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The Wright Stuff

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Message Gregg Gordon

The TV pundits are breathless again. The latest kerfuffle concerns some allegedly anti-American statements made by Barack Obama's pastor, Rev, Jeremiah Wright, in a couple of sermons over the past few years, and it threatens to torpedo the Democratic frontrunner's campaign.

Well, let's face it -- you can't say "God damn America" from the pulpit and not expect some blowback. In that respect, what Rev. Wright said was stupid, almost certain to draw attention to the inflammatory nature of his comments rather than the truth underlying them.

Did we not drop nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, two cities with no significant military targets (and the latter the home of Japan's largest Christian community)? Indeed, they were chosen as targets precisely because, having no military value, they had not been bombed before, and thus provided pristine petri dishes by which to gauge the effectiveness of these horrific weapons.

Did we not support for decades the apartheid regime in South Africa? Why is the fact that our current vice president, when in Congress, voted against a resolution calling for the release of Nelson Mandela from prison a matter of so much less controversy than this?

And do we not support similar policies by Israel against the Palestinians today -- regardless of whether one applies the inflammatory "apartheid" label -- again, with devastating effect on the region's Christian community? (We do seem remarkably hostile to our brethren of the Book, at least the brown ones.)

Has the CIA not been implicated in the drug trade? The Taliban all but wiped out opium production in Afghanistan, but now it's back to being the world's largest supplier, and the poppy is now being cultivated in Iraq for the first time in centuries. Indeed, ever since American GI's began returning from Vietnam with some of the best marijuana in the world, it seems that wherever our empire goes, the drug trade follows.

And do we not have the biggest prison system in the world, overpopulated in obscene disproportion by African-Americans? It was a big item in the news just a couple weeks ago.

And are these the acts of a nation that the God of Jesus Christ would bless, or damn?

These are the matters for debate Rev. Wright's statements should be provoking. I'm not holding my breath.

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Gregg Gordon is a writer, musician, activist, and otherwise ne'er-do-well in Columbus, Ohio. "Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little." - Edmund Burke
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