Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

So You Want a Clergy Endorsement, eh?

In light of Obama's pitiful denouncing of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, I am just now becoming aware of my clerical power. I am going to start endorsing people.

I have already likely ruined Bruce Reyes-Chow's stand for moderator of the PC(USA) by endorsing him (something for which I am sure he is not pleased and for which he has never asked). Ha!

Now, I officially endorse Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein. I am not endorsing him for anything in particular, just in general. Now the poor simian will have to denounce everything I say!

I can feel the power! Who is next?

48 comments:

  1. Does this mean you'll endorse John "Bomb-bomb-bomb-bomb-bomb Iran" McCain for President too? ;-)

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  2. I hereby endorse Pat McQueer. Promoting the gay agenda since 1908.

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  3. Guys,

    How could Obama not denounce the remarks of Rev. Wright?? This brother sounds crazy. The govt. invented HIV to kill off the Black pop. in the inner cities...And, 9/ll is nothing more than our "chickens headin home to roost.. This said to a church full of people where the folks were all clapping, and cheering him on.

    Well, one think about being a Christian, our love for each other, and tolerance gets to be stretched out to the outer limits.

    Rev. Wright is our brother in Christ, and I wouldn't want to abandon the man, or hang him out to dry. But, let's face it, he's clearly gone over the edge in some of these remarks. Although, I"m sure his sermons are never boring. No one is nodding off in the middle of his messages. That's for sure!!

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  4. And, just to add, we're caught between "a rock and a hard place," when it comes to presidential choices this election.

    I still don't know who I"m backing.
    God have mercy!

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  5. Grace, think of everything any pastor has ever said to you, and try to think about how much of it could be taken out of context to make him/her look like a nut.

    My pastor knows Jeremiah Wright personally, and she says he is a good man who does preach a powerful message about the Gospel. She said unequivocally that she is physically sickened by some of the things he said from the pulpit (particularly the "GD America"). But she also knows what it is like to have tiny snippets of sermons taken completely out of context to make her look like some sort of monster. I know John has this experience every day.

    And yes, the "clapping and cheering him on" is common in black Protestant churches. A sermon is a two-way conversation. Senator Obama made a terrific point in his speech a while back when he said that "Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America".

    A dear friend is a Catholic of Jamaican heritage (she grew up in London), and she finds American black Protestant church services to be noisy and unfamiliar. I know she would recognize more in my majority-white Presbyterian church's services than at Trinity UCC. There is a definite cultural aspect to this. And people like the NC Republican Party are taking advantage of this cultural divide to scare the pants off people who are unfamiliar with the phenomenon.

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  6. John, for the answer to Grace's second question, could you find my quote from Molly on the topic?

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  7. I think it is important to understand the context from which Rev Wright is coming from.

    The chickens comment-I think this has to do with the basic question-why are there people in the world who hate the US so much? Is it because we are "free". no I don't think so. Those comments, to me, mean that if you abuse people enough, eventually there is going to be backlash.

    Clearly Bin Laden used frustration and anger that was already there for his own agenda. It is not right, nor justifiable. The point is that the anger was already there. Like a seed that Bin Laden watered for his own evil plan.

    The HIV comment. Yeah, I was surprised by that one as well. Its a bit messed up. But lets think about the economics behind drug treatment, health insurance, systemic racism, poverty. I think it is Kris Rock who had a bit in one of his comedy routines where he said that if it were rich white people who were most affected by AIDS, they would have found a cure long ago.

    What is the reality behind Wrights statements? Where are these comments coming from? I think that Wright is used to saying things to people who understand the background behind the statements. when he makes statements publicaly like this many people do not understand his context nor the background from which these comments are made. He is making mistakes in this way, but he is not alone in the motivation behind these statements.

    I'm not trying to say that I stand behind Wright 100% but I think this is an opening to a very needed discussion. Furthermore I think that the people in my congregation should not be held responsible for the comments that I make. Why is it that Obama is being held liable for the comments of his pastor? I think it is this comment that Shuck and Jive is responding to (though correct me if I am wrong). That is a lot of power and influence. If I were only able to preach what every person in my congregation agreed with, I would have nothing to say.

