Saturday, May 31, 2008

Obama resigns from church over controverial pastor comments

There are many ironies and defects in the American political experience and Obama's resignation today from his church of some 20 years, the Trinity United Church of Christ, brings out several of those defects and ironies.

The most glaring one is that the church is not Obama. Clearly his plan and his presidential decisions would be well within the pale of Democratic mainstream American approaches to conflicts here and abroad.

However, it's also true that the church is probably more representative of Obama's views about America than he's letting on. Clearly this was a church that used racial conflict themes as a way to energize the members. Ignoring the debate about that strategy most Americans don't like that approach.

Also provocative is the endorsement of liberation theology - a concept popularized in central America during those severe conflicts that often winds up accepting (or even endorsing) violent socialist revolution as a good solution to the problems of societies, which many in Liberation theology see as the evils of US style corporate capitalism. Even if you buy this point of view, it is not even in the ballpark of mainstream American values.

Ironic that the Church's recent rhetoric, the frenzied media response, and Obama's quitting at a strategic time are all part of the political process - a process we are supposed to work hard to keep separate from religion.

So, on with the game! Let the *second inning* ? Begin as Obama, the very likely nominee, begins the battle with McCain. Those guys may have energy for it but I'd have to say I think most of us are pretty darn weary of it all!