Sunday, March 16, 2008

Personal Aside: Sunday Hate U. S. and Whitey Sprees —All in God’s Name.

On March 12…five days ago which is like a century in politics…I wrote that the Chicago area media have been going soft on things to criticize in the liberal Democratic party while continually harping on how loony Jim Oberweis is—and I cited as evidence of such overlook the twin cases of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the anti-white, anti-US bigot who is Barack Obama’s pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ and…ahem…the pompous Reverend/Senator James Meeks of Salem Baptist Church who juggles contributions to his 501©3 church and partisan corporate and individual donations to his political career. I said that because the Chicago media are cowered for fear of being called racist, the transgressions of these two black ministers who stretch the nonprofit status of their churches beyond the breaking point have been long ignored.

Well, they were continually ignored by the Chicago media—but the national media notably ABC=TV, rising to their role as (supposed) evenhanded arbiter of the political scene--got off their duffs, having worried about (a) Mitt Romney’s religion and (b) John McCain’s relationship with a female lobbyist…and started looking at least at one of the most virulent racists since the Jew-baiting Rev. Gerald L. K. Smith of the 1940s, Obama’s pastor and close friend, Reverend Jeremiah Wright. TV clips of Wright in action at his pulpit inflamed the nation and the tame Chicago media reluctantly had to concentrate on what was happening in their backyard. The “Sun-Times” which covers Obama like the proverbial blanket did nothing. After the disclosure, the “Chicago Tribune” aka “cringeley” editorialized that a man should not be held accountable for what his pastor says.

But the pastor had been spewing that venom for years and has all the time been a good ol’ boy to Obama…the two posing together affably…Wright serving as a “religious” adviser to the presidential campaign. John McCain had as an endorser a Protestant minister who called Catholicism the harlot of Babylon and paid the price, Wright’s closeness to Obama is like father and son.

No tribute to the Chicago media but as response to national media inquiry, Last week, Barack Obama allowed himself to be interviewed on all key news outlets as to why he continued to worship at a Chicago church and be a faithful member whose pastor is an acknowledged bigot, spewing hatred for whites, anti-Semitism, saying repeatedly “God damn America!” and charging among other insane things that white people infected black people with AIDS. A series of videos from the past show that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright has been shouting these things for years. Wherever Michelle Obama picked up her variant of the hate America she so casually referred to in several talks, it sounds like a moderate version of the ranting of the Hitlerian Rev. Wright.

When I was a kid in the Depression, Catholics used to paste their ears to the radio to hear the rantings of Fr. Charles E. Coughlin out of WXYZ Detroit. Roosevelt got to Attorney General Francis Biddle who got to Detroit Cardinal Mooney who pulled the plug on the preacher who was teaching the absurd dogma that Jewish bankers on Wall Street were angling to get us into war in order to cure the Depression. You could catch a bit of that still today among some strange people who used to jam into Ron Paul rallies and some of the latter day readers of Pat Buchanan who has publicly attested to the goal of keeping the U.S. Christian and white through immigration. But by and large these are just diseased fruit flies still feeding off the Coughlin garbage.

However, all of us can attend church services today on occasion that are goofy and changing because of it. At the height of the `60s “spirit of Vatican II” disease in the Catholic church, I remember as a parishioner of Mary, Seat of Wisdom in Park Ridge, hearing a young priest publicly pray for “more doubt.” He got his wish and ran off with the sister superior. We changed parishes.

And too, I remember a few years ago when we were snowed in here in Park Ridge one Christmas where even the Greyhound buses were running off the highways due to the glare ice, and we went to Mass at a nearby church, St. Juliana’s where, interestingly, I had gone to grade school 1934-42. It was 11 a.m. Mass at St. Juliana’s in the rather supposedly conservative far northwest side of Chicago.

Well, as it happened, St. Juliana’s had been infected with a very flaky elderly liberal pastor hobbled by limitations of intellect who was also a creature of the 1960s and its feel-good relativistic theology. The topic of his sermon was that Jesus Christ had a dysfunctional family made so by the fact that earlier Joseph had suspicions that Mary had been unfaithful to him (avoiding the clarification that Joseph received of the messianic-marian exegesis communicated infallibly by Pius IX after consultation with 600 bishops)… that they were homeless in exactly the same condition as many of Chicago’s homeless were…and that these damned conservative bigots who cannot understand the human motivation that leads to illegitimacy did not appreciate the unplanned birth of Christ…on and on and on.

