Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Al Gore is the only happy Democrat in America today

Al Gore is the only happy Democrat in America today.

The man whose purpose in life has been to fulfill his father's ambitions for him and become President of the United States, the man who blew the 2000 election, the man who won the popular vote in the 2000 election, the man who has created a lucrative career based on scientific falsehoods, is about to get a second shot at the golden ring.


Despite polls that have, until recently, declared this to be a Democratic Presidential year, Senator Obama and Senator Clinton have both proven completely incapable of winning the general election.

Senator Clinton lives with the highest negatives of any major figure in American political history. Half of all voters will never ever vote for her.

And Barack Obama has just embraced the anvil of Black Liberation Theology, a political philosophy of separatism masquerading as religion, that most white voters find insulting and unfair. Should he choose to abandon his anvil, he'll lose any credibility he may have with his

Neither Clinton nor Obama can now beat John McCain in the general election.

The Democratic leadership, as well as the rank and file, may come to this realization during what looks to be a real barn burner during their convention in Denver this summer.

To whom will they turn, if both Clinton and Obama are too damaged to continue ?

Al Gore will be there, waiting and ready to accept the nomination. His chances of winning couldn't be any worse than either Clinton or Obama. That is, until he starts articulating his positions. Then, he's likely to perform as poorly in the general election as the erstwhile pretenders Clinton and Obama.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

On Black Liberation Theology

Union School of Theology Professor James Cone
Jeremiah Wright, Senator Obama's former pastor, tells us that he is a leader in the Black Liberation Theology movement.

What exactly is Black Liberation Theology ?

The movement began in 1969, when James Cone wrote Black Theology and Black Power. He followed that work up in 1970 with another book, A Black Theology of Liberation. Here's an excerpt from the second book.

The black theologian must reject any conception of God which stifles black self-determination by picturing God as a God of all peoples. Either God is identified with the oppressed to the point that their experience becomes God's experience, or God is a God of racism...The blackness of God means that God has made the oppressed condition God's own condition. This is the essence of the Biblical revelation. By electing Israelite slaves as the people of God and by becoming the Oppressed One in Jesus Christ, the human race is made to understand that God is known where human beings experience humiliation and suffering...Liberation is not an afterthought, but the very essence of divine activity. (A Black Theology of Liberation, pp. 63-64)

More recent academic work in the area has come from Professor Dwight Hopkins at the University of Chicago's Divinity School. His 1999 book titled, Down, Up, and Over--Slave Religion and Black Theology looks at the role of Christianity in the origins, practice, and end of American slavery, an issue that I also addressed in Letter to an Atheist.

Dwight Hopkins

Both of these academics are important to study for a couple of reasons:

1. They address the central relationship of Christian faith in the American black community.
2. They are thought leaders who influence Jeremiah Wright, Senator Obama, and many other leaders of the black community.

I will reserve more detailed comments on my review of their works until I have read each of the three books mentioned. However, my initial reaction is that black liberation theology appears to be much more a political theory of black separatism than it is a theology of Christian faith.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The 17 years of sermons Barack Obama never heard from his pastor

Barack Obama and his pastor of 17 years, Jeremiah Wright

It's hard for a conservative to resist enjoying the site of Barack Obama squirming as he tries to disassociate himself from the recent comments of the pastor at the church he's attended for 17 years. Jeremiah Wright, a self proclaimed expert in a theologically questionable school known as "liberation theology", has dug a pit into which his protege, Senator Obama, has fallen, and fallen hard.

Turns out that Reverend Wright's incendiary anti-American diatribes, delivered at his church in Chicago, have been caught on tape and circulated on the internet and by conservative media outlets like Fox News and talk radio. America, if you believe Reverend Wright, promoted AIDs in the black community, is responsible for the 9-11 attacks, and is generally worthy of divine damnation, though the Reverend does not use such a polite description in his "sermon".

Enter Senator Obama, with his denials last night on Fox News that he had ever heard Reverend Wright utter such words. This from the man whose marriage was officiated by Reverend Wright, whose two children were baptized by Reverend Wright, and who considers Wright his spiritual mentor.

Is Senator Obama's claim to be believed ?

And was it wise for him to issue such a complete denial of any knowledge of such words escaping ever from Reverend Wright's mouth ?

