Thursday, January 17, 2008

Obama's "Find Waldo" Persona

A person's religious beliefs says something important about them. It's a part of what makes up the whole-cloth of the views of a worshiping person... and the whole-cloth of a presidential candidate. The matter of how and where they worship will surface during the upcoming general election battle as every nook and cranny of the lives of each candidate will be dissected, many times with a dull knife.

That is why Barack Obama's association with Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ leads to troubling questions as Richard Cohen points out in "Obama's Farrakhan Test." (WaPo)

The minister of Obama's church Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who is also Obama's spiritual advisor, launched in 1982 the Trumpet Newsmagazine. Wright's daughter serves as publisher and executive editor. Every year the magazine makes awards in various categories, and last year the award for the man it said "truly epitomized greatness" was given to Louis Farrakhan.

As Cohen points out, "For most Americans, though, Farrakhan epitomizes racism, particularly in the form of anti-Semitism.... His history is a rancid stew of lies."

Obama's camp says that he disassociates himself from this award, but feels that he is under no obligation to speak out on the matter. Not speak out on the views of his minister and spiritual advisor? Where is Obama's outrage for calling Farrakhan.... who vilified whites and homosexuals and singled out Jews to blame for crimes large and small as the racially-toxic leader of the Nation of Islam.... the epitome of greatness?

The award puts its stamp of approval on Farrakhan's poisonous incitements, applauding his "depth of analysis when it comes to the racial ills of this nation," praising his "integrity and honesty."

In March of 1984, answering charges that he was a "Black Hitler," Farrakhan responded.... "Well that's a good name. Hitler was a very great man....." Farrakhan was censured unanimously by the United States Senate for the speech.

He has said "White people are potential humans - they haven't evolved yet" in March 2000, and "Murder and lying comes easy for white people" in 1994. He has labeled whites as "blue-eyed devils" and the "anti-Christ," and Jews as "bloodsuckers." He has called for the destruction of America and rails against homosexuals.

Cohen's last thoughts on Obama's troubling reluctance in not vigorously condemning the idea of Farrakhan as "truly epitomizing greatness":

".... the rap on Obama is that he is a fog of a man. We know little about him, and, for all my admiration of him, I wonder about his mettle. The New York Times recently reported on Obama's penchant while serving in the Illinois legislature for merely voting 'present' when faced with some tough issues. Farrakhan, in a strictly political sense, may be a tough issue for him. This time, though, 'present' will not do."

As a state senator, Obama voted "present" 130 times. (NY Times)

Voters traumatized on so many sides..... by the perilous state of the economy, the devastating war in Iraq and the continuing specter of the threat of terrorism from Islamic radicals.... need to hear much more from Obama than "present,".... and they need to hear it now!

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