I have a bone to pick with the mainstream media as well as many voices in the blogosphere.
I think there’s too much noise about Rev. Jeremiah Wright casting a shadow on Barack Obama.
Make no mistake, barring the entry of a compelling minor party candidate, I’ll be voting for John McCain in November, but I still think it’s not right to fault Obama because of Wright.
I certainly think sermons can be newsworthy. I don’t fault the media for reporting what preachers may say.
But media pundits and bloggers alike are blaming Obama for being preached to by Wright.
Would I have continued to attend a church where Wright was preaching? That’s for me to decide.
And that’s the whole point.
We have freedom of religion. No one can tell me where I ought to go to church and where I ought not go. I don’t have to attend a church that’s politically correct. Wright does not lead a cult that brainwashes people in order to treat them in an inhumane way for his own benefit, as Warren Jeffs has done with his FLDS cult. So then, why are we second-guessing Barack Obama?
Even if he sat in those pews every Sunday for the past 20 years, and heard every single word spoken by Wright, it’s not for anyone else to say that Obama’s attendance there shows lack of judgment. Obama has every right to be there, and shouldn’t have to have his judgment called into question for being there.
I don’t agree with much of Wright’s assessment of America, but so what? I can think of Old Testament prophets that railed against the Kindom of Judah and the Kingdom of Israel. It certainly wasn’t politically correct for those prophets to find fault with their own governments, but they felt that they were being true to God’s word. And who am I to judge whether Wright feels he’s being true to God’s word or not? Wright has freedom of religion, and when he addresses a congregation that has the freedom to peaceably assemble, Wright has freedom of speech. Isn’t the Constitution a wonderful thing?
Whatever Wright may have said, Obama chooses his own thoughts, his own words, and his own actions. In Obama’s own words, he disavowed the utterings of Wright that have been shown on that endless loop.
There’s been a flap over some things Obama said in San Francisco. I think we can all form our own valid opinions on what those words reveal about Obama’s candidacy. Wright’s words don’t reveal anything about Obama’s candidacy. Obama’s words about Wright’s words reveal something. They reveal that Obama doesn’t agree with Wright, yet many are still making judgments about Obama based on the words of Wright.
I hope this distraction goes away soon, so we can move on from petty disagreements in order to engage in substantive analysis.