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Theopolitical Musings
Posted by: Dale Franks on Monday, March 24, 2008

I haven't strayed too deeply into the controversy surrounding the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Barack Obama. The surface reactions and counter-reactions are moderately interesting to me as a political junkie, of course, because they effect political outcomes in the nomination race. But this is, really a subject that deserves far more than surface treatment, because it goes directly to the heart of the nation's political and religious culture.

The church which Barack Obama attended—and Rev. Wright pastored—for over two decades, is Trinity united Church of Christ (TUCC). TUCC is a church that espouses "Black Theology", or as it is also commonly known, "Black Liberation Theology". A relatively sympathetic lecture describing black theology is available from Wake forest professor Dr. Terry Mathews PhD, in a transcript of one of his lectures. A more comprehensive, though less sympathetic appraisal is given in an article by Dr. H. Wayne House PhD JD, who is a professor at Faith Evangelical Seminary.

Black Liberation theology is an outgrowth of the more general liberation theology that was developed mainly in the Catholic Church in Latin America. In general liberation theology is an attempt to incorporate Marxism and dialectical materialism into Christianity. The methods for doing so are explicitly political. Black liberation theology shares this same view.
"Authentic love is not 'help,'" Cone writes, "not giving Christmas baskets, but working for political, social, and economic justice, which always means a redistribution of power. It is the kind of power which enables blacks to fight their own battles and thus keep their dignity."
Since the 1960s, the various popes, most notably John Paul II, have renounced major portions of liberation theology as being at best inconsistent with orthodox theology, and at worst, heresy.

Liberation theology is not, of course, limited to the Catholic Church. Many mainstream protestant denominations, such as the United Methodist Church, also incorporate it in some degree as well, since it also comports with and expands the Social Gospel movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The central problem with liberation theology, from the orthodox point of view, is that it requires political action to redress social and economic "injustice". In other words, it marries political ideology with religion in an unified whole. It requires that the state implement social and economic policies that concord with the divine revelations of religion.

This is practically a textbook definition of theocracy. It is an interesting paradox that many of the same people who decry the religious right's threatening "theocratic" political views endorse themselves an explicitly theocratic viewpoint.

(Presumably, though, they are seeking a good theocracy.)

It is important to note, however, that the idea of liberation theology—black or otherwise—is antithetical to both the American ideal, and to the orthodox interpretation of Christianity.

From the political point of view, America is diametrically opposed to the imposition of any theocratic rule. It is why the Constitution explicitly prohibits both a state religion, or the imposition of any religious test to hold public office. The reason is simple. No matter how benignly or well-intentioned, theocratic rule of any stripe is inherently totalitarian. For it to be sustained for any length of time, the citizenry must be prohibited from espousing opposing views, or implementing opposing policies.

From the religious point of view, liberation theology strikes at the heart of orthodox Christianity's meaning, on a number of levels.

First, it is Christianity that originally enshrined the idea of the separation of church and state. In the Gospel, Christ was approached by the Pharisees, who asked him if it was lawful, in a religious sense, to pay taxes to Rome. Christ asked for a coin, and when it was produced, asked whose image appeared on the coin. The he received the reply, "Ceasar's", he said, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's." (Matt. 22:21, KJV) This story is repeated in three of the Gospels, also appearing in Mark 12, and Luke 20. In this passage, as well in numerous explanations in the remainder of the New testament, Christ made it clear that his concern was spiritual, not political. Christianity is not concerned with this world except via salvation, and a reward in the next world. To attempt to construct a religious political order in this life is antithetical to orthodox Christianity.

Second, the reason this is so, is because the Christian's concern with the poor or oppressed is personal, not political. It is a moral duty of the individual. Good works are, for orthodox Christianity, the outward sign through which the Christian shows that he has received salvation. By making the performance of these good works acts of political coercion, rather than personal dedication, liberation theology removes the element of free will. Rather than being an act of personal dedication to God, the performance of good works becomes a duty to the state. In effect, this requires the individual to render unto Caesar those things which should be God's.

