Retired UCC (United Church of Christ) Pastor Jeremiah Wright has been interviewed by Bill Moyers. It is to be aired on "Bill Moyers Journal" today, April 25, 2008, at 9 PM across the U.S.
Clips of the interview have been shown as advertisements.
Jeremiah Wright was Barack Obama's pastor in Chicago.
Concerning Jeremiah Wright's statements, I don't know where the breaks are [where ellipses ought to be inserted].
Some of the things Wright preached are as follows:
The government gives them [Blacks] the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no. God damn America — that's in the Bible — for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme. We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye. We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost.
It is my understanding that he was quoting someone else concerning at least parts of that. However, I'm assuming he was concurring.
Obama denounced the controversial statements saying the following:
[Wright] expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country — a view that sees white racism as endemic, that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America. Rev. Wright's comments weren't only wrong but divisive — divisive at a time at which we need unity.
Wright told Moyers the following:
Persons who have heard the entire sermon understand the communication perfectly. When something is taken like a sound bite for political purposes and put constantly over and over again — looped in the face of the public — that's not a failure to communicate; those who are doing that are communicating exactly what they want to do, which is to paint me as some sort of fanatic.
I think that they want to communicate that I am unpatriotic, that I am un-American, that I am full of, filled with hate speech, that I have a cult at Trinity United Church of Christ, and by the way, guess who goes to his church — hint, hint, hint. That's what they wanted to communicate.
They know nothing about the church. They know nothing about all that we try to do as a church and have tried to do and still continue to do as a church that believes what Martin Marty said that the two worlds have to be together and that the gospel of Jesus Christ has to speak to those worlds not only in terms of the preached message on a Sunday morning but in terms of the lived-out ministry throughout the week.
I've written earlier that it is un-Christian to damn anyone. Of course, anyone who repents of that in earnest will be forgiven by God. Jesus forgives them their ignorance and confusion even before they repent. That doesn't mean that the negative consequences won't follow for both the unrepentant and repentant. The repentant person must not backslide and must persevere.
The following terms must be addressed from a semantical perspective:
- Hate speech and
There is nothing wrong with being fanatical. It just depends about what. Jesus was fanatical. The term has undergone pejoration. Those who hate Jesus want others to conclude that Jesus is unreasoning and irrational when, in fact, Jesus is the most reasoned and rational (sane) person we know of throughout human history.
Patriotism can be misplaced. After all, the Nazis were super patriots in the sense being used by flag-waving, self-styled, neoconservative Republicans. The issue is with what one identifies as one's country (geographically bound) or nation (a people; originally family or tribe). The issue is the behavior of a country or nation. A nation is what a nation is doing. A tree is known by its fruit. A nation is worthy of patriotic devotion when it is bringing forth good results. When it is bringing forth evil results, it does not merit devotion but rather rebuking. If it continues down its wrong path after having been told the truth about the iniquity shown by its results, it is a heathen nation and is to be treated as such (outside the Kingdom of God).
What is "American"? America is its individuals and the aggregate of them all. What is "un"? It means not. Someone born in American cannot not be an American. If by un-American one means going against the mainstream thought, then one must believe that mainstream thought doesn't include a diversity of opinions. Who is the arbiter? Anyone may claim that position. No one has been elected the arbiter of Americanism or Americanness. Some people act as if they have been designated chief arbiter of what it means to be an American for purposes of labeling others born and bred in America as un-American.
The huge error Jeremiah Wright and Barack Obama are clearly making is that they are conceding this designation of chief arbiter to the chief critics of Jeremiah Wright. Why do that?
I don't concede to that, obviously. One doesn't have to concede to that. In fact, one is to stand up and inform the general population that those self-appointed arbiters are dragging the nation into greater and greater evil.
Wright and Obama are being weak for what? They are afraid Obama won't win the presidency unless he compromises enough. If one must compromise truth to be the president of the United States, then that job of president is an evil office over an evil nation that is going to Hell of its own.
