Brother Richard at Life Without Faith wrote an article on the “Obama double standard,” about how Barack Obama is criticized for something his pastor said, but Republican candidates are not criticized for the same thing.
Some background: In old sermons, Obama’s former pastor Jeremiah Wright had made statements like this:
“The government gives [African-Americans] the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people”
Obama was supposed to respond to (and possibly apologize for?) those remarks. Here’s what he said about his pastor:
The pastor of my church, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who recently preached his last sermon and is in the process of retiring, has touched off a firestorm over the last few days. He’s drawn attention as the result of some inflammatory and appalling remarks he made about our country, our politics, and my political opponents.
Let me say at the outset that I vehemently disagree and strongly condemn the statements that have been the subject of this controversy. I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies. I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it’s on the campaign stump or in the pulpit. In sum, I reject outright the statements by Rev. Wright that are at issue.
Seems like the issue is settled. Amazingly, you don’t have to believe or agree with everything your church/pastor says.
Yet, Brother Richard points out that certain other candidates did not have to go through this much trouble to explain away things their religion believed or religious supporters said.
I ask you, did Limbaugh and Hannity dedicate entire shows repudiating Mitt Romney due to the Mormon Church’s racist views against our darker skin brothers and sisters? No. In fact, it was proclaimed to be a violation of Romney’s first amendment rights. It was bigotry to even question his association.
To be fair, Romney did get questioned about this by other sources, but his explanations were unsatisfactory. Still, no one pressed him on it any further.
Brother Richard has another example:
When it was revealed that Billy Graham made anti-Semitic statements in a private conversation with Richard Nixon, did anyone demand Graham no longer associate with Presidents? Of course not, he is still called “America’s Pastor,” and has counseled every President since.
If you want some more background on this, there’s a video included in the article.
Many conservatives have credited Jerry Falwell and his “moral majority” for the election of Ronald Reagan. When he and Pat Robertson made their despicable remarks concerning September 11th, the media brought attention to their lunacy, but did anyone use it to disavow Reagan’s legacy? Did anyone demand that the “conservative movement” reject these buffoons? Of course not…
When Pat Robertson endorsed Rudy Giuliani, did the “talking heads” scream and demand that Giuliani deny and denounce all the idiotic and evil sermons of Rev. Robertson? No…
Recently, theist wacko John Hagee gave his endorsement to John McCain. There was very little condemnation in the press, and the “Righteous Right” was satisfied with McCain’s statement that the endorsement didn’t mean that he (McCain) supported every thing Hagee believed. This apparently was enough for Limbaugh and Hannity, so they didn’t need to dedicate much time to this fiasco…
So why does Obama have to explain away something his pastor said during sermons at which Obama was not even present?
Brother Richard says we should “condemn and denounce” all of those religious bigots and rightly so. It’d be political suicide for presidential candidates to condemn their church or religion, so I don’t expect the candidates to say anything too harsh. But if the media is scrutinizing Obama for what someone else said, they should do the same thing to all the candidates.