Writing Archives - September 2008
The Religious Left
There is a powerful voice in American politics that has raised its ugly head lately. It could be called the "religious left" and, despite its association with liberals who seek to remove religious people from political activism, it will be a major factor in this year's presidential election.
You have probably heard the incendiary comments of Barack Obama's longtime pastor Jeremiah Wright. He preaches that the terrorist attacks on September 11 were America's "chickens coming home to roost" because we killed "innocent people" in World War II and now the Middle East. He screamed, "God bless America? No, no, no...God DAMN America!" and dubbed us "the US-of-KKK-A."
Wright has retired from Chicago's Trinity United Church, but now Rev. Otis Moss, whom Obama described as his "wonderful new pastor," has brought us another prophet of the left. "He's a friend of Trinity, he's a brother beloved," Rev. Moss said in his introduction. "He's a preacher par excellence. He's a prophetic, powerful pulpiteer. He is our friend. He is our brother. He is none other than Father Michael Pfleger."
This Catholic priest tries to sound like the stereotypical black preacher and spews a message just as inflammatory as Wright. In a recent message, he targeted Hillary Clinton for her "white entitlement and supremacy." In an over-the-top, mocking rant, Pfleger shouted, "She just always thought, 'This is mine. I'm Bill's wife. I'm WHITE. And this is mine. And I jus' gotta get up and step into the plate.' And then out of nowhere came, 'Hey, I'm Barack Obama.' And she said, 'Oh, damn! Where did you come from? I'm WHITE! I'm entitled. There's a black man stealing my show!' She wasn't the only one crying. There was a whole lotta white people crying."
Despite his role as a Catholic priest, Pfleger is close friends with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Long known for his hatred of America and Israel, Farrakhan once said, "You [Jews] are wicked deceivers of the American people. You have sucked their blood. You are not real Jews (who everyone knows were black.) You are the synagogue of Satan, and you have wrapped your tentacles around the US government, and you are deceiving and sending this nation to hell...But if you choose to crucify, know that Allah will crucify you."
Moss, Wright, Pfleger and Farrakhan form the backbone of the Religious Left in Chicago. They are powerful and influential, both in the church and in the capital. Now they want to move to Washington, DC.
Obama's tight association with the religious left goes back to his days as an Illinois senator. Wright was Obama's pastor for 20 years, presided over his wedding, baptized his children and inspired the book The Audacity of Hope, which was the title of one of Wright's sermons. Between 1995 and 2001, Father Pfleger contributed a total of $1,500 to Obama's various political campaigns, including a donation in April 2001, approximately three months after Obama awarded $225,000 in grants to Pfleger's church programs. It's politics-as-usual as they line each other's pockets to achieve their personal goals. Father Pfleger was prominently displayed on Barack Obama's campaign website, but when news of his views hit the media, it disappeared.
As a Christian and one who works in ministry, this kind of hate-filled rhetoric makes me sick. It is so far removed from the example of Jesus Christ that it is difficult to call these men "ministers." Their messages are deceitful and dangerous.
James Watt, who served as secretary of the interior under President Reagan, warned that if the Religious Left has its way "the Christian community will be marginalized, its conservative values maligned and its electoral clout diminished."
But beyond the political ramifications, this distortion of the Gospel in the name of Jesus Christ threatens to mislead millions of people. "My sheep know my voice," Jesus said. The voice of the Religious Left is not the voice of the Good Shepherd. It's bitter, vindictive and racist. Follow this message and it leads one place: hell.
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