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  8. Grace---I work with minority faith leaders on HIV/AIDS issues. The belief that the government developed AIDS to kill gays and African Americans is quite common in the Black community---and is rooted firmly in a long history of government actions that make such a belief plausible, if inaccurate. (Someone has already mentioned Tuskegee...)

    The African American community has more right than most to be suspicious of the U.S. Government. While I do not believe the Feds created AIDS, I do know for a fact that they were very slow in responding to it. You can look at who is/was affected and draw your own conclusions about why this is/was so.

    What, exactly, is your beef with the comment about "chickens coming home to roost"? Do you really think that our actions in the Middle East had NOTHING to do with Al Qaeda's hatred toward us? No one is saying that we "deserved" what happened on 9/11---just that there are consequences to having as much power as the U.S. does and using it in the way we have. Why is that so controversial?

    And have you ever read Isaiah or Jeremiah?!?!? Prophets speak hard words, and people never do like to hear them...

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  9. Can you endorse me as Lefty Catholic Loudmouth o' the Blogosphere?

    As a Presby minister, your words will have real heft in my community!

    Well they will for me!

    And I will be grateful, not all snippy 'n sh*t like our beloved simian crank!

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  10. Doxy,

    I'll tell you the truth. I can't see it at all. Blaming U.S. foreign policy is a huge excuse for these people.

    I think the only folks to blame for the bombing of the twin towers, and the murder of thousands of innocent people are these militant terrorists.

    I also feel that people who blame the U.S. government for AIDS are full of hatred and bitterness, and need God's healing.

    Sincerely,
    Grace.

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  11. Is it somehow wrong to try to understand your enemy and his motivations?

    Is it somehow wrong to raise questions about the government's response to the biggest public health crisis in a generation, particularly when it has recently admitted to targeting people of a certain racial group as unwitting guinea pigs about how syphilis destroys the human body?

    I strongly recommend this article from The Nation.

    His dictis, Jeremiah Wright is media-savvy enough to know how bad the timing of his media blitz is for the Obama campaign. We were FINALLY getting over it, and Wright managed to get it back in the news cycle for another week.

    Did anyone notice McCain's health care plan? His refusal to sign on to the New GI Bill? Bush being clueless on gas prices? More Americans killed in Iraq?

    Of course not, because the US news is all about JEREMIAH WRIGHT! JEREMIAH WRIGHT! JEREMIAH WRIGHT! JEREMIAH WRIGHT! JEREMIAH WRIGHT! JEREMIAH WRIGHT! JEREMIAH WRIGHT! JEREMIAH WRIGHT! JEREMIAH WRIGHT! JEREMIAH WRIGHT!

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  12. "Jeremiah Wright is media-savvy enough to know how bad the timing of his media blitz is for the Obama campaign."

    Well, it's no secret Flycandler, that Rev. Wright was one of the Clintons' spiritual advisors after the Monica incident and that he has regular contact with her campaign staff.

    Perhaps I'm too cynical, but I'm not interested in getting played by any of the candidates, and all this fluff over some guy who isn't even running for President smells a bit too much like swift-boating to me.

    BTW, John, have you considered turning your endorsements into a church fundraiser? Donate $5 to PFLAG, or John Shuck will endorse you! LOL

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  13. Thom Hartmann hit the nail on the head, I think. He said that the Clintons and the R's are trying to turn Jeremiah Wright into Tom Eagleton. The HUGE difference, as Alan points out, is that Jeremiah Wright isn't running for dogcatcher.

    This whole thing has just gotten so sad.

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  14. I don't know about the AIDS comment, but in context the GD America sermon and the chickens-coming-home thing don't seem that bad.

    In the chickens sermon he was recounting what former US Ambassador Peck had said on Fox News.