Third, it is important to note, as I wrote long ago, that while the Christian is commanded to do good works, he is not commanded to compel others to do good works. By incorporating religious imperatives in state action, the liberation theologian compels others to perform religious duties. He invokes the armed might of the state to compel his fellows to do God's work. This debases God's work, because it removes the element of free will. Instead of allowing each person to work out his own salvation, 'with fear and trembling before God", it imposes the "salvation" favored by the political leaders of a given time. It is, in short, a violation of freedom of conscience, which is, as it happens, another political value that arises directly from Christianity. The apostle Peter received the vision of unclean animals, and was told by God to rise, kill, and eat them. The message was that the internal conscience, not external law, was the central locus of spirituality. The apostle Paul, when faced with the question of whether or not a Christian could eat meat that had been sacrificed to pagan gods, instructed that the individual should work this out with God in his own conscience. And, he further instructed that when you went to someone's house, not to ask any inconvenient questions about the source of the food. Liberation theology, on the other hand, subordinates the individual conscience with the conscience of the politico-religious governing class.

Divider

For my part, I have no desire to be subjected to the theocracy of the Left or the Right. Attempts to build heaven on earth, whether imposed by Torquemada or Karl Marx, have uniformly proven to be cruel in the extreme, and hostile to the most basic liberties.

So, I offer the above as food for thought, for those who are interested. What it says about Barack Obama, or the religious politics of the Right or Left, I leave for you to ponder, and come to your own conclusions.
 
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It is important to note, however, that the idea of liberation theology—black or otherwise—is antithetical to both the American ideal, and to the orthodox interpretation of Christianity.
And therein, Dale, on both counts, is the largest problem with it. On teh basis of that, though, I don’t know if it can fairly be labeled a ’theocracy’, given that, as you point out yourself, it does not follow the orthodoxy. I would suggest it is more correctly labeled a power grab, riding under the guise of the religion.
Second, the reason this is so, is because the Christian’s concern with the poor or oppressed is personal, not political.
Nor is it governmental, as I’ve pointed out before.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
And therein, Dale, on both counts, is the largest problem with it. On teh basis of that, though, I don’t know if it can fairly be labeled a ’theocracy’, given that, as you point out yourself, it does not follow the orthodoxy. I would suggest it is more correctly labeled a power grab, riding under the guise of the religion.
Are you suggesting that when the Old Ones seize control of the government and the children are sacrificed to Great Cthulhu, that would not be a theocracy because it’s not orthodox Christianity? WTF?
 
Written By: Terry
URL: http://
Yes, it does seem to be a power grab, specifically Black Power, under the guise of Christianity. Here are three more indicative quotes from the essential James Cone which establish that Black Theology is unashamedly Black Power.
"Black theology must say: ’If the doctrine is compatible with or enhances the drive for black freedom, then it is the gospel of Jesus Christ. if the doctrine is against or indifferent to the essence of blackness as expressed in Black Power, then it is the work of the Anti-Christ.’ It is as simple as that."

http://www.nathanielturner.com/assessingblacktheology.htm

"Black Theology is the theological arm of Black Power, and Black Power is the political arm of Black Theology."

And, "while Black Power focuses on the political, social, and economic condition of black people, Black Theology puts black identity in a theological context."

http://home.earthlink.net/~ronrhodes/BlackTheology.html
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
Hmm. I take your point, but understand;

The claim on their part, you see is of a Christian religion, and thereby a Christian Theocracy is being claimed, also. I guess I have some problems with that. for the label of Christian theocracy to be applied, one would suppsoe to to contain and follow christian precepts, which as has been demonstrated, Cone, Wright et al, do not.

