The more Obama's antagonists stay on this Wright kick, the sooner the voters will get tired of it, and well before the convention, much less the election, people will start to ask: "Is this all you've got? Is that the worst thing you have to hang on this guy?"
The more they harp on it, the sooner we get to the Wright Fatigue state.
Surprise - the MSM hadn't taken care of him for her, Lanny Davis on Huff couldn't get this blown up enough, Obama's speech seems to indicate he would survive this issue, so now Hillary will wade in, in yet another last-ditch effort to find something that will stick and will help her overcome the unsurmountable. More typical Clinton.
Good luck getting the support of African-American church goers in the general election, HRC......
Wright to speak.
she is right
I quit the church of my entire family years ago
common in America
Outrageous. I was ready to dismiss the suggestion that she was deliberately sabotaging Obama so she can run again in 2012 as paranoia, but this makes me rethink. If she runs in 2012, I will NOT vote for her. At this point I'm not sure I would trust her to make principled nominations anyway, and I will not reward this sort of behavior. The fact that the Republican candidate has taken a more divisive stance on this than the REPUBLICAN candidate is embarrassing.
Beguine - mellow out - many months to go
And how the hell do you know what you will do in 2012 - death awaits us all as the unexpected caller
Correction to 6: that first Republican candidate should have been "she". I'm going to call that one a Freudian slip.
Republicans are voting for Hillary en masse in states where open voting is allowed: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2004303769_clinpublicans25.html. This should tell you who the stronger Dem candidate is
@7-Sorry, but I'm done. I've tried to keep the negative comments and flames to a reasonable minimum, and remember that this woman was once my second choice for candidate. She's gone too far on this one. I'm not saying I'm going to start going around saying anyone who supports her is an idiot, but she's just lost my support permanently. If I die before 2012 I rather doubt I'll be voting for anyone, but regardless I will certainly never vote for her.
Jesus Christ! (pardon the expression) When you join a church you belong to the church community, you don't belong to the preacher. The sermon is just 30-40 minutes once a week and is intended to get you thinking. Hillary (a good Methodist) undoubtedly knows this and is just fanning the flames. Yeah, good luck with the Afr-Amer vote on the off-chance (5%) that you get the nomination. Otherwise, thanks so much for poisoning the well. You can go now.
Republicans are voting for Clinton en masse in states with open voting. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2004303769_clinpublicans25.html This should tell you who the Republicans think is the stronger candidate
@10: I guess I don't understand. I completely agree with her. It's one thing if you have a crazy family member. It's another thing if a spiritual guide and mentor is a loon.
The stuff he said from his pulpit, in front of hundred and now millions, his toxic, crazy, and just plain wrong. I can't for the life of me understand why Obama supporters are so proud of their candidate for sticking by this man.
People are their principles. And Wright's principles (at least as represented by these sermons) are scary. Obama has known about all this for close to a year. The duplicity here is staggering.
She had already lost my support long ago. Everytime she, or her campaign, opens its mouth I'm reminded why.
This IS all she's got.
if my family was as douchetarded as wright i would leave them, too.
@3 why is affinity, or in this case affliction, with a someone like wright needed to keep the black church-goers?
I'm entirely willing to judge the totality of a man's life and morals based on 20 seconds of youtube soundbite.
Because, you know, I'm so rational that way....
I have plenty of friends and family who I don't always agree with. Hell, my mother might as well be Sally Kern. But if I was to unload every person in my life whom I don't always agree I'd be very very lonely.
@12. I'm confused. When Republicans vote for Obama, it's because he can bridge the gap, but when they vote for Hillary it's because Obama must be the better candidate?
Because Rush Limbaugh is telling them to vote for Hillary in the primary, for the express purpose of defeating her in November.
You knew the answer.
Eeek! If you're going to get angry in public, at least be white. Scary!
@13-Have you read the full text of the actual sermons or just seen the clips? Those comments, while still harsh (in some cases deliberately so, in an effort to get people to think), and while still indicating an outmoded way of thinking, make a lot more sense in context. I can certainly see embracing the man and the vast majority of what he represents despite disagreeing with some of his stances and language he uses. People are a mix of good and bad and religious officials are allowed to be wrong sometimes. If your pastor never ever says anything remotely controversial they're probably not trying very hard to actually deepen your faith. I'd rather have a pastor I agreed with passionately 90% of the time and disagreed with vehemently 10% of the time then some safe meek little creature that only succeeded in ensuring I got a half hour or so to nap every Sunday.
so this means clinton was on the hook for all her husbands bad shit?
