The Cane, Obama, and Rev Wright

I head back to the office today,and the cane usage is pretty solid. Rehab starts on friday, stitches out tuesday week, so I reckon life will sort of return to normal this week.

So, let me turn to something that has constantly bothered me despite the occasional Percocet haze.

What is the fuss over Reverend Wright?  More specifically, what is the fuss over Obama not dumping the man at the first sign of trouble.

Now I understand the political tactics involved. I undestand it will influence some votes.

What I don’t understand is why.

The suggestion is that Obama has absorbed the Reverend Wright’s more outrageous beliefs, and will act on them if elected president…and if not, why did it take him so long to write off Wright?

Maybe I am engaging in my own little bit of myopia here, but this seems like a very basic case of hate the sin, love the sinner.

We are regularly exposed to folks with whom we don’t agree, but in whom we find some value. Life is not typically an exercise in black and white. By the same token, I have not found that exposure to bad behavior guarantees replication or abosorption of the behavior (at least not in adults). 

In my life I have known men and women who have cheated on their spouses, embezzled, committed murder, engaged in drug abuse…yet I have not committed any of those acts…so apparently mere exposure is not enough. 

Has Reverend Wright said a number of things I find objectionable?  Absolutely. However, this same person built a ministry in Chicago that has benefitted thousands in both the physical and spiritual sense. I can understand how Obama, a person who has been part of and exposed to that ministry, was slow to condemn Rev. Wright.

I recall a baseball coach of mine from years ago, from a time when coaching youth sports was not always a kinder and gentler experience. I learned more in one summer from him about baseball than from anyone else (with the exception of my ex-second baseman father). The way he explained the game made me see the game as an organic combine, and not a collection of separate and disparate acts. By the time the summer was over, what I once had to think about doing. He never raised his voice in anger, although once in a while in frustration he let out “Sweet Mother of Mary Magadelene”.

When I got older I learned that said coach had a drinking problem and was not a reliable father. But we never saw that side of him. When I think of him, I remember one of the best coaches I ever had…and not the struggling human he apparently was.

I think Obama’s hesitancy to dump Rev Wright is something of the same. His first thought is of the sermons, the community activism, the church activities…and not the questionable and hurtful rhetoric.

Obama’s reaction is based in his sense of humanity and not in his sense of political necessity…and I don’t know that is a bad thing.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t see myself voting for Obama. That being said, I can think of worse things to have in a leader than a person who has not surrendered their humanity in favor of expediency.

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5 thoughts on “The Cane, Obama, and Rev Wright

  1. What pleasure to read your measured essay. No ranting, no raving, no condemning yet not sugary. Thanks! I’ll sleep well knowing that there are thoughtful bloggers like you. – Good luck with your knee(s)

  2. I understand your position, but I respectfully disagree. You go to church to be taught something about how you should act and be as a person. Rev. Wright is presumably in the business of trying to influence others’ actions and thoughts. Obama stayed around to listen to this man’s views on how he should live his life.

    However, some words are so despicable that you have to distance yourself from the person who says them in order to show that you do not share those views. Rev. Wright’s words reflect how he wishes to influence others in his community. He is fully in control of his words and thoughts, unlike other “sins” that may be the result of an outside influence or disease such as alcoholism. The man actually thinks that the U.S. government is responsible for 9-11. I think his words are dangerous and that Obama should have run from the Reverend way before it became politically expedient.

  3. Mossipan, you posted last night, but I did not get around to checking comments until this PM…so there was a delay in it posting.

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