I'm Reciting Lamentations Over the Meshuggenah Rev. Jeremiah Wright

I'm for Barack Obama. So today I'm reciting lamentations over the flagrant antics of the meshuggenah Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

By every measure I can think of this man is a maniac, a crazy person, in Yiddish that is a meshuggenah.

The Washington Post article seethes with that premise.

Now there's much to say about our dedication in the US to separating religion from the political sphere of activity.

Religion is a wild world of the past, the present and the future, miracles, apocalyptic predictions and messianic beliefs and expectations, and sometimes morality, ethics and justice sneak into the mix.

None of that has any real relevance to the political needs of a democratic society. It's about power and policies, legislation, executive decision and constitutional adjudication.

We pretend that government does relate to religion. That is the great charade that makes our country work. And oh, we all believe in God.

But please don't make me list the meshuggenah rabbis and white ministers and priests and mullahs alive and kicking today all around the world. [Actually you can read a whole lot about them in many past posts on this blog.]

Barack - please dump this guy as fast as you can. Throw him under the next bus. Or perhaps start laughing at him, mock him, laugh him out of the room.
Washington Post: Still More Lamentations From Jeremiah
By Dana Milbank

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, explaining why he had waited so long before breaking his silence about his incendiary sermons, offered a paraphrase from Proverbs yesterday: "It is better to be quiet and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

Barack Obama's former pastor should have stuck with the wisdom of the prophets.

Instead, Wright has gone on a media tour, climaxing with his appearance yesterday morning at the National Press Club. There, he reignited a controversy about race that Obama had only recently extinguished -- and added lighter fuel.

From the moment he entered the room, Wright seemed to be looking to stir controversy; he was escorted by Jamil Muhammad, a leader of the Nation of Islam, which contributed to the minister's prominent security detail. Speaking before an audience that included Marion Barry, Cornel West, the New Black Panther Party's Malik Zulu Shabazz and Nation of Islam protocol director Claudette Muhammad, Wright praised Louis Farrakhan, defended the view that Zionism is racism, accused the United States of terrorism, repeated his belief that the government created AIDS to extinguish racial minorities, and stood by his suggestion that "God damn America."

Far from softening his provocative words, he held himself out as a spokesman for millions of churchgoing African Americans. "This is not an attack on Jeremiah Wright," he argued. "It is an attack on the black church launched by people who know nothing about the African American religious tradition." He added: "If you think I'm going to let you talk about my mama and her religious tradition . . . you got another thing coming."

Most problematic for the Democratic presidential front-runner was Wright's suggestion that Obama was insincere in distancing himself from his former pastor. "He didn't distance himself," Wright announced. "He had to distance himself, because he's a politician, from what the media was saying I had said, which was anti-American." Wright spoke of friends who told him that "we both know that if Senator Obama did not say what he said, he would never get elected," and he said of his past parishioner: "Politicians say what they say and do what they do based on electability, based on sound bites, based on polls."

And that apparent decision by Obama to exclude Wright from his presidential kickoff announcement? Didn't happen. "I started it off downstairs with him, his wife and children, in prayer."

The pastor's performance puts new pressure on the candidate to say forcefully that Wright doesn't speak for him or the African American church. Though the candidate said on "Fox News Sunday" that Wright had been "simplified and caricatured" by the sound bites of his inflammatory words, Wright willingly embraced the sentiments of those sound bites yesterday.

In front of 30 television cameras, he mocked the media, leveled charges of racism at the government and, at one point, did a little victory dance on the podium. It seemed as if Wright, who jokingly offering himself as Obama's vice president, was actually trying to doom his former parishioner. The pastor played right into the small band of anti-Wright protesters outside, who waved a sign: "Obama's chicken comes home to roost."

In his 30-minute prepared speech, Wright made a cogent call for a "spirit of reconciliation" and delivered a rebuke to those who questioned his patriotism. "Those who call me unpatriotic have used their positions of privilege to avoid military service," he said. He also protested that his infamous quotations were taken out of the full "context" of his sermons.

But the spirit of reconciliation dissipated during the question period, as Wright expanded on his fiery quotes. The crowd (all but a few tickets were bought by churches and organizations supporting Wright) cheered loudly and heckled the moderator, a USA Today reporter, when she tried to maintain order.

He explained his claim that the Sept. 11 attacks meant "America's chickens are coming home to roost." Said Wright: "You cannot do terrorism on other people and expect it never to come back on you."

Wright defended Farrakhan's statement "20 years ago that Zionism -- not Judaism -- was a gutter religion." Of the Nation of Islam leader generally, Wright added: "He is one of the most important voices in the 20th and 21st century. . . . Louis Farrakhan is not my enemy. He did not put me in chains, he did not put me in slavery and he didn't make me this color." At this point he traded a high-five with Barbara Reynolds, a local pastor.

He repeated his belief that the government created AIDS as a means of genocide ("Based on what has happened to Africans in this country, I believe our government is capable of doing anything"). He defended his earlier comparison of U.S. Marines to the Roman soldiers who killed Jesus, saying the "notion of imperialism" is the same.

The moderator asked the audience whether Wright should apologize for his "God damn America" remarks. Shouts of "No!" followed, and Wright used the occasion to demand an apology for slavery.

"Until that apology comes, I'm not going to keep stepping on your foot and asking you, 'Does this hurt?' Do you forgive me for stepping on your foot, if I'm still stepping on your foot? Understand that? Capisce?"

Capisciamo, Reverend. All too well.

Staff writer Hamil R. Harris contributed to this column.


bryce said...

"Religion is a wild world of the past, the present and the future, miracles, apocalyptic predictions and messianic beliefs and expectations, and sometimes morality, ethics and justice sneak into the mix."

Personally, the way I view my religion, I would word that backwards.

"Wright defended Farrakhan's statement "20 years ago that Zionism -- not Judaism -- was a gutter religion." "

That was NOT Farrakhan's statement. That was Wright's statement, a pathetic twisting of Farrakhan's statement, which is easily searchable on the Net.

"Barack - please dump this guy as fast as you can."

That suggestion might've been helpful 20 years ago.

bryce said...

FWIW, I should acknowledge that my second comment above is not on Tzvee's words, but on Wrights.

bryce said...

It's more than just Jeremiah Wright that Obama has to distance himself from:



John D. Enright said...

Rabbi, Obama had a perfect opportunity to "dump this guy as fast as" he could. In his speech in Philadelphia on March 18, 2008, Obama said:

"I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe."

He added:

"These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love."

How many chanced does Obama need to "dump this guy?" How many chances has Obama given others? How about Imus. Zero chances to recant. There are other examples out there, just look for them. (Italics and bold were added by me for emphasis.)

bryce said...


(same link, but split into two lines)