Senator Obama Resigns His Church

From the NY Times politics blog:

“Senator Barack Obama is ending his membership at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, a congregation he has belonged to for about two decades and one that had become a lightening rod in his Democratic presidential bid…

“This week, Mr. Obama found himself responding once again to a sermon delivered from the pulpit of Trinity, when a Catholic priest and a longtime friend of Mr. Obama was captured on video last Sunday mocking Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“Mr. Obama, as he prepares for a general election campaign against Senator John McCain, was seeking to put the controversy over his church behind him. It remains an open question whether this move will do that or will simply draw more attention to his decision to be a member of the church for two decades.”

The Catholic priest to which the article refers can be seen in this video.

[WARNING: I give the sermon linked above a PG rating because the priest uses the “D” word at one point during his speech.]

49 Responses to Senator Obama Resigns His Church

  1. Darius May 31, 2008 at 8:06 pm #

    I guess he could no longer attribute the hate from his church as being merely taken-out-of-context “sound bites.”

  2. JNG May 31, 2008 at 8:24 pm #

    Amazing, he could sit there and listen for twenty years, defend it for months when the heat was on and then finally when he realized it might cost him his bid for power he suddenly has a change of heart. Too little too late. The damage has been done. This just furthers the argument that what the opponents have been saying about the church is true, and Obama finally realized he needed to seriously distance himself from such a hate filled place.

  3. brian l. May 31, 2008 at 9:18 pm #

    What a show.

    He also said he won’t criticize or denounce the church, etc., etc. So why is he leaving it? Typical politician. Just a stunt.

  4. Wonders for Oyarsa May 31, 2008 at 11:06 pm #

    It does seem sad to me. I have to admit, when he gave his reasons for not disassociating himself back in March, I respected him for it. I can certainly understand being part of a church community and sticking to them, warts and all, even when the pastor occasionally goes on cringe-inducing rants. But to say all that and then change your mind a month or two later after political pressure just seems like the worst of both worlds.

  5. Paul June 1, 2008 at 11:11 am #

    1) Yeah, Obama took the politically expedient route here, proving what I think about him, that he’s all talk and no action.

    2) The only thing wrong with Pflager’s comments is that they were made from the pulpit, where insults do NOT belong.

    2a) I’ve met Pflager before and have seen him preach. Don’t let this make you think otherwise…this guy has an enormous heart for God.

  6. JNG June 1, 2008 at 1:11 pm #

    I can’t judge his heart, but I can judge his words and they were racist. I don’t think he is doing a very good job representing Christ and that saddens me. Christians don’t need representatives like that.

  7. Darius June 1, 2008 at 2:03 pm #

    JNG, his words were worse than racist, which is such an overused term anyway these days. His words were hateful and, most of all, covetous. What is interesting is that he is white, so he has assumed or taken on the greedy covetousness of the black liberation theology.

    Here’s another snippet from that same “sermon.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfWnY5PC0CQ&feature=related

    As Mark Steyn said this week, this is hardly a “church,” since there is apparently no contemplation of the divine.

  8. JNG June 1, 2008 at 4:56 pm #

    Darius well stated. I agree.

  9. CH June 2, 2008 at 4:36 pm #

    Wow Paul

  10. Mike Templin June 2, 2008 at 4:56 pm #

    This saddens me that there is so much trash being preached from the pulpit, what ever happened to the word of God? I could care less if your a Lutheran, Wesleyian, Calvinist, or Baptist…Preach the Word! Why have we prostituted our(or should i say our Messiahs) pulpits and congregations to the world and then if that is not enough we defend other people that do the same. God have mercy on us, Lord restore us unto yourself.

    18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written:
    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
    20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.
    26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”

  11. Paul June 3, 2008 at 12:45 pm #

    I will agree with Mike Templin on this, that preaching needs to be the forum of the pulpit.

    As for JNG, Darius and Mark Steyn, I can only say the following…

    1) Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. And when any of you can state that you’ve done as much for your neighborhood as Pfleger’s done for his, THEN talk. St. Sabina’s is close to the only light of hope in Englewood (the neighborhood that church is in), and that’s due 110% to the efforts of Pfleger. Call him whatever you want, he’s a better man than you. And, JNG, representing Christ is more than handing out Chick tracts or working at a crisis pregnancy center. It’s the fruits of faith. Pfleger’s got those by the boatload.

    2) Like y’all don’t talk about how blacks feel entitled to this that or the other? That’s what I thought. Even said as a (off) white guy myself, white people and especially non-urban white people have funny ways of dealing with race.

  12. Darius June 3, 2008 at 1:22 pm #

    Again Paul, who is stoning the guy? We’re merely judging his words. It’s telling of your politically correct worldview that one cannot judge a person’s words without being called a hypocrite.

