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.

farr-and-pfle.jpgWhy 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.

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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.
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  • Mrs. Phoenix

    What an angry jerk. No wonder Mrs. Obambi is so bitter and hates whites. She’s been sitting through out her adult life listening to hate speech but yet enjoys the luxury of Affirmative Action.

    That Alex guy posting: He must be a Farrakhan soldier. Hey Alex, God Bless America. God Damn America really offends the American citizens. Thats us not you. Do you have another country like Africa, you owe your allegiance to? Great, Ship out.

  • Mrs. Phoenix

    What an angry jerk. No wonder Mrs. Obambi is so bitter and hates whites. She’s been sitting through out her adult life listening to hate speech but yet enjoys the luxury of Affirmative Action.

    That Alex guy posting: He must be a Farrakhan soldier. Hey Alex, God Bless America. God Damn America really offends the American citizens. Thats us not you. Do you have another country like Africa, you owe your allegiance too? Great, Ship out.

  • Alex

    You folks on this blog are fucking nuts! What did the reverend say that was so wrong and so un-american? You all must be offended because its true! Fucking idiots!

  • mercey

    This article does a good job breaking it down

    Obama ‘transcends’ mere investigation

    …”Wright, Obama explained, spoke “as if our society was static; as if no progress has been made. … But …what we have seen is that America can change.” So, to prove Wright wrong, vote for Obama. He stuck to his narrative. He sold the story: Person A finds Wright’s words sinister. Person B thinks they capture the anger of the black experience. Only Obama-the-uniter understands both perspectives.

    Postmodernism’s farewell to reason was obvious in Obama’s speech, whose sloganeering reached new heights. Slogans play well to those unwilling to investigate claims or make judgments, and Obama has mastered language that, though sounding significant, is devoid of any concrete meaning.

    In the postmodern world, concreteness is bad. So is consistency, that one-time virtue replaced by adaptability. Obama modifies his image and, yes, delivers speeches according to what he needs others to see.

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  • I particularly loved Obamas comment about if the paster hadn’t retired, I would have quit. I thought that was a nice touch for a guy who sat in one of Wright’s Peee Ewwws for 2 decades.

  • J. Silverheels

    Louis Farrakhan is a dirty scoundrel. He helped kill Officer Phillip Cardillo.

    I, for one, will do everything in my (admittedly feeble) power to see he does not become President.

    Remember Phillip Cardillo!

  • Bobbi

    Susan and Larry, Please go the web site of Canada Free Press and read the article by Lee Kaplan title,
    “How Obama’s Church and Associate Link Him to ISM.”
    This is real scary and we must get this out to the public. We do not know Obama and what he stands for and his associations with not so upright people. What can we do to get the word out before we make a serious mistake in the nomination for our party?

  • moll

    I can’t view the video. It says not available any more.

    Can you find a transcript or something?

  • Andy

    The YouTube video the Trumpeteer Awards Gala video ‘honoring’ Farrakhan (retching here) :

    “When Minister Louis Farrakhan speaks, America listens…For his commitment to truth, education and leadership, we honor Minister Louis Farrakhan with the Rev. Jeremiah W. Wright Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award.”

    has been pulled out !! Many of you have alluded to this… Keeps going and going.

  • Cee Hussein

    Michael Pfleger.

    I was waiting for his name to come up. He pissed some people off for calling out some bigots.

    All praise to Pfleger!

    The majority vote of the Southside Catholic Conference to deny the entrance of a Black Catholic Church, St. Sabina, into its youth sports league on grounds that its neighborhood is too dangerous to play in has sparked a heated discussion in Chicago over faith and race. At the center of the controversy is Rev. Michael Pfleger, the White pastor of St. Sabina’s who, for years, has challenged the Catholic Church to become more responsive to racism, and a man who has a very unique relationship with Nation Of Islam Leader Minister Louis Farrakhan.

    Father Pfleger, as he is commonly known, believes that the vote against St. Sabina’s entrance into the sports league was racist at its core and he has publicly stated as much. Others have vociferously countered that Father Pfleger’s charge is unfounded and that the decision to keep St. Sabina’s youth out of the sports league is a reasonable one based solely on concerns for the safety of the current members of the league, who are predominately White. They cite statistics detailing a relatively high level of crime in the St. Sabina’s neighborhood as evidence to support their claim. In response, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and Chicago police department officials have stated that they believe that the St. Sabina neighborhood is safe enough to host youth sports and that additional provisions can easily be arranged to increase the level of security in the neighborhood.

