Not much seems to have changed…
[i]Meanwhile, Back at Trinity United
By JAMES TARANTO
May 29, 2008
Blogger Armando Llorens of the pro-Clinton site TalkLeft.com ( http://www.talkleft.com/story/2008/5/29/9431/74527 )has an eye-opening video from the Trinity United Church of Christ, which remains Barack Obama’s church. The video was uploaded to YouTube this past Sunday ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_H11x6bMu4Y ), though it is unclear if it was shot then or earlier. But to judge by the subject matter, it is quite recent.
The video features Father Michael Pfleger, with an introduction by the Rev. Otis Moss, Jeremiah Wright’s successor at Trinity United. As we noted last month ( http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120956688571556385.html#MOSS ), the Democratic presidential front-runner described Moss as a “wonderful young pastor” after Obama renounced Wright.
Blogress Michelle Malkin has transcribed the video ( http://michellemalkin.com/2008/05/29/hes-baaaack-obama-supporter-rev-michael-pfleger-flogs-hillarys-white-entitlement-on-the-pulpit/ ), in which Pfleger, described by Moss as “a friend of Trinity . . . a brother beloved . . . a preacher par excellence . . . a prophetic, powerful pulpiteer . . . our friend . . . our brother,” delivers a hateful rant against Hillary Clinton:
[quote] When Hillary was crying [gesturing tears, uproarious laughter from audience]–and people said that was put-on–I really don’t believe it was put-on.
I really believe that she just always thought "This is mine" [laughter, hoots]. "I'm Bill's wife. I'm white. And this is mine. And I jus' gotta get up. And step into the plate." And then out of nowhere came, "Hey, I'm Barack Obama." And she said: "Oh, damn! Where did you come from!?!?!" [Crowd going nuts, Pfleger screaming]. "I'm white! I'm entitled! There's a black man stealing my show." [Sobs.] She wasn't the only one crying! There was a whole lotta white people cryin'![/quote]
Who is Michael Pfleger? As we noted last month ( http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120767493480598383.html#PFLEGER ), he is a strong supporter of Louis Farrakhan and has been described as a “spiritual adviser” to Obama. He also publicly threatened the life of a Chicago businessman and, according to one report, “is known for climbing ladders to deface liquor billboards.”
In his Trinity United oration, Pfleger asserted that white people have a moral obligation to surrender their assets, which, he suggested, properly belong to blacks (the video clip begins in midsentence):
[quote]--honest enough to address the one who says, "Well, don't hold me responsible [gesticulating] for what my ancestors did." But you have enjoyed the benefits of what your ancestors did and unless you are ready to give up the benefits [voice rising], throw away your 401 fund, throw away your trust fund, throw away all the money you put into the company you walked into because yo' daddy and yo' granddaddy and yo' greatgranddaddy--[screaming at the top of his lungs]--unless you're willing to give up the benefits, then you must be responsible for what was done in your generation 'cuz you are the beneficiary of this insurance policy![/quote]
Pfleger is white. Many Illinois taxpayers are black. The New York Times reported earlier this month ( http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/11/us/politics/11chicago.html?pagewanted=all ) that the latter have been forced to subsidize the former, through the good offices of one state Sen. Barack Obama:
[quote] Mr. Obama more eagerly met the demands for spending earmarks for churches and community groups in his district, said State Senator Donne E. Trotter, then the ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee. “I know this firsthand, because the community groups in his district stopped coming to me,” Mr. Trotter said.
Typical of Mr. Obama's earmarks was a $100,000 grant for a youth center at a Catholic church run by the Rev. Michael Pfleger, a controversial priest who was one of the few South Side clergymen to back Mr. Obama against [Rep. Bobby] Rush. Father Pfleger has long worked with South Side political leaders to reduce crime and improve the community. But he has drawn fire from some quarters for defending the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and inviting him to speak at his church. Father Pfleger, who did not return calls for comment, is one of the religious leaders whose "faith testimonials" Mr. Obama has posted on his presidential campaign Web site.[/quote]
We searched the Obama Web site in vain for Pfleger’s endorsement. It appears the campaign has suppressed it, although a copy appears on the Michelle Malkin page linked above.
Llorens, the TalkLeft blogger who posted the video, says twice in his short post that “this has nothing to do with Barack Obama.” It seems to us Llorens is quite wrong about this, although possibly he is being ironic. For one thing, it raises serious questions about Obama’s moral judgment that he not only attends but sends his two young daughters to a church whose pulpit regularly features such hatred.
It also renders doubtful one of the most frequent arguments for an Obama presidency: that he would diminish anti-American sentiment around the world through his conciliatory mien and tough diplomacy. His response to the political crisis over his spiritual advisers has been vacillatory, not conciliatory: first he stood by them, then he distanced himself from them. Now he pretends they don’t exist–which differs from the putative Bush administration approach to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad & Co. how exactly?
Obama does not appear to have succeeded in diminishing anti-American sentiment in his own church, from religious leaders who fervently support him. The danger is that he would show similar weakness on the world stage, and that America’s enemies would find such weakness provocative rather than meliorative.[/i]