Alex Blaze

Obama defends McClurkin inclusion

Filed By Alex Blaze | October 29, 2007 6:09 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Media
Tags: Barack Obama, Donnie McClurkin, ex-gay, homophobic behavior

Obama's defense of McClurkin's inclusion amounts to this, from an interview with the Advocate:

Part of the reason that we have had a faith outreach in our campaigns is precisely because I don't think the LGBT community or the Democratic Party is served by being hermetically sealed from the faith community and not in dialogue with a substantial portion of the electorate, even though we may disagree with them.

Atrios says:

Aside from the adoption of right wing frames, this kind of statement is incredibly insulting to both the LGBT community who are apparently "hermetically sealed from the faith community" and to the "faith community" which is apparently defined as nothing more than a bunch of anti-gay bigots. Not to mention the Democratic Party, which apparently includes no actual religious people.

It's really just insulting to everyone, with a touch of "shut the hell up I know best."


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Wrong Wrong Wrong.

The gay media, especially the chattering class of attack poodles like John Aravosis IS totally sealed off from the faith community, and doesn't understand evangelicalism at all, and thus mistake ambivalence about the morality of homosexuality for outright bigotry.

I mean, I haven't seen any Bilerico contributors with a thorough, nuanced understanding of evangelicalism, either. Has the LGBT community made any effort to empathise with socially conservative religious people (not sympathise, empathise...the same way that Errol Morris' The Fog Of War instructs us to empathize with our enemies.

I mean, I haven't seen any Bilerico contributors with a thorough, nuanced understanding of evangelicalism, either.

Say what you mean, Kevin. You haven't seen any contributors agree with you 100% about evangelism. They're two different things.

Just because you can name one gay person who's sealed off from people of faith doesn't mean that we all are. And yes, Obama's statement implied that we were and erased queer people of faith. I mean, even look at your response, Obama says "faith community" and you go straight to protestant evangelicals as if no other religion existed.

I'm just thinking that these words from Markos Moulitsas really apply right now:

This is truly an epic flameout by the Obama campaign, engaged in actions that are completely indefensible. Those of you who continue to try and rationalize it -- would you be making the same exculpatory arguments if it was George W. Bush doing the things Obama is doing right now? Or one of the rival campaigns? Somehow, I doubt the vast majority of you would.

Obama isn't the be-all savior for what ails our country. No one is. If there's a message I thought we were successfully delivering in the netroots is that it was up to US to move this country in the right direction since we couldn't depend on our so-called "leaders". This sort of hero worship of several of our candidates (Edwards, Obama, and even Hillary) is somewhat creepy to begin with, but serves little more than to set up the inevitable disappointment.

And when your hero turns out to be not so perfect after all, clinging to that fiction can't possibly reflect well on you. Understand that these candidates are all human, thus imperfect. Understand that they have free will, thus will do things you will disagree with. And that's okay. Politics is about weighing the good and the bad and going with the best we have. There is no such thing as "perfect" in this biz.

Feel free to rationalize every stupid thing your candidate does, but don't expect the rest of us to go along with it. All of the Democrats have done stupid things and smart things. I mean, Chris Dodd announced his candidacy on Don Imus, for chrissakes. And yes, when they do those stupid things, some of us will be right there talking about how stupid those things are.

We're not Republicans, "carrying water" for their leaders and keeping their mouths shut as they drag the nation into the gutter. And we certainly shouldn't be like the 24% dead-enders, who still cling to Bush despite all evidence of him being the worst president in our nation's history.

Obama and his campaign have had a bad week. The worst I have seen from any candidate this presidential cycle. A candidate whose entire rationale for running was to elevate the discourse, unite our country, and end the politics of division has just been exposed as cynical and clueless, embracing some of the worst hatred and divisiveness in our society today.

There's a difference between starting a dialogue with evangelicals and pandering. Donnie could have sung and Obama could have spoken about changing America for the better and the gay Rev could have spoken to, you know, the audience. But when Obama shut him up by making him speak briefly before people had shown up and then gave Donnie the stage to just indulge people in their erroneous beliefs, that's a pander. And there's nothing more to it.

He didn't challenge anyone, and he misrepresented what he was going to do to everyone else. He gave evangelicals the wink that when he's talking about gay rights, he doesn't really mean it. We all know what it means when pray-away-the-gay is being sold at a political rally. I just would have expected it from pseudo-religious hacks like Freddie Thompson, not Obama. But you live and you learn.