    And another thing… it appears that as long as the person does supposedly “good works,” you think we can’t question his views or words. You do know that it is possible to be a pagan and do tons of good works, don’t you? I’m sure you would argue that it is possible. So just because the guy has tons of good (even great) works, does that mean his theology is right or he is even saved? None of us are judging his salvation, and that you can’t see that is quite illuminating. I am beginning to wonder just how “traditional” your theology is if you can put so much weight on works and so little on words.

    Regarding your second “point,”… I’m not sure what you’re getting at. It IS interesting that the man has taken on the rhetoric of radical black folks. I actually first heard the audio on the radio of that sermon, and assumed from both his mannerisms and his rhetoric that he was black. Color me surprised when I saw that he was an old white guy.

    Some blacks do feel entitled to this or that, but many don’t. Some whites feel entitled as well. I don’t care what the color of your skin is, feelings of entitlement and covetousness are always wrong. Non-urban white people have funny ways of dealing with race? Yes, it’s called ignoring it and treating everyone as equals. Someone like Pfleger can’t understand that his is a world long gone, and the only racism in the room is his own.

    This is probably an apropos time to mention how closely tied the Rwandan genocide is to this topic of entitlement and racism. Until the 1950’s, the Tutsis reigned as kings over the land, in harmony with the Hutus. But then Belgium tried to colonize the country and did two very important things. One, they issued ethnic identification cards to everyone. Two, they abolished most of the limited power enjoyed by the Hutus. Meanwhile, they stirred up unrest by telling the Hutus that they should not be subservient to the Tutsis. So in the late 50’s, the Hutus threw off the Tutsi yoke. For the next 30 or so years, the Tutsis and Hutus were largely equals both politically and economically. Yet the liberal white intelligentsia didn’t let things die. They kept promoting the idea that Tutsis were better than Hutus, and that the Hutus had gotten the short end of the stick and still deserved reparations for the “suffering” they had received decades earlier. So this overwhelming sense of entitlement and greed crept into the Hutu mind. So when it came to the genocide of 1993, the Hutus were so brainwashed with entitlement, they slaughtered their best friends and neighbors. They didn’t know or care about the political issues, they only knew what the whites had helped them understand: Tutsis deserved to pay, and if they were completely free of them, their lives would be perfect. Had the Belgian and French Westerners not promoted that sense of entitlement and racism (and then left two days before the massacres began), the genocide would likely have not occurred.

  13. Paul June 3, 2008 at 2:10 pm #

    Darius,

    also enlightening are the following…

    1) You’re judging one moment in a church where he is a regular guest and friend to the leadership of that church. We all speak differently to our friends than we do when we think we’re speaking professionally. I have said before, and I’ll say again, he shouldn’t have said what he said from the pulpit.

    And also, you said of him, “What is interesting is that he is white, so he has assumed or taken on the greedy covetousness of the black liberation theology.”

    You got all of that from one statement? The only part you can claim with certainty is that he’s white.

    2) “It IS interesting that the man has taken on the rhetoric of radical black folks.”

    there was nothing radical about what he said. That he “sounds” black might have something to do with the fact that he’s lived on the deep south side of Chicago in an area where the only other white guys are completely destitute people who couldn’t afford an apartment anywhere else. So, he’s bound to pick up the local patois. Much like southerners do when the move north, or midwesterners do when the move to L.A. for a long enough stretch of time.

    3) Ignoring race is the worst thing we can do in this country. While I am not advocating for coddling someone based on their race or anything of the sort, I will say that the only way that this country will get over its massive race divide is to take on the issue of race (and the tangential issue of class) head on.

    4) the only racism Pfleger has seen is his own? Please, please, pretty pretty pretty please, move to Hyde Park or Rogers Park or Uptown (the three most diverse neighborhoods in Chicago) and people watch for just a month. THEN tell me that racism doesn’t exist. Even the most conservative, “color blind” white guy in Lincoln Park (a very well to do neighborhood on the north side) will tell you that Chicago is the most segregated city in the country. That’s why the last time that Trinity came up on this blog, my first statement was, “unless you’re from Chicago, you haven’t a clue what you’re talking about.” That was proven true once again right here.

    5) Faith without Works is dead. If it sounds good to an apostle, it sounds good to me. I don’t care how much you talk the talk, you gotta walk the walk too. That’s not bad theology, that’s the truth. Pfleger walks the walk. Do you?

    6) I don’t know what the story about the Hutus and Tutsis has to do with the price of tea in China, but it is one of the saddest stories in the history of mankind.

  14. Darius June 3, 2008 at 2:46 pm #

    1) Why should he, as a pastor, have said that ANYWHERE, much less the pulpit? Is his race-baiting diatribe appropriate from the mouth of someone who claims to speak (at least to some extent) on behalf of God?