    The Roman Catholic Archdiocese has publicly questioned the vote of the Southside Catholic Conference and released a statement that challenged the basis of the decision keeping St. Sabina’s out.

    A recent article in the Chicago Sun-Times covered the church’s position. It wrote:

    Officials of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago said Thursday that the actions of some of the intramural league’s members could be construed as racist.

    “If the reason reported–`fear by certain coaches and parishes for the safety of their children’–is the sole reason for the decision, it is not an acceptable reason,” the archdiocese’s leaders wrote in a two-page statement.

    “Such a reason presupposes that all black neighborhoods are intrinsically less safe than all white neighborhoods and that white parents and children have more reasons to fear for their safety in the black community than black parents and children do in the white community,” they wrote.

    Even former Chicago Bear, Defensive Tackle, Christopher Zorich, weighed in on the matter.

    In a letter to the Chicago Sun-Times Chris Zorich wrote:

    As a member of the St. Sabina family, I am terribly disappointed in last week’s Southside Catholic Conference 11-9 vote denying St. Sabina entrance into its athletic conference. As a native Chicagoan, words cannot express my disgust.

    • Andy

      Is your post a sick joke? Are you in your right mind when praising Pflegen and Farrakhan?

      Are you saying that if say Hitler called someone a fascist then he is to be praised?

      Ugh!! More disgusting that a filthy gutter rat.

      • Cee Hussein


        Pflegen was right. It is also desperate and ignorant to keep comparing people to Hitler.

        Ugh!! More disgusting that a filthy gutter rat.

        Did your mother teach you this?

  • Fleaflicker

    Pfleger’s gestures are eerily reminiscent of Hitler.

    • Cee Hussein


      What kind of fool are you? LOL!!

  • AmyinSC

    As a (retired) minister, I can tell you – if you preach a sermon people don’t like, you will hear about it. Quickly. SO, yes – if people are still sitting there, they are getting SOMETHING out of it.

    Along those lines, I cannot imagine choosing someone as a spiritual mentor with whom I completely disagreed, if Obama is to be believed (and he shouldn’t be, IMHO).

    I should say that I studied with Jim Cone (and Cornel West) at Union Theo. Sem. (M.Div., ’86), and had Dwight Hopkins as a TA. Never did I hear either one of them rant and rave with hateful invectives as Wright, Meeks, and Moss do. Now, I admit – that was a while ago, but it seems counter to the liberation theology I was taught at Union (the hate part – not the liberation part). It is sad to me that great thinkers are being tarnished by the association with Wright and his hate mongering (because honestly – that is what it is. And political, to boot, which is unacceptable in a non-profit church. Even though I am a Unitarian Universalist, a tradition that has long enbraced political activism, we do NOT tell people for whom they should or should not vote from the pulpit!).

    In any event, Larry is absolutely right – you can tell a person by his associates, and what Obama’s associates say about him is NOT GOOD.

    • Fleaflicker

      Thank you for everything you said.

  • anna shane

    I’d be perfectly willing to give Obama a pass on his bigoted pastor, if he’d run an ethical campaign. The only person, it seems, he can’t give his expensive empathy too is working women, and that says more about his judgement than his nutty pastor. He has some nerve, when it comes to speaking Hillary hate. wonder if he can stand up to any guys?

  • Barb

    Has Obama ever gone on record as to whether he agrees or disagrees with TUCC’s “Black Value System” and “Liberation Theology”?

    Just curious.

  • ddh312

    I offer a quote from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that seems particularly relevant with regard to Barack Obama’s attendance at Rev. Wright’s house of “worship” for the past TWO decades and in light of some extremely “controversial” sermons viewed recently by so many of us Americans:

    “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

    And another: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

    Senator Obama certainly had the right to sit through Rev. Wright’s variety of sermons. He also had the right — and I asssume the ability — to get up and walk away. And he could have done so either during or after such sermons. He made his choice. Enough said.

    • JoeySky

      yes. there is no point trying to scramble himself out of the Wright issue. He need to be held accountable for his action. If not now, how we can hold him accountable as POTUS.

  • Kevin

    Larry, Again I ask – why the double standard.

    The Family is an anti-democratic and elistist, sex-segregated fundamentalist power cult and influence-peddling ring with ties to brutal dictatorships. Hillary Clinton is not responsible for every last statement to issue from the mouth of Doug Coe but she most certainly is responsible for her association with The Family.

