Obama, Wright, And Batson

You know the first two, the third is the Scotus case that said prosecutors can’t exclude people from juries based on race.

How would a defendant know whether a prosecutor excluded Joe Juror because Joe is black, as opposed to Joe’s criminal record? Well, one way is if white jurors with criminal records also served, or if the prosecutor only asked black people about the existence, vel non, of a criminal past. In either case, the proffered reason for excluding the black person is properly seen as a pretext. That is, if having a criminal record is such an awful thing, why did he not ask that of all the jurors? The answer, of course, is that skin color was the real issue.

Today, I heard Rev. Wright’s explanation of his controversial remarks. A sample:

Leinwand asked Wright to explain what he meant in a sermon delivered shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, when he said the United States had brought the terrorist attacks on itself.

“Have you heard the whole sermon?” Wright responded. “No, no, the whole sermon. That’s yes or no. No, you haven’t heard the whole sermon? That nullifies that question.”

Wright then said he would try to answer the question in a “non-bombastic way.” He said he was quoting an ambassador to Iraq in that sermon, although he did not give the ambassador’s name.

“Jesus said, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,'” Wright added. “You cannot do terrorism on other people and expect it never to come back on you. Those are biblical principles, not Jeremiah Wright bombastic, divisive principles.”


Wright said the comment captured on YouTube — in which he says, “Not God bless America, but God damn America” — was taken out of context.

“God doesn’t bless everything,” he said. “God damns some practices, and there’s no excuse for the things that the government — not the American people — have done. That doesn’t make me not like America or unpatriotic.”

So he says God might be mad at America, and that we might have deserved 9/11. Gee, that sounds kind of familiar:

Television evangelists Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, two of the most prominent voices of the religious right, said liberal civil liberties groups, feminists, homosexuals and abortion rights supporters bear partial responsibility for Tuesday’s terrorist attacks because their actions have turned God’s anger against America.

“God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve,” said Falwell, appearing yesterday on the Christian Broadcasting Network’s “700 Club,” hosted by Robertson.

“Jerry, that’s my feeling,” Robertson responded. “I think we’ve just seen the antechamber to terror. We haven’t even begun to see what they can do to the major population.”

Falwell said the American Civil Liberties Union has “got to take a lot of blame for this,” again winning Robertson’s agreement: “Well, yes.”

Then Falwell broadened his blast to include the federal courts and others who he said were “throwing God out of the public square.” He added: “The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen.’ “

Robertson, of course, endorsed Rudy Giuliani this year, and though he (thank God) lost to John McCain, McCain has actually kissed Falwell’s ring. So why no slamming McCain for his active courting of the Falwell/Robertson vote?

Seems to me if the general complaint against Wright is that he is unpatriotic, then that applies with equal force to Falwell/Robertson (and Dobson, and thousands of other religious righters). So if you slam Obama for going to an anti-American church, you ought to be slamming McCain (and most of the Republican party), too. But no one is doing that.

Why the disparate treatment? The only real differences between Wright and Falwell/Robertson are: 1) skin color, and 2) the rationale for their condemnation of America. In other words, folks who are just fine with Falwell (and Dobson, etc.) but hate Wright either: 1) have a race problem, or 2) think it’s perfectly believable that God would destroy America for allowing gays to marry, but that it is preposterous to think God would destroy America for what they see as the old news of slavery. Accepting either of those distinctions, I think, makes you an idiot. With a race problem.

I guess I’m taking a really long time to say that if you condemn Obama for Wright, you ought to condemn McCain (and most of the Republican party) for their relationship to the religious right. If you are concerned about integrity and consistency, that is.

BTW, I am NOT an Obamaniac. This is pretty much my view on the POTUS race.

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2 Comments on “Obama, Wright, And Batson”

  1. Marty Patterson Says:

    First of all, you’re right about one of the differences between Falwell/Robertson and Obama/Wright is skin color. If Falwell/Robertson had made any of those comments from the pulpit the ACLU would have been after them and they probably wouldn’t have been allowed to preach anymore. Blacks, for some reason, have that privilege and whites do not.

    I’m assuming you are a Democrat – so do you not remember all the flack Falwell/Robertson took for their comments???? Robertson is a lunatic so most conservatives don’t agree with everything he says – so Giuliani didn’t gain anything by being endorsed by him – if anything, it hurt his candidacy. Besides, Giuliani is so liberal he should be a Democrat. Falwell disappeared from the radar after those comments. The big thing with Obama is that he stayed at Wright’s so called “church” for at least 20 years, and he is just NOW chastising Wright for what he has said – even though this has been public for at least a month. So yes, he has a right to be condemned!

    Also, McCain couldn’t have courted Falwell’s vote b/c Falwell is dead! He should have courted Dobson’s vote – it would have looked much better. Huckabee got that endorsement – but a little late, otherwise he probably would have been the Republican nominee.

    One last thing, Robertson isn’t considered among true Christians to be conservative, aka “the religious right”. He may be by those who call themselves Christians but have no relationship w/ God.

  2. Mike Says:

    I’m a Christian, but I don’t pay particularly close attention to any of the above except Dobson. One may or may not agree with Dobson’s positions, but he seems to be a good man.

    There appears to be another difference between Wright and Falwell/Robertson besides skin color. Rev. Wright appears to be decidedly anti-American on every position. I don’t think any citizen of any country has to agree totally with every action of their country, but, dang, if you hate the country that much, go somewhere else. Wright’s positions on most every subject appear to identify with the most ultra-liberal positions out there. Generally, Americans have rejected the most extreme views – liberal and conservative.

    I don’t think either Falwell or Robertson would generally be described as un-American.

    Have a great day.

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