Wives or Churches?

One or two Republican commentariats are falling all over themselves trying to make something of Senator Obama’s departure from Trinity Church.

It’s already hard to find the news item on the internet front pages of the msm big players. The news is moving fast, I guess.

Another blogger asks, “Has Obama seen the light or is he ditching old friends since they’re politically opportune?”

What Gerald seems to be saying is that the senator may be cutting ties because the current situation may be less tenable politically. I suppose I don’t see a problem with that. I’ve known people who have left parishes for far more frivolous reasons.

What amuses me are comments like this:

(Obama) doesn’t know who he is or what he stands for because he’s always changing his identity in reaction to political pressures.

It’s a convenient world to live in when everything is win-win. This, for a party that clings to 28%, and should be grateful for Constitution Article One, Section Three and gerrymandering that they hold something more than 28% of Congress.

I’ll concede John McCain has dealt with his own fault in the failure of his first marriage. There’s a degree of honor in that, perhaps that we didn’t see in other Republican leaders on the national stage. But among Republicans, I have to laugh at the notion that changing churches for political advantage is a problem. I think about all the first wives (and a few seconds) who have been left behind after their political worth is depleted. John McCain blamed his own immaturity for a failed first marriage. But there was a lot of help at the start side of his own political career from wife #2, her family, and that family’s contacts.

For a constituency that stands on “family values” as much as it does, you’d think there would be more circumspection on the issue of making changes that might indicate a lack of character.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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13 Responses to Wives or Churches?

  1. Gavin says:

    I don’t hold leaving against Obama. I suspect he’s leaving because it’s politically expedient, but maybe he FINALLY realized he was in a racist congregation. For me, the problem isn’t him having a friend like “Rev.” Jeremiah Wright. I have friends who have said worse things on worse issues than race. The problem as I see it is that Obama CHOSE Wright as a life-long mentor. If he’s willing to be married by a man who considers conspiracy theories religion fodder, I’m not sure why I should trust Obama to appoint ANY position at all.

    And McCain’s divorce and remarriage to the plastic sugar momma is sickening. But it doesn’t say much about his ability to lead, just that his morals (and taste in women) are significantly different from mine. And that I can live with in a president. I can’t live with someone who’s going to appoint Al Sharpton as ambassador to Iran.

  2. Michael says:

    I can’t live with someone who’s going to appoint Al Sharpton as ambassador to Iran.

    Gavin, you are a racist.

  3. Deacon Eric says:

    Michael: Funny! Good charicature of how so many people are trigger-happy with charges of racism. On the other hand, it was almost comical to see how some West Virginia voters had no sense of irony when they would look straight into the television camera and say, “I’m not a racist or anything like that, but I just won’t vote for a black man.”

    Gavin, I tend to agree with you, but in this case it was a no-win situation for Obama. The pulpit at Trinity was under a microscope, and anything that was said within that church would be broadcast everywhere within hours, implying that Obama agreed with any camera whore who came within 500 feet of that church. So he really didn’t have a chance. As for pastors who say outrageous things, I have heard things at rectory dinners that would make your hair stand on end–horrible anti-Semitic remarks and racial slurs. While Wright’s rants were truly zany, they unfortunately differ only in degree from what a lot of crazy clergy would say in public if they had the guts, which thankfully, they don’t.

  4. Deacon Eric says:

    Sorry, instead of “didn’t have a chance,” I meant to write “didn’t have a choice.”

  5. Jimmy Mac says:

    If Catholics sought out a new parish every time they heard a priest say something wrong, stupid or otherwise offensive from the pulpit, there would be a steady stream of changes.

    If Catholics sought out a new church because of the disasterous way the hierarchy has handled the abuse scandals, there would not be a need for increased vocations to the priesthood.

    If Catholic took umbrage over the idiocy of so many statements, actions, abhorrent lives and sheer madness of so many of the popes in past history, we would overthrow the papacy and elect a Governor.

