcore left-wing revisionist would compare our attempts to avoid a full scale invasion of Japan with 9/11.

    The death tolls at Iwo (virtually no resident civilian population) and Okinawa demonstrate that an invasion of Japan would have yielded a death toll for both sides that would have been much higher than the losses of life at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    Btw, more German and Austrian civilians were killed in 1942 to 1945 by conventional bombs than Japanese civilians were killed by A-bombs, but nobody seems to worry about those dead white Krauts, do they? They had it coming anyway.

    Of course, this is all moot if you believe that the U.S. provoked Japan into bombing Pearl Harbor and that Japanese war crimes in China, Korea, and other Asian countries were either none of our business or were just fabrications.

  4. K Andrea...

    I didn't even bring UP the issue of Hiroshima--you did. It would be helpful if you read my article, rather than just read the title of it and make assumptions.

    Come to think about it, I didn't mention 9/11 either. I didn't say Reverend Wright was squeaky clean. What I think I said was "we can't paint every picture with such a broad brush...it's not right or healthy for me just to dismiss everything [Obama's] pastor says as inflammatory and wrong. Because it's not."

    Yup. THAT's actually what I said. So Andrea...YOU get an F for reading retention.

  5. Frank, I started out defending Pastor Wright as my default position. However, my ability to defend him was weakened when I saw this (now widely available) video clip. I listened to the hatred he seems to have for "rich white people" and I thought his head might explode from the cognitive dissonance as he followed up his screed with a message about forgiving our enemies.

    Wright's racism notwithstanding, I think it has little to do with Barack, though it certainly casts doubt on his judgment, which he cites as his primary qualification for office.

  6. Thanks, Bradley. This is more the type of discussion I was hoping for. You're likely very correct. (I'll be able to watch the video when I get home from work.) I tend to agree with you that Wright is a very vitriolic man. I just think that we should not dismiss every one of his statements out of hand simply because he's the one that made them.

    I also agree with you that it should have little to do with Barack Obama.

  7. Frank,

    You get an F-minus for intellectual honesty. You criticize people for reacting against Wright's comments, but a lot of the reaction is based on his comments on the supposed Hiroshima/Nagasaki/911 connection.

    Just because you choose to ignore the 911 comments doesn't mean the rest of us have to.

    Essentially, you've cherry-picked some of Wright's arguments and said "He's actually pretty accurate" while ignoring the arguments where he is clearly wrong. No matter how wrong someone is, they are bound to be right on something. That doesn't mean the rest of us can't criticize these people -- and their defenders like you -- when they are wrong.

  8. Anon,

    I see your point, and it is slightly valid. I don't know why you can't make it outside of a cloak of anonymity, though.

    His point about 9/11 is pretty weird. His statement about Hiroshma, etc. has been generally debated by many.

    The point of this whole article, which makes me wonder why you think I'm cherry picking, is that on some things I think he IS pretty accurate. I hoped in the opening paragraph I didn't give the impression that I thought he was always accurate, because I don't think that. I was merely trying to illustrate that we need to give him credit where credit is due, rather than dog-piling on a man who is down.

    Outside of whether I cherry-picked or not, do you agree with any of the specific sentiments that I stated in my article?


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