May 3, 2008

E. J. Dionne: Fair Play for False Prophets

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , , , — Volt @ 6:43 am

E.J. Dionne Jr., The Washington Post, May 2, 2008

NEW YORK — Do white right-wing preachers have it easier than black left-wing preachers? Is there a double standard?

The political explosion around the Rev. Jeremiah Wright was inevitable, given Wright’s personal closeness to Barack Obama and the outrageous rubbish the pastor has offered about AIDS, Sept. 11 and Louis Farrakhan.

After Wright’s bizarre and narcissistic performance at the National Press Club on Monday, Obama would have looked weak and irresolute had he not denounced him. But if there was a moment of courage in this drama, it was not Obama’s condemnation of Wright but his earlier and now much-criticized effort to avoid a complete break with his unapologetic pastor.

In March, Obama tried to explain the anger in the black community and insisted that “to condemn it without understanding its roots only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races.”

In light of this racial gap, it’s worth pondering why white, right-wing preachers who make ridiculous and sometimes shameful statements usually emerge with their influence intact.

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April 29, 2008

Obama’s Cross to Bear

Filed under: Toon — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Volt @ 7:09 am

April 17, 2008

Let the Bitter, Gun-toting, Religious and Racist…

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April 16, 2008

But I’m Not Bitter…

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March 31, 2008

Rip Van Obama

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March 29, 2008

Obama and the Class Question

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , — Volt @ 4:37 pm

Richard Florida, The Globe and Mail, March 29, 2008

For the past two weeks, all eyes have focused on Barack Obama and race. A couple of weeks ago, it was Hillary Clinton’s gender. A month before that, it was all about the Obama surge among young voters.

Pundits on all sides have framed this election – and especially the Democratic primary – as turning on the traditional fault lines of race, gender and generation.

The talk shows go on and on about how Mr. Obama is attracting black and young voters and how Ms. Clinton finds her voice among women and baby boomers.

But what is seldom discussed and yet most interesting about this election is not any young-vs.-old, black-vs.-white, or male-vs.-female dynamic.

At bottom, both the Democratic primary and the upcoming general election turn on an even deeper economic and social force: class.

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March 21, 2008

Lemme Hear You Say… Amen!

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March 5, 2008

Mark Morford: How to Abandon Your God

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Volt @ 6:54 pm

Mark Morford, The San Francisco Gate, March 5, 2008

This much we know: God is failing.

Or more accurately, God is mutating. Changing. In flux. Becoming perhaps slightly less appealing as a dogmatic force of rigid closed-minded sit-down-and-shut-up paternal scowling and becoming perhaps more fluid, interesting, dynamic, unspecified, something you actually want to take into your heart and into your mouth and lick until you find the rich, creamy center and then define that taste for yourself, blissfully independent of what your parents or priest or president tells you, until you reach that point of deeper knowing where you can’t help but go a-ha.

It’s all part of that big new study from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, released just recently and ripe and ready to be spun a thousand different ways, the one that contains the big whopper of a statistic that says 28 percent of Americans have abandoned the religion they grew up with and have taken up another one, or none at all, or maybe more than one because polytheism certainly sounds tasty and, you know, what the hell, right?

It’s not really all that shocking. People change religions. People swap denominations. People evolve, go to college, learn to think (and seek meaning) for themselves, change their minds or marry someone of a different belief or go through a personal revelation, or actually experience the spiritual/intellectual epiphany that reveals how all religions are one and God is not “out there” and you are not here to be its meek sinful guilty mindless servant.

And maybe you go even further, as you realize that it’s actually quite dangerous and small-minded to hew too closely to one narrow way of seeing/feeling/tasting the divine as you perhaps come to the slippery conclusion that it’s all about co-creating God in your own way and, therefore, any religion that contains more than one person (that is to say, you) is deviously suspicious and apocryphal at best, unhealthy and destructive at worst. Or maybe that’s just me.

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