03 April 2008

More on Obama's pastor

The Acton Institute's Anthony B. Bradley analyzes The Marxist Roots of Black Liberation Theology, as espoused by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. While I largely share Bradley's concerns, it seems to me that one must first recognize that a past experience of genuine oppression is precisely what makes the marxist vision appear plausible. Black Americans have really faced concrete acts of discrimination and still do in countless small ways. Yet, as Bradley correctly notes, it is by no means empowering to keep harping on this. If past progress is denied or belittled, then it becomes difficult to hope for a better future. If a community persists in defining itself as victim, it will effectively incapacitate itself in attempting to meet the challenges of the future. Furthermore, it will tend to blame all its problems on its presumed oppressors. This is hardly liberating.

As for Barack Obama's inspiring speech, delivered in the aftermath of the controversy over Wright, Fr. Richard John Neuhaus is rather less than inspired, believing that it unduly demeans the very black American community he claims as his own: The Strange Ways of Black Folk.

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