Michael Markman sent a pointer to another Wright sermon video, which I watched. The one that ends with God Damn America.
I was born here, I love this country, it gave sanctuary to my parents and grandparents. I am a product of Jewish Europe, transplanted in, welcomed by, the United States of America. I owe my existence to this country, and never forget it.
So God Damn America, to me, is bad. What a thing for a man of religion to say. A man who believes in god, to whom damnation is real.
On the other hand…
The rest of the sermon, the part leading up to that conclusion, is reasonable, and makes the ending understandable, even if I don’t support it.
Then I wondered, what if I had been born in Germany instead of the U.S. The country that treated my ancestors the same way Wright’s ancestors were treated by the U.S.
How would I have made the adjustment?
What if my country’s flag had a swastika on it?
What if my country hadn’t fully expressed its shame over burning my ancestors in ovens. Treating them like animals. Implementing a “final solution” on my race that somehow left me living. What if they expected me to love that country the same way the ancestors of the people who destroyed my ancestors do?
In the privacy of a cultural gathering of Jews living in a German city under a Nazi government in the 21st Century, might we say God Damn Germany for what it did to my people?
I don’t know. Probably. It’s something to think about.
PS: How long before an idiot invokes Godwin’s Law.
Anonymous people writing with supposed authority about living people. Too easily (and often) gamed.
I was in Burlington, VT at the headquarters of Dean For America, the night of The Scream Speech. I knew, therefore, that the campaign had video that showed clearly that the press was actively trying to kill his candidacy. They had a website, and they had enough money to pay for the bandwidth to run it. They knew what the press was trying to do. They could have fought it. But they didn’t.
If it happened today would a campaign fight it? And if the campaign wouldn’t, or felt it couldn’t, or felt it wasn’t wise, would we have the will to fight it? Or are we still just the audience. Is it our place to expose the corruption of the press, when we’ve caught them, or leave it to the press to do it? (If Dean is a guide, they will, half-heartedly, when it’s too late, after the candidacy is dead.)
We have a library of video of Wright sermons. We could divide them up, watch them, look for evidence that the press was right to make fear of Wright the topic for a week’s worth of news cycles. If it turns out they were right, and the Reverend is someone whose ideas are dangerous to the U.S., we don’t have to do anything more, because the concerns have already been raised. But if it turns out otherwise, that we were manipulated, don’t you think we should know for sure?
BTW, in 2004, I was not a Dean supporter. I had not chosen a candidate, as I had not chosen a candidate at the time of the Iowa caucus this year.