One could, I suppose, call it a theocracy (period), if we are forced to accept it as a religion as opposed to the pure power grab with religious pretense that it is.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Addendum: I guess the short version is I’m havng a bit of problem with elevating what Wright and Cone are preaching to the level of a religion, particularly a Christian one.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Are you suggesting that when the Old Ones seize control of the government and the children are sacrificed to Great Cthulhu, that would not be a theocracy because it’s not orthodox Christianity? WTF?
A day to be most fervently hoped for.....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
In general: religious faith is a private issue. If a politician makes it a political issue, focus on what the politician says and does, don’t try to tie him or her to various beliefs of others who may be the same faith or go to the same church.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Boris Erb:
In general: religious faith is a private issue.
So, you’ll vote for a member of a white Christian Identity church, Boris, if for instance you like his stand on the war in Iraq, and he hides his racist views while in public.

Yes, that’s such a very thoughtful position you have there. One might even call it stupid.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Scott Erb, that’s why what Obama is doing is different from what Romney did by being a Mormon while running for office. The LDS church specifically disavows political affiliation and makes a point of not taking sides between parties (although it does occasionally take sides on issues that touch on doctrine, like abortion). Cone, Wright et al. don’t make the church-state separation. What Obama says and does, if he truly believes what is preached in that church, WILL influence what he thinks about political issues in a non-tangential way. But evidently in America, if you believe people eventually become gods after they die, your religious beliefs are too wacky for politics; but if you believe that white people are by definition evil and should be killed in revenge for past ills, you’re OK.

Now I have to wonder, is Rev. Wright’s church tax-exempt? I’ve been told that one of the conditions on which churches receive tax exemptions is that they don’t take partisan political sides. I’d say Rev. Wright’s church has done so, based on what I’ve heard in his sermons. Maybe since they consider themselves an arm of a political movement, they should be considered a political group instead of a religious group for tax purposes.
 
Written By: Wacky Hermit
URL: http://organicbabyfarm.blogspot.com
So, isn’t a church a gathering of those of common beleifs, then, Scott? What else, then? You speak as one seeking to defend Obama without really understanding the concepts.



 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
The central point of interest for Americans with regard to "black theology" is the racism.

Why would Americans even be interested in "black theology?" Because there is a black man running for President of the United States as a racial reconciliationist who has belonged for 20 years to a racist church founded on "black theology."

When his pastor got caught out preaching to the full implication of the church’s underlying racist theology, the man running for President of the United States tried to finesse the question.

It doesn’t help to call these examples "sound bites" taken out of context when the CDs that they are taken from could be acquired from the church itself.

If Obama makes it to the Democratic Convention in Denver without being forced to withdraw from the nomination contest, the Democratic Party will have officially taken the position that a paid-up member of a racist organization can become their presidential candidate.

This, unsuprisingly, is not a new position for the Democrats, but it is something that hasn’t happened since the post-war civil rights era, making it an atavism.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
The central point of interest for Americans with regard to "black theology" is the racism.
Well, that, and the anti-Americanism, which is an offshoot of it. And isn’t that interesting? Here, the left thought they were popular among blacks because they liked liberal policies. They did, but only insofar as they used such affiliation as one would any other weapon... against their enemy. (Cone’s term, not mine)






 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Are you suggesting that when the Old Ones seize control of the government and the children are sacrificed to Great Cthulhu...
A day to be most fervently hoped for....
Many Shuvs and Zuuls will know what it is to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Your excellent post reminds me of the advice given to Wormwood by Screwtape (the devil) in C.S. Lewis’s incisive and entertaining The Screwtape Letters: That the best point of attack (against the “Enemy” God) is the borderline between theology and politics. “Certainly we do not want men to allow their Christianity to flow over into their political life, for the establishment of anything like a really just society would be a major disaster. On the other hand we do want, and want very much, to make men treat Christianity as a means; preferably, of course, as a means to their own advancement, but, failing that, as a means to anything – even to social justice. The thing to do is to get man at first to value social justice as a thing which the Enemy demands, and then work him on to the stage at which he values Christianity because it may produce social justice. For the enemy will not be used as a convenience. Men and nations who think they can revive the Faith in order to make a good society might just as well think they can use the stairs of heaven as a short cut to the nearest chemist’s shop.”

In another place, Screwtape tells Wormwood, “Once you have made the World an end, and faith a means, you have almost won your man, and it makes very little difference what kind of worldly end he is pursuing.”

