15 March 2008

Barak Obama's Church Affiliation Matters

The news is full of stories regarding Barak Obama's association with his pastor, Jeremiah Wright. You can read about it in Europe, or in the US. You see and hear it on the Net and your nightly news. I am glad it's out there. I anticipated it. You might have even read my take on it here in my little blog. I was shocked that the church the senator attended had such a racist agenda and no one had said anything about it. They have now.

Obama is now trying to do damage control. They have changed the church's website. They have added some videos of a white, female pastor to speak for the church and Obama. The senator is denouncing his pastor's remarks. For twenty years Jeremiah Wright has pastored a church whose very mission statement betrays the racism it promotes and suddenly Obama is saying my pastor doesn't speak for me? Give me a break. I wish with all my heart that my black brothers and sisters in Christ would call him on it. Why? Because my calling him on it is likely to be dismissed as racist too, which is far from the truth. Instead of denouncements and repudiations I would love to see some repentance. I am sick to death of the double standard in the world and cannot keep quiet when I see it in the church. Racism is a sin. Period. It doesn't matter how subtly it is packaged.

I am angry. I have done everything in my power to raise my kids to respect people for their humanity- for the magnificent reason that they bear the Image of of God. I have done my level best to make certain they understood that evil comes in every shape, size and color. Given the right set of circumstances we are all capable of doing horrible things. Doing the right thing is difficult but it's the one standard we should hold all men to-what God decrees is the right thing.

Doubtless I will offend someone with this post. I am anticipating the arguments already. It's not racism, it is just pride in ethnic heritage! It will be assumed that a white woman can't know what she is talking about, never having been black. Some will think I am naive and not living in the real world. I assure you, being born in Oakland, CA and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, I have a clue. I know about the pressures of poverty. I know what it is like not to feel safe by virtue of your race. None of that is the point though. My point is you can't have it both ways. You cannot scream foul for racism and then promote it, even if it is under the guise of pride in your heritage. (For the record I was angry at the pictures of Obama dressed in the clothes of his heritage being made into more than what they were.)

Yes there are still problems with racism in this country. I am not denying it. Supporting someone who belongs to a church that promotes a racist agenda isn't the answer. Electing a candidate who attends such a church to the office of President of the United States of America because he denies association with the message of the pastor is not going help. He either doesn't have the courage of his convictions or the sense to recognize racism on his own. Please stop supporting this man.

Post Script: I realize that I may not have clearly articulated my objection to Senator Obama's church's mission statement. My objection first and foremost is that it is not biblical. The color of a person's skin should have zero bearing on the treatment they receive from a Christ honoring church. As believers we should see the first need of all men and woman as gospel of Christ. The bible does tell us to minister to those in need but never suggests we distinguish the race of the needy as a way to set priorities.

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