    2) Ties back into 1)… nothing radical about what he said? You really need to get out more, Paul. I’m sure it’s not radical in certain parts of some black portions of urbania in America, but it definitely is to the rest of the country. The idea that blacks don’t have equal opportunities to succeed in this country is one that is fraught with foolish Marxism. If blacks (or whites or hispanics or Asians) don’t succeed, it is almost entirely their own fault (as Bill Cosby once said, who was holding the pound cake?). The black underclass is not foremost black, it is foremost underclass. In Britain, the underclass is almost entirely white. And the ironic reason that the American or British underclass stays the underclass is the liberal/Marxist worldview that classes are exploited by capitalism and must be helped by the state to get out of their socially-determined situation.

    Furthermore, Pfleger espoused the stupid and dangerous idea that IF ONLY whites gave up their earnings and 401ks, which he somehow believes are tied to pre-slavery days (nevermind that many white people’s ancestors weren’t yet living in this country), then all black problems would be taken care of and they could move on. This is hogwash! The black problems have almost nothing to do with economics and everything to do with the hip-hop culture and moral poverty, and I am glad to see someone like Bill Cosby willing to preach this TRUTH.

    3) Actually, usually when race is continually mentioned, that is what makes race relations much worse. Myopically focusing on race leads to situations like this one (which happened in your neck of the woods): http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/obama/883120,CST-NWS-trustee08.article

    In the above case, the black woman had racism so drummed into her, she only saw racism in her relationships with others.

    4) Again, how does a segregated neighborhood or city equal racism? People of their own kind tend to live together. It’s a fact of human nature, not class discrimination.

    5) If one is ONLY walking the walk, it’s works-based religiosity.

    6) The Rwandan genocide is the (worst-case) logical end to the views espoused by Pfleger. A sense of entitlement and the idea that classes are economically and socially determined, pounded into the people for decades, can lead to significant evil. It is no coincidence that the main architects of the genocide were Western-taught (particularly in France) academics.

  15. Brent June 3, 2008 at 3:23 pm #

    If blacks (or whites or hispanics or Asians) don’t succeed, it is almost entirely their own fault (as Bill Cosby once said, who was holding the pound cake?). The black underclass is not foremost black, it is foremost underclass.

    Maybe you’re the one that should get out more.

    I have cited before, and will again here, the study “Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal?” The study demonstrated that, for those resumes sent out that had ethnic-sounding names, it was 150% more difficult to get a callback than a similar resume with a “white” name.

    Personally, I think this difficulty is only the tip of the iceberg in addressing the race problems in the U.S. I do think that affirmative action is a naive and over-simplistic solution, but I think the same about your comment that minorities’ failures are almost entirely their own fault.

  16. Darius June 3, 2008 at 4:02 pm #

    Brent, then how do you explain the FACT that the underclass in Britain is white?

    As for your study, what would fix the supposed “racism” inherent in the system is to have a black culture that espouses work ethic. Instead of Bill Cosby, we get Jeremiah Wright and Jesse Jackson. Read some Thomas Sowell (who is black) for more on the foolishness of race-based economics.

  17. JNG June 3, 2008 at 6:07 pm #

    Paul your posts come off as ignorant, arrogant, ill-informed rantings. Not unexpected from a liberal, but disheartening none the less for a professed Christian. You don’t know me, you don’t know what kind of man I am or what I have done in my life so at best you are making assumptions based on nothing, and insulting.

    Pfleger spewed some very hateful and hurtful rhetoric from the pulpit. Out of the heart the mouth speaks. Pfleger’s mouth does not paint a pretty picture of his heart.

  18. Darius June 3, 2008 at 7:20 pm #

    JNG, you just get used to Paul’s “you’re not much of a man/Christian/person” rants over time. As you mentioned, it’s not unexpected or unusual for a liberal to spew hate, though it is sad when it comes from a professing Christian.

    Paul, like JNG said, why do you always feel like ripping on the individual? We were having a decently civilized discussion and then you start slinging mud… “he’s a better man than you…Pfleger walks the walk. Do you?… And, JNG, representing Christ is more than handing out Chick tracts or working at a crisis pregnancy center.”

    That is all unnecessary, but it does keep with your pattern of argument:

    1. Throw out some generally baseless comments.

    2. Defend those comments with liberal rhetoric.

    3. Toss in some weak evidence to support your worldview.

    4. When faced with a real discussion of the issues at hand and facts that run contrary to your beliefs, call your opponent a name or impugn his character or manhood.

    5. Repeat steps 2-4 ad infinitum.

    You don’t know me, you don’t know JNG, you probably don’t personally know any of us. And we don’t know you. So don’t act like or assume you do. Give me the same benefit of the doubt that I give you.

    Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…

    Paul, we seem to be beating around the bush of Pfleger’s comments. Twice now you’ve said that the ONLY thing wrong with his comments was the venue in which he made them. I strongly disagree, and am wondering why you see no problem with them. Leaving aside his comments about Hillary (which are prima facie race-baiting and hateful), do you honestly believe that when Pfleger says that whites should be blamed for what other whites (many of whom aren’t even related to many of today’s whites) did 150+ years ago and should give money/reparations to current blacks (many of whom are not descended from slaves), he is right and preaching truth?