 
Written By: JAMES AMENT
URL: http://jrament.blgspot.com/
And what has all this to do with Viggo Mortensen?

(Smirk)

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
If a politician makes it a political issue, focus on what the politician says and does
Prof. Erb — I really don’t understand your inability to connect the obvious dots here.

Obama is running in large part on a platform of uniting America across its divisions, including racial divisions. How in the world does that square with Obama’s participating in a black racist church for twenty years and continuing to do so?

Whatever else Obama says, this is what he is doing.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
Ineresting post Dale. Instapundit linked this post this morning. I also found that to be very interesting and have bookmarked it because I haven’t opened the links he provides.
I find both posts interesting because I grew up outside the church and am really quite ignorant of most of these passages.
I wonder too, if there is a correlation between wane of political confidence (low ratings of the President and Congress) and the rise of theocratic beliefs. Does radical Islam also fall into this rise of theocracy.
Anyway, thanks for the post.
 
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
Sorry, Huxley, you’re not getting it. First of all, soundbites don’t tell the story of a career. Second, these soundbites were themselves typical of a particular generation’s rhetoric in response to their experiences, and don’t strike me as being all that out of the ordinary. Third, it’s bad enough people play the gotcha game with politicians, trying to find snippets to take out of context and turn into something suggesting something far worse, it’s absolutely disgusting to do that to the people the candidate associates with. So we have to just disagree here: what you say is reasonable, I find to be the gutter of American politics, disgusting, immoral and offensive. I find the critics here far more offensive than Rev. Wright. And, yes, this is constantly done to Republicans by Democrats too, such as the McCain flap.

Politically, we will see if this makes a long term difference in the campaign, I still think Obama is likely to be able to turn it into a strength — make his opponents look petty and give him a vehicle to raise the discussion to a higher level.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Prof. Erb — You are apparently not reading my posts. I’m not just talking about sound bites here. Go back and read the content of this thread about the foundational theology of Trinity United, about blacks as the chosen people and whites as the enemy etc. It is entirely congruent with Rev. Wright’s friendship and affinity with Louis Farrakhan, and the church’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Farrakhan, and on to Rev. Wright’s vicious sound bites.

Then match that up with Obama’s hypocrisy in censuring Don Imus for straying over the line in trying to be hip with "ho’s" and Obama’s stand that a person saying such things would not be employed by the lofty standards of the Obama campaign.

What kind of message does Obama’s participation in that church and his relationship with that pastor send to non-blacks, and Americans generally? Why should the rest of us be sensitive in how we talk about blacks and the black community, if Obama’s spiritual mentor is free to utter "God damn America" and the "U.S of KKK.A" whenever he pleases?

Again, Obama is running for president of the United States. It’s his job to convince Americans that he cares about America and all Americans, and that he is worthy of the job, not for us to bend over backwards not to notice the nastiness of the church and pastor Obama chose to make a significant part of his life.

 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
don’t strike me as being all that out of the ordinary
Say what sucker ?

They might have been in style in the 60’s, maybe the early 70’s, but the quotes from Rev. Wright happened in neither of those decades.

This "particular generation’s rhetoric" is one lame excuse to let bigots live on, so don’t give me any of the jive wonkie logic that even Forest Gump would reject.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Maybe they’re not all that unusual in the Ivory Tower.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Boris is in his "playing dumb" stage on the Trinity/Wright question.

It’s as much a part of the Erb routine as the "I teach this stuff/you’re obsessed with my credentials" and "I’m only here for honest discussion and debate/internet debates can’t be taken seriously" routines, along with many others.

It’s always helpful to go back to square one and remember what you’re dealing with here.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
No, Huxley, I understood your point, and I thoroughly disagree and think using this to attack Obama is not only gutter politics, but dismisses the real issues Obama brought up in historic speech. I also disagree with your read of the theology and your attempt to connect Farrakhan to Obama. More gutter politics, more efforts to distract people from the real isues by focusing on a meaningless "where he went to church" thing. That is irrelevant.

