From a Mormon perspective, the rhetoric of Obama’s pastor is an extremely delicate issue. The reason, of course, is that there are those on the right and left who have basically disqualified a Mormon from being president because of their perceptions of LDS religious beliefs. So a Mormon has to be extremely careful discussing these issues.
But let me try to wade through them as best I can and invite respectful comments.
What has Obama’s pastor said that is causing all the fuss? Well, I think the best way to find out is to go to the link referenced above. I would also encourage people to look at the video of his comments, which is on the linked web site.
Are people focusing on Rev. Wright’s inflammatory comments rather than considering all the good he has certainly done over the years? Yes. It is relevant to bring up that Rev. Wright has helped probably thousands of people over the years and that most of the time he is preaching a self-help Gospel that certainly does more good than bad.
Let me be very clear: the statements of Obama’s pastor should not in any way disqualify Obama from being president. Article VI of the Constitution makes it very clear there should not be any religious test for office. So, Obama’s religion should not be relevant in the sense that his religion alone disqualifies him for office.
What is relevant, in my opinion, is the politics of Obama’s pastor and how it affects Obama’s worldview. The truth is we know very little about what Obama will do if he becomes president. But his spiritual mentor is a man who, while doing a lot of good, clearly has a worldview that is, in my opinion, extreme and filled with hatred toward the United States and many other things. His tirade after 9/11 is especially worth condemnation.
So, to sum up, anybody rejecting Obama specifically for his religion is off-base, in my opinion. Anybody concerned with how his pastor’s viewpoints may influence and affect how Obama would act as president has some room for concern.
I would like to point out that the same exact principle should apply for Mitt Romney or any other Mormon politician running for president: anybody rejecting Mormons because of their religion is off-base. Anybody saying that they could never vote for a Mormon because of the Church’s position on gay marriage has a respectable argument, especially if that candidate agrees with the Church’s position. I disagree with the argument, but I cannot deny that there are valid political reasons behind such a viewpoint.
So, as far as Obama’s pastor’s politics involve a worldview with which I strongly and heartily disagree, I believe his comments are indeed relevant.
I’m willing to be convinced that I’m wrong. Again, only respectful comments are welcome.