Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dear Mr. O'Reilly,

I'm having difficulty figuring out your position on Obama and Wright. You have been willing, if I am not mistaken, to give Sen. Obama a "pass" on whether he knew Wright's beliefs and the content of Wright's sermons. Last night, however, you apparently thought he made a "calculation" to sit in Rev. Wright's congregation.

I cannot understand why you are so credulous at a claim that is clearly incredible. (Don't take my word for it; ask Juan Williams.) Sen. Obama and Rev. Wright go together to the Million Man March, and we are supposed to believe that it was just this past weekend that the Senator discovered the Reverend's admiration for Farrakhan? It's really worse than this.

We are supposed to believe that Sen. Obama attends the church for 20 years and never once hears of the Black Liberation Theology that so animates the Rev. Wright. Sean Hannity has the Rev. Wright on for 5 minutes, and the Reverend is demanding of Mr. Hannity if he has ever read James Cone, and that unless Mr. Hannity knows the content of Black Liberation Theology, Mr. Hannity really isn't an informed interviewer. Yet, we're supposed to believe that the Reverend never makes the same demand of Sen. Obama? So, you really think, Mr. O'Reilly, that Sen. Obama is brought to Jesus by the Reverend, attends for 20 years, gives 25,000 to the church, receives a monthly newsletter, is married in the Reverend's church, has his daughters baptized there, prays privately with Rev. Wright before his presidential bid announcement, and the good Reverend never once says, "Barack, here's what we believe at Trinity...." And just so all we know exactly what it is that Sen. Obama didn't know until recently, and you apparently are more than willing to believe he didn't know, here is James Cone:

"Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community ... Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy."

I've known my Pastor only through his sermons and for far less than 20 years, and I know how he feels about abortion, the war, adultery, loving one's neighbor -- and I most certainly know that he does not believe that God is against anyone because of their skin color.

Now, you said on your show last night that the Reverend is a smart man, that he could figure out that he was damaging the Senator's campaign. And the Senator is not a smart man? He couldn't figure out in 20 years what the beliefs were of his chosen church? Your view is that he made a calculation? A calculation about what -- that he could sit in a church, whose Pastor held such beliefs, and not be expected to answer for it?

And here's why it still matters, despite your apparent claim that the Senator has now done what he needed to do. Sen. Obama may have now "disowned" Rev. Wright, something we were told he couldn't do. But he has yet to be honest about what he knew and when he knew of the beliefs of his Pastor. Unless, of course, you want us to have the same credulity that you seem to have about this matter. Yet the credibility of a candidate is extremely relevant to his bid for president. If we can't trust the Senator about something that he says go to the core of who he is, why should we trust him on anything else?

It's clear you would like the Senator to appear on your program. But you've always promised your listeners and viewers that the "spin stops here." Mr. O'Reilly, you may not be spinning, but your view sure looks like you are sliding all over the place. Mr. O'Reilly, tell your viewers clearly whether you think that Sen. Obama knew his chosen Pastor was racist and anti-American before well before 2008.

(author to be posted at a later date)

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