The poor man was theologically mal-educated at a Mundelein seminary polluted with flimsy bogus “spirit of Vatican II” pseudo- theology from which it has not fully recovered to this day. I recognized that he had lifted it from a stentorian sermon delivered in full view of television cameras the night before by the stentorian and oracular Rev. Jesse Jackson, Jr. I make it a point whenever I necessity forced me to go to St. Juliana’s and whenever I could to avoid Masses offered by this priest—notwithstanding the fact that as imperfect as he was…and is, …under Catholic teaching the sacrifice he was offering was no mere empty commemoration of Calvary but the true and proper act of sacrifice whereby Christ the high priest by the dogma of unbloody immolation offers Himself a most acceptable victim to the eternal Father as He did on the cross—no matter how cross-eyedly idiotic the celebrant is.

Now writes my good friend, the thoroughly intellectual and highly educated theological blogger Jim Bowman--himself a resigned and properly laicized Jesuit priest--former religion editor of the old “Chicago Daily News” who when he recovers from his fall will resume his reportorial and commentary duties at The Chicago Daily Observer…may this be soon--didn’t Obama pick another church long ago? “Look,” he writes, “even Catholics can pick and choose among Catholic churches. As a Protestant, Obama. is part of a tradition where picking and choosing got its biggest boost religion-wise.”

Bowman is right. Does Obama expect us to understand that after attending the church for 20 years and listening to approximately 500 sermons, he didn’t hear a thing similar to the rot-gut racism and anti-American tirades the media caught on tape? Com’on. The fact is that the virulent anti-Americanism that pervades Wright and elicits standing ovations at Trinity from Obama’s congregants, most probably reflect to a great degree Obama’s views about the country. Glimmers of the Obama view have come to the surface…Michelle Obama’s slip of the lip about the campaign being the first time in her adult life she can be proud of America…Obama’s strange and inexplicable decision to discard the American flag lapel pin in time of war, expressing the weird view that patriotism consists of being able to speak out—huh? And his persistence in refusing to place his hand on his heart during the national anthem. These things the Hate America crowd jest at—but not middle America who has sent the treasure of its life, its young men and women to Iraq. The editorial page of The New York Times most emphatically does not reflect the view of voters Obama needs to get to be elected…and Michelle Obama needs to be proud of America even one more time.

The development of hate America in important segments of the black community…and is endemic in the United Church of Christ (in fairness a sprinkling of whites is evident in Trinity’s congregation) is something I learned in writing and producing a film documentary on the Rev. Andrew Young and his first election to Congress 36 years ago, called “From King to Congress” which is still around in some quarters.. With the coming of the current civil rights movement, many black churches eschewed theology and resorted to plain and simple political haranguing and then excursions into “I hate whitey” diatribes. Young and King belonged to the last black generation that adhered to any formal religious observance and in their sermons kept the line of demarcation between politics and religion clear—and they steered clear of blistering whitey and America. Their sermons were uplifting and progressive: always positive.

But after 1972 liberal—mostly black—preaching began to move away from theology. It hurdled the line with The Pout, the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson who is nothing like King or Young (who were learned biblically). Jackson is religiously illiterate, a hustler, a seminary dropout who was “ordained” in almost the same manner any of us can get a degree with $10 mail order. His concern is not to unduly assail whitey but to use extortionate methods to secure advantages, most notably for his kids. In that manner, he has picketed companies until they capitulated and, in one instance, offered two of his sons a lucrative piece of the action anent Budweiser beer (for which they had no business expertise) whereupon the picketing stopped. But things got worse with Minister Louis Farrakhan. He has taken to anti-Semitism has done so exuberantly. That message of hatred got a lot of attendees.

Now we get to Jeremiah Wright.

Jeremiah Wright is an extraordinary exotic variety bigot and purveyor of hate against many—Jews and the entirety of the United States. . He is far better educated than Jackson, with a bachelor’s degree and master’s in English from Howard and earned a Master’s in divinity from the University of Chicago divinity school. Not so much a hustler as an intoxicant of his own celebrity since Obama is his congregant. He has gone off his nut and his congregation is so addle-pated it cannot stop yelling amens to examine what he says. And he presents a great difficulty for Obama. Obama is not just one who with his family sits in the pews; he first met Wright and joined his church while Obama was working as a community organizer while going to Harvard Law School. He truly was a disciple of Wright and the older man was his religious adviser. Wright married the Obamas. The title of Obama’s book “The Audacity of Hope” comes from a sermon Wright preached.