    If ideas and associations have consequences for Obama, why does this not apply equally to Hillary?

    And for the record – I think Tip would have issues with both candidates, the current DNC leadership and the mess w/ Florida and Michigan

  • Whatever happened with Kirbyjon Caldwell? He came out for Obama and the campaign backtracked on that one real quick. Obama reminds me of Bush on too many levels and to have someone who was Bush’s spiritual advisor to then endorse Obama was eerie. I think he backed off from Kirbyjon quickly, so the connection is tenuous, but it makes me wonder….

  • Diane

    Chris Matthews should be reminded of Tip O’Neill’s quote.

    • Michaela22

      I asked Tweety that not to long ago on something else he said…I told him Tip,a gentlemen’s gentlemen would be turning over in his grave listening to all this bull and he sure would not be proud of Matthews antics. Tip O’Neil would never turn on another democrat and he sure would not use in public the language that Matthews does…Gosh! I sure miss the real politicians…

    • What do you expect from a guy who declares on National TV that he gets a “sensation” up his leg when Obama speaks.

  • JSilverheels


    I thought it was obvious that I was supplying a Farrakhan quote. (Pfleger included Farrakhan in his shout-out of black heroes. Oddly, he included Malcolm X, who was killed on orders of the NoI.)

    The Hitler quote:

    The ADL site doesn’t have that quote but it has others that are just as bad:

    Why does Pfleger scream in a fake ebonic accent?

    • Andy

      Thanks for the links JSilverheels.

  • AF catfish

    Especially a politician, a person in a position of leadership. You need to get up and walk out. To not is to approve and even encourage that kind of hate.

  • ebonyscrews
  • Silver

    I live in a small Midwestern city, and several years ago there was a horrible minister in town who spewed out all sorts of hateful rhetoric. I was especially offended by his anti-gay garbage. Before long, the local TV channel aired his “sermons” (and I use that term loosely) on Sunday mornings. Occasionally when I’d click through the channels, I’d witness a few minutes of his fire and brimstone. I’d look at the audience and think, “How sad that he is poisoning the minds of all those poor people.” It suddenly occurred to me one day that the minister wasn’t doing ANYTHING to them. They must have already held similar beliefs in their hearts, otherwise they wouldn’t have given him the time of day. He was simply a megaphone to express their collective voices. Everytime I heard that awful minster speak, it was like a screeching violin out of tune. But apparently to his parishioners, he must have been music to their ears. That’s why I don’t understand why anyone would even think of giving Obama a free pass on this issue.

    • Melissa

      WOW! You just summed it all up!

      THANK YOU!

    • sjc-tx

      Comment by Silver….

      Yes you have said it well. Why would anyone think of giving obama a free pass on this issue. He is a consumate CON man; his ‘speech’ does nothing more than prove that.
      And how would he manage to ‘convince’ so many without the bias media telling people what to think. It’s truly frightening on its face.

    • Michaela22

      You sure did sum that up…the answer was always right there in front of us and I, for one, didn’t realize it…Obama sat there because he wanted to and he believed in what the Reverend was saying…WOW!

  • kenoshaMarge

    That man, and the men he is praising do not have the faintest idea what it means to be a Christian.

    Pfleger says he thought he lived in the land of the free. Well Pfleger, I won’t dignify you by calling you “father”, you do live in the land of the free. Wright and Farrakhan are perfectly free to spout their hate. And we are perfectly free to find their words unacceptable. And we are free to decide that we don’t want someone sitting in the White House that is willing to sit in a pew and listen to that kind of rhetoric for 20 years.

    So many seem to think that a free society has to necessarily accept what others are free to say. We aren’t and we don’t.

  • John D

    Seriously, this people need to chill out. Why are they so angry?

  • JSilverheels

    That priest is probably the craziest of the lot.

    “The Jews don’t like Farrakhan, so they call me Hitler. Well, that’s a good name. Hitler was a very great man.”

    Louis Farrakhan

    • Andy

      Woah…. This is a nightmare….

      Does anyone know how to make this info more public?
      I hate to suggest this but it must be sent to Fox.
      ABC ?

      • rwc

        I know the conservative blogosphere is well aware of this stuff. Which means talk radio has it as well.

        And if Hillary loses(which also makes her irrelevant to the Right) you can bet that the conservative blogosphere and talk radio will go full throttle on Obama.

        Remember there is no off switch for the Right Wing attack machine.

