Monday, June 2, 2008

My Last Words About Trinity, Pfleger, Barry, et al.

Yeah, I've got some fresh drops for ya'll coming later today, but I couldn't resist lettin' the TUCC/Pfleger beat ride a bit longer. It's been a couple of days since the news of Obama dropkicking his old church surfaced, and you guys have already gone in on this repeatedly in the comments, but I just have a few more random thoughts to get off my chest before I put this one to bed.

Bear with me, there's no rhyme or reason to this...

Black Liberation Theology - There's been a lot of misinformation about BLT being tossed around in the midst of all this. Some folks think it's a simple mantra for black self esteem, others think it's the second coming of some weird Back To Africa movement. Others point out the info deleted from TUCC's website, as if to suggest that these Negros had some Master Plan for World Domination just hangin' out there on the world wide web.

Speaking of which, don't believe anything you read about BLT on the web right about now. Everyone has their own spin. If you wanna know something, try visiting a church that espouses it and make a rational judgement on that basis, and that basis alone. Otherwise, STFU.

I don't go to a church that subscribes to BLT, and I wouldn't know it if it smacked me in the face. But here's some food for thought: If the basic tenets of BLT are so wanton and evil, why he hell hasn't decades of teaching this doctrine lead to some full scale revolt by Black Americans, Nat Turner-style? Those watching from afar seem to think this is a breeding ground for a President who'll covertly come into power and "repay Whitey" for years of oppression and Mayonnaise-laden sandwiches. I say "Poppycock"! If BLT was so damn influential and radical, wouldn't we have seen some fruits of it's evil seed by now?

Or does that just mean Obama is the secret weapon they've been concocting for years to take over America!?! [1]

Fear Of The Angry Black Man - At the heart of a lot of the prevailing sentiment I hear about this church, and it's potential effect on Obama is the feeling that he'll be a champion for correcting the years of black angst against America. It's fear mongering at it's best (worst?), but let's face it: it's as old as America. From the ole' "Buck" stereotypes, to modern day embodiments like 50 Cent and Kimbo Slice[2] (3rd guy above just in case you're wondering), America (and by America, I mean "white folks") has a long standing hate/love relationship with the Angry Black Male. He's admired from afar (gangsta rap), fled from close, despised universally.

Since Obama doesn't fit this stereotype (he is after all, half-white), the best way to bring him down in the absence of anything else of substance (Tony Rezko notwithstanding) is to make him black and angry by proxy. Enter Rebb'n Wright, Father Pfleger, and the merry band of howling jackals in the TUCC congregation.

Chuuuch - It's not simple to leave a church. I've only been a member of three my entire life. I left one because I moved. I left a second because I was no longer being fed. I have been at my current one 10 years. I have heard things from the pulpit I don't agree with occasionally, but nothing that makes me question my allegiance to the church itself. Churches (at least from my PoV) are like mini-communities. You make friends there. Your kids make friends. The experience as a whole often has very little to do with the 45 minutes of "preachin'" you hear Sunday mornings. Sometimes Sunday mornings are in fact inconsequential. Ask me what was taught 5 Sundays ago, and I'll give you a blank stare. Ask me if I felt welcomed among my friends and community, and I'll tell you plenty. Again, just my experience.

So asking someone to just unplug and walk away from decades of people they've vacationed with, broken bread with, prayed with, cried, grown, and lost with isn't as simple as it might seem.

Likewise, just because someone marries you and baptizes your child doesn't make you an outgrowth of their every thought and worldview. Sometimes, it's just "the guy who married us" or "the woman who touched my son's head with water". Implying something deeper also implies that a person who goes to a church can't think and function as a grown adult without accepting the views of a preacher they may or may not have any significant level of personal relationship with.

If you wanna paint Obama, and for that matter, Black America as a whole with the broad brush of accepting the mangled soundbytes and "Que sign-tossin'" pomposity of Rebb'n Wright, then we're in trouble from the jump. So how come nobody's callin' out the far larger congregations of Parsley and Hagee for the comments of their pastors? I'll tell you why, because nobody would make such an inference that their congregants can't think for themselves.

Elistist or Radical? - One more issue. Is Obama an uppity Negro Elitist or a covert operative for the Nation of Islam? Take your pick, but please, please, just choose one. The two don't go together despite how much you try to sell me. You can't paint him with two wholly contradictory stereotypes at once. We don't believe you, you need more people.

The GOP and The Clueless Dumbocratic Party - I've never been so serious about changing party affiliations in my life. This past six months has shown me far more about the regard (or lack thereof) that both the Democratic and Republican parties hold for the Black Community. One party wants to create a superficial illusion of conclusion, the other doesn't even bother fakin' in the first place. And you wonder why Black America stays losin'.

I've pretty much decided that since I already vote as an Independent thinker in the first place, why not formally register as one? Since my voter status is a little screwy right now due to a recent move (I had to vote by proxy in the Dem Primary), I won't do anything until after November (don't want any surprises when it matters most), but I'm about 99.9% sure I'm making a change, regardless of who the next President is.

The MSM Sucks - As for CNN, MSNBC, Sean Hannity, and the other clueless bastions of the Mainstream Media, well, I already said my peace a few weeks back. I'm convinced all this stuff is little more than shamelessly packaged entertainment to keep eyes and ears locked. These folks probably don't even believe a good 75% of what they're spouting day-to-day, so why should I even bother tuning in and wasting energy?

The McCain Issue - John McCain's Pastor Problem is far more troubling, albeit for some very different reasons. Obama joined TUCC as an early twentysomething. I doubt he had designs on 1600 Penn Ave when he became a member. If it was purely for political gain, wouldn't he have joined some even bigger megachurch? Most black folks (yours truly included) had never even heard of Rebb'n Wright before January. He's no TD Jakes, Eddie Long, or Creflo Dollar. Hell, he isn't even a Fredrick K. Price in the grand scheme of things.

McCain on the other hand, actively pursued the endorsements of Hagee and Parsley, after having openly mocked Bush for doing the same thing in 2000. I don't believe for one second that he shares there warped views, but I also don't believe for one second that he wasn't aware of said warped views when he was busy running behind them trying to get a co-sign. Of course, he didn't anticipate the Rebb'n Wright level of scrutiny Obama faced to bring these warped views to the surface, but when they did (albeit for only a single news cycle) he was quick to kick them to the curb. And that, my friends, is political opportunism at it's very worst.

They're not the same thing, but if you wanna paint one as dishonorable, paint them both equally so.

Epilogue - This past six months has shown me an awful lot about this country, and I hate to say this, but most of it's been very bad. Then again, we've yet to see the next six months, so maybe I better keep this in proper perspective.

Sorry folks, just had some stuff to get off my chest. Negro Nonsense As Usual returns later this afternoon.

Question: Is there anything Obama can do to put this issue to rest or is TUCC destined to become his Swiftboat?

[1] Mayo. BLT. Mmmmm. I'm gettin' hungry now. But hold the mayo. And the tomato for that matter. Oh, and make it turkey bacon. On ciabatta...

[2] Talk about a big ball of hype, smoke and mirrors. This dude nearly got his ass whooped by some journeyman! It's why you shouldn't believe anything you see on YouTube. If that's the best MMA has to offer, not thanks, I'm sticking to the NBA.

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