Among the highlights, Wright said, "In biblical history, there's not one word written in the Bible between Genesis and Revelations that was not written under one of six different kinds of oppression." This, I suppose, is part of his justification for black liberation theology's presumed reading of the Bible through the lens of race and oppression.
He also clarified his thoughts on reconciliation, plainly articulating that our "country's leaders have refused to apologize" for slavery and "until racism and slavery are confessed and asked for forgiveness," there can't be reconciliation. He mentioned nothing, of course, about the Civil War. He also indignantly stood by his statement "God damn America," saying, "God damns some practices."
When given an opportunity to retract or soften his statement that the government lied about inventing HIV as a means of genocide against African-Americans, he said, "I believe our government is capable of doing anything." And he strongly refused to denounce Louis Farrakhan, saying, "Louis Farrakhan is not my enemy. He did not put me in chains."
In view of Wright's elucidations, I find it difficult to understand how the candidacy of Barack Obama cannot be mortally wounded by his longtime, voluntary and intimate association with this man. How can Obama possibly preach national harmony, reconciliation and bipartisanship coming from this type of church culture -- which Wright appears to say harbors an unforgiving spirit? Where else, if not from his church, are we to assume Obama gets his ideas on reconciliation?
But in the interest of that spirit of bipartisanship to which Obama claims to aspire, let me also confess that I can't begin to comprehend John McCain's regrettable condemnation of North Carolina Republicans for reasonably raising the Wright issue -- which, by the way, is bigger than John McCain or his candidacy. Nor can I understand McCain's belated halfhearted about-face on this subject.
The Rev. Wright is certainly entitled to his opinions, and he is certainly entitled to deliver them from his pulpit -- tax questions aside. And John McCain is certainly entitled to continually bite the hand that feeds him.
But voters also have rights -- and duties. Among them is their duty to decide whether they want to elevate to the presidency a man who can't plausibly separate himself from the disturbing, toxic views of his own pastor.
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