Now, of course they are engaged in a tug-of-war over that concept of nation. Jesus though made clear that a house divided can not stand and that certain spirits are irreconcilable. He said in so many words that if you want a house that will not fall down, build all from one spirit. He made clear that the spirit of division within is the satanic spirit and that the spirit of one within is the Godly spirit. That's what the people need to hear and turn to. Calls for triangulation and neo this, that, or the other, are diversions leading to dead ends.
As I've written before and again recently, one is supposed to hate evil. This term "hate speech" in the main is being used vacuously. Every speech George W. Bush gives in which he says this or that about terrorists is hate speech. He claims to hate terrorism and terrorists and wants to torture, maim, kill, and destroy all of them. He does a hypocritical job of applying the definition of terrorism and terrorists, but the "hate speech" point remains valid.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with hate provided it is directed properly, which necessarily includes knowing not to be coercive or punishing. I hate iniquity. I hate it outside me and when it invades me. I hate it when it has come from me. That's good. That's right. That's what Jesus made so clear and plain.
From this position, I am aware of how I've done harm in the past and am better prepared not to repeat the same mistakes. I am better enabled to overcome bad habits. I am better able to council others. I am repentant. I have turned and am continuing the process of corrections to get back on and to hold the course through the strait gate and up the narrow way.
Jesus said to hate your family and love them at the same time. The only way that isn't illogical is when you hate their evil (selfishness) and love their potential for unselfishness. Jesus said you must hate yourself in this world. Well, you hate yourself when you've made of yourself wickedness (become a tree bearing rotten fruit). You hate being in a world that is loaded with rottenness. At the same time, you are presented with the opportunity to see all of this and to change, thereby changing the world since you are in it and impact upon it — create its future by virtue of what you do or don't do.
No, there is nothing wrong with hate speech. There is only something wrong with not hating what ought to be clearly known as evil. Selfishness is evil. Harm is evil. Coercion is offense. Punishment is hypocrisy. It is anti-Golden Rule, as Jesus defined the rule — demonstrated the rule.
Cult is another term that has undergone pejoration. There is nothing wrong with cults, per se. The only thing that matters is whether it is a cult of righteousness or wickedness: Unselfishness and harmlessness versus selfishness and harm (greed, violence, and sexual depravity). Christianity is a cult. Atheism is a cult. Scientism is a cult. Republicanism is a cult. Judaism is a cult. Do you get the point? The operative question isn't whether or not something is a cult. The operative question is whether or not something is a good or bad cult.
As for Barack Obama, he used the following expressions that need addressing, parsing, and semantical analysis:
"Profoundly distorted view":
This is highly subjective on his part. What is he comparing to what? From the mainstream, status-quo perspective, my view appears distorted. The question is whose view is better and best. The best view is, by definition, the least distorted. It is, in fact, not distorted at all. It is perfect.
Jesus says God is perfect. God has no distortions. God is the perfect model. God suffers no corruption. Hence, death has no dominion over God. That's why, among other inextricable reasons, Jesus was resurrected.
Jesus was a profound distortion in the eyes of the Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes, and other antichrists. Well, Pharisaism means hypocritical. It means what Antonin Scalia does. He reads the law against its spirit. That's why he's so unjust.
For instance, the U.S. Constitution prohibits cruel punishment. Yet Scalia asks to be shown where it says in the Constitution that the death penalty is to be painless. He stuck at a historical moment of his own imagining. He is either with or against the movement to enlightenment. He arbitrarily chooses to read the law in darkness. He doesn't understand the word (the Word of God that is the real law). One can't adhere to the New Commandment and be violating the U.S. Constitution, because everything upon which that Constitution rests inevitably leads to the New Commandment. To read it otherwise leads exactly in the opposite direction that is Hell. Scalia chooses Hell, just as do the infamous John Yoo and the infamous Allen Dershowitz. They just don't know what justice is. They don't want to hold the law to the standard of justice. Any writing that advocates injustice is not the law. It is unconstitutional in spirit.
The U.S. Constitution subjects itself to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a treaty to which the U.S. is signatory and as such is the supreme law of the land. It is not possible to read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in honesty and believe that one may uphold it while inflicting pain on people to punish them. To read it as not prohibiting inflicting pain is to misunderstand the entire thrust of the words going back to the beginning in the sense Jesus used the term beginning.