I was kicked out of my church and my family. At least I know HRC is letting me choose or not choose or something.
God I hate that fucking cunt!!!
"Senator Clinton, NOT THIS TIME."
What a vixen!
Bree @ 15:
Because HRC is now explicitly using race to try to swing the election her way.
It's time they start asking her about her involvement in The Family, since she can choose and all.
@ 13 - Wright is a "loon," "just plain wrong" with "scary principles"?
get a grip and brush up on your history:
It's official: I finally hate Hillary Clinton.
Sorry, The Fellowship, not The Family.
Sure wish I could choose a new Pope!
I will not reward this sort of behavior.
Hillary's not free to choose a new husband?
Just in case the first one is a serial philanderer?
It would be interesting to see how this plays out in Middle America. The most likely result is that white people get a-skeered of the black man and vote accordingly. But is it possible there could be blowback? A significant number of Americans attend churches with hateful views, even liberal Catholics still cling to the Church to some degree. Hillary is basically telling people of faith: if there's anything wrong with your church or your pastor, it reflects badly on you.
The Pgh. Tribune Review is a hard right-wing bird-cage liner, basically the second newspaper in a one paper market. It is owned and kept afloat by the $$$ of Richard Mellon Scaife, who also financed the "Swift Boat" liars who libeled John Kerry. Just an FYI. He probably listens to Limbaugh too, possibly from below Rush's desk.
It sounds to me like she is saying that she thinks we can get around to gay marriage after she changes her church.
No need to take offense. Sheesh.
I can only hope that the scratching sound I'm hearing is the media digging through HRC's church's archives for anything remotely controversial her pastor has ever said.
Yes, Senator Clinton, I am absolutely convinced that you would bolt, in a New York minute, from a church that you realized had a minister saying things that could harm you politically...
Sen Clinton has a pastor?
I thought she was Muslim ... like Sen McCain?
HRC is probably not Muslim, as far as I know.
Wright was right.
“He would not have been my pastor,” Clinton said.
That is because every millisecond of Hillary Clinton's life is calculated ahead of time for its political ramifications.
I take it from this post's title, and from the usual hysterical overreaction of Obama suppporters in the comment threads, that we're supposed to interpret this as the nefarious Clinton keeping a dead issue alive for political gain.
However, I see that this statement was made in an "interview." Is it POSSIBLE that she mentioned Wright because THE REPORTER ASKED ABOUT HIM? Is she not allowed to answer direct questions now?
It's the Clinton way, get caught red-handed lying your balls off, and try to turn the attention elsewhere. She's beneath contempt. The only thing she should be nominated for is an appearance on that Intervention show.
@43 so? if you are asked something that entitles you to take the low road? or did you not see mccain's reply when he was asked if he would attend such a church: Obviously, that would not be my choice. But I do know Sen. Obama. He does not share those views.
probs hilz got axed by the reporter. she should have dodged or dismissed the issue. i'd have to see the video to know whether it was conscious or not.
@42: do you think obama's attendance at that church was NOT political calculation? he wasn't raised christian, that's for sure. i believe his christianity is politically expedient (as is hilz' & grampa's), and i'm for him 100%.
the MoJo link about Clinton's "loony," "scary-principled," and just plain wrong" gender segregated Christian cell seems broken, so here is a long excerpt:
“Clinton's God talk is more complicated—and more deeply rooted—than either fans or foes would have it, a revelation not just of her determination to out-Jesus the GOP, but of the powerful religious strand in her own politics. Over the past year, we've interviewed dozens of Clinton's friends, mentors, and pastors about her faith, her politics, and how each shapes the other. And while media reports tend to characterize Clinton's subtle recalibration of tone and style as part of the Democrats' broader move to recapture the terrain of "moral values," those who know her say there's far more to it than that.
Through all of her years in Washington, Clinton has been an active participant in conservative Bible study and prayer circles that are part of a secretive Capitol Hill group known as the Fellowship. Her collaborations with right-wingers such as Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and former Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) grow in part from that connection.
"A lot of evangelicals would see that as just cynical exploitation," says the Reverend Rob Schenck, a former leader of the militant anti-abortion group Operation Rescue who now ministers to decision makers in Washington. "I don't....there is a real good that is infected in people when they are around Jesus talk, and open Bibles, and prayer."
