I hate to be writing so much on Obama here lately, but hey, you go with what’s in the news, and now that the spotlight is finally being shone upon him, the stories just sort of write themselves. Newsbusters has uncovered an, er, less than hopeful Barak Obama. One who has a message a bit closer to that of his wife and pastor. The two closest people an adult male’s life.
“This doesn’t suggest that the need to look inward emphasized by the march isn’t important, and that these African-American tribal affinities aren’t legitimate. These are mean, cruel times, exemplified by a ‘lock ’em up, take no prisoners’ mentality that dominates the Republican-led Congress. Historically, African-Americans have turned inward and towards black nationalism whenever they have a sense, as we do now, that the mainstream has rebuffed us, and that white Americans couldn’t care less about the profound problems African-Americans are facing.”
“The right wing, the Christian right, has done a good job of building these organizations of accountability, much better than the left or progressive forces have. But it’s always easier to organize around intolerance, narrow-mindedness, and false nostalgia. And they also have hijacked the higher moral ground with this language of family values and moral responsibility.
It sounds like Barack may indeed be a believer in the Black Liberation Theology that Trinity United Church of Christ teaches. BT is a direct offshoot of Liberation Theology, which started in the 1950s, in Latin America. Marxist influences began working with the local priests to recreate Christianity in a socialist, class struggle image. The idea is to take a small part of the New Testament, one part of Christ’s teachings, and subvert it for the purpose of teaching class warfare politics instead of the whole message that Christ brought to Earth.
As the civil rights movement gained steam during the 1960s in America, many black leaders adapted the Liberation Theology ideals to experiences of black people in America. James Cone, one of the fundamental leaders of the early and current BT movement, has this to say about race, class, and religion:
The fact that I am black is my ultimate reality. My identity with blackness [a term for one who is oppressed], and what it means for millions living in a white world controls the investigation. It is impossible for me to surrender this basic reality for a “higher, more universal” reality. Therefore, if a higher, Ultimate Reality is to have meaning, it must relate to the very essence of blackness.16
Walter McCray, another leader confirms the socialist meaning of blackness, that it is a definition of class, and not skin color when he says in his book The Black Presence In The Bible:
“Additionally, one may be defined as black regardless of color or race; all who suffer oppression…are classified as black.(p. 161, n.72.)
As to the second bolded point above: If ‘blackness’ is a function of class, and ‘higher, Ultimate Reality’ must relate to the very essence of blackness or class, then that leads us to a couple of questions.
1) What structural foundations does Christianity have, if it is tied to nothing but class? Give the benefit of the doubt, and say it isjust skin color. The same question applies. Is Christianity nothing, if it doesn’t relate to the color of one’s skin? That’s what the leader of a movement that the Right Rev. Wright, and apparently, Barack Obama, and a large number of black Americans as well, believe? That doesn’t fit with the Bible I know.
“1. Acts 17:26 “He made from one all the nations of mankind to live on all the face of the earth.”
“The Bible teaches that there is only one race — the human race — regardless of size, shape or color. Thus there is no “black” or ‘white’ blood. There is only human blood which can be transfused from one man to the next regardless of color or race. BT con-tradicts this by talking about “black blood.”
“2. Rom. 2:11 “There is no partiality with God.”
“God does not treat people any differently because they are red, yellow, black or white. They are all precious in His sight. But BT claims that God is partial to blacks! This is just as wrong as the Nazis who claimed the same thing for the Ayrian race or the KKK who claims the same for the white race.
“3. Gal. 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
“BT divides the Church into different economic classes and pits them against each other. Thus they try to put asunder what God has joined together. The Body of Christ is one.
“4. Eph. 4:4-5:2 “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”
BT preaches bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander and that blacks should seek revenge instead of taking the path of forgiveness.
“5. 1 Sam 16:7 “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
“BT looks only at the outward appearance. This is wrong. We must judge people not by their color but by their moral character or lack of it.
2) Exactly what God, and what Jesus do you believe in, if you are just ignoring the above passages? Those are pretty fundamental, and in direct contradiction to what BT teaches, and certainly what we’ve seen coming out of Rev. Wright’s mouth. No, you can’t claim that this is cherry picking, nor the recent ramblings of a crazy uncleas Obama would have us believe.
According to Obama’s first book Dreams From My Father, Rev. Wright’s church already had a reputation for being radical clear back in 1985, when Obama first met Wright. Wright even tried to warn that getting involved with Trinity might turn off other black clergy because of the church’s radical reputation.
The very sermon “The Audacity To Hope”, from which Obama derived his book title “The Audacity of Hope”, and which was given in 1988, included these lines:
“It is this world, a world where cruise ships throw away more food in a day than most residents of Port-au-Prince see in a year, where white folks’ greed runs a world in need, apartheid in one hemisphere, apathy in another hemisphere…That’s the world! On which hope sits!”