    Reading the GD America sermon, I don't hear him saying anything worse than what was said in Chapter 5 of Amos, 3,000 years ago. The prophets never said "Israel, right or wrong." The prophets said "You have behaved badly toward your fellow man and God doesn't bless you when you do that." And that's exactly what Wright was saying in that sermon.

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  15. Grace--all I can say is that if you aren't willing to listen to people's deeply held views and fears, then you can never understand where they are coming from and find a way forward. (Something you frequently urge others to do with respect to theological conservatives, I will note...)

    I said very explicitly that I don't believe we "deserved" 9/11---and I also don't believe that the U.S. government created HIV. But a whole lot of otherwise reasonable and intelligent people do...and demonizing them is not the way to get them to change their minds.

    I also suggest you take the time to read some material about the Tuskegee experiments before you condemn the African American community for its suspicions. As I noted, they have every reason to distrust the U.S. government and the medical establishment.

    It's all about context, Grace. And about being willing to set aside our white privilege long enough to listen---REALLY listen---to the experiences of others who have not found life in the United States to be as easy as those of us who happen to be white and middle class.

    Listening to those stories is not comfortable. It reminds us that ours is an unearned privilege---something that Americans, with their "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" mentality, don't like to hear. But I believe it is our responsibility as Christians to do so.

    We ALL need God's healing---but those who have been, and continue to be, oppressed by unjust social structures, prejudice, and discrimination need *our* repentance and resolve to help usher in the Kingdom of God in the here and now.

    Pax,
    Doxy

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  16. Doxy, you know I love you.

    But, hear me out. My own daughter-in-law is African American. There's no one in our whole extended family, or any black friend I know that holds to these extreme views. This only represents a segment of the African-American community. And, more than a few of these folks are as racist as some of the white people they are busy condemning.

    But, sure I'm going to listen to em. What else can I do? I just don't agree.

    I think we need to be discerning here. If there's something I've done wrong, then I"m willing to repent. But, no one is going to pull this race card, and lay false guilt on me. As far as I know, I've never discriminated, or held someone down in my life based on race.

    I don't think any of us can be held responsible for something that happened decades ago, and that we weren't involved in at all, for heaven's sake.

    Our whole family agrees, we need to learn from the past, but move on, and do the right thing together now. And, with God's help, that's what we're about. I don't feel that folks like Rev. Wright are doing too much that's helping.

    OCBW, Doxy. But, this is how I"m seeing things now.

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  17. Doxy,

    Amen, Amen, Amen,Amen, I couldn't (and didn't) say it any better. You said exactly what I was trying to get at. Thank you. So glad there is someone responding who can eloquently say what I was thinking.

    The US is not a benign, benevolent leader of the world. We have been part of been part of economic schemes, globalization, terror, and on and on. Some of it is the government, some of it are the corporations that find security and safety in the US. These things all have impacts on individuals across the globe. I think people have the right and are justified in being angry at some of the things that have come out of this country. Heck, I am pissed. We've done good and we've done horrendous things.

    Thank you for bringing up white privilege. (just goes to show how privileged I am that I didn't) How right you are. Forced sterilization, medical experiments, the Federal Housing Act, the list goes on and on and on and on........

    I do like what Obama has to say about being divisive and continuing the hate. But then again...I'm white and I have everything to gain and nothing to lose with that rhetoric.

    It's hard facing up to the privilege that my family and I have received because we are white. what is even harder, is facing up to what has NOT happened to us because we are white. One of my frieds fathers was a Taskegee airman. My grandfather was in the airforce as well. What different tales they tell.

    Again, doxy-thank you.

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  18. I wanted to clarify. When I said "hard" I meant hard in the, wouldn't it be easier to ignore my privilege and pretend I don't have it. Not hard in the, poor me-it's so hard being a whitey.

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  19. JadedJabber,

    I think if there's privilege in our country, it's based more in socio-economic status, not so much in race.

    My daughter-in-law's father was an university professor. For the most part, her family is middle or upper middle class, and very successful. None lacked for opportunity or privilege.

