By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Friday, May 30, 2008 4:20 PM PT
Decision ’08: Everybody knows the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his bigoted anti-American rants. We’ll soon get to know the Rev. Michael Pfleger. With Barack Obama, you’re not only waiting for the other shoe to drop. You’re following a centipede.
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In April 2004, Sen. Obama told a reporter from the Chicago Sun-Times that he had three spiritual mentors or counselors: Jeremiah Wright, James Meeks and Father Michael Pfleger. On Sunday, May 25, Pfleger showed up at Obama’s Trinity United Church of Christ doing his best Rev. Wright imitation.
A radical priest at Chicago’s St. Sabina Catholic Church, Pfleger told the congregation, “We must be honest enough to expose white entitlement and supremacy wherever it raises its head.” He mimicked Hillary Clinton crying and said her reaction to Obama’s candidacy was to say: “I’m white. I’m entitled. There’s a black man stealing my show.”
With Wright, Obama could get away for a while with claiming remarks such as 9/11’s being a case of America’s chickens coming home were cherry-picked snippets from decades of sermons, and that in any event he wasn’t there on those particular Sundays.
When Wright repeated and amplified those remarks at the National Press Club, Obama’s political calculation was to disown the pastor he said he couldn’t disown, the man who married him and baptized his children.
Obama said he realized Wright wasn’t the same man he had known for 20 years. Will he say the same thing about Pfleger? Or will he admit that his church is a bastion of black liberation from whose pulpit routinely comes vitriol worthy of a David Duke or, for that matter, a Louis Farrakhan?
The 2004 Sun-Times article noted that “friends and advisers” such as Pfleger, “who has known Obama for the better part of 20 years, help him keep his (moral) compass, he (Obama) says.” Based on Pfleger’s remarks, either he or Obama, or both, have, uh, lost their bearings.
Pfleger has had a working relationship with Obama since the late 1980s. As noted, he was one of Obama’s spiritual mentors. Between 1995 and 2001, Pfleger contributed a total of $1,500 to Obama’s various political campaigns.
This includes a $200 donation in April 2001, three months after Obama, still an Illinois state senator, helped obtain $225,000 in grants for St. Sabina programs. In 2000, Obama secured a $100,000 earmark for the ARK Community Center, attached to St. Sabina. Render unto Caesar.
Pfleger apologized for his remarks, saying “I regret the words I chose” and the “words are inconsistent with Senator Obama’s life and message.” But does he regret the sentiments expressed or merely that they hurt Obama’s political chances? Pfleger’s remorse came only after his rant popped up on YouTube.
Pfleger, who leads a mostly black parish and has warmly embraced what is called black liberation theology, was a member of “Catholics for Obama.” A glowing endorsement of the former state senator appeared on Obama’s campaign Web site. Pfleger is a regular guest at Trinity.
The June-July issue of Wright’s “Trumpet” magazine described him as “Afrocentric to the core.” This is the same magazine that printed an op-ed by a Hamas supporter and honored Nation of Islam leader Farrakhan. Pfleger calls Farrakhan a “friend” who “is a great man who I have great respect for, who has done an awful lot for people in this country.”
Does Obama have any spiritual mentors who don’t hate America and think all its people are racists? We don’t believe in guilt by association, but these are the only associations he seems to have.
Obama cannot claim he was ignorant of Pfleger’s views as he claimed to be of Wright’s. He cannot claim to have sat in the pews of Trinity United, bringing his children there, and heard none of this. Both his judgment and his honesty, even his true beliefs, are in question.
If the Rev. Pfleger helps open the public’s eyes about the enigmatic Obama, he will have also done an awful lot for the people of this country.