A MORE PERFECT UNION
March 18, 2008
image: Hope - Obama (Shepard Fairey poster) (cc) Steve Rhodes
A friend of mine traded some comments back and forth regarding Reverend Wright's theology, and about whether or not anyone who would sit through his sermons could be qualified to run the nation. At the time, I defended Wright. About his perspective, I drew a connection to Tony Campollo's Partly Right:
There's an interesting piece in the book about how believers who aren't in the white-middle-class segment view the scriptures differently, and it gives the example of how we tend to view the "war against powers and principalities" passage as a reference to disembodied spiritual warfare, whereas the lower-class and otherwise marginalized groups view that passage to mean the spiritual forces behind the Establishment, or social forces that create that marginalization. Racism, sexism, intolerance... all tools of oppression.
And so I defended Wright's fight against the racism inherent in society, because it's as valid a worldview as my own. However, Wright's recent anti-white/anti-America sermon, where he says "God damn America" (counter to God bless America) was a step beyond what I would call acceptable theology. It's a dangerous place, theologically, to make proclamations about the blessing and the damning of nations and the indivuals that comprise them. And if Obama upheld Wright's sermon, I would be forced to reconsider my position.
Today, Obama delivered a speech that addressed this issue, and further solidified my support. Here is the full transcript:
A More Perfect Union (PDF)
I'll come back and edit this post later when I can get my hands on a youtube video. I can't access youtube from work, so it'll have to wait. In the meanwhile, read the speech. I don't think a better one could have been delivered regarding the issue of race, religion, and politics.