We disagree completely on this issue. That’s OK.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
No, Huxley, I understood your point, and I thoroughly disagree and think using this to attack Obama is not only gutter politics, but dismisses the real issues Obama brought up in historic speech.
The issue Obama brought up, completely ignored the reason for the speech being needed in the first place.

And you think that’s OK.



 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
No, Huxley, I understood your point, and I thoroughly disagree and think using this to attack Obama is not only gutter politics, but dismisses the real issues Obama brought up in historic speech. I also disagree with your read of the theology and your attempt to connect Farrakhan to Obama. More gutter politics, more efforts to distract people from the real isues by focusing on a meaningless "where he went to church" thing. That is irrelevant.
Let me guess: you were watching Obama give a speech, and a warm tingle went down your leg . . . and now you just can’t let the massiah be smeared by lowely humans . . .
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
No, Don, it’s just that hearing a lot of apparently white people decide how they think a black person should have reacted to things preached in a black church, reflecting that community’s experience is a kind of racism. "He didn’t act like a good white man would have acted if his Baptist minister had said those things." That racism might indeed be strong enough to defeat Obama this year. My hope is that even if it does, Obama’s communication skills will help raise the discourse and make more people aware of the continuing impact of race on our society. It’s especially necessary in schools and universities for the next generation.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Oh, before someone gets overly sensitive and goes into a huff about my using the term "racism," I’m not calling you "racists." Racism of various sorts affects almost all of us. I think racism was one reason Bill Clinton didn’t care about Rwanda, a residual racism in simply how he and his aides viewed Africa — those blacks slaughtering each other, well, that’s who they are. The problems in Bosnia, well, those are EUROPEANS! They didn’t overtly think that, but that was probably a part of why the issue was seen as it was, including by myself. I’m not claiming to be immune either. So don’t over-react to the "r" word!
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
It requires that the state implement social and economic policies that concord with the divine revelations of religion.

Dale, you have failed to document exactly how or where liberation theology requires that "the state" do anything.

Liberation theology approves of social redistributive policies, but it’s not explicitly about having them implemented by the state. Kind of like how despite the Catholic Church being strictly anti-abortion, it doesn’t mount crusades to get abortion criminalized in the secular realm. Although it *does* tell people to vote pro-life.

So I fail to see how liberation theology differs in extent of political activism from traditional Christianity. At best, it’s a difference in priority of emphasis in the *content* of that activism.

Addendum: I guess the short version is I’m havng a bit of problem with elevating what Wright and Cone are preaching to the level of a religion, particularly a Christian one.

Hey, Bithead, start by reading your own freaking Bible:

"for it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom32.ii.lxxi.html
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Boris:
it’s just that hearing a lot of apparently white people decide how they think a black person should have reacted to things preached in a black church, reflecting that community’s experience is a kind of racism.
So, Boris, your contention is that noting explicit racist statements based in an explicitly racist "black theology" is itself "a kind of racism?"

I’m really starting to feel that my failure to seriously motivate myself and do something about the State of Maine paying you to educate young people should be weighing more heavily on my conscience.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Bill Clinton didn’t care about Rwanda, a residual racism in simply how he and his aides viewed Africa
Scott, I’m no lover of Bill Clinton, but do you really believe this ?

I think it easier to believe that even after appearing on the South Lawn with returning troops from Somalia in May 1993, that Clinton felt he got burned, when the "BlackHawk Down" incident occurred in Oct 1993, by Bush Sr’s last foreign policy stand and swore off foreign adventures for the remainder of the term. Afterall Bill Clinton, more than any President during the lifetime of anyone alive, lived on polls. Dying soldiers just don’t add points to anybodies favorability.

I’m sure if you’re foreign policy view is a bit more nuanced, you might possibly believe that he deferred to the sensibilities of the French who, in order to help the French speaking tribes in Rwanda, had been smuggling in the knives and machetes that made the killing so easy.