Of course, the U.S. Constitution falls far short (in the sense meant by those who call themselves literalists versus literalist-figurativists) of the New Commandment, hence the requirement that we look to the whole spirit for the law and not to the letter in the way Scalia views the letter. We look to the letter the way Jesus viewed it. The way Jesus viewed it, it is one and the same with the spirit. The real law is the spirit. The real letter is the spirit. This is how the word is God and God is love and truth and justice, etc. All these speak of the one, truly unified house. It is this that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain fail to preach and do. That's why none of them can be my leader. They have no place to lead me that I'm willing to go. Where they are headed is a dead end.
The reason they are the choices is because long ago, before the primary season even began and especially concerning the two Democrats, the largest and most assertive of the corporate owners (shareholder controllers) of the major-media corporate monopoly decided that they were the ones who would most aptly do the owners' bidding. John McCain was finally chosen a little later. This is not to say that the general population has no bearing on the process at all. They have a bearing to the degree to which the plutocrats hired wizards inform the plutocrats of which candidate will be able to be put over on the people while coming out as closely as possible to what the plutocrats want to see. In other words, the plutocrats, by virtue of the people's ignorance promoted by those very plutocrats, have a hugely disproportionate say in who becomes what in society. Their say is more proportionate to the size of their financial holdings, the flexibility of same (ability to reward or punish) along with their personal and networked activism at the top.
"White racism as endemic":
This is like psyops on Obama's part. He's saying it to make it come true. He isn't so much saying what is, as he is saying where he wants the country to go. Racism has been pushed down, but it is far from gone. More people will vote against Obama on account of his mixed-race background than on account of any other reason.
Now, had Colin Powell not shot himself in the foot by going along with Bush at the U.N. rather than resigning publicly in opposition to the war, he would have become president, all other things being equal. So, mix-race isn't the whole issue. It is just that many people find it much easier to hate some of Obama's so-called liberal leanings on account of Obama's mixed-race.
Powell was planned by some to be the exception to the rule so the Republicans could defuse the Democrats ammunition (race card as they say) against them. George W. Bush ruined that plan but so did Colin Powell.
"Elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America":
Now this is central to Obama's antichrist wrong-headedness. Focusing on what is right is exactly wrong. Focusing on what is right is what got us to this awful situation.
Look, Jesus is walking along headed to God. People gather and walk with him. Along the way, people start dropping off. Eventually, Jesus is walking along and can look around to see that he is alone. From this comes his saying that "few there be that find it" (the Kingdom of Heaven). Now at first, many people were walking with him all having a notion of common agreement. They saw in their group what they thought they knew was right with the whole group. Well, they dropped away when differences were discovered. Differences signify. Obama is making the error of the syncretists who unite against a common enemy but who fall apart after they win.
Sure, Jesus held to a dual position that there is perfect and then there is what is relative to it. The lack of the single vision may as well be considered absolute darkness, but Jesus still makes allowances for ignorance and the ill-informed, etc. It is inherent in his message of forgiveness and the Golden Rule. By what standard may we punish others when God is able to identify in us hypocrisy we can't even see when we try?
No, the way forward is to have the highest standard we can conceive. The way forward is to call each other to rise and not to laud the lowest common denominator. Obama may not think he's calling for the lowest common denominator, but he is. We must aim as high as possible — straight up in fact.
The thing that holds us back as humanity the most is rationalizing away our potential for rising together. This is where Christian-humanism applies so much.
Certain Calvinists will point the finger and raise their voices that we aren't to be holy. They are being insane (evil).
Jesus showed God. He did God. God is a noun-verb. Being God is doing God and vice versa. It is simultaneous. One doesn't have right faith without deeds, and one doesn't have right deeds without faith. The tree has faith to bring forth. The more real faith, the greater are the good results. That's what Jesus said in so many words. However, we have self-styled theologians who have taught the exact wrong things that caught on (because the people's hearts really weren't with Jesus or were ill-informed intentionally by tricksters) and been built upon century after century leading to a mound of stinking, toxic dung.
