Andrew Sullivan is a bright guy, but he’s missing the heart of the problem many of us have with Barack Obama’s choice of pastor:
The appeal of that church to Obama was not anger or racism or the ugliness in some of Jeremiah Wright’s tub-thumping. What Obama discovered — as a previous atheist — was the spiritual power of Christian hope.
No, he didn’t. Jeremiah Wright’s theology is a social gospel based on a biblical narrative of “survival, and freedom, and hope” that culminates in a Jesus whose mission was to free the oppressed from physical and political bondage. Inspiring, uplifting, and absolutely wrong.
If Wright is right, why didn’t Jesus kick the Romans out of Jerusalem — or at the very least least abolish slavery in the empire?
The power of Christian hope is in freedom from the spiritual bondage that has enslaved mankind since the Fall. That’s the essence of Christianity, and it’s the only triumph that matters.
Sen. Obama’s decision to worship under Jeremiah Wright for two decades indicates a spiritual depth that’s limited to a hunger for inspiring tales of the underprivileged succeeding against all odds through faith and perseverence. Except for the sense of self-righteousness that comes from hearing those stories in church, Obama might as well watch Hoosiers.
One final note: It’s only going to take about a minute’s worth of Jeremiah Wright on YouTube for many white voters — Democrats, too — to make up their minds about Obama. I predict here and now that Hillary gets the nomination and goes on to become the next president of the United States.