    To me, it would seem that today’s American blacks are largely better off BECAUSE of slavery. Let me explain why. If there had been no slave trade to this country, the African-Americans alive today would still be stuck in the third world, many caught up in the terrible wars and genocides happening throughout the African continent. But because there was a slave trade, they now have the opportunity to enjoy the freedoms and luxuries for which their African counterparts would probably die. The people who actually suffered from slavery (the slaves) are long dead, but even they did not all suffer (at least compared to the sufferings with which they would have lived had they stayed in Africa), as some had very decent owners.

  19. Paul June 3, 2008 at 10:15 pm #

    Darius in #18,

    I’ll be the first to admit, I am a hothead, and probably too much of one when it comes to debates like this. I keep trying to tone it down, and hopefully over time, I’ll get better about it. Keep calling me out about it though. It’s the only way I’ll learn. Seriously.

    re: the things Pfleger has said…

    1) reparations: don’t agree with him there. Fine, nobody gets it right every time.

    2) The Hillary quote: so? Hillary DID think she had the whole nomination process wrapped up for years. I just heard an interview with Jerry Falwell in 2006 where HE was predicting that she would be the democratic nominee then. And surely, until Barack came along, it really WAS hers on a silver platter. He might have injected humor and sarcasm into the telling of the story, but that was the story, make no bones about it. There’s not really much race baiting there. If you think there is (sorry, ’bout to get personal here), I’d suggest a thicker skin. However, funny stories about Hillary Clinton need to be told in the coffee shop or bar, and not the from the pulpit.

    3a) As I’ve mentioned before, I dare you to mention your thoughts on slavery on any street corner in Harlem, South Central or Bronzeville. Then promise me you won’t run. And let me video tape the whole thing. If you wouldn’t say it to them, don’t say it to me, even if you might be right.

  20. Paul June 3, 2008 at 10:32 pm #

    Darius in #14,

    1) see above in #2.

    2) about the only correct thing you say here is that the problem is not with skin color, it’s class. And we can agree wholeheartedly there.

    2a) the canard about lack of success being completely the fault of people in the lower social strata is at the very least, uninformed. Let’s look at this…

    i) would you send your kids to an inner city or deep south school in a lower economic bracket town, with the expectation that they’d get the same education that they’d get in a public school in a white, middle class suburban neighborhood? Of course not. From the git-go, these kids are not getting off to a good start.

    ii) again, forgoing race and jumping straight to economic class breakdowns, poor areas, more often than not are usually riddled with crime and offer few white collar opportunities.

    I am not for a second saying that we need to coddle these kids, but I am saying that to just write them off and say that it’s their own fault that they don’t get ahead is shortsighted, to be sure. Things like mentoring programs are a good start towards turning things around, but conservatives never want to pay for those programs, blacklisting them as part of the “war on poverty.”

    By the way, you’ve read Bill Cosby’s books, but I’ve read his rider. Trust me, he’s cut of the same cloth as some of those names you’ve mentioned with venom on your breath.

    3) your example here isn’t an example of looking at race relations head on, it’s an example of ignorance. Big, big, big difference.

    4) Darius, you dodge me here. Beautifully, I might add. Sure, people want to live amongst their own. That has little to do with how things work here. Once again, I’ll say, come here, live amongst the locals, and THEN talk about how there’s no racism in America anymore.

    5) This is a major assumption on your part about a preacher that you’ve only seen or read selected things about that were probably meant to slime the guy.

  21. Adam Omelianchuk June 4, 2008 at 7:16 am #

    “To me, it would seem that today’s American blacks are largely better off BECAUSE of slavery.”

    Are the Jews better off because of the Holocaust?

  22. Mark Gibson June 4, 2008 at 3:20 pm #

    Adam and Paul,

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with Darius’ statement. There probably would not be a black population here today if it weren’t for the slave trade.

    After the Emancipation Proclomation the slaves fled for the North. Upon arrival, the freed slaves couldn’t find employment from the proponents of their freedom. If that generation wouldn’t hire blacks, then how could anyone expect the following generations to accept African immigrants?

    “Are the Jews better off because of the Holocaust?”

    I don’t think that is a good comparison. The Nazi slave camps were for exterminating all of its captives. The American slave owner’s had a financial incentive in keeping their slaves alive and healthy. I doubt they would want to destroy their revenue generating assets.

  23. Paul June 4, 2008 at 3:41 pm #

    Mark,

    (I will try to keep this civil…)

    your statement…

    “After the Emancipation Proclomation the slaves fled for the North. Upon arrival, the freed slaves couldn’t find employment from the proponents of their freedom. If that generation wouldn’t hire blacks, then how could anyone expect the following generations to accept African immigrants?”

