Mazzuca: The company Obama keeps |

Mazzuca: The company Obama keeps

Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper columnist, journalist, and author George Will commented on ABC television’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” that if Barack Obama had continued his relationship with Trinity United Church of Christ, he could not be elected president. Obviously Senator Obama must have felt the same way because after a 20-year association, he finally terminated his membership in that controversial church.

But the issue, while temporarily stayed, is not buried because many Americans still want to know why the senator didn’t leave that church years ago? Obama’s decision to use that church as a launch pad for his political career is certainly understandable; but one would have to “suspend disbelief” to accept that a man as intelligent, incisive and political as Barack Obama is just now becoming aware of Trinity United’s undercurrents.

Let’s look at this issue incrementally. Sermons, especially those focusing on moral issues, are central to religious services. When a member of the clergy crafts a sermon, it’s usually done with painstaking care and forethought. In other words, the message delivered in a sermon is calculated and intended. So when Jeremiah Wright flounced and gesticulated wildly giving us “God damn America” followed by “The government invented the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color” it’s a pretty safe bet that is what he truly believes.

Last week’s Sunday sermon at Trinity United was delivered by “guest pastor” Father Michael Phleger. In it he denigrated Hillary Clinton in the most despicable way imaginable. Then Phleger continued his “sermon” using contemptible histrionics and invective, telling his congregation how “America must pay for the rape of black people!” Not surprisingly, Father Phleger has close personal relationships with both Jeremiah Wright and the racist anti-Semitic Louis Farrakhan.

Up until two weeks ago, Phleger, like Reverend Wright, was a member of Senator Obama’s “spiritual advisory Committee” and the man the senator said, “helps him to keep his compass straight.” Perhaps that explains why Senator Obama secured in excess of $150,000 in earmarks for Phleger’s church.

When chastised by the archbishop of Chicago for his polemics, Phleger apologized for using inappropriate speech. Inappropriate? Give me a break! Phleger’s sermon, like many that emanate from Wright and Farrakhan, go far beyond inappropriate ” they are hate-filled diatribes designed specifically to excoriate American society.

Apologists downplay these episodes by telling us about the good Wright and Phleger have done. True, they have sponsored programs beneficial to the black community; but that’s a distraction from the real issue. Just as two wrongs don’t make a right, all the “good” these men do does not compensate for their radicalism. Can you imagine what the children who witnessed Phleger’s “sermon” thought while listening to his tirade? I’ll wager they weren’t thinking about hope and unity!

Add to this the fact that Senator Obama’s senate kick-off campaign fundraiser was held at the home of Bill Ayers and his wife Bernadine Dohrn, and questions begin to surface.

During the ’60s, Ayers and Dohrn were members of the communist splinter faction the Weatherman that Ayers characterized as “an American Red Army.” Ayers summed up the organization’s ideology as follows: “Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, kill your parents.” In his 2001 screed, “Fugitive Days,” Ayers recounted his life as a ’60s radical, his tenure as a Weatherman lieutenant, his terrorist campaign across America, and his enduring hatred for the United States.

When challenged about the matter, Obama apologists spin these facts as unwarranted “guilt by association” attacks on the senator. But no one accused Senator Obama of being a racist; and he isn’t guilty of anything other than having long-term friendships and associations with people inimical to the United States of America and the principles embodied in our Constitution.

Rather than spinning the issue, the apologists would be better served to ascertain just how much influence these extremists have had on the senator, or perhaps they should ask if Senator Obama will nominate people with similar philosophies for his cabinet and other government posts, including judgeships. As one pundit put it, “The fact that Senator Obama has been swimming in a pool with left-wing radicals for years causes great concern.”

The president of the United States has the solemn responsibility to preserve the character of this nation and its people. But placing one’s trust in the counsel of, along with continuing associations with the likes of Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, Jeremiah Wright, Michael Phleger, and who knows who else, doesn’t comport with the notion of “preserving the character of the nation.”

Quote of the day: “Birds of a feather flock together.” “Old English Saying

Butch Mazzuca is a business consultant living in Singletree. E-mail comments about this column to

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