The national media—not Chicago’s—justifiably have held Obama accountable to the very letter as to whether or not he agrees with Wright. If he does not—and this is what he says—why is he and his family so enthusiastic about attending these services? We know why: in his heart of hearts Obama and his wife share the virulent anti-Americanism Wright has propagated.

People I talk to tell me that Wright was always this rabid but since he gained an audience through Obama became intoxicated with his undeserved celebrity and has gone off his nut. That is one thing. The frenetic and exuberant reception of the church’s emotional and infantile finger-snapping and jiving congregation to Wright’s anti-white racism is quite another. It validates what Hosea Williams a disciple of King told me years ago when we were making the King documentary.

He said it is a release for many black people to go zinging off against folk including whitey as a kind of release…stomp their feet…stand up and pretend to fall down in a swoon. It is a relatively harmless shout of release. Yes it is a shout of hate. Sort of like going to a gym to work out and hit the punching bag—but as Williams (a non-minister) said: don’t call it religion. And for God’s sake the IRS should crack down on quacks like Wright—except that the agency is too timid, cowering as does the major press for fear that they will be considered persecutorial or racist.

This fear by the media to seem racist and the timidity of the IRS to look bad in the media has actually encouraged many more hustlers of varied races with clerical collars and “divinity” degrees to join the fold. A strident, obnoxious pharisaical white hustler who has done so is the blond priest Michael Pfleger who has affected a black slang and hip words, basking in the adulation of his congregation to whom he shamelessly patronizes with an easy religion, Pflegerism which he has made up himself. The main tenet of Pflegerism is that guns go off by themselves and kill people so they must be collected and taken off the street—and whitey is responsible for them being there. For God’s sake don’t tell your parishioners that they have some responsibility for illegitimacy, to get married and to watch out to see what their kids are doing at night. No-no. You just wail at guns and threaten the owner of a legitimate gun shop—vowing to drag him out of his lair like a rat. Unsurprisingly, the Catholic archdiocese—terrified of everything and anything--is cowed by Pfleger too—and namby pamby parsing as it goes, is afraid of its own shadow on numberless thing including the reaction from the ruling junta of the Democratic party if it strips the name Catholic off DePaul.

Beyond being a hustler, Pfleger is a High Up in the Daley political machine to which the archdiocese is indebted and for which it is subservient for many reasons. Did you see that full page ad for O’Brien’s tavern and restaurant that featured none other than Fr. Scott Donohue, the boss man of Mercy Home for Boys & Girls extolling Paddy’s Day at O’Brien’s? If that isn’t a desecration of the clergy—pumping up a prominent Democratic bar in Old Town—nothing is. Donohue just happened top be looking the other way when his fund-raising committee picked Sen. Hillary Clinton to speak at Mercy’s fund-raiser…everybody in the archdiocese pointing at the next one like the Thomas Nast cartoon about the Boss Tweed ring. Who, me?

But Donohue is petty cash in the Catholic clerical wing of the Cook county Democratic party. Pfleger is Big Time, occupying a front row seat with Hizzoner at White Sox games. He is worth more than a whole lot of ward committeemen to the mind of the inestimable lay chancellor Jimmy Lago who was himself Ed Vryolak’s best precinct captain by Vrolyak’s own testimony to me. Like black politicized pastors, Pfleger understands Sunday mornings is a time for hitting out at the whitey piñata. He brings in a bevy of Democratic candidates including Al Sharpton when he was a presidential candidate to preach at his Masses while his congregation…many not formally Catholic but who go there to have a good old rip-roaring time (better than staying home and watching the kids kill themselves)…sway appreciatively. So it is at St. Sabina’s.

Why do they do it?

As Hosea Williams, not a man of the cloth but a leader in the civil rights movement told me: “Increasingly, folk [by which he meant blacks] go to church on Sunday to clap, yell `amen,’ sway in unison and nurture a lingering dissatisfaction against `chalky’ [Williams’ word for whitey], let it all hang out and have a good time.” That they did in Atlanta as Young made the rounds of all the churches. In those days sermons weren’t about chalkies but fervor was produced so that baskets were passed and were filled to overflowing with folding money which were unceremoniously dumped into the campaign treasury for federal congressional office with church deacons blessing the transaction. That was known in Atlanta and is known here as “black allowance”—excusable violation of the niceties of campaign finance regulations which the IRS winks at rather than start a political conflagration.

