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Monday, March 17, 2008

Obama must have turned off the hearing aid, then.

We all have an elderly uncle or relative who turns off their hearing aid when they don't want to hear things. Some do it discreetly, some are more blatant about it, but hearing aids' on-off switches come in handy at times.

It appears Obama had turned off his hearing aid:

Just last Friday he was saying at the Huffington Post (an interesting choice of venue, that one, considering he has his own campaign website)
The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation.
Which he repeated on TV,


There you have it: He didn't hear it while he was in the pews.

But apparently he was at the church during one of those sermons:
In fact, Obama was present in the South Side Chicago church on July 22 last year when Jim Davis, a freelance correspondent for Newsmax, attended services along with Obama. [See: "Obama's Church: Cauldron of Division."]

In his sermon that day, Wright tore into America, referring to the "United States of White America" and lacing his sermon with expletives as Obama listened. Hearing Wright's attacks on his own country, Obama had the opportunity to walk out, but Davis said the senator sat in his pew and nodded in agreement.

Addressing the Iraq war, Wright thundered, "Young African-American men" were "dying for nothing." The "illegal war," he shouted, was "based on Bush's lies" and is being "fought for oil money."
Since there are eyewitnesses that Obama was in the church when Wright was carrying on with his profanity, either Obama
1. was not in the pews
or
2. he had turned off his hearing aid and coudln't hear it.

Just One Minute raises the possibility that Obama had not been present for that particular sermon because was on a tight schedule that morning.

Fair enough.

In that case, perhaps Obama's hearing aid batteries must have run out while he was listening to Jeremiah Wright: The Greatest Hits Collection Volume 1. Obama has been sufficiently acquainted with Wright's sermons that the title of his book, The Audacity of Hope, comes from one of the sermons by the pastor who married him and baptized his children and with whom he keeps sincere close, personal, and political ties. At the same time, in the above video he says,
When these statements first came to my attention, it was at the beginning of my presidential campaign. I made it clear at the time that I strongly condemned his comments. But because Rev. Wright was on the verge of retirement, and because of my strong links to the Trinity faith community, where I married my wife and where my daughters were baptized, I did not think it appropriate to leave the church.
Which is it? He didn't hear it, if he had heard it he would have left the church, he heard it at the beginning of his campaign, he turned off the hearing aid, or what?

Obama clearly considers religious discourse important, and his own campaign style echoes the style of revivalist meetings.

It is important, then, that we learn just what ideology his religious affiliations expouse.

By the way, whatever happened to those fainting women?

UPDATE
Via commenter Gringo, A Candidate, His Minister and the Search for Faith
When Mr. Obama arrived at Harvard Law School later that year, where he fortified himself with recordings of Mr. Wright’s sermons, he was delivering stirring speeches as a student leader in the classic oratorical style of the black church.
No, he didn't turn off his hearing aid.

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5 Comments:

At 12:30 PM, Anonymous Gringo said...

This 2007 NYT article says that Obama took tapes of the Reverend Wright’s sermons with him to law school. No, Obama never heard any of the anger and hatred oozing from the good Reverend's sermons.

 
At 2:40 PM, Blogger Fausta said...

Thank you Gringo - I'm adding the link to the post.

 
At 5:50 PM, Blogger Francis W. Porretto said...

Obama is toast. If he gains the nomination, he'll go down to a Dukakis-or-worse defeat in November. The Democrats' kingmakers have surely noticed. So...how does John McCain look against Mrs. William J. Clinton?

 
At 7:17 PM, Blogger Pat Patterson said...

I suspect that the UCC might be beginning to realize that this scrutiny of Trinity is going to cause schism and immense damage to its church, though I disagree with many of its tenets, that has been consistent and has acted on its mission for decades.

The UCC News section has a defense of Rev. Wright and Trinity that appears to have simply angered many of the members who not only condemn Rev. Wright but Rev. Thomas, General Minister and President of UCC, as well. I think that part of the defensiveness is that Trinity was the biggest and most successful congregation and the church hierarchy simply let sleeping dogs lie. Now that is a Freudian slip.

 
At 7:20 PM, Blogger Pat Patterson said...

I editing my comment I left out a reference to a series of increasingly hostile arguments on the comment threads in reaction to Rev. Thomas's 3/17/08 statement.

 

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