Moss Blachman sent me (and a bunch of others) a copy of a piece from The Jewish Week Web site that sorta, kinda expresses my attitude about Obama and his pastor — what Rev. Wright said was utterly beyond the pale, and yet it doesn’t turn me against Obama. An excerpt:
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Sen. Barack Obama’s longtime pastor, says
some things that really offend me. As a passionate Zionist I take
offense at his cruel reference to an apartheid regime going on in
Israel. As a patriotic American I shake in disgust at the “God Damn
America” sermon he gave soon after the tragic events of 9/11. His
ongoing association with Louis Farrakhan troubles me deeply, since
Farrakhan is a bigot. Indeed, I once led a group of protesters into the
office of Anthony Williams, former mayor of Washington, D.C., and
begged him not stand with Farrakhan.
At the same time, I do not view Rev. Wright’s remarks as a reason not to vote for Barack Obama. I may or may not decide
to vote for him, but not on the basis of his longtime pastor’s politics.
Of course, Obama’s relationship with this guy doesn’t help him with me, but it’s not a deal-killer, any more than it is for Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld, who wrote the piece.
Another thing I liked about the piece — and for me, this is a separate point from the whole Wright/Obama thing — was this statement:
A congregation should not identify itself with a specific political
party, but a religious leader should feel free to express himself on
issues that he deems of social and political significance.
As I wrote before, I was impressed at the political moral teaching I heard from the pulpit (is "pulpit" the right word?) at a synagogue up in Greenville several months back. Of course, the difference between that and the inexcusable stuff that comes from the Rev. Wright are very, very different.