Now that “lingering dissatisfaction” against whitey has turned into a bonfire of hate. The cowardly Chicago media allowed Wright to get away with racism in the name of religion and Meeks to feather his nest by mixing religion and politics. Now thanks to Barack Obama’s all but certain nomination to the presidency and the fairness of the national media, Wright is front and center in the media. Meeks continues largely uncovered and uncriticized in his admixture of piety and politics.

Will Wright bring Obama down? Nah. But he has stunted Obama’s effectivness for a time as Pop Pope and Healer. It will be intriguing to see how Obama gets out of this bind. He can’t just pack up and go to another church for Trinity’s swaying, standing multitudes won’t like it and will think he’s gone high hat. Chances are the successor to Wright will play it easy until the heat dies down.

Of course if worse comes to worst, maybe the Obamas will have to go high hat and worship in a more orthodox way—where ministers and congregations consider Christianity as its Founder preached it rather than fomenting hatred against the U. S. and whitey along with the supplication of give us more federal subsidized pork chops, Lord.

The first returns from the liberal media are in following the editorial board meetings at the “Sun-Times” and “Tribune.” The leading feminist-Democratic liberal in town who occupies a near monopoly on expression, Carol Marin (“Sun-Times” columnist, NBC-TV correspondent, WTTW correspondent) has pronounced the politically correct verdict in her “Sun-Times” column yesterday.

She wrote regarding Obama and Rezko: “Candor, though delayed, gives a clearer view. Ands friendship, tested by not abandoned, looks more like a virtue than a fault.”

Thamk you, Carol from the Obama campaign which will send that one to the bank.


  1. Amen, Amen Bro' Tom!

    I'm a beatin' my feet and swayin' round an round readin' this Breath of Fresh Aire expose!

    P.S. Happy Paddy's Day!

  2. Tom-

    That is a barn burner of an article--impossible to stop reading, and it covers all the bases.

    Your have some interesting comments, too, about some neighborboring parishes of mine--Mary Seat of Wisdom and Saint Juliana's. Some of the priests and the polyester-clad nuns out this way seem confused about whether or not the Pope is in Vatican City or at the Cardinal's residence of Los Angeles. And the liturgies of their masses and music reflect that confusion.

  3. Enjoy your radio show. Hope you have Cliff Kelley on more. I always enjoyed the days when the two of you were on with Bruce.

    It's not suprising how much the Rev. Wright upsets you. Angry black man vs. angry white man. You're two sides of the same (would you prefer similar) coin.
    Your perspective is not only a leading one in the Church nowdays but also in our society generally. So I attempt to listen carefully and understand.

    While for many reasons the Church is getting smaller and less relevant to many, especially the more educated, it is my hope that a potential leader such as Barack can have some infulence in lowering the similar fear and anger so prevelant in our politics.

    Pretty flaky huh! Hey, I'm not completely lost. I also find some of Greely's columns outrageous.
    That's why I enjoy you both.
    Jim Morley

  4. Tom your following quote appears to be a smear of too many people, "You could catch a bit of that still today among some strange people who used to jam into Ron Paul rallies and some of the latter day readers of Pat Buchanan who has publicly attested to the goal of keeping the U.S. Christian and white through immigration. But by and large these are just diseased fruit flies still feeding off the Coughlin garbage."

    Just what about illegal immigration do you like? Open borders does fly in the face of Homeland Security. A Google search of Coughlin turns up vile antisemitic statements that have not been uttered in the least by Buchanan or Paul. Just what about a Ron Paul rally is antisemitic?

    Buchanan was more concerned with assimilation and was wary of Balkanization and Quebec type problems. But then maybe you have not read the racist pronouncements of La Raza. And in Europe the massive Muslim immigration has been a major problem from England to Germany to Denmark as Muslim radicals find refuge in local populations. Tom your statements profoundly border on a smear; especially a hateful smear of conservatives and libertarians.

    Let me be blunt Tom, where do you stand on illegal immigration? Did you support the failed McCain/Kennedy Immigration Bill? Also would you be in favor of massive Muslim immigration into the United States? Are you a cultural relativist who believes that our strength is our diversity? Is this a new turn for you? Your stance against homosexuality could brand you a hypocrite in this case. But then you could be called a Catholic supremacist.

  5. Sally, Tom hasn't thought issues through much if at all. He's only concerned about his party winning elections. He worships at the altar of government, which is why he is more interested in Republicans winning elections than Christianity prevailing in America. It's rather sad that it appears he has cast aside Christianity in favor or Republicanism.