    I think the power of pervasive discrimination in our country has been broken. I think it's more the exception for folks to be denied an education, or viable employment based in race.

    Of course, there are still gains to be made. But, to my mind, we really have come a very long way.

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  20. As I said when the first Jeremiah Wright stuff hit the fan, if you can't find Obama to be the stereotypical "scary black man" then you look for a way to make that true. This whole JW stuff is just a way for some to find a scary enough black guy, close enough to Obama to smear him with that same paint brush.

    Who cares?

    Let's talk about the stupid idea regarding repealing the gas tax, or Iraq policy, or something that MATTERS.

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  21. Socio-economic status and racism are inextricably linked. From the beginning of slavery to the current debate over immigration. I have a video on my blog by Tim Wise that talks about this. Go to jadedjabber.blogspot.com. Look under the postings for this month and there is one with Tim Wise. It is a short little video.

    I think on example of how these two are links is the Federal Housing Act, which gave loans for mortages, starting after the Depression and particularly to veterans of WWII. Loans were denied to African Americans, because they were seen as economic liabilities, but Anglo Americans were given federal loans for large sums of money to buy homes. So while white people were putting money into their own homes, building wealth that could be passed on to the next generation, used to subsidize loans for college educations, or sold for larger more expensive homes, therefore increasing wealth and equity; African American families, and other families of color were not able to buy homes but instead had to rent. therefore there was no building of equity or wealth to be passed on to the next generation or used to help afford education for children. Statistics show that the more education you have the more money you make. Therefore continuing the economic differences between white people and people of color. This is called systemic racism. A person is kept in a lower economic status because of the color of their skin. People in lower economic status have less availability to quality education, health care, public services, etc. The cycle continues again.

    So yes, it is about economics. But at the same time-no, its about race.

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  22. And to my knowledge, the socio part of socio-economics, includes race.

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  23. Need to welcome some new visitors:

    Jadedjabber, D. Andy, and Meghan who have been around these parts before, but whom I have not officially welcomed...

    and

    Wormwood's Doxy...

    Here is your welcome:

    Hoowww DO! Glad you are all here, including the has beens. Fun discussion, too.

    I say that no one should be allowed to do anything, run for president, get married, die, go to the toilet, without an official clergy endorsement!

    I got 'em.

    For $5 I will endorse you.

    For $50 I will denounce you.

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  24. Thanks for the welcome! hmmmm a denouncement? Haven't had one of those in a while.... ah heck. sign me up! :-)

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  25. As usual Grace speaks from her vast experience as an oppressed black person in America.

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  26. Guys,

    I totally agree that there has been past oppression. And, I can see your point, Jaded. But, across the board, do you all feel that African-American folks are oppressed today?

    No one in my daughter-in-law's family feels in this way at all. And, yet some African-Americans do. I wonder what makes the difference?

    Hey, I'll just listen to what everyone has to say. Thanks!

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  27. Grace -

    Please look outside your own family to get an idea of the world. I suggest a trip to the south side of Chicago for a start.

    Here is some interesting information on drug arrests

    Here is an article about them receiving harsher sentences for the same crimes as whites.

    Blacks have been targeted by military recruiters since the mid 70s, and throughout the last 30 years have represented a greater percentage of the military than they do the real population. That has changed in the last year or so because of the number of blacks who disapprove of the war in Iraq.

    I also think there persists the sense among the majority of whites that blacks are more prone to violent crime, drug use, laziness, ignorance, etc. When the majority of the population looks upon a minority as negative, that has a negative impact on that minority - and a pervasive atmosphere such as that can indeed be looked at as oppressive.

    I remember about 10 years ago an African American man sued one of our major Minneapolis department stores because he had been followed by a floor detective throughout the store (the man was in the upper middle-class bracket). Do you think he felt oppressed knowing that this floor walker assumed he was up to something simply because he was black? I bet he did. And I bet your daughter-in-law would also, if she were in the same situation (and I hope she never is).

