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North Texas Objectivist Society (NTOS) Message Board › OBAMA -- "The Speech: A Brilliant Fraud" by Charles Krauthammer in

OBAMA -- "The Speech: A Brilliant Fraud" by Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post, 3/21/08

Old T.
Group Organizer
Dallas, TX
Post #: 778

... The question is why didn't he leave that church? Why didn't he leave -- why doesn't he leave even today -- a pastor who thundered not once but three times from the pulpit (on a DVD the church proudly sells) "God damn America"? Obama's 5,000-word speech, fawned over as a great meditation on race, is little more than an elegantly crafted, brilliantly sophistic justification of that scandalous dereliction.

His defense rests on two central propositions: (a) moral equivalence and (b) white guilt.

I thought this might be of interest to some of our readers. For his full op-ed:
Plano, TX
Post #: 665
Todd - thanks for the link. The author has a good summary of many things that bothered me about the speech as well. I cringed when he compared his white grandmother to that preacher, and Geraldine Ferraro to him as well. (I am not really a fan of hers, but the comparisons were not warranted in any way possible. Neither one of those two women were spouting hate or racist ideas in public.)

The speech was beautifully written - and he is a good speaker, when he has a great speech to read. However, for Obama to stay with the church, ESPECIALLY when he was getting ready to enter politics is absurd. I am sure he has his pick of black and other churches - I am sure he could have found one where the pastor wasn't so anti-American.

It doesn't matter now that he has retired from the church - the fact that Obama was there for 20 years and never went on record before decrying and opposing his statements is disturbing.

And, of course, the speech still doesn't change the fact he hasn't really done much of anything in the current office he has held to prove he would be a good president.

What I am thinking is that on a personal level, it may be true that Obama really does oppose what this pastor has been saying. But, the fellow was such a "mentor" to him spiritually and in other ways for so many years that perhaps he just couldn't make the break. This could be a great example of someone not being able to separate himself from a church or leader because of unearned guilt. I am sure it wouldn't have been an easy thing to do - but doesn't change the fact that one has to question his objectivity if he has willingly been sitting through such sermons for the past 20 years, even if he believed they were wrong.
Plano, TX
Post #: 670
This was written prior to Obama's speech (back in January) by Christopher Hitchens on­

It is regarding the church Obama has been a member of, and I think Hitchens sums it up nicely when he says: "...but nobody who wants to be taken seriously can possibly be associated with such a substandard and shade-oriented place."
A former member
Post #: 87
Krauthammer says:

"Obama condemns such statements as wrong and divisive, then frames the next question: "There will no doubt be those for whom my statements of condemnation are not enough. Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church?"

But that is not the question. The question is why didn't he leave that church? ... Obama's 5,000-word speech ... is little more than ... [a] justification of that scandalous dereliction. "

I say:
Obama's question already implies an answer to Krauthammer's question. Obama explicitly denounced said scandalous dereliction.

(a) Moral Equivalence: This argument falls apart because, for one, Obama never compared Wright to his grandmother on moral grounds. Granted that what Wright did is worse since he spews hatred in a public instead of a private setting. Secondly. the question wasn't "who's a bigger jerk, reverend Wright or your grammy?" It was "Why not [leave that church and then] join another church?" Obama's answer was that it's OK to disagree with someone without dis-owning them, using his grandmother as an example.

(b) White Guilt: Krauthammer is right to denounce the White Guilt argument. Obama is also right to denounce the White Guilt argument. Someone should explain it to Reverend Wright. Actually, someone did: Barack Obama! Here's the 5000 word, 37min, and 10sec speech on youtube, straight from the horse's mouth. Let's hope Wright has internet:­

Krauthammer is committing double straw-man here. Obama didn't defend or justify Wright's ideas, he explicitly and repeatedly condemned them. He explained the reverend's perspective, then his own perspective, and then explained why his own perspective is more than different, it's better! This demonstrates that he prefers to trust his own judgment when it comes to religion. Not only is this attitude toward religion a welcome CHANGE from our last president, it's a particular ability which is essential for the leader ship of this country.

Christopher Hitchens says:
"most of what Trinity United says is harmless"
Mike Huckabee's an idiot.

Me again:
I liked Hitchens' article. I admit that I know very little about Obama's history and policies. Of what I've heard the only things I've disliked about him are everything I've read in the Washington Post and that he's a Democrat. If you're like me and you think it's important to "Know the Facts" then here're a few:

Dallas, TX
Post #: 324
Obama claims to be a religious man. His moral authority is the bible and the church. His spiritual leader and moral guide is spewing hatred and dissent and peddling it out as advertisement in hopes of drawing more followers. That is something anyone should be leaving, let alone someone running for the job of President. If he is this tolerant for that kind of hatred, what is he going to be tolerant of as head of state? This isn't like he's listening to Howard Stern saying I know he's full of crap but I find him amusing and like the guy. This is his church!

Any person running for office can be a great speech writer or orater and do a wonderful job justifying and explaining away percieved flaws in their character. That is not how you judge them, you judge them by the actions they take. Staying in that church and supporting the messages it spreads through both time and monitary donations and bringing your children to be exposed to the same speaks volumes to me.

Just my opinion.

- Travis
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