Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Yes, We Can! I Think We Can. And One of These Days, We Will!

Six questions, more or less, for Senator Barack Obama:

Q: Senator Obama, in your March 18, 2008 speech about race, you praise the “greatness and goodness” and “genius of this nation,” the only place on earth you declare that your “unconventional” success story is “even possible.” And yet, after fifteen years of marriage to you, your wife Michelle freely shares that, due entirely to your presidential campaign, for the first time in her adult life she is proud of "mean" America. Is your appreciation for America also recently acquired? If not, can you explain why the person closest to you in the world is so far apart from you on the issue that drives your candidacy? What does that failure to persuade say about the unifying message you embody that ostensibly compensates for your lack of experience to qualify you for the highest elective office in the world?

Q: Senator Obama, your speech cites the hunger of the American people for your “message of unity.” But after fifteen years of close association with him, why does your Pastor Jeremiah Wright remain “divisive at a time when we need unity” and “racially charged at a time when we need to come together?” What efforts have you made personally to help heal his racial wounds and share your hopeful vision of America? What leadership have you demonstrated at your church to address the “cruelty” and “shocking ignorance” you found there? What have you done to promote “the alliances it needs to bring about real change?” Your church preaches black liberation theology, an ethnocentric reinterpretation of Christianity that is expressly non-inclusive. Are you comfortable making your spiritual home in a church where your mother’s family might not be comfortable or welcome?

Q: Your speech describes the responsibility of parents to spend “more time with our children, and reading to them, and teaching them that while they may face challenges and discrimination in their own lives, they must never succumb to despair or cynicism.” You now admit that you have personally witnessed Rev. Wright’s controversial remarks from the pulpit. Have you allowed your daughters to personally witness his “profoundly distorted” view of their country or his message “that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America?” If so, do you think those words from a pastor, whom you selected to act as a person of moral authority in their lives, makes your daughters more or less likely to succumb to despair or cynicism?

Q: You call Rev. Wright, the man you credit for leading you to God and strengthening your faith, a “Biblical scholar” after he sermonized that Jesus Christ was a black man and that blacks are God’s chosen people. Can you cite the Bible verses that support his claims? Do you believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God? Does the Bible call us as individuals to serve others or does it suggest the government do it for us? Your speech and campaign employ fresh sounding rhetoric but prescribe the same old liberal, big government “solutions.” Your church fosters ministries for the sick and needy. Do you think the government can provide these services more efficiently and more compassionately?

Q: Is Tony Rezko, like Rev. Wright, merely another election year "distraction" that "breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism?" You keep hawking the Obama top secret formula for change that will magically teach children to learn, deliver health care to the uninsured, shower our homecoming soldiers with benefits, reopen shuttered mills, and solve the housing crisis. Didn't we get into this mortgage mess by extending credit to the unproven and unqualified while hoping against all evidence to the contrary that they would fulfill their promises? Why should we use the same faulty method for electing a president? If we accept the electoral choice as you frame it, we can 1) ignore the warning signs on the road to your enchanted land of change or 2) be doomed to an eternity of racial stagnation, illiteracy, poverty, war, and presidents who are not named Obama.

Q: You aspire to lead the free world for the next four or eight years. Reviewing your record of leadership (or absence thereof) in your family, in your church, in political office, I have one last question – what are you waiting for?

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