When Clinton first came to Washington in 1993, one of her first steps was to join a Bible study group. For the next eight years, she regularly met with a Christian "cell" whose members included Susan Baker, wife of Bush consigliere James Baker; Joanne Kemp, wife of conservative icon Jack Kemp; Eileen Bakke, wife of Dennis Bakke, a leader in the anti-union Christian management movement; and Grace Nelson, the wife of Senator Bill Nelson, a conservative Florida Democrat.
Clinton's prayer group was part of the Fellowship (or "the Family"), a network of sex-segregated cells of political, business, and military leaders dedicated to "spiritual war" on behalf of Christ, many of them recruited at the Fellowship's only public event, the annual National Prayer Breakfast. (Aside from the breakfast, the group has "made a fetish of being invisible," former Republican Senator William Armstrong has said.) The Fellowship believes that the elite win power by the will of God, who uses them for his purposes. Its mission is to help the powerful understand their role in God's plan.
Clinton declined our requests for an interview about her faith, but in Living History, she describes her first encounter with Fellowship leader Doug Coe at a 1993 lunch with her prayer cell at the Cedars, the Fellowship's majestic estate on the Potomac. Coe, she writes, "is a unique presence in Washington: a genuinely loving spiritual mentor and guide to anyone, regardless of party or faith, who wants to deepen his or her relationship with God."
The Fellowship's ideas are essentially a blend of Calvinism and Norman Vincent Peale, the 1960s preacher of positive thinking. It's a cheery faith in the "elect" chosen by a single voter—God—and a devotion to Romans 13:1: "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers....The powers that be are ordained of God." Or, as Coe has put it, "we work with power where we can, build new power where we can't."
The Fellowship's long-term goal is "a leadership led by God—leaders of all levels of society who direct projects as they are led by the spirit." According to the Fellowship's archives, the spirit has in the past led its members in Congress to increase U.S. support for the Duvalier regime in Haiti and the Park dictatorship in South Korea.
The Fellowship's God-led men have also included General Suharto of Indonesia; Honduran general and death squad organizer Gustavo Alvarez Martinez; a Deutsche Bank official disgraced by financial ties to Hitler; and dictator Siad Barre of Somalia, plus a list of other generals and dictators. Clinton, says Schenck, has become a regular visitor to Coe's Arlington, Virginia, headquarters, a former convent where Coe provides members of Congress with sex-segregated housing and spiritual guidance.
We contacted all of Clinton's Fellowship cell mates, but only one agreed to speak—though she stressed that there's much she's not "at liberty" to reveal. Grace Nelson used to be the organizer of the Florida Governor's Prayer Breakfast, which makes her a piety broker in Florida politics—she would decide who could share the head table with Jeb Bush. Clinton's prayer cell was tight-knit, according to Nelson, who recalled that one of her conservative prayer partners was at first loath to pray for the first lady, but learned to "love Hillary as much as any of us love Hillary."
Cells like these, Nelson added, exist in "parliaments all over the world," with all welcome so long as they submit to "the person of Jesus" as the source of their power.
Coe counsels that Fellowship cells shouldn't engage in direct evangelical activism, but rather allow Christian causes to benefit from the bonds that develop within the cells. Former Nixon counsel Chuck Colson provides a rare illustration of the process in his 1976 Watergate memoir, Born Again. Facing prosecution in 1973, Colson allowed Coe to ensconce him in a Fellowship cell with a Nixon foe, Senator Harold Hughes. Hughes became the Nixon hatchet man's staunchest defender, voting in favor of a possible pardon for Colson and later supporting Colson as he built Prison Fellowship, now one of the most powerful organizations of the Christian right.
That's how it works: The Fellowship isn't out to turn liberals into conservatives; rather, it convinces politicians they can transcend left and right with an ecumenical faith that rises above politics. Only the faith is always evangelical, and the politics always move rightward.
These days, Clinton has graduated from the political wives' group into what may be Coe's most elite cell, the weekly Senate Prayer Breakfast. Though weighted Republican, the breakfast—regularly attended by about 40 members—is a bipartisan opportunity for politicians to burnish their reputations, giving Clinton the chance to profess her faith with men such as Brownback as well as the twin terrors of Oklahoma, James Inhofe and Tom Coburn, and, until recently, former Senator George Allen (R-Va.). Democrats in the group include Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor, who told us that the separation of church and state has gone too far; Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) is also a regular.
Unlikely partnerships have become a Clinton trademark. Some are symbolic, such as her support for a ban on flag burning with Senator Bob Bennett (R-Utah) and funding for research on the dangers of video games with Brownback and Santorum. But Clinton has also joined the GOP on legislation that redefines social justice issues in terms of conservative morality, such as an anti-human-trafficking law that withheld funding from groups working on the sex trade if they didn't condemn prostitution in the proper terms.