    While I’m not calling for reparations or anything of the sort, I will say this…no nation in good conscience could drag people thousands of miles away from their homes, killing 400,000,000 people over the course of 200 years in the process, force them to learn a new language, a new religion, refuse them their own culture and make it a crime to give them an education, and then simply say, oh! Now you’re free!

    On top of that, no country in good conscience could then make those people second class citizens for another 100 years, and then only begrudgingly let them use the same water fountains or let them sit anywhere they want on a bus.

    And that’s just the stuff that’s dictated by law.

    Now, let’s figure in problems like white families en toto putting their kids into private schools so that they won’t have to go to school with the black kids. Now lets figure in problems like blacks being herded through social bullying into certain neighborhoods, so that their living situations continue to be substandard.

    Or, two words: Harold Ford. Pro-life, anti-gay marriage, anti-gun control, pro-death penalty candidate with a much better resume than his republican counterpart. Why wasn’t he elected to the senate in 2006? Because of an RNC ad that played on the fears of white tennesseeans.

    Darius is claiming that racism no longer exists. Even if that were true, that smell is still in the air, and it’s going to take generations to get that smell out of our house, if it ever happens.

    Too many conservatives just want to sweep race issues under the rug. Too many conservatives use phrases like “I don’t see you as black” to their black friends, insinuating that if they DID see those people as black, that they couldn’t be friends. Race needs to be taken on head on. Our biases need to be dismantled, our differences need to be celebrated, not left undiscussed, and we need to work together, as white, black, hispanic, semite, indian and asian to work together to once and for all wipe out the roadblocks which hold us back.

    We can’t do that by telling people that one of the great human rights tragedies of all time was good for them.

  24. Mark Gibson June 4, 2008 at 4:23 pm #

    Paul,

    Do black Americans have a higher standard of living than Africans?

    Where did you get 400 million?

    I never said that the slave trade was right. It was the result of greed.

  25. Brent June 4, 2008 at 4:24 pm #

    Brent, then how do you explain the FACT that the underclass in Britain is white?

    I spoke specifically of the U.S. England’s problems are England’s problems. We are specifically discussing the heritage of slavery, racism, and discrimination in the United States, and the problems that African Americans face here. I thought that was clear. I apologize if it was not.

    Personally, I think a good, challenging education and a supportive family structure are key. Where I went to high school, there were sometimes teachers who would give lazy white kids chance after chance to redeem themselves academically, where lazy black kids were written off by those teachers after one goof. As a culture, we have written them off and said, “Well, that’s the end. No hope here.” Expectations are self-fulfilling prophecies: if you expect nothing, you’ll get nothing; whereas, if you have high expectations, you’ll at least get something in return.

  26. Ferg June 4, 2008 at 4:40 pm #

    Another astounding conversation. I should probably thank the English for invading my country and destroying my culture and heritage and some of my family, because now I can speak english and have a job! thank you for the persecution, thank you. and we didn’t suffer half in comparison to black people in the states, so perhaps they should have a national “thank you for making us slaves and ultimately setting us free in the most un Jesus like manner possible and keeping racism under the table as a great myth” day.

    Paul and Brent, thanks for the sane comments.

  27. Mark Gibson June 4, 2008 at 4:43 pm #

    Ferg,

    Who was denying racism?

  28. Ferg June 4, 2008 at 5:00 pm #

    darius in post 12. “the only racism in the room is his own”

  29. Ferg June 4, 2008 at 5:02 pm #

    but thats a red herring and slightly besides my point. my point is how absurd the topic got, and the fact that it was alluded to that people should be thankful for slavery. I was told that once about my own country from an english person and I definitely did NOT appreciate the comment.

  30. Brent June 4, 2008 at 5:07 pm #

    As for the comment about the slave trade benefiting black Americans, I think we can’t say. Who knows what would have happened if we had (God forbid) treated Africans as people instead of uncivilized, primitive sources of labor for exploitation? Maybe the African countries would be better off!

  31. Paul June 4, 2008 at 5:23 pm #

    Mark in 24:

    a) does it matter?

    b) I’ve seen numbers ranging from 40 million dead during the middle passage to 400 million dead during that time. The numbers that seem to come up most commonly are in the 40-60 million range. Should that make anyone feel better?

    c) Whether you said the slave trade was good or not, you agreed that the end result was good.

  32. Darius June 4, 2008 at 6:17 pm #

    Ferg, what is so crazy about the idea that today’s blacks have probably not suffered due to slavery compared to their counterparts left in Africa? It’s pretty basic logic, but very politically incorrect, so I know that the emotionally-driven minds on this thread would object.

  33. Darius June 4, 2008 at 6:25 pm #

    Getting back to Paul in #19 and #20…

    3a) Whether you realize it or not, you just admitted that feelings matter more than truth. You admit that I may be right, but tell me not to say it to you because it offends your politically correct sensibilities or something.

