In the last couple of weeks we’ve heard a lot about the “friends” of our presidential candidates. But the candidates have been quick to distance themselves from certain friends and endorsers, and in a hot political season, who you’re taking advice from becomes a very public issue. It started when John McCain received the endorsement from Pastor John Hagee from San Antonio, who’s vitriolic comments about the Catholic church have created a wave of upset Catholics. Members of the Catholic church are significant from a numbers perspective – particularly in the Hispanic community. From Hillary’s camp, Geraldine Ferraro resigned last week after remarks that were considered demeaning to Barack Obama from a racial perspective.
And now, in what is probably the most damaging from a PR standpoint, Barack Obama is quickly distancing himself from his own pastor, Jeremiah Wright. The reason the Wright issue is extremely significant is that Obama has been a church member for 20 years. Wright married the Obamas, and they’ve sat under his teaching for two decades. The videos of Wright that have appeared on the web are being called disturbing at best, extreme at worst.
While Obama’s camp is saying it’s no big deal, and Obama won’t be getting advice from Wright should he be elected, I find that hard to believe. It was Wright that came up with the phrase that became the title for Obama’s book “The Audacity of Hope,” and if Obama disagrees so strongly with Wright’s philosophy and theology, why did it take 20 years for him to figure that out? It finally happening during his election run is a little coincidental. And what spiritual advisor is going to guide Obama as president? No doubt it will be the man who’s served as his pastor for pretty much his entire adult life.
What’s the point? My point is the question I’ve asked on this blog before. Who’s influencing you? What teaching are you listening to, and where does your worldview come from? This particular presidential candidate has been taught for the last 20 years from a pastor that supports Marxist based liberation theology, preaches that the U.S. created the AIDS virus to kill African Americans, and that the United States was asking for the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks because it had supported “state-sponsored terrorism” against black South Africans and Palestine. The church is now trying to fire back at the barrage of criticism that’s lit up the blogosphere, but in my opinion, it’s probably hurting their cause more than helping.
If you have a worldview born from your religious faith, then the person who advises the president of the United States on spiritual matters is an important issue. When it comes to any of the candidates, it’s something critical to consider.