With Santorum, Clinton co-sponsored the Workplace Religious Freedom Act; she didn't back off even after Republican senators such as Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter pulled their names from the bill citing concerns that the measure would protect those refusing to perform key aspects of their jobs—say, pharmacists who won't fill birth control prescriptions, or police officers who won't guard abortion clinics.
Clinton has championed federal funding of faith-based social services, which she embraced years before George W. Bush did; Marci Hamilton, author of God vs. the Gavel, says that the Clintons' approach to faith-based initiatives "set the stage for Bush." Clinton has also long supported the Defense of Marriage Act, a measure that has become a purity test for any candidate wishing to avoid war with the Christian right.”
What low road? What's wrong with her statement? How does it differ substantially from McCain's statement? She said what she herself would have done in those circumstances, not anything about Obama. Perhaps she considers herself able to make different choices from Obama without implying moral censure.
I note the story implicitly acknowledges that the newspaper, not Clinton, raised the Wright issue: "...Clinton herself, responding to a question this morning at the Trib, denounced what she said was 'hate speech.'"
@47 - Yes, Obama may be doing it for the same reasons. But, he seems sincere about just about everything, and Hillary rarely does.
Playing a little word association, Obama is to Hillary as Sales is to Marketing.
Yes, Clinton is keeping "Wright" alive and Obama is keeping the Kosovo situation alive. What's your point?
Right. Because a United States presidential candidate can have whatever religious beliefs they want to and there won't be any political consequences.
I really have to wonder how the beliefs of college-educated lawyers like Obama and Clinton jive with the belief that Noah rounded up two of every animal on a boat to survive a flood, that the holy spirit tickled the private parts of a virgin, who then gave birth to the savior of man, and that that man went on to be buried behind a giant boulder, only to rise from the dead and move the boulder in order to reach his rightful place in a happy-fun-land not observed by any human, past or present.
Religion HAS to be a sham for these people. It HAS to be. If I had to put money on it, I'd say that Clinton and Obama aren't very religious at all. I've come to accept that about political candidates, especially reality/science-based candidates (ie Democrats), with the underlying belief that most are simply putting on a show for the droolers. Until an atheist or agnostic has a fighting chance in hell to be elected president I'm just going to have to deal with that fact.
That said, beliefs/faith is not the focus of church for many people. It's often about community, where your friends are, how close it is to your house, whether your parents went there, social acceptance, and on and on. For presidential candidates, it could easily be part of a larger political calculation. The fact that they go to any church scores them major points with the public. I'm willing to bet most people don't give a damn what Obama's pastor thinks, they just like that he goes to a church, ANY church, as long as Jesus is on the wall somewhere.
Clinton calling for Obama to leave his church is pretty disingenuous, as if her pastor never said anything wacky or offensive? I don't think Hillary would be comfortable laying out in a big media environment what the unique beliefs of her particular denomination are, let alone the beliefs of her particular minister, yet she calls attention to Obama. Does she really want to play the "anyone but Huckabee and Romney is probably a hypocrite" game?
fluteprof @13 (among others): It is painfully obvious that you were not raised in the church and have never belonged to a congregation. Since you haven't, why would you speculate about why people stay and why they leave? Other than to demonstrate your ignorance, that is. How many people have left the Roman Catholic Church since it started being run by an ex-Nazi?
@35 is right on the money. Not only was Scaife supporting swiftboating, he was underwriting all the investigations of Arkansas troopers, Jennifer Flowers, et al. so that he could set up Kenneth Starr.
The Trib is a joke, our local Dog Trainer. But the fact that Clinton would grant them an extended interview -- after boycotting MSNBC for their "pimping out Chelsea" comment -- is just plain creepy.
Hmmm, Outspoken Preacher for 20 years vs. Outright Lie about event.
After reading #48, maybe Clinton *is* a fundy. Yikes.
I didn't mean to say that Clinton "called for" Obama to change churches, which she didn't come right out and do, but she did the whole "if I were him I would do N" thing. Point being, are we to assume that Clinton agrees whole-heartedly with everything her denomination believes and everything her pastor has said? Because otherwise, she would have switched churches, right?
This should set off a full-scale search of the collected works of every pastor of every church she's ever attended. Think there's anything she ever heard in a church in Arkansas that she wouldn't want re-printed for mainstream america?
Hey press corps, go do your jobs and see if she stands up to the standard she just set for herself.