    If we were all held accountable for what we have submitted to rather than rise up in righteous indignation, we all would be spending eternity in hell.

  6. Dustin says:

    Clearly, not much of a choice, given that his status as the nearly-presumptive nominee will mean further harassment of the TUCC congregants. Press invading Sunday worship, shut-ins being called by reporters–it was getting really disgusting. Obama’s clearly not taking this lightly, and he did what he had to do for the good of his church. This was not a move of political expediency. It was clearly painful for him to walk away from his home, and to say what he said about the man who brought him to the Lord.

    As for the Rev. Wright . . . I think he’s a great man. I mean that. That sermon he gave the Sunday after 9/11 needs to be read in its entirety and reread and reread and internalized.

    Thanks, Jimmy, for saying what you just said. It needs to be shouted at every opportunity.

  7. Michael, with all due respect…
    I subscribe to the late Malcom X’s contention that it is in virtually everyone’s inherent nature to “be” or act racist. The problem is when that nature is misappropriated to justify bigotry. There is a difference. And to his credit, Malcom embraced that revelation personally through his own pilgrimage to Mecca before his murder. So I don’t bandy that word about loosely.
    Al Sharpton, OTOH, has yet, IMO, to have such an epiphany of reason. And by my reckoning, his pro forma posturing ever since the “Believe Tawana” remains mired in polemics, propaganda and such muckraking.
    Perhaps that is why Gavin posits his distrust through that statement about Rev. Sharpton, not the happenstance that he happens to be Black.
    Also, try to remember that journalists such as Chris Matthews of MSNBC, whom I enjoy, are quite capable of saying prejudiced and bigoted remarks such as he did over the weekend by declaring that though Sen. Obama was not on the Michigan Democratic Primary ballot, did anyone think “no one in Detroit would have voted for Obama, yeah right.” But that sort of “racism” escapes notice of the mainstream pundits because that sort of “blind logic,” which is presumptively racist on its own merits, does not cause offense to a Black electorate he presumes is in total lockstep with a Black nominee for president.
    Find evidence of bigotry and I’m with you. Calling someone racist is generally intellectual laziness and out of convenience.
    Just my opinion, but I tend to believe that Malcom X would concure.

  8. Gavin says:

    I think Michael was making a joke. At any rate, my mention of Sharpton was in that, while Sharpton has some good points (he’s a superb speaker, that’s about it), he also would be extremely unfit for an appointed office. Wright has some good points, such as the power of his preaching and his pastoral care. However, he also teaches a racist and hateful theology that makes the pre-V2 prayer for the Jews look like a love letter. Obama made a BAD choice picking his pastor, so how can we trust he wouldn’t do something like appoint Sharpton (or even W) to a position? We can’t trust his judgment of character at all. (And in fairness McCain has some shifty dealings with lobbyists as well) That takes precedence over any issues of race in my eyes.

  9. Darnit. Can’t we get some emoticons going, Todd? Sorry, Michael.
    It was way passed midnight when I read the post, I had gotten home from my weekly stint of doing music ministry in one of our state prisons and comboxing is a sort of sleep provoking therapy for me!
    Thanks for the heads up, Gavin.
    I’m pretty much on your page regarding this election’s candidates, and national/global politics in general: it’s all about manipulation now. “Same as it ever was.”

  10. Todd says:

    Emoticons? Really?

    Maybe I should go traditional with 汉字 instead.

  11. You mock me! That’s not sensible!!! :-)
    In the immortal words of Bella Abzug (or was it Betty Friedan?):
    “I’m outraged; OUTRAGED!”
    Have a nice day. I’m taking a nap now.

  12. Tony says:

    Gavin, you are a racist.

    Sticks and stones, Michael. That is the Dem. modus operendi. Criticize a black == get labeled a “racist”.

  13. Tony says:

    It was clearly painful for him to walk away from his home, and to say what he said about the man who brought him to the Lord.

    The lord that Wright brought him to hates whitey.

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