9 de Mayo, 2008
Three Gods, An Ocean of Blood, and a Sodden Press
THERE IS SOMETHING profoundly lacking from the discussion of Hagee the Vitriolic and Falwell the Freakish vs. Wright the Black Pantheresque.
I've listened to both of the soundbytes, and even to the full sermons that Wright gave. Te ones that were, of course, chopped down to a sentence or two and broadcasted over and over and over again.
For me, the egregious distinction to be made between these people, their words, and the consequent reaction is not even that the white men are given a free ride on their words and associations, while the black men are perceived as terrifying and inarguably anti-American. That is obvious and gross and damning enough. But there is a deeper distinction that to me is even more offensive, though as of yet escaping public notice.
It is the reason the men were saying what they were saying; the exact context of the "damning" taking place; and the professed God's agenda and purpose. The divide between these is illuminating.
In Jeremiah Wright's story, the entire point—given you sussed out the arc and weren't just hearing a couple sentences—was that in this world where so many things are impermanent and will turn and harm you when you thought they would not, there is but one constant, and that constant is God. So don't rely on these impermanent and sometimes disastrous structures. He tells of the history of blacks, and how they have hung on and weathered the many tribulations visited upon their kind, and again, his point is that through all this, you are going to be all right if you put your faith in God. Putting it anywhere else—even in something as mighty as America—is not the answer.
Wright's God is one who is benevolent and consistent; a refuge and a sanctuary through all time passing, even in horror-filled years.
Measure this against Falwell's and Hagee's contexts: They tell a tale of a God who is judgmental and sociopathic, who sees people "sinning" (I'm sure we are all not in agreement that being gay and proud of it or being a Feminist is "sinning') and visits death, pain, sorrow and huge loss upon them. Theirs is a vicious God who sees Feminism, Abortion, Secularists, and Gays—and brings destruction and mass-murder upon them. And calls it just.
In the wake of great disaster, Wright tells his followers that times are dangerous but to hold on, to remember the Constant, to take solace in a God who will not abandon them.
In the wake of great disaster, Falwell smugly gloats over the deaths of those who his God would rather see dead than live a life not in line with Falwell's beliefs.
In the wake of great disaster, Hagee smugly gloats over the piles of bodies and rot that lay in the sun and exposed our national inequities and priority of care, and he calls it payback.
And in this modern day when we have access to computers, books, YouTube, and many forms of media that we might access and investigate the entire context and beliefs of figures like these, the pundits ignore these obvious differences and deem Wright the scary and dangerous one.
It is they—our entrenched corporate media—who are scary and dangerous. Mostly because to many people still consider their words and yet, not their ineptitude and agenda.
I will write another post eventually on Wright's follow-up presser and the split that went down between Obama and he, but that will have to wait for another day. Right now, I have to get ready to go film Obama, who is speaking here in Eugene this afternoon.