But to believe that it was latent racism by our first "Black President" is pretty far out there.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://

I’m sure if you’re foreign policy view is a bit more nuanced, you might possibly believe that he deferred to the sensibilities of the French who, in order to help the French speaking tribes in Rwanda, had been smuggling in the knives and machetes that made the killing so easy.
Can you back this up? The French were the main suppliers of the governmental military forces, but I haven’t heard them implicated directly in the activities of the interhamwe. Not to go easy on the French — the French, the Belgians, the Americans, they were all complicit in turning away from a genocide they knew was happening, and France’s support for the Rwandan government (which obscenely sat on the UN Security Council at the time) on the basis that the government claimed to be trying to stop the Interhamwe is not credible. But they were smuggling machetes to the Interhamwe? I haven’t seen that...but if you have a source, I’d love to investigate this.

As far as Somalia, why would that have dissuaded Clinton from Rwanda but not Bosnia? Why didn’t people take seriously a genocide where UN forces on the ground were watching the genocide unfolding and reporting directly upon it? I think there is still a kind of subtle racist thinking in all of us, including myself, when it comes to thinking about Africa. We have to work to overcome that, and recognize that even progressives who think they are so anti-discriminatory need to be self-critical. It’s probably part of our nature, connect more with those who are like us, its not necessarily based on anything evil. But it can come out in very destructive ways.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
So I fail to see how liberation theology differs in extent of political activism from traditional Christianity. At best, it’s a difference in priority of emphasis in the *content* of that activism.
True. People object to the emphasis on being African and proud of it. But that’s a very common way an oppressed group empowers itself, it has to unite around its identity and find common cause. It’s much different for an oppressed or discriminated against group to do that than for a majority or oppressive group (such as the Nazis in Germany). People sometimes like to slide these together with all forms of nationalism — even patriotism — and not notice that there are very huge differences depending on the context.

Nationalism of the Nazi sort is not the same as American patriotism or African theology. Yet all share the same basic focus on identity, all use it in a different context.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
No, Don, it’s just that hearing a lot of apparently white people decide how they think a black person should have reacted to things preached in a black church, reflecting that community’s experience is a kind of racism
Shorter Erb: Truth changes according to the person’s color.
Of course, that’s not to be considered racism.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
why would that have dissuaded Clinton from Rwanda but not Bosnia?
Bosnia was on the doorstep of Europe and, historically, the flashpoint of WWI.
The investment in European security goes back to the end of WWII, with NATO and all. To let the Balkans get out of hand, was to tempt fate.

You can make a faux argument about white vs black, but serioulsy there is more to lose strategically in Europe than practically anywhere else in the world, except perhaps Japan.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Besides exactly what kind of military force do you project to Rwanda ?
By the time they had gotten any significant force on the ground, it would have been over. And unlike Kosovo, US airpower, or at least anything that could arrive quickly, is pretty useless against hundreds of folks with machetes spread all over the countryside.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Maybe Prof. Erb has a point, and all us racist white folks hatin’ on Obama ought to recuse ourselves from voting in this year’s election since we’re obviously not qualified to assess statements like "God damn America" or "the US government invented the AIDS virus to kill people of color" for ourselves.

Never mind that Obama is running for president of black Americans and white Americans.

Obama makes a big deal that there is only one America, but he finds the deep spiritual meaning of his life from a church dedicated solely to the black community and to Africa and sees America as a captor society preying upon blacks, and Obama chooses for his spiritual mentor a man who curses and lies about America.

For my money, Prof. Erb is the racist in this discussion since he is arguing for separate but equal standards according to race...Obama likewise in his big speech.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
Can you back this up?
This cites aa PBS Frontline documentary (whose link is dead) ..
[A]lthough France had rarely hesitated in the past to conduct unilateral, partisan military invasions to prop up its African clients, the genocide made such a move awkward. The French press was crowding the French political and military establishment with exposes of its blatant complicity in the preparation and implementation of the butchery. Then, in mid-June, the French government hit on the idea of billing a military expedition into Rwanda as a "humanitarian" mission and carrying it out under the U.N. flag, with some rented Senegalese troops along for the ride to create an aura of multilateralism...
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
The current president of Rwanda claims that the French supplied weapons and more in the genocide. I believe a couple of Western journalists have written books along this line too.
France accused of genocide by Rwanda’s leader

By Tim Butcher, Africa Correspondent
Last Updated: 11:52pm GMT 16/03/2004

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda yesterday accused France of direct responsibility for the 1994 genocide of at least 800,000 people in the central African country.