    There is a large Somali community in Minneapolis as well. Many are well educated and some speak as many as 5 languages. Yet they face open hostility (I've seen it) - because they are black and are foreigners. I would call that oppressive.

    My mixed race nephew grew up in the early days of desegregation in the south. At the age of 5 he was told to "choose" between being White or being Black, so the school officials would know which school to send him to. Oppressive? I should think so!

    Oppression has many weights. Most are not as great as being shackled to a plow or whipped for speaking out, but they are oppressive none the less. Racism, fear, poverty, hostility, and denial of opportunity are all oppressive to the people who are the victims. Does that mean all blacks are oppressed? Of course not. But it does mean that oppression is still an issue.

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  28. Amen, amen.

    Another thing to consider is that while Grace is IMO partly right on the fact that oppression in America has shifted away from race and more toward class (though these have always been inextricably linked in America, since for the first four score and nine years it was legal for one race of people to own another, followed by legalized apartheid--often economic--for another 103 years). We may finally be getting to a place where we treat our poor like crap regardless of skin color. If there has been any shift away from race, it's been because of the hard work of folks like Jeremiah Wright.

    As far as HIV being a government plot, I don't think it is, and I don't think that Jeremiah Wright does either (but I'll let him speak for himself IN CONTEXT). I do know, as someone of the other minority that got hit hard by the virus (and arguably first), that the US government didn't give a damn about the victims or do anything to stop or slow the spread. This was due to a pretty plain attitude from the Reagan Administration that only "those immoral people" get AIDS. HIV spread through the US more rapidly than in Britain, which took on the problem immediately. Yes, there is an understandable anger from both the gay and black communities in America toward the US government's failure to take substantial action early on because of the squeamishness of the party in power at the time. And yes, the memories of Tuskegee (which was also relating to a sexually-transmitted disease and unethical behavior which the government admitted to) were very fresh in the minds of the African American community. No, Tuskegee didn't happen "decades ago". It ended in 1972. AIDS first appeared in the United States in 1981. I'd be suspicious too.

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  29. Thanks for the welcome, John. I found you through Cecilia's blog. As a native Tennessean (although of the Western variety--I'm a native Memphian and lived in Nashville for 11 years), I'm grateful for the good work you are doing there...both for Christ and for GLBTs.

    Grace--rather than hog the comments here, I'm going to answer you at my own blog later today. Come visit when you can!

    Pax,
    Doxy

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  30. Sounds good, Doxy. I'll be by later to visit.

    To everyone, thanks for all the comments.

    Dr. Monkey, are you as mean, and provocative in person, as you come across on your blog, and here?(You seem to absolutely hate and despise Christian people, as far as I can tell. Unless they happen to be extremely progressive politically, and agree with all your views.)

    Or does all this rhetoric hide a tender, caring, heart?? Could we be friends if we actually knew each other personally?

    I don't know.

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  31. Can someone explain to me why Jeremiah Wright continues to dominate the news day in and day out, while a) John Hagee, who said that Katrina was God's punishment of New Orleans for having gay pride marches, and b) Rod Parsley, who has called for the destruction of Islam--barely caused a passing blip on the new media radar?

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  32. Well, like I said, Mystical we're caught between "a rock and a hard place." We have Hagee endorsing McCain, and Hamas rooting for Obama. Not to mention Obama's connection with Farrakan, and this Rev. Wright character.

    I'm sorry to say that I don't really trust the Clintons.

    I guess it's about the lesser of the evils.

    Lord have mercy! ( But, maybe I"m being too pessimistic.)

    Ultimately, God's in control, right. :)

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  33. Grace -

    I don't shop at Walmart. But just because Walmart sells Dole pineapples doesn't mean I am going to avoid buying Dole pineapples everywhere I go. I am not going to give that much power to Walmart.

