Barack Obama and Liberation Theology

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Obama and Jeremiah Wright.
Despite Wright's rabid and sarcastic anti-American sermons, the Obama's regularly took their two small children to hear him. One Obama supporter remarked, "I cannot fathom allowing my children to hear filth from the pulpit."[1]

Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, who was raised a Baptist, were members of the Trinity United Church of Christ[2] in Chicago. The church embraces black liberation theology and its emphasis on the Marxist[3] ideal of class warfare between "oppressed groups" and "establishment forces." This denomination was the first in America to ordain gays as ministers.[4] According to his sister, Obama was baptized at this church the same year.[5] Obama describes his conversion in The Audacity of Hope. The title was inspired by one of Wright's sermons. After 20 years of being an active member, in April 2008 candidate Obama made public statements poised to set him at odds with the man who conducted his wedding and baptized his children. With the negative publicity persisting, a month later Obama ended the friendship, left Wright's church, and blamed the media.[6] Obama claimed “It’s not fair to the other members of the church who seek to worship in peace...", and distanced himself from Wright's sermons as "a bunch of rants that aren't grounded in the truth."[7][8] Wright had been making inflammatory comments and posting his sermons online for sale. These include the statement "G-d damn America," and in describing the September 11, 2001 attacks, "We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost."[9] In addition, Rev. Wright blamed America saying "We supported Zionism shamelessly while ignoring the Palestinians and branding anybody who spoke out against it as being anti-Semitic." He himself is an anti Semite however.

Daniel Pipes claims that Obama was raised a Muslim because he attended classes on the Koran while attending a Muslim school.[10] Obama did attend a school administrated by Muslims but CNN reports that it was a non-religious public school attended by students of many faiths, not a madrassa.[11]

In Indonesia, I'd spent 2 years at a Muslim school, 2 years at a Catholic school. In the Muslim school, the teacher wrote to tell mother I made faces during Koranic studies. In the Catholic school, when it came time to pray, I'd pretend to close my eyes, then peek around the room. Nothing happened. No angels descended. Just a parched old nun and 30 brown children, muttering words. Sometimes the nun would catch me, and her stern look would force my lids back shut. But that didn't change how I felt inside." [12]

Obama has described his upbringing as occurring in a non-religious environment.

In sum, my mother viewed religion through the eyes of the anthropologist that she would become; it was a phenomenon to be treated with a suitable respect, but with a suitable detachment as well. Moreover, as a child I rarely came in contact with those who might offer a substantially different view of faith. My father was almost entirely absent from my childhood, having been divorced from my mother when I was 2 years old; in any event, although my father had been raised a Muslim, by the time he met my mother he was a confirmed atheist, thinking religion to be so much superstition. And yet for all her professed secularism, my mother was in many ways the most spiritually awakened person that I've ever known. She had an unswerving instinct for kindness, charity, and love, and spent much of her life acting on that instinct, sometimes to her detriment. Without the help of religious texts or outside authorities, she worked mightily to instill in me the values that many Americans learn in Sunday school: honesty, empathy, discipline, delayed gratification, and hard work. She raged at poverty and injustice.[13]

References

  1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/barack-obama/on-my-faith-and-my-church_b_91623.html?show_comment_id=12042024#comment_12042024
  2. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1776246/posts
  3. http://atheism.about.com/od/theology/a/lib_catholic.htm
  4. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/227/story/31079.html, Obama's church pushes controversial doctrines, March 20, 2008
  5. http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/04/30/america/30obama.php?page=2
  6. [1], Obama Drops Church Membership in Chicago, May 31, 2008
  7. USA TODAY, Obama breaks with former pastor, Candidate cites rants on U.S. role in terror, AIDS, by Kathy Kiely and David Jackson [2]
  8. Obama Says He Is Outraged By Wright's "Rants"[3]
  9. Obama's Pastor: G-d Damn America, U.S. to Blame for 9/11
  10. Was Barack Obama a Muslim
  11. http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/01/22/obama.madrassa/
  12. Dreams from My Father, by Barack Obama, p.142 Aug 1, 1996
  13. My Spiritual Journey Time Magazine, October 2006
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