Barack Obama gave a press conference today. I watched with a heavy heart as an honorable man took leave of his former minister and quite possibly his church.
Angered, saddened and feeling betrayed by the spectacle his former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, made of himself over the past few days, Obama finally cleared the air. Anyone who watched should have no doubt that what Jeremiah Wright has at times preached is in no way a reflection of what Barack Obama believes.
I had intended to do this post today before watching that news conference. I wanted to say to Obama that there comes a time when turning the other cheek is no longer enough. The question is asked if you're tough enough for the presidency. Even with a new, more thoughtful and civil style of politics there is a time when enough is enough. A time when striking back is called for. Necessary. And, yes, expected. This is such a time in regard to Reverend Wright.
Obama beat me to my post. The instant analysis following went through the usual drill. Will it help or hurt? Is it political? Is it personal?
I hope it helps - it clarified how Obama feels. Is it political? Yes, to the extent Wright's remarks and the timing of them were an insult to both Obama and his campaign. Is it personal? Absolutely. While he made it perfectly clear Wright was his pastor, no more, no less, how hurtful and astonishing is it when the leader of your own church defiles everything you stand for? A man of God? I'd look for every rationale possible too.
I listened to a black NBC reporter tell how she had attended the church while living in Chicago. She explained not all attend services every week and in her time there she had never heard a diatribe such as we've been witness to in sound bytes for weeks. If it's true for her I have no doubt is is true for Obama.
Did Obama turn a deaf ear for too long a time? I will take him at his word. I know for myself, however, I've turned a deaf ear when friends have pushed the envelope. I'm sure some will say the same about me. You continue the relationship hoping it will change or that you misjudged.
You know the saying, fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. I've gone back for the third dose more than once and have been burned an equal number of times. It's the way I am. Aren't a lot of us the same?
I can understand dirty politics. It's ingrained in the way the process is carried out in this country. I don't have to like it nor the politicians who have no way of winning without it.
But for the leader of a church to do to a presidential candidate what the Reverend Wright has been doing to Obama is beyond excusable. It is not about "Black Liberation" theology. It is about Reverend Wright and his fifteen minutes of fame. What else could his motivation be?
I find the thought that a man of God might be purposely trying to bring down the Obama candidacy out of some twisted sense of jealousy is reprehensible. If it's merely for his own aggrandizement, it is beyond reprehensible.
Talk about a Judas!