    So, just because Louis Farrakan or Hamas think Obama'd make a good President doesn't mean you should be suspicious of him. Besides, that is such old news, and the only reason it keeps alive is because it is beneficial to FOX Noise and the McCain crowd to keep the focus off the stupid stuff McCain is saying ("100 years in Iraq would be okay with him">, "Bomb bomb bomb Iran", "if women want better pay they should get more education and training"), as well as his voting record.

    The idea of guilt by association is bad enough - guilt without association is just dumb. I know you're not dumb, so what gives?

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  34. I can see your point, Snad. But, you have to understand, my thinking is different from most folks that post here. I'm not really progressive politically across the board.

    My mind thinks more in shades of grey. I'm constantly thinking, "What if," and seeing the other sides of the issue. I can almost make a strong case for every facet of a scenerio. (Except when it comes to the gospel of course, and what Jesus means in my life..That's a different story. :) )

    It does concern me that Obama was able to sit in Rev. Wright's congregation for twenty years, hear some of these remarks, I'm sure, and not bat an eye. Yet, he's saying that he's for racial reconciliation. What gives here?

    Plus, I think we can get some sense of who folks are based on association. Not completely of course.

    On the other hand, I don't really have a great sense about McCain either.

    Right now, I am actually leaning toward Obama. It's like an instinctual thing. I'm not sure.

    One thing I want to hear about are his plans to protect the people of Iraq if we withdraw all our troops. Is the UN going to come on board as peacemakers, or not?? I need to know.

    I am also concerned about his lack of experience.

    So, I could change my mind tommorrow. As you can see, Snad, I'm confused, and uncertain about all this, right now anyway.

    Praying that God will give me clarity before the election.

    Thanks for your concern,Snad. Your prayers, and counsel appreciated, too.

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  35. "We have Hagee endorsing McCain, and Hamas rooting for Obama. "

    You're joking, right Grace? I'm sorry, but are you actually trying to equate those two things? Really?

    So a guy who actually lives in America, whose endorsement McCain actually sought out, who has said any number of crazy things is the same as some group somewhere with whom a candidate has no connection whatsoever? You're kidding, right? I'm sorry, but I just can't believe anyone would seriously make such a phony and silly comparison, unless you're being satirical.

    "I am also concerned about his lack of experience."

    None of the candidates has any experience as President. Hillary likes to claim that she does. Claim being the key word here. My husband and I were talking about this the other day and I said to him, "You know, I've been a chemist much longer than Bill was President, and you've been married to me much longer than they were in the White House. So, would you care to come to the lab and do my job now?" He declined. He's pretty sure he doesn't have much more than the foggiest notion of what I do, and I'm fairly certain it isn't as complicated as being President.

    So clearly I don't really buy the "experience" thing either. Not to mention that our current fearless leader has perhaps the most experienced cabinet and advisors in US history, and look where that got us.

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  36. My mind thinks more in shades of grey. I'm constantly thinking, "What if," and seeing the other sides of the issue.

    Meaning we "progressives don't?!? Heck, Grace, I'm a Libra for goodness sake!

    It does concern me that Obama was able to sit in Rev. Wright's congregation for twenty years, hear some of these remarks, I'm sure, and not bat an eye.

    How do you know he didn't bat an eye? It could be he ripped Rev. W a new orifice a time or two. Besides, like others have already stated, McCain hangs with preachers who have said far worse things than Wright has said - and they get a lot more exposure than Wright ever did, too.

    And againg with the association thing: I don't think it is at all fair to say Obama is associated with Farrakan simply because Farakkan said he likes the guy. That means I'm associated with - oh, I don't know, pick someone - Ralph Feinnes. Who obviously doesn't have a clue or a care that I exist. See what I'm saying?

    And as far as experience, look at what we have now. A majority of the current administration's high-level officials have experience dating back to the Nixon and Reagan administrations and look what it has gotten us! If this is what experience gets us, let's try a novice - which I don't think Obama is, by the way.

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  37. Not only has McCain sought out Hagee's endorsement, he publicly thanked him for that endorsement, and he has to my knowledge not repudiated that endorsement since that time.

