25 April 2008

Why Wright matters

Senator McCain would have us believe that it is racist for people to raise the issue of some people's loyalties with respect to his pastor. Particulary, he objects to this ad by the North Carolina Republican Party:



I doubt the senator would take the same position if the circumstances were entirely identical but for Obama and Wright being white, instead of black.

On one hand, it’s easy to see why some might think it irrelevant to Obama’s fitness for office that his pastor has certain views. My pastor has certain views with which I disagree. On the other hand, if John McCain were a member of The Westboro Baptist Church, I doubt he’d be able to extricate himself from the ensuing predicament! And most of us wouldn’t be convinced that it was racist for anyone to run an ad which included a clip of one of Fred Phelps’ sermons and wanted to know if McCain’s sentiments were similar to Phelps’. And most of us wouldn’t believe a denial. We’d still wonder: If he doesn’t share those views, why be a member – for twenty years?

It’s real simple. As President of the United States Senator Obama will take an oath of office which stipulates that he will protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. It is relevant whether he feels the same way about the nation as his pastor does. It does matter where his loyalties are.

Some might say, “Yes, James, but Obama has asserted that he doesn’t share Wright’s views. People ought to consider the matter resolved.” Sure. As long as you think Obama isn’t lying about it.

Perhaps he isn't lying. I have no evidence that he is. But it is still legitimate to raise the issue.

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James Frank SolĂ­s
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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