Another one bites the dust...

Remember the old song by Queen?

Well, it seems that the good Reverend didn't know when to quit: he was spot-on with Moyers, he was powerful and prophetic at the NAACP, but I guess three times is a charm for when he went before the National Press Club on Monday, the Reverend Dr. Jeremiah Wright became a"wackadoodle"caricature of himself and lost all credibility with the dominant culture. So much so that Senator Obama had no choice but to cut his old friend and mentor loose.

To be sure, Jeremiah will still have street cred back in Chicago; Minister Farrakhan does in the "hood" even when his wacky ideas get the best of him because he continues to do good for those at the bottom of the barrel. And because he continues to see conspiracies around every corner, he will sell books and gather a following amongst those who are in despair.

What's more, the Rev. Dr. Wright will still be a great and prophetic preacher - always has been and always will be - but he is now also a total political liability so Obama had to do what he had to do. Like Senator McCain and the whole Fundamentalist loonie bin endorsements or Senator Clinton pandering to middle class gasoline anxieties, Senator Obama had to do what needs to be done to win. If you enter the game, you need to play for keeps. I remember Reinhold Niebuhr writing about the children of light and the children of darkness and needing to learn how to be wise as serpents. So, I don't blame the politicians 'cuz they are just doing what politicians do.

But I do blame Jeremiah Wright who seems to have forgotten what the New Testament book of James says so clearly: If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. (1:26)

Chapter Three continues: Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check. When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With the tongue we praise our God and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt[a] water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

Two Kinds of Wisdom Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

I stand by what I have written before because I have learned a great deal from the Reverend Dr. Wright. But like Obama, I am angry and saddened that this wise, hip and savvy man let his ego and tongue get the best of him - and it tarnished a decent soul in the process. Hang tough, Barack, it may be Friday, but Sunday is coming!


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