    It is one thing to get an unsolicited endorsement. It is another thing altogether to seek out an endorsement and then be proud of receiving it.

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  38. "It is one thing to get an unsolicited endorsement."

    Hoo boy, I got 'em!

    Shuck and Jive hereby endorses Grace! Ha!

    Everything Shuck and Jive says, Grace believes!

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  39. Shuck and Jive hereby endorses Grace! Ha!

    Everything Shuck and Jive says, Grace believes!


    Boy Howdy! Go get 'em, cowboy!

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  40. Alright, alright, you've all made your point. I repent in sackcloth and ashes. :(

    Satisfied now?? (laughing)

    Sincerely,
    Egg on her face..
    Grace.

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  41. I'm very disturbed by the "well, why didn't Obama walk out of the church?" commentary. Ironically, the people to whom this argument will pack the most punch are those who either don't attend church regularly or at all.

    I love my church. I loved my former church. I probably stayed in the old one far too long out of a sense of loyalty to the people in the congregation, even as the newish pastor said more and more hateful things about gay people. He became high up in one of the conservative advocacy groups (not IRD, but same ideology). Even in the face of all that, asking for a letter of transfer was hard.

    I love my church now. After a period of decline in the 90s, the leaders in the congregation decided to make openness and inclusivity the church's raison d'ĂȘtre. To that end (but also many other reasons), they called a very outspoken advocate for GLBT Presbyterians. Despite what IRD and PFR and PLC might predict, we're actually growing by leaps and bounds and we're NOT a "gay ghetto" church--we're getting lots of straight newlywed couples and young straight families.

    Now, I adore my pastor (who coincidentally knows Rev. Wright personally from her time in Chicago with homeless advocacy), on an emotional, spiritual, intellectual and personal level. That having been said, there are a (very) few areas on which we disagree. We have a specific disagreement on the Israel/Palestine issue, for example. She may say things about this from the pulpit that I don't agree with, but I don't love her any less for it. If someone asked me why I didn't leave that church because of something she said, I'd look at them like they were insane! How COULD you expect me to leave my church home?

    I have a certain amount of sympathy for Reverend Wright in the way that tidbits from his sermons are taken waaaaay out of context. It comes from the same place that my sympathy comes for a Presbyterian pastor who is known for saying controversial things that get blown out of proportion by those with an axe to grind. Oh, for a name... hmm... oh, yeah, JOHN SHUCK.

    On the other hand, I am disgusted by the back and forth where both Senator Obama and Reverend Wright try to publicly throw each other under the proverbial bus with added vigor. It's sick to see and sick that it's apparently necessary in modern American politics.

    In a country where we are the most outwardly religious of any secular democracy, you can't love your church and run for office.

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  42. What I find hilarious is that people are complaining that Obama went to that church for 20 years.

    You mean as opposed to say our current president who reportedly nearly never goes to church?

    So apparently Obama is the wrong kind of Christian, but Bush is the right kind of Christian?

    Welcome to Bizarro world.

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  43. Oh, Alan, did you nail it right on the head! I worked with a woman who was a conservative evangelical Christian who felt Bush was wonderful. She loved that he "spoke with God on the White House Lawn before sunrise" each day. It was just inconceivable to her that he could be lying through his teeth about that.

    Hmmm.... Bush a liar... nah... can't be!

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  44. I guess I should find it refreshing that after all the "Barack Hussein Obama is a crazy Moozlim" nonsense that now we've progressed to "Barack Obama is a crazy black Christian". Next, someone in the MSM will discover that the UCC doesn't hate the gay, then we'll get to "Barack Obama is a crazy white liberal so-called Christian who doesn't hate the gay enough".

    I forget the magic formula, does the spell go "denounce, distance, deplore" or "distance, deplore, denounce" to make the icky endorsement germs go away?

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  45. Grace--I have finally posted the first of a series of reflections on race on my blog. Your comments in this thread feature pretty prominently, so you might want to come over and argue with me. ;-)

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