Divisiveness is not evil, per se. Jesus came not to bring peace but to divide. He came to divide the iniquitous away from his followers. That's good. Of course, the more people convert and join the group and don't fall away the better; but regardless, iniquity must go in order that the followers may be delivered from evil according to their prayers, faith, and deeds to match.
"Divisive at a time at which we need unity":
Yes, we need unity but unity under what? Obama is offering that which is rejected by Christ. Obama says he's a Christian. Hillary Clinton and John McCain say they too are Christians. Their words, deeds, and results do not reflect Jesus. That's just the way it is. Just saying you're a Christian, just saying you accept Jesus, just mouthing the words, and claiming to be born again as spirit in flesh doesn't make you a Christian. Christians are what Christians do, and Christians do what Jesus tells us to do. Few so far have done that in earnest (without willful hedging).
Jeremiah Wright has compounded his errors. He made a few mistakes here and there that he could easily have apologized about — overstating the case in what he mistakenly thought at the time was the spirit of righteous indignation. Rather than just doing that and growing from the experience and setting the right example, he fell for the tricksters' tricks even more. So, Jeremiah, repent of your statements to Bill Moyers. Tell the world that you shouldn't have damned America but that you do not retract the parts of what you said that are completely in line with Jesus's teachings.
You were telling the truth that the government has given Blacks drugs. The CIA under Ronald Reagan's evil-hearted, hardhearted, racist presidency brought in cocaine by the plane load and directed it exactly at the black community to promote addiction and to further ruin them financially. Plane loads of CIA drugs are still being caught and exposed as recently as 2007. They did that back under Reagan for a number of reasons. The blacks were more egalitarian and populist leaning and the rabid capitalists around Reagan were greedy and hated egalitarianism and populism, even though Jesus was for both in the fulfilled sense. The greedy don't even get the mundane sense. Imagine how much less they get it from Jesus's perspective.
The Empire controls the heroine and cocaine trade. The plutocrats make billions, even trillions over time, off both. They also control most of the weapons so-called black market. They control human trafficking too, including disappeared children for pedophiles in high places (ultra-rich).
Now, most people want to instantly deny all of this as just conspiratorial thinking and too impossible to believe. Well, those people don't understand the Spartan attitude of just don't get caught. The plutocrats have set themselves above the law they set for you. Who can't see what they are doing. You aren't allowed to watch the digital transfers and what happens to the data that disappears after the deeds are done to make them untraceable accept by God's host in Heaven. The world bankers have devised wicked systems so the left hand cannot have evidence for what the right hand is doing (money laundering). They know in their heads that there is a huge flow (cash-flow) from which they take their transaction cuts. The volume is huge. They don't retain the details though afterwards. The whole thing is held together by their necessity for selfishness. It is akin to honor among thieves. The problem though is that there really isn't honor in it. It's a self-delusional system leading to Hell.
The government has built bigger prisons. They also conspired to break up black families with their aid to single mothers with dependent children where having a father in the house actually prevented the poor and deliberately oppressed and abused families from getting help. Fathers left so their children could eat. It was racism, and it wasn't that long ago. That racist spirit is far from dead.
The government did pass the three-strikes-and-you're-out law. Then, once in prison, they didn't bother with rehabilitation.
When I was young, rehabilitation was a commonly used term. It was held up as the work of the enlightened. Then the greedy came roaring in as ravenous devouring spirits to spoil everything for their selfish spoiled-brat gain.
Then, the shallow, flag waivers want the blacks and others to sing "God Bless America." It's true. Well, to Hell with that (that's not damning anyone). Sure, I say God bless America.
What does that mean when I say God bless America? It doesn't mean pat America on the head and tell it that it has been doing things right or that it is on the right path in general. Rather, when I say God bless America, I'm saying tell the American people the unvarnished truth so they may choose to not only be better but head for perfection.
God bless America and the whole world. God bless Iran and Israel. Blessed are the peacemakers. The war-mongers are cursing upon themselves. Enlighten them with the truth of total pacifism. Teach them to stop being hypocritical. Lead us all out of hypocrisy. Keep us from it.