Friday, May 02, 2008

Does America Deserve to Be Blest?

Winston-Salem, North Carolina (AP) - Barack Obama angrily denounced his former pastor for "divisive and destructive" remarks on race, seeking to divorce himself from the incendiary speaker and a fury that threatens to engulf his front-running Democratic presidential campaign.

I agree the "Wright" connection (largely because the media has dealt in snippets of Wright's views) will not serve well Obama's chances for the nomination. However, basically, I agree with most of Wright's statements, including the ones being railed against by the pathetic main stream media. Also, I have seen videos of the sermons that contain these "objectionable and radical" Wright comments --- and I agree with these views. And I have seen extended sections of the Press Club Talk. (Caveat: I don't believe the U.S. was involved in AIDS as a means of destroying "people of color")

As for 9/11 --- America's "chickens did come home to roost".
We have been an imperial power for the last 150 years; we have built America by domineering and controlling the world's resources, and, often their governments and peoples. In addition --we have -- through our secular, materialistic culture and economic capitalism's desires for new markets and more profits -- "invaded" nations whose religious and cultural values are opposed to our secular ones. This is why the former leader of Iran called America the Great Satan. "Invasion" is not only sending in troop. It is also inflicting our culture and values on others, and seizing domination of THEIR natural resources.

There is bound to be a backlash. What goes around -- comes around. Call it karma -- the unbending law of moral cause and effect --or God justice or as Wright says quoting from the Prophet's -- "God is not mocked". There are plenty of passages from the Hebrew Bible, especially the prophets; and sections of the New Testament --- in which Jesus speaks of God's displeasure with the corruption of the innocent, and with God's favoritism towards the poor and harshness towards the moneyed and powerful.

I know America is not supposed to be a Hindu, Islamic, or Buddhist country --- but our leaders brag about us being squarely in the Judea-Christian tradition. Wright seems to me to be speaking truth to power. He is in line with the Jewish Prophets and Christians who follow Jesus rather than the theology of their respective denominations---can see Jesus reflected in Wright's views. As for his statement in a sermon (which I heard more than a snippet) --"God Damn America" --- I am tired of the trite and ubiquitous "God Bless America" emblazoned on bumper stickers and spouting from politicians eager to seize office --- it is a travesty and a perversion.

Who are we to "order" God to bless our nation? And, if we mean "God Bless America for our virtue and good works" --this might be acceptable-- when and if we have done something that merits God's blessing.

However, America has done MUCH EVIL in its history: Mexican War, Spanish American War, Slavery, slaughter and dispossession of Native Americans, Internment of Japanese American during WW II, child labor, the Iraq War, corporate interests above the needs of "God's children," etc, etc. We do Not have clean hands. We are not a shining city on a mountain. In addition --- we are the most materialistic-commercialized-consumption centered society in the history of the world.

As for Barack's recent denunciation of his pastor in a speech he gave a few days ago --- politicians do what they have to do (unfortunately) to get elected. I watched part of this speech and thought ---weak, weak weak!

I understand why Barack felt it necessary to be so forceful and explicit in his denunciations of Wright's views. However, Obama when denouncing Wright, Obama is also renouncing a great deal of truth --- including truths Americans need to face up to. And, he really angered me personally when he said something like: "I am sure ALL Americans are as offended as I am by Rev. Wright's remarks."

95% of what Wright said, I would have shouted "Amen!" to--if I had been in that congregation.

Barack's statement smacked of "America: Love It or Leave It." One of our most despicable jingoisms. What we need in the U.S. of A. is more dissenters and more Americans leaving their fantasy world of U.S. history and policy.