His remarks reignited a bitter diplomatic row bewteen Rwanda and France and threatened attempts to mark the 10th anniversary of the killings with dignity.

M Kagame claimed that the French government supplied weapons, logistical support and even senior military planners to the regime of militant ethnic Hutus responsible for the slaughter of 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/03/17/wrwan17.xml
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
Huxley, no one doubts that France supplied the government. But the machetes and the like that the Interhamwe used were not part of the weapons France supplied the government, from what I can find. Remember, the Interhamwe was a "third force," and the Rwandan government, who turned a blind eye and often gave the Interhamwe logistical support, did have French backing. But the claim I was questioning was the claim that France was smuggling in knives and machetes...this claim:

the French who, in order to help the French speaking tribes in Rwanda, had been smuggling in the knives and machetes that made the killing so easy.
I think this is wrong on many levels — not only was the tribe being killed French speaking, but France was not smuggling in knives and machetes. The evidence quoted by both Neo and Huxley goes along with my understanding — France supported the government.

Gen. Romeo Dallaire, UN UNAMIR commander, noted that the killers were mostly teens armed with machetes, and he had seen one UN soldier hold back a crowd of dozens just by firing in the air. He reckoned he could have stopped the slaughter with 5000 troops simply well equipped and willing to protect the Tutsis. This wasn’t a military force or even an insurgency. He pleaded with the UN and was told not to worry. If 800,000 were being butchered in Europe, we’d have noticed. In Africa we didn’t care. You may think race didn’t play a role, but I think that’s a bit self-serving.

A lot of people want to pretend that the impact of racist thinking and social darwinism can be brushed aside just by saying "apply an equal standard." That simply codifies the results of the problem. The answer isn’t more government programs or affirmative action, the answer is for people to recognize that race does matter, even today, and understand the impact on people with much different lives. Unfortunately, I think a lot of people want to pretend it doesn’t matter, and will use that against a black Presidential candidate. One can certainly understand it if someone reacts to that state of affairs by angrily shouting "God damn America!"
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Ya know, Erb, You’ve convinced me.
I’ve been wrong, all this time. Ron Paul isn’t such a full goose bozo nutcase after all.

By comparison.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
One can certainly understand it if someone reacts to that state of affairs by angrily shouting "God damn America!"
So why all the stuff about restoring America’s image aboard when no one stepped up ?

In Durfur, the EU has done everything possible to avoid calling it "genocide" as that would then require them to actually do something but, as we have seen in Afghanistan, the members may have armies but they would be lucky to defend their homeland let alone do something in far away Durfur. Only the UK and perhaps France can project any power, but when the French fly all their planes off (and back home) the aircraft carrier that they sent to the Gulf War, it obvious who will always do the "heavy lifting."

The "Obama Doctrine" stuff that popped up yesterday seems to be more of the same realism that the Europeans do so well but with a smile. Given that the Europeans have always seen it business-wise advantageous to do the opposite of the US and exploit all the business opportunities with those the US manages to piss off, I wonder what will be left to make them happy when we try to do the same thing. So much for out image aboard when we make more unemployed Europeans.

So much for that guiding light or the light up on the hill.
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
It’s amazing that Democrats ever accepted him as President.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Perhaps Oliver Stone looked in the wrong place ..
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Boris:
People object to the emphasis on being African and proud of it. But that’s a very common way an oppressed group empowers itself,
Boris clearly hasn’t taken Jeremiah Wright’s recommendation to heart and read anything by James Cone (including what’s been quoted at this blog), and is turning his head away, per usual, from the facts.

James Cone, Boris, is an out and out racist. It is on his theology that Wright bases his teachings, according to Wright himself.