And I've been posting regularly on evangelism. I'm guessing you either agree with me or haven't been reading those posts because you never leave comments. Actually, I spent a lot of time writing one up about evanglicals and Giuliani, and I put a lot of work into it, and no one commented. If you want to see a discussion of something (and by discussion I don't mean everyone capitulating to you), then actually try to engage people.

Its unbelievable how abysmally dim-witted our political leadership is. Bush is infamous for it; he’s a sick joke. And now Obama’s done the equivalent of sticking his foot in his mouth and shooting himself in the foot. But if his attempts to pander to the homobigot vote weren’t very sharp Hillary Clinton’s relationship to the totalitarian christian right is downright scary.

According to investigative reporters for Mother Jones, an antiwar prounion publication Clinton is doing a bit more that just tacking to the right. “Through all of her years in Washington, Clinton has been an active participant in conservative Bible study and prayer circles that are part of a secretive Capitol Hill group known as the Fellowship. Her collaborations with right-wingers such as Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and former Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) grow in part from that connection. "A lot of evangelicals would see that as just cynical exploitation," says the Reverend Rob Schenck, a former leader of the militant anti-abortion group Operation Rescue who now ministers to decision makers in Washington. "I don't....there is a real good that is infected in people when they are around Jesus talk, and open Bibles, and prayer."

“When Clinton first came to Washington in 1993, one of her first steps was to join a Bible study group. For the next eight years, she regularly met with a Christian "cell" whose members included Susan Baker, wife of Bush consigliere James Baker; Joanne Kemp, wife of conservative icon Jack Kemp; Eileen Bakke, wife of (Billionaire) Dennis Bakke, a leader in the anti-union Christian management movement; and Grace Nelson, the wife of Senator Bill Nelson, a conservative Florida Democrat”

“Former Nixon counsel Chuck Colson provides a rare illustration of the process in his 1976 Watergate memoir, Born Again. Clinton, Colson told us, "has a lot of history" to overcome, but he sees her making the right moves.”

“With Santorum, Clinton co-sponsored the Workplace Religious Freedom Act; she didn't back off even after Republican senators such as Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter pulled their names from the bill citing concerns that the measure would protect those refusing to perform key aspects of their jobs—say, pharmacists who won't fill birth control prescriptions, or police officers who won't guard abortion clinics.”

“Clinton has championed federal funding of faith-based social services, which she embraced years before George W. Bush did; Marci Hamilton, author of God vs. the Gavel, says that the Clintons' approach to faith-based initiatives "set the stage for Bush." Clinton has also long supported the Defense of Marriage Act, a measure that has become a purity test for any candidate wishing to avoid war with the Christian right.”

“Now, Brownback considers Clinton "a beautiful child of the living God."

“Clinton suggests as much herself in her 1996 book, It Takes a Village, where she writes approvingly of religious groups' access to schools, lessons in Scripture, and "virtue" making a return to the classroom.”

In addition to being a closeted religious nut she supports the essential parts of DOMA and, like all loyal Dixiecrats, says it’s a state rights issue. In addition she supports the war, the division of Iraq into three colonial provinces, the theft of the Iraqis oil industry by US Oil companies and the extension of the war into Iran.
Rupert Murdoch, gazillionaire head of Faux News, the guy who's the 'neo' in 'neo Nazi'' hosted a big fundraiser for Hillary, inviting the elite at his NY Fox News HQ. He, his son, and coincidentally all the Fox executives gave her big bucks.

She’s Bush Lite.

In an interview Rita Braver of CBS News Sunday Morning asked Pat Robertson, one of the worst of Republican theocratic totalitarians, “On the Democratic side, of course, everybody's talking about Hillary Clinton. What-- what would you and your followers think about her? “

His answer is illuminating. “Well she's-- tacking to the right as hard as she can tack. And-- you know Hillary's got some good points.”

Pat Robertson and Rupert Murdoch know a good thing when they see it.

Thanks for drawing my attention to the giuliani post (i had skipped it because I can't stand even thinking about giuliani). It's a good post.

But this business about giving evangelicals "the wink" is just silly. Obama doesn't shy away from telling people stuff they don't want to hear. He got up on stage at saddleback church and told them "You guys are just wrong about stuff like condom distribution". He got up on in front of the teachers union and said "merit pay isn't always a bad idea." Anyway, he wouldn't need to give this audience the wink, because they don't care! Statistically, black protestant voters, though more likely than white voters to think homosexuality is wrong, they all vote democratic anyway. It's not an issue they're particularly motivated about.

That's why black leaders who harp on anti-gay public policy, like Alan Keyes, are far more popular among white evangelicals than blacks.

Good points, Kevin. Thanks for commenting.