And so it went, a meditation on a fallen world. While the boys next to me doodled on their church bulletin, Reverend Wright spoke of Sharpsville and Hiroshima, the callousness of policy makers in the White House and in the State House. As the sermon unfolded, though, the stories of strife became more prosaic, the pain more immediate. The reverend spoke of the hardship that the congregation would face tomorrow, the pain of those far from the mountaintop, worrying about paying the light bill…
Some of the same language he’s been using recently.
A question for you, Senator Obama: If The Audacity to Hope was the inspiration for your book title, and you claim you haven’t heard Rev. Wright’s inflammatory rhetoric, then how is it you missed the part about ‘white folk’s greed’ and ‘Hiroshima’?
3) If you are able to define ‘blackness’ as anything you wish, as we’ve seen that has been done, and your ‘higher, Ultimate Reality’ doesn’t have any meaning unless it is tied to a Marxist definition of skin color, then does that not leave your Religion open to being thrown about in the waves, wherever they take you? More importantly, wherever someone with an agenda wants to take you?
The LT authors Juan Luis Segundo and Sister Martinde Porres Grey have this to say on the…flexibility of what God is and means.
The fact is that God shows up in a different light when his people find themselves in different historical situations. That does not mean that we must take pains to re-create each specific historical context in the past. For if God continually presents himself in a different light, then the truth about him must be different also.22
Similarly, Grey suggests, “If God is the active and immanent initiative that energizes life, and if God is continually changing throughout the whole of history, then we cannot resist the emergency of his revolutionary designs through us.”23 (bold added)
Cone (again, the fundamental backbone of BT and stimulus for Wright’s interest in BT) goes on to tie Black Power to Christ’s message.
The message of Christ, it is said, is black power.26 Cone elucidates this theme, “It is my thesis…that Black Power, even in its most radical expression, is not the antithesis of Christianity, nor is it a heretical idea to be tolerated with painful forbearance. It is, rather, Christ’s central message to twentieth-century America.”27 Similarly and more forcefully, Henry says, “Black Power is not the antithesis of Christianity. It IS Christianity.”28
The reason Christianity is viewed as black power is that Christ and His message embodies the essence of Christianity. Since He became black, all His disciples and their proclamation must be black. In a statement to evangelical leaders Hilliard wrote that “Jesus stood with and for the poor and oppressed and disinherited. He came for the sick and needy…. He came into the world as the ultimate `nigger’ of the universe.”29
Most anyone over the age of 45 or so will likely remember the Black Power movement in America, and the tensions that were caused. Certainly not the message that Dr. King would have desired.
Cone says, “The most corrupting influence among the black churches was their adoption of the `white lie’ that Christianity is primarily concerned with an other world reality.”38, Another life in heaven is not the concern of blacks. They desire the opportunity to enjoy and determine their lives now in this life. Cone comments on this view, “If eschatology means that one believes that God is totally uninvolved in the suffering of men because he is preparing them for another world, then Black Theology is not eschatological. Black Theology is an earthly theology!”39 (bold added)
Again, this is quite the twisting of the Scriptures. John 18:36 is pretty clear:
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”
Basil Moore adds:
Concepts such as omnipotence and omnisciencering fearfully of the immoveable, military-backed South African government and its Special Branch. These, however, are the images learned from Western theology, and their biblical justification is dubious. Black Theology cannot afford to have any truck with these images which lend religious support to a fascist type of authoritarianism. Nor should it lend ear to the pious clap-trap which asserts that man cannot be free, he can only choose whose slave he will be–Christ’s or the state’s.50 (bold added)
So, if I believe in an Almighty God, and that I need Christ to be free of sin, then I am a slave? Hmmmm… Starting to sound a bit socialist there.
Given Obama’s proposed programs that would raise all of our taxes tremendously, create a socialist health care plan, his environmental policies would cripple our economy, he would tie us to spending hundreds of billions of dollars on the world’s poor…on top of what we already spend, would create a Patriot Act for Corporations, which basically says ‘be a good union company, and we’ll give you a tax break. Be an eeevile non-union company, and we’ll stick it to you.’ He has every intent of meeting with terrorist nations around the world, plans to meet with the Organization of the Islamic Conference, 57 islamic nations, presumably to give them his message of ‘hope’ and ‘change’ and dazzle them with his Obamaness. And tell them we’re herewith bringing all our troops home? When the Colombian Army recently killed one of the leaders of FARC (the main terrorist organization in Columbia, which has killed and kidnapped hundreds of people), they found some tidbits. Tidbits that say that now departed leader had met with some ‘gringos’ who assured him that Obama would be America’s new leader, and would be favorable towards FARC’s cause.
All of these things are woven together. Obamba’s early roots as a community organizer were at the feet of the padawans of none other than Saul Alinsky. The same Saul Alinsky who was Hillary Clinton’s mentor. The same Saul Alinsky who wrote Rules for Radicals.
The socialist teachings as a young idealist. The exposure to an angry, Black Power pastor and mentor. The marriage to an angry, separatist wife. The quotes when he was younger, before he had to put on the smooth, ‘let’s all come together’ act.
Paints a picture, no?