Pretty much what I wanted to say
Southern Beale has a post up on the Obama/Rev. Wright thing and pretty much not only encompasses it for me but expands on the subject:
Wright is being attacked for his sermons. Not for things he said on Meet The Press or a column he wrote in the New York Times, or a book he recently published--not even for his appearances at a political event, a la “Justice Sunday” or “Renew America.” No, clips of Rev. Wright’s sermons have been removed from their religious, social and cultural context and trotted out for public critique by people with a political agenda.
But now we have a pastor speaking out against the government. He has called on his congregation to question those actions the government has taken in their name. And all hell breaks loose. An election could be changed. A candidate must denounce his pastor’s words. And religious leaders all across the country are no doubt wondering if their words will be picked apart in the same way. Will there be consequences for speaking out about an injustice they see?
Hell, let's take a look at what can happen when governments feel religious leaders are getting a bit too troublesome:
By 1980, amidst overarching violence, Romero wrote to President Jimmy Carter pleading with him to cease sending military aid because he wrote, "it is being used to repress my people." The U.S. sent $1.5 million in aid every day for 12 years. His letter went unheeded. Two months later he would be assassinated.
On March 23 Romero walked into the fire. He openly challenged an army of peasants, whose high command feared and hated his reputation. Ending a long homily broadcast throughout the country, his voice rose to breaking, "Brothers, you are from the same people; you kill your fellow peasant . . . No soldier is obliged to obey an order that is contrary to the will of God . . . "
There was thunderous applause; he was inviting the army to mutiny. Then his voice burst, "In the name of God then, in the name of this suffering people I ask you, I beg you, I command you in the name of God: stop the repression."
No, I'm not suggesting the government would send a death squad after Rev. Wright. But think about, as S.B. said, the chilling effect this puts on religious figures.
Not as if the opposition gets held to the same standard, though, of course. John McCain can consort with people like John Hagee and Rod Parsley whose views would make Jesus puke (to put it mildly) and nobody objects.
At July 19th, 2006 Washington DC inaugural event for CUFI, after recorded greeting from George W. Bush, with four US Senators and the Israeli ambassador to the US in attendance, Pastor John Hagee stated : "the United States must join Israel in a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God's plan for both Israel and the West... a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation, and Second Coming of Christ."
The spirit of Islam, he maintains, is one of hostility. He asserts that the religion "inspired" the 9/11 attacks. He bemoans the fact that in the years after 9/11, 34,000 Americans "have become Muslim" and that there are "some 1,209 mosques" in America. Islam, he declares, is a "faith that fully intends to conquer the world" through violence. The United States, he insists, "has historically understood herself as a bastion against Islam," but "history is crashing in upon us."
At the end of his chapter on Islam, Parsley asks, "Are we a Christian nation? I say yes." Without specifying what actions should be taken to eradicate the religion, he essentially calls for a new crusade.
But of course their views hold to the core of the wingnut foreign policy, such as it is, therefore there's no need for worry about it, right?
Not as if they're talking about silly liberal stuff like racial inequality and lack of justice and all that. No, they're just talking genocide, which is totally different, after all. They're not contradicting the government or making white people uncomfortable, so they get a pass.