Rev. Wright–The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Some random thoughts. . .

1. Rev. Jeremiah Wright is a preacher.

I have known preachers all my life. I have worked closely with scores of preachers throughout my adult life. I’ve even done some preaching myself but have never contemplated it as a full-time gig. In other words, I know preachers (and love and admire most of the ones I’ve known.)

And they tend to have some things in common that illuminate the current Wright Affair.

With rare exceptions, a person doesn’t accept a call to preach without being the kind of person who enjoys being the center of attention. That’s not a criticism. It’s a fact. And as a group, they tend to believe they have things to say to others ought to hear. And the more people the better. I’ve never met a preacher with a congregation of 100 who wouldn’t be happier if it was 200; and thrilled if it was 500. (As I write this, I’m aware that 6 or 7 of my most loyal readers are pastors. No offense guys!)

Particularly in Pentecostal-ish churches (black and white) successful preachers are in one sense “performers” and carry a performer’s sensibility and a performer’s hungers. Needless to say, for a guy like Jeremiah Wright, a crowd of people with a live microphone in front of them has the gravitational pull of a super-massive black hole. (And I don’t use the term black hole in any racial. left-brain, right-brain sense.)

Today a large number of pundits, analysts and bloggers are scratching their heads trying to figure out why Rev. Wright isn’t laying low and keeping his mouth shut while his protege is running for the White House. There’s no mystery there for me. There’s an empty pulpit on a national platform with his name on it. Expecting him to leave it empty it asking more than a mere mortal is capable of.

2. Some are wondering if Rev. Wright is actively trying to undermine Sen. Obama’s chances to be elected. I think that’s quite possible.

You see, like much of the civil rights establishment and ethnic grievance culture in this country, Rev. Wright is deeply, deeply invested in world view in which blacks are noble victims and whites are evil oppressors. Barack Obama is sort of a walking refutation of most of Rev. Wright’s assumptions and talking points. Even the nomination of Obama as the candidate of one of the major parties makes much of the Wright-Farrakhan-Sharpton rhetoric seem silly.

And if Obama were to be elected, well that would expose Wright’s entire ideological framework for the hateful farce that it is.

3. A month ago, we were all told that the clips of Rev. Wright were “taken out of context” and represented a “caricature” of his real views. So over the last few days we’ve had the opportunity to hear the minister in pristine, crystalline-pure context. And guess, what? It’s worse than we thought.

So Much Comment Fodder in This Ad – So Little Time

Here is the ad I modified for this week’s header graphic. The mind reels with possibilities.

{click image to enlarge}


First of all, I like the appeal to the authority of psychology. For smokers desperate for a justification for continuing the nasty, health-trashing habit, this must have been a real lifeline. “Look buster, it’s a psychological fact. These smokes make me a better person! NOW STEP OFF!”

On the other hand, I’m not sure how much the average woman would have appreciated the “yip like a terrier” comment in the opening line of copy. Given that this ad was crafted in the 50s, it’s a near certainty that it was written by a man. And this ad is clearly a bunch of male ad execs’ attempt to boost Camel sales among women.

Thus the Rock Hudson appearance (this was back in the day when a girl could still dream about being dreamy Rock Hudson’s girlfriend.) But didn’t ladies find the suggestion that a package delivery error could transform them into a an obnoxious, grating pooch, a tad condescending? “Yip like a terrier” sounds more like something a grouchy cad of a husband would accuse his wife of if she protested about his weekly poker nights with the boys.

Finally, it wouldn’t be a 50’s-era cigarette ad with some bizarre hidden sexual imagery.

In this case we have woman with a dog’s head at the top of the ad. And below we have a real dog’s head with similar coloring that is hovering over the movie star’s “area.” Just truly disturbing at a number of levels.

The photo caption tells us, “You can see rugged Rock Hudson starring in U-I’s ‘Never Say Goodbye.” That would put this ad in 1956. His love interest was the lovely Cornell Borchers–a Lithuanian/German actress who probably hoped to become the next Ingrid Bergman in American films but never broke through (perhaps because her name sounds like a painful foot disorder).

I'm alive!

My apologies for the radio silence over the last several days. I’ve been without internet service here at Casa Blather and have had to run to Starbucks periodically just to send and receive email.

The outage has been hard on everyone here–especially the teen folk. It’s been a little like this snippet from a Southpark episode (note: contains some typical Southpark crudity).

It’s been pretty grim. I actually had to resort to using paper yellow pages yesterday. A repair technician is scheduled to arrive today between 11a and 1p.

May his gifted hand and healing arts restore the life-giving flow of ones and zeros to this wretched, byte-starved clan. Amen.

Fresh Data on The Generosity of Liberals

A few weeks ago in this post headlined “The Obama’s Charitible Giving” I mentioned past studies which showed that conservatives were more generous in their charitable giving than liberals.

Now, Friend-of-Blather Ted points me to this new study by pollster George Barna on giving and tithing pattern among various groups of Americans. Here’s an excerpt from the Barna report:

Not surprisingly, some population groups were more likely than others to have given away at least ten percent of their income. Among the most generous segments were evangelicals (24% of whom tithed); conservatives (12%); people who had prayed, read the Bible and attended a church service during the past week (12%); charismatic or Pentecostal Christians (11%); and registered Republicans (10%).

Several groups also stood out as highly unlikely to tithe: people under the age of 25, atheists and agnostics, single adults who have never been married, liberals, and downscale adults. One percent or less of the people in each of those segments tithed in 2007.

Keep those patterns in mind the next time you hear a liberal braying about heartless conservatives or greed Republicans.

I'm Feeling Cling-y

Watching millionaires play golf on a course I’m not rich enough to get near made me feel extra bitter about my economic prospects this weekend. So, what did I do?

  • I grabbed my freshly cleaned Glock 9mm and concealed weapon permit;
  • Perused my large collection of T-shirts with clever slogans expressing antipathy to people who aren’t like me; ultimately selecting the Toby Keith/Angry American/Boot-themed shirt;
  • And went to church.

Felt much better.

Or less bitter anyway.

Of course, I’m waxing snide about our latest unintended peek into what Senator Obama really thinks. This time the glimpse comes as “The One” (as Oprah like to call him), was trying to help a group of wealthy San Franciscans understand why a lot of the folks in fly-over country aren’t as progressive and enlightened as they are. “Just a better union job and more walking around money and those backward folks will stop “clinging” to crutches like belief in God and Second Amendment rights,” was the gist of it.

It’s funny though. The economy here in Texas is very good, and has been for some time. We didn’t have a housing bubble so we’ve had no bust in values. Housing is some of the cheapest in the nation. Jobs are plentiful. The economy is diversified but $110-a-barrel oil has squirted a lot of extra cash into the system.

Given the Senator’s thesis, we should be experiencing a tide of apostasy and backsliding in our churches right about now. And a commensurate rise in “okayness” with gun control legislation. And the paint should be almost dry on our new “Welcome Illegal Immigrants!” banners for every small Texas town’s Main Street.

But we’re not.

The churches are growing. You can still have our guns when you pry them from our cold dead fingers. And we still think the rule of law means something and Western Civilization is worth protecting from massive waves of unassimilated, unskilled, paid-under-the-table humanity.

Which might lead a reasonable person to conclude that the Glowing One is operating from some flawed premises.

It's Masters Week


As Mrs. Blather will tell you, it’s one of my favorite weeks of the year. The tradition, the difficulty, the spectacular beauty of the course, they all combine at Augusta to make The Masters one of the great pageants in sports.

When I have dreams about Heaven, the place usually looks remarkably like Amen Corner.