Monday, April 28, 2008

The Politics of Religion

It is not very tough to find a critical reaction to something said by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright - he speaks his mind about what he believes.

But I don't buy into the notion his views are those also held by Sen. Obama, much less that Rev. Wright is seeking to control American government and politics. His words and/or actions never reach the level of the right-wing Moral Majority, which actively entered the political world in 1979 and has been tackling political changes with lobbying organizations, contribution campaigns, voting guides and much more.

Rev. Wright is not playing at politics, but is being played instead.

Take the ad campaign from the North Carolina GOP - serving up snippets of Rev. Wright's sermons and comments, they seek to link him with every candidate and member of the Democrat party. But as one editorial in N.C. said: "
And what does any of this have to do with improving the lives of North Carolinians?"

I can't blame Rev. Wright for coming forth to challenge and repudiate the media and their reports about him. It's his freedom to speak as he wishes in the pulpit or out of it. Folks are free to weigh the value of what he says, too. Weighing others with Wright's words just makes little sense.

The fact is Americans have allowed for considerable influence from certain religious beliefs to dictate policy and promote programs. Take the first two Executive Orders from current President Bush - the creation of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Here's a federal program, based in the White House, which in the year 2006 funneled over $2 billion to church groups.

It's just more difficult for the media to challenge the existing church-led government, easier to stack sound bites of a single pastor as proof of Sen. Obama's wacky belief system, regardless of whether it has a basis in fact or not.

Evaluating the place of religion in American politics is a dicey issue - your views of how or if the two go together may be used against you.

3 comments:

Southern Beale said...

I'm still trying to figure out what Rev. Wright said that was so horrible. When you compare it to the things said by right-wing pastors, I find nothing newsworthy at all.

If the media isn't going to get its panties in a bunch over Rev. Phelps and his "fag-hating," or James Dobson trying to oust the head of the NAE for his concern about global warming, or Pat Robertson comparing liberals to Nazis, or John Hagee hating on Catholics, or Rod Parsley's war-filled rhetoric against Muslims, or any of a million gazillion trillion examples I could give of right wing Fundiegelicals showing their hatred and intolerance, then I fail to see why THIS IS EVEN A NEWS STORY!


Once again I type in the Capcha letters five times and still can't post. ONE more try and then I give up.

I hate capcha. How necessary is it really? I haven't had anyone try to spam me on my blog yet.

Joe Powell said...

SB - i am almost sure i had a reason to start the verification, but know i cannot recall what it was -- so i shall review the whole deal again.

Joe Powell said...

ok, checking back in the vaults, the reason i had to start the verification was the fairly constant arrival of spam advertising in the comments. i know it's a pain, but i'll also check on some other remedies too.