In this installment, we go way back to Barack and the Democrat primaries. Let’s talk about one of Obama’s spiritual mentors, specifically Father Michael Pfleger.
You’ve probably heard about this guy already. However, I only think it fair to include him (and the others) for the sake of posterity. It’s good to know what a man believes, because it it a sure sign of how he will act in any given situation.
Christopher Hitchens is probably one of my favorite liberals; I’m serious about that. He’s a classic liberal. Classic not in the sense that he is the stencil by which liberals are outlined, but in the sense that he believes strongly in classic liberalism. Classic liberalism is what people like Thomas Jefferson ascribed. While no fan of Ronald Reagan, and having economic views that tilt towards socialism, Hitchens is a guy who really has no hidden agenda. He also tends to call things for what they are, and he’s fairly accurate in his assessments.
So I like him.
Our trip begins with an article he had published at Slate.com:
The thing that this gaggle of cranks and parasites has in common is the extreme deference with which it is treated by the junior senator from Illinois. In April 2004, Barack Obama told a reporter from the Chicago Sun-Times that he had three spiritual mentors or counselors: Jeremiah Wright, James Meeks, and Father Michael Pfleger—for a change of pace, a white Catholic preacher who has a close personal feeling for the man he calls (as does Obama) Minister Farrakhan. This crossover stuff is not as “inclusive” as it might be made to seem: Meeks’ main political connections in the white community are with the hysterically anti-homosexual wing of the Christian right. If Obama were to be read a list of the positions that his clerical supporters take on everything from Judaism to sodomy, he would be in the smooth and silky business of “distancing” from now until November. And that is why he hopes that his Philadelphia speech, which dissociated him from everything and nothing, will be enough. He seems, indeed, to have a real gift for remaining adequately uninformed about the real beliefs of his “mentors.”
What did he mean by his last comment? Well, it seems that Barack Obama had to distance himself from all three aforementioned individuals (Meeks, Wright, and Pfleger) because of some of their zany, wacky antics.
Father Pfleger is a real lovely guy too. Consider a post by David Kopel about a couple of Pfleger’s outbursts:
Rev. Pfleger does not respect the property rights of persons who sell products he does not like. He “is known for climbing ladders to deface liquor billboards.”
The Westlaw database does not indicate that Sen. Obama has participated in the project which has gained Rev. Pfleger notoriety among Bill of Rights advocates: his persecution of Chuck’s Gun Shop. Since all firearms stores have been driven out of Chicago, the closest firearms store to Chicago is Chuck’s Gun Shop, in Riverdale, a short distance south of Chicago. Pursuant to Illinois law, Chuck’s only sells guns to customers who have already obtained a Firearms Owner’s Identification Card (FOID) issued by the Illinois State Police after a background check. The employees of Chuck’s Gun Shop have also voluntarily undertaken the “Don’t lie for the other guy” training program sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, to help gun store employees detect straw purchases (purchases by legal buyers conducted on behalf of prohibited persons).
Yet the Reverends Michael Pfleger and Jesse Jackson have been organized large crowds to repeatedly picket Chuck’s Gun Shop. On June 23, 2007, Revs. Jackson and Pfleger were arrested for criminally obstructing the entrance to the store. The charges were eventually dropped, just as Governor George Wallace never was criminally punished for standing in a doorway to obstruct the exercise of constitutional rights. (The comparison is a little unfair, since Wallace eventually stood aside, whereas Jackson and Pfleger had to be physically removed by the police.)
In another demonstration at Chuck’s Gun Shop, owned by John Riggio, Rev. Pfleger told the crowd: “We’re going to find you and snuff you out….Like a rat you’re going to hide. But like a rat, we’re going to catch you and pull you out….We’re going to snuff out John Riggio.” Rev. Pfleger also promised: “We’re going to snuff out legislators that are voting against our gun laws. We’re coming for you because we’re not going to sit idly.”
Call me judgemental, but threatening to “snuff out” people because they run lawfully operated gun shops is a tad hypocritical. But this isn’t the only inflammatory thing the good Father Pfleger has uttered:
“I really believe that she just always thought, ‘This is mine! I’m Bill’s wife, I’m white, and this is mine! I just gotta get up and step into the plate….And then out of nowhere came, ‘Hey, I’m Barack Obama and she said, ‘Oh, damn! Where did you come from? I’m white! I’m entitled! There’s a black man stealing my show!’
“She wasn’t the only one crying,” he shouted as he mockingly pretended to cry, “There was a whole lot of white people crying…… “I’m white! I’m entitled! There’s a black man stealing my show.”