    5) I actually haven’t read a thing about Pfleger, just listened to his diatribe. Again, let me repeat, I am judging his words, and they are not words that a Christian should be saying. Furthermore, just because he does supposed “good works” doesn’t mean he’s a good Christian. A “good” Christian is one that first and foremost has right belief, and secondary (perhaps a bad term) to right belief is good fruit. If you have wrong belief (such as a black liberation or social gospel instead of the real gospel), then you can have all the fruit in the world and it doesn’t matter. Bill Gates has a ton of “fruit,” but that doesn’t make him saved. Again, I don’t know Pfleger and am not judging his salvation or his heart. But his words don’t paint a very pretty picture, as someone already said.

  34. Paul June 4, 2008 at 10:21 pm #

    Darius,

    I don’t deny that emotions are an ample part of a conversation like this.

    But the only way that they wouldn’t be is if every former slave had been given an english tutor, a cut of their former owner’s fortune (which would have been more than fair) and a fair shake in getting gainful employment of some sort.

    Instead, they were promised their 40 Acres and a Mule and never got them.

    Instead, they had the threat of being lynched if they did so much as spoke out about injustice.

    Instead, they were told that separate but equal was a completely legitimate mindset for decades.

    And then, one day, they’re just told “you’re equal now. If you mention race any more, you’ll be called a reverse racist.”

    And, oh yeah, you refuse to acknowledge racism still exists in Chicago and elsewhere.

    Yeah, if I was black, you could bet your bottom dollar that emotion would play in a conversation like this.

    Heck, as a white guy who has seen black guys know better than to cross certain streets or go to certain bars in MY lifetime (and I’m only 33), you’d better believe that emotion plays in a conversation like this for me too, because racism DOES still exist, and even if some (or even most) blacks are better off here than they would have been in Africa, the way that they made it over here in the first place is a black eye on our country and our history. To make a statement along the lines of “blacks are better off here than there” is to celebrate that black eye.

    That’s not something I can do so easily as it seems you can.

  35. Paul June 5, 2008 at 10:50 am #

    I’m sure you all will be happy to know that Pfleger was yanked from his church by Cardinal George earlier in the week.

  36. Adam Omelianchuk June 5, 2008 at 11:31 am #

    Mark and Darius,

    The problem with the argument is that it is purely utilitarian. The slave trade had better consequences for blacks than no-slave trade, therefore the slave-trade was good for blacks. It is important to note that almost anything could be excused using this kind of thinking. The Holocaust resulted in sensitivity to anti-Semitism and the state of Israel for Jews, therefore the Holocaust was good for the Jews.

  37. Mark Gibson June 5, 2008 at 3:13 pm #

    Ferg, Adam, and Paul

    Neither Darius or I stated that slavery was okay because of the end result(y’all are putting these words in our mouths). Our statements are historical fact. No one on posting on this site is proud of this part of our history, but some of us our proud that our country has worked to right those wrongs. Why should I feel any sort of guilt? Black Americans are owed nothing.

    A black guy’s view (Alan Keyes):

    “In the 1960s, the civil rights movement sought the assistance of government to enforce the fundamental principle that all men are created equal. But today’s civil rights groups have abandoned that principle in favor of preferential treatment for groups defined by race or sex. This is simply wrong. We cannot cure a past injustice with another injustice.

    Moreover, preferential affirmative action patronizes American blacks, women, and others by presuming that they cannot succeed on their own. Preferential affirmative action does not advance civil rights in this country. It is merely another government patronage program that gives money and jobs to the few people who benefit from it, and breeds resentment in the many who do not. It divides us as a people, and draws attention away from the moral and family breakdown that is the chief cause of the despair and misery in which too many of our fellow citizens struggle to live decently.

    I am opposed to quotas. I am against the idea that you should be deciding on the basis of race what positions people should have in the workplace. I believe in helping people get to the starting line — but not determining the outcome of the race.”

    Paul, the 400 million and 40-60 million numbers are very misleading. The 400 million would have wiped out a quarter of the world’s population. The 40-60 million number would have wiped out 40-50% of Africa’s population. The BBC news has a study that estimates only 11 million slaves were transported to the New World (1 million were believed to have died en route). There is no need to exagerrate the numbers. We all agree that it was terrible.

  38. Paul June 5, 2008 at 4:05 pm #

    Mark,

    I’ll work backwards here…

    Insofar as the numbers quoted, those were numbers that I found. I didn’t see ANYTHING that suggested that only 1 million died during the passage from Africa.

    From the Farlex Encyclopedia: “According to another estimate, during the nearly 400 years of the slave trade, a total of 15 million Africans were sold into slavery and some 40 million more lost their lives in transit.”

    From Wikipedia: “The transatlantic slave trade resulted in a vast and as yet still unknown loss of life for African captives both in and outside of America. Approximately 8 million Africans were killed during their storage, shipment and initial landing in the New World”

    So, let’s be frank and admit that the numbers are all over the place, but to claim the lowest number that you’ve seen as the absolute number? That’s faulty logic, and you know it Mark.