        As for the MSM(minus Fox), IMO don’t think they’ll touch it. Hell they only reluctantly brought up Wright and even then did every thing to whitewash his toxic sermons and Black liberation theology.

    • Andy


      Who said this:

      “The Jews don’t like Farrakhan, so they call me Hitler. Well, that’s a good name. Hitler was a very great man.”


      Do you know where? (link?)

    • Michaela22

      Seems it’s not the first time Father Mike has gone off…maybe we need to notify the Archbishop…read on

      Cardinal (George) rebukes (Flaky Father Mike) Pfleger for ‘threat’
      Chicago Sun-Times ^ | June 8, 2007 | SUSAN HOGAN/ALBACH Religion

      Posted on 06/08/2007 6:01:32 AM PDT by Chi-townChief

      Cardinal Francis George has taken an unusual step: issuing a statement about the Archdiocese of Chicago’s activist priest, the Rev. Michael Pfleger, for comments he made at an anti-gun rally.

      It is the latest episode in longstanding tensions between George and Pfleger, who have clashed over everything from doctrine to politics.

      Pfleger said Thursday, “I thought things were getting better.”

      The cardinal said in his statement: “Publicly delivering a threat against anyone’s life betrays the civil order and is morally outrageous, especially if this threat came from a priest.”

      But Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina parish, said he didn’t make a threat, and that no one from the archdiocese contacted him about the May 26 rally outside of Chuck’s Gun Shop in Riverdale, run by John Riggio.

      “We’re going to snuff out John Riggio,” Pfleger told the estimated 200 people at the rally. “We’re going to snuff out legislators that are voting against our gun laws.”

      What did he mean by ‘snuff’? Pfleger said he didn’t know the word “snuff” was slang for “killing.”

      “Police were there. Reporters were there. No one understood me as calling for murder,” he said. “I was talking about exposing the gun shop owners and legislators who support them.”

      Riggio said he’s considering legal action and referred the Sun-Times to his attorney, William Howard of Chicago. Howard called Pfleger’s statements “alarming” and “slanderous.”

      “John Riggio is selling a legal product in a legal way,” he said. “They made it sound at the rally that he’s doing all of these horrible things. Well, he’s not.”

      Three days after the rally, the Illinois State Rifle Association issued a press release headlined, “Chicago Priest Calls for Murder of Gun Shop Owner.” The leader of the association said he was writing to the archdiocese for an apology.

      Since then, the archdiocese and the priest said they’ve been deluged with complaints.

      The cardinal said that it “was up to civil authorities” to determine whether a threat was made.

      Riverdale police called the rally “peaceful” and said no investigation was warranted.

      Cardinal’s actions confuse priests The Rev. Jesse Jackson, who also spoke at the rally, said gun associations were twisting Pfleger’s use of the word “snuff” to stifle his activism and divert attention from the issue of gun violence.

      Several of the archdiocese’s priests said privately they were baffled by the cardinal’s statement. His spokeswoman, Colleen Dolan, said the cardinal wasn’t bowing to pressure from members of gun associations.

      Talking tough

      What Pfleger said:

      * About John Riggio of Chuck’s Gun Shop:

      “We’re going to find you and snuff you out. . . . Like a rat you’re going to hide. But like a rat, we’re going to catch you and pull you out.”

      * More “snuff”:

      “We’re going to snuff out John Riggio. We’re going to snuff out legislators that are voting against our gun laws.We’re coming for you because we’re not going to sit idly.”

      * About legislators and National Rifle Association:

      “We will embarrass every legislator that takes money from you. We will call them out by name, by district. We will expose you, legislators.”

      * On battling gun violence:

      “Keep on fighting, people.”

      Source: Illinois State Rifle Association

      TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Illinois
      KEYWORDS: catholic; catholiclist; chicago; church

      Flaky Mike is lucky to be insulated by his minority congregation; otherwise, he’d be out on his sorry religious leftist ass.

  • Great post. I think that he stayed at Trinity and he surrounds himself with these people out an innate greed for the power of the presidency. And, I don’t use the word innate by mistake. The Alice Palmer episode and now this thing with Hillary? This guy is so taken with the idea of being President, he was willing to maintain his membership at that church for the past 2 and a half years when we all know the plan was in the works and then began for him to make his bid for the White House. Pure greed and lust for power. He stayed because he believed it would help him gain credibility with African-Americans and no doubt because there was some cash flow involved that would help his efforts as well.