Tuesday, March 18, 2008

You Can't Win, You Can't Break Even...

You can't win, You can't break even and you can't get out of the game...

People keep sayin' things are gonna change
but it looks just like they're stayin' the same

You get in way over your head
and you've only got yourself to blame,

You can't win,
You can't break even and you can't get out of the game...

("You Can't Win", from "The Wiz", with the film featuring Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow, pictured above.)

Obama is having to work at getting out of this one.

Apparently, the pastor he turned to for many years regarding spiritual guidance has been showcased in a less-than-favorable light. This pastor has been inflammatory in the past. To quote the article:

His inflammatory statements have been cited by Obama detractors, including comments that blacks continue to be mistreated by whites and a suggestion that U.S. "terrorism" helped bring on the Sept. 11 attacks

From what I've heard, the statements are quite accusatory, such as that the government is purposely infecting blacks with HIV.

Of course, Hillary's folks are all over this like Oprah on a baked ham.

Obama's first response was that this pastor didn't say things like this when HE was around. I'm sure he's right. Many topics are covered in sermons and this sermon may be one of a hundred or so.

However, the pulpit has been the place of many an error in judgment. I am a Christian and I know this. I remember preachers from my youth and adulthood who made grievous errors and paid for it.

This is a very big error. I have always believed that politics and faith should be separated in a house of worship, and if one is motivated to vote based on their beliefs that it's a personal choice. This pastor (Rev. Jeremiah Wright) didn't do that, and this decision could cost another person his integrity merely by association.

But here's my opinion...and it's like a nose; everyone's got one.

You shouldn't judge the entire flock by what a preacher says.

I know there's a reverse side to that argument, but first, I feel that a preacher does more than just give a sermon on Sundays. Preachers see what we don't...they see church members in joy and sorrow, through good times and bad. Rev. Wright officiated at Obama's wedding and baptized both his daughters. I'm sure they've worked together on a personal basis on many spiritual issues, and Obama sees a more rounded person than a minute-long sound bite on TV can even cover.

But preachers are human. They say things in frustration, anger and passion like we do. Rev. Wright was misguided, I believe. I know history shows that the government mistreated black people in the past and in many ways, this mistreatment goes on today. I don't believe it's happening the way Rev. Wright does. But how would I know? I'm not black. I'll never know other than what others relate to me.

However, I think Obama can sort out the wheat from the chaff in Rev. Wright's character. I think he's sincere when he says that. I still love God, but that doesn't mean I agree with a preacher's personal P.O.V. I can sort out what I like and what I don't. If the "don't likes" overcrowd the "likes", I distance myself from that preacher. I imagine that Obama has done the same.

If the same thing happened to Hillary, I would feel the same way.

Faith is complicated, as are those who choose to lead others in their faith.


I don't envy Obama's position one bit.