    Re: Alan Keyes: try to quote a black guy that’s actually respected in his own community. What does Clarence Page have to say about civil rights? Michael Eric Dyson? TD Jakes? Tavis Smiley? Getting Alan Keyes to talk about the struggle of blacks today is pretty much the same as getting me to talk about Caedmon’s Call. Sure, we’re both musicians, but I don’t know the first thing about how they do what do they do, nor do I particularly care.

    “but some of us our [sic] proud that our country has worked to right those wrongs.”

    How much has it worked, Mark?

    Has AMERICA worked to right those wrongs, or did a few politicians lay some ground work that forced whites to begrudgingly have to sit next to blacks? Yes, strides have been made. And it took “activist judges” nearly every time to make those strides. Gerrymandering school districts so that whites and blacks would go do separate schools was happening in the 80’s and 90’s. Studies on workplace discrimination have shown that recently (!!!) candidates with anglo-names fared far better on resume choices by management. My wife works for a staffing company, and a company last MONTH asked that she fire a black employee who was exemplary (their words) because she “wasn’t like anyone else in the office.” This isn’t ancient history by any stretch of the imagination.

    Yeah, racism still exists, and as long as it does, yeah, the people that suffer from it are owed something: the respect and dignity of being able to find employment and housing without having to deal with grief like this because of their skin color.

  39. Mark Gibson June 6, 2008 at 10:05 am #

    Paul,

    You can go down to the references at the bottom of the page on wikipedia. That is where I found the BBC article. I should have been more clear in listing the 1 million as the ones that died in transit across the Atlantic. Where you see the higher numbers around 10 million is in transit to the port facilities. They were transported by other Africans, not whites.

    So Alan Keyes doesn’t have enough “street cred.” How about J.C. Watts or Clarence Thomas? This is like the stupid/lazy black kids in my high school that made fun of the smart/hard working black kids for acting like whitey.

    It has worked pretty well. It didn’t take “activist judges,” it took judges doing their job correctly. Gerrymandering school districts would be the fault of the liberal Democrats since they run the schools in the urban areas. Also, it doesn’t happen down here in Dallas. The anglo-names study is a load of bull. Unless you have actually read the study, don’t comment on the results. I work for a staffing company and that has never happened here.

    Why doesn’t racism exist on their side? People are not owed anything. They must work for everything.

  40. Paul June 6, 2008 at 11:42 am #

    Mark,

    re: slaves dying in transport: that all comes down to supply and demand. If there’s no demand, supply will wither. So no matter who was carting around the slaves, it still eventually comes back to the spanish and english colonialists in the end. Nice try, though.

    Re: street cred: Tavis Smiley, Michael Eric Dyson, TD Jakes, Clarence Page…these are all very well educated and level headed blacks that aren’t laughing stocks, unlike Alan Keyes. I can’t respect anyone that loses by 40 percentage points in a two man senate race. Not to mention a guy who disowns his own daughter for being a lesbian. The guy is a tool.

    And no, it’s not like the lazy kids making fun of the hard working kids and saying they act like whitey. This is a guy dying to be white and getting chided by everyone except for people trying to prove nefarious points and needing a token negro to do it.

    And the gerrymandering of school districts in Yonkers, NY was hardly done by “liberal democrats.” Try again.

    Also, as an aside, they’re two separate words, liberal and democrat. They need not be brought together every time you utter one or the other one of them. And besides, not all liberals are democrats. Colin Powell is pretty liberal, and Olympia Snowe is REALLY liberal. And most of the democrats on the Chicago City Council are pretty conservative, save for social issues, which would make them more right wing anyway. So, enough already.

    And I don’t care what goes on at YOUR staffing company, I know that my wife called me in tears screaming about the awfulness of the human race that an exemplary employee can still be fired because she’s not white.

    Maybe Dallas is a heavenly place where there is no racism and everyone gets a fair shake. But the rest of the world, insofar as I’ve seen sure ain’t.

    And I’m not saying that racism doesn’t exist on the other side. In some cases, it’s far worse than what they’ve seen. And I’ve been on the wrong side of black muslims screwing over the white guys because they think it’s fun or something (great thing about the music industry — I get to work with the sleaziest of the sleaziest from every background!). But it’s not an us vs. them thing. It’s not a “well they do it, too!” thing. It’s a “why don’t we all hold each other to a higher standard?” thing. And part of that is treating people with dignity and respect, whether Mark Gibson thinks that they’ve earned it or not. And part of that is saying “America can’t erase 400 years of mistreatment of people in a generation and a half,” too.

  41. Mark Gibson June 6, 2008 at 2:37 pm #

    Paul,

    The Arabs would have just bought them at a cheaper price. The Africans didn’t fight wars to profit off of slavery, they used the slave trade to get rid of the people they had conquered. I’m not saying that we are not at fault.

    Why is Alan Keyes a laughing stock? Watch his debates. He manhandles his opponents. He lost by 40 points because he entered about a month before the election after Ryan dropped out.

