Too bad Tip O’Neill is dead, because Barack Obama could benefit from his wisdom. I had a conversation last night with my pastor, a man named Calvin. He is like Jeremiah Wright in only one aspect–he has retired from his official duties. Unlike Wright, I have never heard a hateful, vile, or racist rant from him and he continues working to touch the lives of people.
As we discussed the Wright rant, my former pastor recounted the words of Tip O’Neill, the former Speaker of the House, as they played golf twenty years ago. The subject was the role of pastors in speaking out on hot political topics. Tip told Cal:
Politicians need to learn an important skill. If you are hearing things that go against your values you get up and walk out.
The common sense of Tip O’Neill is sorely lacking in the life and campaign of Barack Obama. Most Americans have already seen clips of Wright’s racist and hateful rants. But he’s not the only religious adviser close to Barack with a knack for intemperate comments. Consider the following gentlemen.
There is the Catholic priest, Michael Pfleger. This video speaks for itself.
UPDATE: Fr. Pfleger’s endorsement of Barack Obama is on Obama’s official Web site:
(Click on the image to see the full-sized screenshot of Pfleger’s endorsement proudly displayed by Barack Obama.)
Then there is Wright’s replacement at Trinity, Otis Moss. Moss’s Easter rant is already known to many:
And let’s not forget the “Reverend” James Meeks. A homophobe who believes “nigger” is a term of endearment.
Why does Barack align himself with so many radical religious leaders? [PHOTO: Father Pfleger together with Louis Farrakhan.]
Each of these men have been listed by Barack’s campaign as religious advisers. So we are not talking about merely constituents who support Barack. We are talking about people that Barack has invited to be a part of his campaign. Which raises the more important question. Barack says he disagrees with their views. Okay. Then what are they advising him on? Fashion tips? Ethnic cuisine? Movies? And it is only as media attention is focused on their bizarre behavior that Barack’s campaign starts scrambling to erase them from the Obama website.
These clips demonstrate that it ain’t just a black thing. Pfleger looks like your typical white man to me. So we can conclude that saying crazy things from a pulpit is not caused by one’s skin color. It goes to the issue of character. Senator Obama has demonstrated a consistent pattern of reaching out to clergy who occupy the most extreme fringes of Christianity. Why does he do that?
I do not hold Barack Obama accountable or responsible for what these pastors say. But I do hold him accountable for putting them in an advisory position with his campaign. But most important, I fault Barack for not having the wisdom of Tip O’Neill. He just does not know that there are times when he needs to get up and walk out.