Let's assume Senator Obama attended services at which Reverend Wright delivered the sermon 40 weeks each year. 40 weeks multiplied by 17 years gives us a grand total of 680 sermons we can assume Senator Obama heard delivered by Reverend Wright. If we give Reverend Wright 4 weeks of vacation each year, that leaves 8 sermons a year that Senator Obama missed. 8 sermons a week multiplied by 17 years is 136 missed sermons.

Are we to believe that Reverend Wright made these anti-American attacks in one or some of the 136 sermons Senator Obama missed, and mentioned nothing of the sort in the 680 sermons Senator Obama heard ?

Wouldn't Reverend Wright's recent trip to Libya, made with Louis Farakkhan for the purpose of meeting the dictator Khaddaffi fit in the category of a general clue as to Reverend Wright's general philosophy ? And wouldn't it make sense that this general philosophy was articulated in sermons Senator Obama heard ?

Consider your own church experience.

After how many sermons do you have a good sense for the core values of your preacher ?

5 ? 10 ? 25 ? 50 ?

How about 680 ?

Senator Obama's claim that he never heard Reverend Wright make the statements which he has now been forced to disavow completely lack credibility.

Even more, his complete denial of ever hearing such statements is an open invitation to every Republican operative and every journalist in the world to scrutinize his weekly attendance at his church for 17 years. There should be about 680 instances where Senator Obama's attendance matches Reverend Wright's delivery of a sermon. Odds are, someone out there is trying very hard to find the smoking gun that places Senator Obama in church and listening to Reverend Wright on a day he made a particularly outrageous left wing , Anti-American statement.

And then the question will be not just about Senator Obama's left wing politics. The question will also be about his integrity and veracity.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Worlds and Atoms Collide

My friend and fellow Sam Harris critic R.C. Metcalf and I had dinner last night at the great Old Hickory Steakhouse in the Opryland Hotel. R.C. is in town for the annual National Religious Booksellers meeting, and he was kind enough to give me a copy of his latest book, Colliding with Christ, an account of the Physics of the Resurrection.

I am really looking forward to reading it, and asked R.C. for a second copy, which I am sending to my friend and mystery writer extraordinaire, Keith Raffel, whose upcoming novel is tentatively titled Smasher! and tells of the inner workings of physics research and entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley.

Keith is smashing atoms while R.C. has neutrons and electrons colliding with life after death. Both tell me that my understanding of physics is long outdated. Neutrons, protons, and electrons aren't the smallest components of matter these days-- those components are now the quarks and gluons which make up the neutrons, protons, and electrons !

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Waiting for McCain

President Nixon greets John McCain on his return to the US after five years as a POW in Viet Nam.

There's little doubt in my mind as to who I'm likely to cast my vote for as a delegate to the Republican National Convention.

It will be Senator John McCain.

I've not signed the delegate pledge yet, but it's pretty clear that Senator McCain is the only man left standing who can get the job done. And the job is a pretty serious one -- defend the United States against the coming onslaught of Islamic jihadism.

That part's a no brainer.

Mike Huckabee ?

Not a chance.

That former Baptist preacher, engaging and likeable as he is, would follow a foreign policy that would echo the failures of Jimmy Carter.

Barack Obama ?

Cut and run in Iraq in January, 2009, followed by a bloodbath in Iraq, the re-establishement of an Al-Quaeda power base there, re-invigorated attacks against Western interests, first in Afghanistan and Pakistan, then in Europe, and quickly thereafter here in the United States.

A likely consequence of electing Barack Obama ?

A nuclear attack on an American city by Al-Quaeda before the end of his administration.

Hillary Clinton ?

Barack Obama, but 90 days slower.

Why then do I resist sending in my delegate pledge form to the McCain campaign ?

It's pretty simple.

At the moment, at least, they don't seem very interested in hearing what I have to say, or what my 279 fellow Romney delegates have to say.

Is that being petty on our part ?


But I think we have some important advice that might give Senator McCain a better chance to win in November. So for the moment, I'll hold on to the vote, and wait to see if an opportunity arises to communicate that advice.

Or the facts may simply be as follows:

Senator McCain doesn't need me or the other 279 Romney delegates. And as a result, my fifteen minutes are gone before they ever happened.