Monday, March 17, 2008


Holy Orders

So, if you've been paying attention to the media at all these past few days, you'll notice that Obama's pastor has said some things that people in the media consider a bit untoward. Namely, on the nature of the racial divide in America and God's relationship with our country. Now, I can understand why these comments, while justified, are seen as inflammatory, and I can understand why Obama would wish to distance himself from the issue. I've just got a simple question:

Why is this news? I know, yes, one of our presidential candidates has a direct relationship with a religious figure who says outrageous things. I mean, this kind of thing usually has the punditry rampaging down one side and up the other... oh, wait.

Yes, the issues are apples and oranges, to a degree. I just want us to objectively compare the two. Obama has been pressured by the media for days to separate himself from Rev. Wright after the latter made comments about God looking on America with shame for racially-divisive practices, and Obama explained how he had grown distanced from Wright's beliefs by that point. By comparison, a brief media flurry ensues when McCain gets the endorsement from Rev. Hagee, who believes that America needs to wage full-out war in the Middle East to bring about the apocalypse, and McCain feebly claims that he doesn't believe everything Hagee says, but he's glad to have him on the team.

Now, I've seen it argued that these are different matters, that Obama being associated with a "religious extremist" is different from McCain "playing to the base." Is this how far the narrative's shifted? That it's become perfectly reasonable for one of the candidates for the highest office in the land to pal around with a man whose plans for Armageddon make him sound like a rejected Buffy villain? Am I supposed to look at that and say, "Eh, what can you do, candidates will be candidates"?

Come back to me when someone digs up a sermon of Rev. Wright talking about nuking Dixie. Then I might see some reason for all of this.

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