Well, the above title is just another attempt to play around with Rev. Wright, Right and Wrong. And here a suggestion for a title for a reponse: Righting Rev. Wrong?
In any case, Dan was discussing whether the media’s reactions to “the religious Right and the religious Wright” reflected a double standard. His post was in response to a column by E. J. Dionne. Frank Rich continued this discussion over the weekend (and included a YouTube link):
BORED by those endless replays of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright? If so, go directly to YouTube, search for “John Hagee Roman Church Hitler,” and be recharged by a fresh jolt of clerical jive.What you’ll find is a white televangelist, the Rev. John Hagee, lecturing in front of an enormous diorama. Wielding a pointer, he pokes at the image of a woman with Pamela Anderson-sized breasts, her hand raising a golden chalice. The woman is “the Great Whore,” Mr. Hagee explains, and she is drinking “the blood of the Jewish people.” That’s because the Great Whore represents “the Roman Church,” which, in his view, has thirsted for Jewish blood throughout history, from the Crusades to the Holocaust.
Rich also reminded the readers of the suggestion by the Rev. Rev. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson that God was behind 9/11.
I liked some of what Sebastian Mallaby had to say about the issue in the Washinton Post (“Wright and Ridiculous”) on Monday:
Yes, Jeremiah Wright says some disgraceful things. But can anyone explain how that changes Obama’s qualities as a candidate? Is anyone suggesting that an Obama administration would view AIDS as a government plot to kill African Americans? Or that it would govern from the perspective that the United States is a terrorist nation? Obviously an Obama administration would do no such thing. Which makes the storm over the preacher an absurd digression.The Wright affair tells us that Obama bonded with someone whose political views are sometimes toxic. But as a young man trying to make sense of his mixed heritage, Obama looked to Wright for spiritual guidance, not political tutorials; as a community organizer, Obama focused on Wright’s admirable social work, not his resentment of the white establishment. Indeed, Obama’s own views on race and politics were diametrically opposed to those of his pastor. This is the candidate who campaigned for as long as possible as though race were irrelevant — as though the tantalizing prospect that the United States might elect its first black president were merely incidental. A few months ago, there were those who suggested that Obama was not black enough. Now he is too black? This is preposterous.
If Obama clearly does not share Wright’s views, of what precisely is he guilty? Of befriending someone with repugnant opinions? Anyone who condemns Obama on that basis should examine his own circumstances. Real human beings present one another with complex social choices: The dependable work buddy may be unfaithful to his wife; the salt-of-the-earth neighbor may despise Hispanic immigrants. How many Obama critics have themselves been friendly with someone with misguided views? What about Bill Clinton, who counted the one-time segregationist William Fulbright among his mentors?
And if presidential candidates are now being asked to defend their pastors, shouldn’t they be also required to provide voters with complete explanations about all the views and teachings of their religious denominations? Sounds to me like we’re starting down a slippery slope here. First they came for my pastor, then they came for my magic underwear.
And apropos Wright, Ivan Eland make a good point in Rev. Wright Is Not All Wrong:
But what about Wright’s implication that U.S. foreign policy causes blowback terrorism against the United States? Again, the facts are on his side. Poll after poll in the Arab/Islamic world indicates that U.S. political and economic freedoms, technology, and even culture are popular in these countries, but U.S. interventionist foreign policy toward the Middle East is not. Bin Laden has repeatedly said that he attacks the United States because of its occupation of Muslim lands and its support for corrupt Middle Eastern governments. Finally, empirical studies have linked U.S. foreign occupation and military interventions with blowback terrorism against U.S. targets.
The upshot of Wright’s remarks is that if the United States militarily intervened less overseas, the chickens would not be roosting as much in the U.S. henhouse. It is too bad that Wright’s largely correct analysis of U.S. foreign policy is being thrown out along with his wacky and bigoted ravings.