Senator Obama, who has publicly disavowed Rev. Wright’s controversial comments, soon found himself having to disavow this Catholic Priest. He did so from the campaign trail this week with these words:
“As I have traveled this country, I’ve been impressed not by what divides us, but by all that unites us…. That is why I am deeply disappointed in Father Pfleger’s divisive, backward-looking rhetoric, which doesn’t reflect the country I see or the desire of people across America to come together.”
Really? Barack is “deeply disappointed” as of this year? In all that time Obama never heard this kind of talk, or was never disappointed about it before?
Do you really buy any of that? I don’t. He’s known Pfleger for years.
What else has Father Pfleger said…recently?
…and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna sit back while you tear down Farrakhan and Jeremiah Wright! How dare you! How dare you! How dare you – seek to reduce Jeremiah Wright who’s one of the greatest Biblical scholars this nation has, to a thirty-second sound beep and try to demonize him and trivialize him! You can not do that!
Since when is truth unacceptable?
Excuse me? Reverent Wright is one of the greatest Biblical scholars this nation has? Ummm…seeing that Father Pfleger is a Roman Catholic, does that mean his superiors (those would be the guys who kinda have more Biblical knowledge than the good Father) are some how less than the good Reverend Wright in their Biblical knowledge? How about this faithful reciting of Holy Scripture by the “honorable” Rev. Wright:
Hopkins attends Trinity United Church of Christ, where Rev. Wright just retired as pastor. In the now-famous sermon from 2003, Wright said black people’s troubles are a result of racism that still exists in America, crying out, “No, no, no, not God bless America! God damn America — that’s in the Bible — for killing innocent people.”
Now I have several Bibles, in several languages. I’ve scanned just about all of them to find exactly where it says “God damn America”. Can’t find it. I guess it must be in a new, revised edition or I don’t have access to a same cool decoder ring that Rev. Wright has.
Maybe I didn’t get the memo?
Wright preaches a radical, race-oriented, Marxist-inspired form of pseudo-Christianity called Black Liberation Theology (you can hear the actual founder of this “cult” talk about this aberration of Scripture at the NPR link I provided above). According to the founder of this “branch” of Christianity (and I use these terms loosely), this interpretation of the Bible was inspired partially my Malcolm X. You know, Malcolm X the Muslim.
Not that being a Muslim is a bad thing. But Islam, and especially the teaching of the Nation of Islam (which we’ll get into), isn’t exactly compatible with Christian teachings or Holy Scripture. And remember, for a long time Malcolm X was affiliated with the Nation of Islam. Well, that was up until he was shot down…after he left the Nation of Islam.
Funny how that works, eh?
And as James Cone says to NPR:
Now Malcolm X, who was not a Christian as you say, he gave Black Theology it’s black identity. And this is important too, because we were black before we were Christian. And in a White Supremacist society like America has been – 246 years of slavery, a hundred years of segregation and lynchin’ – in a society where white domination is so powerful and the minority group in where black has been defined as evil, and as negative then we have to turn that understanding of black on its head, and see ourselves as loving ourselves, not hating ourselves. So Black [Liberation Theology?] is black self-esteem.
I mean, outside of the whining psycho-babble in there, what Black Liberation Theology does is steep itself in racial stereotypes, and promotes the same baseless self-esteem drivel that they’ve been pushing on the kids in public schools.
You know, the same type of self-esteem crap that makes little Johnny feel good, even though he can barely read.
For the record: Barack Obama has far more money then I’ll ever have. He has a nicer house than I do. In fact, so does the Reverent Wright. So, I’m kinda having a real hard time seeing this white supremacist society all these guys keep talking about.
Again, maybe I didn’t get the memo? The Organization of White Supremacists didn’t tell me to line up to get what’s rightfully mine by birth? I dunno.
Cone also stated that God concerns himself more with the poor and the downtrodden. Last time I checked, some of the most important figures of the Bible were wealthy men: Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Joseph, David, Solomon. They were wealthy because God blessed them with wealth. So, I’m kinda missing that Biblical reference as well.
Nowhere in any the Bibles I have in my possession does it say anywhere that God concerns himself morewith the poor and the downtrodden. Nor do the teachings of Jesus, at least those that I’ve read (which is all of them), concern themselves with race to the wacked-out extreme that guys like Cone, Wright, and Pfleger stretch them. Again, I must not have that wonderful decoder ring that the greatest Biblical scholar in this nation has (Rev. Wright) in his possession.
What I take away from the Bible and from the teachings of Jesus is that we are supposed to help our neighbor. That we are supposed to treat our neighbors as we would want to be treated. That God is so great that – rich or poor – we are given equal consideration in his eyes. We are made in the Image of God. For all my “lack” of understanding of Holy Scripture, no where is there stated that God makes exceptions for one group over the other.