W7ngman, why do say religion HAS to be a sham right be fore you point out that belief/faith is not the focus of church for many people?
Ugh, I'm going to come right out and say it: characterizing church-goers as "droolers" is racist. Your Dawkins worship aside many people go to Black churches in particular because they do essential work for the community. There simply have not been any substitutes that have as reliably been there for black people. The whole Dawkins atheist circle jerk is by, for, and of privileged yuppies who believe that their understanding of science is equal to enlightenment & that because their lives have been just dandy w/o a church that other people don't have good reasons to be church goers.
"Racist"? The credulous are a race?
I've never read Dawkins criticizing anyone for joining a community, but only for making ridiculous claims.
The church canceled Wright's appearance.
Fine, OK, that was a bit much, I substitute a yet-to-be-determined word on the human side of racist.
What is a ridiculous claim is that you'd have to be an idiot or a "drooler" to be a part of a church. What is ignorant is thinking that someone active in the black community and doing so as part of a church should have as their priority removing the mythological portions of church teaching. Or that someone attending church is particularly credulous.
Last time I was at a black church the pastor talked about the importance of not relying on prayer to treat diabetes but to get to the hospital and follow your doctors advice.
Didn't one of the candidates say something once about actions not words?
Because somehow Hillary had no problem staying on the board of Wal-Mart for 6 years as it fought against labor unions and imported cheap foreign products while American (union-made) manufacturing was being decimated. So, clearly her principles only go as far as saying she would have followed them after it becomes a matter of public interest.
daniel, people who affiliate with an organization that teaches ridiculous things may not be there primarily for that reason, but that's still a property of the organization. If Ms. Clinton thinks someone should quit an organization because of the leader's political views, it's reasonable to question why she'd stay in an organization that espouses irrational nonsense and teaches that unreasoned faith is a virtue.
Of course, I'm not getting my hopes up that someone will actually ask her that.
@49 david, you really can't see the difference between the answer mccain gave and the answer clinton gave?
atheists seem to find it strange that others believe in god, regardless of how limited, or cultural, or traditional the role religion plays in those others' lives. i know it's popular here on slog to say all religions are like FSM, and the follower's are all idiots or faking it. i don't, however, think thats true. i think there are many intelligent people who have varying views on god, spirituality, religion, tradition, family, culture and community.
to suggest it is a virtue to lie about faith seems odd.
Clinton is right. I quit the Catholic Church after my local priest gave a fierce anti-choice sermon, and I realized (1) my complicity in the wrongness of the Church's position and (2) the hypocrisy of the 50+% of Catholics who support choice, but sat there silently. I was 16 years old.
Fuck Wright, and fuck his ultra-partisan defenders. Saying that AIDS was created to kill black people has NO ACCEPTABLE CONTEXT. I will support Obama if he's the nominee, but this shit makes me like him a ton less.
#58, methinks your reading comprehension is a bit lacking?
How did you get Dawkins worship from that? Everyone that doesn't have faith is now an atheist and a Dawkins worshipper? I don't like atheism any more than I like theism. They are two sides of the same coin.
I wasn't calling religion a sham. I was saying it is a sham for a lot of college-educated politicians such as Clinton or Obama. I'm merely speculating that many of the college-educated people who do become viable candidates are also the same type of people that tend not to have strong religious beliefs, however, a presidential candidate has to be a Christian in this country to be remotely viable. If a presidential candidate were openly atheist or agnostic, they wouldn't have a chance in hell. So, it wouldn't surprise me to find out that an educated agnostic politican would pretend to be a bit religious and go to church in order to have a shot at the presidency. These are politicians we're talking about, after all.
Obama doesn't seem like the type to put the same amount of faith in the Apostles Creed as he does the U.S. Constitution, but he had to practically recite it on the teevee to dispel the rumors that he is Islamic. That is the sham.
I didn't explain the drooler thing very well, either, but I thought the next sentence and my first paragraph would provide enough context. I wasn't calling all religious people droolers. I was referring only to religious people that would not vote for someone who doesn't have the same religious beliefs as them. They are most certainly droolers, and yes, I think I am better than them. Sue me.
#65, I don't know if that's directed at me, or pox, or elsewhere, but I wasn't suggesting it's a virtue. Quite the opposite, actually, but I do recognizing it as an unfortunate political necessity. I realize lots of intelligent people have intelligent views on religion. I don't mind religious people, really, unless they think I'm wrong. What does bother me are preachy fundies and fundy-esque atheists (ie most of them).
She can say whatever, but her end is near.
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