Daily Archives: March 24, 2008

God Bless America

In the previous post, I said that I did not have anything to counter the propaganda about the infamous “God Bless America” speech of Reverend Wright. Well, the internet provides all.

Here is a link to the 38 minute sermon. The sermon begins at about minute 3.

I have no misconception that anyone who hears this sermon won’t only hear whatever it is they want to hear in it. I hear things that I can “agree” with and things that I “do not agree” with. I hope you can separate the wheat from the chaff even if what you consider wheat or chaff is not the same thing that I consider wheat or chaff. There is no point in my even telling you which is which from my point of view.

The one thing that I can say is that this sermon does not frighten me in the least.

Since first posting this item, I have had a chance to read an excerpt from Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address.

Fondly do we hope – fervently do we pray – that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, “The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

According to the book, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, by James W. Loewen, “When students read this passage aloud, slowly and deliberately, they do not fail to perceive it as a searing indictment of America’s sins against black people.”

Might Lincoln be saying in other words, that if God chooses to damn America that it would be “true and righteous altogether”?

Here is a more detailed analysis of Lincoln’s speech. This link was provided by lurker Richard H.

It’s still a question of Wright and wrong

In response to my defense of Barack Obama, I received a link to a column in the Boston Globe by Jeff Jacoby. My response was the following:

As I recall, Jeff Jacoby is one of those people that I put in the category of George Bush. I pay no attention to what he says.

However, now that I have read the article you point to, I wonder if you are still not listening to the other side of the argument.

One thing I was going to ask you about a previous email. Like Jacoby, you said what you would do if this were a Rabbi. That is a fine statement of what you would do. Now put your self in Obama’s shoes and consider that you might not know everything that he does about Wright and try to imagine how he might not do what you would do. Remember, even President Clinton welcomed Reverend Wright in the White House. Not that that is relevant, but since we are in silly season, I thought I might add this silly “fact”.

I don’t have anything to counter the sermon about “God Bless America”, but I did send you the snippet about the “Chickens Coming Home to Roost”. Wright was quoting a career U.S. diplomat’s words. His sermon was about the exact opposite of “poisonous teachings”. He was preaching that “Violence begets violence, Hatred begets hatred”. Did you get that part?

He was warning against attacking civilian populations because of what some terrorists did. In our case the terrorists were not even linked to the civilian population that we would attack. He quoted a part of the Bible that warned against seeking revenge against civilians for what an Army did.

In a recent Playboy essay Kurt Vonnegut described the carpet bombing of Dresden that we did in WW II. Apparently he was a prisoner of war in Dresden at the time. I think his message was similar to that expressed by Ambassador Peck on Fox News and quoted by Reverend Wright in one of the infamous sermons.

Either in a biography or in the movie “Fog of War” former defense secretary Robert McNamara was discussing his role in some of the WW II planning of some bombing missions. He said that he knew that what they were planning could be considered a war crime.

Even James Cone mentioned by Jeff Jacoby isn’t as radical as he makes him out to be. I think Cone is wrong about a lot of what he says, but it doesn’t frighten me. Furthermore, it is quite a stretch to hang on Obama what was said by an author that Obama’s pastor has read. That is so many steps removed from what Obama has said and done that it is irrelevant.

I have read many books that I admired even though I may have disagreed with large portions of what the author espoused. One minor example would be,


Also see http://ssgreenberg.name/PoliticsBlog/?s=krugman

At some point we ought to discuss what it is that you are really afraid of. What do you think Obama might do or cause to happen?