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Obama: “…there was an explicitly political aspect to the mission and message of Trinity at that time that I found appealing.”

June 2, 2008

The ghosts of Barack Obama’s political past. Could they haunt his political future?

In light of the swirling controversy engulfing Barack Obama’s campaign and his former church (Trinity United Church of Christ), and his disingenuous statements addressing the issue. I’ve pulled together some relevant content stemming from Obama’s early days on the Chicago community activist scene he immersed himself in.

His roots in such shed light on the man he is today, and his reasoning behind the decision in joining TUCC.
First let’s revisit the Obama press conference where he attempts to explain his leaving TUCC.

It’s an interesting question. I do think that — I said this earlier, that there is a different religious tradition or a worshiping style in some of the historically African American churches and other churches. But I am confident that we are going to be able to find a church we feel comfortable with and that will reflect our concerns and values. But I do think there is a cultural and a stylistic gap that has come into play in this issue.

I am not denouncing the church. I am not interested in people who want me to denounce the church because it’s not a church worthy of denouncing. And so if they’ve seen caricatures of the church and accept those caricatures despite my insistence that’s not what the church is about, then there’s not much I can do about it.

Caricatures? Oh really?

From Portrait of a pragmatist – Chicago Tribune
March 30, 2007
Page 3 excerpt

Politics of choosing a church

But Obama admits part of Trinity’s appeal was that it wasn’t affiliated with DCP. “If I joined one of the churches I was already organizing, that might have caused some tensions,” he said. “And part of it was there was an explicitly political aspect to the mission and message of Trinity at that time that I found appealing.”

The only visible caricature is the one Obama has painted of himself. A superficial mask, his prop assisting his playing both sides against the middle. Pro-unity? Anti-divisiveness? On the stage of his parallel universe perhaps. The public image he has created for himself contradicts the man behind the mask. It is not a true reflection of his political self. Nor is it a reflection of all whom he is associated with past and present.

Obama has spun a carefully constructed web of deceit.

Obama’s People: “America is the Greatest Sin against God!” “God Damn America! It’s in the Bible!” – What Do You Believe?

[…]Obama’s ties to Pfleger and Wright is both more disturbing and more politically relevant than we’ve realized up to now. On Obama’s own account, the rhetoric and vision of Chicago’s most politically radical black churches are exactly what he wants to see more of. True, when discussing Louis Farrakhan with De Zutter, Obama makes a point of repudiating anti-white, anti-Semitic, and anti-Asian sermons. Yet having laid down that proviso, Obama seems to relish the radicalism of preachers like Pfleger and Wright. In 1995, Obama didn’t want Trinity’s political show to stop. His plan was to spread it to other black churches, and harness its power to an alliance of leftist groups and sympathetic elected officials.

So Obama’s political interest in Trinity went far beyond merely gaining a respectable public Christian identity. On his own account, Obama hoped to use the untapped power of the black church to supercharge hard-left politics in Chicago, creating a personal and institutional political base that would be free to part with conventional Democratic politics. By his own testimony, Obama would seem to have allied himself with Wright and Pfleger, not in spite of, but precisely because of their radical left-wing politics. It follows that Obama’s ties to Trinity reflect on far more than his judgment and character (although they certainly implicate that). Contrary to common wisdom, then, Obama’s religious history has everything to do with his political values and policy positions, since it confirms his affinity for leftist radicalism.[…]

[…]Mystery Solved
So it would appear that Obama’s own writings solve the mystery of why he stayed at Trinity for 20 years. Obama’s long-held and decidedly audacious hope has been to spread Wright’s radical spirit by linking it to a viable, left-leaning political program, with Obama himself at the center. The revolutionizing power of a politically awakened black church is not some side issue, or merely a personal matter, but has been the signature theme of Obama’s grand political strategy[…].

Go read it all.

A “grand political strategy” in the past. A cumbersome liability in the present.

Transcript: Barack Obama On Leaving Trinity United Church of Christ
Barack Obama’s Pastor Gate: Chapter Two
Michael Pfleger & Jeremiah Wright – Men of the Cloth? No. Cut From the Same Cloth? Yes!
Jeremiah Wright’s…Chickens…Are…Coming Home to Roost

Obama’s Friends in Low Places
Obama: Identity Politics
Is Obama a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?
Obama All Over the Map
Connecting the Dots: The Barack Obama Bill Ayers Connection
Obama’s Friends in Low Places
Dhimmi Carter & His Kinfolk Cotton to Obama
The Road to Hell is Paved With Obama’s Intentions
Obama on Meet the Press May 4 2008
Obama’s ‘Original’ Race Speech
Obama’s ‘Race’ Speech in Full!
Human ‘Race’ Anyone?
Obama’s Lies
Obama Roundup

  1. melo permalink
    June 2, 2008 9:18 pm

    I swiped the reference from the article to the explicitly political nature of Trinity in a comment thread at Konservo. I had been arguing that Obama’s association with Wright showed bad judgment. Someone tried to defend Obama by saying that we shouldn’t expect him to know about Wright’s politics. So, thanks, Velvet.

    melo’s last blog post..the absurdity

  2. June 3, 2008 12:08 pm

    Republicans should be glad that Barak is the nominee. Although I don’t consider McCain a strong candidate, he will look like Mt Rushmore compared to TUCC’s favorite son.

    kevin’s last blog post..Bridgette Bardot Convicted for Critisizing Muslims


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