    “This is a guy dying to be white”
    Thanks for proving my point.

    Yonkers, NY? A few school districts out of thousands does not prove that there is vast gerrymandering.

    Colin Powell and Olympia Snowe are Republicans in name only.

    Your wife might be a drama queen. People are wronged all of the time.

    “And part of that is treating people with dignity and respect, whether Mark Gibson thinks that they’ve earned it or not.”

    Don’t put words in my mouth. I don’t do it to you.

  42. Ferg June 6, 2008 at 3:54 pm #

    “People are not owed anything. They must work for everything.”

    “Your wife might be a drama queen. People are wronged all of the time.”

    That sounds like the antithesis of the kingdom of Jesus Mark and I’m surprised at the comments you said above.

  43. Mark Gibson June 7, 2008 at 12:16 am #

    Ferg,

    You know that I wasn’t talking about salvation or generosity. I am talking about people that want hand outs (jobs) without earning it.

  44. Paul June 7, 2008 at 2:36 am #

    Mark,

    1) Don’t talk about my wife, dude. And, no, she’s not a drama queen. She just has a sense of compassion that expands beyond the Republican agenda.

    2) Work for everything? Sure. But they should be allowed to work for everything on the same level as their white, asian or even hispanic counterparts. That’s something that largely they’re not able to do at the moment. I’ll believe that blacks are afforded the same opportunity as whites the second that Harold Ford, Jr. is called Senator.

    3) liberal republicans = Republicans in Name Only.

    Yep, Teddy Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln and plenty of others were likely Republicans in Name only, too, right?

    Of course, the Republicans had their chance to vote for a real right wing, classic Barry Goldwater styled conservative who was even pro-life, and you voted for McCain instead. Your party is so confused that it doesn’t even know what it is anymore, and you’d dare call anyone a Republican in name only?

    Even when I don’t lash out and get mean, conversations with you are still utterly ridiculous Mark.

  45. Mark Gibson June 7, 2008 at 4:27 pm #

    Paul,

    1) Don’t bring your wife up with some ridiculous story to paint Americans as racist.

    2) They do have a level playing field. They don’t take advantage because their leaders are always telling them that they are victims. Tennessean Republicans are racist because they voted for Corker over Ford Jr.?

    3) Liberal Republicans = I don’t understand why they are a part of the Republican party. They are not Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan type Republicans. They are a huge part of the reason why my party lost in 2006.

    I’ve previously stated on this web site that I like Ron Paul. I just don’t like his anti-war views. However, I do agree with him that Congress should declare war when we go to war.

    I didn’t vote for McCain. My favorites were Alan Keyes, Duncan Hunter, and Tom Tancredo. I voted for Duncan Hunter.

    The only reason you ever “lash out and get mean” is because you can hide behind the internet. That is utterly ridiculous.

  46. Paul June 7, 2008 at 11:42 pm #

    Mark,

    1) The only thing you get to say about my wife is that she is a golden example of what women ought to be. That’s it. End of story.

    2) Tennesseans are the ones talking about how they want pro-life, we hate gay people, fiscal conservatives. That’s Harold Ford, Jr. So, why not vote for him? Either people are blind partisans, or their racists. There is no third option.

    3) Liberal Republicans = most of them. All of you republicans that want government control of the bedroom and the vice laws are all for a strong central government anyway. In other words, hypocrites. It’s Ron Paul or nothing, and his stance on Iraq was completely a Goldwater styled stance. As long as you guys aren’t putting people like Ron Paul up as viable candidates, you’ve got no reason to call ANYONE a RINO.

    4) I’m not hiding. Come to Chicago anytime you want. I’ll take you out for flaming cheese and hot dogs, we’ll go take in a Sox game, and I’ll expose you to decent music for once.

  47. Mark Gibson June 9, 2008 at 8:54 am #

    Paul,

    Harold Ford Jr. has voted for federal funding of elective abortions several times. See Hyde Amendment.

    Tennesseans don’t hate gay people just because they refuse to give in to them.

    How does being against gay marriage have anything to do with government control of the bedroom?

    Once again, the vast majority of Republicans do not agree with Ron Paul on the Iraq war. It is not hypocritical to not vote for him. He may have taken a Goldwater stance, but it doesn’t mean he is right.

    Sox? How about the Cubs? My dad took me to two games at Wrigley when I was five and have been a fan ever since. Plus, it’s National League baseball. Don’t you agree that there should be a constitutional amendment against the designated hitter? (you’ll get that if you’ve seen Bull Durham)

  48. Darius June 9, 2008 at 3:47 pm #

    Again, Mark, don’t fall for Paul’s intellectually dishonest bait. Everyone honest knows that being against gay marriage has nothing to do with controlling the bedroom.

  49. Paul June 10, 2008 at 7:38 am #

    Denny:

    what’s with the deleted post?

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