There is no simple "emphasis on being African and proud of it." There is an emphasis on blaming "white people" for everything. Espousing violence against white people. Making it clear that white people can only be saved by submitting to blackness. That there is only one path to reconciliation and that is the one-way path of blacks dictating the terms to whites.

"Whitey," you see, must understand this.

Now, how does Obama’s stance as a racial reconciliationist get reconciled with his 20 years (to the present) membership in a church whose teachings are explicitly based on the writings of James Cone and his "black theology?"
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Given that the Europeans have always seen it business-wise advantageous to do the opposite of the US and exploit all the business opportunities with those the US manages to piss off, I wonder what will be left to make them happy when we try to do the same thing. So much for out image aboard when we make more unemployed Europeans.
I’m not sure what you’re saying here. The Europeans genuinely want a partnership with the US; we share western cultural values and have common interests. They simply reject the militarism of US foreign policy and consider it counter productive. They also think we’re too pushy in trying to get others to act the way we do; they understand that cultural and political differences mean not everyone can have a liberal western style democracy. Countries have to move forward with slow steps, and trade and business dealings help. Being a bully actually turns people against us and the West.

As for Obama and Rev. Wright, I made the issue the subject of my blog today, and I’ll leave that as my last word and try to avoid debating it any more here.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Boris:
As for Obama and Rev. Wright, I made the issue the subject of my blog today, and I’ll leave that as my last word and try to avoid debating it any more here.
Good move, Boris. Put your "last word" safely where no one will read it. And then avoid the question where your remarks can be quickly picked apart, like nearly all of your comments.

Then there’s this amusement:
The Europeans genuinely want a partnership with the US; we share western cultural values and have common interests. They simply reject the militarism of US foreign policy and consider it counter productive.
My, how those Europeans have come to such high-minded principles after their 50-year free ride on the American defense dime! Again, Victor Hanson had it precisely right when he described the Euros as being like adult children living with their parents.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Correct, Martin.
There are signs, however, Erb, that suggest despite the left’s efforts, Europe is starting to grow up. Take France, for example. Think Sarkozy would be in power now if the views your describe were not themselves changing?

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
I think that most of the problems in Europe, including its effective disappearance to come later in this century, were pretty much set by the end of WWII, and that most of what we’ve seen since is the work of the hairdressers.

The crucial moment in Europe’s decline was the 1914-45 war continuum, and that followed on more than a century of intellectual and cultural dissolution. That dissolution has moved at an even faster pace since the end of WWII.

The U.S. miscalculation with Europe was the fear that leaving it to defend itself might lead to more mayhem, and so it settled for the pacification implicit to the U.S. role in NATO.

Last year I read Michael Burleigh’s "Sacred Causes," which, among other things, is about the relationship between the churches and the political religions of Bolshevism and Fascism, and what came across was the utter insanity that gripped Europe in the wake of WWI, which led to the rise of the Nazis in Germany, for instance.

It was for me a revisit to what we all know about the horrors of the 20th Century and "looking at them again for the first time." And seeing them in the light of the current demographic collapse and the European cultural standard of America hatred, the effect of reading Burleigh was like having a car come down on you while your were working under it.

Europe is the main body social of the West. What has happened to it, and what is happening to it, goes beyond tragedy. Sarkozy ain’t got nothing to do with it.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Bithead, you constantly cannot get your mind out of that silly left-right dichotomy. I think Sarkozy was the right choice in the last French election, and I think Merkel is doing a good job in Germany. Politics in Europe (and hopefully the US) is moving away from the gutter that is ideology towards pragmatism and problem solving. They are growing up in Europe. When will people grow up here?
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Boris:
you constantly cannot get your mind out of that silly left-right dichotomy.
For a good laugh, check out Jonah Goldberg’s analysis of the "getting beyond labels" schtick in Liberal Fascism.

It’s a standard ploy on the Left, and it always means the same thing: get beyond the silly left-right thing and do what we want.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Quite.
erb tries playing that card every time he gets backed into a logical corner, and I for one am getting tired of it.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us

 
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