Guys like Wright and Pfleger like to put God in a very small box, so that they can define him however they want. What’s sickening is that these people are defining both God and Jesus as being essentially racist.
Remember the part where I highlighted Islam as being a part of Black Liberation Theology.
But back to Pfleger. How about this one from the good Father:
…honest enough to address the one who says, “Hummm – well don’t hold me responsible for what my ancestors did.” But you have enjoyed the benefits of what your ancestors did. And unless you’re ready to give up the benefits, throw away your 401 fund! Throw away your trust fund! Throw away all the money that’s been put away in the company you walked into because your daddy, and your grand-daddy, and your great – unless you’re willing to give up the benefits, you must be responsible for what was done in your generation! ‘Cause you are the beneficiaries of this insurance policy!
You must be honest enough to expose white entitlement, and supremacy where ever it raises its head.
Where might you have heard this shiiiii…um…stuff before? Here, let me help you:
The present generation of whites – they didn’t do this to us! The present generation of whites are innocent of what their great-grandfathers did. But, you’re in a privileged position because of what your fathers did. And we’re in a hell of a condition because of what your fathers did. So if you, the present generation of whites, want to escape what is justly due, then you got to do the right thing! You got to do justice [to the?] Black Man. What is the right thing? You gotta apologize for what you did! You gotta repent for what ya did! You’ve gotta say, “we’ve been wrong!” Now we know we [whites?] don’t want ya [blacks?], we don’t like ya, but we’ll give ya justice.
Yep. Louis Farrakhan. In fact, Father Pfleger is good friends with Louis Farrakhan. He openly admits it. Yes, Father Pfleger is friendly with a Nation of Islam leader who took a trip to the terrorist-sponsoring state of Libya, and met with Qaddafi (along with Reverend Wright). What’s not so well known is that Qaddafi himself is a semi-Marxist…at least a big enough Marxist that his nation had been feeding off the Soviet trough for many years.
Birds of a feather, say I.
What are some of the more profound things Farrakhan has said? Well…
Is it wrong for me to remind you that you have suffered at the hands of white people? If I don’t remind my people of what you people (whites) have done, you might get the mind to do it again.
They (whites) are sick and their world has made us sick. I’m not dealing with well people. I’m dealing with sick people who have made us sick through a corrupt leadership.
Everywhere I go I wanna give the white man hell from the cradle to the grave. This is a new generation of blacks and we say to you, white man, you either stop or drop.
How about Farrakhan’s thoughts on Jews?
I don’t give a damn what you say about me, you bagel-eating, hook nose, lox-eating so-called Jew. The so-called Jew is Jew-wish–he wishes he was a Jew….You wanna-be Jews, we’re gonna strip you buck naked before the world. There’s no place for you to hide. You lied for too long telling that you are the chosen people.
Everybody talks about what Hitler did to you. What did you do to Hitler? What made that man so mad at you?
You wonder why I call it Jew-nited Nations…Jew York City…Jew-niversity. Because you control it.
Yes. A lovely little friend Pfleger has picked up there.
Call me crazy, but somehow I don’t think Jesus would approve of half the stuff Father Pfleger tolerates or endorses.
Then there is this little gem from Pfleger:
Yes. You evil white people out there are rapists. America is raping black people. And it’s only because a reformed Whitey rapist like Father Pfleger has come along to tell black people the truth.
Rev. Wright goes home every day, to his 10,000 sq. ft. mansion in tears, because of the raping white people like me have done to him. Yes, he sobs bitterly in the new, plush carpeting of his mansion. Weeps unrestrained as the elevator in his humble abode takes him to the second story of his modest dwelling. How cruel life, and terrible white folks like me, have been to Jeremiah Wright!
Remember, this is one of Obama’s spiritual mentors – admitted by Barack Obama himself. A guy who has been arrested some 40 times. What good he has done for the black community is stained by the vile evil that he spews day-in and day-out.
Does anyone really believe that Obama never knew Pfleger spewed this kind of crap? Or that he didn’t tacitly approve of it?
I will say this of Barack Obama: I believe him to be a loyal person at heart. It is the reason why there hasn’t been even a hint of scandal when it comes to his married life; because he is true-blue when it comes to his relationships. Which is the reason why his denials about Pfleger, his repudiation, and distancing himself from Pfleger doesn’t wash with most thinking people.
But all this talk of Justice got me thinking…there are a couple of Bible passages that comes to mind when discussing people like Father Michael Pfleger. The first:
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do you gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree produces good fruit; but the corrupt tree produces evil fruit. A good tree can’t produce evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree produce good fruit. Every tree that doesn’t grow good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire.
Or how about this one:
“Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.”
Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
No more prescient thing could be written.
Then again, I’m not the nation’s greatest Bible scholar, so what do I know?